March 7, 2022 Guest Blogger

Travel Blogging Tips from Expert, Alicia Tenise

Alicia Tenise in Nashville

Alicia Tenise Chew is the owner and author of the Los-Angeles based fashion, lifestyle, and travel blog, Alicia Tenise. Her passion project was launched in 2011, initially as a fashion blog, after returning from a 6-month internship in New York for New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Before going full-time with her blog, Alicia worked in the marketing industry for several media and software groups.

She grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating in 2013 with a degree in Mass Communications. As a college student, her budget was limited, so traveling wasn’t her main focus when she started. As Alicia and her audience got older, the topics she chose to cover expanded to fit her own lifestyle.

Alicia is no stranger to the internet. When she was ten years old, she created her first website and has had a presence online, on and off, ever since. Success does not come easy in the influencer world, but Alicia’s strong work ethic, consistency, attention to detail, and professionalism has allowed her to continue to build her following.

Since Alicia Tenise started her blog in 2011, she has been named one of the top D.C. fashion and beauty Instagram accounts to follow by Washingtonian Magazine, featured on Essence Magazine’s Website, interviewed by The Washington Post, and appeared in ELLE Magazine in their April 2017 issue.

In February we connected with Alicia to take a deeper look into how she became the influencer she is today and learn more about what it takes to become successful in the travel blogging industry.

Alicia Tenise Cancun Trip January 2022

Photo credit: Tom McGovern

When did you first realize that you wanted to start the blog, Alicia Tenise?

“I initially started as a fashion blogger, but as I got older, I wanted to add a bit more depth to my blog and cover more topics. When I moved back to D.C. after I graduated from college, I loved having the chance to explore my hometown in a new light as an adult. I also took a job at a regional magazine, which required spending my weekends traveling throughout the D.C. Metro area attending local events and festivals. I loved incorporating this lifestyle element into my blog, and I quickly realized that my local content was pretty exciting travel content for readers who lived outside of the area.

I started by doing staycations and small guides for D.C. — I didn’t have a huge travel budget in my early 20s, so doing local content was essential. The local content I produced caught the attention of other regional hotels and travel partners, and I started to grow my coverage area and began to cover destinations that were 2-4 hours away. After a few years of regional travel, I started partnering with brands outside of my area and was able to fly to and cover other destinations.”

What is some advice you could give to inexperienced travel bloggers just starting out in the industry?

“Start out sharing finds in your own city. What you might consider to be local content is travel content for someone else. Staycations and local restaurant reviews are a great way to get started and figure out your voice and content production style. You will need to produce content on your own dime before partnering with brands, so starting local is a great way to create consistent content with lower overhead costs.”

Alicia Tenise in Marfa, Texas

Photo credit: Tom McGovern

How did you start to gain attention on the Alicia Tenise blog and grow your following?

“First, I engaged with other bloggers’ content—following, leaving comments, sharing, etc. Pre-COVID, I actively collaborated with local bloggers for shoots and content on a pretty regular basis. It’s a bit intimidating cold emailing another blogger or influencer to partner on a project, but it’s something that definitely helped me grow. Lastly, I try to focus on creating shareable content—making travel guides that are so researched, thorough, and targeted that you’d want to share them with a friend. Being vulnerable and sharing personal posts that people can relate to is also an effective way to grab your audience’s attention.”

What are your best tips for creating a successful travel blog?

Consistency is key in the beginning. This is how you’ll grow your audience. I’ve also invested in several workshops and blogging conferences over the years to help improve the quality of content I produce. I’m not afraid to outsource some things I might not be the best at as my business grows (i.e. photography, video editing, etc.). I also think it’s essential to find your own voice and show your personality. My audience trusts me like a friend when it comes to travel, and it’s important to try to find what makes you unique and personable.”

“Find your own voice and show your personality.” – Alicia Tenise Chew

How much time, energy, and work does it take to be a travel blogger?

“It’s definitely a full-time job. A crazy one that I end up working 50-60 hours a week. Since local content for me is travel content for someone else, I always have a long list of places to explore in my local community to share with my audience. When you’re traveling for the blog and partnering with brands to produce content, you always need to be “on”—friendly with PR people, interviewing chefs, local reps, etc., making sure you’re on time for appointments, and so on. You don’t have much time to relax when you’re actively travel blogging, but I still prefer it to sitting in a cubicle!”

Alicia Tenise travels to Seven Magic Mountain

Photo credit: Tom McGovern

Top Five Takeaways for Aspiring Travel Bloggers by Alicia Tenise:

  1. Consistency is key. Being consistent with the content you share will help grow your audience.
  2. Show your own voice and personality—your audience will trust you more like a friend when you are authentically yourself.
  3. Collaborate with other bloggers and influencers—this will allow you to reach a larger and more diverse audience.
  4. Find what makes you unique and personable. Followers don’t like to see the same content they’ve seen a million times before. Spice it up and share what makes you, you.
  5. Start local and share finds in your own city. What you consider local content could be travel content for someone else!


Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Jordan O’Connor.

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