How Travel Creators Scale Their Business

Kara and Nate want to own the travel process–from inspiration to flight deals.

Good morning. Have you ever committed to a bit for three years? TikToker @DietLite_Evan has—starting in 2020, he uploaded a video playing the guitar riff to Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” every day in order to get frontman Rivers Cuomo's attention. 990 days later, it finally happened—and the TikToker is now invited to play live with the band on tour this summer.

Kara and Nate Launch a Travel Hacks Channel

Kara and Nate / YouTube

This week, the travel creator duo launched a YouTube channel to accompany their travel hacks newsletter, Daily Drop.

Context: Kara and Nate have amassed over 3 million followers since they started uploading to YouTube in 2016 with the goal of visiting 100 countries. They launched an airline discount tool, FareDrop, in 2019 and hit their 100-country milestone in January 2020 just before lockdown.

which is when they started to focus on diversifying their content business. During the pandemic, Kara and Nate turned FareDrop into an app and launched the Daily Drop newsletter in August 2022.

Why a newsletter? It enables them to expand their brand beyond their likeness and more effectively own their audience relationship.

  • “There are a lot of blogs around miles and points, but there weren’t any amazing newsletters,” Nate told us.

  • “We’d been reading The Hustle, Morning Brew, and The Publish Press, and it started from how I consume media, but also we wanted to own the audience and have a direct connection and not be dependent on an algorithm.”

The new Daily Drop YouTube channel allows them to deepen that connection, largely by carving out space for deep dives. “Topics like signing up for a credit card can be a big decision for a lot of people, so we wanted a space where we could go deep on a subject and YouTube felt like the right place for that,” Nate said.

Big picture: In the competitive travel niche, many creators diversify their income by building their own villas or selling photo presets, which can be capital intensive and limited in scale. Instead of pursuing those strategies, Kara and Nate have focused on expanding their content ecosystem to touch every part of their audience’s travel experience.

“We want to inspire people to see the world and have life-changing experiences through our videos,” Nate said. “And then through the Daily Drop and FareDrop, we want to enable people to have those experiences.”

Streamer Awards Steal the Spotlight

Valkyrae and QTCinderella / Twitch

During its second annual showing to recognize the best of live streaming, QTCinderella’s “community-powered” Streamer Awards in LA on Saturday drew a stark contrast to the following night’s Oscars—showing that creator-driven media are continuing to compete with their more traditional counterparts.

What makes the Streamer Awards different?

  • The process. Oscars nominees are determined by roughly 10,000 entertainment industry professionals. But for the Streamer Awards, anyone can nominate their favorite streamers to 34 categories including “Best Minecraft Streamer” and “Best Content Organization.”

  • The vibe. Eric Wei, cofounder of creator fintech company and previous Streamer Awards sponsor Karat, told us that the event resonates because of its “more gritty” and “less professional” feel.

  • The transparency. QT is very open when it comes to sharing behind-the-scenes details, such as event costs and viewership statistics. This creates affinity with viewers and streamers, who feel engaged throughout the prep process.

Big picture: As the lines between creators and traditional media continue to blur, what awards stand to represent the pinnacle of achievement for creators? It’s a question that creators like QT, Ludwig, and Valkyrae—who are increasingly finding themselves in demand in Hollywood—are looking to answer.

Creators and industry veterans alike have told us that the Streamer Awards are what the creator community wants—they have the creator DNA that the Oscars (and even some other creator-specific awards shows) do not.

“It feels like a giant hangout with all your friends that you spend time watching online,” Wei said.

Sponsored by Spotter

Win a 1-1 Session with Storytelling Expert Hayden Hillier-Smith

Spotter has paid $740M to creators like MrBeast, Dude Perfect, Kinigra Deon, and 400 more through catalog licensing deals. Their goal is to take creator businesses to the next level not only through capital but also through knowledge.

So now, we’re partnering with Spotter to give away a one-hour consulting session with editing and storytelling expert Hayden Hillier-Smith.

Hayden has been the editor behind the bulk of Logan Paul’s work, as well as the go-to expert for creators like MrBeast and Sam and Colby. His work has accounted for over 5 billion views on YouTube. When he is not editing your favorite YouTube videos, he can be found making edit breakdowns on his personal channel, HillierSmith, or interviewing the world's best editors on The Editing Podcast. 

Whether you’re looking for advice on a specific video you’re working on or just want to talk through your approach to storytelling, there’s no one better than Hayden.

To enter to win the free consulting session with Hayden, fill out this quick form. 

The winner will be notified via email next week.

Veteran FaZe Clan Member Criticizes New Strategy

Teeqo / YouTube

Three months after FaZe Clan cofounder Nordan “FaZe Rain” Shat alleged that the esports organization was “taking advantage” of its creators, another member—and 12-year FaZe veteran—has spoken out.

In a video uploaded to his personal channel, Jakob “Teeqo” Swaerden claimed that the team’s current owners prioritize new talent and splashy collaborations over the creators who helped build the company.

“Someone else can come in as late as last year, who’s never lifted a finger for FaZe…and get three times the amount of shares that I have,” Swaerden said.

Big picture: As one of the first creator-led companies to go public via SPAC, FaZe Clan brought on executives from the more traditional entertainment world. But with FaZe stock down 96% since its July SPAC, fingers are being pointed as trust in new leadership dwindles.

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