Inspired Pursuits: Michelle Karam, Founder, Travel Junkie Diary
MENA's creative entrepreneurs talk on what it's like to turn a passion project into a business venture, and share their insights for pursuing creative ambitions in the MENA region.
It may be easy for people to dismiss Travel Junkie Diary founder Michelle Karam as “just another digital influencer,” but a closer review of what this entrepreneur does on her online travel platform (curated trips, creative content, brand campaigns) and associated social media channels (check out her Instagram presence) may cause you to reconsider that notion- the digital revolution has changed the way consumers shop for travel products, and Karam is simply capitalizing on this shift in the market.
“Travel Junkie Diary is not just about a beautiful Instagram image,” Karam explains. “It’s true, our followers cannot see what we do behind the scenes, but we give our clients, the brands we work with, a digital solution, consulting them on the right path for using social media on the right platforms, and making sure they work with the right influencers or bloggers.” And in an era where quantity over quality seems to be the norm, Karam is keen on moving in a different direction with what she does- making her dream of becoming known as someone who turned their passion into a successful career closer to reality.
Q How do you make sure your platform, Travel Junkie Diary, continues to remain innovative, stay relevant and appealing to your current followers, while attracting new ones as well?
“Creativity is the key, and you cannot get creative without research. Getting to know what the brand represents makes it easier for me to deliver the right message in my content, and curate the right itinerary for guests. It’s about learning the trends in travel and creating it at the same time. Being consistent is always great, but sometimes, a change every now and then can help you increase your followers. A new destination that has not been done over and over is always a fabulous appeal to attract new (and maintain) followers. Being informative in almost every post I do also helps a lot. At the same time, branching out and writing for different print and online publications in English and Arabic helps me to reach a wider audience across the globe.”
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.