Over the past few days and weeks I have gotten many emails from readers around the world asking me for advice about blogging and I feel quite honored to be considered as someone knowledgeable, a “go to” person.
I received one which I felt was quite sincere and I admire the courage of the reader to simply ask. I just knew I had to respond, how could I not?
Yes, I know that others (bigger and well-known bloggers) might delete it, turn it down (I’m sure they wouldn’t want to share their secrets) or simply ignore it but not me. I read every single email and I do respond. It may take a little while because I am busy working or doing other things but they all do deserve a reply (as well as a good answer).
I hope you will enjoy this one!
Looking for advice as a new blogger
I want to be able to get more exposure and followers on my social media. As I build this, I would love to do some press trips. What kind of advice would you have for someone like me just starting off?
I started my blog last summer to document my travels with my other half. However, I have found out that the city I live in has a lot of great places to eat, museums, parks and that I’ve been writing about until now.
I see that you have done some Media stuff. How did you get noticed? Would you mind sharing some ideas with me?
My ultimate goal is to be a full-time traveler and blogger as well as writing about places that I may get the opportunity to write about if asked to go on a FAM or Press trip.
Do you have any advice or suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance!
Hi! I would like to start by thanking you for sending in your question. It makes me very happy to read that you have taken the time to visit my blog and see what I am doing. It’s always work in progress and trust me I have learned quite a few things since I started nearly 3 years ago!
Sure I can give you a few tips and pointers according to my own experience and I hope that it helps you to improve and see an increase in your readership and following.
Blogging is not just a hobby; it’s a true passion which is shown through your writing!
Starting in your own backyard and past travels is a great start. I am sure you have tons of material already. I just saw your list of destinations and you have enough for a good few months to an entire year!
As for the media part, that actually came as a great surprise. Well most of them contacted me except for Nat Geo. I submitted my entry and one day I received an email from them telling me that would featured on their website! Now that was one of the proudest and happiest moments of my life! So that totally encouraged me to continue getting better and write more!
If you really focus on your writing, I am sure people will start taking notice. It may take a while but they will come. Trust me at first I thought I was talking to myself (I truly was) or writing on a diary but little by little I saw that I was receiving more visits to the blog, started getting subscribers and people were following my adventures. This was back in 2011 when I started blogging for my family and friends at home in Canada while I lived and worked in South Korea.
Being far away makes you see life differently and you want to write it all down and then look back at it years later and say “wow, did I really do all that?”
So that gave me confidence to keep writing and I still even talk to my very 1st follower in England. It goes both ways, we also have to work on relationships online and in real life :)
I believe you already have started writing guest posts for other sites right? Well that is the perfect way to get some free exposure and lots of shares. It also helps build links back to your site and other social media profiles.
As for the press trips, well I was very fortunate that someone who is following me online liked my photography and they sent the info to PR agency who was organizing the trip for that CVB. It was then my turn to provide them stats, info and let them know why I was the right candidate (in spite of not being a travel journalist or a formally trained writer).
It is important for you to build a media kit. Don’t worry numbers are not that important but what you can offer in return. One trip was after the travel conference and I applied for it which I received with open arms.
The icing on the cake was the one in Scandinavia, but that was years in the making. I was a member of their travel community since they started a few years ago. Supporting each other through time is truly important. Great things come to patient people right?
As you have already noticed, you must allocate an amount of time daily to socialize and engage! One of the best ways I can suggest you to increase the number of contacts is to participate in weekly chats.
For instance, #Travex is a fun travel chat with different topics every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern or others like #TNI at 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays, #travelskills on Fridays at noon and many others. It is a great way to meet new people and let them know you exist!
As I mentioned earlier, it has taken me way over 3 years to be where I am and have spent a lot of time building what I have now and it has not been easy but definitely worthwhile. Being organized and have a clear goal is top priority!
There is so much to see and do that we must set the foundation and believe that everything is working in our favor.
I did not have many people who were there to help me at the beginning, so it was mostly trial and error but I noticed that there are some quite competitive people who will never help or share info if you ask them.
I do it with pleasure, only wish someone had given me a hand when I needed it but it’s ok, I became stronger and wiser in the process. I find that knowledge is wealth and also power. But if you share it then it helps others grow and be successful too :)
I hope my words encourage and inspire you.
Keep up the great work and never give up. Just keep persevering and you WILL see positive results ;)
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me again and ask!
I wish you all the best,
What advice would you give?
Share it with us!