HIGH ROAD’S MEREDITH HOWARD TALKS TRAVEL BLOGGINGNo Comments |
High Road recently had the pleasure of participating in a great panel, as a part of Toronto’s Social Media Week 2012. The event, “Getting Serious About Travel Blogging” (hosted by the founders of Toronto Travel Massive: Alicia Taggio of My Life Untethered and Mariellen Ward of Breathe Dream Go) brought individuals together from all aspects of the travel industry for an in-depth look at travel blogging.
The event boasted a panel of speakers including Deb and Dave of The Planet D, Evelyn Hannon of Journey Woman, Jantine Van Kregten of Ottawa Tourism, Andrew Hickey of GAdventures, Adrian Brijbassi of Vacay.ca and myself. Oh and who could forget the lovely moderator, Todd Rogerson “Mayor of GAdventures”?
More than 120 people attended with plenty more tuning in from around the world. The hashtag #SMWTOTravel quickly became a trending topic in Canada with over 1,000 tweets to date. The session provided a 360 degree view of travel blogging, from blogger insights to industry perspectives, and touched on where the travel blogging industry is going, how brands and bloggers can work together, how to become a successful travel blogger, and the challenges and rewards of travel blogging.
Travel blogging is a job and a business. It requires A LOT of time and hard work.
With that in mind, here are some key takeaways for travel bloggers:
- Make a plan: Be a brand, find your niche and carve out a way for you to stand out from the rest
- Let your personality shine: Character is king, not content. Personality is fundamental to the success of a travel blog
- Get on people’s radar: Think about SEO, interact with big blogs, become an authority. If you want to work with a company or brand, find out what their goals and objectives are, then show how your content/brand are relevant
- Stay connected: Build your brand online and then leverage it offline with relationships and partnerships (consultations, sponsorships, advertising, speaking engagements, brainstorm and networking opportunities)
- Stay true to yourself: Be who you are and do what you love to do
There were also some key takeaways for companies:
- Commit to the community: The blogging landscape is ever-changing, ensure you are paying attention and committing to becoming part of it
- Respect the craft: Take travel blogging more seriously and realize the strength of its community
- Monitor impact/engagement: Analyze who is engaging with bloggers. Engagement doesn’t mean much if it’s just their community or friends
- Build relationships: Mix and mingle. Be willing to build relationships and meet new faces. Offline interaction is just as important as online.
- Encourage education: Educate your clients and company on best practices regarding blogging and social media
We’d like to send a big thanks to Alicia and Mariellen for putting together such an exciting, helpful and important session! We hope we offered some useful insights from a PR perspective.