Travel Blogging<br /><ul><li>My blogging journey
What’s blogging all about?
Which bloggers should I work with?
3 blogging campaigns</li></li></ul><li>My blogging journey<br />Launch<br /><br />Start writing artic...
What’s travel blogging all about?<br />Individual Voice<br />Passion<br />Trust and Integrity<br />Community  <br />and co...
Passion for travel<br />Things I’m passionate about..... Locations, food, friendship, family, fun, local culture  <br />Bu...
Individual perspectives on TBEX Copenhagen<br /> – video interview with TBEX organisers & local restaurateu...
Trusted opinion and Integrity<br />Here’s what Karen Bryan of Europe a la Carte wrote about the Grange Hotel in York<br />...
Multimedia<br />Picasa<br />Flickr<br />Smugmug<br />Youtube<br />Travelcast<br />network<br />Tripfilms<br />Photos<br />...
Community and Conversation<br />Example of 19 responses<br />
Frequently updated content<br />Frequent updates = more traffic<br /><br /><br />
Things to consider when deciding which travel bloggers to work with<br />Blog’s voice<br />Type of readership<br />Quality...
Type of readership<br />Backpacker travel<br />Baby Boomer travel<br />Family  travel<br />Tech travel<br />Women’s travel...
Blog’s voice<br />As we took in the boutique hotel’s oak panelled lobby, parquet flooring and elegant stained glass stairw...
Quality and visual appeal<br />Attractive Header<br />Ways to Connect<br />Read the about page<br />Easy navigation<br />W...
Which media is the blog strong in?<br />2-3 mins long<br />buzz<br />pages<br />chatter<br />groups<br />Video = SEO<br />...
Traffic and following<br />
Use of SEO<br /><br /><ul><li>Titles
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PRs working with travel bloggers


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This presentation from Nov 2010 was given to a group of Digital media specialists and their clients at on how they might work with travel bloggers. You can find my articles on how to build a better travels blog at and my travel articles at

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  • I’m Heather Cowper and I blog at Heatheronhertravels is about inspirational travel experiences – it’s based on my experiences of the places I visit, the things I enjoy, the tastes the sights, the sounds, the people I meet along the way.I’ve also launched a new blog in the last few months called my blogging journey which is sharing my experience of how to build a better travel blog.I’m going to take you on the journey of how my blog has developed over the last 3 years and share with you the things I believe characterise blogs compared to print media or static websites.And if you want to work with travel bloggers to promote your brand, I’ll cover some of the things you might consider when selecting bloggers to work forAnd finally I’ll pick out three travel campaigns that caught my eye recently because of the effective way they used bloggers
  • This is my blogging journey showing my traffic growing steadily in the 3 years I’ve been blogging and some of the places that I travelled along the wayBut how did it all begin? In the autumn of 2007 I made a journey through Ecuador with two friends, it was an amazing experience, we spent a week travelling in dug out canoe down the Rio Bobonaza, camping on the river bank, staying with the local communities in the rainforest and I documented the journey in photographs that I posted on Flickr so Friends &amp; family could see our progressWhen I got back I said to a work colleague, how do I start a travel blog and he said, well Blogger is good and it’s freeSo I started with Heatheronhertravels.blogspot, but after a year I realised that I wanted to do this blogging thing long term and that I wanted to have more control over what I could do on my blog and how I could monetise it, so I decided to move to Wordpress.In making the change to Wordpress I had to build up my traffic on my new domain and I also started to write new type of articles on the lessons I learned e.g. How to set up your theme, how to optimise your Youtube channelAt the beginning of 2010 I started to add podcasts &amp; videos to the blog and in the last few months I decided that as the how to articles in my blogging journey were proving so popular, I’d move them to a site of their ownSitemeter 13,000 unique visitors Google analytics 11,000 unique visitorsSitemeter 23,000 page views Google Analytics 18,000 unique visitors
  • So what is it that characterises a blog and makes it different from print media and other static websites?Well it’s all these things I believeIt’s about the passion for their subject that the blogger brings,It’s about the individual and original point of view that they expressIt’s about the trust that they build up with their audienceIt’s about the conversations that are going on around the blogIt’s about the fact that they may use many different types of media to get their message acrossAnd it’s about the fact that their providing fresh and frequently updated content which is going to keep bringing visitors back to the blogI’m going to cover each of these in a bit more detail...
  • The reason that most bloggers start blogging is because they have a passion for something and they want to share that passion with other likeminded bloggersFor me it might be about the amazing locations I visit when I stand at the top of the mountain after walking for 6 hours with a view of Mont Blanc and say wow, I’m so lucky to be hereOr when I wander through a souk in Lebanon and find some tiny backstreet cafe selling mezes where I can sit and watch the world go byOr it could be seeing my kid’s excitement on their first trip to Disneyland Paris and screaming at the top of our voices on the Space Mountain rideOr it could be our race in a rickshaw when I was there with a friend and our daughters each in different rickshaws going down Unter den LindenBut I should also mention that there’s plenty of hard work to turn these experiences into content that I shareIf I’m shooting a video interview like this one with a winemaker in Greece, I’ve got hours of editing, finding music, uploading to followAnd when I wake up on holiday as I am here in Greece in my Pyjamas I’ll be on my laptop checking e-mails while my family is lying inThe reason I put in many many hours of work for little or no financial reward is because of the passion for travel that I want to share
  • Bloggers also bring an original and individual voice to travel – if you take different travel bloggers to the same place they will all come up with their own take on the experienceTo give you an example I was recently at the Travel Blog Exchange or TBEX conference in Copenhagen – by the way if you want to find the biggest community of Travel Bloggers interacting in one place, you should go to the website conference was held over 2 days in an amazing old Cirkus theatre where in the evening they have a dinner and cabaret show and hre are what 4 different bloggers wrote about itJeannie from Nomadic Chick wrote a piece entitled Romantic Backdrops and the Cirkus – she won two free ticket to the dinner show at Wallmans Cirkus and wrote;“Little did I know that I would ask a perfect stranger to attend the dinner with me.  We were plied with free wine and lobster bisque. That we would share a brief kiss on J-Day, the very night Christmas beer was released.  My red lipstick staining his pale lips.”MyDenmarkTV.Com is an online video show about things to do and having fun in Denmark. Tim and Sabina the presenters made an episode in which they interviewed the organisers of the TBEX conference and they spoke to the Managing Director at Noma one of the leading Michelin star Copenhagen restaurants that specialises in Nordic CuisineLiv from Ieatmypigeon did a piece on top 10 lists based on a little skit about SEO that was performed at the beginning of the conference – you can see it on my Youtube channelShe wrote“SEO. A.K.A. Blogger Creativity Death. That scourge of the industry which none of us can avoid. Top Ten lists laden with Google-friendly keywords get hits; Top Ten lists are what sell. So much for your narratives, your purple prose. I think I get the idea.She want on to cover the top 10 questions she heard people asking such asWho do you write for?Do you have a business card*?Are you going to the thing with the free alcohol later**?Abi from Inside the travel lab did a piece on the hygge or cosy feeling that you get in Copenhagenn Copenhagen, hygge is the honeyed word on everyone’s lips, The rain may fall and the winds may howl while statues of Vikings scowl down from stone buildings, but in coffee shops, breweries and even hotels, modern Copenhagen is all about hygge.She walks around trying some of the bars and restaurants in search of Hygge4 bloggers, 4 completely individual perspectivesNomadicchick.com
  • something’s not great a bloggerwill say so and because of this approach a blogger’s view is generally considered trustworthy by their readers.Bloggers value their trusted status because their readership is like a friendship group, and you don’t lie to your friends.Karen’s wrote a balanced hotel review about a hotel that she stayed in on a complimentary basis as part of visit to York organised by Visit York, the local tourism board. Karen was looking forward to her stay as The Grange was listed in the Sunday Times World’s Best Hotels in December 2009.However, she was given a room at the top of the hotel with sloping eves and felt cramped. She did find that the public areas of the hotel do live up to the hype, she mentioned the beautiful staircase and the charming lounge with a coal fire. She praised the excellent breakfast and the helpful staff. In the comments, Karen received an anonymous comment;Your inference is that the Grange’s place in the top 100 is down in some way to the dark arts of PR – it doesn’t deserve its placement there/must be a fix etc. But in the same breath (or piece at least) you still have to credit the provider of your complimentary stay, Visit York and plug their See You in York promotion. (Not sure what they’re going to think about the return on their investment, incidentally…)Surely travel writers who aren’t entirely independent/objective – by paying their own way and visiting anonymously – shouldn’t gripe when the system they’re helping to create lets them down (as it does for millions of other travellers all the time)?Her reply;In an ideal world I would prefer to pay for my own accommodation but being self employed I am not in the financial position to do this. I clearly state when I have received complimentary accommodation so that the reader can factor this in to their assessment of my review.Are you saying that travel writers should only write gushing positive reviews if they accept freebies? That is not fair to the readers who will soon stop reading Europe a la Carte if they think that I’m a patsy. If readers go to a hotel which I’ve said is wonderful but isn’t I will lose credibility with readers.When a tourist promotion organisation offer press trips they are not buying blanket positivity. I believe that Visit York will look at my total output from my visit I have uploaded many photos and videos of York to Flickr and Youtube, tweeted during my trip and am writing several posts about York which I think is a wonderful short break destination.One commenter saidYour honest appraisal of the Grange makes me far more inclined to stay there (although I might be choosy about my room) than a review that was overly positive.When I did a Google search for Grange Hotel York, this one showed up 8th on the 1st page of Google
  • One thing that’s really exciting about the world of blogging is that there are so many different ways to get your message across.It’s no longer about read the article and look at the photos.Bloggers may be making short videos to illustrate their travel experience, and posting them on Youtube, Vimeo, Tripfilmsthey may be making podcast interviews and soundscenes that you access through I-tunes and other podcast directoriesIt they’re keen photographers they will be creating photo albums on sites like Flickr, Picasa, SmugmugAnd of course they may have a Facebook page where they’re sharing their content or on Twitter, tweeting about the events they have coming up, getting travel tips or about what they’re experiencing in real timeAll these mean the travel message can be broadcast through multiple channels and there’s something for every audience whether you prefer to read an online article, watch a short video or listen to a podcast on your way to work.
  • The unique thing about blogs is the community that build around them of likeminded readers who share their passion for travel.There’s a conversation going around the blog – you’ll see it in the comments, you’ll see it on the Facebook pages and you’ll see the chatter on TwitterIt means that you can really engage with travel consumers and get their point of viewHere you can see some of the comments that Darren Cronian had on his article about do tourism boards offer value for money, there’s a discussion going on here, each comment adds something to the original article
  • Search engines love blogs because they are providing fresh new content on a regular basis and obviously the more quality articles you build on your write, the more material you have to draw search engine traffic to your blog.And obviously new, interesting articles are also going to be keeping your community of subscribers and regular readers keep coming back to your blogHere you see examples of a couple of well established blogs who, are posting consistently and regularly new articles, 2-3- times a week, which you can tell by the archives in their sidebar or archive page
  • So now you’re convinced that you should be working with bloggers to promote your travel brand – they bring a fresh individual perspective, they’re building a community around them and their providing frequently updated content that the search engines are going to be picking ups onBut how do I know which of the many travel bloggers out there I should be working with – so here are the things that I’d be considering
  • Travel blogs come in many different variationsMy Itchy travel feetDonna Hull &amp; her husband Alan are semi-retired – they love to go on cruises, they stay in country inns, they enjoy outdoor activities but at the end of the day they like a nice place to stayTravel with a MateMatt runs a multi author blog which appeals to the backpacking traveller – you’ll find articles on great places to stay, how to find work when you’re travelling, the best way to get aroundFoxnomadAnil writes about how to travel smarter and he loves anything techie – He gives advice on how to travel and if you want to know who to keep your data safe while travelling, or how to get around internet censorship, he’s your man – again he appeals to the traveller who’s on the road a lot.Ciao BambinoThis is the place if you’re looking for the best place to stay with your family, and you&apos;ll find a hotel booking engine as well as advice about travelling with childrenWanderlust and Lipstick is the place for women travellers – again it’s a multi author blog and Beth Whitman has written books for solo women travellers and guides groups in places like India, Bhutan and Papua New GuineaTravel Rants Is about consumer travel issues – it talks about issues that concern travellers – should alcohol be banned on flights, airport security, whether hotel reviews can be trusted
  • These blogs have a very different voiceOne is from a blog that promotes boutique hotels, it has a very distinctive house style, witty, tongue in cheek &amp; referencing British sense of humourThe other is from a blog that appeals to the flashpacker – the traveller who is low key but quite tech minded, it’s going to tell you how what you need to know about travelling to a destination, the best deals and background that you need to know
  • Matt is a
  • Rethink Quality campaign’ve recruited 4 bloggers who they call Quality hunters who have been travelling on Finnair flights throughout October and November and blogging about everything from the experience of the flights, the in-flight meal and the destinations they visit. The bloggers are not only providing content but are considered as independent advisors on the quality of the Finnair experience.They’re using Twitter and all the content is captured on the Finnair Rethink Quality site and they also invite readers to vote for their favourite blogger
  • Based of Easy jet&apos;s 15th birthday in November;id=11936918897&amp;rTo complete the challenge each blogger will receive:- One return ticket to the destination- £100 spending money- An easyJet destination guide for the secret city- Overnight accommodationEurope Budget GuideTravel with a MateTwitchhikerEurope a la CarteOnce all four journeys are complete it will be up to the easyJet Facebook community to vote for the trip they feel best captures the secret destination in terms of uniqueness, value for money and entertainment within the boundaries set. All those who cast a vote will be in with a chance of winning a short break to the featured winning city!
  • PRs working with travel bloggers

    1. 1. Travel Blogging<br /><ul><li>My blogging journey
    2. 2. What’s blogging all about?
    3. 3. Which bloggers should I work with?
    4. 4. 3 blogging campaigns</li></li></ul><li>My blogging journey<br />Launch<br /><br />Start writing articles<br />About my blogging journey<br />French Alps<br />Hungary<br />Video &Podcasts<br />Oberammergau<br />Move to Wordpress<br /><br />Malaga<br />Munich<br />Ecuador river journey<br />Manchester<br />Greece<br />Croatia<br />Lisbon<br />Lebanon<br />Heatheronhertravels<br /><br />Berlin<br />Greece<br />Page views £000s<br />Sardinia<br />Rome<br />Valencia<br />2007<br />2009<br />2010<br />2008<br />
    5. 5. What’s travel blogging all about?<br />Individual Voice<br />Passion<br />Trust and Integrity<br />Community <br />and conversation<br />Frequently updated content<br />Multi - media<br />
    6. 6. Passion for travel<br />Things I’m passionate about..... Locations, food, friendship, family, fun, local culture <br />But there’s also.....hard work, writing, video editing, podcast production, admin<br />
    7. 7. Individual perspectives on TBEX Copenhagen<br /> – video interview with TBEX organisers & local restaurateur<br /> – went to the Wallmans Cirkus cabaret show and kissed a stranger<br /> – top 10 everything about TBEX and Copenhagen<br /> – searches out the cosy hygge of Copenhagen<br />
    8. 8. Trusted opinion and Integrity<br />Here’s what Karen Bryan of Europe a la Carte wrote about the Grange Hotel in York<br />“ my overriding impression was that of being cramped due to the sloping ceilings... I was left feeling distinctly underwhelmed.  While room 38 was a pleasant room, there is no way I’d even rate The Grange Hotel York in the top 100 hotels in the UK”<br />“The public areas of the hotel do live up to the hype. The lobby had a beautiful staircase and the lounge with a coal fire in the evening was charming.”<br />The hotel said<br />In answering a critical commenter Karen said<br />“We were very sorry to read that you were disappointed with your bedroom but we do appreciate your favourable comments on other aspects of your stay at The Grange. “<br />“Are you saying that travel writers should only write gushing positive reviews if they accept freebies? That is not fair to the readers who will soon stop reading Europe a la Carte if they think that I’m a patsy. If readers go to a hotel which I’ve said is wonderful but isn’t I will lose credibility with readers. “<br />
    9. 9. Multimedia<br />Picasa<br />Flickr<br />Smugmug<br />Youtube<br />Travelcast<br />network<br />Tripfilms<br />Photos<br />Vimeo<br />Video<br />Podcasts<br />Itunes<br />Travel blog<br />Exchange<br />Stumble<br />Blog<br />Digg<br />yfrog<br />Twitter<br />Photos<br />Facebook<br />Twitpic<br />Video<br />
    10. 10. Community and Conversation<br />Example of 19 responses<br />
    11. 11. Frequently updated content<br />Frequent updates = more traffic<br /><br /><br />
    12. 12. Things to consider when deciding which travel bloggers to work with<br />Blog’s voice<br />Type of readership<br />Quality and visual appeal<br />Which media are they strong in?<br />SEO<br />Traffic<br />
    13. 13. Type of readership<br />Backpacker travel<br />Baby Boomer travel<br />Family travel<br />Tech travel<br />Women’s travel<br />Consumer travel issues<br />
    14. 14. Blog’s voice<br />As we took in the boutique hotel’s oak panelled lobby, parquet flooring and elegant stained glass stairwell, we felt as if we’d stumbled upon an intimate house party weekend, where one might expect cocktails in the library and Charlestons on the billiards table. Making a careful mental map of all candlestick locations (in case a murder was served later, alongside the petits fours), we headed to the bar – to order that coke and Scotch by the fireplace.<br />Cyprus is a Mediterranean island tucked roughly 50 kilometres south of Turkey, and while you may have heard of it, the complicated political situation there might have you in the dark about “North Cyprus”. The island, divided since 1974, operates as two completely separate states with only one internationally recognized. Here’s what you need to know about traveling to the north, a bit about the south, and introduction to the people in between.<br />
    15. 15. Quality and visual appeal<br />Attractive Header<br />Ways to Connect<br />Read the about page<br />Easy navigation<br />Who’s he linking to?<br />Adverts and products attractively presented<br />
    16. 16. Which media is the blog strong in?<br />2-3 mins long<br />buzz<br />pages<br />chatter<br />groups<br />Video = SEO<br />Snapshot in time<br />500 million active users<br />events<br />#hashtags<br />photos<br />Twitpics<br />Projecting personality<br />youthful<br />conversation<br />@WheresAndrew<br /><br />events<br />Potential audience of millions<br />Podcasts<br />Inspire or inform<br />Story-telling<br />beauty<br />Amateur Traveler<br />Creative Commons<br />Narrative or non-narrative<br />Pen-picture<br />Background music<br />Colour<br />Writing<br />Slideshows<br />Interviews<br />soundscenes<br />HoleintheDonut<br />Illustrate the story<br />Indietravelpodcast<br />
    17. 17. Traffic and following<br />
    18. 18. Use of SEO<br /><br /><ul><li>Titles
    19. 19. Permalinks
    20. 20. Opening
    21. 21. Keywords
    22. 22. Tags
    23. 23. Links</li></ul><br />
    24. 24. Interesting travel blogging campaigns<br />
    25. 25. Finnair – Rethink Quality<br />
    26. 26. Easyjet – 15 hr blogger challenge<br />
    27. 27. Creative Tourist, Manchester<br />
    28. 28. What I liked about these campaigns<br /><ul><li>Integrated campaign
    29. 29. Used different blogging voices
    30. 30. Captured the content
    31. 31. Use of multi media
    32. 32. Community feedback</li></li></ul><li>Thanks for listening <br />My blogging journey<br />What makes blogs unique<br />Integrity<br />Passion<br />Individual <br />voice<br />Frequently updated<br />Multi<br />Media<br />Conversation<br />Cool campaigns<br />Which blogger to work with<br />Voice<br />Visuals<br />Media<br />Readership<br />SEO<br />Traffic<br />You can find me;<br /> My<br />Twitter; @heathercowper Facebook page; Heatheronhertravels<br />Email;<br />