Words of wisdom today from one of the top blogs out there right now. Mr Matthew Long of Land Lopers has solid experience in building a popular blog and bringing in valuable sponsors. He’s a pro this one, so let’s see if we can gather some tips to get some dollars rolling in….
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and why you wanted to start a travel blog?
My name is Matt Long and I am the owner and editor-in-chief of LandLopers.com. I originally started my site to share my true passion of travel with others and because I needed a creative outlet. Over time it has grown to so much more though and the community of travel enthusiasts who visit the site every day are the reason why I try to share the best information I can.
2. What have been your experiences working with corporate sponsors on your travel blog thus far?
So far the experiences have been very positive. It’s important as a blogger to work with companies who share a similar vision and who complement the content on the site. Ultimately, if the partnership isn’t good for the site and the readers then it’s not worth pursuing.
3. What kind of blogs are corporate sponsors looking to work with?
There’s no one answer to this question, it depends entirely on the company and their own outreach goals. More than anything though, just like readers, potential partners are drawn to bloggers who have an engaged audience, who are passionate about their craft and who are serious about the business of travel blogging.
4. Have you ever looked into any other forms of monetising your blog?
No, base level monetization has never appealed to me for a variety of reasons, the chief of which is because it would cheapen the look of the site. Bloggers need to think outside of the box and be more entrepreneurial in how they choose to use their blogs as springboards into other ventures.
5. What tips do you have on approaching and dealing with potential sponsors?
Choose companies that make sense for you and your site. If you’re a budget traveler, then a relationship with Ritz-Carlton doesn’t make sense. Do your homework and learn everything you can about the company before approaching them. Finally, put together a well thought out and reasoned proposal that is mutually beneficial. If you present yourself professionally, then you’ll be treated as a professional.
6. What things should bloggers looking to get sponsored focus on most?
Well they should stop worrying about sponsorships. Having a successful site takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work. Concentrate on the integrity and the value of the site and everything will come in time.
7. How does sponsorship work? Why is it more/less viable than other forms of monetisation?
Essentially it’s just another form of brand awareness. In working with a company, I am sharing their product or message with my readers and network of travel enthusiasts. Ideally these relationships are long term, well thought out and creative. You’re dealing with real people and not spammy ad sellers.
8. What does sponsorship bring to your life as a travel blogger? Does it makes things easier/harder?
I recently took my blog full time, meaning that it is my only job at the moment. Sponsorship is essential for me to be able to pay my bills, travel and produce great content. But I don’t “sell out;” I look for partnerships that will add to my site and the reader experience.
9. Do you think opportunities to travel blog in this way will increase in the future? Why/why not?
Yes, dramatically. We’ve seen it happen in other blog verticals, such as fashion and food. Companies realize the immense value bloggers bring as brand representatives and travel is just now starting to realize that.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started working with travel blog sponsors what would it be?
Don’t sell yourself short. As bloggers we are brands, influential ones at that. We first have to realize our own self worth before trying to partner with companies or destinations.
Thanks to Matt!
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