March’s Blog Day Afternoon event was an excellent example of BATW’s ability to attract knowledgeable presenters who are abundantly generous in sharing their information. It was made even better by an informed moderator (Erin Caslavka Deinzer) who skillfully steered the topic along.
The first presenter was Kristin Henning. She and her husband Tom began blogging full-time in 2013 after a 30-year career in publishing. They sold their business, their home and their possessions before beginning a nomadic existence of full-time travel. With a grown family and a responsibility-free life — a reality resonating with many of their followers who are also at this stage – Tom and Kristin have ‘blogged’ through hundreds of thousands of miles, visiting at least 70 countries and six continents.
Kristin made it clear that a blogger wears many hats: influencer, marketer, writer, photographer, and publisher, to name a few. Her advice was to keep up with social media, and write in your own voice, reflecting your enthusiasm as each new experience unfolds. An important part of the couple’s growth came through attending conferences and meeting other bloggers, where they could exchange information and keep up with trends. Those interactions answer those important how-tos: how to get exposure where ever possible, keep your Google Analytics up to date, participate in radio shows, take on talking assignments, learn how to work with the media, improve your writing skills and take better photos, to name a few.
The second presenter was BATW’s Lee Daley, award-winning travel writer, photographer, columnist, editor, and founder of EpicureanDestinations.com. She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Lee has been blogging since the 1990s and has been published in a variety of print publications as well as appearing on radio and travel shows. She studied communications, is a star photographer and her words are like musical notes dancing on the page.
Lee highly recommended that one should choose a niche at the outset of your blog, which in turn helps one choose a name. Lee’s blog is called EpicureanDestinations.com and her first tip was to have a comprehensive “About Me” page, mentioning your passions and expertise.
To promote your blog, publish your articles on Facebook and use your email list to let your subscribers know you have a new article. Pay attention to search engine optimization to improve your page ranking on Google. Have a Comments Page, and encourage people to comment. And finally, having a blog requires constantly keeping up with technology and trends.
The ultimate act of a travel journalist, Erin Caslavka Deinzer moderated the entire presentation from her car while on a road trip. You might say she “skillfully steered” the topic along. She claimed her husband was driving, but with technology and self-driving cars, you never know…
This event was not recorded, but should you have questions, contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.