10 Takeaways from TBEX Costa Brava
Travel Blogging looks easy and amazing on social media but behind the scenes it can often be a lonely, frustrating world at times. Thankfully events like TBEX enable bloggers to learn how to take their content to the next level through workshops and seminars, network with companies who are looking to work with bloggers and also be inspired and connect with other bloggers.
Attending TBEX in Costa Brava really gave me a lot of inspiration about the direction I want to head with my blog and for those who couldn’t attend TBEX in Costa Brava perhaps you will find my takeaways useful.
1. It’s all about Passion – be true to yourself and your audience. There’s a lot of talk about niche but I think its just as valuable to focus on your passion, what makes you unique, how can your personality shine. What could you write about for a year before seeing any payment or reward? Find your passion and do that.
2. Ask not what my reader can do for my blog, but what my blog can do for my reader – make the focus of your blog your reader. Try to solve their travel problems, create a community and add value. Be picky about what partnerships you accept, readers can see through a blog full of sponsored posts and press trips – think about the long game is it worth ruining your readers trust for a hundred dollars or so because without your audience and community your blog will become worthless.
3. Be Specific – from focusing on a niche market or audience, targeting long tail keywords for SEO and having a specific proposal when pitching to work with brands being specific will help to different you and stand out from the thousands of other travel blogs plus it enables you to become an expert at something and become known for that. If you have trouble deciding on your niche just think about what your passion is and do that!
4.Engagement and building a community is more important than big numbers of traffic. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, write something that your readers will relate to or will find useful and make it relevant and engaging.
5. Think beyond the blog – think creatively about how you can partner with brands to monetize your blog and what value you can offer both your reader and brands
6. What is your product? – Think of your blog as a store front, you’ve created all this amazing content and built up an audience but actually what are selling – from e- books, course, consultancy, tours, advertising, photography, copywriting.
7. Be Creative and Innovative – Travel media and technology changes and evolves fast and to be top of your game you need to keep up and stay ahead. Be creative in your approach and think of new ideas instead of following the crowd – once someone else is doing it its already old news. There are so many things vying for your readers attention so do something different, something that will get you noticed – the crazier the better.
8. Be proactive – don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, if you see a brand that you think would be perfect for you and your audience get in touch and pitch your ideas to them, the more creative, relevant and engaging the better!
9. Get to know other bloggers – Bloggers are awesome and like to party, they will also often share the same passions and can be valuable contacts to share ideas and tips and inspire each other plus guest posting is a great way to provide another point of view on your blog, take your content known by another audience and get all important back links for SEO. I’m currently looking for guest posts see my guest post guidelines
10. Use your blog as a force for good – You have a platform where you can influence people are you going to make the most of it or just post selfies of what an amazing time you are having! You could inspire people to live their lives to the full and pursue their dreams of travel, you could educate people to travel more responsibly and promote causes that you are passionate about.
Oh and by the way – While I’m here, let me just say this; If you start a blog just to travel for free or just to make money for your RTW trip then honestly you would be better off getting a minimum wage job, saving up, and just paying for your travels compared to the amount of time and work you will need to put in to your blog in order to be able to produce value for a sponsor.
Thank you to the TBEX organizers for a great seminar program, the town of Lloret De Mar for putting up with almost 1000 crazy travel bloggers, Costa Brava and Girona Tourism for the amazing post TBEX press trip.
A special thank you to Hostal Ribas, Lloret De Mar. I can highly recommend this lovely family run, affordable hotel that has recently been stylishly refurbished to a very high, modern standard. Hostal Ribas is just steps from the beach, close to nightlife but quiet enough to ensure a good nights sleep and offers excellent value for money!
Overall, my first TBEX was especially amazing due to the people I met, the parties and the inspirational sessions! See you at TBEX Bangkok?