The blogger interview series continues (yay!) This Monday, please welcome our very first American blogger Megan, founder of Bohemian Trails. This travel blog not only has HUGE social media communities, but also pretty incredible partnerships with big names in her industry, like Lonely Planet or National Geographic. So dig in, don’t wait up, and hopefully learn of thing or two from Megan.
Can you introduce yourself and your project?
I run Bohemian Trails, an online magazine designed for the savvy and stylish traveler seeking unique cultural experiences. Articles cover everything from revamped neighborhoods and travel tips to local music, fashion and food guides.
What are the hardest / funniest times of creating/managing a blog?
The hardest part is simply keeping up with everything. I run Bohemian Trails solo, which means that I maintain all aspects of the business, which means I’m an editor, a marketing strategist and a social media manager all rolled up into one. That being said, because I am so invested in Bohemian Trails, I thoroughly enjoy reading comments from my readers and (hopefully) inspiring them in some small way.
Did you experience a tipping point when developing your blog, from struggling to thriving?
I was lucky in that Bohemian Trails started picking up speed about three or four months after launch. A lot of that had to do with social media and engaging with other travel bloggers. I was traveling through Chile and Argentina at the time and had a constant flow of content being published so that probably helped as well.
What is your approach of monetization in general?
I pass on about 80% of the advertorial queries I receive. Sure, the extra money would be great but if it doesn’t make sense for my brand and will ultimately confuse my audience, it’s not worth the quick gain. I do a few branded content posts per year and also team up with destinations, lifestyle brands and media publications for partnerships. Springpad and WIRED Magazine are two recent collaborations.
What’s next for your blog?
I’m shifting a bit from a “blog” in the traditional sense to more of a lifestyle brand. I’d like to have a steady team of contributors and feature more street art, fashion trends and also delve a bit more into the start-up culture in global cities around the world. Finally, I plan on hosting a weekly Google Hangout series and invite fellow travel writers, bloggers and experts to join the conversation.
What does social media bring you in this blogging adventure?
Social media has been the most important factor in growing the Bohemian Trails brand. I’m especially active on Google+ and Twitter and also post regularly on Instagram and Facebook. It’s one of the best ways to directly connect with your readers and discover other users who are interested in travel and lifestyle trends.
What is the role of Google (and search engines in general)?
Up until recently, I didn’t know the slightest thing about SEO. After a quick crash course, I’m now doing basic search engine optimization but in my opinion, creating quality content over time is really the best way to rank well. I think it’s a good idea to understand basic elements of how search engines work but it shouldn’t be the focus. Write about what you love and what you know and you’ll do just fine in that department.
What would you suggest/advise regarding a marketplace connecting advertisers and influencers like Upfluence?
Building lasting partnerships is a core strategy for success and Upfluence enables both bloggers and advertisers to connect. My advice is to stick with brands that resonate well with your own audience rather than choosing any advertiser who is willing to pay for a sponsored post. Think long term and go with the project that will excite your readers most.