You know me, I’m not afraid to get controversial and spilling the beans on the travel blogging industry as I see it. Everyone will tell you that travel blogging success comes with a lot of hard work, putting out a ton of amazing content, networking to make contacts in the industry and just downright hustling. While this is true and I provide a lot of tips on how to do this, at the end of the day, whether for better or worse, its your numbers that do the talking.=
“Send me your media kit”You’ve probably gotten this. You pitch to a brand and they’re interested in continuing the conversation but the first thing they want to see is your media kit and by media kit they want to see tangible facts to base their decision on whether you’re worth working with or not. They want those hard facts because the truth of the matter is that folks don’t have time to go through all of your work. That one snap shot is important to them.
The gospel of statsPR and brands are comfortable with numbers. They’ve worked with people in the past and its the purest benchmark to baseline one blogger to another. We can debate this all day on the merits of this but at the end of the day, the majority of people travel bloggers work with are still coming from a print age where there’s familiarity with stats that translate into worth. That’s why some still care about PageRank (despite Google announcing that it will no longer be updating PageRank).
So prove your worthArmed with that knowledge, the smart thing to do is to figure out all the ways possible to prove your worth in numbers. If you want to work it to get more press trips and to collaborate with brands, my suggestion is to do all you can to work the numbers to your advantage.
Numbers that most people care about
- Traffic related numbers (Visitors, Unique Visitors, Page Views per month)
- Social media numbers (Twitter followers, Facebook Likes, Instagram followers and less
- Ranks (PageRank, Alexa, Quantcast)
What it comes down to you realize is that people you work with want to know that you have the right amount of influence and reach. Numbers are the easiest way to determine that.
There of course are other parts to numbers too like how many brands have you worked with in the past, how many articles have you written for other outlets etc. so be aware of those as well.
Set goals to reach your target numbersFor me this year, my goal was to reach 10K followers on Twitter as I was sick and tired of being turned away for not having “enough” following. Using Tweepi, I reached my goal in a matter of months. Now, I’m working on improving my Pinterest and Instagram followings.
It’s funny, ever since I reached 10K followers, I’ve been getting congrats all around from people. People recognize that ten thousand followers is a major milestone and perception goes a long way. With this, my influence and reach is the best it’s ever been and now I can arm myself with these numbers to create a compelling reason why someone should work with me.
There are so many ways to boost your numbers and I hope you’ll stick around at Travel Blog Breakthrough to learn about all the tricks I’ve learned along the way.
What if my numbers suck?Not to fret! That’s where the art of pitching comes in. Despite all of what I’ve said above, if you can craft a message with who you’re talking to where you can demonstrate real value that they’d receive for working with you even though you may not have mega numbers, that goes a long way. We all have to start somewhere and I was in a “my numbers suck” situation not too long ago. I started pitching anyways and before I knew it, I got my first gig and now it’s snowballed into many more press trips that I can pad my media kit with, which in turn improves my numbers.
So there you have it, I hope this gives you some clarity around what you need to focus on. Here’s what you need to do.
- Set a goal (i.e. reach 10K followers)
- Create an action plan to get there (daily or weekly tasks)
- Set a deadline
- Make it happen