Today I have none other than Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere on the show.  *insert jaw drop*

It was such a delight to first of all have Gary agree to be on the TBB podcast and then have a real conversation about blogging on the show.

For us newer generation of bloggers like myself, it’s rare to be able to pick the brain of someone as established and well known as Gary.  After listening to this, you’ll learn just how Everything Everywhere got its start and what Gary’s key strategy was to being successful.

Get your notepad and pen out because TBB is about to get real!

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The interview with Gary was both insightful and eye opening.  I think if I were to summarize the whole podcast, it came down to the one concept of building an audience first before monetizing.

Threaded throughout the interview, one of Gary’s biggest gripes about the evolution of blogging is that too many of us are looking to make a quick buck and not focusing on the long term vision.  While seemingly a bit counterintuitive to some, the business of blogging should almost come secondary to content and audience growing.

I love how frank and to the point Gary is and you will appreciate too how well spoken he is and get a glimpse of what he is like in real life (or at least as close as it gets via voice).

I’m paraphrasing things a little but I’ll end things off with this quote from the podcast:

“It’s the 10,000 little things you do consistently every day for a period of years that leads to success”

In this particular episode, you will learn

What you will learn in this podcast
  • About Gary
    • Story of how I got Gary to be on the show
    • What it was like to start a travel blog in 2007
    • Everything Everywhere didn’t make money for the first 4 years
    • Visited 40 countries in 2014 and 44 in 2013
    • Wildest thing in travel
      • 14 hour round trip motorcycle ride in Cambodia when the Thai and Cambodia armies were in full conflict mode
      • Bungee jumping
    • Things that suck about travel
      • Tiring
      • Lose contact with people (but that’s what conferences like TBEX are for)
  • Evolution of blogging of the years
    • Could be predicted – explosion of travel blogs
    • People now expect to make money quick
    • Tools have changed
    • Social media was introduced and didn’t quite change things but added a new outlet of communication
  • Thoughts on press trips
    • Hates the idea of FAM trips
    • Much prefer independent trips like his road trip in 2014 where he drive from Wisconsin, North West Territories, Vancouver, Seattle and back
  • Gary’s monetization strategy
    • Only do sponsorships where paid on a monthly retainer as a brand ambassador/spokesperson
    • Work with reputable brands only (i.e. G Adventures, ScottyVest, Gogobot and Travel Alberta)
  • Future of blogging
    1. Technology
    2. Changes in the industry
  • Gary’s photography awards
  • Gary’s secret of how he does everything
    • Assistant in Texas
    • VA in the Philippines
    • All the content and photos are Gary’s but they do the task of actually putting it up
  • Gary’s breakthrough moment
  • Photography
    • Improved photography by learning about why his photos were good vs bad
    • Learned by doing
    • Has a shot list every time he’s travelling
    • Does research ahead of time to mitigate that “luck” factor
    • Uses Google image search to get ideas
    • Gary’s favorite shot(s) of 2014
    • Camera gear
      • Nikon D300S
      • 18-200VR
      • Wide angle lens
      • 50mm f/1.4
      • Carbon fiber tripod


Key blogging insights by Gary

Blogging insights
  • Built his blog based on “why people pay money to buy travel magazines”
  • Audience is more important than traffic
  • Have a vision when working with destinations and brands
  • Brands/PR are NOT your customers, your readers are
  • Don’t expect instant success
  • Travel blogging is a craft so hone it
  • Have a long term approach
  • Avoid non reputable activities
  • Don’t do anything to jeopardize your blog in the long run
  • Display advertising sucks
  • Look at what the good writers/photographers are doing and learn from them
  • Focus less on money and the business of blogging
  • Quality matters
  • Always keep on improving
  • It’s the 10,000 little things you do consistently every day for a period of years
  • It’s not one big thing where your blog will change
  • You gotta just grind it out
  • Focus on subscribers and not traffic
  • Focus on incrementally growing the blog instead of copying what other people are doing

Links mentioned in this episode

Thanks for listening

Thank you for listening to the show!  It’s really because of you that I do these so I appreciate all the support.

If you like what you heard and can’t wait for the next episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see on the left side of the page.

Additionally, reviews for the Travel Blog Breakthrough podcast on iTunes are extremely helpful and much appreciated.  Your input makes a big difference and helps with the rankings of this show.  I read each and every one of them!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.  If you prefer TuneInStitcher or Windows catalogs (should show up on search!) I’m also on there.



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About author View all posts Author website

Will Tang

I'm the writer behind Going Awesome Places and through its growth, I've learned a heck of a lot from trial and error. I have a passion for helping others succeed and through TBB my hope is to empower you with what works (and what doesn't) so you know exactly how you can take your blog to the next level.

14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’m so happy I found your blog from Travel Blog Chronicles on Facebook. I feel sort of like I’m running into a brick wall trying to grow my blog and gain readers. Hopefully I can implement some of the things you suggest and maybe it will help!

    • Hey Katrina! I’m so glad you’ve found this useful. If you need any extra help just give me a shout. I’ve always found that talking to somebody one on one is even more helpful 🙂

  • Will, thank you so much for this podcast! This is actually the first one I took the time to fully listen to. How lucky I am that it is with Gary ARNDT. His words were so relieving! I started my blog back in 2012. I didn’t do much writing for 3 years because I didn’t want to write only “the 10 best …” type of articles and I wanted to be sure to build something consistent with my vision. I had the vision from the beginning but not the voice to communicate it. It took me time, trip after trip, doing more writing every time so it became easier to put words down so I could finally find this voice. For some months now, I’m much more productive on the blog because I know exactly where I go now. It actually gives already great results as I’m putting in place partnerships including one with a famous brand from my field. So I’m 100% with what Gary explained. Thank you so much Gary for sharing with us your experience and describing things with crystal clear words.

    • I absolutely loved that this podcast was able to make that kind of impression and impact on you. Having that long term vision is so key and it’s amazing how far it’s carried you these past few months for you. Sometimes we know what it takes to make stuff happen but it takes a bit of clarity from a fellow blogger that’s been there and done that to spring us to action.

  • Interesting podcast. Dont listen to a lot of these but was well worth listening to. Good to hear some honesty about the hard work it takes to make a success of travel blogging.

    • Hey Stuart, thanks for listening and I’m glad it was worth your time! Gary Arndt is definitely a true professional when it comes to travel blogging.

  • Such an eye opening lesson. Most of us think about the money before starting. What they don’t know that if you will not think of the money and just go with winning a particular market, the money will automatically follow.

    • Thanks! Gary is at the top of his game and if there’s anyone to take tips from, he’s that person.

      That balance of monetization and creating good content/audience is so key.

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