As one of the pioneers in the travel podcasting space, and 1.3 million in downloads alone for Amateur Traveler last year, Chris Christensen was one of those guys that welcomed me to the podcasting community when I was only 2 to 3 episodes in.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.

In this show we talk about two things – podcasting and Blogger Bridge.  With the first part, we learn about how Chris got his start and how Amateur Traveler evolved.  With Blogger Bridge, we delve into what the platform is about, some of the neat features, and great insight on how brands can work with bloggers and vice versa.

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Listen to the show as I interview Chris Christensen to ask him about his experiences building up Amateur Traveler (podcast, blog, video) and This Week In Travel.  Throughout the podcast you’ll learn how about what secret tools he uses, how he balances his time and why podcasting is awesome.

We then flip things around and chat about his other project Blogger Bridge in which he has partnered with Rick Calvert, CEO of TBEX to help connect bloggers with companies.  Through this I pick his brain about how best bloggers should work with brands/destinations and the other way around as well.

In this particular episode, you will learn

  • About Chris 
    • Religious podcast listener – 90 and counting!
    • How Chris started Amateur Traveler
    • Chris’ favorite trip
    • Chris speaks a little Russian, Swahili and Mandarin
    • You wouldn’t believe it but Chris is actually shy
  • Balancing time
    • Sleep is highly overrated
    • Reality is that you do work 7 days a week
    • Prioritize what’s important
    • Remember to include your own persona life
  • Workflows and Systems
    • Things – Keep track of to-do list.  For example it adds a special lists into the calendar for the “24 things to do to get out an episode of Amateur Traveler”
    • Jumpcut – Keeps track of 40 different clipboards
    • Text Expander – Used to create macros for canned responses to emails
  • About podcasting
    • Great way to learn
    • Great for multi-taskers
    • Chris listens to podcasts at double speed!
    • Longer attention spans than blogs however doesn’t have great SEO
    • Your listeners get to you know you way better – a very personal medium
    • Hard to get feedback
  • Evolution of Amateur Traveler
    • Heavily editing the show to make the guests sound better
    • Started as a show to talk about personal travel stories but evolved into an interview show
    • Challenges
      • Building an audience
      • Keeping it going
    • Keys to success
      • Be consistent
    • Hype cycles of podcasting
    • Podcast download stats last year
      • Amateur Traveler – 1.3 million
      • This Week In Travel – 100K
      • Religious and Video Podcast – 300K combined
  • Tips for those wanting to start a podcast
    • Advantages – a lot fewer of podcasters than
    • You have to love the format and be okay with the grind
    • Think of 10 different topic of shows you could do
    • Think about how you’re going to find guests/finding new content
    • Niching down can help (i.e. WDW Radio)  – Makes it easier to pitch to brands too
    • Know your audience – who are you trying to reach?
  • Blogger Bridge
    • About the platform – connecting bloggers with brands
    • Neat feature
      • Being able to keep track of your travel schedule and let Blogger Bridge know
    • For companies, as part of TBEX sponsorship, you get free 6 month membership
    • Affiliate program is available for bloggers
    • Challenges with building up Blogger Bridge
      • It’s a two sided market place – chicken & egg
      • DMO’s are slow
  • How can bloggers work better with brands/destinations
    • Have a media kit
    • Think about guidelines (i.e. link buying, sponsored posts) and set the policy
    • Figure out what you can do that is of value for these brands/destinations
    • Think about what you can do versus a company taking out an ad in a newspaper
    • Think how marketing departments are thinking
    • What is your individual value?  Your niche?
    • Creative pitching
      • If you don’t have the impressions, pitch to write on the brand’s blog
      • Pitch a destination to secure a guest blog/podcast on another person’s large blog
      • Pitch as a conglomerate of bloggers (i.e. iAmbassador)
  • How can brands/destinations work with bloggers
    • Most are still learning
    • Budgets move slowly
    • There hasn’t been a shift yet from TV advertising to digital
    • Need to shift the PR and marketing budgets budgets towards digital = blogger opportunity

Links mentioned in this episode


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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.

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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.

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