Having worked with travel bloggers on both sides of the fence now (as editor at travel community Gap Daemon and author of my own blogs), I have to say that chatting to all you lovely blogging folk is just like speaking to the Gods themselves. There’s never a dull conversation.
Yet after a few years in the game – and a lifetime of being sexually depraved and socially awkward – I’ve noticed there’s a certain way of doing things.
Emailing travel behemoths like the sexy hat-wearing Nomadic Samuel and telling him how much liquid has secreted from your body after several hours of reading his travel stories and looking at his travel photos is a big no-no. The same goes for telling superstars like Dave Lee, via Facebook message, that you want to be his private salsa dancer when he’s next in Medellin.
You just can’t do these types of things if you want to get the attention of travel rockstars like these.
So, if you’re anything like me then – and you spend your time masturbating furiously over the new posts of people like The Travel D and Adventurous Kate – the question goes begging: how do you network with travel bloggers and not piss them off?
Well the good news is that I’ve pissed them off so you don’t have to. Here’s what works and what doesn’t.
As cute Travelling Editor Dylan Lowe once said: “ask not what your travel blogger can do for you but what you can do for your travel blogger” (at least I think he said that right?) – the question over begging has never been so pertinent.
Hit a travel blogger up with a “can you tell me so and so…”, “can you come and critique my blog”, “can you tell me how I can be as big as you”, is pretty much guaranteed to piss off even the nicest of travel bloggers. Yes Lindsay Hogg, I’m looking at you.
To really get the attention of a travel blogger you admire/fancy the khaki pants off, you’re going to have to offer them an extra sumthin’ sumthin’.
I’m not talking about your virgin body here – let’s face it, most of us are knee-deep in pussy anyway – rather I’m talking about the offer to give something CONSTRUCTIVE to said blogger. Whether that’s an offer to share their content via social media, an offer to buy their products or an offer to critique a part of their site, these are the kind of openings that you get noticed.
You have no right to get pissed off with a blogger if all you’ve ever done is ask for stuff. Go back to Geocities you freeloader.
Tone and Behaviour
Another thing that’s led to this socially awkward bloggers email downfall in the past? Tone of voice.
Emailing a blogger and demanding things in a very Nazi-esque manner is certainly not going to make you any friends. Nor is writing complete messages in caps-lock, as do some of my little shouty, sweary, fans.
Also, and apologies to stalking victims like Becky from Global Grasshopper for this one, being creepy as hell doesn’t go over well either (seriously, I didn’t mean what I said to you about dripping vanilla ice-cream all over my nipples…)
Yeah, so believe it or not, travel bloggers (apart from the one you’re reading now of course) don’t get too flattered by your reports of how dashingly handsome or stunningly beautiful they are. No, instead they just make sure that their hostel door room is firmly locked and that you have no way of ever joining their mailing list. None of you could be any more perverted than me anyway.
So what works then? Being genuine, nice and, yes I’m sad to say it, full of praise. We’re all sticklers for a good compliment. Whoever said “flattery will get you everywhere” must have been an expert travel blogger after all.
Social Media Protocol
Hands up how many of us add travel blogging friends on Facebook without even having met them? Ah, just me then.
I can’t speak for every travel blogger out there but Facebook, especially in the light of other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and even bloody Pinterest, is still in the realm of the sacrosanct. Don’t add people you don’t know, just like their pages instead!
As for those other aforementioned mediums, the same rules apply. Don’t be overly creepy, don’t be too demanding and don’t be attention-grabbing without offering anything back. Twitter might restrict you in doing these things but still there’s no bloody excuse OK?
So if you do want to play things sensibly why not take someone like Rexyedventure’s approach and retweet other travel blogging content like crazy, ask specific and relative questions (in a respectful manner) and post sexy photos of yourself with crotchless trousers on? Works like a charm if you ask me.
Now that I’ve discussed the relative pitfalls of being a travel blogging groupie (of which there are many), I’d now like to move on to remind the bigger boys about something. Namely, giving back.
Letting the odd badly-worded message or overly zealous email slide is par for the course being a respected travel blogger that people look up to. Remember where it all started won’t you? It wasn’t so long ago that you were lying at the bottom of the pile looking up at the stars and saying to yourself “one day they WILL notice me”. That’s unless you were one of the true pioneers of course.
A strong believer in karma, I think it’s important that we all remember where the start and end point of all this travel lark is. It’s not all about our twatty-little online personas, our not-much-that-separates-us blogs. No. It’s also about being a human and helping out others who want to better their own lot. Giving back to the people who take the time to read the stuff you write and look at the photos you take.
That’s why, at the culmination of this post, I want to say a big thanks to Nomadic Sammy for having me (in the guest post sense – not in the homosexual sense, YET) and welcome anyone who wants help starting or furthering their own blogging goals to contact me in whatever way you see fit.
I guarantee you all, at the very least, a very thoughtfully worded response.
The creepier you are, the better…