Our ‘Influencer of the Week’ series highlights the influencers who are kicking up a storm in the online world, with their brilliant blog content, impressive social media sorcery and general awesomeness! If you would like to be featured as an ‘Influencer of the Week’ in the future, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
1. What made you start your own blog?
Like most bloggers it all started out as a way to keep in touch with family and friends when I headed to Australia for a year. It soon combined with my degree in photography though and I actually ended up travelling with some other bloggers (including Amar of Gap Year Escape) who help me push it to the next level.
2. What do you think makes for a great influencer?
For me it’s being yourself. You are your own niche and if you chat to people like you chat with your friends, it’s going to build a really loyal following. Of course inspiring content is a huge part of it too – and if you can inspire people that’s great job satisfaction!
3. What kind of value do you think bloggers and influencers provide nowadays?
We’re the on the ground people, the people who live, breathe and blog our niches – not big corporate companies, we’re actually people providing up to date and relevant content. Value wise all good bloggers have a solid readership who value our opinion and trust it too – for me there’s no better recommendation than a personal one, and in a way that’s what bloggers really offer.
4. Do you have any tips for newbie bloggers on how to increase your reach and become a trusted influencer in your field?
First of all have patience and stick with it! Network heaps too, share other peoples content and reach out and chat with them – I have a great group of blogger friends and I haven’t even met some of them in ‘real life’! hahaha!
5. What has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?
For me it’s the fact I’ve managed to fund my travels for the last two years solely off my blog. Thats the culmination of all the hard work, hours and stress it’s taken to get this far!
6. What is the most difficult part about blogging that many people may not realize?
The hours! Seriously to build a blog you’ll be putting in some serious leg work at the beginning for very little reward!
7. What kind of opportunities have you had as a result of your blogging success?
I’ve had some great ones actually. I’ve done travel talks in partnership with STA Travel, I’ve worked with numerous companies and tourism boards which have resulted in saving a lot of money on stuff or even getting freebies. I worked with a dive company in Thailand last year helping out with their photography and social media and clocked up over 60 free dives on their boats in the Similan Islands!
8. What has been the most memorable or important piece of advice you received as a (beginner) blogger?
Don’t do it for the money! If you set out trying to make your fortune you will soon grow impatient and fail. Do it because you love it, not because you want cold hard cash. People can sense passion in your writing – that’s the key to good content.
9. What kind of future do you see for your blog?
Well actually I’m launching my new site – www.epicgapyear.com – next week. It’s an online travel agency specialising in indulging a passion, learning something new or opening up a new career in either surf, dive, snow or adventure travel. I answer so many emails on “who should I use to do my open water certification”or “how can I become a surf instructor” that I thought I’d use all the great companies I’ve used on the road and provide a direct booking service for my readers!
10. Finally, who are the bloggers that influence you?
I’ll be massively honest on this front – I don’t really read any blogs unless something really catches my eyes these days! I’m totally hooked on the collaborative surf blog The Inertia though – they’ve got some great writers.
Chris is a surfer, freediver, photographer and travel blogger from Devon in the UK. He’s been on the road since 2009 sharing reviews, advice and stories from his adventures over on BackpackerBanter.com – more often than not you’ll find him on a beach, surfing or enjoying an ice cold mojito!