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 email@example.com for consideration.
1. What made you start your own blog?
Originally, I started my blog to share my experiences from Zimbabwe (2010) with my friends. I continued working on my blog privately until 2014 when I decided to make it more public. I had been giving travel advice to friends regularly so one day I thought ‘Why not make my advice public?’ This is why I set up a new website to share the experiences I collected over the last 10 years with a broader audience. You can read a bit more about what I share on my blog here: what’s different about Anna-Everywhere?
2. What do you think makes for a great influencer?
I believe that genuine content combined with a broad mindset can be the a very powerful influencing factor. I’m aware that some bloggers may write about destinations they haven’t visited, which begs the question why should I take their advice?
3. What kind of value do you think bloggers and influencers provide nowadays?
I think that bloggers are in a great position to express opinions that people consider trustworthy. For marketing companies, this has become an invaluable resource. Why? The answer is easy, who would you rather trust: a company website or a person with first-hand experience?
4. Do you have any tips for newbie bloggers on how to increase your reach and become a trusted influencer in your field?
Keep your blog real. Don’t follow everyone on social media just to be followed back. Earn your ‘fame’ by providing valuable and unique content first, not by writing plenty of comments under somebody else’s posts.
5. What has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?
I guess in my case the highlight happened pretty quickly, not even 2 months after I launched my new blog. My two posts about Mexico: misconceptions and fun facts, became extremely popular – they were shared on social media channels over 100 thousand times and I received a lot of messages from friends saying that they reached my blog via the shares of their friends. Those two posts alone brought over 350K readers to my blog but my Google Analytics don’t show them because back then I was inexperienced and I was hosting AnnaEverywhere on WordPress.
6. What is the most difficult part about blogging that many people may not realize?
In my case that would definitely be time management. I’m not a full-time blogger and I’m still not sure if I ever want to make my blog a full-time activity. Therefore when a regular workday ends for my colleagues, I often come back home and carry on working. Squeezing traveling into my schedule often makes it difficult to answer all my emails and write articles for other magazines within just a day or two.
7. What kind of opportunities have you had as a result of your blogging success?
As a travel blogger, I’ve had the chance to meet several important people and I was even offered some TV performances in Mexico, Poland, and the Netherlands.
Through my blog I also had a chance to reconnect with old friends who sent me emails after reading my articles. It might not seem like a great achievement, but seeing that your old friends truly enjoy your blog is a great feeling!
8. What has been the most memorable or important piece of advice you received as a (beginner) blogger?
I’d have to say I’ve learned to invest in the quality rather than the quantity of my posts, as well as integrating more with my audience rather than with other travel bloggers. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting fellow bloggers and sharing my experiences with them, but at the end of the day my audience is who I’m writing for.
9. What kind of future do you see for your blog?
I would love to invest a bit more time in my blog, mostly in the content and some special projects such as a subpage with travel deals. My social media channels aren’t that strong but to be honest I’m not a big fan of the whole social media war. At some point most of them will slow down and potential readers will find you by searching for advice rather than clicking on a link posted on twitter.
10. Finally, who are the bloggers that influence you?
When it comes to achieving the impossible, I am inspired by Chris Guillebeau, whom I actually had a chance to meet in Amsterdam. This amazing author of a few books and a blog managed to visit every country on the planet, proving to his readers that impossible doesn’t exist.
Anna Lysakowska is a blogger at Anna Everywhere. She has visited more than 45 countries and lived in 7, including Mexico City, Boston, London, Cape Town, Florence and Leiden. She studied journalism at Harvard, international law at Oxford Brookes and obtained her Masters in Latin American Studies from Leiden University. Since 2013 she has been residing in the Netherlands where she works at a marketing company, but this doesn’t stop her from traveling.