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August 11, 2016

Behind the Blog: Week 1

behind the blog

Each week, I am going to start a series that features all the “behind the scenes” of TimeTravelBlonde, or as I will be referring to as, Behind the Blog. I wanted to share aspects of blogging that I have found to successful, things that failed, share funny stories and other things besides travel. And maybe, I will throw in some personal stuff here and there. I am adding this series because it baffles my mind how hard and intricate the blogging world can be. First starting this, I was so naive to think that if I wrote something cute, accompany that clever content with some fabulous pictures and voila, overnight success. Haha. ohh Chloe, that’s cute. Additionally, I wanted to share because other bloggers have been such a wealth of information for me and because basically, sharing is caring! And honestly, if I try something that completely flops, I have no shame in my admission game… so be ready for some stories of mess-ups and LOL’s. Let’s help each other out and have fun maneuvering through the world of blogging together…

So without much further ado, here is the first series of Behind the Blog, sharing what I have been what up to and what I have brewing in the works.

Creating a media kit:

time travel blonde media kit

This was a biggie for me and honestly, I was kind of slow to game when it came to the whole media kit thing. I had read contradicting statements on the inter webs that suggested that you absolutely needed one to gain more sponsorship opps, hotel stays, partnerships, the works. And then, there were the naysayers who said they didn’t need a media to get work opps. Ok. With this said, I turned to my husband who is a marketing manager for a start up, I mean, he should know right? His suggestion was that he didn’t feel it was too necessary since stats (social media followers and unique page views) change so frequently. So with that said, I put that ish on the back burner. Was it smart to do so? Probably not. Because sure enough, while working out a partnership for hotel stays, what was the one thing they wanted? You guessed it, my media kit! Oh crap. So you know who got on that ASAP. This girl. I worked hard, some days into the late night to perfect it (I have perfectionist-OCD tendencies) and sent that mofo out. It must have done something right because I started to get more offers, including the hard hotel stays over the weekend!

So with that said, make the media kit and own it. Tips to make it your own..

  • Use similar writing styles as your blog posts. Whenever I try to come off so serious I also come across as fake. I didn’t go to an Ivy league school nor am I trying to land a job with the Wall Street Journal. Be yourself and the right partnerships will connect with that. Also, that comes off as more genuine when you go to promote your partnerships and sponsorships.
  • Add your own flair. I went straight to Google Image to get ideas for how I wanted to lay out my media kit. However, the ones I saw were so condensed it gave me a headache. So I made mine more spaced out over a couple pages, very easy to read, and added pops of color here and there (and if you know my Instagram, you know I love soft tones!). In addition to that, I added cute imagery, used the same font as my blog, and same colors for links. I think cohesion is key because you’re selling yourself in your media kit and it’s extension of your blog. Keep them similar to keep it looking professional.
  • Don’t hold back on bragging. Don’t. For someone like myself, it’s actually quite uncomfortable, however this is the place to do so. Share your stats, social media followers, page views, where you’ve been a guest writer, past sponsorships, and if you contributed, where to. It’ll give you some more street cred at the end of the day.

Creating amazing content:

If you haven’t noticed, I have been a little bit negligent on the blog because I have been busy focusing on creating my brand. Also, I have felt a little bit off and had a long, serious case of writers block (that is gone now, so be ready to be inundated with new content!) and didn’t want to create half-assed content. So with this being said, I just haven’t felt on my game and didn’t want to share anything until I knew my heart was in it. I wholeheartedly feel that if your heart is it, posts will resonate with more readers, be more informative, fun, and dare I say it, inspirational? So if y’all catch my drift, Chloe got her groove back. After a month or two of soul searching, I am so excited to put all that out there and share with you all my fun travels from this summer!

Tips on writing amazing content:

  • Write from the heart. Honestly as corny as that sounds, just do it. If you feel writers block or feeling off, take a break. There is constant pressure I feel in blogging world to produce, produce, produce #werk. No, no, God no. If you’re gonna write something half assed, wait a day or two until you know you can write amazing content.

Behind the Blog

Creating  a blog linkup, as known as #FlyAwayFriday:

Not that long ago, my Insta/Blogger friend, Kana from Life in Wanderlust reached out to me to see if I’d like to cohost a blog linkup with her. I jumped at the opportunity! If you’re not familiar with blog linkups, it’s essentially a community we are building with travel bloggers where her and I host (alternating each week) a platform where travel bloggers can share their content, gain new readers, more engagement, travel & blogger buddies, and grow their blogs. It’s incredibly simple too and not that much work to gain so much reward from it. Since launching last weekend, we have 11 strong! I personally have received such an increase in page views, blog post shares and comments! It’s amazing how in just weekend it has already benefited everyone so much! And we’re just getting started…

We are always going to be accepting new followers to our community and would love to have you apart of it. Check every Friday to see who will be hosting and follow the links to be apart of the fun!

Instructions on how to join #FlyAwayFriday blog linkup:

  • Link up to one travel-related blog post.
  • Include the Fly Away Friday badge to your post.
  • Follow both of us on Instagram & Twitter.
  • Visit and comment on both the host’s links and at least 2 others.
  • Share the #FlyAwayFriday love through other social channels – tag us or use the hashtag so we can see and repost them!
  • Have fun, meet new amazing travelers, make friends and don’t forget to come back next Friday!
  • If you’re interested in joining #FlyawayFriday click on Friday!
  • It alternates between TimeTravelBlonde and Life in Wanderlust each week so be sure to check both to job in on the fun!

fly away friday

Blog Post Promotion:

One of the biggest parts of getting your posts noticed is promoting the ish out of it. Not just on your Instagram “link in bio”, but by sharing it on Facebook, your FB groups when appropriate (love GirlsLoveTravel & GirlsvsGlobe!), Twitter and Pinterest. Hands down, Pinterest brings in most of my traffic. According to my Google Analytics, nearly half of my monthly page views come directly from Pinterest and it’s so exciting to see those little pins grow. So with that said, a lot of time is spent creating catchy and eye popping Pinterest Canva designs. I then will pay for a “sponsered pin” because it really does help give those pins the initial push to help get noticed. I don’t spend anything crazy, like $2/day…maybe. But it’s worth spending a dollar or two to test out which ones really work for you. In addition to running sponsored pins on Pinterest, I engage here and there in the Pinterest for Travel Bloggers group on Facebook and that has really grown my pins. I do it when I have extra time because you have to repin everyone’s in the group, but it really helps Pinterest engagement and page views down the road. Aside from Pinterest, growing my Twitter has also helped my Instagram grow like crazy! I wasn’t sure if Twitter would be good for me but I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. It drives a lot of traffic to my page as well as gain followers that aren’t into Instagram or Facebook.

What to expect on TimeTravelBlonde:

So excited for all the fun and new things to hit the blog! Look out for all the following:

  • Travel posts! Recently: Chicago, Moab, Camping BLM, continual Behind the Blog & #FlyAwayFriday Blog link ups
  • Upcoming travels: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Bryce/Zion, Scottsdale/Sedona & possibly Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain Road Trip, Orange County, Santa Fe & Hot Air Balloon Festival, East Coast road trip, Austin + International trips to Europe in the works! So tons of fun to come to the blog!
  • Adding more Denver based blog content, including: restaurants, hotels, and events.
  • Fashion! Finally. It’s been hard to try to add fashion with such a heavy based travel blog but there will be some diversification on TTB. It’s about to time to share another passion of mine.
  • More FOOD! Some yummies will be making the blog, including restaurant and food guides to all the cities we’ll be visiting.

Conclusion…

Thank you for stopping by. I’m so excited to be adding this segment to TTB because I’m all about sharing is caring. There will be some posts, like this one, about what I have been up to. As well as having posts about what I have tried and failed. I want us all to succeed because I know blogging can be hard at times and I hope this series helps keep y’all going!! 

Have a great day, friends! Xoxo,

Chloe

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  • I absolutely love all the content in this post, Chloe! I’ve been working on working on a media kit (hah!) but progress has been slow. Really enjoying #FlyawayFriday so far, congrats to you and Kana for the awesome launch!

    Re: Pinterest, I am so slow to the game (as in, I have not yet arrived). I just have not gotten around to trying it out. How complicated is it to set up and get it up and running?

    • Hey girl. Pinterest took me a while to get a hang of but once you get going, it’s amazing and great for more cross promotion. Since upping my game on there, my CTR and page views have really increased. I’ll do a more in depth Pinterest guide for one of these behind the blog series and let you know about it. I’m more than happy to help you as well because it’s great for bloggers!!

      • I would love to learn more about it! Look forward to your guide 🙂

        • Yay! I’m going to be posting a 101 intro on it Saturday. Then a more detailed guide hopefully next weekend since there are some steps. I’ll let you know when it’s up 🙂

  • What an awesome post! This is so great, and super helpful. I have a half-finished media kit, but this really is quite a prompt to finish it! And I think the #FlyAwayFriday is great concept! Well done. Good luck and I look forward to more behind the scenes posts in future!

    • Ya! I have faith you’ll make an amazing media kit. I had it on the back burner for so long and once someone requested it, it was like omg gotta finish that NOW! haha! And I think so too, I like how it’s brought so many new bloggers together and I love reading everyones posts. So fun!

  • It was only in the last couple of weeks that I realized a media kit is something I should be thinking about. I have so many other things to do before that, but it’s definitely on the list. I look forward to reading more of these posts from you!

    • Thank you Courtney! I’ll definitely be doing these weekly and hopefully we can all help each other out! Theres a lot to cover and help/tips and such is always welcomed 🙂

  • Girl, I feel ya! I just started really delving into blog marketing and focusing on numbers a month or so ago, and it’s been more than overwhelming (I just made my media kit about two weeks ago!). Excited for what more you have to bring, and this link up has been fun so far!

    • Ya, once you start focusing on making it more of a business it gets overwhelming like REAL quick haha! I’m glad we’re in the same boat and hopefully can learn from each other. And I agree, so fun reading everyones posts! Can’t wait for tomorrows post!

  • Thank you for sharing all of your tips and ideas. I’ve gotten a few companies asking me about collaborations, so I need to start thinking of a media kit, even though I don’t have tons of followers right now. I’m also excited to see you’re heading to Bryce/Zion in Southern Utah. I’m currently working at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Southern Utah Museum of Art, so you should stop for a visit if you get a chance!

    http://passportcouture.com

    • Ya! I would definitely start putting one together, esp if your getting offers! That’s amazing news! I’m so excited to go to Bryce & Zion, I’ll be there over Labor Day Weekend with my husband and in-laws and if we have time, I’ll definitely stop by. I’ll email you if I have a chance to meet up! Xo

  • Very informative Chloe and easy to relate to. I’m working on a “Work with us” page which should prob include a media kit so thanks for that timely reminder x

    • Ahh that is something I’ve been meaning to add to my home page! haha so much to do, thank you for the reminder as well 🙂

  • nattiekaf

    This was awesome, I’m slowly starting to get a media kit together for my blog. Thanks! Also I love the idea of “behind the blog” as a series, I definitely had no idea how much work a blog would be going into it, and its nice to read about other bloggers experiences.

    • Aw thank you! Ya, I put off the media kit for a while but it’s a good idea to have one handy just in case 🙂 I spent about a week getting it just right and still have made tweaks here and there! And I fully agree, so much goes behind it…whats why I started this series because I feel like we can all learn so much from eachother. I’m still navigating and learning so much! glad you liked the post 🙂

  • New Denizen

    Wow, I never even thought of the media kit idea. I’m just getting into the food/travel blog world — I would love to see an upcoming post focus on what it means to be a travel blogger, and how you started to get invited on trips, and the pros and cons of paid for hotel stays. Thanks for the great post!

    http://newdenizen.com

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