Tips From a Local Travel Blogger!
If you want to be a successful travel blogger or add travel to your pillar content then this is going to be a great episode for you! Lizanne Dooner of Lizanne Lately joins Bree for a conversation on how she got into blogging! She also shares tips for bloggers, how to work with local brands and small businesses, and how to keep blogging and travel fun even if it's something you do all the time!
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"I love to look at my content and kind of sit with it. And then I post. Versus posting in a coffee shop right away, and then later you're like, "Oh, I wish I would have included this thing about this coffee shop that makes it unique". I try not to miss the fun facts! Because when I do share local things, I like to tell a story and why I like it, or why the place was cool. And not simply, 'here's an aesthetically pleasing coffee shop'."
Discussed in this episode...
Ideas for pitching small businesses
First, it's always best to take inventory of your life and what you use daily, and what would make sense to showcase on a local level. Lizanne doesn't have kids, so it wouldn't make sense for her to work with the baby store down the street from her. You need to think about your life and your audience.
Once you've identified some brands you'd like to work with, one of the fun things about focusing on local businesses is that you can really build a relationship with them. It could mean popping into their store and buying something, or getting a coffee from their shop, and just in some way supporting their business. Very rarely, maybe 2% of the time, will Lizanne ever cold pitch someone. She always kind of gets a feel for what they are and who they are.
Next, remember that it is a two-way street when collaborating with somebody! Something Lizanne does is, rather than going to a brand and saying "hey, I can do this for you", she'll reverse and ask, "What can I do to help your marketing efforts"? Make it a true collaboration! Maybe they want some new photographs for their store or their social media, or they just want exposure? It's about having that conversation and seeing what you can do for them.
Another thing when working with local brands, just know that their budgets are always lower than what you think. Wherever you're at in your journey, you need to see what makes the most sense for you. Lizanne is a huge advocate of getting paid for your work, but there are times when she will reduce her rate a little bit in order to work with local brands. Because in the end, it helps to build her a better community locally, and they introduce her to more people down the line.
How are you different than Google?
It's a funny way to put it, but people are lazy. Yes, even if we can Google, we would all rather go to a trusted friend, colleague, blogger, or influencer! We would often rather go to a trusted person, or someone we follow on the internet than Google something, because we know what they like. For example, Lizanne will share festive holiday bars or pumpkin patches, and it's a form of putting her stamp of approval on them. People are looking to you to trust you! And once you build that trusted audience, they actually follow your recommendations. When you do make these local guides, or share these businesses, people care. When you've built trust with your audience, they care about you, and they love following you! This definitely does not happen overnight, but eventually, they will look to you for recommendations.
How can we find fun local places?
The amount of research that goes into it! Many people don't realize how much this kind of blogging requires some real research on Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and all the places!
If Lizanne is on Instagram she'll search the town or city she's going to to see what other people are posting. She's checking out Google Maps all the time, scrolling to see what is in the area. Another tool she'll utilize is the tourism boards and websites. Sometimes they're not great at showcasing places in an aesthetic way, but they do a good job of listing the business in their town.
And again, it's going back to local follow local accounts because like local businesses are friends with other local businesses! They comment and support each other on Instagram, so you never know when one local business will lead you to another great local business. Then it becomes a domino effect of finding these cool places!
- How did Lizanne's journey begin?
- Educating brands on the value of working with a blogger
- Some of the best parts of working with local brands
- How do you separate work and play?
- How can we do a better job of finding fun things to do around us?
- Transitioning into not posting in real time
More about Lizanne:
A Minnesota-based travel blogger, Lizanne enjoys adventuring throughout Minnesota with a latte in hand. Whether it's road-tripping around the midwest or exploring her backyard, she's here to take you along with her. Over the last few years, she's traveled all around the midwest in a bright red jeep with her partner, Eric, showcasing their favorite outdoor adventures, and best coffee shops, and highlighting her favorite local makers. Her goal is to inspire people to explore more and create an inclusive community for adventure seekers out there.