All posts by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

Working with Bloggers – Introductions

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about how to get off on the right foot with content creators

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge and we’re talking about working with bloggers. Today I want to talk about introductions. As you’re looking to work with bloggers, think about the introductions, as they should be thinking about how they introduce themselves to you. I would like to propose that you remember that this is a real person and that you introduce yourself in a way that’s appropriate to a real person. What you’re looking for, what you can provide them, how can this be a mutually beneficial relationship, is better than: “Hey, I’m working for such and such. We have a budget, but we don’t want to give any of it to you. We’d just like to ask you of a favor or can we have something from you for free?”

We get a lot of pitches like that as a blogger or a content creator, especially as you get a bigger audience. They don’t go over that well. It’s a bit like knocking on somebody’s door and saying “Hi. I’ve never met you, but I’m wondering if you’ll help me move?” Now, that might work if they’re the new neighbor moving in and you can see some advantages in doing that, but if they’re moving out or if they’re just knocking on neighborhoods not even close to where they’re living, you could see that that might be an awkward situation. That’s what it’s like when you’re asking for stuff for free when don’t even have a relationship.

So the thing I’d think about is: can you establish a relationship? Can you find which bloggers are going to bloggers you’d want to work with in the future? Which podcasters, which videographers, which photographers, which bloggers, which content creators in general are focusing on the kind of topics that are specifically interesting to your audience? Where do you have people who have audiences that overlap? Are you a region that is popular with backpackers? Then you might want to approach people who have that audience. Are you a luxury travel destination? In which case, look for people who have a luxury travel audience. Adventure travel, business travel, family travel, who is it that you’re looking for?

You can even introduce yourself months ahead of when you’re actually trying to ask something just to start a relationship. If they’re local, invite them over for coffee. But think about introductions. A good introduction can be the start of a wonderful relationship. I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with the Drive-By Blogger

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about working with bloggers who you didn’t invite.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge. We’re talking about engaging with bloggers and I want to talk about the drive-by blogger. This is the blogger who is coming to your destination, who is coming to your town, who is staying in your hotel but you didn’t even invite them and you’re not even paying for it. How can you even find out that they’re coming to take advantage of that opportunity?

One, the most obvious one is if you have a website, make sure there is an easy way for media to contact you. Make it potentially different from your standard contact form or at least make sure that your procedures will get you the information if you’re contacted by somebody who is a content creator.

Two, there is a feature in BloggerBridge where you can put in a location search and you can say if anyone is going to. So for instance if I have a hotel that needs reviews in Berlin, I can say anybody who’s going to Berlin who is like this, who is blogging about business or who’s blogging about travel or business traveler who has more than 10,000 Twitter followers or whatever. Let me know when they’re coming so that I can engage them.

The third thing is make sure you have out there in social media ways of monitoring the conversation to see who’s talking about you. Hootsuite or other tools like that or standard searches can give you an idea when somebody is talking about you and that’s also a good thing to do because if they’re coming to your destination you may want to take advantage of that. There may be a review that you’re looking for, there may be some feedback, you may look for consulting. Whatever it is, take advantage of the drive by blogger.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Local Bloggers

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about working with local content creators.


I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking how to work with bloggers. Today I want to talk about working with local bloggers.

It might be that there are content creators — bloggers, videographers, photographers — who are near you right now. They may not be well known bloggers, but it might be that you can engage them to create some content on an ongoing basis. Is there a street fair that you would love to have an article written about? Are there bloggers for instance, who also freelance journalists, who could potentially get something in the local paper? Is there some way you can engage them on an ongoing basis; a certain number of blog posts per month, perhaps.

So, local bloggers can be an interesting resource. I would suggest you start by just finding out who they are, inviting them over for coffee or pizza, and seeing what kind of relationship can develop. There will be some of them you may want to work with, and some you don’t. But find the local bloggers. See what their strengths are, and then see if you can brainstorm what kind of ways you can work together in the future.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers – After the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about what to do after a press trip. Getting the most out of the opportunity means good follow up with by both the DMO and the content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge and we’re talking today about working with bloggers. Specifically, what to do after the press trip is over. Remember, you had a plan before you went, how much content you were looking for, maybe even what sort of articles you wanted written or what kind of themes that were going on. Revisit that when they get home; make sure that they got all the content they needed. It may have been that that person that you wanted them to interview wasn’t available, so you’re not going to get that piece. Can you get something else instead?

So revisit that, revisit the schedules, make sure everybody is on the same page. And then think about what you’re going to do with that content. How could you promote that content that you’ve now paid for – paid for with whatever budget you have – and get the most out of it? How could you promote it with social media? How could use it on your blog and link to it so that we have long-term value? How can you promote it in newsletters? Can you reuse it in different ways? Can you take an audio piece and transcribe it? Can you take a written piece and present an audio podcast or turn it into a video and a slideshow? There are different ways to use content. The more use you can get from that content, the more value you and the content creator can get from that trip.

And then don’t forget to ask for feedback. What could you have done differently on this trip so that you can make things better for the next trip? What things went well? What things could use improvement? You’ve got someone here who has knowledge of you, probably loves the heck out of you at this point, this is a great time to ask them for feedback and see how you can do it even better next time. Are there people that they would recommend that you work with? Because you now have a relationship with them, don’t forget to stay in touch with the people who now think very highly of you and your destination. You may be able to ask them to re-tweet things or you may just keep them informed of things that are going on and they may just choose to do that on your own.

So don’t forget that you have a relationship with those people. Stay in touch. I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers – During the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about assembling a team of content creators for a press trip. How to set expectations and what the advantages are of a diverse set of content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking about working with bloggers. And today, we’re going to talk about Press trips but specifically what to do on the Press trip.

Three different recommendations for you; I mentioned a Press trip that I did with Maui years back — this was in 2010. One of the things that they did very well on that Press trip is they tailored it to different people. This was a combined Press trip with both new media content creators as well as traditional media. And some of the content creators — for instance, one was a radio personality from Los Angeles, who had a beach. He had a beach nearby, so he said, “I’m going to Hawaii but I don’t care about a beach.” But he did a food show, and so what he said is, “I want to see where the food is grown. I want to see what’s going on in the food industry in Hawaii, on Maui in particular.”

On the other hand, I’m someone who loves a good beach, and I would get up on Wednesday morning. And my itinerary said, “Go explore the beach.” I had a rental car. I had no particular restrictions other than at 5:00 I needed to be at this place for a group dinner.” And so, I went to beaches. I went out and wrote about what it’s like to have street food near the beaches, and what it’s like to body surf. I even shot some underwater video there, as well as photography. I went and swam in lava tubes over by the Road to Hana, and documented that part of the experience; very different trips. The same goal, creating content that let people know that Hawaii, particularly Maui, was a great destination.

So, that’s one is; think about customizing it. Rule number two is, think about the schedule. Make sure there’s room in the schedule for content creators like bloggers. They may need some time to actually write. They may have a job when they get home. They may not be doing this full time, or they may be going on to their next Press trip if they are somebody who does this full time. So, don’t pack the schedule so full that they can’t actually get any content out while they’re there. Give them some down time.

And the third thing to think about is connectivity. The very first Press trip I did was to a resort in Mexico, and the first thing they did when we got there was, they handed us a wireless WiFi router. And so, as we were going out through this trip, we were Twittering, we were setting up Instagram everywhere we went, because we were constantly able to connect and produce content right there on the fly. So, that’s a third thing to think about when you’re working with bloggers.

Working with Bloggers – Before the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.com talks about assembling a team of content creators for a press trip. How to set expectations and what the advantages are of a diverse set of content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking about engaging content creators or bloggers. Today, we’re going to talk about the Press trip, and specifically what to do before the Press trip.

Again, as we’ve talked about in the past, the first thing you need to understand is what the goals are of your particular campaign, and that will help you determine what kind of person or what kind of team you may want to get. And I say “team” because I want to bring up the idea that sometimes it’s better to get multiple people with different skills.

I think one particular campaign that I did with Maui. Maui brought in as their first set of bloggers that they deal with who were their first set of content creators, they brought in one blogger, two videographers, a podcaster, and two local content creators; one a photographer, and another a blogger. They were looking for a variety of things. They were looking for content for their website in which case engaging local bloggers had some real advantages, because they could continue to have a long term relationship. They were also looking for people who had specific skills like videography, like podcasting. And they were also looking for people who had audience, as well as people who could just create content.

And I think of the one blogger who was on the trip who has no blog of her own. She was a blogger. She was a prolific writer. In the time period that I could write one blog post, she could write three. But she didn’t have her own blog. She was very shy, didn’t even want to be in the group pictures. But that didn’t matter, because they were planning on using her content on their website, and they could provide the audience.

So again, what are your goals? What kind of person or group of people should you have? And then the other thing that I think is useful to understand up front is, make sure that everybody is clear what you’re looking for; what you’re going to pay for; what you’re not going to pay for; what you’re providing; what you’re not providing. And then what you are looking for in terms of content.

I am looking for one podcast; I’m looking for three blog posts; I’m looking for 100 pictures; I’d like to use those pictures in this in such a way. The more that you can be clear about what you’re looking for up front, the fewer problems there will be.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.