Here’s a jaw-dropping tidbit: August 2019 is my 13th blogaversary!
When I began my 1st weblog in 2006 upon moving to Hell’s Kitchen, I never ever anticipated anybody but my Mom to study it, but then thousands of strangers did and it gave me possibilities I never ever would’ve accomplished without the need of it. I never ever imagined I’d leave the PR job I loved to produce AngieAway.com and travel about the planet by myself, but then I quit and never ever looked back.
And the most significant surprise of all? Thirteen years later, I basically get paid to do this issue that began as a inventive outlet and a way to retain my loved ones updated on my misadventures.
I am so grateful that the strategy I had for myself and my profession took such a deliciously unpredictable turn. I’ll be celebrating this milestone (y’all know 13 is a particular quantity for me) all year with fascinating trips, giveaways, my 1st blogging retreat, exciting surprises and the OG Travel Blogger Series, so it is a strong time to subscribe to the newsletter so you do not miss out.
1. stands for original gangster
two. old college, founding member
Of the hundreds of thousands of hopefuls who began individual travel blogs due to the fact 2006, only the tiniest fraction stay. This handful of entrepreneurial traveling storytellers has changed the way shoppers investigation travel facts as a lot as any other aspect. These are the trailblazers who have shaped travel blogging from hobby to one thing that you could get paid for.
We run into each and every other at conferences and on media trips now and then, choosing up suitable exactly where we left off on the final adventure. In the occasions amongst, we comply with 1 another’s travel stories on social media, verify in on DM and share war stories and recommendations. These people are my unconventional water cooler buddies, even although our water cooler is typically the deck of a cruise ship or a crowded hallway in amongst conference sessions. I’m honored to be in the enterprise of these qualified travelers and I cannot wait for you to get acquainted with the OGs and to understand from their 10+ years of wisdom.
Actual speak: finding paid to travel the planet was not even a issue when most of the OGs began. And anybody who started blogging inside the previous five years or so or is constructing a profession as an influencer now stands on the shoulders of the people in this series who worked (typically unpaid) for a lot more than a decade to turn blogging into a lucrative company. Content material creation is a job you can be paid for mainly because of the OGs who went just before and paved the way.
The OGs are a wealth of facts, not just on the ins and outs of travel, but photography, entrepreneurship, Search engine marketing and what else? Life lessons. You do not reside out of a suitcase for years and develop an sector exactly where just before there was none, and not come out the other side with some seriously useful insights. So listen up, youngsters! The OGs are right here to drop some information in 2019.
OG Travel Blogger – Gary Arndt, Every little thing Everywhere
I’ll share a lot a lot more about our 13th anniversary festivities as I firm up specifics, but in the meantime, I am so excited for you to get to know some of the bloggers who’ve been operating this race with me all these years. My 1st intrepid volunteer is Gary Arndt, the guy who snagged the best, catch-all travel weblog name — Everything Everywhere. The advantage of beginning in 2007 and getting 1 of the 1st on the scene!
He’s won just about each and every accolade – photographer of the year, blogger of the year, finest travel weblog, People’s Sexiest Man. (Ok, not however, but I believe he’s in all probability functioning on it.) But Gary is not 1 of these people who rests on laurels and coasts on affiliate revenue from a repository of posts. I’ve been so impressed by his proactive efforts in SATW to the bring the weblog neighborhood and the regular journalists with each other as 1 talented bunch. I’ve been fighting that battle due to the fact my PR days when I had the exciting job of attempting to convince the OG publicists that bloggers weren’t all freebie-grubbing yahoos worth ignoring. (See how occasions have changed?)
With out additional ado, heeeeere’s Gary!
ANGIE: Gary, you have been a complete-time blogger for more than a decade. What’s the most significant adjust in the sector you have noticed from the early days to now?
GARY: The most significant adjust has been social media. When I began, MySpace was nevertheless a major issue. Twitter and Facebook existed, but they weren’t the major players they are these days. Instagram hadn’t been launched however.
The major issue back then was your site and if there was 1 metric everybody tracked it was RSS subscribers through Feedburner.
My site was my social media. Most of my weblog posts throughout the 1st handful of years I was carrying out it was the equivalent of social media posts you’d make these days. They weren’t written for Search engine marketing or for Google, they have been written for people today who basically study my site. Likewise, there have been a lot more comments as nicely.
A: And how about individual adjustments in the way you travel, how you opt for areas, and so on? What’s diverse due to the fact you began?
G: When I began, I was on 1 gigantic trip. I fundamentally began going west and went from there. I was on the road complete-time for about 9 years. I’ve had an apartment now for about three years.
The locations I go are now primarily based on chance and interest. I’m not interested in luxury resorts, even although there are in all probability a lot more possibilities to pay a visit to these sort of locations. I’m mainly interested in locations I haven’t been just before, or revisiting locations that I’ve enjoyed and would like to see differently.
Possessing been to a substantial chunk of the planet, I’m now a lot a lot more attracted to a lot more remote and obscure locations. I’ve performed Paris, Sydney, and Tokyo. Now I’m a lot more interested in Uganda or Turkmenistan.
A: You have mentioned you do not have a formal background in journalism, which so numerous aspiring bloggers can relate to. What suggestions would you give to somebody interested in finding into travel blogging who may possibly not have a background in media, photography or journalism?
G: Take the time to understand how to do it nicely.
Just mainly because you are literate does not imply you are a very good writer. Just mainly because you personal a camera does not imply you are a very good photographer.
Bloggers have a reputation for making low good quality function. This is a stereotype I’ve fought against for years. One particular of the causes I’ve applied for and won so numerous travel journalism awards is that I wanted to break the stereotype, or at least to be capable to say, “you cannot say that about me.”
A: Lots of OGs employ outdoors support, whether or not a virtual assistant, Pinterest manager, or one thing like that. What was the tipping point for you to outsource support to run your company and what recommendations do you have for bloggers who may possibly like to do the very same?
I’ve hired lots of people today more than the years, but for my site and in earlier organizations I’ve run. I’ve produced lots of errors. Right here is what I’ve discovered:
- Employ for the job. If you require somebody to make Pinterest pins, then just get somebody to do that. You can expand the part later if it performs out.
- Do not employ complete-time employees. Once more, get started out gradually and function your way up to that.
- What ever you want somebody to do, do it oneself 1st. Then is the only way you will know what you want them to do and how it ought to be performed.
- Make confident the position can spend for itself. The income it brings it ought to cover the fees, or it ought to absolutely free up time to let you do a lot more productive issues.
- Pull the trigger if it is not functioning. Firing people today is not uncomplicated, but you have to do it if essential.
A: What trend in the blogging/influencer planet drives you crazy? And what’s a trend you are excited about?
G: What drives me nuts lately are 1 trick pony Instagram “influencers.” People today who place all their eggs into the Instagram basket and have no other following on any other platform.
They do not bother me so a lot as the travel industry’s obsession with them. It is as if absolutely nothing else matters other than Instagram. My hope is that this is a passing fad.
A: Finish this sentence, “Before I began blogging, I want I knew…”
G: Search engine marketing. I seriously ignored Search engine marketing for a extremely extended time. I ought to have taken it seriously sooner.
A: If travel blogging as an sector abruptly ended these days, what would you think about carrying out alternatively?
G: Stand up comic. No, I’m not kidding. (Editor’s note: Gary the stand-up comedian? I’d get tickets for that.)
A: You have lived your life on-line for a extended time, but I visualize you nevertheless have lots of secrets. What’s one thing your readers would be shocked to discover out about you?
- I lost 40 pounds in 2018, though handful of people today have noticed.
- I can tear up conveniently when watching sappy romance films, which is why I steer clear of them.
- I’m a lot more comfy speaking just before a substantial crowd than I am mingling at a celebration.
- I haven’t been on a date in 19 years.
- I personal 1 of the handful of, original copies of Challenge #1 of National Geographic from 1888.
- I’m portion owner of the Green Bay Packers.
- I believe qualified wrestling is an art kind.
- I knew absolutely nothing about photography when I began traveling. I never ever took a course or study a book on the topic.
How to Come across Gary Arndt
Weblog | Instagram | Facebook
Got a query for our inaugural OG Travel Blogger? Have an OG you’d like me to interview? Ask away!