An Influencer Introduction With Travel with Bender
Travel with Bender shares their favorite tools, how they grow their audience, how they find sponsors, and more.
1 of 13What question are you asked the most when you tell someone you're a blogger/content creator?
Wow! I didn’t know that was a real job. And usually follow up by asking if I won the lotto.
2 of 13How do brands find you?
Mostly they seek me out via the web, or on influencer networks.
3 of 13Is there anything that you believe a brand should know before they begin reaching out to influencers?
They should have very clear goals about what they want an influencer campaign to do. It’s not good enough to do it just because everyone else is. There must be a clear business benefit and measurable KPIs.
4 of 13What one tool for your content or your business can you not live without?
Too many to count. But I’d be lost without Google Maps - literally.
5 of 13How do you decide how much to charge a brand?
It’s based on industry rates, and I take into consideration a number of other factors: average exposure per campaign (lifetime), my domain authority, my industry experience and expertise, quality of content delivered.
6 of 13What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?
I initially treated my blog like a hobby, as I had another full-time business. I wish I had treated the blog like a business from the beginning. Generating the first few thousand dollars is always the hardest. Once momentum was built up, it became much easier.
7 of 13How do you personally keep your content true to your voice while also delivering value to a brand?
I always focus on the reader - what are their dreams? What do they want to know? How do they feel? If I can connect the desires of readers, with the business goals of sponsors, then I’ve done my job well. I also portray my experiences transparently and honestly. If there’s something I don’t like, I’ll say it. It’s very rare to have a completely perfect experience, and most products/hotels/attractions/restaurants have some drawbacks. So by mentioning these, the reader knows what to expect when they follow my footsteps.
8 of 13What is the biggest challenge you face now that you have an established audience?
There’s a lot of smaller bloggers/influencers who give established members of the industry a bad name - they ask for a lot from sponsors without offering a lot in return. They often act entitled and drag down the reputation for influencers all over the world.
9 of 13How did you grow your audience when you started out?
I have a background in SEO, so I knew how to build backlinks and create content that Google would love. That was relatively easy for me, but I realise it’s a challenge for many bloggers. I also invested in a paid advertising campaign on Facebook to help grow that audience. This became the foundation for bigger things to come.
10 of 13What helps you maintain your motivation to continue creating content?
I just love what I do - photography, travel and discovering new experiences. So I hope this love of travel is reflected in the content I produce and inspires my readers to do the same. Helping others is really my primary motivation.
11 of 13What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in content creation?
Learn from others in the industry. When I started there were not courses or books or guides. Now there are a number of useful resources for beginners. Invest in yourself, and in learning the industry so you can excel. Nothing happens by accident, it takes a lot of hard work.
12 of 13What is your most defining piece of content in your opinion? Why?
One of my earlier reflection articles discussed how I started questioning a lot of preconceived ideas that had been picked up in the culture I grew up in (Australia). It started a new journey of discovery and personal growth that I’m still on today.
13 of 13What brands would you most like to work with?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with hundreds of amazing brands from all over the world. I don’t tend to have a wishlist of brands now, but instead focus on products and experiences that I know will resonate with my audience. In saying that, I like to work with brands that demonstrate a social conscience, that put people before profits. I think a lot of Millennials seek that too.