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?

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Wow! I didn’t know that was a real job. And usually follow up by asking if I won the lotto.

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2 of 13How do brands find you?

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Mostly they seek me out via the web, or on influencer networks.

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3 of 13Is there anything that you believe a brand should know before they begin reaching out to influencers?

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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.

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4 of 13What one tool for your content or your business can you not live without?

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Too many to count. But I’d be lost without Google Maps - literally.

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5 of 13How do you decide how much to charge a brand?

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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.

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6 of 13What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?

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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.

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7 of 13How do you personally keep your content true to your voice while also delivering value to a brand?

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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.

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8 of 13What is the biggest challenge you face now that you have an established audience?

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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.

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9 of 13How did you grow your audience when you started out?

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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.

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10 of 13What helps you maintain your motivation to continue creating content?

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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.

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11 of 13What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in content creation?

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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.

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12 of 13What is your most defining piece of content in your opinion? Why?

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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.

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13 of 13What brands would you most like to work with?

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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.

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