I had a nice Father’s Day, with much of my time spent on the road with my little girl as we drove between Modesto and Los Angeles. I love driving straight roads between scattered cars; it gives me time for my thoughts to wander. Somewhere around Bakersfield, I decided to begin offering the under-the-hood account of how I promote, plan and grow my travel site, In The Know Traveler. I hoped it would answer some logistical questions and help keep me moving forward with the full plate of small bits that need to be accomplished every week.
The main focus for this week is reaching out to companies that may make good media partners with ITKT in the future. I hate self-promotion, and have convinced myself that I am bad at it. So I have decided to prove myself wrong by going for it and making calls on my own behalf, walking a line between terror and euphoria.
I have purposefully added part of my to-do list here in order to make sure I do them. I promise to bust myself when I do not — like this Monday night launch of a Sunday Check-In.
I have set up phone appointments with several national and regional tourism boards for potential partnerships for the beginning of the week. I am also conducting a phone interview with the fabulous Jenny Block for my upcoming project to help writers and bloggers break into the industry side of the industry he or she hopes to write about.
I am having a sit down with the press relations head of a major tourism board on Tuesday to talk about what it takes to get onto the list of writers on the radar of a national tourism board’s invite list.
This week, I have received another nine submissions (not including regular contributors) and I am still a few weeks behind, even with two readers and a new editor.
I am working on a new story about Japan as a guest blogger. I have received a number of these invitations over the last few weeks and it is about time I take advantage of the link backs.
I have been looking at Stumble Upon this last week, which is an interactive social networking system that makes going viral astonishingly fast while appearing completely random. I have attempted to play along in the attempt to crack the code and remove some of the randomness.
So far, I am starting to see how people can work together to create fast exposure for each other. However, I am not sure of the value of the traffic created, so far. SU can make a story go viral quickly and I have had several ITKT and TWL stories get several hundred page views in the matter of moments. While this sounds good on paper, I do question the long-term value of many of the readers coming from SU. Most did not stay on the site long (far less time and far fewer pages looked at than a regular TWL reader with zero newsletter sign ups). So while the fast blast of numbers appears impressive at first, I have not seen the potential for a community building aspect yet. And that’s my future week.
For more on Jenny Block
Photo of art work by Axul of Ataco, El Salvador
What do you plan to accomplish this week in your own projects?