Trover Interview: Building a Personal Travel Writing Brand

 

Fight the Inertia – Building a Personal Travel Writing Brand

Trover InterviewThank you to Trover for inviting us for an interview to talk about how to build your own Travel Writing Brand.

Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna, founders of We Said Go Travel, host travel storytelling contests for emerging travel writers.

They shared a few minutes with Trover on building a personal travel brand. Here are a few gems from our chat.

You and George have established quite a travel blogger together. What advice would you give to someone considering a travel blog of their own?

Lisa answers: Thank you! We have been fortunate to have so many travelers choose to share their stories with us through our website and contests. My advice for someone considering a travel blog of their own would be to just start. The inertia against beginning is one of the hardest things for most people. There are many choices to be made but you can always refine your site later. 

Pick a day of the week and post once a week somewhere. I started with blogger because I had Gmail already, it was free and I would not need a new password! That is really how I chose it. You can begin by posting on your Facebook page, blogger or another site that has a free blog like tumblr. I recommend 500-800 words with at least one photo. Commit to posting once a week. Once you begin, you can figure out the next pieces. As they say, “Every journey begins with one step.”

Our next travel-writing contest begins September 11 and closes November 28, 2013. It has a free entry and $1,000usd in cash prizes. All contest entries that meet our requirements will be published on our site and that is another great way to get started!

How essential is photography these days, in the travel blogging world? Is it possible to get away with stock images?

Lisa: For George and I, using our own photos and writing about where we have personally been is essential. We recently heard about a writer who wrote about places she has never been and uses creative commons photos. For us and our site, if you are going to share about how a place transforms you, you need to have actually been there!

George: However, if personal photos are not an option, we would recommend using creative commons on flickr or another site where usage is permitted.

We all look up to role models. Who are your travel idols?

George: For me, it would be other travelers that I have met on the road who have inspired me to continue to travel. In addition, certain travel writers have inspired us and we have thought about following in their footsteps.

Lisa: My mom gave me Origin of Species about Charles Darwin’s travels in the Galapagos to read on a trip when I was young. I realized you can travel, learn and write about science. George and I both enjoy sharing our discoveries and look forward to more exploring!

When did you know you were a Traveler, and not just someone taking a trip? 

George: I realized I was a traveler when my rationale for traveling changed from being someone that wanted to just relax or hang out to learning about other cultures and peoples.

Lisa: During the years I worked for Club Med and on cruise ships, I realized that being away was a lifestyle choice. My manager had been at sea for twenty years. I started to consider that I could invent whatever plan worked for me. Traveling with George and being on the road feels like home!

Learn more about our Travel Writing Contest: Click here!
Lisa and George are speaking in Oahu October 3rd at Lotus Honolulu, in Los Angeles October 16th at Luxe on Sunset and in an online webinar on October 23rd for the University of Pennsylvania! Join us!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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