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 is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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