Last month, I opened my email one morning and there it was…The Travel Bloggers’ Exchange had sent out a promo about The Travel Bloggers’ Show in Orlando. And Chris Elliott would be speaking! I actually read his blog and know who he is! He’s fantastic.
Last summer, I was able to catch TBEX in Chicago and LOVED it, so I was kinda excited about zipping down to Florida to catch The Travel Bloggers’ Show.
But this was very much a last minute decision to go. Like booking the tickets on Friday to leave on Saturday. This could be expensive. Would there be any cheap flights?
Cheap flights, yes. Cheap taxis, no. I’ve decided that it costs $40 to get anywhere in Orlando. If you ever go to Orlando, rent a car.
While in Orlando, I stayed at The Rosen Center Hotel, right next to the convention center where the Travel Bloggers’ show was taking place. If you didn’t stay in hotels a lot, you’d probably like it here. Firstly, the first room they gave me? Someone had already been there. Secondly, the safe didn’t fit a laptop. And of course, no wireless Internet. Except for the lobby, where you had to pay for it. All that being said, Harry Rosen, the founder of Rosen Hotels, came and spoke to us one night and his story and philosophy is truly inspiring. (I tried to find a bio for him online but couldn’t, although I did find this interesting article.)
The silver lining? The sushi at the sweet little sushi bar in the Rosen Center was QUITE nice. You know you have a problem when the staff from the sushi bar recognize you the next day.
But I digress, as always. I was there for the Travel Bloggers’ Show. Check out this little video. Cracks me up.
Here’s what I learned at The Travel Bloggers’ Show:
1. Find a niche. This was repeated over and over again. I used to be very good at this niche thing (i.e., London restaurants), but now I’m not so sure. Food for thought.
2. Find an editor. Everyone needs an editor. This is funny (to me) because many years ago, I was an editor at my university’s newspaper. And I will tell you…no one likes to be edited. I remember trying to correct its vs it’s unsuccessfully. And semicolons…I swear to God, please don’t use a semicolon unless you know how to use a semicolon. Ah…and commas. Please look up how to use a comma. If there (not their or they’re) is a conjunction connecting two independent clauses, the clause before the comma and the clause after the conjunction should be COMPLETE SENTENCES. In short…everyone needs an editor. Heck, I can barely remember how to spell “occasionally.” (Spell check, people. Spell check.) And yes yes I know…people in glass houses…
3. Create a page geared towards PRs, and explain your expectations and your philosophy towards dealing with PRs. (I haven’t gotten around to this yet.)
4. eBooks are where the money is at. You are never going to make money off of Google ads. Nomadic Matt’s eBook is a great example of this.
5. Labor for love, not money. Only a very very small number of people are living off their blogs.
6. If you’re on WordPress, consider the What Would Seth Godin Do? plugin. In short, treat your new site visitors differently than your old visitors.
7. Read Chris Elliott’s post on How to Become a Travel Blogger. Because he’s awesome.
I had a good time at The Travel Bloggers’ Show. But then again, I love this sort of thing. So hey..I’ve already registered for TBEX ’11 in Vancouver next June. Maybe I’ll see you there.