Uncategorized Affiliate Program – Help Us Help You

Have you ever gotten an email from a PR company that wants your help in finding bloggers? Have you ever gotten a pitch from a company that doesn’t match what you do?

We are announcing a way to turn those into cash through a new affiliate program with If you send us a company that signs up for a paid account we will give you 25% of their first payment. If a company signs up for an annual Premium account that will be $250, if they sign up for a Lite account or a monthly Premium account that is still $50. Not only that but the more companies we sign up the more the system will grow and the more pitches that are appropriate for you we will be able to offer. 


Currently all you need is a user account. When you click on your profile page you will get a URL like: or

The last part of that URl is your user id (2201 or chris2x in this example). Any link to (except to the blog which is run on a different site) that includes  the parameter affiilate=userid will set an affiliate cookie on a user so we can keep track of who brings us customers.

So for example:

or even a link to your profile:

To get started you can (but don’t have to) use the following widget. Cut and paste the following widget and change 2201 to your userid. See an example of this at

BloggerBridge Working with Bloggers

Who to Invite for a Press Trip… with help from

Who to Invite for a Press Trip with help from

We have had two different companies use BloggerBridge recently to plan a press trip for bloggers and other influencers and I thought that explaining what they did and how they did it could be useful for other destinations or companies.

There are a number of things to think about when you are planning a press trip and we have discussed some of them before here on the blog:

But today let’s look at the critical question of who to invite. Anyone who has run a press or blogger trip can tell you stories if you are not already convinced that the right people can both make for a great trip and help you meet your goals for the trip. And every PR who has worked with traditional journalists or bloggers probably has at least one story about the person they will never invite again.

Finding the Right People – BloggerBridge Premium

One way to use BloggerBridge for your press trip is to use a Premium account and the search features to look for bloggers in the niches and locations you care about. Find people who blog in the right language, who might be in the area and who have the audience you want. One example of this we saw recently was the recent White House Travel Blogger Summit.

“When I was tasked with finding the top 100 bloggers for the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, one of the first places I went was BloggerBridge. The system makes it easy to see bloggers’ reach and examples of their work, so it saved me a lot of hassle in identifying attendees with the right fit.”

Netanya Trimboli – Communications and PR Manager at Hostelling International USA

Let the Right People Find You – BloggerBridge Lite

A very different way to find the right people is to put out the word that you are doing a press trip and let bloggers apply. You can do that with a BloggerBridge Premium account but you can also do so with the new BloggerBridge Lite account which is what AirBerlin did for a press trip to carnival in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Madeleine from Air Berlin posted an opportunity that publicized this trip to the BloggerBridge community and received  220 “applications” in about a week. But these “applications” were delivered as a sortable list of users that she could use to quickly sort bloggers by their audience or their social following. She did not have to have spreadsheets of bloggers and their numbers and didn’t have to ask for printouts of their google analytics.

One change we had to make after this experience was change the button that blogger’s click from “Apply” to “One Click Apply” because the application was too simple so they didn’t know they had done it. We already know all the kind of information that an application normally asks if they had finished filling out their BloggerBridge profile.

“Blogger Bridge has been an amazing tool and has simplified the selection process for filling our press trips. We received an overwhelming response to our trip posting, so happy with the results”

Madeleine Vogelsang – Communications Manager at Air Berlin Americas

Your Next Press Trip

Based on this experience we recommend:

1) Be very clear what you are looking for. At first the opportunity did not say that the blogger needed to be able to fly from one of these specific Air Berlin cities. If you have information like that make it public to filter out candidates that are not applicable.

2) Require specific characteristics. If you know you need at least a certain number of page views on Google Analytics or a certain number of instagram followers or a specific niche you can add a User Filter on the opportunity so that the opportunity only shows up to people who meet those qualifications.

3) We have launched a new newsletter for the BloggerBridge community so be sure to let us know when you are offering something as cool as riding on a float in carnival and we can help you get more visibility from thousands of bloggers.

4) After the press trip, write reviews for all the bloggers who attended in

Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – Introductions

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about how to get off on the right foot with content creators

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge and we’re talking about working with bloggers. Today I want to talk about introductions. As you’re looking to work with bloggers, think about the introductions, as they should be thinking about how they introduce themselves to you. I would like to propose that you remember that this is a real person and that you introduce yourself in a way that’s appropriate to a real person. What you’re looking for, what you can provide them, how can this be a mutually beneficial relationship, is better than: “Hey, I’m working for such and such. We have a budget, but we don’t want to give any of it to you. We’d just like to ask you of a favor or can we have something from you for free?”

We get a lot of pitches like that as a blogger or a content creator, especially as you get a bigger audience. They don’t go over that well. It’s a bit like knocking on somebody’s door and saying “Hi. I’ve never met you, but I’m wondering if you’ll help me move?” Now, that might work if they’re the new neighbor moving in and you can see some advantages in doing that, but if they’re moving out or if they’re just knocking on neighborhoods not even close to where they’re living, you could see that that might be an awkward situation. That’s what it’s like when you’re asking for stuff for free when don’t even have a relationship.

So the thing I’d think about is: can you establish a relationship? Can you find which bloggers are going to bloggers you’d want to work with in the future? Which podcasters, which videographers, which photographers, which bloggers, which content creators in general are focusing on the kind of topics that are specifically interesting to your audience? Where do you have people who have audiences that overlap? Are you a region that is popular with backpackers? Then you might want to approach people who have that audience. Are you a luxury travel destination? In which case, look for people who have a luxury travel audience. Adventure travel, business travel, family travel, who is it that you’re looking for?

You can even introduce yourself months ahead of when you’re actually trying to ask something just to start a relationship. If they’re local, invite them over for coffee. But think about introductions. A good introduction can be the start of a wonderful relationship. I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers

Working with the Drive-By Blogger

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about working with bloggers who you didn’t invite.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge. We’re talking about engaging with bloggers and I want to talk about the drive-by blogger. This is the blogger who is coming to your destination, who is coming to your town, who is staying in your hotel but you didn’t even invite them and you’re not even paying for it. How can you even find out that they’re coming to take advantage of that opportunity?

One, the most obvious one is if you have a website, make sure there is an easy way for media to contact you. Make it potentially different from your standard contact form or at least make sure that your procedures will get you the information if you’re contacted by somebody who is a content creator.

Two, there is a feature in BloggerBridge where you can put in a location search and you can say if anyone is going to. So for instance if I have a hotel that needs reviews in Berlin, I can say anybody who’s going to Berlin who is like this, who is blogging about business or who’s blogging about travel or business traveler who has more than 10,000 Twitter followers or whatever. Let me know when they’re coming so that I can engage them.

The third thing is make sure you have out there in social media ways of monitoring the conversation to see who’s talking about you. Hootsuite or other tools like that or standard searches can give you an idea when somebody is talking about you and that’s also a good thing to do because if they’re coming to your destination you may want to take advantage of that. There may be a review that you’re looking for, there may be some feedback, you may look for consulting. Whatever it is, take advantage of the drive by blogger.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers

Working with Local Bloggers

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about working with local content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking how to work with bloggers. Today I want to talk about working with local bloggers.

It might be that there are content creators — bloggers, videographers, photographers — who are near you right now. They may not be well known bloggers, but it might be that you can engage them to create some content on an ongoing basis. Is there a street fair that you would love to have an article written about? Are there bloggers for instance, who also freelance journalists, who could potentially get something in the local paper? Is there some way you can engage them on an ongoing basis; a certain number of blog posts per month, perhaps.

So, local bloggers can be an interesting resource. I would suggest you start by just finding out who they are, inviting them over for coffee or pizza, and seeing what kind of relationship can develop. There will be some of them you may want to work with, and some you don’t. But find the local bloggers. See what their strengths are, and then see if you can brainstorm what kind of ways you can work together in the future.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – After the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about what to do after a press trip. Getting the most out of the opportunity means good follow up with by both the DMO and the content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge and we’re talking today about working with bloggers. Specifically, what to do after the press trip is over. Remember, you had a plan before you went, how much content you were looking for, maybe even what sort of articles you wanted written or what kind of themes that were going on. Revisit that when they get home; make sure that they got all the content they needed. It may have been that that person that you wanted them to interview wasn’t available, so you’re not going to get that piece. Can you get something else instead?

So revisit that, revisit the schedules, make sure everybody is on the same page. And then think about what you’re going to do with that content. How could you promote that content that you’ve now paid for – paid for with whatever budget you have – and get the most out of it? How could you promote it with social media? How could use it on your blog and link to it so that we have long-term value? How can you promote it in newsletters? Can you reuse it in different ways? Can you take an audio piece and transcribe it? Can you take a written piece and present an audio podcast or turn it into a video and a slideshow? There are different ways to use content. The more use you can get from that content, the more value you and the content creator can get from that trip.

And then don’t forget to ask for feedback. What could you have done differently on this trip so that you can make things better for the next trip? What things went well? What things could use improvement? You’ve got someone here who has knowledge of you, probably loves the heck out of you at this point, this is a great time to ask them for feedback and see how you can do it even better next time. Are there people that they would recommend that you work with? Because you now have a relationship with them, don’t forget to stay in touch with the people who now think very highly of you and your destination. You may be able to ask them to re-tweet things or you may just keep them informed of things that are going on and they may just choose to do that on your own.

So don’t forget that you have a relationship with those people. Stay in touch. I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – During the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about assembling a team of content creators for a press trip. How to set expectations and what the advantages are of a diverse set of content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking about working with bloggers. And today, we’re going to talk about Press trips but specifically what to do on the Press trip.

Three different recommendations for you; I mentioned a Press trip that I did with Maui years back — this was in 2010. One of the things that they did very well on that Press trip is they tailored it to different people. This was a combined Press trip with both new media content creators as well as traditional media. And some of the content creators — for instance, one was a radio personality from Los Angeles, who had a beach. He had a beach nearby, so he said, “I’m going to Hawaii but I don’t care about a beach.” But he did a food show, and so what he said is, “I want to see where the food is grown. I want to see what’s going on in the food industry in Hawaii, on Maui in particular.”

On the other hand, I’m someone who loves a good beach, and I would get up on Wednesday morning. And my itinerary said, “Go explore the beach.” I had a rental car. I had no particular restrictions other than at 5:00 I needed to be at this place for a group dinner.” And so, I went to beaches. I went out and wrote about what it’s like to have street food near the beaches, and what it’s like to body surf. I even shot some underwater video there, as well as photography. I went and swam in lava tubes over by the Road to Hana, and documented that part of the experience; very different trips. The same goal, creating content that let people know that Hawaii, particularly Maui, was a great destination.

So, that’s one is; think about customizing it. Rule number two is, think about the schedule. Make sure there’s room in the schedule for content creators like bloggers. They may need some time to actually write. They may have a job when they get home. They may not be doing this full time, or they may be going on to their next Press trip if they are somebody who does this full time. So, don’t pack the schedule so full that they can’t actually get any content out while they’re there. Give them some down time.

And the third thing to think about is connectivity. The very first Press trip I did was to a resort in Mexico, and the first thing they did when we got there was, they handed us a wireless WiFi router. And so, as we were going out through this trip, we were Twittering, we were setting up Instagram everywhere we went, because we were constantly able to connect and produce content right there on the fly. So, that’s a third thing to think about when you’re working with bloggers.

Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – Before the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about assembling a team of content creators for a press trip. How to set expectations and what the advantages are of a diverse set of content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking about engaging content creators or bloggers. Today, we’re going to talk about the Press trip, and specifically what to do before the Press trip.

Again, as we’ve talked about in the past, the first thing you need to understand is what the goals are of your particular campaign, and that will help you determine what kind of person or what kind of team you may want to get. And I say “team” because I want to bring up the idea that sometimes it’s better to get multiple people with different skills.

I think one particular campaign that I did with Maui. Maui brought in as their first set of bloggers that they deal with who were their first set of content creators, they brought in one blogger, two videographers, a podcaster, and two local content creators; one a photographer, and another a blogger. They were looking for a variety of things. They were looking for content for their website in which case engaging local bloggers had some real advantages, because they could continue to have a long term relationship. They were also looking for people who had specific skills like videography, like podcasting. And they were also looking for people who had audience, as well as people who could just create content.

And I think of the one blogger who was on the trip who has no blog of her own. She was a blogger. She was a prolific writer. In the time period that I could write one blog post, she could write three. But she didn’t have her own blog. She was very shy, didn’t even want to be in the group pictures. But that didn’t matter, because they were planning on using her content on their website, and they could provide the audience.

So again, what are your goals? What kind of person or group of people should you have? And then the other thing that I think is useful to understand up front is, make sure that everybody is clear what you’re looking for; what you’re going to pay for; what you’re not going to pay for; what you’re providing; what you’re not providing. And then what you are looking for in terms of content.

I am looking for one podcast; I’m looking for three blog posts; I’m looking for 100 pictures; I’d like to use those pictures in this in such a way. The more that you can be clear about what you’re looking for up front, the fewer problems there will be.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge.

Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – Defining Goals

Step one of working with content creators (bloggers, podcasters, photographers, videographers, etc) is to decide what you are trying to accomplish.

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about different factors you should consider before looking for content creators to work with.

I’m Chris Christensen from and today we’re talking about working with bloggers. One thing that you need to decide before you engage a content creator, a blogger, a videographer, a photographer, a podcaster, or whatever kind of content you’re looking to create is why? What are the goals of whatever you’re doing because not all content creators are created equal. You might think you just need to find the best content creator out there or that you need to find the one who has been doing it the longest, but that might not be the best match depending on which project you’re looking at. Let me give you two examples.

Let’s say that you want to get the word out about a particular destination, but let’s say there are two different strategies there. One is you have content that you’re going to be putting on your own blog and the other is you’re looking for content to go up on other people’s blogs. If you’re looking for content for your own blog, then it does not matter whether the person that you are engaging has their own audience. If you’re supplying the audience, you’re just looking for the quality of the content.

If you’re looking for it to go on somebody else’s blog, then the audience that your blogger has, the audience that your influencer or content producer has is going to be significant because the bigger the audience, the more visibility that they can bring to the project.

So not all bloggers are created equal. Bloggers who have a bigger audience probably have dealt with PR more and maybe more professional, but on the other hand they maybe a little more expensive to engage or they maybe a whole lot more busy, so just something to think about as you engage with bloggers.


How Much is the Attention of Travelers Worth?

Mexico Booth at New York Times Travel Show
Mexico Booth at New York Times Travel Show

Does this booth at a recent travel show look familiar to you? I saw this picture recently and it started me thinking.

Travel shows are a common way for destinations to market themselves to travelers. What could be better than a room full of travelers wondering where they should go next? That is certainly an advantage the travel show has over mainstream media. You are dealing with a focused audience. But how much, I wonder, did this destination pay for that attention? I did some calculations.

The price for a 10 x 10 booth at the New York Times travel show in New York City is $3600 and the price for a 10 x 10 booth at the LA times travel show is $2850. The booth in the picture is roughly twice the size so let’s assume that it was twice that cost. Then we need to add in the cost of flying in people to man the booth, hotel accommodations, salaries or hourly wages, and in this case the cost of a mariachi band. That probably puts the price of this booth easily in the realm of $9,000 dollars.

Hours of Attention

So how much attention do those dollars by? Looking at our photo I count 12 people at the time of this photo who are paying attention to what’s going on in the space and don’t look like they work there. Let’s assume this captured a typical moment of a typical day at the travel show. If the show is three days long for 8 hours a day and if 12 people on average are at the booth than the total attention time for this booth is 12 × 3 x 8 hours or 288 hours of attention (HOA).

Hours of attention (HOA) may not be a unit that you use on a regular basis but I propose that it has some value. Common sense would say that a person engaged in conversation at the booth for 10 minutes is more valuable than a person engaged for one minute. Hours of attention as a metric would assume that 10 people engaged for one minute is roughly the equivalent of one person engaged 10 minutes. While not scientific, it does provide an interesting framework for comparing a variety of disparate media.

In the case of the travel booth I am estimating that the destination paid around $31 for every hour of attention.

South Africa Booth at LA Times Travel Show by Melanie Wynne
South Africa Booth at LA Times Travel Show by Melanie Wynne

So what are alternative ways of spending that money?

Let’s say you have the money to buy a full page ad in Travel + Leisure instead. Again you have a targeted audience of travelers which is good. So how long does the average reader spend on a typical full page ad?

Magazines deliver more ad impressions than TV or Web in half-hour period. (Source: McPheters & Company)

But isn’t that just another way of saying that the average reader is not spending that much time on any specific ad. I am going to estimate that a typical full page ad is going to get 15 seconds of attention, although frankly for me I think that is generous. The subscription of the magazine is 950,000 readers so that would be 3,958 hours of attention using those assumptions. According to their rate card a 4-color ad full page ad would start at $124,350 (without volume discounts). So you would be paying $31 per hour of attention. Surprisingly the same amount but for a much more shallow engagement with a much larger audience.

If you had the money for a Super Bowl ad last year you could have gotten a 30 second ad for $3.8M to reach an audience of 111 million. From the ad length, if everyone watched the ad that would be 925,000 hours of attention if everyone was glued to their set. According to Scott Tissue, during the halftime of the SuperBowl “an estimated 90 million people use their facilities” so we know that not everyone watched every second of every ad. But let’s optimistically assume half the people watched the ad. That is still 462,500 hours of attention. But, how many of those are travelers? Around 35% of Americans have a passport, that’s still 231,250 hours of attention. But if you are an overseas destination then you should know that only 28.5 million Americans traveled overseas in 2012 according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. So instead of 35% that is 9.1% (some studies put that number as low as 3.5%) so that would be 42,112 hours of effective attention or $90 per hour of attention.

Indonesia Booth at LA Times Travel Show
Indonesia Booth at LA Times Travel Show by Jennifer Miner

New Media

What is the value of a blog post? Let’s say a popular blogger writes an article on your destination. If that blogger can get 1000 people to read that article depending on the length of the article time on site per page like me in the 1 to 2 minutes range (you can determine how long people spend reading a particular page of your website by looking at Google analytics on average). If we assume an average age time of a minute and a half then every 40 page views would provide one hour of attention. One thousand page views would be the equipment of 25 hours of attention. If we pay at the same rate for that article per hour of attention that we paid for the trade show that would mean this article should cost $775.

That is ignoring of course that the blog post will also get more page views in the future and will provide search engine optimization value so the blog post should have more long term value than a trade show, TV ad or magazine ad.

If you think that seems over priced wait until you hear this. I do a popular podcast which gets easily 8,000 downloads of a half hour show. So that is roughly 4,000 hours of attention. So having an episode of the Amateur Traveler about your destination at the rate again that was paid for the trade show means that the podcast would have a cost of $124,000 per episode which is coincidentally the same cost as the Travel + Leisure full page ad for the same hours of attention. I have seriously got to raise my rates.

Are these numbers estimates? Yes, but I think they are reasonable.

Is hours of attention the only thing that you should look at? No. But next time you are considering where to put your advertising or marketing money, do some calculation. How much attention are you buying for your dollars?