Blog Spotlight with Jayne Gorman, editor of 40Before30.com
I started my blog in January 2010 to record the (mis)adventures I was experiencing in overseas locations as part of my job in events. I named the blog 40before30.com, short for 40 countries before I’m 30, as I thought this would be a fun challenge and a name my readers could remember. I never imagined it would lead to travel opportunities, awards and a whole new career.
How do you source content for your blog?
As my blog is about a personal journey I write all the content myself. I only cover destinations or topics I have a personal interest in and knowledge of.
Do you write reviews? How many people read your reviews?
I have recently added a new ‘Accessories’ category of the site where I will review the items I take on my travels such as luggage, camera equipment and beauty items. I regularly write hotel reviews and have also written dedicated airline and tour operator reviews. My content reaches 12,000 readers per month and goes out to over 10,000 followers on social media.
How did you build a following for your blog?
I am lucky that the age of my blog means a lot of my traffic is sourced through search engines. I have a good sized following on Twitter and dedicate time to engaging with followers and being active on the site. I work closely with tourism boards and travel companies on campaigns so often my content is shared across their networks and vice versa, which helps to build a following. I have also been very lucky to have gained recognition from the industry, winning awards such as Travel Blogger Of The Year from the British Travel Press Awards 2011, writing awards from the Caribbean and Italian tourism boards, and I was named Best Female Blogger by Skyscanner in 2013. Most recently I have been shortlisted in the category of Best Travel Blog in the Cosmo Blog Awards 2013 – fingers crossed!
Are you a PR friendly blog? Do you accept contributions and content for your blog?
I am most certainly PR friendly – some of my most successful content and favourite campaigns were in conjunction with PRs such as the Barbados Blogathon, which was created by Karen Tippett from Tippett PR. I find it best to meet or talk to PRs face to face and discuss the ways we can potentially collaborate. I don’t accept contributions, guest posts, article ideas or interviews etc. but if PRs tell me what they are looking to achieve I can often build it into a campaign I am working on.
How best do you like to be approached by PRs?
Via a friendly email that shows they have read my site.
Blogging is great because….?
You never know where it may lead. I began writing a blog because I just wanted to write and share my travel stories. 3 years on and I’m a freelance social media manager who is working on her first book – something I never dreamed possible.
Jayne can be found tweeting @jayneytravels