How Gary Arndt Built One of the Most Popular Blogs in the Crowded Travel Niche

  • October 20, 2011 by Caleb Wojcik
  • 17 Comments

There are a lot of blogs about travel, but how does one stand out in such a crowded niche?

We sat down with Gary Arndt of the Everything Everywhere Travel Blog to discuss how he was able to differentiate himself and create one of the most popular personal travel blogs out there.

In March 2007, Gary sold his house and has been traveling non-stop ever since. He has been to over 100 countries and is not planning on stopping any time soon. He has built up quite the following and we are glad to have him here today to share his story, both online and off.

In this video you will find out how he built up over 100,000 followers on Twitter, makes time to post everyday while traveling, and stands out in a crowded niche.

(If you are reading this in an email, click here to watch the video.)

We love to hear and share with you people who are doing what they want to do with their lives and are able to build a business around it. We’ve got a few more awesome interviews coming in the next month and hope you’ll enjoy them.

If you want to find out more about Gary, check out his blog Everything Everywhere and his podcast This Week in Travel.

Now we want to hear from you, how do you plan to stand out from the crowd and make a splash in your niche? What makes you or your site different?

Written by . Caleb Wojcik is one of the 3 C's at Think Traffic and Fizzle.co. He writes at CalebWojcik.com and hosts the Cubicle Renegade Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @CalebWojcik.


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ldf October 20, 2011 at 6:45 am

great interview! i’ve been living a nomadic life for over two years now – different than traveling but definitely some overlap. gary, it’s great to see that being personable and authentic has worked for you over the long haul, it’s motivating (i.e. feeds my patience). my blog is less than a year old and i share those same values – thank you for sharing.

i try to post photos regularly and what surprised me was how many people find me via image searches. target those photo keywords people!

Pierre Bastien October 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

That was great, thanks guys.

Lorenzo B. October 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

Amazing information! I have a destination blog and loved his insights, especially for how Gary did the research for his blog.

Josh Grillo October 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

Good video. Traveling 4.5 years… Whoa! That’s pretty insane. It got me reminiscing on the 6 months I spent out in Indonesia and the South Pacific.

Good stuff…

Gregory Ciotti October 23, 2011 at 8:25 am

Biggest thing that caught my attention too, even if I could, I don’t know if I’d want to travel for that long!

Bianca October 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Hi Corbett & Caleb & Gary,

I saw Gary speak at TBEX (travel blogger exchange) in Vancouver last spring where he spoke at the panel discussion on monetizing a travel blog. I think the biggest takeaway from Gary’s talk was that companies don’t invest in your blog- they invest in you. In the video I like how he expanded on that by talking about the large travel properties like National Geographic that don’t have a personal face. They have the entity, but not the personality behind the polish. This is an essential differentiation we as “travel bloggers” have; it’s a natural groove to fit into. We lend the “face to the place” of travel.

That “face to the place” is the exact reason why I have made any money from my four month old site. My blog is specifically about Italian travel and I plan itineraries for people wanting to go to Italy. My clients have hired me because they believed in “me”, the site just was a place to find me.

I always look forward to hearing what Gary has to say about the business of travel blogging. I would line up to see more of it! He is a straight talker and a strategist with real experience. And his message is so true- everyone thinks about travel! The market is hugely crowded but the demand for information is also high. Therefore if we “don’t quit” like Gary says, we might just get a chance to help people enough that we stick around.

Thanks. Loved the video (and the thunder). Bianca

Marcus October 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for doing this interview, Corbett. I have a personal travel blog (in my URL link), but I’ve wanted to start another travel blog that’s more audience-focused, rather than me-focused, like the one I have now.

Gary Arndt’s advice was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I loved that he did “competitive research” in the beginning, that’s so key. His suggestion to network with websites and publications outside the travel niche was also pure gold. You have to position your blog to be “accidentally discovered.”

Please keep interviewing more top bloggers, Corbett. These interviews are inspiring and enlightening, like getting to learn from masters of the blogging game.

Matthew Karsten October 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Inspiring stuff for all of us travel bloggers out there. I really like how Gary compares a travel blog to a TV show that people tune into each week.

Extreme John October 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

Amazing travelling experience. He truly stands out as a traveler aside from being a blogger. What makes a great blogger is the experience they share in their blog. I mean, it’s hard to blog about something you have never even experienced. In my blog about business and social media, I always make sure I have experienced something myself and share that experience to the public. That way, any post becomes more genuine and worth reading.

By the way, great video. Thanks for sharing this post.

Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging October 26, 2011 at 12:33 am

Loved watching this. Totally inspired, what a guy Gary is:) Some very sound tips. Thanks for sharing it Corbett!

Mike October 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Great video! Very inspiring.

Jodi Kaplan November 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

Great to see and hear you Gary (rather than just posting). And I agree that the interaction (following, subscribing, and eventually buying) are far more important than the raw traffic numbers. Better 50 of the “right” people than 5,000,0000 random “wrong” people.

Lily April 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Great interview, thanks!! I’ve been thinking about my travel blog and what to do next, and stumbled on this online. Great find.

Alan | Life's Too Good May 3, 2012 at 2:23 am

Great interview guys, interesting comparison between the travel niche and IM niche.

How important is it to edit your photos? Can’t you just take good photos and use them right away (or is the editing more to reduce the size of the photo for performance of your blog)?

Also – what’s the best software to use to edit photos?

I keep thinking I should try and use more of my own photos but then keep on being too lazy to look through them all,

thanks, take care & best wishes,
Alan

brandy bell November 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Great Interview, and love the tips. I feel like I am in Travel Blogger School – please keep them coming, professor!

World SIM May 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

Love the tips and have been checking our Gary’s blog – you can see why he has such a big following, its very inspiring :)

Andy October 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Great interview, Gary has a great blog and is very inspirational to others.

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