Kash Bhattacharya, a travel blogger specialising in budget travel, launched his first blog EuropeBudgetGuide.com in 2009. Kash, who was out of work at the time, says blogging was a way to feel a sense of purpose and at the same time acted as an outlet for reliving his holiday memories. “My previous experience in the publishing industry meant I witnessed the shift from print to online. I saw blogging as a great way to discover what this new medium could offer. The blog was a hobby and a passion of mine but at the back of my mind I always dreamt of a day I could make a living from it. The problem was that in order to make money from a blog I needed exposure to stand out from the crowd of travel bloggers.”
Kash therefore began using other social media channels. “I discoveredsocial networks like Twitter with a thriving community of travellers sharing their holiday inspiration. For my Twitter and Facebook profiles I picked the name ‘BudgetTraveller’ that summed up my niche. This made me stand out from the crowd and was when my ‘brand’ was born and my blog started getting noticed.” The big break came a year after the blog was launched when easyJet selected Kash to be in their 15 hour blogger challenge. “They filmed me and interviewed me in their in-flight magazine which really raised my profile among ordinary travellers.”
Since then Kash has been working with various companies and on a variety of projects. “Earlier this year I was invited on the blogtrip of a lifetime by the Costa Brava Tourism Board. Together with 15 of the world’s best travel bloggers I was given access to the best travel experiences that this region could offer. We created a great impact with 17 million impressions on social networks which made it a big breakthrough in terms of demonstrating the impact travel bloggers can offer to Destination Marketing Organisations (DMO). Since that trip the Polish, Dutch and French Tourism Boards have invited me on their first ever blogtrips. easyJet Holidays, bmibaby and Hostelbookers are now my blog partners. My blogging career is definitely on an upward curve and I have started to make a living from the blogs.”
Kash launched his second blog BudgetTraveller this summer. “BudgetTraveller is a bigger, more ambitious blog that is focusing on budget travel from a more global perspective. While EuropeBudgetGuide.com has been very successful in terms of building a loyal audience, it limits my scope and ability to work with brands and DMOs beyond Europe so it was natural progression. As I’m known as the BudgetTraveller on social networks that name was a given.”
So how has the blogosphere changed in the two years since Kash launched his first blog? “I think, like myself, many travel bloggers set out to blog about their travel experiences. Then, thanks to the popularity of other social media networks, we now have access to a range of powerful outlets to help promote our blogs and discover a bigger readership. Social media also gives great feedback from readers and travel brands about what kind of content they are looking for. I think with their defined niches and very loyal readerships some travel blogs have developed a unique brand. This is something very attractive to travel companies looking for new ways to expand their brand. What we’re seeing currently are some very exciting partnerships between travel bloggers and travel companies. I’ve received a fantastic response from various companies about partnership opportunities. Things are looking very exciting for me and the travel blogging industry.”
Making the Pitch: Tips and Advice for Pitching to Kash Bhattacharya
“It helps when PR professionals take the time to read my blog and understand the style and focus of my blog content. I get a surprisingly high number of random pitches from PR professionals asking me to review products that have no relevance to my niche so my key advice is to do your research. A personal touch, even if it’s an introduction by email, always helps before sending us a press release. Feel free to say hello to us on Twitter and introduce yourself to establish the relationship. Contrary to popular perception we do welcome press releases even if bloggers don’t tend to publish news stories on their blogs. The press releases offer valuable insights into the client and trigger ideas for future travel projects.”
Editorial information on BudgetTraveller, EuropeBudgetGuide.com and Kash Bhattacharya, along with thousands of other media contacts and websites, can be found in our CisionPoint media database.