Although I might be generalizing due to my recent bad experiences, I want to share what I think about travel bloggers that have step into my life latety, I'm making this entry mostly to leave a written proof to the next person that contacts me to do an blog/accomodation exchange.
First of all and I'm sure everyone with a brain understands that as an accomodation provider my main goal is making money, fun and giggles are perks of having a successful hostel, but the bottom line is profit; if this wan't the case then I'd be running a NGO.
This profit is then invested in many things, like stuff I don't need, trips, experiences
When a travel blogger contacts us about staying for free in exchange for an entry in their blog we take into consideration many things, but mostly the amout of hits his/her website receive, that's why we always ask for their analytics access, I know depending in your business plan this is considered secret information, but this is a non negotiable request for us that helps us filter a lot undesirable requests.
Here's a list of experiences we've had.
Bruno contacted us and stayed with us, it was all awesome, but he never wrote anything supposely because his computer got ruined. I still have access to his analytics.
I made the mistake to ask one of my friends to give him a couple of fun dives in exchange for a blog entry, I regret that.
Emails exchanged: 28
Facebook messages exchanged: 17
Money Lost Hostel: $330.000 COP
Money Lost Dive Shop: $160.000 COP
Repercutions: My friend from the dive shop brings it up all the time.
This guy contacted us, assured he was coming and then stopped answering emails.
Emails exchanged: 11
Money Lost: $140.000 COP (this is based on the nights I wasn't able to sell due to availability being closed for the blogger, this is a hipotetical number, because even if the availability had been open, is not certain that I would have sold it.)
Repercutions: My girlfriend/business partner thinks I'm an idiot.
But not all experiences have been bad, a few years back we got an offer from Luiz Jr. Fernandes from http://www.boaviagem.org/ who turned out to be a great guy and became an instant friend and who made us very happy with the end product, we have actually gotten around 5 guest that have openly told us that choose our hostel because they read our entry on his blog.
Recommendations to travel bloggers.
- Get Google Analytics: If you can't prove that you have visitors, you are as good as nothing.
- You are taking a "dent" on someone's profit, be serious the exchange is a business transaction and a binding contract.
- Think of people's time, money and resources.