Don’t Be a Social Media Influencer, Build a Brand That Lasts

Social media influencer marketing is all the rage these days, with brands looking to partner with just about anyone who has over 1,000 followers on social media (Instagram being the flavor of the day) and a pulse.

With just a nominal following in a niche market, these “influencers” are being invited to media events, given swag, and offered discounts on products in exchange for coverage to their audience.

As a blogger, I've been called an influencer due to my social media fan count and offered many of these freebies in exchange for coverage (often purely on my Instagram alone).

More often than not I say no, and outside of a few perfect fits for our Pittsburgh blog (where I am invited to do something I was going to pay for to feature anyway) the model is not something I am fond of.

While my normal response is simply “don't call me an influencer” and to quote my advertising rates, today I really want to highlight why I take that stance.

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Take a Trip Around the World With Our Travel Christmas Tree

Since Angie and I got married in 2012, we decided to do something different for our Christmas tradition. Instead of getting a new ornament featuring a life milestone from each year (as was my family's tradition growing up), we decided to purchase ornaments from all of the destinations we've visited around the world.

Since then we've visited over 50 countries together and now have a pretty epic tree full of knick-knacks, tchotchkes, keychains, and other obscure purchases that we've converted into ornaments. (Yes, few of our ornaments are true ornaments as designed!)

Today, I wanted to share some of our favorites and the stories behind them. Under each ornament is links to more posts from the country/state to read more about the destination as well!

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Interact Quiz Review – Using Quiz Software as a Navigation Tool

Interact is a quiz software that is designed to provide answers based on a brief question set while also collecting emails for your existing newsletter subscription.

We love the idea of these quizzes for blogging, but use them a little bit differently. We use ours as a navigation tool!

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