Is The MATPRA Media Marketplace Worth It For Travel Bloggers?

In the past, I've written reviews of travel conferences and networking events like TBEX, Travelcon, NATJA, and IMM– a few of which I've had in regular rotation for a while. As it has been my goal to broaden my networking horizons, I'm starting to attend more conferences/events beyond these as well.

One of my recent additions was MATPRA (the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance) Media Marketplace. MATPRA is a consortium of tourist boards from the mid-Atlantic, namely within Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia, that comes together for a networking opportunity (the Media Marketplace) for writers and CVBs to meet and discuss publication opportunities.

So, is this one worth it? My short answer is yes. But my long answer would be with a caveat that it depends on where you are coming from and what you want to get out of it.

*Note: Unlike other event reviews, I forgot to take photos at the Marketplace proper (I was too busy networking, whoops). Instead, photos of this one come from the FAM experiences that coincide with MATPRA Media Marketplace.

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What Happened When I Removed Dates from My URL Slugs

Blogger

When I started this blog in 2008, I had no idea what I was doing. In many cases I opted for whatever the default setting was in Blogger (my CMS at the time), and, as blogging best practices weren't established just yet, I had no idea why some settings were terrible.

This has come back to bite me many times throughout the years.

Having dates in my URLs was one such setting that I was unaware could pose a problem down the road. 

It only took 11 years, but I finally paid my developer to remove dates from my URL slugs, and quite frankly it was something I should've done a long time ago. Today, I wanted to share the results of this change.

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My Secret to Mental Health as a Blogger? Get Away From the Community

It seems like not a week goes by where someone in the new media landscape hits a breaking point. This can either be very public or be behind that scenes such that only friends and peers see what is going on.

In some cases, they are overwhelmed from wearing too many hats day-in and day-out for years. In others, it is based on dismay at the direction the industry is going (lately around the new and absurd Instagram influencer culture). In even more cases, it is simply the result of working hard and seeing no return on the numerous hours invested (which, for any business, can never really be guaranteed).

I'm not immune to these effects either, and to be quite honest I find the blogging industry to be quite exhausting more often than not.

Thankfully, I've found a way to help keep this in check, and it isn't that big of a secret. I simply walk away from the community.

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User Generated Content is Laziness at Best and Theft at Worse

Boulders Beach, South Africa

The topic of User Generated Content is a hot one these days, and many marketers and branding specialists are hailing it as a must for brands looking to put out a digital product.

Unfortunately, we think User Generated Content is a bit of a sham- one that benefits the website owner only and does nothing to actually help the individual responsible for the content creation in the first place (which would be people like us).

So if you're thinking of building a brand on this style of posting, well, you've got another thing coming.

Note: All images in this article are my own. Instagram embeds are horrible beyond the reasons outlined in this article- don't use them. I am only embedding from my sites for example purposes.

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