Sisters Diana and Hope run the new travel site MVMT Blog. They've already been pretty successful in breaking into the travel blogging field, partly through their product giveaways. We caught up with Diana last week to hear more about their plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond.
- Name: Diana & Hope
- Age: 26 & 18
- Blog: MVMT Blog
Tell us about your blog. How did the idea come about?
I originally had the idea for MVMT Blog as a place to discuss the movement of people, politics, art, and other ideas. However, I soon realized the topic was overbroad, so I decided to focus the blog solely on travel, since that’s what I was mostly interested in blogging about anyway.
MVMT Blog didn’t really take off until our trip to Norway in July 2016. We hiked Trolltunga in Western Norway, and it was the most physically intensive activity that either of us has done. We ended up hiking 22 miles (should only be around 15 miles) that day because we got lost at one point, and the hike took us 11 hours to complete. We realized during this hike how dangerous it could be for someone who attempted it unprepared. The weather can be extremely unpredictable, and it is not difficult to imagine a fellow traveler getting frostbite near the top of the mountain. Luckily, I had a friend who had hiked Trolltunga several times before, and she warned us in length about potential hazards, so we came very prepared. However, had it not been for her advice, we would’ve showed up without the right clothes, without enough food, and without the right gear. Our lives could have been in danger.
After experiencing first hand how dangerous this hike can be, we knew we wanted to help other travelers have the best experience that they could on this hike. Thus, we wrote our guide to hiking Trolltunga. From there, we decided to write more posts on tips and tricks for traveling to a specific sight or city in order to help fellow travelers have the best experience possible on their trips.
What sort of time commitment do you put in to your travel blog on a weekly basis?
I currently work full time as an attorney, and Hope is a full time university student, so we don’t have as much time to dedicate to the blog as we’d like. However, we still manage to spend at least a few hours on the blog – writing blog posts, managing social media, and responding to media requests – each day. It’s hard work, but it’s been paying off.
What sort of tactics do you use to promote your blog, and which have been the most and least successful?
We are on almost all of the major social media platforms except YouTube (which we hope to add in the future). Facebook has been the biggest traffic driver for us. There are also plenty of Facebook groups for travel bloggers that we use to promote our content. The least successful has probably been Pinterest, but that is the platform we’ve used the least and for the shortest amount of time, which could be the reason we’re not receiving much traffic from there.
What is your most popular article? Why do you think it has been so successful?
Our most popular article is our Top 10 Tips for Traveling Light. We are both huge proponents of traveling light. In fact, we only bring a backpack when we travel, regardless if we are traveling for two days, two weeks, or two months. In this post, we share with our readers our top tips for packing light, and a lot of our readers, who also strive to pack light, have really benefited from this article. We believe readers want to gain value from reading blog posts, and we offered significant value to our readers in that post.
You just wrapped up a promotional giveaway on your site. How effective was it been in driving readers and subscribers to the blog?
That has been integral in building our mailing list, which is something we have just begun doing recently. It’s a product that a significant percentage of travelers would want, so it’s been easy to get fellow travelers to sign up. We’ve even had readers express to us that they are planning on buying the backpack on their own if they don’t win.
What were your favorite destinations so far, and what do you have planned next?
Our favorite destinations so far are Iceland, Norway, and Turks and Caicos Islands, a few of the most beautiful places in the world. We’ve also been to some countries separately. Hope loves Budapest, and I love Berlin.
We will be traveling to the Faroe Islands at the end of November and to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the holidays in December. Then, in March/April 2017, Diana will be embarking on a 1.5 month trip to Europe (Iceland, UK, Ireland, Scotland, and France) and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand).