Blogger Spotlight: Damon Banks of LuxeGetaways.com
Behind every great luxury blog, you will find a great story. Luxury bloggers are real people, not machines, and to successfully work with them, we recommend you get to know them a little better. Through our years at LuxeInACity, we have talked, collaborated and exchanged ideas with dozens of great bloggers from around the world.
Since bloggers rarely talk about themselves – they tend to talk about everyone else instead – we hope to showcase their skills, expertises and opinions in this blog series.
Get to know them, learn from them and hopefully you will find an innovative way to collaborate with them.
Today’s blogger is Damon Banks of LuxeGetaways.com, a travel writer’s blog. With over 15 years of experience in the travel and lifestyle industry, Damon’s involvement on multiple levels within the travel, hospitality, business and lifestyle industries allow him to provide a unique perspective as an editorial contributor, freelance journalist and industry expert to a variety of international print publications, online media and news outlets. Damon regularly contributes to the Huffington Post, The Examiner and several high-end luxury magazines such as Upscale Magazine, Montage Magazine, Global Living and Upscale Living.
Read below to learn more about Damon Banks, a man who seems to know everyone in the luxury travel industry.
Every blogger has a different story on how they got started blogging. What is yours?
“The word ”Blogger” has certainly evolved over the years, becoming a much more accepted and trendy term. With my background of media, along with a growing amount of international travel writing assignments, the opportunity to also maintain a Blog (LuxeGetaways.com) has simply been a place where I could write about something I had a personal connection with, or simply wanted to write about and explore further, as time allows.”
Like most successful bloggers, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?
“Fortunately, between my writing for magazines and online outlets, if there’s a brand that I personally know, appreciate and want to feature, it’s nice to have options when finding a place to feature the brand. It might take several months, but if it’s meant to me, there will always be a way to collaborate.”
What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?
“I think a good press release can be very helpful. Of course, there are a lot of bad press releases out there, but a good one can provide a quick snapshot of the brand or project, and enough information to decide if it’s something that is a good fit for what is currently needed.”
If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?
“Email is always the best and most direct, however, I do have a lot of people that reach out to me via social media, which is always a quick way to exchange contact information and make the initial connection.
Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why? I find that all the social media options today have advantages and disadvantages. For everyday outreach, Facebook and Twitter remain important; and when it comes to a number of great industry connections, Linked-In is also a great asset.”
Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?
“Klout, Kred and others are interesting, but I certainly don’t put a lot of merit into these ratings. I’m interested in how much the number fluctuates, so I will check it every few weeks, but don’t stress out if it’s dropped a few points.”
“I know my position is a bit unique since I contribute to a variety of outlets. Also, due to my media background, I have also worked with a number of luxury brands on their promotional and marketing endeavors. However, with my schedule these days, most of my work is simply based around developing stories and then promoting them via my personal social media channels.”
Do you think luxury brands should understand that blogging is also a business for some?
“I think most brands today see writers and Bloggers in a much more positive light than just a few years ago, and understand that it is a business. In my case, I am writing full time, but still enjoy being able to Blog with outlets such as Huffington Post, or my own Blog, LuxeGetaways.com. Unfortunately, each industry (Bloggers, writers, travel agents, etc.) has a few “bad apples in the bunch,” which always discredits those of us legitimately working in the industry. However, that’s a part of business, and most brands can differentiate between the legitimate writers and Bloggers, verses the “bad apples.” ”
If you want to get a glimpse of a travel writer with a great social media following, connect with Damon Banks on LuxeGetaways.com, on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and YouTube. If you are to shy to connect with Damon directly and want an introduction, reach out to us. We consider Damon as among one of our favorite digital friends.
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