Answers to some common questions:
What is the Professional Travel Bloggers Association?
The Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA) is a non-profit group made up of travel bloggers for the purpose of furthering the profession. The PTBA will strive to provide education and resources so that more travel bloggers will be able to make a living via blogging, and also provide guidelines and direction to improve the overall professionalism of the industry (see the Code of Ethics here).
What are the requirements to join?
For travel bloggers: Bloggers must submit links to 10 pieces of travel content from the previous year, meet three of the seven criteria for professionalism, including other professional memberships, and pay an annual fee of $75. Full details of membership requirements can be viewed here.
For travel industry and PR members: There is no minimum statistical requirement. The fee for a group/company/DMO/organization to join is $300 per year.
What do I get for my membership fee?
For travel bloggers:
– A say in the direction of your professional association from this point forward. The PTBA is a democratic body — travel bloggers elect representatives from the membership to set policy and make decisions. This association will start off with some achievable goals in its first year and will grow to do more and more over time.
– The ability to put a profile on the association website that will be searchable by other bloggers and industry members. The search tool is something that the travel industry and PR companies have been wanting for a long time and their excitement about using it to find good travel bloggers to work with is substantial.
For Travel Industry/PR members:
– Access to the website database of travel bloggers, to enable searching for bloggers based on specific criteria or niche.
– The ability to put a profile on the association website that will be searchable by bloggers. It should include contact information and guidelines for how you want to be contacted.
How does the search engine work and why it is behind the membership wall?
Travel bloggers have the option to include various details about their website and social media numbers in their profile and make those items searchable. This includes: Google Analytic unique visitors and page views in the last 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year; Twitter followers; Facebook fans; LinkedIn connections; people that have you in Google+ circles; YouTube subscribers; Pinterest followers; RSS subscribers; newsletter subscribers; niche or niches; language of blog; current location and where you plan to be in the next six months; Klout, PeerIndex and Kred scores.
Industry professionals can search for any combination of those criteria to retrieve a list of blogs in descending order of matching criteria.
Travel bloggers can also use this search function, but will not have access to search on or see another bloggers Google Analytics statistics. This is only accessible by industry professionals.
The search engine is behind the membership wall to provide an incentive for people to join the PTBA.
Who runs the PTBA?
The PTBA is run by the travel blogger members. The travel blog members elect a Board of Directors and Officers on a yearly basis who conduct the day-to-day business of the association on behalf of the members. The Board of Directors consists of the Officers (President, President-elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and ten additional elected members of this organization, plus two non-voting, advisory members from the industry membership. More details can be see in the Bylaws via this link.
When are elections?
Elections are held yearly in late Spring
Will the PTBA be hosting a blogging conference?
Can I contact the Industry members directly, if I have a project I’d like to pitch them?
Yes, each industry member has the option to publish a profile page that any of the travel blogging members can access. On their profile pages, the Industry members can supply contact information for whom to contact regarding a project or sponsorship request. Just as importantly, those profile pages will also have the exact specifications and requirements that the industry member would like to see in a pitch. We’d ask the travel blogging members to review those guidelines that the industry members post before sending any inquiries over, so as to not inundate them with proposals that either don’t meet the criteria they are looking for or are not in the required format.
Do you accept travel bloggers that do not blog in English?
Absolutely. Not only do we actively want members from all over the world who blog in many different languages, we have set up the elections for the Board of Directors to ensure that there will always be worldwide representation. Additionally, the search engine will have the option for industry members to search by the language used on your travel blog – a requirement specifically asked for by industry advisors.
Who is making all the money from this project?
The PTBA is a non-profit association. We will be applying with the United States IRS for tax-exempt status in the coming weeks. No one is making any profit off anything related to this effort and no one is drawing any salary at all for any work done for the association. This is an association by travel bloggers, for travel bloggers and it will not favor or benefit any particular travel blogger.