We had a conversation with Matthew Long of LandLopers.com back in 2012. You can read our initial interview with him here. A lot can happen in six years and, in Matt’s case, a lot of good has happened. LandLopers.com is consistently ranked as one of the top travel blogs and his travels have taken him all over the world. We’re catching up with Matt again this week to see what’s changed in the last six years and what’s next on the horizon.
It’s been 6 years since we last featured you on TravelWriting2.com, catch us up on your progress with LandLopers.com in those years? What adjustments, if any, have you made?
Wow, that’s a lifetime in the blogging world and my life has changed in any number of ways. When I was last featured I had just made the transition from a 9-5er to a professional travel blogger. Since then the site has gone through a few revisions, my writing and photography has dramatically improved and I’ve turned the site into what I think is a well-oiled machine.
In your last interview, you predicted the market for online writing would grow and online writers would become more respected. What are your thoughts on that subject today?
Well, it has definitely grown, and every traditional outlet has raced to establish a stronger presence online. I think that digital writers today are just as respected, but in general bloggers still get short shrift. It’s partially our own fault, many bloggers are indeed terrible writers. But traditional media should take the time to read what we write and realize that just as there are good and bad journalists, there are good and bad bloggers.
You’ve been extremely successful on social media, particularly on Instagram. How did you develop your brand and following on social media and what tips would you offer to someone trying to build a significant social media following?
Unlike so many other so-called influencers today, I built my audiences on all social media platforms organically and it has very much been a job. It takes a lot of time (think years) and attention and it really comes down to 1) understanding the specific platform; 2) sharing quality content; and 3) engaging with the broader community. Social media is about being social and at the end of the day that’s what matters most.
When we last featured you on the site, you were writing and editing for other outlets. How do you balance your workload now between your own blog and other outlets?
I don’t do a whole lot for other outlets, although I do edit a site and tackle a few freelance assignments as they come up. I approach this strange job with the mindset of an entrepreneur or small business owner which means that if I’m awake, then I’m working. I don’t have an off switch, although at times I wish that I did.
What’s up next for you in 2018? Travel plans? New projects?
Oh, there are always new things on the horizon. I’m very excited to visit India for the first time with luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent. Then in May I have a project that I’ve been working on for a very long time. In cooperation with Marriott International, I’ll be driving Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. It will be a fun, exciting and probably exhausting journey to discover the best the country has to offer. Other destinations this year include: Ireland, Germany, Austria, Alaska, Hong Kong and many more.
An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award-winning site LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Based in Washington, DC, Matt has been to more than 90 countries and all 7 continents. Be sure to follow his adventures on LandLopers.com. Connect with Matt on social media on Instagram Twitter and Facebook.