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Hi, my name is Richard and I have a blog. I also run tours. About nine years ago I moved to Paris looking for a life change.  A friend suggested I start a blog about my interests, so I did. I write about interior design, French architecture, food, the places I go, and unique experiences I have in the city. One by one people started following my blog. After a while, when followers of my blog came to Paris, they’d ask to meet me for coffee.  And often a coffee turned into a tour. I tell them where I think they should go, what they should do, and often I go along as their guide. Leading tours and charging for them then became a natural progression.  And today, my blog, the tours I book through my blog, my photos, and my travel writing are my sole source of income. Last year, however, I noticed that my blog statistics were flat.  I was either just barely maintaining or losing readers. So I decided to ramp things up by implementing some of the blog social media advice I’ve read about.  Up until last year, I didn’t need Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, so I never bothered with them. This year, I thought I’d give them a try. I created a Facebook business page and tried to post on it at least once a day. Sometimes I “shared” interesting stories I read.  Other times I talked about topics I frequently talk about on my blog. I also started to strategically “friend” more people on my personal page where I also post my blogs. I only had about 500 friends when I started.  Today, I have over 2,600 friends. I have a number of friends who are high-end interior designers and I add new people by friending their friends who are also in the same industry. Interior designers often come to Paris to shop for antiques or to find inspiration. So it was a bit strategic on my part, but also fun. And it worked!  That’s the important thing. My first customer “friended” me on Facebook and asked if I could do some tours of Paris with her and her two co-workers. They were coming to a trade show and one of her co-workers had never been to Paris before. I told her I would be happy to give her some tours, and she ended up booking over $1,000 worth. My advice for bloggers today: Even if you have an existing blog and it’s doing just fine, try ramping up your efforts with social media.  Build a Facebook Business Page.  “Friend” like-minded people.  And put yourself out there.  It was just the bump I wanted to see in my numbers this year. Share on Facebook [Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]

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