Date Posted: Thursday 30th August 2018
DIARY directory recently caught up travel and lifestyle blogger, Alex Zouaghi from A On The Road. Originally from Paris, Alex is a full-time digital influencer who has worked alongside major tourism boards and hotel groups to create content and visibility across social media. Documenting his travel adventures, food discoveries and the joys of being a new dad on his blog and Instagram, Alex moved to Notting Hill three years ago and his picturesque snaps of the area have earnt him the acclaimed title of Mr Notting Hill.
"10 years ago I would’ve never expected to live off of the content I produce - Now it’s possible to become a professional blogger, to be respected as someone creative and talented rather than just being someone who travels..."
|Country of residence:||UK|
|Biggest Readership Locations:||UK, US|
|3 main areas of focus:||Travel, Food, Lifestyle|
|Who are your audience?||70% Female 18 - 35|
You started your blog twelve years ago, what do you think has changed the most in the blogosphere over this time?
That the industry has become way more professional than it was 10 years ago. Ten years ago I would’ve never expected to live off of the content I produce - now it’s possible to become a professional blogger, to be respected as someone creative and talented rather than just being someone who travels. Influencers now have new skills, we've learnt a lot and are basically the whole package as content creators and social media specialists. We provide high-quality content and we know how to write and engage with our community.
What do you hope to offer your readers/followers?
I want to inspire people to go out there and travel and maybe rediscover the city that they think they already know. Every time I open Instagram I hope to see beautiful pictures. A picture that takes me away, that gives me the need to travel or makes me book my next flight.
How do you earn your income now you’re an established influencer?
Most of my income comes from sponsored Instagram posts. It could either be for travel destinations that need visibility, food-related projects or something that features somewhere other than my Instagram. As a professional content creator, I’m often asked to create content for other brands that isn't necessarily going to be featured on my Instagram.
What do you think was your ‘big break’ moment of blogging?
I don’t think I have had one really big moment. My journey on my blog and Instagram has been really consistent over the years. I’ve worked a lot since day one when I realised that this could potentially lead somewhere. I committed myself to post at least a picture a day, to engage with my community, to be present for them and to reply to every comment.
When collaborating with a brand commercially how do you find the right creative balance?
For me, the most important thing is and will always be to have a good and honest conversation with the brand. The best collaborations are when the client lets me express my own creativity and I know that more and more brands are aware that we need to have the freedom to create content that matches our personalities and identity. This is only possible if our profile matches the client's needs and that’s why it’s really important to have a conversation with the client first.
What advice would you give PRs looking to promote their clients through your blog?
Some advice I’d give to both influencers and PRs is to go out there and meet people face to face. I think it’s really important to building a strong and long-term relationship with a PR agency.
A thing that I personally don’t like is when I receive an email from a PR and it opens with ‘Hey you’ or ‘Hey lovely’ - I don’t think that’s the best way to approach anyone because that gives the impression that you’re just part of a mailing list. This may be a little thing but for me, it makes a really big difference when I know that the PR has taken the time to look through my blog and Instagram and at least says ‘Hey Alex’. It always feels better when they start an email with a sentence about your work, what you’ve done before and how it relates to the new job they’re approaching you for.
What posts resonate most with your followers?
I’d say the posts about London always resonate the best - it was when I moved to London from New York three years ago that things started to get really serious for me. I moved to Notting Hill and it really became my main source of inspiration, showcasing a face of London that people didn’t really know.
You racked up over 3.7 million likes on Instagram last year, do you ever see a day where you move away from traditional blogging to solely focus on Instagram?
Instagram has become my most powerful communication tool. I’d say that 80% of my time and 80% of my e-thoughts are put on Instagram at the moment which doesn't necessarily mean that my blog is less important. My blog and Instagram work really well together - my blog doesn’t have the same exposure as Instagram, but it’s an amazing creative platform for me, it gives me an open door to do something else. Instagram is great to be seen, to engage with people and the blog is a bit more personal.
What are your top social media tips for growing a following?
If I had to reply to this question two years ago, my advice would probably be very different from my answer now. The truth is, I don’t think there’s a magical recipe that will bring followers to your account. The only thing is being consistent in what you’re doing and creating the best content possible. I would say don’t feel trapped in one single niche. I used to mostly focus my content around London and when I started to do other things, I realised my audience was a bit less reactive to that and it took some time to make people used to the fact that I can do other things too.
Where do you see your blog in five years’ time? Is there anything else you’d like to branch into?
I think it's really hard to predict what's going to happen in the next five or 10 years, I think a blog is kinda safe because it will always be there, always be present somewhere on the internet. Whilst I'll never lose the passion to write or to take pictures, I don't know if I'll always be able to make money out of it. What would be interesting for me is to use the skills I've learnt from social media and blogging to try to do something else like social media consultancy or workshops. I'm really open to try and do something else because I don't think it's a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket!
Listed in DIARY directory in the blogs & vlogs section, Alex is one of nearly 1,800 categorised bloggers / vloggers that PRs could work with. Subscribers can sort blogs /vlogs according to social media following across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, and filter by country and UK region. See our previous DIARY Influencers here!
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