1. First of all, let’s talk about some facts: What’s your name, what’s your blog called and what is it about?
My name is Marcela Faé. I’m a Brazilian living in Berlin and writing for other experts like me. I’m a photographer for over 12 years and a blogger for 2. fotostrasse.com is my harbor and together with my husband we travel around the world and show our audience everything we can find.
Fotostrasse is more than just a travel and lifestyle blog. Fotostrasse is the place where you can get inspiration for your next vacation, get the inside story about culture and history, it is where you’ll learn taking photos better so you can share your moments of travelling, it is where you get the local tip about a certain place that will make all the difference in the world to you. Fotostrasse is a community that started as a photo project about documenting the city of Berlin and spread out, little by little, into over 15 countries and 3 continents.
2. Why did you start your blog?
Like I mentioned before, Fotostrasse started as a photography project. The initial idea was to document the city of Berlin – a city that is changing so much in so little time. We started with us, grew to photo meet ups with strong focus in teaching about history and about photography and, after a few months, we start getting e-mails from people all over the world asking if we could do a Fotostrasse meet up there.
People heard how much they could learn and had fun with the meet ups. After this, it was only logical that we changed the format of everything to writing, so everyone could access everything. Just a few days after we created the blog, we were invited by the Government of Sweden to get to know Umeå – our first trip.
3. What is unique about your blog? What does it make different from other blogs?
We have better photos basically. With my extensive background working as photo journalist, fashion photographer and more, I wanted to inspire people to travel and to get to know other cultures in a different way than what I usually see around. People respond well to images, especially in a fast pace environment like the internet today. Our strong focus is teaching how people can get to the same level as we have through our Instagram Missions, our posts about photography and on our facebook group. We aim to talk to people like us, basically: young folks, around 25-35 years old that are either living away from home or used to. Usually people that are ok with this experience, tends to have a bigger thirst for traveling everywhere. So I guess that we’re the only publication in English from Berlin that shows the content that we show: travel, photography, inside travel tips and reviews about brands, hotels and more.
4. How much time do you invest in your blog each week?
Between everything that we do with the blog, I’m a 24/7, full time blogger – I can’t have it any other way. I quit my day time job back in December and I have never been happier. I used to be the photo editor of one of the major publications here in Germany. Felipe, my husband, still maintains his job as a creative director in Berlin.
5. What’s your favorite blogger tool?
I must say that I’m a bit of a geek. I love SEO and I’m learning HTML, CSS and Java. So anything that deals with this side of blogging, I love it.
6. How many clicks do you have each day and how do you build your reach?
We have around 1,000 or 1,500 unique views per day. Everyday. We built this with the SEO and the several campaigns we were invited to be part of. Fotostrasse is the face of huge travel campaigns like the I Amsterdam Card, is one of the few blogs in Germany that got sponsorship by companies like Finnair and Radisson Blu. But we’re growing every day, and my goal is to double that in less than 1 year. I’m working around the clock for it.
7. How do you earn your money?
We’re always looking for opportunities to work with brands that are interested in what we do and who we reach. Our goal now is to get a good deal with a company that is mutually beneficial for both sides. Besides that, we are mega interested in being part of great travel campaigns. We’re doing that for over 2 years now and we love it. We also usually get requests to experience a destination because clients know we can deliver great images for marketing purpose afterwards. We sell a lot of those. We’re open to any opportunity that can be good for the blog. We create unique content, we have knowledge to do so and if any company or brand have a proposal, we’re more than happy to talk about it.
8. When is a cooperation with commercial companies interesting for your blog?
As long as both sides can profit from it – and is relevant with what we do – we’re open to it. Is not a matter of when, because good business is good business, right? And if the idea is great, if the project is challenging.. We are after your ideas.
9. Which blogs do you read on a regular basis?
I read a lot of blogs in all the languages I can read, so my list goes from blogs from US, UK all the way to Italy and Brazil. Our favorites are the ones we ended up being friend with like A Crowded Planet, Globetrotter Girls Viagem Criativa and 360 Meridianos. But there are also many others, it is hard to name my favorites because on my feed I have over 30 blogs.
10. The most important tip for companies who want to do blogger cooperations?
Please, we don’t work for credit or exposure. And it is a bit insulting having to explain that people can’t use our content for free. For some, being a blogger is just a hobby, but for most of us it is our job and our life. We need money for rent, for food and fun just like anyone else. It is a touchy subject and usually people wouldn’t say that, but since it is a “new industry”, sometimes people don’t know how to deal with us. Besides the money issue, if you’re offering a trip: provide wifi =D