AlgarveBuzz started as a way for us to share our personal experience of living in the Algarve with family, friends and clients. Given wine is such a focal point of Portuguese culture, along with the vast selection available, not to mention our excitement about great wine. Our blog, naturally evolved to include and share our experience with Portuguese wine.
How would you describe your readers?
We’ve noticed the following about our readers:
1. Tourists and Info seekers – groups of our readers are tourists looking to visit the Algarve and researching what to do, see and eat in the region. So, they come to AlgarveBuzz to do their homework and plan their trip over.
2. Locals & expats - Although our blog is written in English, it has attracted a loyal base of local and expat readers. It seems, over the last year, we’ve built a trusting relationship, where our recommendations and suggestions are becoming a valuable source of information.
3. Portuguese Immigrants – somewhat of a surprise, a large percent of Portuguese immigrants who have moved to countries like Canada, US, Switzerland and the UK are regular readers as well. These readers enjoy AlgarveBuzz’ editorial content and photos, as we’ve been told on a number of occasions now, our blog helps them stay close to their roots.
Is blogging a professional endeavor for you or more of a personal outlet?
Algarvebuzz started with sharing, curiosity for blogging, interacting and creating. It was more of a creative outlet and an effective way to give those close to us, an intimate look at our new life in the Algarve.
We receive frequent requests for advertising spots on the blog but have refused up to now. As our goal is to keep AlgarveBuzz non-commercial. But we are excited about a couple of projects we’re about to release that have branched off from AlgarveBuzz, and has been designed and developed with advertising in mind.
So, to answer your question more directly, blogging started off as a personal outlet, but is now moving more into a professional endeavour.
What tools or resources have you found to be successful in marketing your blog?
Design – our blog design has helped make good impressions with new visitors and has received a lot of recognition with web design sites like CSSMania, best web gallery and smashing magazine. Which has helped bring added visibility to our site and to a new group of niche audience.
Search Engine marketing – basic good practice of organic search marketing has helped us climb top spots for our keywords such as Algarve, rich related wine key terms and of course top of Google for traditional Portuguese recipes.
Wordpress – this easy to use CMS has helped us manage our blogs content with ease and minimal fuss.
How would you describe wine blogging to be different than print media?
The net has become the top source of information for consumers. And wine bloggers, who can successfully combine their passion for wine and sound understanding of online marketing, can beat print media when it comes to reaching a bigger audience.
The key difference has to be communication – wine blogging is a two-way communication between wine enthusiasts, where as print is a monologue.
From what we’ve seen, one key advantage print media has over wine bloggers is organized editorial teams consisting of bigger resources. But on the other hand, wine bloggers are more intimate and can publish content quicker and much more efficiently than print.
Do you believe wine blogs have made any marked impact on the wine industry or wine culture?
It certainly has had an impact here in Portugal. Recently speaking to a wine producer from Portugal, he now uses Portuguese wine bloggers as part of his marketing and advertising channel. He has in a way joined the conversation and is a regular contributor to offline tasting with these bloggers. Producers know bloggers have a strong voice and can certainly help or break their brand image. This is a positive step for wine bloggers and producers alike – bloggers are thirsty for good editorial topics and wine producers want more visibility for their wines. We’d like to think – the relationship between wine producers and wine bloggers happens to be a match made in heaven for both sides as it ultimately helps the industry as a whole.
And lets not forget, as seen more often with “Old World Wines”, wine bloggers are sometimes the only point of contact for a particular wine online, as many producers have yet embrace the power of the net.
Where do you see wine blogging in 10 years?
It will continue to become a powerful force in the industry, whether producers like it or not. The industry will only benefit from independent voices who have a greater appeal to casual wine drinkers, than critics who are considered part of the wine snobbery circle. But producers need to join the conversation, and open their wines and minds to a new way to communicate about wine.
What do you hope to gain from this conference?
Have an opportunity to meet influencers of the wine industry in person, network, drink wine with interesting people and of course, get to know some wine bloggers better in person.