Interview with Matt Long from Landlopers

Posted on 20 June 2012

Matthew Long isn’t your average travel blogger. As Editor-in-Chief and creator of, Matt shows people that it’s possible to have a job and family and still see the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Lonely Planet Featured Blogger as well as a contributor to many other travel sites and publications. Matt’s site is listed as a top travel blog by many companies including Viator Travel, easyJet and Washington Flyer.

Matt will be speaking at the Getaway Travel Blog Conference on Saturday 4 August in Cape Town about ‘Travel partnerships and re-thinking the press trip’. He’s going to be explaining how to build partnerships with travel brands as a blogger, and how to organise trips – after all, this is a big perk of travel blogging!

For more on the conference click here and to book a spot at the event click here.


I caught up with Matt to find out more about Landlopers and his secrets to blogging success ahead of the conference.


Tell me a bit about Landlopers and why you started it?

Landlopers is a travel blog to inspire people to experience the best the world has to offer. I decided to begin Landlopers because I hated my soul-sucking job and desperately needed a creative escape.


How did you first get into travel blogging?

For years I had been working at a job that I didn’t particularly like. I usually call it soul sucking. At that time I didn’t know what was wrong, only that I wasn’t happy and needed some sort of outlet. So one chilly Saturday morning I sat down at the kitchen table and started


What do you love most about being a travel blogger?

I love being able to share remarkable destinations and life-changing experiences with people from around the world. It’s so rewarding to hear about people who’ve been inspired by my work to get out there and see the world for themselves.


What’s the secret to creating a successful travel blog?

Well if someone knew that they’d be pretty wealthy. There is no one secret and what may work for me may not work for you. No matter what, it’s important to be honest, passionate and consistent. If you can do that, then you have a chance.


How do you get your blog noticed amongst the millions of other blogs out there?

It’s important to participate in the travel community, especially online as much as possible. Getting to know people through Twitter chats or Facebook groups will enable people to get to know you and your site better.


How can you make money through travel blogging?

Asking for bags of cash helps. Honestly, if you want to make money don’t become a travel blogger, because you’ll be sorely disappointed. Blogging is about expressing your passion and should financial success also come as a result, then that’s great too.


What advice would you give to fledgling travel bloggers?

This is applicable to any new blogger, but if you’re not absolutely and totally passionate about and obsessed with your niche, then you won’t be successful. No one starts a blog to get rich or even travel the world. They do it because they have a voice that needs to be heard and they can’t wait for the world to hear it.


What are the secrets to Landlopers’ success?

Blogs are 100% about personality and one’s voice. Nothing else matters. I try to be honest and passionate. People don’t need my site to find out what to do in Cape Town, there are plenty of guide books for that. They visit every day because they know me, they trust me and they like the way I travel. They want to hear my personal experiences exploring the world that are honest and true to my travel style. They want to, for example, hear about my thoughts about Cape Town and why it’s a great travel destination.


How do you fit in blogging while on the road?

I don’t. I’m not a permanent traveller. I have a house, car, partner and dogs. In fact I almost never travel for more than two weeks at a time, with exceptions of course. When I travel I make sure that I’m experiencing as much as possible. Of course I’m always snapping photos, but the writing doesn’t happen during a trip. It’s better that way actually, sometimes I need the time and distance from an adventure before I fully grasp its value and meaning.


 What has travel blogging taught you?

It’s a bit philosophical, but it’s really taught me that at their core, people everywhere are decent and kind. I can’t tell you how many moments of random kindness I’ve been exposed to, each one more heart warming than the other.


What is your favourite destination so far?

I get asked this a lot and it’s a very hard question to answer because you have to add the qualifier “favourite for what?” My favourite city is Paris, my favourite outdoors experiences are found in New Zealand, my favorite place to visit on a cruise ship is the Mediterranean – so you see, it all depends. There’s tremendous value in just about every new place I explore, it’s just a matter of finding it.


What are your top gadgets that you always take travelling?

Laptop, camera, iPhone and iPad are about it. Of course with those come a million wires and plugs.


What’s your favourite phrase in a foreign language?

Laissez les bons temps rouler, French for “let the good times roll.” This is used in Louisiana and New Orleans to describe their unique and laid-back lifestyle.


Would you ever do any other job?

Actually I’ve only just transitioned to being a full time blogger. Before I was doing it in conjunction with a normal 9-to-5 job, but I felt the time was right to concentrate on only one. Of course I chose travel. Who knows if I’ll do another job, I certainly never expected to be doing this a few years ago. All I know is that life is short and it’s important to experience life when we can.


What’s next on your bucket list?

South Africa was on the list for a long time and I can’t wait to explore the country and see just how amazing it is firsthand. I’ve been to six continents, so the next logical bucket list item is Antarctica I think, but we’ll see. There are very few places around the world I wouldn’t visit, it’s just about finding the right way to explore them.


Read Matt Long’s travel blog and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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