It's no secret, I need a job. I also need to travel, because like oxygen, it allows me to breathe, energizing, refreshing my spirit. Back in mid-January, I decided I would apply for the "Best Job in the World."
Roughly 30,000 applicants means stiff competition. Like so many of my adventures, I didn't have much to work with but a little bit of time and ingenuity.
CREATE A WEB PRESENCE
Nothing gets a message out as cheaply as a blog. For a $10 upgrade (from free Blogger account), I created VoteAudrey.com and have since used that as my signature for all blogging, commenting, digging and stumbling. Sites like Addictomatic.com (and Backtype) enable me to track where my moniker appears, while SiteMeter.com lets me know how visitors discovered me.
UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter was something I tried briefly a year ago when I was home staging in Baltimore. Baffling at first, I dropped off within a few minutes of use. Now I "get it," and happily tweet away (again, as VoteAudrey).
While my Facebook presence is fairly narrow (150+ friends, 95% of whom I have actually met; others are in extended network), it is a part of "everyday" life. Should I be selected into the top 50, I have a pre-designed "fan page," ready to launch and help promote myself as a "wild card" candidate.
(Other sites that have been fun, informative and useful in garnering visitors and raising awareness include BlipFM, Polyvore and Youniverse.)
PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS
I am very happy to have discovered the "Ning" network for bloggers, and currently utilize both the "Island Ning" as well as "20Something Bloggers." Chatting with fellow applicants and bloggers of my generation as not only drawn visitors, but more beneficially, helped me see a world of possibility with blogging and online communities. I am excited to see site visits from India to Switzerland (and Australia, of course!), but even more intrigued by what I learn by reading other "indie" blogs.
As an ambassador of a travel destination, one needs to be both aware of the area and trends in other markets. Formerly sporadic visits to sites like Budget Travel, Frommers, Lonely Planet and news media travel pages, have increased and further whet my appetite for globe trotting.
If you've been keeping score, you'll see that my expenditures thus far have totaled $10. Add $25, and you've got the video that local Aussie mix master Sarah Phillips created by compiling my short footage, imagery (photos and graphic layout) and sound. She's created a lot of sites, videos and advertisements for Australian organizations, as well as firms in the private sector. Did I mention she's on Etsy? Yeah, fabulous.
PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER
$10 domain name. $25 video. Box of inflatable sea creatures (free; received as Christmas gift). If I get this gig, my ROI (return on investment) will be quite substantial, but I already feel like a winner with what I've gained from this project. Kudos to everyone who helped, whether it be a word of support or throwing a blow-up octopus at my head.
Stay tuned . . .