Announcing our new role as Lonely Planet Trailblazers

We reveal the details of our partnership with the world’s biggest travel guide publisher.

Today, we announce our new role as Lonely Planet Trailblazers. Those of you who have followed us from our early journey across the South Pacific will know that we have worked with Lonely Planet periodically, from taking over their Instagram account to co-hosting Twitter chats and running campaigns for third parties.

We’ve had great fun working with Lonely Planet’s online and social media teams, and are delighted to announce that we’ll be working together more closely in the future as part of the new Trailblazers program.

So – what exactly is the Trailblazers program and how will things change at Atlas & Boots? We answer 10 reader questions below.

1. What is Lonely Planet’s Trailblazers program?

The Trailblazer program enlists successful bloggers, vloggers, photographers and digital influencers to broaden the content offered to Lonely Planet’s audience.

Trailblazers is part of a wider initiative called Pathfinders, a community of contributors cultivated by Lonely Planet. Trailblazers is the top level of the Pathfinders program – kind of like the cream of the crop :)

Celebrating the launch of Lonely Planet Trailblazers

2. How many Trailblazers are there?

At launch, there are seven blogs that have been chosen as Lonely Planet Trailblazers out of a Pathfinders community of 3,000.

The seven are:

3. How were the Trailblazers chosen?

The Trailblazers were chosen at the discretion of Lonely Planet. Their Pathfinders homepage describes Trailblazers as individuals who know how to nurture communities and have built a loyal audience that trusts their opinions and regularly engages with their content.

We believe we fulfil those criteria and are pleased that Lonely Planet do too!

Lonely Planet Trailblazers Atlas & BootsAtlas & Boots

At the Lonely Planet Trailblazers induction in London

4. What’s in it for Atlas & Boots?

Lonely Planet Trailblazers gain a number of benefits including:

  • A long-term partnership with one of the biggest travel brands in the world
  • Paid assignments and travel opportunities
  • Exposure to Lonely Planet’s global audience (online and across social media)
  • Hot desking at Lonely Planet’s offices around the world

5. What’s in it for Lonely Planet?

It may not be immediately obvious why Lonely Planet want to pay us to cover thrilling activities in far-flung places! It’s important to understand that although they have an extensive network of experts, they always need more talented contributors. The Trailblazers program allows them to cover the obscure places we visit and the amazing things we do.

Lonely Planet cite major benefits as:

  • Long-term partnerships with the most successful travel content creators in the world
  • More diverse, useful content for our audience
  • A strong online community
A collection of our photos taken on commission with Lonely Planet

6. Are you paid to say positive things about Lonely Planet?

No. As Lonely Planet Trailblazers, we may be seen as ambassadors for the brand – and in a way we are – but we aren’t paid to tell people how great Lonely Planet are. Rather, we are paid to contribute content that actually makes Lonely Planet great.

We said a long time ago (before Lonely Planet even knew who were were!) that we are fans of the brand. Now, a part of our role will be to help it stay great.

7. Are Lonely Planet moving away from sourcing content through on-the-ground writers?

No. Ignoring the fact that we are on-the-ground writers, we will not be writing guidebook content; this will still be done by people who have in-depth knowledge of a country that can’t be accrued from a month of travelling there. Rather, we will broaden Lonely Planet’s existing travel content by providing unique perspectives in new formats.

Sri Lanka guidebook shot by Lonely Planet Trailblazers Atlas & BootsAtlas & Boots

Lonely Planet’s guidebooks will still be written by destination experts

8. How will things change at Atlas & Boots?

Nothing will change at Atlas & Boots. We will still continue to write about our personal experiences and observations just as before. We will add links to Lonely Planet guides at the end of our pieces, but we have been doing this for a long time and certainly before becoming Lonely Planet Trailblazers!

9. Can I become a Trailblazer myself?

There’s certainly opportunity to do so. You can start by joining the Pathfinders program. After that, you must be an active part of the community and consistently produce content of a high quality. Once you reach a critical mass of fans or followers, then you may well be invited to become a Trailblazer!

10. Anything else I need to know?

Just that we’re super happy to be part of the program. Atlas & Boots has been our full-time job over the past three years and it’s heartening to receive recognition from the world’s best-known, best-loved travel brand.

We’ll see you out there!

Atlas & Boots

Lead image: Atlas & Boots

You might also like: