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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.

Blog

Launch Month Recap

Zak Erving

The original Sparkpunk banner

The original Sparkpunk banner

The world of travel blogging is strange and nebulous…technically, anyone who uploads vacation photos to Facebook and writes a little blurb about drinking too many mai-tais on the beach is a travel blogger, but I like to pretend that my efforts are more sincere and goal-oriented. ("Yeah, right," retorts the voice in my head. "You drink scotch and would sooner hole up at a coffee shop than drive an hour to a mountain trailhead by yourself." I sneer back, and reach for a highball glass.)

Still, though, I'm excited to celebrate this tiny milestone of 30 days at my new "job," and while I have yet to see any real form of income, I've already met with little successes distinctly my own:

  • I've networked & partnered with several different companies/individuals who believe in the mission of Sparkpunk, and to that end have received extremely generous donations of giveaway prizes (special shout-outs to LivemochaComponica, & Treehugger Hammocks!)
  • I've expanded my network of fellow travel writers & bloggers
  • After submitting a letter of interest to the Hawaii's Big Island Visitors Bureau, I created my very first media visit, where I stayed & adventured with a handful of great inns & recreation/cultural organizations

Additionally, Sparkpunk was viewed in over 90 countries worldwide and amassed over 4,500 page views during launch month. Oh, and my Facebook page and Twitter feeds both 'sploded. (I'll be damned if I find anything out there better than Hootsuite for social media.)

You may have noticed the "I'm a Travel Blog Challenger" badge on the right sidebar, too…while it's been no secret that I'm aiming to scrape a small living off of this website, this marks my formal announcement that strides are being made and benchmarks are being collected. The 1,000/1,000 TBC's goal is for challengers to see at least 1,000 visitors a day and net $1,000 a month in income. There will be a lot of uphill scrambles along the way as I work towards this end, but it's nice to have a quantifiable goal on the horizon. If you want to help me reach this goal, promote content you like and share Sparkpunk with your friends!

Thanks for a great first month, everybody. I'm looking forward to many more!