Not selling out: How Lee (Bald Thoughts) is growing a sustainable family travel blog.

Lee Huffman ( is a master travel hacker, family man, long-time blogger, and generally nice dude.

When I first discovered his blog, a few interesting things caught my eye…

Why does his domain include a 3rd party platform? (Boarding Area). What the heck is going on?

Wait, he has a blogging team?

How on EARTH does he travel with kids so much? and for so little money? (Seriously. I’m an amateur travel hacker myself, but Lee’s off the chain).

(In a good way).


In this interview, we chat about…

  • Which Credit Card is best for travel hacking? (BROAD question that Lee essentially tears apart).
  • Travel Hacking for NORMAL people (non-digital nomads who travel 363 days a year)
  • Attractiveness and blog marketing 😉
  • How Lee got his first $200 sponsor
  • The “Kansas City Blog Shuffle.” (see below)


Listen to my episode with Lee Huff from Bald Thoughts

or listen on Apple Podcasts \\ Google Podcasts

Show notes and referenced links

Key takeaways from today’s episode

1 – Me selling out…but grab Lee’s intro to travel hacking, family travel planning, etc!

If you are at all interested in traveling, and want to save ludicrous amounts of money in the process…and actually DO what you’ve been dreaming of (Lee’s speciality), then grab his free email course.

There’s currently no sales pitches at the end of it, you’ll risk nothing, and probably learn something. Grab it here!

2 – RSS Feed emails, and why they can absolutely work for email marketing.

Newbie Friendly Intro: An RSS feed is a fancy way of saying “some other software or website can pull in your content data for use.” It’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo programming language that allows services like Mailchimp to automatically pull your latest content, and email it out as a newsletter. Just one example.

Most email service providers have this option, at least Mailchimp does. However, you can also just use Jetpack if you have WordPress, and accomplish the same thing.

Here’s how it works:

  • You connect your RSS feed (usually the URL is, such as to the platform (Mailchimp, Jetpack, etc)
  • You choose a few options (want to automatically email you’re entire post out every time you hit publish? Want to email a summary once a week? etc).
  • You start it up.

Pretty easy. It’s automated email marketing.

One example I like is Adam Fortuna’s emails from He has his entire post in the email pretty much. Handy.

Straightforward and consistent.

Here’s why it’s awesome:

  • Hand-typing every email newsletter is time-consuming
  • Hand-typing every email newsletter is time-consuming
  • Your audience KNOWs what to expect from those emails.

It’s very consistent and to the point, and people appreciate that in email marketing!

When you have loads of info products to upsell, etc, you can manually send broadcasts. But if you’re not into that, just get the word out. Go the RSS feed route.

3 – Introducing the Kansas City Blog Shuffle. Pay attention.

The Kansas City Shuffle is when evvvverrryybody else is looking left, you go right.

huh. Today I learned.

Here’s what this means for blogging.

When every other blogger is hooked on the “next big thing,” the “next big marketing strategy,” etc….maybe go the other way?

Be different. Be a contrarian. It’s a sure-fire way to get noticed and stand out. (Hopfully you’re smart and can stand out in a good way).

Here’s my own example:

I searched and searched and searched iTunes for a longer blogging podcast. Couldn’t find one.

Every blogger/podcaster seemed to be focused on providing short, actionable content.

Short, actionable content.

But not me.

I choose to produce what I personally wanted to see in the market (scratching my own itch, so to speak), and it just so happened to be the opposite of what’s currently out there.

It was a way to differentiate myself. (Time will tell if it actually works or not, of course).

Here’s another example:

Email lists.

It’s the total hype word in current digital marketing, and has been for a few years now.

Everyone’s looking left. Where could you look right?

  • Maybe don’t even have an email list?
  • Maybe do all communications through a new FB Messenger chatbot?
  • Maybe DO have an email list, but only email people once every quarter?
  • Maybe start an SMS list?

Good ideas here. Bad ones too. The important part is to LOOK.

Take notice when everyone else in your field starts to look one direction. Look the opposite way, and you just might find what you’re looking for.

Absolutely DON’T leave me a comment. Everyone’s doing that these days. DON’T write below with something you found interesting from the episode.

Ok maybe do?


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9 Responses

  1. I have to admit that while I had heard of the Companion Pass, I didn’t know that it meant LITERALLY free plane tickets. I’m much more excited about it now.

    I think for the “KC Shuffle” aspect, it’s hard to get away from doing what others are doing when you already know that is what people want. I suppose innovation is at the heart of this…just keep trying things until you find what works for your audience (and you).

    1. The Southwest Companion Pass is the absolute best airline benefit available. Alaska offers one too, but that’s only for one flight a year. With Southwest, every time you fly, your companion flies for free.

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