Travel and Points Q&A with Blogger Brian Kelly
If one person were to be crowned king of points and miles strategies, it could very well be Brian Kelly.
Only three and a half years ago, while a recruiter for Morgan Stanley, he started his blog, the Points Guy, and recently began blogging full time.
Brian sat down with us and let us in on some of his rituals, strategies, tips, and peeves about points and traveling, as well as his insights into the world of points and miles blogging.
When he was eleven years old, Brian began assisting his frequent flyer father, a health care consultant and road warrior, by managing his points and miles. By the age of 12, Brian had booked his family’s first of what would become a regular trip to the Cayman Islands.
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005, Brian took a position as an executive trainee and assistant buyer at Lord & Taylor. In a year, he moved up to a managerial position.
In 2007, Brian began work for Morgan Stanley as a recruiter, this time flying thousands of miles and watching his points accumulate. He quickly became a master at managing and maximizing his points and award redemptions. Leveraging these skills, he decided to start a blog, naming it the Points Guy. Alongside the blog, he also began to counsel people, for a modest $50 per ticket, on how to get the most out of their award redemptions.
After 11 months of blogging, Brian was featured in the New York Times and the revenue he was earning from credit card company ads and links was enough to allow him to leave his job at Morgan Stanley and blog full time. That was just two and a half years ago. Now, Brian manages a small team and frequently posts multiple blog entries per day.
MANAGING A BLOG
“Blogging is new age journalism,” said Brian when we asked him about the difference between his blog and a news site. “I’m more of an entrepreneur than a journalist. I run a small publication and my roles include editor, writer, and publicist.”
As many of us do, Brian craves information, and mused about scrolling through Twitter on a regular basis to make sure he hasn’t missed anything of significance.
Brian enjoys blogs for their personal narrative, and cited this as a reason he subscribes to Gawker for news. “I want the personal aspect – real people.” His desire for personalized content, however, does come at a cost.
Managing the timing of stories and maintaining a healthy balance of breaking news and personal content are two of Brian’s biggest challenges. “It takes a lot longer than people realize to put together personal things, like my most recent Emirates trip.”
Click here to continue to Page 2 – Advice, Peeves, and a Points Guy App
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