Expert Points and Levels
Experts receive:
  • 5 points per answer given
  • 2 points each thumbs up received
  • 3 points each question asked
Expert Levels are as follows:
  • Level 1: 0 to 149 points
  • Level 2: 150-299
  • Level 3: 300-499
  • Level 4: 501-999
  • Level 5: 1,000-1,999
  • Level 6: 2,000-3,999
  • Level 7: 4,000-5,999
  • Additional level increase in 2,000 point bands with no limit.
Frequently Asked Questions for Experts
  1. Is there a cost to be an expert and answer questions on ETA?
  2. Who qualifies to be an expert on ETA?
  3. What do you mean by "experienced travelers?"
  4. Why apply to be an expert: (Travel Industry Professionals and Companies)
  5. Why apply to be an expert: (Travel Writers & Publishers)
  6. How does ETA help you leverage social media?
  7. Should I apply as an individual or an organization?
  8. Can you notify me when relevant questions are asked?
  9. What do I do if I can't find the category that I want?
1. Is there a cost to be an expert and answer questions on ETA?
No, it's free.
2. Who qualifies to be an expert on ETA?
People working in the travel industry, travel writers and experienced individual travelers. Travel-related organizations may join as well: travel agencies, hotel companies, travel publications, etc.
3. What do you mean by "experienced travelers?"
We're looking for people with either:
  • Broad travel experience: trips to lots of different destinations spanning at least 10 years, or;
  • Deep travel expertise: lots of time spent in at least one or two popular destinations. For example, people with vacation homes they visit every year.
If you think you can make a positive contribution, we encourage you to go ahead and Apply to be an Expert.
4. Why apply to be an expert: (Travel Industry Professionals and Companies)
Knowledge has value in the travel business, as it helps you connect with and serve your customers. We don't expect you to give it away anonymously while getting nothing in return. You provide useful information, and customers will follow.

The dynamic is simple: people would rather trust their vacation to people they have already established a relationship with--people who has proven their knowledge and experience through useful answers. This is your chance to demonstrate and promote your travel expertise.

Each question you answer includes a brief profile & photo of yourself and/or your organization, with links to more detailed information--which may include a link to your web site, an online e-mail contact form, more photos, etc.

Each answer you give will not only be available to the person asking the question, but it will live on our web site, accessible to others searching for similar information. You will be able to subscribe to specific categories to be automatically notified when questions relevant to your expertise are posted.

For example:

  • If you're a travel agent specializing in Barbados, introduce yourself to customers searching for information on the island by giving insider information about hotels, restaurants, shopping and activities on the island of Barbados.
  • If you run a hotel in San Antonio, get the attention of potential visitors by answering questions about things to do around town.
  • If you rent your vacation home on Sanibel Island, start a relationship with potential visitors by using your insider knowledge of the area to answer their questions.
  • If you run a convention and tourism board, this is a great platform to disseminate the information people need to choose to visit your area.

We even encourage you to post anonymous questions and answer them yourself: as long as it's useful information, we want it available on ETA.

All questions and answers are optimized for search engines, so your information is likely to come up as people enter similar queries for years to come.

5. Why apply to be an expert: (Travel Writers & Publishers)
ETA can help you connect with more readers by sharing your knowledge. You provide useful information, and readers will follow to learn more.

Here's how works. Each question you answer includes a brief profile & photo of yourself and/or your organization. You can include a link to your web site, and even provide direct links to specific relevant articles or posts you've written.

Each answer is not only available to the person asking the question, but it will live on our web site, accessible to others searching for similar information. You will be able to subscribe to specific categories to be automatically notified when questions relevant to you are posted. As each answer is optimized for search engines, you can continually increase readership and build traffic to online sites and blogs.

For example:

  • If you've written a book about traveling in South America, each question you answer about South American travel will reach readers already interested in the topic. They can follow links back your site to buy your book.
  • If you publish a blog about cruise travel, your answers in cruise-related categories get the attention of cruisers who can become your regular readers, even as you add additional links to your site that can improve your position in search engines.
  • If you write for print publications, raise your profile by building your own online audience that knows your name worldwide.
  • If you publish a web site or magazine targeting outdoor travel enthusiasts, introduce new readers to your publications through your thoughtful answers on outdoor topics.

It's perfectly OK to repurpose information you've written previously in answering questions as long as you have rights to the information.

We even encourage you to post anonymous questions and answer them yourself--as long as the information you're providing will be useful to readers. For example, if you've written an article on the best Alaska shore excursions, go ahead and ask a question about one excursion, answer it, and provide a link to the rest of the article for anyone who is interested in learning more.

6. How does ETA help you leverage social media?
Facebook and Twitter are great ways to maintain relationships with people in your network. However, coming up with useful, relevant items to post can be very time-consuming. ETA can help by bringing readers and topics to you.

You can easily link your ETA account to both of these sites, so each time you answer a question, we post "(Your Name) has answered the question (Text of question) on Expert Travel Answers. Click here to read the answer."

With no additional effort, you stay present in readers' minds, and specifically engage those interested in the topics you're answering questions about, often your business. Plus, you do it in a subtle way: you're simply helping other people get answers, not promoting yourself. The act of helping others get the answers they need will also reaffirm you as an expert in the minds of the people in your networks.

7. What's the difference between applying as an individual vs. an organization?
In an individual account, the "Expert Name" is that of the individual person. In an organization account, the company, publication or association is the named expert. For example, a travel agent employed by a particular agency would most-likely want to sign up as an individual. If the agent later changed agencies, he or she could simply update his/her profile and contact info. and continue to benefit from all of the answers posted through the account. On the other hand, an agency owner might decide to set up an account for the agency and direct staff to answer certain types of questions. Under this type of account, the task of posting answers could be shared, and benefits would continue to accrue to the agency even if there was staff turnover.
8. Can you notify me when relevant questions are asked?
Yes. You may subscribe to categories you find relevant to you based on location or on travel topics, and we'll e-mail you when new questions are posted in those categories. We understand you're busy, and want to make using ETA as easy as possible. (Note: While you can set up your subscriptions now, e-mail alerts won't be active until approximately 8/15/10).
9. What do I do if I can't find the category that I want?
Just Contact Us and let us know what category you're looking for. We can point you toward the right category if it already exists, or create it for you if it doesn't.