A 19-year-old UTC entrepreneurship major is using his knowledge of United States travel destinations to make others' vacation experiences better.
Taylor Goldblatt created the website USCityTraveler.com when he was 16 years old, and he said that now it is competing with other major travel sites around the world.
"The reason I chose to start a website was because it is something that can be started at very little cost and can potentially reach people from all over the world in a matter of seconds," he said. "I have spent many nights staying up until 4 a.m. just to get what I wanted done on my website."
On the site, Goldblatt highlights more than 20 cities, from Chattanooga to Los Angeles. He provides information about activities in each city, as well as facts and photos of each destination.
He has invested about $15,000 in his project and has contracted a website designer from the Philippines to help keep costs low.
He originally worked with someone locally but wasn't satisfied with those outcomes.
Over the summer, he employed about a dozen writers; but when school started again, he didn't have time to manage them all, so he's cut back on that for now.
His focus isn't on monetizing the site right now. Instead, he's focused on creating good content and making solid business connections, he said.
He has interviewed representatives from Lonely Planet for his site's blog and has also worked with people from National Geographic, TravelDudes and The Amateur Traveler.
Goldblatt—who graduated early and third in his class—said he hopes his story can inspire other young people to start an online venture.
"One of the biggest mistakes with new bloggers or website masters is that they simply give up after a few months of seeing very little traffic," he said. "Some of the biggest bloggers out there, including myself, will tell you that it took them a couple years for their blog to start building a good audience."
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