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Amanda Williams of A Dangerous Business
Not quite ready to quit your day job to be a full-time travel blogger? Well rest assured, the underlying message of A Dangerous Business is that, at least for now, you can have both. Ranging from everything from travel lists and destination guides to inspired, heartfelt pieces on things that all who have an undying case of wanderlust are all too familiar with, Amanda’s blog inspires people to fit more travel into their current lifestyle. But don’t worry! There is also plenty of advice on the eventual pulling of the plug on your 9-5 – for when the time is right.
Amanda: My name is Amanda, and I’m a blogger, freelance writer, and adventure-seeker from the American Midwest. I use my blog, A Dangerous Business, to inspire people to fit more travel and adventure into the lifestyle they already have. In the past six years, I’ve traveled to nearly 50 countries on 6 continents, and have worked with brands and destinations like Intrepid Travel, Viking River Cruises, and Visit Norway, and have been featured by major publications and websites like AFAR, The Huffington Post, Ohio.org, and USA Today Travel.
Q: How would you describe your blog to a person that has never visited it before
Amanda: Well first and foremost, I write about travel, whether it’s closer to home or on the other side of the world. I focus on a mixture of solo travel tips, destination guides, and inspirational pieces, with the underlying message being that you don’t have to choose between having a “normal” life and traveling.
Q: What made you decide to create a blog?
Amanda: There were two factors that led to me starting a blog: boredom and the need for a creative outlet. Back in 2010, I was working at a newspaper as a copy editor – which meant I didn’t get to do any writing and often had hours of downtime before the story editing could begin each evening. I decided to start a blog so that I would 1. have something to do, and 2. have somewhere to write. I chose travel because I loved it and had studied abroad and traveled a bit in college.
Q: Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
Amanda: I had inklings of it a couple of years into blogging, when I was starting to get offers for free tours and paid posts on my blog. But I didn’t really have the confidence to just go for it – until I lost my biggest contract job at the end of 2015. I freaked out for a couple of weeks until I realized that I actually was making enough money from my blog and related work for it to be sustainable all on its own.
Q: What fuels your passion for creating content?
Amanda: I love to explore new places and I love to share what I’ve learned with others. When I was younger, I used to think I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up – but then I realized I didn’t really like kids, and liked teenagers even less. Haha. But being a blogger kind of feels like being a teacher sometimes: I get to share what I’ve learned about travel and the world with other people, and it feels really rewarding to do so.
Q: Are there any blogs or publications that you follow closely? What makes them successful in your opinion?
Amanda: I follow lots of other travel bloggers on social media and read quite a few blogs every week, too. Success is different for every person, but my favorites are the ones that cover tough topics without apology, and the ones that are honest and candid (and funny!). And of course I enjoy reading about places that I’d like to visit someday!
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Amanda: It’s a tie between finding enough time to do everything I want to do in a day (or week or month), and diversifying my income. Since I rely entirely on my blog and related work (like freelance writing) for my income, I know I can’t put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. Building new income streams is tough, but it definitely pays off (literally!).
Q: What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
Amanda: That’s impossible to say! I’m proud of inspirational pieces like the one I wrote about travel and fear and travel and privilege, and informational ones like this one on solo travel. Writing-wise, I’m proud of this one on Cambodia and this one about Taos Pueblo because they look a bit deeper at history and culture.
Q: How much does social media influence your writing?
Amanda: I spend a lot of time on social media every day (especially Facebook), and I do sometimes get inspired by the news stories I see being shared, or topics I see people talking about frequently. But I don’t really tailor my posts to social media other than making sure my new posts have a Pinterest-friendly image for people who might want to share it on that network.
Q: What is your favorite social media channel and why?
Amanda: I think I have a love-hate relationship with all of them! Instagram is more frustrating than anything else, and Facebook can be maddening with its constant algorithm changes. But I get sucked in nevertheless. I probably spend the most time and effort on Facebook.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
Amanda: Don’t get discouraged when things start out slow. Building a following takes time, and you can’t rush it if you want your blog to be successful. Don’t get woo’ed by those schemes to get more followers fast – they’re not worth it in the long run!
Q: Lastly, what is something that you could share with us that we wouldn’t learn from reading your blog?
Amanda: I’m a pretty open book on my blog! But one thing I could share is that I’m still clueless about a lot of things in the blogosphere! There are always new things to learn, and even though I consider my blog to be pretty successful, there are always things I know I can do better!
So whether you’re ready to make seeing the world your full-time gig, or if you’re trying to fit it in as your side hustle, we at Cooperatize hope this read gives you the push you need to take the next step, wherever it may lead, or at the very least embrace the process of trying to make your dreams a reality. Thanks again to Amanda for taking time between running a successful blog and actively pursuing your dream of seeing the world to provide some much valued advice for our community of bloggers. Check back soon for more inspiration and informative tidbits!
By: Blaire Massaroni, Cooperatize