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Bucket List Journey with Annette White
“I’ve been worrying, that we all live our lives in the confines of fear…” Ben Howard.
When introducing a blogger who writes about travel, a quote about fear may seem cliché- and maybe even exasperating, but in this case it also truly speaks to exactly the type of mentality Annette White of Bucket List Journey has seemingly come to vanquish herself and hopes to inspire others to do as well. Breaking away from the norms of what it means to be successful in this world is scary. And as Annette mentions below, media is increasingly bringing to the surface the idea of ditching the 9-5 and blurring the lines of what ‘work’ can actually mean. However, there is clearly a place to amplify this message- a message that more and more people are ready to hear. Below we see how one of Cooperatize’s accomplished bloggers has actively capitalized on this niche and in turn ascribes even more to her own message. You go girl!
Annette: Bucket List Journey is a travel, adventure and lifestyle blog that inspires you to turn your dreams into reality and to step out of your comfort zone — saying no to fear.
Q: What made you decide to create a blog?
Annette: After facing my anxiety issues, I made a promise to myself to not let fear make my decisions for me and to start living my bucket list. Not only did I want a place to record my bucket list experiences, I also wanted to be able to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones. A blog was the perfect way to do this.
Q: Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
Annette: After being approached by a few companies and selling my first advertising spots I began to believe that there are no boundaries for a career that you can create for yourself. The Internet and social media has allowed more people to realize that they do not have to be restricted to the conventional 9-5 mentality, that there are ways to make money doing what they love — the lines between work and passion can blur. Your work life doesn’t have to constitute going to the office Monday thru Friday, saving all the fun for the weekends.
Q: What fuels your passion for creating content?
Annette: First and foremost, it is the responsibility I feel to my readers and wanting to inspire them to go out there and live their best lives. The second thing that motivates me is knowing that I am creating a business and brand doing all the things I am truly passionate about.
Q: Are there any blogs or publications that you follow closely? What makes them successful in your opinion?
Annette: I don’t follow anyone closely, though dabble here and there in order to see what trends are happening. There are so many aspects that make a blog successful, but one big one is that the author understands that blogging is more than just sharing personal stories, it’s about giving valuable information in a way that engages the reader.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Annette: Time! I think people may not realize the amount of time it takes to maintain a successful blog. Even when I am not traveling or writing, I am editing photographs, managing freelancers, pitching advertisers, curating social media accounts, etc. As amazing of a career as it is, it is also a beyond full-time job! This is even more of an issue for me because I am trying to juggle a blogging career and owning a restaurant.
Q: What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
Annette: There are a few that strike me as favorites off the top of my head. After recently returning from Cuba I wrote: An American Traveling to Havana: What You Need to Know. It’s one of my prized articles because it is chock-full of valuable information based on personal experience. I took detailed notes my entire trip! Two other ones that rank high for me are inspirational posts that can help others to get motivated: 10 Incredible Ways a Bucket List Can Improve Your Life and 9 Ways to Make Travel More Meaningful.
Q: What is your favorite social media channel and why?
Annette: Though they each have their strengths and I use them all, my absolute favorite is Instagram. I love photography and being able to curate a cohesive gallery is great fun for me.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
Annette: There are a million bloggers out there (literally!) and a significant chunk of them focus on travel, so in order to stand out amidst the crowd pick a sub-niche under the travel blogging realm. This could mean specializing in a particular country or solely on family adventure or luxury destinations.
Whatever you choose, make sure you know you’re going to absolutely love writing about it. Maintaining a successful blog takes dedication and many hours of work a week. If you are not truly passionate about your topic, not only will readers see right through your articles, it will be tortuous every time you sit down at the computer to create a new post.
Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for next week’s feature!
-Blaire Massaroni, for Cooperatize Journal