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Kristin of Be My Travel Muse
There is a *relatively* new breed of wanderluster on the scene recently: The Solo-Female-Traveler (SFT for short). I guess they’ve always been around but more and more women (your writer included 😉 )are finding more and more appealing the idea of pursuing a dream of harnessing what it truly means to live a life of solo travel: Independence. Empowerment. Freedom. And there has been a media movement to follow – which as we know, only helps to amplify the desire of the avid spectator to pack up and take off as well. The more and more the notorious SFT happens to grace your feed- the more you are inclined to take the plunge yourself! But as much as you may be pining to buy a backpack and leave it all behind- the thought of actually doing so still seems daunting. Enter Kristin of Be My Travel Muse. The SoCal local thrives on empowering other women (and fellow humans in general) to make their dreams a reality through insight, advice, and inspiration.
Kristin: I’m Kristin, a native southern Californian who has been largely living out of her backpack for the last five years. During that time I have traveled to every continent, except for Antarctica, and hitchhiked on all of them as well. I’m all about adventurous travel and do most of my travels by myself. My aim is to encourage other women to get out there and travel solo and adventurously.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many awesome brands and tourism boards, including Hawaii, Alberta in Canada, and most recently, the tourism board of Uganda, to name a few.
Kristin: If you are looking for an adventure, something that is original and maybe a little lesser-known, you can probably find out about it on my blog. I’ve written tons about self guided trips through remote areas, encouraging people to do it independently too. If you want to travel alone for the first time, my blog is the resource that can help you make that happen more easily with more confidence.
Kristin: My background is in finance. After working for four years in a cubicle, I decided that I needed a break. I took a sabbatical but I’ve always loved writing so I decided to give blogging a shot at the same time. So, I guess you could say wasn’t really a sabbatical after all!
Q: Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
Kristin: When I first started blogging in the fall of 2012, almost nobody was making very much money off of it. But around 2014, it seemed like overnight brands and destinations were really starting to see the value in working with new media. Around this time, I was able to stop freelance writing and to start focusing just on my activities which has made all the difference.
Q: What fuels your passion for creating content?
Kristin: Two things I have always loved are writing and making art. It could be with a pencil, with clay, with a paintbrush or, I discovered through blogging, a camera. As a kid and even into college I could spend hours writing and not realize where the time had gone.
Q: Are there any blogs or publications that you follow closely? What makes them successful in your opinion?
Kristin: I really enjoy Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn. He has helped me so much to grow my business through his blogs and podcast. He puts out truly useful information that helps a lot of people grow. That’s how he makes his money, by being helpful. I respect that a lot in a day and age where a lot of people game the system with bots and fake likes.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Kristin: I think that in the beginning it is important to note what other people are doing that is bringing them success but after a while you just have to stop looking and comparing. The biggest challenge is finding a way to stand out in a crowded room.
Q: What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
Kristin: I can’t pick one! I really like my post about the ring road in Iceland because it has helped so many people to have a fun trip there, and my post about hiking in Patagonia for the same reason. The most important and impactful thing I have ever written is my guidebook for solo female travelers. My aim is always to be helpful.
Q: How much does social media influence your writing?
Kristin: I do consider how the title will be perceived when I write a post because in a competitive environment, like on Facebook, it’s important to pick something that will stand out.
Q: What is your favorite social media channel and why?
Kristin: Instagram! I love photography so much, it’s a way for me to share my absolute favorites and it’s encouraged me to just get better and better.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
Kristin: The most important thing is to know why you are doing something. In the short run, it can feel seductively easy to go the easy route and use black hat methods to grow. But the long-term game is to build real, engaged followers. What can you do that will turn people into real fans? It’s not about the numbers as much as it is about truly dedicated fans. Too many people forget the importance of this.
Thanks for stopping by Coopertize’s bloggers corner! Stay tuned for next week’s feature!
-Blaire Massaroni, Cooperatize