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Travel Break: Stephanie Be
Stephanie Be’s blog TravelBreak is about more than travel and an unquenchable thirst for exploration and adventure, although these themes are certainly not in short supply. For those seeking inspiration on starting a travel blog and brand of their own, TravelBreak is the place to find it. Stephanie Be’s journey to become one of the most well read travel bloggers as well as an influencer within both travel and philanthropy is one mostly motivated by her parent’s humble beginnings and a desire to make her own version of the American Dream. For anyone interested in doing the same through travel who may be having doubts, look no further than here for a place to put them to rest.
Stephanie: Hi, I’m Stephanie Be. A California girl and UCLA Alumni, I traded corporate America for a gap year and never stopped! 40 countries later…
Q: How would you describe your blog to a person that has never visited it before
Stephanie: TravelBreak is a vehicle in making my dreams into goals. A personal testimony, I share adventure, lifestyle and motivation as I live my life as an “entrepretraveler.”
Q: What made you decide to create a blog?
Stephanie: I traveled to twenty-four countries before starting my blog. I wanted to continue traveling, grow a business, and inspire others. I believe that travel can be fatal to ignorance and bigotry (not all, but it’s a start). Social media, writing, and press were a means for me to establish credibility and reach others. It was never about “look at me,” but instead, a tool that allowed me to do work I was truly passionate about.
Q: Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
Stephanie: My second article as a contributing writer was shared over 70k times on the Internet. While I didn’t have a strategy to place and promote myself or retain subscribers from it, it made me realize that maybe, just maybe… I could write?
Q: What fuels your passion for creating content?
Stephanie: People. I’ve had the privilege of meeting people around the world — from villages in Vietnam, to boutique owner-entrepreneurs and Prime Ministers. We’re all so different, but have so much in common.
Q: Are there any blogs or publications that you follow closely? What makes them successful in your opinion?
Stephanie: I spend more time experiencing than reading other people’s content. When I am at my computer, I’m working, so following other publications doesn’t fit into my hobbies. However, I do believe that a successful publication fits three needs:
- Your personal needs.
- The need of your readers.
- The need of your partners — whether that’s your team or the businesses you work with.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Stephanie: Other than the demanding roles of producing content (writing, photography, video, “talent,”), maintaining a website (WordPress, security, Cloud), and managing a businesses (finances, contracts, emails, negotiations, analytics, and engagement), what has been the most challenging for me is the anxiety of financial fluctuation. I can make $15,000 in a single week or $5,000 in a month. I never know! It drives me crazy. I look forward to signing a monthly retainer with the right clients.
Q: What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
Stephanie: I’ve been lucky enough that a lot of destination and travel posts are popular amongst readers; however, my personal favorite post was when I finally got personal. Re-defining the American Dream: About TravelBreak was a special way for me to share my personal story. It isn’t easy to put yourself “out there” on the Internet, so there is a unique pride and sentiment to writing it. However, these also rock my socks when I’m not wearing any:
5 Reasons Not to Visit Hvar Island, Croatia (Photos)
Baby, Don’t Buy Me Roses – – Take Me Somewhere New
18 Photos That Will Put You on a Plane to Calgary and Banff
The 12 Best Places for Photography in Turkey: Istanbul, Cappadocia & Pamukkale
Q: How much does social media influence your writing?
Stephanie: If you can tweet well, you can write headlines. That’s a start. If you can shoot professional photos for Instagram, you can provide great images to compliment your blog’s writing. If you can curate a brand and speak (aka “engage” with REAL people behind social media, then you can tell a long-form story too. Writing is about having a conversation with people, so is social media.
Q: What is your favorite social media channel? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, other and why?
Stephanie: Instagram. I just love photography. Snapchat is fun too, but I have a hard time sustaining it.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
Stephanie: Blogging is not a casual hobby. It’s important to understand what your goals are with blogging. Do you want to use it monetize via affiliate links, ads or sponsored content?
If you’re just looking for “free” travel and press trips, you’re better off being a contributing writer for someone else’s business. If you’re looking for paid work, be self-aware of your services and deliverables — photography and talent/ ambassador roles monetize better than writing.
If you would like to use your blog for business, it takes time, resources and skills to run a business. Don’t be surprised when it’s a lot of work and expensive to start a blog.
If you just want to use a blog to share your experiences, and aren’t looking for “free” travel or revenue streams, then you’re picking up a pretty expensive, time-consuming hobby.
There are some things that can be read between the lines. For example, wanting to do something and actually doing it. To me, TravelBreak isn’t about travel — it’s about living a life of passion. Your passion might not be travel, photography or writing — it may be sports, pets or food. Whatever it is, I hope that if you see my posts, you think “this woman is doing the things that make her happy, I should do that too.
I think whether or not you decide to take a literal page out of Stephanie’s book and dive deeper into travel blogging – all this certainly resonates to each and every person trying to live their passion.
Thanks again to Stephanie for taking time between running a business and actively pursing your dreams to provide some much valued advise for out community of bloggers.
by: Blaire Massaroni, Cooperatize
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