For various reasons we have postponed our departure to summer 2016 so in the meantime I am talking to other bloggers who travel and sail for additional perspective and advice. I decided to share those conversations with you! The first one is Justin Jones (http://justinwashere.com/).
Thanks for reading!
(The following was slightly edited for length and relative content from a message conversation)
Niccolea M Nance: I am super curious about how you got into being a travel writer.
Justin Jones: Aha well… I was a traveler first, I guess and when I was in college, I studied English Lit and I’ve always been really into writing – words are really important to me. etymology, etc. So I started writing for the uni paper – I had a column about whatever social issues and such and I wrote a few pieces about my travels and how backpacking across Europe one summer was really inspiring to me, as a writer, as a human and after college, I was looking for “real jobs” but couldn’t find anything, and then I applied for an internship at a small travel magazine. It was a perfect fit – they were all about study abroad and inspiring young people to travel.
So after a couple months of interning, writing, etc. The editor quit, and I started taking over his responsibilities little by little. The next thing I knew, I had weaseled my way into the position of managing editor! So I worked for them for a couple years before the funding fell out, and then I went on my own, blogging full time, traveling full time, and making a little money off it all. That was like 6 years ago.
NN: I’ve been looking at full time bloggers. It really intrigues me. Most seem to take a few years to get to full time though. How has it been for you?
JJ: It’s been a long grind, and I’m mostly completely poor, but I’ve learned to turn this “art” that I love into a sort of business that keeps me alive. and things are slowly growing and I’ve amassed a small following and hopefully this path leads somewhere great.
NN: Well really for me just being able to travel (and eat and have a place to sleep) would be enough… that is being rich in my world even more than what is in my bank account as a whole
JJ: yeah, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work – you can’t just write a blog and wait for it to take off. That’s people’s first mistake every time. It’s all about treating it like a business.
NN: I’m trying to figure all this out on the fly with ZERO dollars seed money because I was a live in nanny for room and board for friends the two years and then out of work for almost a year. It’s a big challenge. I’m figuring that we won’t really have all our following until we are out on the water and have done at least the first leg of the journey and then each stop will get more I’m sure.
We’re working on getting there with thinking of this as a business. We are going to get legal non-profit status as a global project. This is all a work in progress and we are learning EVERYTHING as we go. It’s cool though.
JJ: Yeah, that’s all part of the fun. If I were going to offer some advice, I’d say 2 things:
First – Buy the domain – it costs like 10 bucks from Go Daddy (Google for a coupon!) and set up a re-direct for your blog site – I think you can do that pretty easily and Go Daddy can help. Then you have an easy site to direct people to and you look more professional.
Second – Start posting once a week. People love consistency – and so does Google and so do potential advertisers and possible sponsors even if there is nothing going on regarding the boat, talk about your life, and the struggles leading up to the journey – be as personal as possible.
NN: Thanks for all the info!
JJ: Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions / want some input. I’m happy to help when I have time.
THANKS SO MUCH to Justin for his time and info! Be sure to check out his website http://justinwashere.com and let him know Emuna Endeavor sent you! :-)