What did you want to be when you grew up? An actor, astronaut, or scientist? According to a global LinkedIn survey, nearly a third of workers say they’re in their childhood related dream job or field. Encouraging news, but what if you’re still looking for your dream job or aren’t sure how to make that dream a reality?
Sarah Richard, Jimdo customer and travel blogger of Coffee With A Slice Of Life, is the perfect example of how it’s never too late to go after your passion. Last time we spoke to Sarah, she told us how she uses her blog to travel the world. Many of you were inspired by her story and so we thought we’d dive deeper into how you too can become a travel blogger or use your website to land your dream job.
What’s the single most important advice you would give to someone trying to start their own travel blog?
Do not start with the intent to make money—you never will if you start that way. Start with a passion and let it grow. Understand it takes time and a lot of patience, but when the hard work and determination pays off you have an outlet to be very proud of. Travel blogging is hands down my favorite pastime and earning money from it is just a bonus.
How essential is passion when choosing a subject to create a website about?
You must have read my mind…I think the fact that the word passion was in my first sentence says a lot. If you don’t have a passion for what you are writing it shines through. A good quote that always sticks with me is:
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes
Many people have trouble narrowing down a topic to blog about, how did you narrow it down to travel?
That’s easy—travel is what I love—I could talk about it all day, every day. It’s what excites me, keeps my heart pumping and body moving. I’m addicted to the feeling of discovering new places and visiting new countries. To have found a way to share that with other people, not just the ones I know, is honestly something I feel incredibly lucky to have found.
How do you come up with ideas for content?
I get asked this one a lot actually, and while it’s something other people wonder, it doesn’t cross my mind. I have too much content running around my head —I mean, my life is one big article split up into sections. Every time I book a plane ticket, get ripped off, find a bargain, get lost, get ill, fall in love, and pretty much everything in between, is a new article ready to write. Travel is a constant inspiration, I believe there are unlimited amounts of articles to write about traveling.
Do you have any advice on time management and balancing work and play?
I guess time management is my weakness. I’m one of those people that will stay up until 5am writing on my laptop when I know I have to be up at 7:00 AM. Or, I’ll accept an invitation to dinner when I know I should be at home working. I hate routine—it doesn’t work for me—but in the same sentence, maybe that is what works for me; no routine. So my advice would be go with what works for you. Who says you have to work 9-5 and not at the weekend? Do what is most effective for you.
How do you think your website will help you land a job in the future?
Well, it has already landed me two of the most awesome jobs out there. The first one was as a dive instructor on a boat in Micronesia. I applied for the job through the normal application, and once I got the job the manager admitted that it was my blog that got me the job. He said he was fascinated by how much I had done and how adventurous I was that he knew I would be the right one for the job. That was just a seasonal job, and then when I came to Hong Kong a magazine contacted me after seeing my blog and I eventually ended up (and still am now) working for them as an Online Editor. I think blogs are the new C.V’s—it gives your potential employer a chance to get to know you better before they give you the job and the ability to learn as much or as little as they want about you rather than having to read pages of a C.V.
What skills have you acquired while travel blogging that will help you with future jobs?
You wouldn’t believe how much I have learned through blogging. First of all designing a website— I NEVER would have thought I would have been able to do that—even now I look at it and give myself a little pat on the back (of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Jimdo!). Secondly, my writing has improved drastically. I look back at some of my first bits of writing and cringe a little; writing constantly and having others read and comment on my work has been a great learning curve. I think starting something online is the way forward in the 21st century. Showing creativity and initiative will only go to your advantage.
How do you most showcase your personality through your blog? Pictures, content, social media?
I write like I’m talking to one my friends; those that personally know me say when they read my articles they feel like I am talking right at them—I love that. I write very honestly and passionately, I think it is easy to tell whether I like a country or not. I also love to show pictures of my travels through my Instagram account and I love interacting with my readers (and following them too) on Facebook. So come and say hi!
And last but not least, what’s the most exciting adventure you’ve been on recently?
Tibet and China were definitely massive eye openers for me. Being based in Hong Kong I hadn’t ever massively wanted to explore much of China as it was right on my doorstep, and honestly, I hadn’t heard many nice things. Seems people were so wrong (a good example of why you should live out your own dreams). Lijiang in Yunnan was BEAUTIFUL. Definitely among one of the most stunning places I have ever been. Tibet was also mind-blowing; the people, the culture and everything in between. Since discovering Tibet and China, I now want to travel more of that region and have my dreams set on a China to Mongolia solo road trip soon.
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing some fantastic advice and tips with us! Inspired by Sarah’s story or have questions about starting a travel blog or a website? Be sure to leave questions and comments for Sarah below.