In today’s episode, I’m talking to Brooke Schoenman of Her Packing List, a website dedicated to all things female travel and travel gear. Brooke’s been running her website for almost 10 years now, and has A LOT of insights to share with people who’d like to make a living running a blog on a topic they’re passionate about. In this episode, we go over how she started making money with affiliate marketing via an email newsletter, how she’s developed her business over time, revenue streams she’s experimented with, and why routine is so important when you’re working and traveling.
What we talk about:
- Brooke’s entrepreneurial journey through travel blogging starting with a personal blog, then a private newsletter called Female Travel Underground, and then a public website.
- How identifying popular newsletter topics helped her make money through affiliate sales.
- How she grew her readership when she started her website after her newsletter’s success.
- Using her network in the travel community & the travel bloggers she already knew.
- Getting other travel experts to write for her site and share to help grow her reach organically.
- How Pinterest, a new platform at the time, helped her blog take off and gain readers.
- The evolutions she’s been through in running her website over the last 10 years.
- How websites businesses tend to lag & you don’t notice success immediately after you put the effort in – it takes some time to take hold.
- Things she’s notices that REALLY pay off over time in growing a blog-based business.
- Why SEO (search engine optimization) content is soooo crucial to getting more traffic from Google & more ideal visitors on your website.
- Why SEO doesn’t have to be hard or complicated… and is mostly just about solving peoples’ problems.
- Keeping your content fresh from years ago after you’ve had your blog running for a while.
- Why your blog needs to be optimized to let people read it on their phones. For an easy-to-use WordPress theme that already has this built-in so you don’t have to worry about it, check out Divi by Elegant Themes.
- Doing a content audit & why she’s deleting 130 of her old blog posts.
- How to keep people on your website: writing longer, more informative posts and linking posts to each other so people can keep clicking & learning.
- Why you HAVE TO be passionate about the thing you’ll be running a blog-based business on.
- Why running ads on her website has skyrocketed her revenue & her recommendations for choosing an ad network for your website.
- Her advice to the Business Bitch community: Don’t give up. Growing a business is hard and there will be a lot of trials that make you question everything, but stick with it.
- Her advice for people who want to be a digital nomad & have business freedom to travel: travel slowly, have a routine, know that structure creates success.
Links & resources mentioned in the episode:
- Free Packing 101 Course
- Her Packing List on Pinterest
- Solid perfume sticks
- Hot tip: most people looking at things on their phone. Consider using Divi as your WordPress theme so this functionality is already built into your website.
- A great example of her content I remembered: Travel Underwear Guide
- Ad Networks
- Facebook Group: HPL World