Make your money by doing the things you love most.. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
A lot of people make their money with an online business. They started a blog and with hard work and commitment they turned their blog into a profitable business.
Perhaps you want to start a blog as well or maybe you have just started a blog and want to turn it into a business in the future. Here on Want2discover we give you tips and guidance to make this achievable for you.
One of the best things you can do is learn from bloggers who have already turned their blog into a thriving business. They can teach you valuable lessons that will surely kick start your blog. They can give you information that will get you ahead of all the competitors in your niche.
To help you on your journey, we have interviewed the successful culture, travel and style blogger La Carmina. She managed to build a thriving business from her blog. She started off as a blogger, but now she is also a TV host, journalist and the author of 3 food books. She also works with some of the biggest websites in the world.
Her influential blog has a passionate following and is featured in major media (New Yorker, LA Times, Washington Post). She is also a journalist for CNN, The Huffington Post, AOL and Business Insider.
La Carmina flies all around the world to speak at and attend events including press trips to Dubai, Maldives, Eastern Europe, Phoenix, Macau, Mexico, Hong Kong. She has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and on the cover of a number of magazines including Vanity UK and Dark Beauty.
She also hosts and produces her own travel video series worldwide.
Here is our interview with La Carmina. She shares her valuable lessons and gives you an insight into the life of a successful blogger. We hope you will enjoy reading this and don’t forget to leave a comment down below.
1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I began reading various independent fashion blogs in 2007, and wanted to try my hand at this medium. I always enjoyed visuals and writing, and felt bored with my then-course of study (law). So I dove into blogging. I got hooked, and kept expanding the topics and picking up new readers over time. To this day, I remain excited by blogging, and look forward to putting up new stories of my travels.
2. What topics are you blogging about and why?
I started with a focus on Japanese street style, but quickly expanded to other topics that fascinate me — theme restaurants and body modifications, to name a few. Today, I blog about alternative culture, fashion and travel worldwide. I’m constantly on the road with TV hosting jobs or with my digital filmmakers. We shoot video episodes about youth trends and travel topics all around the world: Mexico, Israel, Maldives to name a few.
3. How did you grow your blog and what is your best advice for beginning bloggers?
It’s been a gradual process. From the start, I’ve always blogged regularly, putting up posts at least every few days. As the blog took off, it led to larger projects — writing books, major media journalism, TV appearances — that led back to more exposure for my site. I advise bloggers to learn as much as they can about this industry (from site building to social networking), and keep upping the ante on their content. Above all, you should feel excited and inspired by blogging; it should be fed by passion, not any external considerations.
4. How do you use social media to promote your blog and your other business activities?
Although I have a @lacarmina presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr etc, I don’t have a “strategy” or spend too much time on them. I do my best to reply to people and share useful tips or info on these social networks. I genuinely enjoy connecting with people around the world who share my interests.
5. How do you create an engaging and passionate fan base?
Don’t try to be a generalist or please everyone. Nobody falls in love with an anonymous travel blog about “top 5 burgers” or other cookie-cutter topics. Be weird, niche, and let your personality come through. Not everyone will “get” what you do, but the readers who do will stick by your side for the long-term.
6. When did you decide to start making money online and what was the first step you took?
Everything came about naturally, and this wasn’t even a consideration when I started blogging. As the traffic grew, advertisers started contacting me about ads, giveaways and sponsorships. I experimented with a number of approaches over the years, but right now, the reader’s experience is my priority. I’m very picky about my partnerships, and turn down most. I also currently focus more on earnings from projects that are external to the blog, such as writing, network TV hosting or production arranging.
7. What is your number one tip for my readers who want to start an online business?
Read and learn, non-stop.
Instead of trying to make everything perfect, simply launch and see where the process takes you.
Experiment, innovate, and take notes from those who are already successful without copying their exact paths.
8. Like us, you love traveling! What specific areas of traveling do you focus on in your online business?
I specialize in travel topics that appeal to young, culture-savvy travelers with an alternative bent. I recently wrote reports on the floating clubs of Belgrade, experimental fashion in Bangkok, steampunk culture in Portland, and cuddle cafes in Tokyo. You can see all my travel guides here.
9. How can you afford to travel and do you get offered sponsored trips for example?
Ever since I began blogging, all of these trips have been for work (non are out of my own pocket), and are fully disclosed. I traveled to write a book in Japan, for a book tour, for different TV hosting jobs (usually in Asia), for speeches and appearances (like NY Fashion Week). I currently am in at least one destination a month, usually with my filmmakers, to shoot episodes for our global web series (info and clips on my Bio page). This series is entirely sponsored by tourism boards or travel companies such as hotels or airlines. These partners reach out to us because they see the influence, exposure and unique content that we bring (the web episodes get hundreds of thousands of views each).
10. Here on Want2discover, we encourage people to start their own online business, travel and achieve greater success as a person. You also actively encourage people to do the same. How do you do this?
It’s easier than ever to start your own business, especially online, and work remotely — or even while traveling constantly. Personally, I’ve felt far more fulfilled on this path than if I had stuck to a traditional law career. I feel the work I do has meaning, and helps to connect outsiders. I hope this excitement comes across in what I do, and encourages others to jump in.
11. Our final question: Want2discover is all about following your dreams. Would you say that you are living your dream life?
I never dreamed this type of lifestyle or work was possible; it simply didn’t exist while I was growing up. I also had no intention of spending so much time in Japan, or traveling as much as I do now. I think it’s impossible to define a “dream life”, since it constantly changes as technology develops and you build up new experiences. I can say that I’m very happy with what I am doing now, especially looking back to where I was before I started the journey. And I’m never sitting back; there’s so much I want to do and see.
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