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Starting A Travel Blog: My Story + Money Mindset [Podcast Ep. 0]

If you dream of starting a travel blog and turning it into a location independent business, The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast is my new podcast for busy content creators who want actionable strategies for serious website growth.

I’ve removed the fluff to provide short but powerful episodes that will help you grow your blog’s traffic, community, and income, allowing you to be your own boss from anywhere in the world.

On this page, you’ll find “Episode 0”. Listen to learn:

  • My personal story of how I got into travel blogging
  • What you can expect from this podcast for bloggers
  • A few fun facts about me
  • How you can use travel blogging as a force for good (#FeelGoodMoney)
  • A common money block that keeps bloggers from being profitable — and how to overcome it
  • And more!

Ready to turn your travel blog into a profitable business?

Let’s dive in!

Psst, don’t forget to pin this episode for later!

Podcast Episode Audio

Listen to the full episode using this embedded player…

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To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, click here to snag FREE access to my Travel Blogger Resource Library.

Inside you’ll find 55+ powerful resources like workbooks, cheat sheets and video trainings that will help you take your blog full-time easier, faster and with less stress.

how i got into blogging

Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast – Episode 0 Transcript

Hey everyone! Jessie here. I’m really excited to have you here on this brand new podcast aimed at helping travel bloggers create profitable location-independent businesses.

I can’t wait to dive into all of the juicy strategies I’ve learned over the years and that I continue to learn in my blogging business; but for this trailer episode, I’d just like to share my personal journey into blogging so you can know a bit more about who is speaking to you.

I also want to chat a bit more about blogger mindset as well as monetization, so stick around for the whole episode because we’ll be diving a bit deeper into the money aspect of things.

So I’m Jessie, I own the blogs Jessie on a Journey and Epicure & Culture, and people often ask me:

How did you get into travel blogging? Did you always want to be a blogger?

The truth is I had no idea what blogging was back in college.


I actually started Jessie on a journey shortly after college in 2011, but before that — before I immediately started the blog — I really didn’t know what a blog was.

This was a pretty new term.

And in terms of blogging for business, I mean, I had literally never heard of that.

Now I did travel a lot growing up. It was a lot of Caribbean cruises and road trips. My family is obsessed with amusement parks and roller coasters, so we would often be driving around the United States trying to find the best rollercoasters.

But in college, I ended up studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, and this was when I really became, you know, bitten by the travel bug as they say. And it’s really when my life trajectory pretty much changed because I went from wanting to work a nine to five — I actually had wanted to get into nonprofit PR — then I became so obsessed with the idea of traveling that I realized I needed to figure out something I could do that involved travel.

I traveled all through college:

I backpacked through Europe and I backpacked through South America — both solo.

I went to Southeast Asia by myself.

I became really obsessed and I, I got into solo travel. I got into solo travel because on the backpacking trip to Europe, all of my friends bailed on me and I had to kind of decide whether I wanted to give up the trip or just go on my own.

So that’s how I got into solo travel.

But, true story, I actually stayed at college longer to get my Master’s Degree, not because I actually wanted to use a Master’s Degree, but I was so afraid of graduating because I had kind of been putting my parents off like, “Oh yeah, I’m just going to travel like crazy while I’m in college and once I’m done, you know, I’ll get, I’ll get serious about life.”

I was trying to buy time really though, but inevitably I eventually graduated and it was really exciting to have my Master’s Degree.

I was really proud, but I was also freaking out that I wouldn’t be able to go on these amazing trips anymore.


For a while I waitressed. I would work my butt off, save for my next trip, and then I would take off, then it would come back and repeat the cycle.

That’s pretty much what I did during college, as well, to pay for my trips and honestly I was more comfortable with that lifestyle than it was even considering a nine-to-five where I would get just two weeks vacation per year, being a U.S. citizen.

But I also knew that what I was doing wasn’t sustainable in the run.

Plus my loving parents couldn’t help but ask me on a daily — more like hourly — basis when I planned to actually use that Master’s Degree that I had gotten.

I did have a short stint as a travel agent, but when the company I was working for told me I’d need to wait at least six months to take off, I quit.

Honestly, at this point, I felt so lost. I had no idea what I was meant to be doing to feel fulfilled, how I could work and feel accomplished and like I was doing something with myself, but also getting to do what I loved which was travel.

And maybe that’s why you’re here listening to this podcast.

Maybe you feel the same and you’re looking to build something for yourself that allows you to have time freedom, that allows you to have location independence.

And if that is why you’re here, I will let you know that you are absolutely in the right place.

But anyway, one day I was scrolling the internet begging Google to provide the answer to my never-ending quandary of what I was supposed to do with my life to feel fulfilled, when I found it:

There were normal people who were not celebrities actually earning a living writing about their travels.

Up until this point, I thought that you had to have your own TV show to get to do this.

At the beginning of starting a travel blog, I worked crazy long hours — all from my parent’s house because I couldn’t afford to move out — for very little payoff.

And I sat around wondering how the big travel bloggers were sustaining themselves.

Were they really hustling as hard as I was and living on exposure?

…because that’s all that anyone seemed to want to pay me in.

And I would sit on my laptop for hours publishing new content, sharing on social media and writing to my almost nonexistent email list just to hear crickets. That is just such a crummy feeling.


But then I realized something really important:

The bloggers who were truly making it and who were monetizing their blogs from day one weren’t just sharing about their trips.

They had a blog planning template in mind and were sharing with purpose and they were growing a community around a clear mission, crafting content that fulfilled this mission and they were offering products and services that even further fulfilled this mission to really keep responsible blogging in mind.

And this really has become the heart of everything I do in my business and everything I teach in my online blogging courses, when I speak at conferences, and on this podcast.

By the way, if you want to create profitable courses to monetize your blog, too, I’ve got an entire podcast episode on this.

Look, there are many different tactics out there for growing a blog — some ethical, some not.

And if you’re someone interested in creating a blog and business that makes an impact and focuses on community, then I just want you to really know you’re in the right place.

That is my passion.

Now, just a few quick fun facts about me:

1. I’m one of those travel bloggers who chooses to have a home base and unlike many travel bloggers, my base is actually where I’m from, New York.

I’m super obsessed with New York.

In fact, one way I monetize my blogging business is by leading NYC photo tours, and my romantic partner and I are both licensed New York City tour guides.

So if you ever want to see the sites of New York City, I’m your gal.


Another fun fact…

2. I’m a certified sommelier, which is that wine certification, though I’ve actually over the years become more obsessed with cocktails.

If you’re ever curious about New York City cocktail history or you want to know about some of the world’s best cocktail bars, get in touch, because that is my jam.

I love all drinks spicy mezcal.

3. In terms of travel style, I tend to be an active and offbeat solo female traveler.

Some of my favorite destinations to date have been:

  • Bhutan
  • Latvia
  • Panama
  • Nepal
  • and Patagonia.

Actually, I backpacked South America from Brazil to the Galapagos for about 3.5 months in my early twenties and that was probably my favorite overall trip to date.

Another thing:

4. I’m passionate about sustainable tourism and everything I do keeps it in mind.

It’s why I founded Epicure & Culture, my sustainable tourism online magazine, in the first place, and why I helped to co-found the Impact Travel Alliance Media Network.


If you are a blogger that writes about responsible tourism and you’re interested in joining, do get in touch and let me know so I can refer you.

5. Other passions of mine include dance, yoga, and art — even though I’m not very good at it — and also picnicking.

I don’t know if that can be a passion, but it’s something I try to do as much as possible, especially since I live near Central Park.

You will find me there most days when I’m not on the road.


6. I truly believe travel blogging can be used as a force for good and can be used as a tool to create positive change in the world and in people’s lives, including your own, which is what The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast can help you do.


One final note before I send you on your way to go dive into some of the blogging strategies I teach.

I was very intentional in using the word “profitable” in the podcast title.

I find so many bloggers in my community want to make money, but they’re afraid of it.

For instance, maybe they’re afraid their audience will think they are spammy.

This is actually something called a “money block”, which we’ll dive into in a later episode, but for now, realize this:

The more money you make, the more people you can help.

As money comes in, you can invest it back into your business and it frees up space in your life for you to give more back.

Just to give an example:

I have a membership community called Travel Blog Prosperity where I coach travel bloggers and there are a lot of different features included, like three live coaching calls per month.

If Travel Blog Prosperity wasn’t profitable, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

It’s the money flowing into the business that gives me the space to offer more to my community.

And on that note:

Through this podcast and the free blogging resources I’m pairing with each episode, I can’t wait to help you turn your blog into the location-independent full-time business of your dreams.

Happy blogging!

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As this is a new podcast, I’d also be extremely grateful if you’d leave a review right here and let me know your favorite part of the episode or a takeaway you walked away with. By leaving a review, you help the show be seen by more people, helping the episodes to have a greater impact.


Each month, I’ll be choosing one reviewer at random to win a FREE seat inside one of my masterclasses.

Winners can choose from:

  • How To Grow Your Blogging Income Through Facebook Ads
  • How To Land Paid Press Trips As A Travel Blogger
  • How To Make Money (Fast) With Affiliate Marketing
  • How To Start A Tour Company In Your Own Backyard
  • How To Start A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money
  • Build Your Blogging Profit Plan Masterclass

Winners will be chosen at random from the reviews and will be notified via email. 

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How I Turned my Travel Blog into a Profitable Business