Alyssa Ramos is a solo traveler with an extreme sense of adventure and sarcasm! She likes hanging her feet over cliffs and chasing waterfalls, and takes her GoPro everywhere with her to prove it! Her goal is to help and inspire you to travel, so if you have any questions, send ’em over to her! She does tons of Snapchat tutorials so be sure to add her, and she also writes for The Huffington Post and Matador Network, and lives in LA when she’s not wandering around the world!
Excerpts from her blog MyLifesaMovie.com
Travel blogging isn’t a job you can just apply for. And I’m not “lucky” that I have “the dream job”. I spent countless hours working low-paying freelance writing gigs just to support myself while building up my blog, and now I spend about 15 hours a day solely working on my blog and social media. I paid for all of my first initial trips after saving for over a year, then kept writing and reaching out to people for opportunities until finally I traveled and wrote enough to find a niche and grow an audience, and make a name for myself in the travel blogging world.
That moment really happened for me in August 2015, when I wrote a semi-sarcastic rant about the way I felt I was judged by people when I was traveling solo, and gave it a highly controversial (yet highly sarcastic) title called “Yes, I’m Pretty and I’m Traveling Alone” on the Huffington Post. I really put myself out there with the article, and endured tons and tons of negative/hateful comments (mostly from people who only read the title), but I also received an equal amount of positive messages, and a sudden catalyst in growth on all of my social media accounts.
The article went viral, and was translated and published on Huffington Post in over ten countries. Immediately following the article’s success, I was featured on major press outlets like The Daily Mail, The Mirror UK, and even a TV interview on Inside Edition. At the time, I was also bittersweet, because everything was happening at the same time that my grandfather (who I was very close to) was dying. His passing is what kept me level-headed, and even more determined to keep going.
The spotlight was great, and it’s definitely what I owe a huge increase in my audience to, but it still took a lot of work to get where I am today, which is solely profiting from my blog, as a full-time travel blogger.
In all honesty, I thought making money from blogging would come a lot quicker than it did following the Huff Post article, which is why I dropped every other freelance job I had to only work on my blog, and used the little money I had that my grandfather had left me to get a one bedroom apartment that I could rent out on AirBnB in order to make money while I was traveling.
That idea kind of worked, but since I was still at the stage of growing and becoming established as a travel blogger, I wasn’t getting paid yet from my blog (only exchange-collaborations), so I was barely breaking even with AirBnB…AKA I was hitting rock bottom.
I was struggling so bad for money that I would take road trips and go camping, just so that I could make money renting my apartment out! I kept going though, and even ended up maxing out my first credit card so that I could continue to travel and have content to post.
In February of 2016 I had to give up my AirBnB apartment, because it was costing me more than I was making. I was at a major loss and low point, and had no idea what to do next. I knew traveling would be cheaper than getting another apartment (because of the deposit mostly), so I took a 2-month sublet with plans to travel for the month of May, and worked non-stop every hour of every day for 2 months on my SEO, social media, and any contributing articles/websites I could get paid to write for.
My hard work paid off, and during those two months I was contacted by GoPro for a sponsorship – a major milestone for me, and to my surprise, a couple of paid post offers. After doing my first couple of paid posts, I learned what works and what doesn’t, and worked my ass off to find a couple more for my trip to Asia.
In May of 2016, I was able to fully fund my travels through collaborations, and paid posts on my blog and social media. That being said, it took one year of part-time blogging, and ten months of full-time non-paid blogging, to finally become a full-time profiting travel blogger.
As glamorous and amazing as that may sound, I should also mention that I have not had a break or stopped working since starting this blog. I haven’t wanted one either, but I do feel guilty of glamorizing being a travel blogger as a “dream job” that involves traveling the world with minimal effort.
Yes, I am living my own dream, but it’s because I work extremely hard to make it happen. When I’m home I’m working non-stop, and even when I travel, I work every day as well, and I have no intention to stop.
Before being a full time travel blogger, I went to college for pre-veterinary (I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida State University), I was a veterinary technician in Florida, quit and started planning charity events, then accidentally moved to LA where I discovered the amazing world of freelance writing and journalism. After realizing that writing and traveling were my two true passions, I figured out how to combine them and thus began my attempt to start a career in travel blogging.
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