Abroad101 Featured Blog: The Traveling Writer

Abroad101 interviewed Alexis Grant from the Traveling Writer. She is also the author of Please Send Pants a story of her adventures through Africa. She has also written two e-guides: How to Build a Part-time Social Media Business and How to Take a Career Break to Travel (Released on Oct.17!)

1. Who are you, and what makes your blog unique?I’m Alexis Grant, a journalist, social media coach and soon-to-be author. At The Traveling Writer, I blog about the process of writing and publishing my first book, social media and figuring out how to live the life you want. I like to think my combination of interests – writing, travel, journalism social media and careers – is unique, but so is my voice. I think of the blog as a community.2. What are your goals behind your blog & where do you draw inspiration for stories?

My personal goal is to build an audience of people who will buy my book – a travel memoir about backpacking solo through Africa – when it comes out. But to make it successful, I aim to help my readers. I do that by sharing my knowledge and experience, whether that be about social media (I work as a social media consultant on the side of my day job as a journalist), writing, publishing, etc. I also write a lot about taking leaps in life, finding the guts to follow your dreams, and practical advice about how to make those things happen. I left my reporting job in 2008 to follow my own dream of traveling in Africa, so that provides inspiration.

3. What have been some of your favorite stories?

I love seeing which posts my readers get passionate about! And I enjoy writing pieces that inspire.

Some of my favorites:
How to Land an Awesome Job After Your Career Break
Take a Leap

My new e-guide (released Oct. 17) How to Take a Career Break to Travel

4. Do you follow other blogs in the space (study abroad, travel, volunteer abroad, etc)? If so, what attracts you to those?

I follow some travel blogs and also love blogs about entrepreneurship and creating a career that’s outside the 9-to-5 box. Ones I enjoy:

Chris Guillebeau’s Blog, The Art of Non-Conformity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work & Travel. Chris’ goal to visit every country in the world is awesome, but I also respect his ideas about entrepreneurship and dodging societal norms.
Peter Gostelow, The Big Africa Cycle Awesome blog by an awesome guy. He’s cycling across Africa and doing some charity work along the way.

5. What’s your favorite part about keeping a blog?It brings fabulous people my way. I’ve met some great folks through the blog! But I also love that it helps me become the person I want to be. When I write about how to create the life you want, it helps me realize what I could be doing to reach that goal. Sometimes I think I’m writing for my readers, but I realize in retrospect I was also writing for myself.6. What suggestions would you give to blog writers out there?

Think about what value you can provide to your readers. Readers like to hear about our personal struggles, but only insofar as they apply to them, too. Every successful blog is either helpful or entertaining. Which is yours?