Interview – Stephanie Yoder of Twenty Something Travel
Today we talk with Stephanie Yoder a freelance travel writer who runs the popular blog Twenty Something Travel. Stephanie also writes for Viator, IgoUgo and Room77. In 2010 Stephanie left her job to become a travel writer and blogger and since then backpacked in Asia, lived in China and Argentina, road tripped in Australia, and has been everywhere from Fuji to Colombia to Alaska. She also runs an iPhone app called Eat The World. Stephanie just released her first book A Year Without Make-Up.
Hello Stephanie, please give us a little background before you got into travel blogging?
I graduated from college in 2007 and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life career-wise, so I decided to move to London for a year. I had an incredible time : I was dirt poor, working as a receptionist but I loved the city and I loved meeting new people and carving out a new life for myself.
Eventually I ran out of money and had to return home, where I worked for two years to get back on decent financial footing and go travel again. It was during that time that I started Twenty-Something Travel as a way to keep myself motivated and to encourage other people to pursue their travel dreams.
You have been travel blogging for more then three years now. What were the highs and lows of your career?
I’ve been blogging for almost four years now! It’s been an exciting ride. Blogging introduced me to my fiance, allowed me to go to some places I might never otherwise have visited and has allowed me to launch a freelance writing career which I really enjoy. I’m one of those annoying people who wakes up in the morning excited to get to work.
It hasn’t all been super easy though- it’s a big struggle to find a decent work-life balance. I’m answering these questions on a Saturday afternoon and I really should go outside and enjoy the weather.
Do you travel with your fiance who is also a travel blogger? Or do you travel independently?
A little bit of both! We travel together most of the time but luckily have no trouble coming up with separate story angles. Ever once in awhile we’ll go off and do our own thing (this past month he was in Holland while I traveled to New York and Boston) and that’s always fun too.
How has your experience been working with Navigate Media Group?
It’s been really exciting. We are a small close-knit group of bloggers and it’s been really fun to collaborate and build a business together. I think that groups like these may be the future of travel blogging and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go.
What are the qualities that potential clients are looking for in a travel blogger?
Well it depends on what you mean by clients. Personally I’m most concerned in meeting the needs of my readers foremost. They are my number one clients.
When I do work with DMO’s or companies I think it’s important to build a relationship that is mutually beneficial. A lot of travel bloggers get excited by the idea of free trips, but nothing is free – it’s all about what you can give back to the destination in return.
What is your advice to aspiring travel bloggers and writers?
Don’t get into it for the money! Seriously, nobody is getting rich in this field. That said, if you really love to be creative, to write and to travel, it can be a hell of a lot of fun.
My best advice is similar to what I stated above: Think about what you can do for your readers, what you have to say important and different? Then focus on highlighting that.
And a last question, who are the travel bloggers you follow?