Do you know who your community is? Defining your mission and who you want to help with your blog will both help grow your community and save you energy. Listen to today’s episode to find out how!
Jessie Festa is a native New Yorker and owner of the solo female and offbeat travel blog, Jessie on a Journey as well as the online responsible tourism and culture magazine, Epicure & Culture. Since 2014, she’s been teaching online blogging courses to travelers wanting to make their dreams of location independence a reality. When not galavanting around the globe, you can find her leading photo tours in New York, taking yoga and hip hop classes, and sipping her way through the local cocktail scene.
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[00:00:07].180] – Liz Stapleton, Host
When you started blogging, did you dream of a community of followers? Well, the key to building that community is to start with a mission. Defining your mission will help attract people to you and make creating content so much easier.
[00:00:17].940] – Liz
Hi, I’m Liz Stapleton from the Blogger Breakthrough Summit and welcome to the podcast. Today, I’m sharing some tips from travel blogger and entrepreneur Jesse Festa and how defining your mission can make creating content for your blog easier. Let’s get to it!
[00:00:30].910] – Liz
Your many years of blogging. What strategies have you found work well when, sort of, growing a community when you decide to put that first, I think you said you start with the mission.
[00:00:38].940] – Jessie Festa
Yeah. So I did kind of start with a mission unintentionally. I was a solo female traveler. I basically in college planned this big backpacking trip through Europe for the summer with some of my sorority sisters. And then I spent so much time planning this, I was so excited. And then as the trip got closer and closer and I got time to actually book the flight, everyone backed out, and I had to make that decision, like,”Do I give up the hours and hours and research that I’ve done and the excitement that I feel, or do I just do this by myself?”
[00:01:10].100] – Jessie
So I went by myself, and that really changed everything for me in a good way. And now pretty much, I’m engaged when I still, like, usually I’m traveling by myself because my fiance is a teacher. So pretty much every month or every two months, I go on a trip, usually solo. And when I started, I wanted to help women confidently travel solo, give them good information on how to travel solo, basically give them the resources that I had a lot of trouble finding when I was planning my trip. So, I didn’t really go into it thinking like, “Oh, I need a mission statement. I need to help people!” But looking back on it, I’m like, oh, I’m glad that I unintentionally did have a mission. I think it’s a very good thing to have.
[00:01:50].610] – Liz
Yeah. And then once you kind of clearly figured out that that was your mission, it made it easier to create content and focus to grow your community is what you’re saying.
[00:01:59].180] – Jessie
Exactly! And it has lifted over the years because I feel like I have become more of the blogging space. I’ve created so many courses and freebies, and I speak at conferences on blogging. So now it’s very much sort of like living your best life through travel, realizing that there are other avenues for you, not just, you know, go to College, get married, do the 9-5…Which there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
[00:02:24].970] – Liz
That’s not for everybody.
[00:02:27].120] – Jessie
Yeah. But just knowing that there’s other options, even, like, with the solo travel thing, I still have so many friends, even though they see me do it, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know if I could do that,” I’m like, “You can! Trust me. Go to my website.”
[00:02:37].840] – Liz
So once you kind of have that mission, sort of, what steps did you take to kind of implement it? Or, like, what did you look at doing to reach that mission? I guess.
[00:02:48].980] – Jessie
So yeah. So along with listening to my audience, keeping that spreadsheet, always keeping track of what people are asking me. I think it’s really helpful to find some places online that your audience is hanging out, like Facebook groups and niche Reddit forums, probably. I don’t really use Quara, but I know a lot of other people use that. And just seeing what people are asking there what problems they have, what questions they’re asking, where you can kind of dig and find those problems. And that will give you a good idea of, like, “Okay, there’s a lot of people who need help with X. Let me create some blog posts, some videos, social media content.” But the thing is, once you have that mission and then you figure out some of those problems it just becomes so much easier to know what to write.
[00:03:35].620] – Jessie
Like, I know in the travel space, a lot of bloggers, you go on a trip, and you can write about the food. You can write about the safety aspect. You can write about the hotels. There’s so many options within that trip. When you have a mission, you’ll just really know, like, “Okay, my audience is really into slow travel. They’re really into responsible tourism. They’re really into luxury hotels.” You’ll just know and it will be so much easier to create a space online where you are the expert on that topic.
[00:04:01].960] – Liz
Yeah. So the quality market research, really, which is not the most fun term, but that’s pretty much what we’re doing
[00:04:07].130] – Jessie
[00:04:08].410] – Liz
I hope this episode helped you to dig into your mission statement and find new ways to listen to your audience. Be sure to join me next time to find out the secret behind creating an effective home page that both you and your audience will love.