Jodi Grundig knows that a writing career is all about balance. As a mom, a travel blogger, a social media strategist, a PR consultant, and a business brand strategist for bloggers, Jodi is certainly one busy woman. In our interview today, she tells us what a typical day in life of a blogger is like, how she got her start and developed her niche, and what advice she has for new bloggers. Check out Jodi’s personal site to learn more about her. Enjoy!
Jodi, you are a family travel expert, social media and blogging consultant, and freelance writer. First, what’s a typical day for you like (if there is such a thing!)?
Things definitely vary-but I have a pretty regular structure to my day. I start out in the morning by checking email and social media accounts. After bringing my kids to school, I get started on my freelance assignments. Since I often have to interview sources during business hours, I make that priority during the day. While in between assignments or waiting for someone to get back to me, I plan out and write blog posts for my own two blogs.
After I pick up my children from school, we head out to their various activities. I bring along my laptop and work on easier tasks like editing photos, creating collages, and responding to emails. I do much of my work at night after everyone goes to bed and usually use that time to get caught up on social media, writing, and emails.
How did you get your start as a freelance writer? What have been the keys to your success, in your opinion?
After I quit my full-time job, I wanted something to keep busy. I created my own blog as a part-time business and started freelancing shortly after that. To succeed, it’s been important to stay very organized and have excellent time management. Contacts and referrals are also essential.
What do you wish you’d known when you started writing that you know now?
If I had known how useful they would be, I would have attended conferences earlier in my freelance writing career. I’ve made so many contacts and learned so much from blogging conferences. TBEX, TMS, and TMS Family Travel have been my favorites this past year.
Let’s say a friend of yours wanted to become a travel writer. What advice do you have for this friend in terms of using digital and social media?
Many newbies think in terms of comps and freebies, but the majority of my content comes from tips I offer or family vacations that I’ve completely paid for. If someone wants to be a travel writer, I recommend starting with vacations they are already taking. Articles with tips and tricks to traveling are also a great way to establish an audience.
Social media presence is increasingly important, especially Pinterest. But things are always changing, so anyone in this space needs to keep up on the latest trends.
As a writer and blogger, I’m curious to know how you see your income mix changing over the next 5 years. What will we expect to see in terms of digital media content and the travel industry?
Most of my income comes from freelance writing and consulting. My blog does make some revenue, but it’s really more of a platform that I’ve used to establish myself as a freelance writer. I’d like to see more sponsorship for individual blogs and bloggers in the future, because I’d prefer to continue building my own platform. But, the freelance writing helps me “keep the lights on” for my own blog.
How did you establish your niche as a family travel expert?
I’ve always enjoyed traveling, and having kids didn’t stop us from traveling and going on vacation. I quickly became the “go-to” person in my community for anyone looking for advice on how and where to travel with kids. It became a natural progression to start blogging about it.
Jodi Grundig is a Boston-based family travel expert, social media and blog consultant, brand advocate, and freelance writer who combines her inside knowledge of social media with her traditional MBA and corporate background to help clients utilize new media in most optimal manner for their business. Jodi has traveled extensively with her children and has served three years on the popular Disney Parks Moms Panel. Jodi specializes in travel, finance, and family products. She teaches classes on blogging and social media, has spoken at several blogging and PR conferences, and has served as a social media consultant for several companies. Jodi has appeared on New England Cable News and Fox Boston, and her work has appeared in such publications as Credit Sesame, Fox Business News, TLC’s Parentables, MiniTime, and the Huffington Post.
Interview conducted in March, 2014 by Kristin Mock.