Interview: Marilyn Johnson (Phillygrub)

Question One: Is this your full-time job? No.

If not, please elaborate: What is your full-time job? I work full-time as a Digital Marketing Manager for an educational supply company.

Do you enjoy it the same as travel writing? No, I would prefer to be a full-time blogger.

Why don’t you travel write/blog full-time? Would you if you could? Yes, if I could monetize it to make enough money at it, I would do it full-time. I’m working on that in hopes that I can start to realize that dream in 2017.

Question Two: What made you decide to enter this field? The simple answer is: I love writing. Also, the blog has provided an opportunity to enjoy many new experiences, meet new people, and eat a lot of great food along the way.

Question Three: Are you doing what you expected to be doing with your degree? (If you don’t have a degree, write N/A).

I do not work in the field my degree is in (Social Work). I actually don’t have a degree in Marketing!

Question Four: What was it like trying to find a job post-graduation? (If you don’t have a degree, write N/A or refer to High School). N/A

Question Five: What is a typical work day like for you? N/A (since it doesn’t have to do with travel writing)

Question Six: Do you like your career? Yes, but I will answer the following questions from my blogging perspective.

Question Seven: What is the most rewarding (your favorite) part of your career? The people I meet along the way. Sharing experiences; and being inspired to live the best life possible and being happy.

Question Eight: What is your least favorite part of your career? Not enough time to do all of the things I’d like to do and visit of all the place I’d like to go to!

Question Nine: What career challenges have you faced? See above. Time is a precious thing. Juggling all of the responsibilities of life and still trying to derive pleasure from it can be the most challenging aspect. I try not to let it get me down, though. I’m doing the best I can with what I have.

Question Ten: What (if anything) would you do differently? I would have tried to monetize the blog sooner.

Question Eleven: Is it hard to become successful in this field? What steps did you take to become successful in it? “Success” doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of perseverance, commitment, and hard work. I focused on increasing the quantity and quality of my blog posts, being more engaging on social media, and being more active in promoting my blog. I did a few low-cost Facebook ads and I believe that expanded my reach and readership.

Question Twelve: What tips/advice do you have for a beginner in the field? Put together a plan and stick to that plan. The plan should include an editorial calendar. It is so important to have one so you are never left without any content on your blog. Also, be sure to do your research and make sure that you have a unique POV (point of view). There’s tons of bloggers and social media accounts; make sure yours stands out! Be positive. Make sure your content is upbeat and compelling. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, though. Utilize ALL of the social media you can – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. so that you can maximize your audience!