Close this search box.

Ep. 285: Growing a Niche Travel Blog from Scratch with Jessica Serna of My Curly Adventures

When I say “niche” what’s your first thought?

What I hear from my students in my Website Marketing Lab + Web Designer Academy courses are things like:

  • “Thank goodness because I don’t want to be everything to everyone.”
  • “I have too many interests, I don’t want to pick just one thing or one kind of person.”
  • “What if I pick the wrong thing?!”

For some people, it’s a relief.

Others feel really constricted when they hear that narrowing down your interests and focusing on one thing is the key to growing a successful business.

Others never get started because they’re afraid to pick the wrong thing, or making the choice seems overwhelming.

But what if instead of blindly doing all the things, or never starting because you were worried you made the wrong choice, you just tried a bunch of different things and were just really open to noticing what’s getting traction and following that path?

That’s what today’s guest, Jessica Serna of the niche travel blog MyCurlyAdventures did.

MyCurlyAdventures is a travel brand that inspires Texans to “travel the world” in their own state and find magic in their own backyard.

Jessica and I talk about:

  • Her journey from starting a general lifestyle blog to monetizing a niche travel blog.
  • How her family reacted when she quit her day job to blog full time.
  • How she lands sponsorship opportunities.
  • Ways Jessica grew her following organically (and what didn’t work).
  • The most important component of a successful blog.
  • A day in the life of a travel blogger (pre-global pandemic).
  • Jessica’s best advice for you if you’re struggling to monetize your blog.
  • The one belief Jessica had to change about herself to get where she is today.

Travel Blogging During a Global Pandemic

Jessica and I recorded this interview in December 2019, and at the time of production in April of 2020, much of the country is shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was really curious to know how Jessica, as a travel blogger who can’t travel, has adapted during the pandemic, so I reached out to her to find out.

Here’s what she said:

“As someone who focuses on travel, the transition has been something new and challenging to face. The best thing I can do is look at it as a challenge to overcome. I'm currently recycling old photos on Instagram as well as incorporating new content around fun at home activities, travel from home activities, and challenges like the #yogawinechallenge that connects people through something fun while supporting local businesses.

Since I have extra free time from not traveling/shooting/editing new content, I am focusing on extra educational opportunities like the free courses and conferences that have gone online, creating content on other platforms like TikTok to increase brand awareness, and creating more blog content as I know people are going to be excited to look up activities and travel once this is over.”

And if you wanna learn more about using TikTok as a blogger, don’t ask me because I have no clue, but Jessica wrote a great blog post all about “3 Ways You’re Already Sabotaging Yourself on TikTok.

My favorite quotes from Jessica:

  • “When you niche down, you suddenly have a focus.”
  • “It's hard to distinguish yourself from everyone else who also serves everybody.”
  • “Even if things didn't go my way at this point…I'm still happy for everything I've done and I still provide value and I've learned so many incredible skills.”
  • “Providing a solution that's not readily available is going to cause people to talk about you for you.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Jessica’s Bio:

Jessica is the Blogger of MyCurlyAdventures, a travel brand that inspires Texans to “travel the world” in their own state. Through her approach she has been able to inspire local wanderlust and help people travel more by looking nearby. From visiting the wine country in Fredericksburg, going sand surfing in Monahans, riding in an Italian gondola in Irving, and so much more, Jessica shares how Texans can find magic in their own backyard.

Connect with Jessica:

My Curly Adventures Website