I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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The Messy Bun Traveler is designed to bring you fun stories, destination guides, and healthy travel advice. To help cover the cost of running this site, all posts are sprinkled with hand-selected affiliate links. When you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only accept affiliate links and paid advertisements from brands I believe in, trust and use personally. Thank you for your continued support!
The Messy Bun Traveler was officially launched!
I purchased the domain name and set up the website (all by myself I might add). This was a huge learning curve for me as I had never set up a website before. Many blog posts highlight how “easy” and “user-friendly” this process is, but I actually found it to be quite tricky. I also downloaded the most straightforward, basic theme and had no concept of what SEO or personal branding was.
With sear bliss and ignorance of where this journey would eventually take me, I began to write about previous travel adventures. I wrote about my epic time in Hawaii, Dubrovnik, as well as shared some lessons I learned from traveling.
By the end of the month, I had written a total of five blog posts. I knew I wanted to tailor my blog towards healthy travel, so I started writing more articles related to first aid medications and hangover preventions while traveling.
Realizing how time consuming and unrewarding blogging was (I was only receiving a couple hundred page views per month), I took a break. A better, more accurate way to put it—I just gave up. Looking back on it, there was a lot of progress I could have made on the blog during these months. I now know that building a sustainable and reliable blog takes time and dedication. Many blogs fail within six months of their launch, simply because the return on investment isn’t seen for months (sometimes years). The most successful bloggers are the ones that stuck it out the longest— all the six-figure bloggers have been blogging for at least 5-10 years.
“Perseverance will get you further than talent ever will.”
In April, Dustin and I traveled to the Philippines. Realizing that I needed to start working on my blog again, I thought I’d start by reaching out for brand partnerships. I pitched to FIVE different tour companies in the Philippines in the hopes of doing a collaboration in exchange for coverage on my blog.
Only one responded.
The company El Nido Paradise Tours replied to my email regarding collaboration with the Messy Bun Traveler. This generous company gave both Dustin and I significant discounts on their Ultimate Adventure Island Hopping Tour in exchange for a blog post and Instagram feature. I was so incredibly grateful for this opportunity as it sparked a passion for the blog I didn’t previously have. It also helped offset a lot of the cost of our Philippines and Vietnam trip.
The lesson here: In blogging and partnering with brands, you will receive far more no’s (or be ghosted altogether) than yeses. But, all you need is one yes to truly see a difference.
I slowly got back into working on the blog by writing an average of one post per week. I saw a slow, steady growth. But I was nowhere near where I wanted to be.
In June, I attended my first content creator’s conference, TravelCon, in Boston. I finally got a solid grasp on search engine optimization (SEO) and the vital role of social media in driving blog traffic (i.e., Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram). I also met some astonishing and inspirational content creators, and we have all kept in contact since that weekend. This conference further ignited a passion for blogging and content creation, and it made me realize that this surely is the path I want to pursue.
In July, I took the leap and turned my blog into a legitimate business by forming an LLC. The Messy Bun Traveler is now technically called “Messy Bun Traveler LLC.” My company is currently registered with the state of California.
In August, I decided I needed more structure with blog writing, so I made an investment and signed up for Gloria Atanmo’s Blog Like a Boss course. Overall, the course was amazing and left me with so much knowledge and value to move forward.
At the end of the eight weeks, I was voted “most inspirational blogger” by fellow classmates. I’m still so humbled and honored by this recognition from my fellow blogging colleagues. As far as Glo, this woman is so generous that as a prize, she offered me a free trip to any of her sisterhood circle retreat destinations. I’m still currently deciding between Sri Lanka or Kenya.
By the end of the eight weeks, the blog finally started making money from affiliate sales and ad revenue.
The Messy Bun Traveler’s first birthday!! As of December 2019, there are a total of 45 blog posts on the blog. I hope to triple this number in 2020.
In the span of one year, the Messy Bun Traveler averaged a total of 1,029 page views per month and 620 unique sessions per month (the best month was July, with pageviews being just under 2k!). The blog made approximately $350 in affiliate sales and ad revenue. Full disclosure, I removed Google AdSense from the site and am no longer receiving income for ads. I plan on incorporating ads into my blog once I reach 25,000 sessions per month.
I’m currently an affiliate marketer for these companies:
All affiliate partnerships were chosen by me, with companies that I genuinely love and use personally. The Messy Bun Traveler also partnered with The IV Guy, to help new nurses with nailing their IV starts.
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To those of you who have been with me since the beginning, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you all continue to follow me on my journey and witness all the new and exciting stuff coming to the blog in 2020! Here’s to 2020!
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