What It's About
A travel blogger takes readers off the beaten track, standing out in a crowded market.
Words of Wisdom
If you come from a different generation or background than most people in a particular field, there might be a way to use that as an advantage. Instead of thinking about what you need to overcome or compensate for—for example, a lack of technical knowledge—consider what you can offer.
One of Cacinda’s favorite travel experiences took place on a train in Jordan. While she was watching the beautiful rock formations of the desert roll by, suddenly there were people with guns descending from the dunes on horseback. The passengers were all screaming and yelling, but they came to find out that their guide had actually surprised them with a reenactment of the Arab Revolution of 1916! The train was “captured” and Cacinda was taken to a camp to enjoy a nice glass of champagne.
Notes from Chris
Episode 930For Dr. Cacinda Maloney, twenty-two years had gone by in a blur. She had been working as a chiropractor, and when she wasn’t at work she was driving her kids to school … then back from school … and then to all of their sporting events. While she loved those kids, the grind was wearing her down. The only thing that kept her sane was a habit she’d followed religiously: every six weeks, she would take a trip. When Cacinda first started her chiropractic practice, she hired a business manager. He could see how hard she worked, so to help her avoid burnout, he suggested that she implement this habit. He said it would be the “carrot” that dangled in front of her to keep her marching forward. So Cacinda spent those years traveling all over the world, once every six weeks. Sometimes her husband and kids would join her, and other times she would go solo. Over time, she started to accumulate a lot of Frequent Flyer miles and loyalty program points. She began to read every blog that she could find on travel hacking and quickly learned the best ways to redeem her points for high-value trips. But even though she was learning to travel more effectively, it wasn’t increasing the amount of travel she could do. She was still dealing with the drudgery of her daily routine. Cacinda needed to find something fun to do during the workweek. After thinking about it for a while, she realized that she could start blogging about all of the knowledge she had accumulated. Points & Travel launched in August of 2012, and Cacinda committed to writing every single day. For the first six months, she enjoyed it. But something was still missing. She wanted to write about travel itself, not just the technical aspects of points and miles. After a while, she found that side of things to be boring. She didn’t care about the points, in the end, she cared about the travel and the colorful cultures she experienced because of it. So, Cacinda started writing about those things instead. She also took another step in her blogging career and began going to conferences for travel bloggers to network. She found value in the events in an unexpected way. Cacinda made a lot of new travel blogger friends, who shared her passions and interests. And, through those connections, gigs and opportunities for press trips began to crop up. Inadvertently, she was doing some of her best networking. The majority of her first few jobs were unpaid. At this point, it was 2014, and Cacinda wanted to make travel blogging her full-time career. Even though she wasn’t sure what her money situation would look like, she couldn’t take her 9-5 job anymore, and began to transition out of it. She rounded off her first year by making roughly $15,000. Not bad for a new blog! Since then, PointsandTravel.com has continued to grow, and Cacinda now earns anywhere from $6,000-$8,000 a month from her hustle. Most of her income is from doing paid campaigns or press trips with different travel companies. She is attractive to those companies because of her unique experience in the travel industry. Cacinda is over 50 years old, has a family, and is okay with spending a chunk of money for vacations. Many other travel bloggers are young, 20-somethings who are just looking to be able to travel in the first place—whether that means staying in a tent or a hostel. Cacinda believes in what she calls “smart, luxury travel.” She wants to stay in nice hotels, but she also wants to get the best bang for her buck. For higher-end travel companies, she is the perfect person to represent their brand. Now, almost eight years after she started her blog, Cacinda has traveled even further all over the world and has no plans to stop. What’s changed is that now she gets paid well for it.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Points & Travel: Learn more about Cacinda's luxury travel tips and resources over on her blog!
- Management Consultant Creates Astute Traveling Videos: Travel videos on YouTube seemed like a crowded market, but this rewards-loving consultant finds a way to stand out
- Nomadic Designer Profits from Writing About Life in a Bag: When a designer quits his job at Apple to travel the world, he realizes that his nomadic lifestyle hacks are a hot topic—and a profitable one, too
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Digital Nomads: A German chemist goes nomadic and builds a community for women who work remotely
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