Often, before people start their own business, they build their brand by blogging. Having a well known blog enables an entrepreneurial minded person to have a ready made audience to market their business to.
Some people begin blogging without any intention of starting their own business.
However, as their blog grows in popularity, a few bloggers find themselves approached with speaking and writing opportunities. Also, depending on your niche, people may want to advertise on your website.
One example, of the evolution of personal blogging into a large community following is The Gypsy Nurse.
The Gypsy Nurse has become a icon for travel nurses. She started blogging for personal reasons.
However, due to her expertise in travel nursing, people were requesting her help in travel nurse matters.
The natural progression was a online community website that focused on being a resource to other travel nurses.
Her advice to beginning bloggers?“…choose a subject that you are passionate about and blog because you enjoy it.”
Why did you decide to travel nurse?
I was unhappy living in small town America, surrounded by mid-western attitude.
I wanted something new, something different. I had already moved about 300 miles away from my hometown.
I had been working in a variety of places; several different nursing homes, a brief stint at one of the local hospitals, and home health, but was still feeling stifled.
I had heard about travel nursing and decided to give it a try. I headed out for a summer assignment in Boston, MA. I loved it.
My initial plans to return home after 3 months never materialized. I ended up staying for 8 months. I was hooked.
What inspired you to start blogging about travel nursing?
After working as a travel nurse for several years, I began to repeatedly get questions from others about getting into the field.
It seemed that the questions that I was answering were always very similar and I was answering them over and over.
I had maintained a personal blog (about my life and travels) for many years and thought that blogging would provide an easy platform for me to answer these common questions in an easy to share format.
Most of the information on travel nursing that could be found on the web was ‘staffing company’ sponsored.
Meaning that (in my opinion) it was a bit jaded, toward the company perspective. I wanted to provide a place where others interested in the field could find un-biased information.
In addition, I had been following multiple travel blogs for the past several years. During a recent personal trip to Central America, I met travel blogger Johnny Vagabond who shares personal stories of his travels and earns enough of an income through his blog and other ventures to have extended his travels from his initial year planned.
Learning that I could earn a small amount of income blogging and perhaps extend my own personal travels….the thought intrigued me.
I knew that I couldn’t make a living as a ‘travel blogger’. However, I knew that I had information and knowledge on the subject of travel nursing that seemed to be highly sought after.
Ideas began forming in my head about how I could not only provide this much needed information but also perhaps earn a little money doing so. For years, I’ve dreamed of being able to live a life of location independence.
I discussed my ideas with a very good friend (and nurse) and together we birthed the idea of “The Gypsy Nurse”
At what point did you realize that you were building a large community of fellow travel nurses through your blogging?
In addition to providing information for the ‘would-be’ travel nurse, I had a vision of a community of travel nurses that would help each other, provide support and answer questions.
I don’t profess to know everything about travel nursing and like most other travel nurses, I’ve made many mistakes along the way.
Mistakes that I envisioned being lessened by new travel nurses because of the sharing of information.
I envisioned TheGypsyNurse.com as not only an information hub for travel nurses but a place to find ‘community’ and collaboration in an effort to promote the truth about the business, support for the lonely times and a means to connect with other travel nurses.
There have been many times during my travel nurse career that I have been in a new city and knew not one soul…knowing that there were many other travel nurses in the area feeling the same with no way to ‘find’ one another or connect.
I wanted to be able to provide the ‘place’ for travel nurses to connect.
I started a Facebook page for the website The Gypsy Nurse.
Social media is huge in today’s world and it seems to be the way that many connect with family, peer and co-workers. I was planning a marketing trip of sorts and wanted to meet as many travel nurses along the way as possible.
Carla Moore, one of the members of the FB group (and now one of the Gypsy Nurse Ambassadors) suggested tying the actual trip into Facebook as an event.
Carla helped me set up and promote the event and it was a huge success. I was able to meet multiple travel nurses on my cross country trip that began in Louisville KY with stops in Nashville, Memphis, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.
I wasn’t able to meet as many travel nurses as I had hoped, but it was a start.
Then….the Facebook Caravan group The Gypsy Nurse Caravan group came to life. The true culmination of feeling as though a community was truly forming is happening now.
The Caravan group has quickly expanded and grown. The number of travel nurses that are willing to support each other and provide feedback and information is amazing.
Over the past two months I’ve seen more camaraderie in the nurses on the Caravan Group than I’ve seen on the hospital floor in the last 10 years of nursing.
Every day that I log on to Facebook, I cash an emotional paycheck in simply seeing the group efforts to provide support to each other.
The vision of this travel nurse community are becoming a reality. Travel nurses are connecting and meeting all over the country through the Caravan Group. It’s been an exciting experience and has moved so quickly beyond what my initial predictions were.
What advice can give beginning bloggers?
My best advice would be to choose a subject that you are passionate about and blog because you enjoy it.
If you started your blog over again, what would you do differently?
If I started over, I would probably pay someone to set up my website. It’s been a huge learning process for me to understand the in’s and out’s of the ‘back-end’ of the site.
What direction do you see your website moving in the next five years?
I hope to see the website grow into a fully collaborative community. I encourage other travel nurses to submit advice, stories, photo’s and their expertise in a variety of areas.
My goal would be that the Gypsy Nurse would be the number one place for travel nurses (or dreamers) to go to find the information and support that is needed in this unique specialty.
Candy aka “Gypsy Nurse, RN”,
Sharing how to travel for a living as a Gypsy Nurse
Do you suffer from “Hypertravelosis”? Are you a current travel nurse or want to learn how to be a successful travel nurse? Do you want to know what it takes to be successful and have an enjoyable and profitable contract?