+ How did you get into blogging?
Iâ€™ve actually been blogging since I was a teenager. First I used livejournal and deadjournal (my name was sexinasweater â€“ for real), then a blog named Thatâ€™s Tangly, and then Candice Does the World, and now here I am, with Free Candie. My permanent home.
Iâ€™ve been a writer first and foremost my entire life. When I was a child I constantly wrote stories. I wrote stories about my two dogs, Lady and Beauty, and then as a teenager I wrote an entire YA series about a pen-pal club. Seriously. Blogging was an ingenious way for me to bring my work to an audienceâ€¦I recognized this even at 16 years old.
+ How do you make money?
Omigawd. The question I get 3030329032 times a day. Not even my parents know what I do.
The simple answer is that I have a VERY diverse income stream. I make VERY little from this blogâ€¦itâ€™s more or less a portfolio. Sometimes an editor or a company will find my site and reach out to me to ask for written content, etc. I do a great deal of web copy for sites like GuideAdvisor.com, as well as content for marketing companies back home in Atlantic Canada. Iâ€™m blessed to have come from a supportive small community.
I do make a small income from affiliate links and sponsored content, including sponsored media. But I will never endorse a product I donâ€™t believe in, and if Iâ€™m not a fan of the product, I simply wonâ€™t talk about it. Iâ€™m aware that people have different tastes and Iâ€™d rather not slander an entire company just because of my personal preferences (unless there were serious issues).
I cleared just under $30K Canadian last year. Thatâ€™s nothing. And yet I still pay my student loans, set aside money for RSPs and TFSAs, and rarely do I deprive myself. The key is to live within your means, my friends.
+ Do you take press trips?
Yes, although usually just two to three a year. I think itâ€™s silly that so many other bloggers turn up their nose at press trips. Iâ€™m all about sharing the experience, not touting how fabulous a place is. I try to be transparent about the experience, especially when it comes to destinations I have always wanted to visit. I will never gloss over the facts. Bad case of travellerâ€™s stomach? Oh you bet itâ€™s going on the blog.
I pay for most of my travel myself. Iâ€™m not a trust fund baby and I grew up in a relatively low-income family. Youâ€™d be surprised how far your dollar can stretch when youâ€™re not in North America!
+ Can we be friends on Facebook?
No, sorry. Not unless weâ€™ve developed an online companionship, or have shared a beer IRL. Itâ€™s not you, believe me. But when you get 30 creeps trying to add you per day, it gets tiresome. Plus Iâ€™d like to keep up with my long-time friends and family to see whatâ€™s going on in the real world beyond travel! Feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page though, or by email. Iâ€™ll always respond. Iâ€™m always happy to meet new people!
+ Iâ€™m visiting Newfoundland – can you help?
Yes, I can even put together a full itinerary for you starting at $100CAD, depending on the length of your visit. Thatâ€™ll include hotel recommendations, eating recommendations, and the best sightseeing spots. Please contact me if youâ€™d like some help!
Otherwise refer to my full section of Newfoundland content.
+ Why did you choose to live in Berlin?
Iâ€™m fascinated by gritty cities (Athens!) with young populations, especially those that are filled with artists and alternative types. Berlinâ€™s affordable, and a travel hub at the heart of Europe, thus fulfilling all my wanderlust needs. Plus itâ€™s just all kinds of kickass.
+ Whatâ€™s your favourite place to travel?
Sligo, Ireland is my favourite place in the world. Itâ€™s the only place (outside of Newfoundland) where Iâ€™ve felt a solid connection â€“ like I was at home. Iâ€™ve been there twice and it keeps getting better and better. Great people, a surreally talented music scene, and lots of surf, SUP, and outdoor adventure.
+ Do you always travel solo?
Not always. To be honest, I have a lot of anxiety issues, and having grown up in such an isolated world, Iâ€™m just not that street smart compared to other travellers. Thatâ€™s why Berlin is such a lovely challenge for me. Everything from supermarkets to recycling intimidates me. Berliners are cray about their recycling.
So while I DO travel solo, sometimes I just want the ease of travelling with friends or organized groups. I think people tend to sneer at tour groups, but if you find the small ones, youâ€™re guaranteed to click with the right people. Plus youâ€™ll learn a great deal about the country in the process â€“ these guides are always well trained. I love travelling with groups like Contiki, Med Experience, and Trek America.
+ How do you plan your travels?
Check out my resources page for some of my favourite travel planning tools, as well as the gear I use!
+ How can I get into travel writing?
Start with what you know. Thatâ€™s my best advice to you, and itâ€™s how I got startedâ€¦by writing about Newfoundland. Iâ€™m the only Newfoundland based travel writer in the Travel Media Association of Canada, so itâ€™s my niche area. It was surprising to realize how valuable my knowledge is.
I recommend enrolling in a program like MatadorU to really break into the scene. You have to be a serious writer, though. I studied English and Professional Writing. I dedicated my life to this craft. This ainâ€™t easy. You gotta love the craft. You gotta be passionate about quality work. You gotta WORK YOUR BALLS OFF.
+ How can I get into travel blogging?
Like travel writingâ€¦same same but different. Blogging is highly competitive and most people wonâ€™t make it. You need to be a talented web writer, and you have to know your way around a camera. Build that social media following (but if you send me an auto DM on Twitter youâ€™re fired).
I recommend Travel Blog Success for getting you started. Their help has been incredibly valuable.
+ Whatâ€™s next for you in writing?
Iâ€™ll have a few e-books rolling out in the coming months, and I just completed my first ever fiction manuscript with Humber College in Toronto. I miss the world of beautiful prose and storytelling on a different level, so Iâ€™m trying to break back into the Canadian author scene again.
So why did I create Free Candie? Well, Iâ€™ve been a writer since I was a child, but in the past five+ years Iâ€™ve turned this crazy blogging thing into an actual career that enables me to be location independent. You might say Iâ€™m a little addicted to sharing my stories digitally. Iâ€™m also addicted to cheese.
– Candice Walsh
Got more questions? Hit me with them.
Get in touch and Iâ€™ll do my best to help.