We were lucky to catch up with Emily Schroeter & Jake Junda recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily Schroeter & Jake Junda, thanks for joining us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission the drives your brand?
We were just two kids who dreamt bigger dreams right after college. We each made the bold move to move 1000’s of miles away from our hometowns to become “ski bums” and not pursue the regular path after college (get a degree, get a good-paying job, and work your way up the totem pole, etc). We both felt the mountains calling us.
Jake & I later met working at the same restaurant. We’d go skiing/snowboarding on our weekends off together, and when summer hit, we’d go on a camping adventure almost every weekend. We were both just enthralled with the incredible beauty of the west that was still all new to us. We quickly learned that we had a true passion for adventures in the outdoors.
Unhappy with the job opportunities in the mountains, we decided to move to Denver, Colorado and attempted to pursue jobs aligned with our degrees. But we quickly learned that, no matter what jobs we had, we wouldn’t be happy living so far from our cherished outdoor spaces. We had heard about vanlife, and thought that we might be the type of people crazy enough to try it. We were happy to give up the comforts of a modern life in order to achieve our dreams.
So instead of going back to work every Monday, we thought, what if we build out a camper van, reduce our living expenses and travel without having to return back every Monday morning.
Our dream was to build our blog, TwoRoamingSouls.com, into our main source of income while sharing the things we love with fellow adventurers. And in the meantime we kept working seasonal jobs to support our lifestyle. Blogging proved not to be a “get rich quick” scheme. So the blog was merely just a hobby for years before we finally started to make a living wage. Our blog was built to help other aspiring adventures plan their trips, learn how to budget, or convert their own campervan. And I think we can confidently say that reached our mission to help others live out dreams.
Emily Schroeter &, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
We started blogging as a side hustle that would hopefully one day become our dream job.
But it doesn’t feel like a job when we are writing about our passions. We cover vanlife, travel guides, hiking, camping, travel budgeting, or any other fun adventures we want to share with the world.
Over the years our writing and photography skills have blossomed. And now we craft beautiful and informative content that helps other people plan their travels and adventures.
We provide detailed guides for road trips, backpacking, vanlife tutorials, or just general guides for affordable travel. Many people feel like they don’t have the time or money to plan their vacations. Our guides make it easy for readers to pick a destination and quickly find the “cant-miss” attractions or activities. And we have always traveled on a tight budget, so you can too!
We also partner with brands to showcase their products in action! Putting their products and outdoor gear to the test on one adventure after another. With features on our social media feeds or website, brands are pleased to know that their products are being shared in authentic content to our amazing audience.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
We had been using Pinterest as one of the main drivers of traffic to our blog, TwoRoamingSouls.com. It’s a great platform that primarily serves as a search engine for inspiration and ideas. It has many popular “boards” for travel, camping, hiking, and vanlife; which fits our niche very well. People can find our content on Pinterest and then click the link to redirect to our website.
We got very talented at utilizing Pinterest to maximize our reach to the widest possible audience. But then one day, something changed.
Pinterest changed its site to put more of an emphasis on keeping visitors on the Pinterest site itself. They were pushing creators to make “idea pins” that would no longer link to the website where the actual content is hosted. We saw a dramatic drop in the number of visitors coming to our site from Pinterest. We scrambled to figure out what was going on.
But the tricky thing about most tech businesses is that their platforms are governed by algorithms and AI. It’s not always clear what is the best path to success. It’s like trying to play a game when you don’t know the rules. What was once a very successful Pinterest workflow was no longer working. We had to pivot to figure out a new strategy.
We have adapted our posting and sharing schedules. And tried to research what others are doing to achieve success under the new Pinterest. We have been able to rebound a little, but still not sure we have all the right answers.
This story is a reminder that you need to be adaptable in business. And this has never been more true than in an era dominated by the internet. Tech companies control so much of the information flow, and even small changes can have big ripple effects on other businesses. What worked last year, might not work this year, so be ready to adapt.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
Our passion for the outdoors is one of the primary drivers of our creative journey. But we are worried about climate change and its negative effects on the natural world.
Up until now, all of our free time has been consumed by building our blog into a successful business. But only just supporting the two of us financially. As we enter a new chapter, we should have the ability to think bigger. We have already been cleaning up trash in all the places we visit. But that’s just a small part of making the world a better place.
We have to think MUCH bigger to really make an impact. With more financial freedom we want to put time and energy into climate change projects or initiatives. We have dreams of mobilizing our blog and audience to enact meaningful change to protect the habitability of this beautiful planet for generations to come.