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Jody Halsted
Works at Ireland Family Vacations
Lives in Ankeny
2,151 followers|328,712 views


Speaking of automating social...  How many of you automate Instagram? When I'm not traveling, I do. Thankfully Latergram finally released its Android app. I'm loving it because I can easily tell the story of my image - something I don't do well when I have to add text from my phone.

What do you use to automate IG? Or are you an IG purist and only post 'in the moment"?
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I'm an in the moment IG poster. I don't automate Twitter either, but I'm "old school."
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Planning an Ireland vacation?

Consider flying in and out of Shannon Airport!

#easierfromShannon  #Ireland


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Shannon Airport tips for arrival and departure. I spent less than an hour -total- in Shannon Airport between my arrival and departure I am not exaggerating.
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Jody Halsted

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Want to get away with your extended family this weekend?

Try camping!No RV necessary!A few tips for a multi-generational camping trip the whole family will enjoy!+MiniTime
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Jody Halsted

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Looking into 2015, I'm torn. Would love your feedback and advice.

I've been blogging for over 10 years now. My first site became Family Rambling (it's a long story, but to shorten it, my name was stolen by a large publishing company and I didn't have it trademarked).  Anyway, when I started, there weren't a lot of travel blogs out there. Now there are hundreds (thousands?).

A couple years ago I started IrelandFamilyVacations, which is insanely niche and has become my largest source of income, as well as my most-read site. It needs my focus, but I am having a difficult time letting go of Family Rambling.

I have to decide if 2015 will be the year I build my freelance writing, or if I will forego that and focus on creating income from Family Rambling - I can't do both.

So, a few thoughts...

1) Make Family Rambling a 'clips' site with links out to articles I have written for other publications. Write a good lede, include a clip, and image, and then a Read More link.

2) Let FR go dormant (it kills me to write that!) and really focus on freelance stuff.

3) Build FR into a go-to site for family travel. Definitely challenging as there are so many sites out there. My thought with this is to give it a strong niche (probably RVing), clean up old articles, and really give it as much attention as I can. 

As I look into the future of blogging, I really see niche sites, as opposed to general sites, as the future. 

So, what are your thoughts? What would you do? Where would your focus for 2015 be if you were in my shoes?

Thanks for helping me hash this out!
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+Jody Halsted and +Terri Weeks TMS is good for making connections. I don't know how far you are from Bloomington, Indiana you are Terri, but it might be worth the drive. MTWA membership and freelancing have given me some nice family travel opportunities regionally, but I'm starting to become more selective about how we spend our time. I know you are a few years ahead of me, but kids' activities and sports are really starting to make weekend travel a bit of a challenge. I just did my year end bookkeeping and I had 50% expenses compared to my overall income. Plus I will owe taxes this year. I'm really going to focus on freelance over blogging and hope some more markets will open up through corporate opportunities (like the Live Life Local program I participated in in 2012 through an insurance company on the West Coast). It really does sound like a lot of us are standing at a crossroads!
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Have her in circles
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Jody Halsted

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If your spring break packing doesn't involve 2 swimsuits, a cover up and a pair of flip flops....

You might want to take a look at this post.


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Packing tips. Which is best: Space Bags or Packing Cubes? A head-to-head, apples-to-apples comparison of Space Bags and Packing Cubes. Captured on video.
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So, I've been neglecting Twitter. I'm removing my focus (ok, addiction) from Facebook as I just don't get that much traffic from it but want to build my Twitter, mainly for conversational purposes with destinations, CVBs, etc.

Who has a Twitter strategy that they wouldn't mind sharing?
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i automate as much as i can. i just don't have the energy for more. :(
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Loved the way the clouds filtered the sun's rays this afternoon. #Iowa #IowaLife #clouds 
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Jody Halsted

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Time for a family vacation?

Consider a camping vacation the whole family will enjoy!

With so many full service campgrounds, state, and National Parks offering cabins, you don't even need an RV to enjoy a wonderful getaway.

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Do you put the most time into your best referring social network? My breakdown (for Ireland Family Vacations) is
Pinterest 88.05%
Facebook 7.66%
Twitter 3.62% 
and TripAdvisor .42% (Must be my great bio!)

I don't know about you, but of all these I put the least work into Pinterest and the most work into Facebook.  

How about you?
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+Jessica Voigts  I was able to find the link. The bonus- it's in a dozen different languages.

And the Trip Advisor links are from a forum where someone linked my breakdown of the Disney Ireland Adventure vs my DIY trip. 

I was able to drill down easily using the new Jetpack states in WP. Google analytics didn't make it that easy!
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Have her in circles
2,151 people
Sandeep Patade's profile photo
Larissa Milne's profile photo
Bud Jones's profile photo
Clemens Sehi's profile photo
Tiffany Noth's profile photo
ENZO Roma Italy's profile photo
Winterset Aviation Services Inc.'s profile photo
Agusls IMers's profile photo
Condo Rentals Panama City Beach, FL's profile photo
Freelance writer with a passion for Ireland and the Midwest specializing in family travel
Ireland vacation coaching, family travel authority, social media educator
  • Ireland Family Vacations
    Ireland Vacation Coach & Frequent Traveler, 2011 - present
  • Des Moines Moms Blog
    Contributor, 2012 - present
  • Family Rambling
    Family Travel Authority, 2005 - present
  • Uptake Travel network
    Travel Writer, 2009 - 2012
  • Blissfully Domestic
    Travel Writer, 2011 - 2013
Basic Information
Looking for
Unrepentant Ireland traveler, new RV owner & best mom ever (according to my girls).
Jody Halsted has been blogging since 2004, when she became a stay at home mom to her eldest daughter. As frequent travelers, Jody and her husband heard "You can't travel after you have a baby." When internet searches for family traveling turned up results for Walt Disney World and similar vacation spots, Jody began sharing her family travel how-to's in her first travel blog, Have Kid Will Travel.

In 2010 Jody launched FamilyRambling®, a website designed to inspire family travel, provide tips to make it easier and share first hand trip reports.

In 2011 Jody began sharing her love of family travel in Ireland by launching Ireland With Kids, a website designed to promote family travel in the Emerald Isle.

Jody also writes for various online and print publications.

Jody is active in social media, which helps her assist traveling families- no matter where they virtually hang out.
Bragging rights
I have two beautiful daughters and a husband who loves me despite my many faults.
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Scituate - South St Paul - Des Moines - St Paul
Jody Halsted's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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