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Conversations with Megan Varela

Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Varela.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I moved to San Diego in the summer of 2018 after spending a year teaching abroad in China. I only knew one person who lived in the area, and I was so lonely and dealing with a lot of unexpected reverse culture shock. I didn’t have a job to fill my time with yet, so to curb the anxiety of too much free time, I decided to make a San Diego Bucket List.

I had only ever been in town to visit a few times as a kid and visited my Dad for breaks in college like Thanksgiving, but I had never been here for more than three days at a time. The bucket list included all of the things I’d ever wanted to do, see, and eat here. But I had no friends to do them with yet… so I put on my big girl pants and went out to do them all by myself! I went to the San Diego Mission de Alcala, Presido Park, Point Loma Tide Pools, Breakfast Republic, SO many coffee shops, and more!

Once I finally started making friends, I realized I had done a ton of things that most lifelong residents had never even tried! In 2019, I got married, and my husband encouraged me to channel that Type-A energy into blog posts for other new people like me to explore the city. I launched my website in 2020 fell in love with sharing my stories and information, all while making people feel welcome in America’s Finest City.

I expected for 2020 to be incredibly slow because no one was outdoors, but then along came TikTok! I found video content that resonated with visitors and residents and kept them coming back for more! Most of my growth and readership stems from that platform, even today, over a year later.

Today, a year and a half since launching this passion project, I’ve become a writer, web developer, social media strategist, and small business owner. All things I never imagined for myself but I’ve grown to adore! I love this field I’ve found myself in and hope to achieve even more with it in the future.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My largest barrier in this journey has been myself. I never knew prior to launching my blog all of the work that goes into this career. You have to become an influencer, blogger, talent manager, administrative assistant, web developer, graphic designer, social media strategist, accounts payable, HR, and PR.

At the beginning, and even some days now, I can be really hard on myself that I don’t do each step perfectly. I don’t post frequently enough. I don’t spend as much time being a blogging student, and of course, the dreaded comparison syndrome. Since then, I’ve allowed myself to take a step back, breathe, and remember that even people who have entire PR, HR, and social media staff don’t get it right every time either. All I can do is my best and know that my best is still worthwhile.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I write blog posts about San Diego at meganelisevarela.com and frequently translate them into video format on TikTok. My pillar content pieces are monthly event roundups and seasonal activities. One of my most-read articles was about Halloween Activities in San Diego.

I frequently get requests for TikTok collaborations from local and national brands as it’s my largest audience source. My favorite content to create is with local businesses in San Diego. It makes me so happy to get messages from those brands that I was able to drive business their way because of a silly TikTok video. I love being able to build genuine relationships with local brands and help them get their names out to locals and visitors that can sustain them all year long.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
If you’re interested in collaborating with me, you can email me at meganelisevarela@gmail.com. Fill out a request form on my blog contact page or send me a DM on Instagram.

Any support with engagement on TikTok and Instagram is much appreciated! If you’re a San Diego visitor or local, check out my blog posts to plan the best things to do and see in the city!

Pricing:

  • TikTok Video = $150 – $200
  • IG Feed Post = $100
  • Blog Post Inclusion = $60

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kelsi Grant Photography

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