HARLINGEN — Lisa Campos has an innate love for Harlingen, where she was born and raised. Though she moved and lived for 20 years in Austin, she moved back and started her blog, “Explore Harlingen.”
Campos initially wanted to create a page where people could reminisce about the old days and talk about football. But her blog took a quick turn and is now one of the main sources people use to know what new restaurant is arriving and what changes are in store for Harlingen.
Also, almost 20,000 people follow her page on Facebook.
This came as a surprise for Campos, and at the same time, she has now had to take breaks from the blog getting too big.
In the beginning, she was highlighting where to go for happy hour, where children can eat for free, places for karaoke, etc. Now, her posts have become more condensed, but the information is still fresh and relevant for Harlingen residents.
“I have a couple of people who are my sources, somehow I get that information. They will tell me about a business on the state website asking for a license, and I’ll confirm and then share,” Campos said.
Though the blog takes a lot of her time, Campos has a full-time job and has a daughter to take care of. But she stays on top of it.
She does IT services for various companies, which she has been doing for nine years. She has been working on the blog for eight years, with the anniversary coming up. Campos said she is now able to monetize from posts people ask her to do for advertising but much of what she shares is solely because she wants to inform.
Before having her current sources, Campos found her way to get the scoop.
“I drive by something and go ask and people tell you. I actually go out and explore,” she said.
Campos said she feels Harlingen has grown tremendously, and as someone who grew up in the city, she has seen businesses grow from the ground up.
“I love Harlingen, and a lot of what I do is based on that passion, caring of where I grew up. I want to let people know there is a lot to offer,” Campos said.
“My daughter was born in Austin, and I am trying to show her there is a lot of good stuff down here,” she said.
Even though Campos loves running her blog, she needed to take a break during the pandemic. Campos was updating which restaurants offer curbside and which ones were closed, and because everything changed so quickly, she said it became overwhelming.
She has now gotten back to posting and said what she loves the most is telling every business story.
“I think I will continue to do this until my daughter graduates high school, probably 10 more years,” Campos said.
“I help anybody who wants information about Harlingen,” she said.
On her blog, she asked followers why they continue to read her posts and why they have stayed loyal.
“I messaged you once, and I truly appreciated that you took the time to respond. Your interest and concern regarding my question showed your commitment towards our community,” Monalisa Tapia wrote.
“I like that you actually share useful information and your posts are not just to get a like or a follow. Thank you for keeping us informed,” Sandra Hernandez wrote.
Campos believes people have resonated more with the blog since she started posting herself and stopped being anonymous with her posts.
Campos is simply a mother, exploring Harlingen with her daughter Lola and sharing what they find online.