Tag Archives: Start a Blog

The Best Way to Start a Blog in 2019

The post The Best Way to Start a Blog in 2019 appeared first on ProBlogger.

International Start a Blog Day 2019

If you’ve been Googling how to start a blog, then I’m sure you’ve already come across many resources telling you how. And most of them are pretty much the same, as creating your first blog is just a matter of a few technical steps. We even have a “how to start a blog” right here.

However, we then went one step further and created another free resource – the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog – a course with videos and resources to step you through not just creating a blog, but one that helps you make some of the most important decisions when starting out. In fact, one of the more important modules is the first one – should you even start a blog at all?

Thousands of bloggers have signed up for the course since it launched almost exactly one year ago. But this isn’t why we think starting a blog with us is the best way to start a blog in 2019. It’s because we went even one step further again and designated February 7th as International Start a Blog Day!

International Start a Blog Day

We created International Start a Blog Day to celebrate the achievements and diversity of new bloggers around the world launching their blogs at the beginning of the year.  And because it helps you take action!

How to participate:

  1. Sign up to our free course – the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog between the 1st and 31st of January 2019.
  2. RSVP to the Facebook Event so you get reminders about our Facebook Lives and other helpful tips from our team.
  3. Join our ProBlogger Community Facebook Group where over 16,000 bloggers help each other with tips and answers to all your blogging questions.
  4. Launch your blog between the 1st of January and the 6th of February 2019 and add it to our Members directory (you’ll have access to this once you’ve signed up to the course).

You’ll then be included in the Class of 2019 Blog Roll here on the ProBlogger blog. You can see the Class of 2018 here.

Benefits of starting a blog with ProBlogger in 2019

Here’s why we think this is the best way to start a blog in 2019.

  • International Start a Blog Day gives you a deadline to get your blog up and running
  • You get an instant community of other bloggers at the same stage of blogging as you
  • Our FREE course guides you through not just how to start a blog, but how to make some of the more important decisions you’ll make – right from the start.
  • Your first few blog posts will get some valuable exposure and it will make it easier for other bloggers to connect with you
  • You’re supported in your first steps into blogging by the ProBlogger team and other experienced bloggers in the ProBlogger Community

So, if you want to get started, sign up to the course now and we look forward to helping you and celebrating your new blog with you!

 

 

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How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert: 11 Ways to Make it Work

The post How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert: 11 Ways to Make it Work appeared first on ProBlogger.

Starting a Blog When You're Not an Expert

Is it okay to blog about a topic you’re not an expert on?

Definitely.

I wasn’t an expert blogger when I started ProBlogger, or an expert photographer when I started Digital Photography School. Even now I don’t consider myself an expert, especially with photography.

When I started ProBlogger in 2004 I’d been blogging for a couple of years, but hadn’t been making money from blogging for very long (less than a year). I wasn’t a professional, full-time blogger by any means, and never claimed to be one.

It was the same with Digital Photography School. I wasn’t, and never claimed to be, a photography expert.

But it didn’t matter. In fact, my lack of expertise helped me to make those blogs a success.

Why a Lack of Expertise Might Work in Your Favour

Some experts are great at talking to beginners. But a complete beginner may find it hard to connect with an expert who’s had years of experience or is seen as a ‘guru’ in their area.

If you’re still relatively new to your topic area, you’ll remember what it was like to be a beginner.

You’ll know what it feels like to be starting out, and be able to explain things in ways beginners can easily understand.

You can position yourself as someone who gets what it’s like to be in your readers’ shoes. And as you learn new things, you can share what you learn with your readers.

Three Key Things to Do When You’re Not an Expert

If you decide to blog about a topic you’re not yet an expert in, or even one you’ve just started learning about, it’s important to:

#1: Be Transparent and Ethical

Be upfront about who you are and what experience you have. That might mean telling your story so far in a blog post or on your About page, which I did in the early days of both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School.

There’s nothing worse than reading a blog by someone who claims they’re an expert (or at least implies it) but isn’t. It usually comes across in the writing, but even if it doesn’t it can have a serious impact when readers later find out the truth.

#2: Think Carefully About the Types of Post You Create

These days on ProBlogger we publish a lot of tutorials that are quite authoritative. They build on years of testing and experimenting, talking with people and gathering ideas.

But in the early days my teaching posts focused very much on the beginner, and were generally based on something I’d experimented with. And the rest of my posts didn’t require particular expertise. (I’ll talk about them in a moment.)

Be very careful writing about topics where misguided advice could have a detrimental effect on your readers’ lives. This includes areas such as legal advice, financial advice, and physical or mental health.

I’m sure the last thing you want is to ruin someone’s life. But that’s a potential consequence of giving poor advice in these critical areas. You also run the risk of getting sued or destroying your own reputation.

#3: Keep Actively Learning About Your Topic

While you might not be an expert yet, you can and should keep learning about your topic area. Even if you don’t ever get to the level where people would consider you an ‘expert’, you’ll still be learning things you can share with your readers.

When readers see you’re enthusiastic about your topic and moving forward yourself, it helps them to be enthusiastic too. It can build anticipation and momentum, and help them connect with you and your blog.

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

If you’re not creating tutorials or ‘how to’ posts, what sort of content can you create as a non-expert?

#1: Write About What You’ve Done or Seen

I listen to Rob Bell, a podcaster who teaches public speaking. He suggests that if you’re asked to do a talk on something you’re not an expert in you should start by asking yourself, “What can I be witness to?”

What have you seen or experienced? What involvement have you had with your topic on a personal level? Start with your experience of that.

#2 Write About Your Mistakes or Failures

I did this a lot in the early days of ProBlogger. I wrote about things I tried that didn’t quite work out, and about what I’d do differently the next time.

This type of post can really resonate with readers because it’s honest and authentic, and genuinely useful in teaching them what not to do.

#3: Write About Your Successes

Share what you’ve done that’s gone well, like a case study. You might want to talk about how you’d tweak it next time or build on it.

This is a good way to do teaching content by basing it on your own experience. For instance, fairly early in the life of ProBlogger I wrote a series of posts on how to monetize your blog using Adsense. It included posts on how I started out, where I positioned my ads, how I changed the size of my ads, and so on.

#4: Write About What Others Are Doing

A great way to share what other people are doing is to write a case study. I used to do this a lot of ProBlogger, and we still do it occasionally.

These days, we normally involve the person we’re doing a case study on. But in the past I’d just write about what I saw people doing: how they’d redesigned their blog, what I liked about it, how I might improve it, and so on.

#5: Interview People for Your Blog

This can be tricky in the early days of your blog when you haven’t built up a profile. But it’s still possible. Listen to episode 172 of the podcast to hear how Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner built his blog based on video interviews with experts.

Whether you do text, audio or video interviews, this type of content can build your credibility, drive traffic, and help you network in your industry.

#6: Run Guest Posts on Your Blog

This is something you probably won’t want to try when you’re just starting out. But once your blog is more established you could open it up for guest posters, or even hire someone to write for your blog.

Digital Photography School began with just me writing posts aimed at beginners. These days we’ve got professional photographers writing on more advanced topics so we can fill the blog with expert content.

#7: Write About News and Developments

In the early days of ProBlogger I’d write an article every couple of weeks that covered a development in blogging, or maybe a new tool or controversy in the industry.

But I didn’t just report what had happened. I wanted to interpret it for my audience in some way (“What does this mean for us?”) This could also work for a discussion post (which we’ll come to in a moment).

#8: Create Curated Content

“Curated” content is when you link to and quote from someone else’s content. (Never copy it or present it as your own.)

If another blogger has written a great article, pull out a short relevant quote, link readers to the entire article, and add some of your own thoughts. Tell readers what you liked, and maybe add something to the article (e.g. if it has ten reasons or ten tips, come up with an eleventh).

#9: Embed Content into Your Posts

As well as linking to and quoting from other people’s content, you can include their content by embedding it. The most obvious examples here are YouTube videos and tweets.

Again, these let you bring other people’s voices and expertise onto your blog. Using curated and embedded content is also a great way to build a relationship with the influencers in your niche.

#10: Write a Research Post

This is a bit like writing an essay on a particular topic. You go away and learn from lots of different sources, then create something that brings together what you’ve learned, quoting from and crediting your sources.

You’ll learn more yourself (which will get you closer to that ‘expert’ status), and you can share what you’ve learned in an authentic way. It helps your readers to see you as more authoritative and knowledgeable.

#11: Write a Discussion Post

We publish a discussion post every week on Digital Photography School. And it doesn’t take any expertise at all. (If you have only a few readers you may need to wait till you’ve built up a larger audience.)

With a discussion post, you ask a key question: something you want to know the answer to, or that will prompt a bit of a debate. This gives your readers a chance to participate and engage. You could even take some of the best comments and use them in a future post.

You can have a blog that covers a topic area you’re not an expert in. Just make sure you’re transparent, and be careful about the type of content you create.

Keep actively learning, and keep sharing what you learn with your readers. If you have any suggestions for other types of content that work really well on a non-expert blog, share them with us in the comments.

Image Credit: unsplash-logoRita Morais

The post How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert: 11 Ways to Make it Work appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months

The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

Welcome to the final episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series. Today we share a story from Rowan Sims, Digital Photography School writer and ProBlogger podcast listener.

How Rowan Sims grew his Pinterest following to 300,000 in two months

 

Rowan’s also a landscape and travel photographer who uses his blog to teach readers how to improve their photography, as well as share his photo adventures and location guides.

The biggest challenges he faced with blogging were being inconsistent and not attracting the right audience.

So he switched his blog’s focus from just sharing photography to teaching it as well.

He’s also written some guest posts. Don’t underestimate the power of guest blogging. It’s about more than just link building.

Another breakthrough for Rowan was discovering the power of Pinterest. It’s become Rowan’s largest source of referral traffic.

Rowan has used various tools and social media sites to promote his photography, but Pinterest needed a different approach and was a steep learning curve.

No matter what your niche is, Rowan has suggestions on how to optimize Pinterest for best results:

  • Set up a Pinterest business account and review your Pinterest insights/analytics to know what’s working and help identify your target audience
  • Create attractive pins
  • Use Tailwind to drip feed pins and create tribes

Pinterest is one option, but experiment with different platforms to figure out what works best for you.

Rowan’s blogging breakthroughs have not only helped increase his traffic, but has brought him the right traffic. People are genuinely interested in what he has to say and share.

Links and Resources for How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 269 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the founder of ProBlogger which started out as a blog with lots of blog tips and has become a blog, a podcast, ebooks, courses, and a job board as well to help bloggers to find jobs. There’s a lot on ProBlogger. You can check it all out at problogger.com where we really are about trying to help bloggers to monetize their blogs.

Today is the final episode in our blogger breakthrough series. We may do this again in the future because I’ve had a lot of really great feedback on the stories that we’ve been featuring. I’m going to get back to a noble flow of things next week. But today, I want to share with you a story from Rowan Sims. Rowan actually is a writer over on Digital Photography School. I didn’t realize he was also a listener of this podcast. You hear at the end, he worked his way back through all of the archives of the podcast—all 269 episodes. He may be up there as one of the most avid listeners of the podcast.

He submitted his story of how he grew his blog. He took his blog from fairly inconsistent blogging, he switched his focus, and he shares two strategies that he used to help grow his traffic particularly Pinterest. He gives some good tips on driving traffic with Pinterest as well. He actually submitted a short 4 ½-minute story and then I asked him to submit a few more tips so you will a bit of a change in the audio—that’s kind of part two coming in halfway along where he gets to be a bit more practical about Pinterest.

Before I introduce you or put Rowan onto you, I do want to mention a little personal project that I’ve been playing around with, and that is a new podcast. This is not just a podcast with me, it’s actually a podcast with Vanessa, my wife, and my three boys. We’ve been talking for a while now about having a family podcast and also, we’re not completely sure how it’s going to roll out completely. We don’t even know what the name will be down the track. We’re calling it the Rowse Report at the moment. It is, at this moment, a one pilot show. It’s about what we’re reading, what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re playing.

We each have a little segment where we talk about the books, the podcast, what we’re watching on Netflix, what movies we enjoy, what games we might be playing. I’ve got plans for a few episodes. We’re just putting it out there at the moment. If you’d like to have a listen to that, there’s not actually a website for it yet, but you will be able to find the latest episode linked to either on my Facebook page—facebook.com/problogger or I will link to it in today’s show. We are hosting it on the Anchor platform and it should go up in iTunes as well in the next week or two. You might want to do a search there for Rowse Report.

Anyway, you can find it all on today’s show notes. The show notes also will have transcription of today’s story as well as some links that Rowan mentions in the show. He mentions a couple of tools that you might want to check out and then an article that he has written as well. I’m going to hand over to Rowan and I’m going to come back at the end just to wrap things up and give a few thoughts of my own and suggest a couple of things that you might want to do as a result of what you hear. Here’s Rowan.

Rowan: Hi guys. My name is Rowan and I’m a blogger and photographer from New Zealand. My blog name is Rowan Sims Photography and you can find me at rowansims.com. I started my blog back in 2010 so it’s been about eight years. I’m a landscape and travel photographer, so I use my blog to teach my readers how to improve their photography. I also use it to share my photo adventures and location guides.

My audience is mainly beginner to intermediate photographers. As I said, I’ve been blogging for about eight years, but really inconsistently. I’ve seen some small success with a few posts getting some serious traffic. In the past, I use my blog mainly to share my travel and landscape photography with a little monetization from some affiliate products.

My biggest challenge is with being consistent and tracking the right audience. There have been periods of every year when I didn’t blog at all. The little audience I did have completely forgot about me. I also found that the search traffic that was coming to my blog was basically just leaving. Visitors weren’t interested in subscribing or following me on social media once they have found what they were looking for. I’ve built up a small email list and social media following but not enough to drive traffic to my blog.

I’ve had a couple of big breakthroughs this year. At the end of 2007, my girlfriend and I decided to spend some time in Australia after living in Canada for a couple of years. She’s also a travel blogger and have had some similar struggles to me, so we decided to make the most of the fresh start and really focus on our blogs in 2018. I also decided to shift the focus of my blog from just sharing my photography to teaching others as well.

One of the things I decided to work on was guest posting. I’ve written a couple of guest post in the past, but never really pushed it. To start with, I approached Digital Photography School which I’m sure you’ve heard Darren talk about on this podcast. They were happy to have me write for them, so I submitted an article. That first post was really well received which was a huge encouragement for me.

The second breakthrough I’ve had this year was discovering the power of Pinterest for driving traffic. I’ve used Pinterest inconsistently for a few years and it’s a personal use. I’ve never really seen it as a tool for promoting my photography or my blog. I thought it was really just for moms sharing recipes. I decided to take another look at it this year, so I switched to a business account and I’ve a whole another profile. I really had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be for bloggers. Pinterest has become my largest source of referral traffic in just a few months.

Learning how to use Pinterest for business was a pretty steep learning curve. It’s such a unique platform. I’ve used many tools and social media sites to promote my photography over the years, but Pinterest required a very different approach. Fortunately, as a blogger, I’ve had a ton of visual content which Pinterest is all about. This meant that I was able to hit the ground running with a decent amount of content that I could optimize for Pinterest and experiment with.

There are a few things that I did which I think set me up well on a path to seeing results from Pinterest. Every blogger is going to use it differently, but I think these things are going to be useful no matter what your niche.

The first thing I’d recommend is setting up a business account, as I mentioned. This may sound obvious, but I didn’t realize the value of it until I did it myself. There aren’t a ton of differences between a regular account and a business account but the biggest one for me has been Pinterest Insights. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at your analytics. I probably spend way too much time in there, but it pays off if you know what to look for.  Pinterest Insights are incredibly powerful, and they can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, you’ll see what’s working and also, you’ll see where your target audience is. It’s pretty different than Google Analytics, so don’t expect to be able to understand it straight away. But give it sometime and I’m pretty sure you’ll see the value in it for sure.

The second thing that really helped me was to create really attractive pins. Again, this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many pins I see everyday that have had virtually no thought going to them at all. It’s a visual platform so learning to create beautiful pins is an absolute must. I’m not a designer by any means so my pins are pretty basic. I’ve created templates in photoshop to make it easy to create new pins for each post. I switch up the photos and text and it’s done in just a few minutes. If that sounds way over your head, there are free tools like Canva that make it super simple. This was a process of experimentation and it still is. Some of my templates get a lot of engagement and the ones that get little just gets scrapped. I regularly try new fonts and overlays to see what works best. I’m a prolific experimenter and that’s served me really well, so I encourage you to do the same.

The third thing that’s really made a big difference in growing my Pinterest account is actually another tool called Tailwind. You may have heard of it. It’s a tool that makes scheduling and repining really simple. One of the unique things about Pinterest is that you need to be very active to see results. But bombarding your followers with a ton of pins each time you visit doesn’t work. Tailwind allows you to drip feed your pins over the day so they’re more likely to be seen by your followers. It also has a fantastic feature called Tribes which encourages members to re-pin other member’s content. It’s really effective and it’s been super helpful for me especially considering I have a relatively small following.

I actually wrote a whole post about how I grew my account from about 1000 views a month to over 300,000 in only about two months. It’s written for photographers, but the principles are valid no matter what niche you’re in.

The biggest advantage of these two breakthroughs is that I’m not only getting a lot more traffic, it’s the right kind of traffic. People who are visiting my blog because they’re genuinely interested in what I have to say, they’re sticking around longer, and are subscribing.

In the last six months, I’ve more than doubled the email list that I’ve built over the last four years. I’ve also been given a few opportunities as a result of writing for other photography blogs. I’m getting in front of a much larger audience and building a larger profile as a result. Getting to where my target audience and guest posting there has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my blog.

What I want to say to listeners is don’t underestimate the power of guest posting. It’s about so much more than just link building. If you can write for blogs that have a bigger audience than your own, some of their audience will inevitably become some of your audience. The second thing I would say is keep experimenting with various tools and platforms. It might be something you’ve tried in the past and decided isn’t for you. Test out new stuff but be careful about dismissing the old stuff. You never really know what might work for you.

That’s it. Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Darren. I spent the last few months listening to the entire back catalog of the ProBlogger podcast. It’s been insanely helpful. Every time I listen, I get inspired. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure I probably would’ve given up by now if it wasn’t for you sharing your knowledge and passion. Both of your blogs, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School had been hugely helpful for me, so thank you very much.

Darren: Thanks so much to Rowan for sharing his story today. You can find his site at rowansims.com. I have a link to the article that he mentioned on his advice on Pinterest in the show notes today as well. You can find that show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269.

I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, Rowan has found for himself the reality that guest posting isn’t dead. Guest posting was huge five or so years ago now. Most people were using it to build their search engine traffic, getting links from other sites, but Google cracked down on this and so those links aren’t as valuable as they used to be than what really valuable at all. As a result, a lot of people gave up on guest posting.

I’ve long argued that there was more to guest posting than just the links. Certainly, the links were helpful but getting in front of other people’s audiences is something that is well worth doing, particularly, if it’s the right type of traffic, the right type of audience. Rowan talked there about how he targeted where his audience was, and he focused on those places to build profile. He did that through Digital Photography School which is the perfect audience for him if he wants to teach people how to do photography. We’ve heard time and time again from our writers that it’s a benefit for them to do that purely for the traffic that they get and that the profile, the expertise that they’re able to build on their particular topic.

Guest posting isn’t dead, I’m going to link in the show notes today to a previous episode on guest posting if you want to check that one out. It’s one the early episode that I did right towards the beginning of this podcast, back in episode 37. If you want to dig back and have a listen to that, it’s on iTunes. Some of those early episodes, I should say, on iTunes have probably disappeared at some point because I think there’s a limit of 300 episodes that I can show you at a time, and we are approaching that point. We’re at 269, so in another 31 episodes, the first episodes will disappear. You might want to go back and listen to those early episodes if you haven’t already. That’s just a little side.

The other thing that I love that Rowan found for himself is that Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic. Every time I meet bloggers, I meet people who are using Pinterest in really interesting ways as well. They always tell that they’re surprised about how their topic works on Pinterest. Photography is a topic that works on Pinterest. I’ve seen topics like motorbikes, gardening, fashion. I’ve seen technology boards do really well. There really isn’t a limit since some of those stereotypical niches that you might think do well on Pinterest certainly do work, but it’s a lot broader than you might think. Great tips there from Rowan.

I do plan on doing an episode in the coming months hopefully before the end of the year on Pinterest as well because I’ve met some good people on that particular topic. Do get into that article that Rowan mentioned. I will link to it in the show notes today. Also, check out those tools that he mentioned. I’ll link to those in the show notes too. There’s Canva which you’ll find at canva.com and tailwindapp.com. That’s the tool that enables you to schedule into Pinterest your pins. Check out Pinterest. I think Pinterest is a great one because Pinterest really does rely upon content.

A lot of bloggers have found the hard way that Facebook has changed their algorithms a lot and that’s because they don’t really need content on Facebook. Facebook’s much more than people sharing links, it’s about people having conversations, and people watching video, and people engaging in communities, so it’s not really in Facebook’s best interest to allow us to share links that lead people off Facebook.

The whole point of Pinterest is that people go there to find content. They actually reward people who create great content. I do think it is a platform that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already. As Rowan says, it’s well worth revisiting. We actually are in the process of probably having a full look at Pinterest for Digital Photography School in particular. We’ve never quite cracked it but based on some of the advice that I received over the last few months, we’re going to give it another go. That’s high on our agenda for 2019. I’m interested to see if we can replicate some of the results that Rowan got being in a similar niche to him.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. Again, you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269. You’ll find the link there to out family podcast as well, if you do want to have a listen to that. It’s called the Rowse Report. Anchor is slowly adding it all in the different podcasting app.

At the point I’m recording this, it’s not on iTunes yet, but is on Anchor and I think also on Pocket Casts. But hopefully, it will all be added in the coming days and weeks as well. Just search for Rowse Report or check out the show notes. I would love to know what you think about it and we would love any suggestions you’ve got for a name for that podcast as well. Have a listen and see what you think. I do think that the stars of the show will be my kids though, so you might want to have a listen to that. It’s kind of funny seeing your seven-year-old talk about a book that he’s reading. Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. You can check that one out. I’ll chat with you next week where we’re coming back to our normal schedule called Podcasting at ProBlogger. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months

The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

Welcome to the final episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series. Today we share a story from Rowan Sims, Digital Photography School writer and ProBlogger podcast listener.

How Rowan Sims grew his Pinterest following to 300,000 in two months

 

Rowan’s also a landscape and travel photographer who uses his blog to teach readers how to improve their photography, as well as share his photo adventures and location guides.

The biggest challenges he faced with blogging were being inconsistent and not attracting the right audience.

So he switched his blog’s focus from just sharing photography to teaching it as well.

He’s also written some guest posts. Don’t underestimate the power of guest blogging. It’s about more than just link building.

Another breakthrough for Rowan was discovering the power of Pinterest. It’s become Rowan’s largest source of referral traffic.

Rowan has used various tools and social media sites to promote his photography, but Pinterest needed a different approach and was a steep learning curve.

No matter what your niche is, Rowan has suggestions on how to optimize Pinterest for best results:

  • Set up a Pinterest business account and review your Pinterest insights/analytics to know what’s working and help identify your target audience
  • Create attractive pins
  • Use Tailwind to drip feed pins and create tribes

Pinterest is one option, but experiment with different platforms to figure out what works best for you.

Rowan’s blogging breakthroughs have not only helped increase his traffic, but has brought him the right traffic. People are genuinely interested in what he has to say and share.

Links and Resources for How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 269 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the founder of ProBlogger which started out as a blog with lots of blog tips and has become a blog, a podcast, ebooks, courses, and a job board as well to help bloggers to find jobs. There’s a lot on ProBlogger. You can check it all out at problogger.com where we really are about trying to help bloggers to monetize their blogs.

Today is the final episode in our blogger breakthrough series. We may do this again in the future because I’ve had a lot of really great feedback on the stories that we’ve been featuring. I’m going to get back to a noble flow of things next week. But today, I want to share with you a story from Rowan Sims. Rowan actually is a writer over on Digital Photography School. I didn’t realize he was also a listener of this podcast. You hear at the end, he worked his way back through all of the archives of the podcast—all 269 episodes. He may be up there as one of the most avid listeners of the podcast.

He submitted his story of how he grew his blog. He took his blog from fairly inconsistent blogging, he switched his focus, and he shares two strategies that he used to help grow his traffic particularly Pinterest. He gives some good tips on driving traffic with Pinterest as well. He actually submitted a short 4 ½-minute story and then I asked him to submit a few more tips so you will a bit of a change in the audio—that’s kind of part two coming in halfway along where he gets to be a bit more practical about Pinterest.

Before I introduce you or put Rowan onto you, I do want to mention a little personal project that I’ve been playing around with, and that is a new podcast. This is not just a podcast with me, it’s actually a podcast with Vanessa, my wife, and my three boys. We’ve been talking for a while now about having a family podcast and also, we’re not completely sure how it’s going to roll out completely. We don’t even know what the name will be down the track. We’re calling it the Rowse Report at the moment. It is, at this moment, a one pilot show. It’s about what we’re reading, what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re playing.

We each have a little segment where we talk about the books, the podcast, what we’re watching on Netflix, what movies we enjoy, what games we might be playing. I’ve got plans for a few episodes. We’re just putting it out there at the moment. If you’d like to have a listen to that, there’s not actually a website for it yet, but you will be able to find the latest episode linked to either on my Facebook page—facebook.com/problogger or I will link to it in today’s show. We are hosting it on the Anchor platform and it should go up in iTunes as well in the next week or two. You might want to do a search there for Rowse Report.

Anyway, you can find it all on today’s show notes. The show notes also will have transcription of today’s story as well as some links that Rowan mentions in the show. He mentions a couple of tools that you might want to check out and then an article that he has written as well. I’m going to hand over to Rowan and I’m going to come back at the end just to wrap things up and give a few thoughts of my own and suggest a couple of things that you might want to do as a result of what you hear. Here’s Rowan.

Rowan: Hi guys. My name is Rowan and I’m a blogger and photographer from New Zealand. My blog name is Rowan Sims Photography and you can find me at rowansims.com. I started my blog back in 2010 so it’s been about eight years. I’m a landscape and travel photographer, so I use my blog to teach my readers how to improve their photography. I also use it to share my photo adventures and location guides.

My audience is mainly beginner to intermediate photographers. As I said, I’ve been blogging for about eight years, but really inconsistently. I’ve seen some small success with a few posts getting some serious traffic. In the past, I use my blog mainly to share my travel and landscape photography with a little monetization from some affiliate products.

My biggest challenge is with being consistent and tracking the right audience. There have been periods of every year when I didn’t blog at all. The little audience I did have completely forgot about me. I also found that the search traffic that was coming to my blog was basically just leaving. Visitors weren’t interested in subscribing or following me on social media once they have found what they were looking for. I’ve built up a small email list and social media following but not enough to drive traffic to my blog.

I’ve had a couple of big breakthroughs this year. At the end of 2007, my girlfriend and I decided to spend some time in Australia after living in Canada for a couple of years. She’s also a travel blogger and have had some similar struggles to me, so we decided to make the most of the fresh start and really focus on our blogs in 2018. I also decided to shift the focus of my blog from just sharing my photography to teaching others as well.

One of the things I decided to work on was guest posting. I’ve written a couple of guest post in the past, but never really pushed it. To start with, I approached Digital Photography School which I’m sure you’ve heard Darren talk about on this podcast. They were happy to have me write for them, so I submitted an article. That first post was really well received which was a huge encouragement for me.

The second breakthrough I’ve had this year was discovering the power of Pinterest for driving traffic. I’ve used Pinterest inconsistently for a few years and it’s a personal use. I’ve never really seen it as a tool for promoting my photography or my blog. I thought it was really just for moms sharing recipes. I decided to take another look at it this year, so I switched to a business account and I’ve a whole another profile. I really had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be for bloggers. Pinterest has become my largest source of referral traffic in just a few months.

Learning how to use Pinterest for business was a pretty steep learning curve. It’s such a unique platform. I’ve used many tools and social media sites to promote my photography over the years, but Pinterest required a very different approach. Fortunately, as a blogger, I’ve had a ton of visual content which Pinterest is all about. This meant that I was able to hit the ground running with a decent amount of content that I could optimize for Pinterest and experiment with.

There are a few things that I did which I think set me up well on a path to seeing results from Pinterest. Every blogger is going to use it differently, but I think these things are going to be useful no matter what your niche.

The first thing I’d recommend is setting up a business account, as I mentioned. This may sound obvious, but I didn’t realize the value of it until I did it myself. There aren’t a ton of differences between a regular account and a business account but the biggest one for me has been Pinterest Insights. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at your analytics. I probably spend way too much time in there, but it pays off if you know what to look for.  Pinterest Insights are incredibly powerful, and they can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, you’ll see what’s working and also, you’ll see where your target audience is. It’s pretty different than Google Analytics, so don’t expect to be able to understand it straight away. But give it sometime and I’m pretty sure you’ll see the value in it for sure.

The second thing that really helped me was to create really attractive pins. Again, this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many pins I see everyday that have had virtually no thought going to them at all. It’s a visual platform so learning to create beautiful pins is an absolute must. I’m not a designer by any means so my pins are pretty basic. I’ve created templates in photoshop to make it easy to create new pins for each post. I switch up the photos and text and it’s done in just a few minutes. If that sounds way over your head, there are free tools like Canva that make it super simple. This was a process of experimentation and it still is. Some of my templates get a lot of engagement and the ones that get little just gets scrapped. I regularly try new fonts and overlays to see what works best. I’m a prolific experimenter and that’s served me really well, so I encourage you to do the same.

The third thing that’s really made a big difference in growing my Pinterest account is actually another tool called Tailwind. You may have heard of it. It’s a tool that makes scheduling and repining really simple. One of the unique things about Pinterest is that you need to be very active to see results. But bombarding your followers with a ton of pins each time you visit doesn’t work. Tailwind allows you to drip feed your pins over the day so they’re more likely to be seen by your followers. It also has a fantastic feature called Tribes which encourages members to re-pin other member’s content. It’s really effective and it’s been super helpful for me especially considering I have a relatively small following.

I actually wrote a whole post about how I grew my account from about 1000 views a month to over 300,000 in only about two months. It’s written for photographers, but the principles are valid no matter what niche you’re in.

The biggest advantage of these two breakthroughs is that I’m not only getting a lot more traffic, it’s the right kind of traffic. People who are visiting my blog because they’re genuinely interested in what I have to say, they’re sticking around longer, and are subscribing.

In the last six months, I’ve more than doubled the email list that I’ve built over the last four years. I’ve also been given a few opportunities as a result of writing for other photography blogs. I’m getting in front of a much larger audience and building a larger profile as a result. Getting to where my target audience and guest posting there has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my blog.

What I want to say to listeners is don’t underestimate the power of guest posting. It’s about so much more than just link building. If you can write for blogs that have a bigger audience than your own, some of their audience will inevitably become some of your audience. The second thing I would say is keep experimenting with various tools and platforms. It might be something you’ve tried in the past and decided isn’t for you. Test out new stuff but be careful about dismissing the old stuff. You never really know what might work for you.

That’s it. Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Darren. I spent the last few months listening to the entire back catalog of the ProBlogger podcast. It’s been insanely helpful. Every time I listen, I get inspired. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure I probably would’ve given up by now if it wasn’t for you sharing your knowledge and passion. Both of your blogs, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School had been hugely helpful for me, so thank you very much.

Darren: Thanks so much to Rowan for sharing his story today. You can find his site at rowansims.com. I have a link to the article that he mentioned on his advice on Pinterest in the show notes today as well. You can find that show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269.

I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, Rowan has found for himself the reality that guest posting isn’t dead. Guest posting was huge five or so years ago now. Most people were using it to build their search engine traffic, getting links from other sites, but Google cracked down on this and so those links aren’t as valuable as they used to be than what really valuable at all. As a result, a lot of people gave up on guest posting.

I’ve long argued that there was more to guest posting than just the links. Certainly, the links were helpful but getting in front of other people’s audiences is something that is well worth doing, particularly, if it’s the right type of traffic, the right type of audience. Rowan talked there about how he targeted where his audience was, and he focused on those places to build profile. He did that through Digital Photography School which is the perfect audience for him if he wants to teach people how to do photography. We’ve heard time and time again from our writers that it’s a benefit for them to do that purely for the traffic that they get and that the profile, the expertise that they’re able to build on their particular topic.

Guest posting isn’t dead, I’m going to link in the show notes today to a previous episode on guest posting if you want to check that one out. It’s one the early episode that I did right towards the beginning of this podcast, back in episode 37. If you want to dig back and have a listen to that, it’s on iTunes. Some of those early episodes, I should say, on iTunes have probably disappeared at some point because I think there’s a limit of 300 episodes that I can show you at a time, and we are approaching that point. We’re at 269, so in another 31 episodes, the first episodes will disappear. You might want to go back and listen to those early episodes if you haven’t already. That’s just a little side.

The other thing that I love that Rowan found for himself is that Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic. Every time I meet bloggers, I meet people who are using Pinterest in really interesting ways as well. They always tell that they’re surprised about how their topic works on Pinterest. Photography is a topic that works on Pinterest. I’ve seen topics like motorbikes, gardening, fashion. I’ve seen technology boards do really well. There really isn’t a limit since some of those stereotypical niches that you might think do well on Pinterest certainly do work, but it’s a lot broader than you might think. Great tips there from Rowan.

I do plan on doing an episode in the coming months hopefully before the end of the year on Pinterest as well because I’ve met some good people on that particular topic. Do get into that article that Rowan mentioned. I will link to it in the show notes today. Also, check out those tools that he mentioned. I’ll link to those in the show notes too. There’s Canva which you’ll find at canva.com and tailwindapp.com. That’s the tool that enables you to schedule into Pinterest your pins. Check out Pinterest. I think Pinterest is a great one because Pinterest really does rely upon content.

A lot of bloggers have found the hard way that Facebook has changed their algorithms a lot and that’s because they don’t really need content on Facebook. Facebook’s much more than people sharing links, it’s about people having conversations, and people watching video, and people engaging in communities, so it’s not really in Facebook’s best interest to allow us to share links that lead people off Facebook.

The whole point of Pinterest is that people go there to find content. They actually reward people who create great content. I do think it is a platform that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already. As Rowan says, it’s well worth revisiting. We actually are in the process of probably having a full look at Pinterest for Digital Photography School in particular. We’ve never quite cracked it but based on some of the advice that I received over the last few months, we’re going to give it another go. That’s high on our agenda for 2019. I’m interested to see if we can replicate some of the results that Rowan got being in a similar niche to him.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. Again, you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269. You’ll find the link there to out family podcast as well, if you do want to have a listen to that. It’s called the Rowse Report. Anchor is slowly adding it all in the different podcasting app.

At the point I’m recording this, it’s not on iTunes yet, but is on Anchor and I think also on Pocket Casts. But hopefully, it will all be added in the coming days and weeks as well. Just search for Rowse Report or check out the show notes. I would love to know what you think about it and we would love any suggestions you’ve got for a name for that podcast as well. Have a listen and see what you think. I do think that the stars of the show will be my kids though, so you might want to have a listen to that. It’s kind of funny seeing your seven-year-old talk about a book that he’s reading. Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. You can check that one out. I’ll chat with you next week where we’re coming back to our normal schedule called Podcasting at ProBlogger. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

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268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views

The post 268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Expanded Her Income Streams and Engaged Readers in a New Way

As a blogger, do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel? Do you need to continually feed the machine to keep your blog generating traffic and income?

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with Anita Joyce, who experienced the same problem with her Cedar Hill Farmhouse blog.

Anita was working non-stop on her blog. She didn’t even have time to go to the grocery store or relax with her family.

But the income from her blog was tied to page views, so she needed a breakthrough.

Anita shares what she did to diversify her income streams and engage her readers in a new way. She started a podcast that turns listeners into friends, and a store that provides relevant products and valuable content for her audience.

Anita has some tips to share with you:

  • Survey your audience to find out what they want from you and what you want to give them
  • Partner with others to gain expertise in areas you need covered
  • Don’t give up if you fail. Focus on your failures and learn from your mistakes

When something isn’t working with your blog, try something new to diversify traffic sources and income streams. That way, if something does go wrong it increases your income and puts you in a better position to survive.

Links and Resources for How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views:

Further Reading

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Darren: Hello there friends. Welcome to episode 268 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger. A blog that’s dedicated to really helping you to start an amazing blog, to grow the traffic of that blog, to grow an income from that blog, and to help your readers in some way as well.

You can find more about ProBlogger and what we do at problogger.com. You might also, while you’re there, check out our two free course. I have one free course, How to Start a Blog, and our other paid course, 31 Days to Build A Better Blog. Particularly check out that Start a Blog course if you are looking to get going with blogging.

Now today, we’re continuing our series all of blogger breakthrough stories and we’ve got Anita Joyce from cedarhillfarmhouse.com. She’s got a great story that I think is going to really connect with many of you because she shares a problem that many bloggers have–that feeling of being on the hamster wheel with your blog.

Have you ever felt like you’ve built a blog and you may have built some traffic, you may have built some income, but to keep generating that income, you need to keep feeding the machine? This is something that Anita talks about to her realized that her blog was very dependent upon page views and shares a story of what she did about that to diversify her income streams and to engage with her readers in a new way.

So really some really practical things. I want to come back at the end of what Anita talks about to really share some of my own story with these as well and to give you a little bit of further reading because Anita’s story is going to relate really well to some of you, but there are some ways that you can apply what she’s talking about in different ways and I want to highlight some of those at the end of the show.

Now you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/268. I’ve got some further reading and some further listening for you today. I’ll mention those things at the end of Anita’s story. So thanks Anita for sharing. Again, you can find her at cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

Anita: Hi, I’m Anita Joyce from Houston, Texas. My blog is called Cedar Hill Farmhouse named after our farm in Round Top, Texas. You can find it at www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

I started my blog in March of 2011 and it’s about country French interior design. Before my breakthrough, I was working nonstop on my blog. I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store or spend time with my family. It felt like a big hamster wheel to produce the content, and then promote my blog. My traffic was about 250,000 page views a month which you know, it’s not a large number, but it really was enough for me to work with, and it was providing me with good opportunities and good income.

It was opening doors for me so I did get a book deal and my book is actually in its second edition now. My blog has definitely been working for me. I’ve been in over 25 national magazines mostly in the US, but also in Italy and France, and I was one of the winners of the Dash and Albert rug design challenge last year. I got to design a rug with them that will be released later this year and that’s an opportunity that I would have never gotten without my blog.

The problem with my blog was that I was working nonstop and my income was so tied to page views. As you probably know, page views for so many blogs are going down and so this is a real issue if your income is tied to page views. I felt like I was needing a new source of income so that I wasn’t so dependent on page views. Basically, I wanted off the hamster wheel and this is why I decided I felt like I needed a breakthrough.

My breakthrough came in two different ways. The first thing I did was I started a podcast on decorating called, Decorating Tips and Tricks with my friends Kelly Wilkniss and Yvonne Pratt and you can find that on iTunes or at our website www.decoratingtipsandtricks.com. The podcast really helped us connect on a much deeper level with listeners and readers. They often tell us they feel like they’re hanging out with us or they feel like they’re hanging out with friends over coffee when they listen to their podcast. I hope they feel like I’m their friend because I feel like I am.

We get about 140,000 downloads a month right now. What I’m seeing is every month, we get more and more downloads. So as podcasts are gaining, it seems like blogs are losing readers. I think it’s really kind of a nice place to be looking if you haven’t looked at podcasts. I think it’s really worth your time. The second breakthrough happened when Kelly and I—my podcast host and I—opened an online home decor store this year called Bespoke Decor and you can find that at www.bespoke.store.

We wanted to provide a product or service for listeners that would really be of value. Not just something that would provide us with income, but something that we knew they would love and something that would make their lives better. I knew from a reader survey that I had done, that over 90% of my listeners and readers, people who responded to my survey were saying they were interested in buying home decor products from me. I had a much smaller number say that they were interested in purchasing a decorating course from us. So that really told us where to start and we may do some decorating courses later, but I felt like the products was really the place for us to start.

So breakthrough one was starting a podcast, breakthrough two starting an online store–these were two pretty big things that we’ve done recently. How things have changed since the breakthrough is that my income stream has changed in a big way. So now a big chunk of my income source is from our store. We still have sponsors, I still have sponsors from my podcast, from the blog and there’s an ad income, but this is a whole new source and it’s not so dependent on page views, and really, you develop this core group of customers and they often are repeat customers.

The first month of business for our store, we sold about 700 pillows. We were so excited. It’s a great start and we really see so much opportunity for this business to grow over time. Although the shop is really time consuming, I feel like I’ll be able to delegate some things pretty soon. With blogging, I really didn’t feel like I could delegate much because my readers could really sense when I wasn’t there and when other people were filling in for me. I think that’s normal with a personal blog but with the store, I don’t feel like it’s so necessary for me to be involved in every little aspect.

The other thing is I now have a business partner for the shop, Kelly, and so it’s wonderful that she does so much of the work and helps out so much. So I’m not doing everything myself like I am with my blog. This fall, we are really taking Darren’s advice. He said in a previous podcast episode of ProBlogger that, “Rather than spending so much time with other bloggers, we should spend time with potential readers or listeners.” Tomorrow, I’m headed out with Kelly of Bespoke Decor and we’re going to the Round Top Antique Show.

This is a huge event in Texas. There’s about 100,000 people that show up for every and there’s two shows a year. We’re so excited to be going there and we’re really hoping to meet a bunch of new people and hopefully, kind of find out what they’re looking for, get to know them, get to talk to them and I’m hoping that we’ll get some people signed up for our newsletter for the shop and subscribe to the podcast. So it’s an exciting time for us. Thanks Darren, what a great tip. We’re really looking forward to it.

I have two tips that I want to share with you. One is to survey your readers or listeners and find out what they want from you in the way of products or services. And at the same time, really think about what you want to provide for them, and then wherever those to intersect, that is going to be your sweet spot. That’s where you can really provide something that your readers want and something that you want to provide.

The second tip is to partner with others if you don’t have expertise in an area that you need covered. Kelly and I really can’t be selling all of these pillows and the bedding and everything. It’s just far too much for us to do and it’s not although I sew, it’s very different sewing the kind of volume that we need. We partnered with a great company to do the manufacturing of our pillows and bedding. We do the designing, selling, photography and marketing and we really let them do what they’re best at, sewing our textile products like our pillows and are bedding. I feel like it’s important not to spend too much time trying to improve on areas where you know you don’t excel and I think that really can waste your time. So stick with your strengths and hire the rest out.

One more thing I’d like to share with you is not to give up if you fail and not to even think it’s a bad thing when you fail. I feel like that is so important for learning. That’s where we learn is when we’re making mistakes and I feel like it’s so important to really spend time thinking about when you’ve made a mistake what is it that you can improve.

I know I submitted my home to the magazine on the first time, my first try to a magazine I got a very polite, “Thanks, but no thanks.” and it was clear that they had no interest in my photography or my decorating. I really spent a lot of time thinking about, “What’s wrong with this picture? Why did they not want it?” I looked at their magazine, I looked at my picture, and I really had to admit that my picture really stunk. It really was helpful for me to take an honest look at my work and say, “I need to improve.”

After that experience, I really focused on improving my photography, improving my decorating skills and it paid off. All of that hard work, all that focus on improving paid off. Like I said, I’ve been in over 25 magazines and had five covers. I think it’s important to really focus on your failures and seeing how you can improve. Remember, I mean it’s a good thing to do. I think this is where you’re learning.

And not only have I been featured in magazines, I also have a column on interior design in the Round Top Register and our podcast actually has a column on decorating in the Country Sampler seasonal magazines. I hope that that gives you some encouragement to keep trying, don’t give up, and don’t even think that failure is a bad thing. Enjoy your blog, enjoy the ride and thanks so much for listening, and thanks Darren for having me on ProBlogger. I appreciate it so much. Take care.

Darren: Thanks so much Anita for sharing your story today. As I said at the top of the show, I think this is something that many of us can relate to. I certainly could as I heard Anita talking. Now for Anita, she felt kind of trapped, I guess, by the model that she was using of monetizing her blog, very reliant upon advertising, sponsorship which particularly when you’re doing it with advertising networks as I was in nearly days is very dependent upon page views.

There are some things that you can do to grow your income without increasing your page views particularly in the early days of using advertising. For example, you can put more ads on your page or you can position the ads on your page differently. But once you get that optimization of your ads dialed in, the only real wide to grow your income is to get more page views. This presents a real challenge both because there’s a ceiling I guess for many of us in how many page views we can get and many bloggers kind of run into that issue but is also a danger if you can’t maintain your page views.

This is something I ran into early on in my blogging. Just after I went full time with my blogging, I was relying upon Google to send me most of my traffic, and I was relying upon AdSense to monetize my blog. When one day my search traffic disappeared overnight, my traffic plummeted, but also my income did as well. I realized that I was too dependent upon this one single source of traffic but also this one single source of income.

This is something that many bloggers run into whether it be a disappearing traffic from search or whether it be from another source, maybe Facebook has been decreasing the amount of traffic it sends to you as it has for most bloggers. How are you going to maintain that income that you might have been generating if you’re so dependent upon page views? What do you do in that situation? Really, Anita has given you a couple of really great keys here.

She’s done it in quite a specific why and what I want to say, as I kind of mentioned at the top of the show, is that you can take the same principles that Anita did, and you can apply them in different ways for you. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t want to start a podcast. I don’t want to start an online store.” Well, there’s other ways that you can apply these. What do you need to do? You need to do something new and that’s the key for me. You need to diversify in different ways.

I actually wrote a mini series of blog posts back a few years ago now and I’ll link to them in the show notes where I tell my own journey with this and I talk about that experience of losing all my traffic overnight and what I did about it. What I did about it was two things: firstly, I diversified my traffic sources, and secondly, I diversified my income streams. I tell how I do those things in these articles which I’ll link to in the show notes.

In some ways, it’s exactly what Anita did too. Anita started a new podcast which increased her numbers. Now she has page views and downloads. She’s got increased numbers and this allows her to monetize in the same model that she was already using with advertising and sponsorships in a new way by increasing her numbers. This is great, it enables her to continue to grow that advertising income but also as she mentions by starting a podcast has deepened her relationship with her existing audience.

The audience now feel like they’re spending time with her and this has been my experience too with this very podcast every time I meet ProBlogger readers and listeners now, it’s the listeners of the podcast who feel a deeper connection with me. We’re actually going to do an episode in a couple episodes time with the guys at PodcastMotor to talk about podcasting if that’s something that you want to get into as well. Podcasting is just one way of increasing your numbers.

There’s a variety of other ways that you can increase your pageviews, your reader numbers, your reach, I guess. It might be starting a video channel, it might be by doing more on live video, it might be looking at new traffic sources like Pinterest or Instagram, or reaching your audience in a new way. I talked about some of those in the article in the show notes today.

The second thing that Anita did was that she diversified her income streams. This is again what I did as well. I didn’t start an online store where I sold physical products like Anita did. She did it that way because that related to her audience.

I did it by creating eBooks, by starting to work with partners as an affiliate for their products. Again, you can read more about how I did it. But the key is to realize that there are more ways to monetize your blog than just with the model that you are currently using. For Anita, it was expanding beyond advertising and sponsorships and adding these are new income stream is again another way of diversifying what she has done.

Now, it’s worth noting that Anita mentioned she still has her advertising revenue. It’s not about switching tracks completely from one revenue source to another, it’s by building a second income stream and this strengthens her business. This puts her in a better position to survive if something goes wrong with that first income stream. For example, if traffic drops, if the bottom falls out in the advertising revenue that she has, if that one stream of income is impacted by seasonal ups and downs, by adding a second, by adding a third or even a fourth income stream, it sets you up with a stronger business to see it through those ups and downs in business.

Again for me, I added new income streams. For me it was about not just relying upon AdSense, but working directly with sponsors, building my own products, running events, adding a job board. Today, I’ve got 11 or 12 different income streams. It didn’t happen overnight, but by adding in gradually over time new income streams, I have built a stronger business. I still do run AdSense on my first blog. I didn’t get rid of it, but I’ve added new things into it as well.

Great tips there from Anita. I really do appreciate those things. The other things that she mentioned there was to get to know you readers. She did surveys, she’s gone to events to meet her readers, to spend time with them. This understanding of your readers enables you to monetize better. It enables you to drive traffic in different ways. It enables you to make decisions about whether you should start a store or sell courses or do both, this is so important.

The other tip that she mentions there is to partner with others. She did that in a couple of ways in the story. She partnered with Kelly I think it was to do a podcast and to create that online store. But also she partnered with another organization who could create some of the products that she sold. You don’t have to do it all. Again, this is something I’ve learned over the years as well. I would create all the products that I’ve created in eBooks and courses because I’ve partnered with other people to create those products with them.

All the eBooks that we sell on Digital Photography School were written by other people and we designed them. We put them in our store and we share the revenue of those things. I didn’t have to create 30 different courses and eBooks. I was able to partner with other people to grow does new income streams.

Lastly, that last piece of advice is just so good, “Don’t worry when you fail. Don’t give up when you fail. Learn from it. Tweak your approach moving forward, improve, keep going forward.” Part of the process of diversifying means that you’re definitely going to try some things that aren’t going to work. You’re going to try some you traffic sources, you might try new medium, you might try new income stream. It may not work or it may not work perfectly when you first started, that’s okay. What did you learn? How could you evolve what you tried and what else could you try?

There’s so many different things that you can learn from trying new things. Some of those things will work really well, I’m sure of it. There’s been times where I’ve tried new things and they’ve worked literally overnight. I remember adding a new ad network at one point and that was called Chitika. It literally doubled my income overnight for my advertising revenue and it was amazing. But there were other times where I tried new ad networks and they didn’t work. In fact, they negatively impacted some of the things I was already doing. You’re going to learn some things, track what you’re trying, see what works and evolve your approach.

Again, you can find Anita’s site at cedarhillfarmhouse.com. There’s a link to her site in the show notes as well. I’ve got some further reading in the show notes today. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/268.

There’s three articles there. The first one is where I talk about my disappearing traffic. If you want to hear a little bit more about how I just completely dropped out of Google in the early days of my blogging. The second article in that series is about how I diversified my traffic as a result of that experience. The third article is about how I diversified my income streams. If you prefer to listen, go and listen to episodes 153 and 154. Thanks for listening to this episode today.

We’ve got one more blogger breakthrough coming next week and then we get back into some other kinds of episodes as well including that interview with Craig over at PodcastMotor. If you are interested in podcasting check at PodcastMotor. They’ve got some great resources for new podcasters, they also offer some services around producing your podcast, editing your podcast as well which is exactly how we use PodcastMotor as well, so check them out. Check out the show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/268 where you will find a full transcript of today’s show. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

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268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views

The post 268: How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Expanded Her Income Streams and Engaged Readers in a New Way

As a blogger, do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel? Do you need to continually feed the machine to keep your blog generating traffic and income?

We continue our Blogger Breakthroughs series with Anita Joyce, who experienced the same problem with her Cedar Hill Farmhouse blog.

Anita was working non-stop on her blog. She didn’t even have time to go to the grocery store or relax with her family.

But the income from her blog was tied to page views, so she needed a breakthrough.

Anita shares what she did to diversify her income streams and engage her readers in a new way. She started a podcast that turns listeners into friends, and a store that provides relevant products and valuable content for her audience.

Anita has some tips to share with you:

  • Survey your audience to find out what they want from you and what you want to give them
  • Partner with others to gain expertise in areas you need covered
  • Don’t give up if you fail. Focus on your failures and learn from your mistakes

When something isn’t working with your blog, try something new to diversify traffic sources and income streams. That way, if something does go wrong it increases your income and puts you in a better position to survive.

Links and Resources for How Anita Diversified Her Blogging Income and Depended Less On Page Views:

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Darren: Hello there friends. Welcome to episode 268 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger. A blog that’s dedicated to really helping you to start an amazing blog, to grow the traffic of that blog, to grow an income from that blog, and to help your readers in some way as well.

You can find more about ProBlogger and what we do at problogger.com. You might also, while you’re there, check out our two free course. I have one free course, How to Start a Blog, and our other paid course, 31 Days to Build A Better Blog. Particularly check out that Start a Blog course if you are looking to get going with blogging.

Now today, we’re continuing our series all of blogger breakthrough stories and we’ve got Anita Joyce from cedarhillfarmhouse.com. She’s got a great story that I think is going to really connect with many of you because she shares a problem that many bloggers have–that feeling of being on the hamster wheel with your blog.

Have you ever felt like you’ve built a blog and you may have built some traffic, you may have built some income, but to keep generating that income, you need to keep feeding the machine? This is something that Anita talks about to her realized that her blog was very dependent upon page views and shares a story of what she did about that to diversify her income streams and to engage with her readers in a new way.

So really some really practical things. I want to come back at the end of what Anita talks about to really share some of my own story with these as well and to give you a little bit of further reading because Anita’s story is going to relate really well to some of you, but there are some ways that you can apply what she’s talking about in different ways and I want to highlight some of those at the end of the show.

Now you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/268. I’ve got some further reading and some further listening for you today. I’ll mention those things at the end of Anita’s story. So thanks Anita for sharing. Again, you can find her at cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

Anita: Hi, I’m Anita Joyce from Houston, Texas. My blog is called Cedar Hill Farmhouse named after our farm in Round Top, Texas. You can find it at www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com.

I started my blog in March of 2011 and it’s about country French interior design. Before my breakthrough, I was working nonstop on my blog. I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store or spend time with my family. It felt like a big hamster wheel to produce the content, and then promote my blog. My traffic was about 250,000 page views a month which you know, it’s not a large number, but it really was enough for me to work with, and it was providing me with good opportunities and good income.

It was opening doors for me so I did get a book deal and my book is actually in its second edition now. My blog has definitely been working for me. I’ve been in over 25 national magazines mostly in the US, but also in Italy and France, and I was one of the winners of the Dash and Albert rug design challenge last year. I got to design a rug with them that will be released later this year and that’s an opportunity that I would have never gotten without my blog.

The problem with my blog was that I was working nonstop and my income was so tied to page views. As you probably know, page views for so many blogs are going down and so this is a real issue if your income is tied to page views. I felt like I was needing a new source of income so that I wasn’t so dependent on page views. Basically, I wanted off the hamster wheel and this is why I decided I felt like I needed a breakthrough.

My breakthrough came in two different ways. The first thing I did was I started a podcast on decorating called, Decorating Tips and Tricks with my friends Kelly Wilkniss and Yvonne Pratt and you can find that on iTunes or at our website www.decoratingtipsandtricks.com. The podcast really helped us connect on a much deeper level with listeners and readers. They often tell us they feel like they’re hanging out with us or they feel like they’re hanging out with friends over coffee when they listen to their podcast. I hope they feel like I’m their friend because I feel like I am.

We get about 140,000 downloads a month right now. What I’m seeing is every month, we get more and more downloads. So as podcasts are gaining, it seems like blogs are losing readers. I think it’s really kind of a nice place to be looking if you haven’t looked at podcasts. I think it’s really worth your time. The second breakthrough happened when Kelly and I—my podcast host and I—opened an online home decor store this year called Bespoke Decor and you can find that at www.bespoke.store.

We wanted to provide a product or service for listeners that would really be of value. Not just something that would provide us with income, but something that we knew they would love and something that would make their lives better. I knew from a reader survey that I had done, that over 90% of my listeners and readers, people who responded to my survey were saying they were interested in buying home decor products from me. I had a much smaller number say that they were interested in purchasing a decorating course from us. So that really told us where to start and we may do some decorating courses later, but I felt like the products was really the place for us to start.

So breakthrough one was starting a podcast, breakthrough two starting an online store–these were two pretty big things that we’ve done recently. How things have changed since the breakthrough is that my income stream has changed in a big way. So now a big chunk of my income source is from our store. We still have sponsors, I still have sponsors from my podcast, from the blog and there’s an ad income, but this is a whole new source and it’s not so dependent on page views, and really, you develop this core group of customers and they often are repeat customers.

The first month of business for our store, we sold about 700 pillows. We were so excited. It’s a great start and we really see so much opportunity for this business to grow over time. Although the shop is really time consuming, I feel like I’ll be able to delegate some things pretty soon. With blogging, I really didn’t feel like I could delegate much because my readers could really sense when I wasn’t there and when other people were filling in for me. I think that’s normal with a personal blog but with the store, I don’t feel like it’s so necessary for me to be involved in every little aspect.

The other thing is I now have a business partner for the shop, Kelly, and so it’s wonderful that she does so much of the work and helps out so much. So I’m not doing everything myself like I am with my blog. This fall, we are really taking Darren’s advice. He said in a previous podcast episode of ProBlogger that, “Rather than spending so much time with other bloggers, we should spend time with potential readers or listeners.” Tomorrow, I’m headed out with Kelly of Bespoke Decor and we’re going to the Round Top Antique Show.

This is a huge event in Texas. There’s about 100,000 people that show up for every and there’s two shows a year. We’re so excited to be going there and we’re really hoping to meet a bunch of new people and hopefully, kind of find out what they’re looking for, get to know them, get to talk to them and I’m hoping that we’ll get some people signed up for our newsletter for the shop and subscribe to the podcast. So it’s an exciting time for us. Thanks Darren, what a great tip. We’re really looking forward to it.

I have two tips that I want to share with you. One is to survey your readers or listeners and find out what they want from you in the way of products or services. And at the same time, really think about what you want to provide for them, and then wherever those to intersect, that is going to be your sweet spot. That’s where you can really provide something that your readers want and something that you want to provide.

The second tip is to partner with others if you don’t have expertise in an area that you need covered. Kelly and I really can’t be selling all of these pillows and the bedding and everything. It’s just far too much for us to do and it’s not although I sew, it’s very different sewing the kind of volume that we need. We partnered with a great company to do the manufacturing of our pillows and bedding. We do the designing, selling, photography and marketing and we really let them do what they’re best at, sewing our textile products like our pillows and are bedding. I feel like it’s important not to spend too much time trying to improve on areas where you know you don’t excel and I think that really can waste your time. So stick with your strengths and hire the rest out.

One more thing I’d like to share with you is not to give up if you fail and not to even think it’s a bad thing when you fail. I feel like that is so important for learning. That’s where we learn is when we’re making mistakes and I feel like it’s so important to really spend time thinking about when you’ve made a mistake what is it that you can improve.

I know I submitted my home to the magazine on the first time, my first try to a magazine I got a very polite, “Thanks, but no thanks.” and it was clear that they had no interest in my photography or my decorating. I really spent a lot of time thinking about, “What’s wrong with this picture? Why did they not want it?” I looked at their magazine, I looked at my picture, and I really had to admit that my picture really stunk. It really was helpful for me to take an honest look at my work and say, “I need to improve.”

After that experience, I really focused on improving my photography, improving my decorating skills and it paid off. All of that hard work, all that focus on improving paid off. Like I said, I’ve been in over 25 magazines and had five covers. I think it’s important to really focus on your failures and seeing how you can improve. Remember, I mean it’s a good thing to do. I think this is where you’re learning.

And not only have I been featured in magazines, I also have a column on interior design in the Round Top Register and our podcast actually has a column on decorating in the Country Sampler seasonal magazines. I hope that that gives you some encouragement to keep trying, don’t give up, and don’t even think that failure is a bad thing. Enjoy your blog, enjoy the ride and thanks so much for listening, and thanks Darren for having me on ProBlogger. I appreciate it so much. Take care.

Darren: Thanks so much Anita for sharing your story today. As I said at the top of the show, I think this is something that many of us can relate to. I certainly could as I heard Anita talking. Now for Anita, she felt kind of trapped, I guess, by the model that she was using of monetizing her blog, very reliant upon advertising, sponsorship which particularly when you’re doing it with advertising networks as I was in nearly days is very dependent upon page views.

There are some things that you can do to grow your income without increasing your page views particularly in the early days of using advertising. For example, you can put more ads on your page or you can position the ads on your page differently. But once you get that optimization of your ads dialed in, the only real wide to grow your income is to get more page views. This presents a real challenge both because there’s a ceiling I guess for many of us in how many page views we can get and many bloggers kind of run into that issue but is also a danger if you can’t maintain your page views.

This is something I ran into early on in my blogging. Just after I went full time with my blogging, I was relying upon Google to send me most of my traffic, and I was relying upon AdSense to monetize my blog. When one day my search traffic disappeared overnight, my traffic plummeted, but also my income did as well. I realized that I was too dependent upon this one single source of traffic but also this one single source of income.

This is something that many bloggers run into whether it be a disappearing traffic from search or whether it be from another source, maybe Facebook has been decreasing the amount of traffic it sends to you as it has for most bloggers. How are you going to maintain that income that you might have been generating if you’re so dependent upon page views? What do you do in that situation? Really, Anita has given you a couple of really great keys here.

She’s done it in quite a specific why and what I want to say, as I kind of mentioned at the top of the show, is that you can take the same principles that Anita did, and you can apply them in different ways for you. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t want to start a podcast. I don’t want to start an online store.” Well, there’s other ways that you can apply these. What do you need to do? You need to do something new and that’s the key for me. You need to diversify in different ways.

I actually wrote a mini series of blog posts back a few years ago now and I’ll link to them in the show notes where I tell my own journey with this and I talk about that experience of losing all my traffic overnight and what I did about it. What I did about it was two things: firstly, I diversified my traffic sources, and secondly, I diversified my income streams. I tell how I do those things in these articles which I’ll link to in the show notes.

In some ways, it’s exactly what Anita did too. Anita started a new podcast which increased her numbers. Now she has page views and downloads. She’s got increased numbers and this allows her to monetize in the same model that she was already using with advertising and sponsorships in a new way by increasing her numbers. This is great, it enables her to continue to grow that advertising income but also as she mentions by starting a podcast has deepened her relationship with her existing audience.

The audience now feel like they’re spending time with her and this has been my experience too with this very podcast every time I meet ProBlogger readers and listeners now, it’s the listeners of the podcast who feel a deeper connection with me. We’re actually going to do an episode in a couple episodes time with the guys at PodcastMotor to talk about podcasting if that’s something that you want to get into as well. Podcasting is just one way of increasing your numbers.

There’s a variety of other ways that you can increase your pageviews, your reader numbers, your reach, I guess. It might be starting a video channel, it might be by doing more on live video, it might be looking at new traffic sources like Pinterest or Instagram, or reaching your audience in a new way. I talked about some of those in the article in the show notes today.

The second thing that Anita did was that she diversified her income streams. This is again what I did as well. I didn’t start an online store where I sold physical products like Anita did. She did it that way because that related to her audience.

I did it by creating eBooks, by starting to work with partners as an affiliate for their products. Again, you can read more about how I did it. But the key is to realize that there are more ways to monetize your blog than just with the model that you are currently using. For Anita, it was expanding beyond advertising and sponsorships and adding these are new income stream is again another way of diversifying what she has done.

Now, it’s worth noting that Anita mentioned she still has her advertising revenue. It’s not about switching tracks completely from one revenue source to another, it’s by building a second income stream and this strengthens her business. This puts her in a better position to survive if something goes wrong with that first income stream. For example, if traffic drops, if the bottom falls out in the advertising revenue that she has, if that one stream of income is impacted by seasonal ups and downs, by adding a second, by adding a third or even a fourth income stream, it sets you up with a stronger business to see it through those ups and downs in business.

Again for me, I added new income streams. For me it was about not just relying upon AdSense, but working directly with sponsors, building my own products, running events, adding a job board. Today, I’ve got 11 or 12 different income streams. It didn’t happen overnight, but by adding in gradually over time new income streams, I have built a stronger business. I still do run AdSense on my first blog. I didn’t get rid of it, but I’ve added new things into it as well.

Great tips there from Anita. I really do appreciate those things. The other things that she mentioned there was to get to know you readers. She did surveys, she’s gone to events to meet her readers, to spend time with them. This understanding of your readers enables you to monetize better. It enables you to drive traffic in different ways. It enables you to make decisions about whether you should start a store or sell courses or do both, this is so important.

The other tip that she mentions there is to partner with others. She did that in a couple of ways in the story. She partnered with Kelly I think it was to do a podcast and to create that online store. But also she partnered with another organization who could create some of the products that she sold. You don’t have to do it all. Again, this is something I’ve learned over the years as well. I would create all the products that I’ve created in eBooks and courses because I’ve partnered with other people to create those products with them.

All the eBooks that we sell on Digital Photography School were written by other people and we designed them. We put them in our store and we share the revenue of those things. I didn’t have to create 30 different courses and eBooks. I was able to partner with other people to grow does new income streams.

Lastly, that last piece of advice is just so good, “Don’t worry when you fail. Don’t give up when you fail. Learn from it. Tweak your approach moving forward, improve, keep going forward.” Part of the process of diversifying means that you’re definitely going to try some things that aren’t going to work. You’re going to try some you traffic sources, you might try new medium, you might try new income stream. It may not work or it may not work perfectly when you first started, that’s okay. What did you learn? How could you evolve what you tried and what else could you try?

There’s so many different things that you can learn from trying new things. Some of those things will work really well, I’m sure of it. There’s been times where I’ve tried new things and they’ve worked literally overnight. I remember adding a new ad network at one point and that was called Chitika. It literally doubled my income overnight for my advertising revenue and it was amazing. But there were other times where I tried new ad networks and they didn’t work. In fact, they negatively impacted some of the things I was already doing. You’re going to learn some things, track what you’re trying, see what works and evolve your approach.

Again, you can find Anita’s site at cedarhillfarmhouse.com. There’s a link to her site in the show notes as well. I’ve got some further reading in the show notes today. The show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/268.

There’s three articles there. The first one is where I talk about my disappearing traffic. If you want to hear a little bit more about how I just completely dropped out of Google in the early days of my blogging. The second article in that series is about how I diversified my traffic as a result of that experience. The third article is about how I diversified my income streams. If you prefer to listen, go and listen to episodes 153 and 154. Thanks for listening to this episode today.

We’ve got one more blogger breakthrough coming next week and then we get back into some other kinds of episodes as well including that interview with Craig over at PodcastMotor. If you are interested in podcasting check at PodcastMotor. They’ve got some great resources for new podcasters, they also offer some services around producing your podcast, editing your podcast as well which is exactly how we use PodcastMotor as well, so check them out. Check out the show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/268 where you will find a full transcript of today’s show. Thanks for listening, chat with you next week.

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267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Pushed Through Her Fear

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui, who has a blog called A Life in Progress.

Krista knew nothing about setting up a social platform. But she overcame procrastination and fear to show up regularly.

Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui, who overcame fear and procrastination in her blogging

Krista shares how her first viral post “What If I All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” made a major impact, resonating with people across the world

She’s been invited by others to share her story. Through collaboration and connections, her number of followers grew from 1,000 to 35,000.

Her work brings her joy and has given her a voice. She is just like everyone else – not perfect. She affects others by giving them a chance to be seen and heard as well.

Take imperfect action, and remember to enjoy each step of your journey. The world is incredibly noisy. We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.

Don’t be afraid to be you – raw and real. Krista’s always found a way to love herself through the freedom that telling the truth offers.  

Bearing your soul and becoming an entrepreneur makes you grow.

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there, friends. Welcome to episode 267 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. If this is your first time with us, welcome to you especially. ProBlogger is a space dedicated to helping you set up a blog that will be a profitable blog and also make a difference in the world that you live in and the topics that you’re writing about. You can learn more about ProBlogger, particularly, our courses, our free Start A Blog course, and our 31 days to Build a Better Blog course over at problogger.com. Just look for the courses tab in the menu.

Today, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series with a story from Krista who comes to us from Canada. She has a blog called A Life in Progress, it’s alifeinprogress.ca. She’s going to tell us a story—a beautiful story, really, of her first experience of a viral post. It’s actually a post that went viral a number of times and the impact that it had upon her blog. A bit of a theme because last week was about viral content as well but this is a very different story. I love this story because it talks about how Krista went from procrastination fear to showing up regularly and pushing through that. It is a beautiful story and I encourage you to listen to the end. I’m going to come back at the end of the story and just pull out some of the nuggets of gold that Krista mentions in this story because it is a beautiful one.

I’m going to head over to Krista. Again, her blog is at alifeinprogress.ca and you can find the full transcript of today’s show notes, as well as links to her blog over at problogger.com/podcast/267.

Krista: Hello, I am Krista from Central Alberta, Canada. I write at alifeinprogress.ca. I help other messy humans like me show up through comparison, perfectionism, and fear so they can show up fully in their imperfect and beautiful lives. Again, you can find me at alifeinprogress.ca.

I started vlogging three years ago. I had been showing up weekly to my blog for about 4 ½ months, when a post of mine went viral for the first time. I say for the first time because initially I was contacted by the BBC London about my post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? and after they shared it, my post spread throughout Europe.

About a year later, some minimalist bloggers in the United States picked it up, and the post took off again for a second time. Having recently emerged from a time of crisis in my life when I wrote that mediocre life post, I was just practicing showing up myself through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to take imperfect action. I was super clear on my mission or my why. But I actually, knew absolutely nothing, about building an online platform or business. Good thing, I’m a very curious and stubborn person.

I did step out and begin to offer my work as a holistic health and joyful living educator in my small community. I was super hungry to write and connect online as well. Facebook has always been a perfect fit for me. I started a Facebook page and began to offer incredibly imperfect live videos just to serve and share my working heart.  Time was really limited because I was actually homeschooling my youngest at that time still. Also, I had been a master procrastinator for most of my life.

My goal wasn’t actually to make anything in particular happen but to just have fun and practice showing up through fear. I needed to learn to take baby steps and honor my wiring. By that, I mean I’m a very strong introvert. I need a lot of time to potter, think, and breathe. I opted out of hustle from day one.

That particular post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?, I actually wrote that one day in tears. For most of my life, I wrestled with feelings of never being good enough. I had come far. My 40s we’re certainly a healing time in my life. But on that day, I was struggling and I wrote it in tears just super honestly and I never expected anybody besides my 12 siblings to actually read it. It was a reminder to myself that who I am is enough. I’ve always found freedom in truth telling. One of the ways that I practice loving myself is actually just telling the truth. I know that it opens up space for other people to tell the truth.

When that senior journalist from the BBC London contacted me, I was rather surprised, and that is an understatement. I live in a very small town in Central Alberta and I certainly, wasn’t expecting something like that. We had a really good chat. I did an interview with her that became part of a series that BBC created.

Following that, I received countless requests to reprint my article in multiple languages. This very simple honest post had hit a chord with people across the globe. Although, people closer to home had no idea who I was or what I was up to.

The first year after launching A Life in Progress, my business and my blog, my Facebook page just slowly, slowly grew to about 1,000 followers. and that first thousand is hard to achieve. But after some minimalist bloggers in the States shared my post, so thank you, no sidebar and becoming minimalist, it quickly grew to about 12,000.

In my second year of blogging, I received many opportunities to guest post or write for other people including for Maria Shriver’s, The Sunday Paper, which was fun. I just kept plodding along, slow and steady, and walking up my values.

I just have entered my fourth year. I just hit my three-year mark at the end of August of blogging. I’m very clear that my growth has only come because of collaboration or connecting with other people including those who initially shared my work. I’ve made beautiful friends online, gleaned from others, offered encouragement of my own. I’m filled with gratitude for the privilege of sharing my mission online to a growing and quite engaged community. I sometimes feel discouraged or not enough still, but when I pull myself back to my mission and just show up, I find joy in my work and amazing door of opportunities continue to open up to me.

This year, I think I’m going to work more closer to full time. But the past three years, I’ve only worked part-time. I’ve opted out of hassle. But I do have fairly steady client work.

Having one post go viral, even twice, didn’t alone or in it of itself, drastically changed my life or income, but showing up consistently did. Nonetheless, having that one post go viral did give me a voice I may not have otherwise had. It enlarged my circle of impact. Last year, I think my Facebook page grew to about around 35,000. I launched another page and grew that really rapidly. It helped people get to know the real me—a messy human just like them—and helped thousands of people feel heard and seen, and that’s very powerful, I think.

If I was to offer another, say newer blogger any tips, this would be it: I think this world is incredibly noisy. I do not think that we need more people trying to look, act or be the same, we need honesty. While there are many moving parts to building an online business or community and the work never ends, I encourage you to do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision as this will be what sustains you when things go hard, or when people are mean, or you get a little stuck in the mire comparison and fear, it happens. Just show up slow and steady, take imperfect action and remember to enjoy each step of the journey. Sounds cliche, but I actually believe in that. Look for opportunities to build meaningful connection online and serve your community well whatever the size. Also, don’t be afraid to shift course as you go. I really think that we find our path by getting our hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to just be you–raw and real. Finally, I would encourage you to loosen your grip on a particular or precise outcome so you can open up to joyful possibility–that’s definitely one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past three years is this gift of opening up to joyful possibility.

I set goals and track them. I time block to make space for my deep work. But I never could’ve envisioned some of the opportunities that have opened up to me simply because I showed up. There are definitely, days I wished that I would write something else that people would get super excited about.

Some days, I do feel frustrated or in some seasons with algorithm changes or periods of stagnating growth. There are days that the best thing I can do is to just shut it all down and take a break. I do try to build a life and business that permits that. Baring your soul and becoming an entrepreneur calls you to growth. It definitely, does. But every single day, I’m grateful that I had the courage to sit down that day—2 ½ years ago—to pen that very honest, simple, truthful, blog post.

Darren: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista. Beautiful theme going on, unintentionally, in the podcast over the last few months. Back in episode 263, Mim talked in her story about being vulnerable and in episode 255, I talked about vulnerability as well. It’s certainly a theme today from Krista. I love how honestly Krista shared today both in this episode but also on her blog.

The story will resonate with a lot of us because many of us do have issues with procrastination which she mentioned and fear. I just love this as a story of showing up with that fear. I’ve talked in previous episodes about having wobbly courage. You don’t ever really overcome the fear, but showing up with that fear is wobbly courage. I also love that she talks about being a bit of an introvert there and needing space to think, breathe, and potter because I can relate to that as well.

Let’s just pull out some of the tips. I did take a few notes as I listened to Krista’s story. I listened to it two or three times because there was so much in that last few minutes that I think will help many people.

Keep persisting. “Walking out my values,” was something Krista talked about doing. I love the fact that she really did blog from understanding who she was and not feeling like she had to show up and be someone else. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty,” I think was the line. That’s a great quote—one that I’m going to add to my little quotes. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.”

“Do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision. Show up slow and steady.” These are the lines I wrote down. I just think we need to really ponder if you are someone who is struggling with procrastination, if you’re someone who struggles with fear, these are great lessons. “Take imperfect action,” something that I first heard Jadah Sellner talk about. Taking that imperfect action is better than no action at all. “Building meaningful connection online,” and being open to shift course as you go. “Don’t be afraid to shift course, to loosen your grip on a precise outcome and be open to joyful possibility.”

These are just great words of advice and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these things, there is some encouragement for those of you who do struggle with those issues of fear and procrastination. There’s hope. There’s hope for all of us who do struggle with these things.

I want to commend it to you, bookmark this episode, and listen to it again if you ask someone who does struggle with those things. If you know someone who struggles with fear and procrastination as a blogger or in some other area, I encourage you to share this episode, Krista’s story, with them as well.

“Show up, take imperfect action, and don’t be afraid to be you. Be raw and real and be honest.” Great advice there. Thank you, Krista, so much for sharing with us today.

Again, you can find Krista at alifeinprogress.ca. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/267. Next week, we’re going to take a little pause in this blogger breakthroughs series because I’ve got a great interview with Craig who is from Podcast Motor. Podcast Motor produced our podcast for us and they’ve got some exciting things coming up.

We’re going to do a podcast next week on Podcasting for Bloggers. I’m going to interview Craig and give you some tips on that topic. Then we will come back and do two more episodes of this series before we resume our regular podcasting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I’m going to pop a few links in the show notes today too. Some of those other episodes that you might want to listen to on the topic of vulnerability, episode 263 and episode 255. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week as we talk about podcasting.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

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The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging

The post 267: How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging appeared first on ProBlogger.

How One Blogger Pushed Through Her Fear

We continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series with Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui, who has a blog called A Life in Progress.

Krista knew nothing about setting up a social platform. But she overcame procrastination and fear to show up regularly.

Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui, who overcame fear and procrastination in her blogging

Krista shares how her first viral post “What If I All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” made a major impact, resonating with people across the world

She’s been invited by others to share her story. Through collaboration and connections, her number of followers grew from 1,000 to 35,000.

Her work brings her joy and has given her a voice. She is just like everyone else – not perfect. She affects others by giving them a chance to be seen and heard as well.

Take imperfect action, and remember to enjoy each step of your journey. The world is incredibly noisy. We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.

Don’t be afraid to be you – raw and real. Krista’s always found a way to love herself through the freedom that telling the truth offers.  

Bearing your soul and becoming an entrepreneur makes you grow.

Links and Resources for How Krista Overcame Fear and Procrastination in Her Blogging:

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey, there, friends. Welcome to episode 267 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. If this is your first time with us, welcome to you especially. ProBlogger is a space dedicated to helping you set up a blog that will be a profitable blog and also make a difference in the world that you live in and the topics that you’re writing about. You can learn more about ProBlogger, particularly, our courses, our free Start A Blog course, and our 31 days to Build a Better Blog course over at problogger.com. Just look for the courses tab in the menu.

Today, we’re continuing our blogger breakthrough series with a story from Krista who comes to us from Canada. She has a blog called A Life in Progress, it’s alifeinprogress.ca. She’s going to tell us a story—a beautiful story, really, of her first experience of a viral post. It’s actually a post that went viral a number of times and the impact that it had upon her blog. A bit of a theme because last week was about viral content as well but this is a very different story. I love this story because it talks about how Krista went from procrastination fear to showing up regularly and pushing through that. It is a beautiful story and I encourage you to listen to the end. I’m going to come back at the end of the story and just pull out some of the nuggets of gold that Krista mentions in this story because it is a beautiful one.

I’m going to head over to Krista. Again, her blog is at alifeinprogress.ca and you can find the full transcript of today’s show notes, as well as links to her blog over at problogger.com/podcast/267.

Krista: Hello, I am Krista from Central Alberta, Canada. I write at alifeinprogress.ca. I help other messy humans like me show up through comparison, perfectionism, and fear so they can show up fully in their imperfect and beautiful lives. Again, you can find me at alifeinprogress.ca.

I started vlogging three years ago. I had been showing up weekly to my blog for about 4 ½ months, when a post of mine went viral for the first time. I say for the first time because initially I was contacted by the BBC London about my post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? and after they shared it, my post spread throughout Europe.

About a year later, some minimalist bloggers in the United States picked it up, and the post took off again for a second time. Having recently emerged from a time of crisis in my life when I wrote that mediocre life post, I was just practicing showing up myself through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to take imperfect action. I was super clear on my mission or my why. But I actually, knew absolutely nothing, about building an online platform or business. Good thing, I’m a very curious and stubborn person.

I did step out and begin to offer my work as a holistic health and joyful living educator in my small community. I was super hungry to write and connect online as well. Facebook has always been a perfect fit for me. I started a Facebook page and began to offer incredibly imperfect live videos just to serve and share my working heart.  Time was really limited because I was actually homeschooling my youngest at that time still. Also, I had been a master procrastinator for most of my life.

My goal wasn’t actually to make anything in particular happen but to just have fun and practice showing up through fear. I needed to learn to take baby steps and honor my wiring. By that, I mean I’m a very strong introvert. I need a lot of time to potter, think, and breathe. I opted out of hustle from day one.

That particular post, What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?, I actually wrote that one day in tears. For most of my life, I wrestled with feelings of never being good enough. I had come far. My 40s we’re certainly a healing time in my life. But on that day, I was struggling and I wrote it in tears just super honestly and I never expected anybody besides my 12 siblings to actually read it. It was a reminder to myself that who I am is enough. I’ve always found freedom in truth telling. One of the ways that I practice loving myself is actually just telling the truth. I know that it opens up space for other people to tell the truth.

When that senior journalist from the BBC London contacted me, I was rather surprised, and that is an understatement. I live in a very small town in Central Alberta and I certainly, wasn’t expecting something like that. We had a really good chat. I did an interview with her that became part of a series that BBC created.

Following that, I received countless requests to reprint my article in multiple languages. This very simple honest post had hit a chord with people across the globe. Although, people closer to home had no idea who I was or what I was up to.

The first year after launching A Life in Progress, my business and my blog, my Facebook page just slowly, slowly grew to about 1,000 followers. and that first thousand is hard to achieve. But after some minimalist bloggers in the States shared my post, so thank you, no sidebar and becoming minimalist, it quickly grew to about 12,000.

In my second year of blogging, I received many opportunities to guest post or write for other people including for Maria Shriver’s, The Sunday Paper, which was fun. I just kept plodding along, slow and steady, and walking up my values.

I just have entered my fourth year. I just hit my three-year mark at the end of August of blogging. I’m very clear that my growth has only come because of collaboration or connecting with other people including those who initially shared my work. I’ve made beautiful friends online, gleaned from others, offered encouragement of my own. I’m filled with gratitude for the privilege of sharing my mission online to a growing and quite engaged community. I sometimes feel discouraged or not enough still, but when I pull myself back to my mission and just show up, I find joy in my work and amazing door of opportunities continue to open up to me.

This year, I think I’m going to work more closer to full time. But the past three years, I’ve only worked part-time. I’ve opted out of hassle. But I do have fairly steady client work.

Having one post go viral, even twice, didn’t alone or in it of itself, drastically changed my life or income, but showing up consistently did. Nonetheless, having that one post go viral did give me a voice I may not have otherwise had. It enlarged my circle of impact. Last year, I think my Facebook page grew to about around 35,000. I launched another page and grew that really rapidly. It helped people get to know the real me—a messy human just like them—and helped thousands of people feel heard and seen, and that’s very powerful, I think.

If I was to offer another, say newer blogger any tips, this would be it: I think this world is incredibly noisy. I do not think that we need more people trying to look, act or be the same, we need honesty. While there are many moving parts to building an online business or community and the work never ends, I encourage you to do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision as this will be what sustains you when things go hard, or when people are mean, or you get a little stuck in the mire comparison and fear, it happens. Just show up slow and steady, take imperfect action and remember to enjoy each step of the journey. Sounds cliche, but I actually believe in that. Look for opportunities to build meaningful connection online and serve your community well whatever the size. Also, don’t be afraid to shift course as you go. I really think that we find our path by getting our hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to just be you–raw and real. Finally, I would encourage you to loosen your grip on a particular or precise outcome so you can open up to joyful possibility–that’s definitely one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past three years is this gift of opening up to joyful possibility.

I set goals and track them. I time block to make space for my deep work. But I never could’ve envisioned some of the opportunities that have opened up to me simply because I showed up. There are definitely, days I wished that I would write something else that people would get super excited about.

Some days, I do feel frustrated or in some seasons with algorithm changes or periods of stagnating growth. There are days that the best thing I can do is to just shut it all down and take a break. I do try to build a life and business that permits that. Baring your soul and becoming an entrepreneur calls you to growth. It definitely, does. But every single day, I’m grateful that I had the courage to sit down that day—2 ½ years ago—to pen that very honest, simple, truthful, blog post.

Darren: Thank you so much for sharing your story, Krista. Beautiful theme going on, unintentionally, in the podcast over the last few months. Back in episode 263, Mim talked in her story about being vulnerable and in episode 255, I talked about vulnerability as well. It’s certainly a theme today from Krista. I love how honestly Krista shared today both in this episode but also on her blog.

The story will resonate with a lot of us because many of us do have issues with procrastination which she mentioned and fear. I just love this as a story of showing up with that fear. I’ve talked in previous episodes about having wobbly courage. You don’t ever really overcome the fear, but showing up with that fear is wobbly courage. I also love that she talks about being a bit of an introvert there and needing space to think, breathe, and potter because I can relate to that as well.

Let’s just pull out some of the tips. I did take a few notes as I listened to Krista’s story. I listened to it two or three times because there was so much in that last few minutes that I think will help many people.

Keep persisting. “Walking out my values,” was something Krista talked about doing. I love the fact that she really did blog from understanding who she was and not feeling like she had to show up and be someone else. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty,” I think was the line. That’s a great quote—one that I’m going to add to my little quotes. “We don’t need more people being the same. We need honesty.”

“Do the messy work to unearth your unique voice and vision. Show up slow and steady.” These are the lines I wrote down. I just think we need to really ponder if you are someone who is struggling with procrastination, if you’re someone who struggles with fear, these are great lessons. “Take imperfect action,” something that I first heard Jadah Sellner talk about. Taking that imperfect action is better than no action at all. “Building meaningful connection online,” and being open to shift course as you go. “Don’t be afraid to shift course, to loosen your grip on a precise outcome and be open to joyful possibility.”

These are just great words of advice and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these things, there is some encouragement for those of you who do struggle with those issues of fear and procrastination. There’s hope. There’s hope for all of us who do struggle with these things.

I want to commend it to you, bookmark this episode, and listen to it again if you ask someone who does struggle with those things. If you know someone who struggles with fear and procrastination as a blogger or in some other area, I encourage you to share this episode, Krista’s story, with them as well.

“Show up, take imperfect action, and don’t be afraid to be you. Be raw and real and be honest.” Great advice there. Thank you, Krista, so much for sharing with us today.

Again, you can find Krista at alifeinprogress.ca. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/267. Next week, we’re going to take a little pause in this blogger breakthroughs series because I’ve got a great interview with Craig who is from Podcast Motor. Podcast Motor produced our podcast for us and they’ve got some exciting things coming up.

We’re going to do a podcast next week on Podcasting for Bloggers. I’m going to interview Craig and give you some tips on that topic. Then we will come back and do two more episodes of this series before we resume our regular podcasting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I’m going to pop a few links in the show notes today too. Some of those other episodes that you might want to listen to on the topic of vulnerability, episode 263 and episode 255. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week as we talk about podcasting.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

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266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’

The post 266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’ appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Used Viral Content to Grow Her Income Enough to Cover Her Mortgage Payments

Rachel Miller is back on ProBlogger for our Blogging Breakthroughs series, which features bloggers’ stories about traffic, income, and other parts of blogging.

Blogging has transformed Rachel’s life, and made a difference in the lives of others.

Rachel Miller uses viral content to earn a six-figure income

Rachel shares various breakthroughs that helped her generate a blogging income that went from paying for her groceries and mortgage to building a six-figure business.

How’d she do it? By harnessing the power of her audience and going viral.

Virals aren’t just about people seeing your content. They can also help you grow your bank account.

Every time you love on your audience by creating content that engages and resonates with them, it takes your brand to the next level.

Rachel went from affiliates to dropshipping and fulfillment through Amazon. She went from making pennies on each product to a decent percentage.

She always puts a product on a viral. Don’t create a viral just for the sake of traffic. Add a monetization stream to it. Rachel also drives traffic to her eProducts to make sales.

Blogging has given Rachel a debt-free lifestyle. Her audience benefits from it, too.

Build your audience for the purpose of getting ad revenue and making a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

What product can you create to celebrate an audience and what they love?

Links and Resources for How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’:

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey there, friends. It’s Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 266 of the ProBlogger Show. So today, I want to introduce you or re-introduce you to Rachel Miller. Many of you will know her from her previous episode where I interviewed her about Facebook strategies. It was titled “Five Actionable Tips For Better Results On Your Facebook Page.” It was back in episode 208 and it’s been one of our most popular episode and so I decided to invite Rachel to be a part of our blogger breakthrough series that we’re currently running where we hand the podcast over to bloggers and other online entrepreneurs to talk to us about some of the breakthroughs that they’ve had in their blogging and online entrepreneurial journey.

Rachel has been doing this for years now. I think it’s about 11 years that she’s been blogging and working particularly on Facebook where she’s renowned that’s why I interviewed her on that topic last time. Today she’s going to share her story with a series of breakthroughs that have helped her to move from blogging income that paid for her groceries and paid for a modest mortgage through advertising revenue to building a business that’s in high six figures per year some years. And has literally transformed her life and the life all of others as well. I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about that result later.

It’s one that is really impressive and I find quite inspirational because it’s not just about buying things for her, it’s actually about making a difference in the lives of others as well. I will mention that last time Rachel was on in that previous episode, she had some free downloadable cheat sheets to help you with your Facebook marketing and they’re particularly going to help you with a story that she shares today around getting viral content. She’s going to tell a story about how she got viral content to her blog. One of the cheat sheets is how to get viral titles or how to craft viral titles. I will link to that in today’s show notes and you can grab that as well as a couple of other downloads that she has for you as well.

Rachel also has an amazing Facebook group which I’ll link too in the show notes too which is all about Facebook marketing. It’s the group I always recommend to people who want to know more about how to do Facebook with the latest strategies with all the algorithms. I always say go to this Facebook group. So I’ll link to all of that in today’s show notes. So you might want to open them up as you listen to her story where I’ll also link to all her other things. She’s got numerous sites. You can find the show notes today @problogger.com/podcast/266.

That’s 266 if you look for the latest podcast, it will be there and I will mention that Rachel also has a course that I think is opening on the day this podcast goes live. So I’ll pop a link into that as well for you to check out. It’s all about Facebook marketing. Okay, there’s lots of things there but you can find all those links on the show notes today. I’m going to hand it over to Rachel and then I want to pull things back at the end of the show today just pull out some of the things that I heard her talking about that I think we can apply as bloggers today. Here’s Rachel.

Rachel: Hi, it’s Rachel Miller here. My story with blogging is interesting. I have a couple of URLs. I started with the website quirkymomma.com. And I’m going to spell that so it’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-M-O-M-M-A no one spells it that way but that’s a story in itself. So Quirky Momma was my first website and I sold that website and then I went on to create the websites 1Crazy House, Crazy Cat Lady and One Pot Crockpot as well as the website and the brand moolah.life.

My journey through blogging and my breakthrough from blogging and my breakthrough to becoming a multiple even high six figures some years blogger is really harnessing the power of your audience. Okay so I’m going to take you guys back about five years ago. Do you guys remember when these loom bracelets were a thing? My daughter was about seven and she came home with these rubbery bracelets and she was so excited about the thing she was making, all of her friends, they were swapping them and they were making them for each other. She was so excited by these and I knew that if my daughter was excited about these bracelets, there are probably dozens of other kids out there excited about these bracelets too.

So I went online and I went through a lot of different tutorials to find ways to make these bracelets even cooler for my daughter. I realize that there weren’t a lot of tutorials. So what I did is I created basically a how-to guide on how to make these loom bracelets for kids. I knew it will do well I didn’t expect it to go viral and I didn’t expect it to sell like a mad sauce. When it went viral, the fact that we had put affiliate links on there and that we have monetized the post really well, it was the first time that I saw what happens when you combine a huge surge of traffic with an affiliate product and kind of the magic that that brings.

We got 1.9 million page views to that post and then we saw our revenue just skyrocket that month. that was a huge breakthrough for me because I realized that virals aren’t just about getting people to see your content, virals are helping your bank account see like a big growth because every time you have a post that gets a lot of engagement, every time you love on your audience and you create content for that audience that your audience relates to and resonates with, it takes your whole audience takes your whole exposure of your brand to another level.

Every time you make a new post that goes to that next level, you have a new I guess baseline took to grow from. So yes, I made $4,000 that month in affiliate sales. That gave me a baseline to say, hey, wait a second. What if I tweaked these little things in this post and next time I create a viral, next time I have a post that goes bonkers, and yes I’ve had more than, I think I’ve had 29 posts on that site go to over a million.

I’ve had other sites that I have, they all had posts that had gone to over a million. Next time I have a viral, what will I do to take the next viral to an even bigger level. So it makes me more than $4,000, it makes me a new amount of money. My next breakthrough after that was okay, so we’ve done affiliates and I’ve got a viral post that create these pieces of content to get massive engagement and organic and given that I’m not paying for. I created that content, I market it on Facebook and through different channels to get eyeballs to it.

I have affiliates on it. now what can I do instead of an affiliate because with an affiliate, I may be making 8% if it’s a really good affiliate or maybe I’m only making 2% or 3%, what if I sourced that product myself? Then I went from affiliates to dropshipping and that was a really cool job because I went from making pennies on the product to making 30% of the product. After dropshipping then it was fulfillment through Amazon. So it was really fun to see that breakthrough and that breakthrough for me happened the first time I got a product to go just bonkers and that was those affiliate product that I got to go bonkers was those loomband bracelets.

How long have I been blogging? I have been blogging for 11 years now and it was it was really cool to see what happens when you can mix engagement with a product. What was the impact of my breakthrough. My breakthrough, I don’t know how to say it. It kind of changed my life because before this point, I saw blogging as something that paid for my mortgage or paid for my mortgage and the groceries.

At that time guys, put this in perspective. My mortgage was $550 a month so I wasn’t asking a lot out of my blog when I was getting hundreds of thousands of views and millions of views a month to be able to pay for my mortgage. When I saw what happens with affiliates and products when you can get attention on that product and how it brought in a surge of revenue, why can’t I have that revenue every month? Why can’t I have that traffic every month? So instead of having one viral with one affiliate product, we scaled it. We made 29 virals with 29 products and so now I have 29 posts that have each brought more than a million. Some of them two million three million each.

It was so exciting to see, that’s 3 million page views guys, that’s people that clicked over to my website. I don’t know if I got to three, I think I got to 3 million one time. Most of them I got 2 million the 29ers and a couple 1.9 million to two million and then we’ve got one that’s almost 3 million. It was really cool to see what happens but we want to always whenever I have a viral now, I want to always put a product on that viral.

So you don’t want to just have a viral for the sake of traffic, you want to have a way to monetize that traffic. Before this breakthrough I just was monetizing with just ads which is great but you can do so much more. What if you had ad traffic, ad revenue from AdSense or Ad Network and an affiliate product or and your own product that you’re selling. That was my breakthrough through blogging and then my next breakthrough, so I had that transition from not selling products and just doing ads into now having products that are affiliate and then from affiliate into drop shipping and then into my own physical products and I was creating product lines.

Then my next scale from that after that is bringing into eproducts. What I mean by eproducts is online or digital. Something where you’re not having to keep a physical product in stock because it’s super scalable. You can just drive more traffic to it and make more sales. So yeah so that was my transition of sales using traffic and building an engaged audience to building a lifestyle business. Today guys, I look at my websites and I am amazed at the gift that they have been to me and the gift that they’ve been to my family.

I’ve paid for my adoptions. We adopted two of our children and our adoption was paid for almost entirely through blog money. Could you believe it guys? Could you believe it? Debt free blog money. From there, we went on and we’ve built the websites, it’s paid for our new house, it bought my husband’s car. I could not have had that happen if I didn’t have the transition of realizing I’m building this audience for a purpose. That purpose that I’m building that audience for is to, yes, get ad revenue and yes, to make a difference in their lives but make a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

So think about yourself and myself, what says that something’s important to us, it’s either our time or our money. For us to make a difference in our reader’s lives, we kind of need to have them make an investment of time or money into something. Yeah I’m just so thrilled that my blog got to make investment in people’s lives and make a difference in their lives and make people smile with loom bracelets, with vacuum cleaners, with cat food, with meal plans and more recently with a course that helps people learn how to grow audiences too.

What tip would I give you guys so you can have a similar breakthrough? I want you to think of a product that you can create an audience for. So is it loom bracelets? What kind of people enjoy loom bracelets? Parents of kids right? Because they’re the ones crafting and kneading these little bracelets together. It could be cat t-shirts, crazy cat lady t-shirts. What kind of audience buys a crazy cat lady t-shirts? Crazy cat ladies. So let’s make an audience celebrating those people and the things that they love. Darren, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate you and I hope you have a great day.

Darren: Rachel is one of the most enthusiastic speakers I’ve ever heard. We had her at our Success Incubator event last year and she knows what she’s talking about with Facebook. One of the challenges we Facebook is that things are constantly changing. What’s working today in a Facebook page, or on a group, or with live video isn’t always going to be working tomorrow and Rachel’s probably the person that I go to when I want to find out what the latest changes have been.

So do check out her Facebook group, I’ll link it in the show notes. Do check out the downloadable cheat sheets that I’ll also link in the show notes today. If you want to invest in learning more about Facebook, check out her course which goes live today. It’s October 2018 if you’re listening to this in replay, I think she always has a white list for her courses as well. So I’ll pop a link to all that in the show notes today.

Let’s just recap a couple of things that I heard Rachel talking about today. I love that she has evolved her monetization and this is something that I’ve talked about numerous times on the podcast before. Many bloggers get into blogging thinking they’re going to monetize in one way and it can work. Rachel talked about how she was able to fund her groceries and her mortgage using advertising, using AdSense or other ad networks and that’s brilliant.

A lot of bloggers, that changes their life but they don’t know that there could be more. Many bloggers stop at that point. I was very similar. AdSense income was amazing for me. It delivered more income than I thought I would ever get online but once I began to experiment with other income streams and for me it was other types of affiliate marketing and my own products very similar transition and evolution to what Rachel talked about, that literally changed my life.

Today, AdSense is great. I could live off my AdSense earnings but it’s about a tenth of what I make and I would never have been able to unlock all of these other income streams if I hadn’t pushed enough, I hadn’t experimented with different income streams. Many of you have seen the money map that we talked about with the different ways that you can monetize blogging. I came up with about 40 different ways you can monetize a blog and Rachel talked about three or four of them in her session. I’ve experimented with probably about 20 of them and have said about five or six today.

There’s lots out there. Not all of them are going to work for you. You may find ads work for you, you may find affiliate works for you, you may find a physical product as Rachel did. It works for you or you may find in eproduct works for you as well, or you may find selling your services or something else works better for you. Keep pushing, keep evolving the way that you drive the income. The other great thing that I really love about what Rachel talks about is the purpose of viral traffic.

A lot of bloggers want viral traffic but they don’t actually have any way of capitalizing upon that apart from a few extra dollars from advertising revenue or AdSense revenue. I love that Rachel is thinking as she’s creating the content about what product she will promote as a result of that piece of content. Now I’m sure she creates more than just the 29 pieces of content that have gone viral. I’m sure she’s probably created hundreds of pieces of content and not all of them have gone viral but to have a product there that she can promote off the back of that viral content before she even creates it, before she even publishes that I think is a very smart move.

As you are thinking about your content, always be asking yourself the question, how is this post going to make money if it takes off? What can you promote off the back of it? What sponsorship or partnership could you arrange before it goes off? What affiliate product could you promote as a result of that post going viral or what how could I capture email addresses from that? At the very least, do something that’s going to enable you to promote something else later on for people. So think about that content before you hit publish particularly if you think it’s the type of content that will be popular with your readers.

Rachel is brilliant with this. You’ll learn a lot more about it if you go and check out her Facebook group. Again, links in the show notes to all of these things. The viral titles downloadable that she’s created is great. I think it’s 25 different types of titles that can work for you and these work on Facebook. I’ve tried them and they do really work very well but they also work as blog post titles as well. So check out those downloadables. They’re in the show notes. Today’s show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266 and check out the Facebook group and check out her course as well.

I did the course I think it was a year and a half ago now and it really changed my Facebook strategy at that time. I probably need to do her course again though because things have changed in the last year or so and I need a bit of a refresher on some of that. Lastly, I just love the fact that Rachel is using her income to do something that’s not just about buying her a house or new car, she’s actually doing something that’s changing the lives of her readers by creating value for them but also to use that money to be involved in adoption.

I know she’s a big supporter of other not for profits that I won’t enlist here but I know she’s someone who has been very generous with her influence and with the income that she’s able to generate as well. Thanks Rachel for sharing generously today. There’s a lot more she could have said but I did limit the time that she could talk today to 10 minutes as I have with all of our stories so check her out. Her resources are all linked on the show notes today. Thanks for listening. Again, the show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266.

I should also say, I’m an affiliate for Rachel’s course so I want to say that right upfront. I do get a small commission when you buy that and if you buy that. But check it out, she has a money back guarantee on it as well. So if it’s not for you, I’m sure she doesn’t mind refunding and money and I certainly don’t mind missing out on the commission if you do go that option as well. For me, it’s kind of pointless to recommend something if it’s not actually going to help you and if I haven’t done it myself. So check out what she’s got to offer. Thanks again Rachel and I will chat to you next week in this blogger breakthrough series.

We got I think two or three left in the series and then we’re going to get into some interviews and a couple of other things that I’ve got lined up for you as well. Thanks for listening and one last little thank you to PodcastMotor who put together this podcast. They produce it for me, edit it for me, you can check out them and I’ll link them in the show notes as well.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

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The post 266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’ appeared first on ProBlogger.

266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’

The post 266: How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’ appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Used Viral Content to Grow Her Income Enough to Cover Her Mortgage Payments

Rachel Miller is back on ProBlogger for our Blogging Breakthroughs series, which features bloggers’ stories about traffic, income, and other parts of blogging.

Blogging has transformed Rachel’s life, and made a difference in the lives of others.

Rachel Miller uses viral content to earn a six-figure income

Rachel shares various breakthroughs that helped her generate a blogging income that went from paying for her groceries and mortgage to building a six-figure business.

How’d she do it? By harnessing the power of her audience and going viral.

Virals aren’t just about people seeing your content. They can also help you grow your bank account.

Every time you love on your audience by creating content that engages and resonates with them, it takes your brand to the next level.

Rachel went from affiliates to dropshipping and fulfillment through Amazon. She went from making pennies on each product to a decent percentage.

She always puts a product on a viral. Don’t create a viral just for the sake of traffic. Add a monetization stream to it. Rachel also drives traffic to her eProducts to make sales.

Blogging has given Rachel a debt-free lifestyle. Her audience benefits from it, too.

Build your audience for the purpose of getting ad revenue and making a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

What product can you create to celebrate an audience and what they love?

Links and Resources for How Viral Content Grew Rachel’s Income from ‘Pay for Groceries’ to ‘Buy a House’:

Further Listening

Courses

Join our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Darren: Hey there, friends. It’s Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 266 of the ProBlogger Show. So today, I want to introduce you or re-introduce you to Rachel Miller. Many of you will know her from her previous episode where I interviewed her about Facebook strategies. It was titled “Five Actionable Tips For Better Results On Your Facebook Page.” It was back in episode 208 and it’s been one of our most popular episode and so I decided to invite Rachel to be a part of our blogger breakthrough series that we’re currently running where we hand the podcast over to bloggers and other online entrepreneurs to talk to us about some of the breakthroughs that they’ve had in their blogging and online entrepreneurial journey.

Rachel has been doing this for years now. I think it’s about 11 years that she’s been blogging and working particularly on Facebook where she’s renowned that’s why I interviewed her on that topic last time. Today she’s going to share her story with a series of breakthroughs that have helped her to move from blogging income that paid for her groceries and paid for a modest mortgage through advertising revenue to building a business that’s in high six figures per year some years. And has literally transformed her life and the life all of others as well. I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about that result later.

It’s one that is really impressive and I find quite inspirational because it’s not just about buying things for her, it’s actually about making a difference in the lives of others as well. I will mention that last time Rachel was on in that previous episode, she had some free downloadable cheat sheets to help you with your Facebook marketing and they’re particularly going to help you with a story that she shares today around getting viral content. She’s going to tell a story about how she got viral content to her blog. One of the cheat sheets is how to get viral titles or how to craft viral titles. I will link to that in today’s show notes and you can grab that as well as a couple of other downloads that she has for you as well.

Rachel also has an amazing Facebook group which I’ll link too in the show notes too which is all about Facebook marketing. It’s the group I always recommend to people who want to know more about how to do Facebook with the latest strategies with all the algorithms. I always say go to this Facebook group. So I’ll link to all of that in today’s show notes. So you might want to open them up as you listen to her story where I’ll also link to all her other things. She’s got numerous sites. You can find the show notes today @problogger.com/podcast/266.

That’s 266 if you look for the latest podcast, it will be there and I will mention that Rachel also has a course that I think is opening on the day this podcast goes live. So I’ll pop a link into that as well for you to check out. It’s all about Facebook marketing. Okay, there’s lots of things there but you can find all those links on the show notes today. I’m going to hand it over to Rachel and then I want to pull things back at the end of the show today just pull out some of the things that I heard her talking about that I think we can apply as bloggers today. Here’s Rachel.

Rachel: Hi, it’s Rachel Miller here. My story with blogging is interesting. I have a couple of URLs. I started with the website quirkymomma.com. And I’m going to spell that so it’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-M-O-M-M-A no one spells it that way but that’s a story in itself. So Quirky Momma was my first website and I sold that website and then I went on to create the websites 1Crazy House, Crazy Cat Lady and One Pot Crockpot as well as the website and the brand moolah.life.

My journey through blogging and my breakthrough from blogging and my breakthrough to becoming a multiple even high six figures some years blogger is really harnessing the power of your audience. Okay so I’m going to take you guys back about five years ago. Do you guys remember when these loom bracelets were a thing? My daughter was about seven and she came home with these rubbery bracelets and she was so excited about the thing she was making, all of her friends, they were swapping them and they were making them for each other. She was so excited by these and I knew that if my daughter was excited about these bracelets, there are probably dozens of other kids out there excited about these bracelets too.

So I went online and I went through a lot of different tutorials to find ways to make these bracelets even cooler for my daughter. I realize that there weren’t a lot of tutorials. So what I did is I created basically a how-to guide on how to make these loom bracelets for kids. I knew it will do well I didn’t expect it to go viral and I didn’t expect it to sell like a mad sauce. When it went viral, the fact that we had put affiliate links on there and that we have monetized the post really well, it was the first time that I saw what happens when you combine a huge surge of traffic with an affiliate product and kind of the magic that that brings.

We got 1.9 million page views to that post and then we saw our revenue just skyrocket that month. that was a huge breakthrough for me because I realized that virals aren’t just about getting people to see your content, virals are helping your bank account see like a big growth because every time you have a post that gets a lot of engagement, every time you love on your audience and you create content for that audience that your audience relates to and resonates with, it takes your whole audience takes your whole exposure of your brand to another level.

Every time you make a new post that goes to that next level, you have a new I guess baseline took to grow from. So yes, I made $4,000 that month in affiliate sales. That gave me a baseline to say, hey, wait a second. What if I tweaked these little things in this post and next time I create a viral, next time I have a post that goes bonkers, and yes I’ve had more than, I think I’ve had 29 posts on that site go to over a million.

I’ve had other sites that I have, they all had posts that had gone to over a million. Next time I have a viral, what will I do to take the next viral to an even bigger level. So it makes me more than $4,000, it makes me a new amount of money. My next breakthrough after that was okay, so we’ve done affiliates and I’ve got a viral post that create these pieces of content to get massive engagement and organic and given that I’m not paying for. I created that content, I market it on Facebook and through different channels to get eyeballs to it.

I have affiliates on it. now what can I do instead of an affiliate because with an affiliate, I may be making 8% if it’s a really good affiliate or maybe I’m only making 2% or 3%, what if I sourced that product myself? Then I went from affiliates to dropshipping and that was a really cool job because I went from making pennies on the product to making 30% of the product. After dropshipping then it was fulfillment through Amazon. So it was really fun to see that breakthrough and that breakthrough for me happened the first time I got a product to go just bonkers and that was those affiliate product that I got to go bonkers was those loomband bracelets.

How long have I been blogging? I have been blogging for 11 years now and it was it was really cool to see what happens when you can mix engagement with a product. What was the impact of my breakthrough. My breakthrough, I don’t know how to say it. It kind of changed my life because before this point, I saw blogging as something that paid for my mortgage or paid for my mortgage and the groceries.

At that time guys, put this in perspective. My mortgage was $550 a month so I wasn’t asking a lot out of my blog when I was getting hundreds of thousands of views and millions of views a month to be able to pay for my mortgage. When I saw what happens with affiliates and products when you can get attention on that product and how it brought in a surge of revenue, why can’t I have that revenue every month? Why can’t I have that traffic every month? So instead of having one viral with one affiliate product, we scaled it. We made 29 virals with 29 products and so now I have 29 posts that have each brought more than a million. Some of them two million three million each.

It was so exciting to see, that’s 3 million page views guys, that’s people that clicked over to my website. I don’t know if I got to three, I think I got to 3 million one time. Most of them I got 2 million the 29ers and a couple 1.9 million to two million and then we’ve got one that’s almost 3 million. It was really cool to see what happens but we want to always whenever I have a viral now, I want to always put a product on that viral.

So you don’t want to just have a viral for the sake of traffic, you want to have a way to monetize that traffic. Before this breakthrough I just was monetizing with just ads which is great but you can do so much more. What if you had ad traffic, ad revenue from AdSense or Ad Network and an affiliate product or and your own product that you’re selling. That was my breakthrough through blogging and then my next breakthrough, so I had that transition from not selling products and just doing ads into now having products that are affiliate and then from affiliate into drop shipping and then into my own physical products and I was creating product lines.

Then my next scale from that after that is bringing into eproducts. What I mean by eproducts is online or digital. Something where you’re not having to keep a physical product in stock because it’s super scalable. You can just drive more traffic to it and make more sales. So yeah so that was my transition of sales using traffic and building an engaged audience to building a lifestyle business. Today guys, I look at my websites and I am amazed at the gift that they have been to me and the gift that they’ve been to my family.

I’ve paid for my adoptions. We adopted two of our children and our adoption was paid for almost entirely through blog money. Could you believe it guys? Could you believe it? Debt free blog money. From there, we went on and we’ve built the websites, it’s paid for our new house, it bought my husband’s car. I could not have had that happen if I didn’t have the transition of realizing I’m building this audience for a purpose. That purpose that I’m building that audience for is to, yes, get ad revenue and yes, to make a difference in their lives but make a difference in their lives by selling them a product.

So think about yourself and myself, what says that something’s important to us, it’s either our time or our money. For us to make a difference in our reader’s lives, we kind of need to have them make an investment of time or money into something. Yeah I’m just so thrilled that my blog got to make investment in people’s lives and make a difference in their lives and make people smile with loom bracelets, with vacuum cleaners, with cat food, with meal plans and more recently with a course that helps people learn how to grow audiences too.

What tip would I give you guys so you can have a similar breakthrough? I want you to think of a product that you can create an audience for. So is it loom bracelets? What kind of people enjoy loom bracelets? Parents of kids right? Because they’re the ones crafting and kneading these little bracelets together. It could be cat t-shirts, crazy cat lady t-shirts. What kind of audience buys a crazy cat lady t-shirts? Crazy cat ladies. So let’s make an audience celebrating those people and the things that they love. Darren, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate you and I hope you have a great day.

Darren: Rachel is one of the most enthusiastic speakers I’ve ever heard. We had her at our Success Incubator event last year and she knows what she’s talking about with Facebook. One of the challenges we Facebook is that things are constantly changing. What’s working today in a Facebook page, or on a group, or with live video isn’t always going to be working tomorrow and Rachel’s probably the person that I go to when I want to find out what the latest changes have been.

So do check out her Facebook group, I’ll link it in the show notes. Do check out the downloadable cheat sheets that I’ll also link in the show notes today. If you want to invest in learning more about Facebook, check out her course which goes live today. It’s October 2018 if you’re listening to this in replay, I think she always has a white list for her courses as well. So I’ll pop a link to all that in the show notes today.

Let’s just recap a couple of things that I heard Rachel talking about today. I love that she has evolved her monetization and this is something that I’ve talked about numerous times on the podcast before. Many bloggers get into blogging thinking they’re going to monetize in one way and it can work. Rachel talked about how she was able to fund her groceries and her mortgage using advertising, using AdSense or other ad networks and that’s brilliant.

A lot of bloggers, that changes their life but they don’t know that there could be more. Many bloggers stop at that point. I was very similar. AdSense income was amazing for me. It delivered more income than I thought I would ever get online but once I began to experiment with other income streams and for me it was other types of affiliate marketing and my own products very similar transition and evolution to what Rachel talked about, that literally changed my life.

Today, AdSense is great. I could live off my AdSense earnings but it’s about a tenth of what I make and I would never have been able to unlock all of these other income streams if I hadn’t pushed enough, I hadn’t experimented with different income streams. Many of you have seen the money map that we talked about with the different ways that you can monetize blogging. I came up with about 40 different ways you can monetize a blog and Rachel talked about three or four of them in her session. I’ve experimented with probably about 20 of them and have said about five or six today.

There’s lots out there. Not all of them are going to work for you. You may find ads work for you, you may find affiliate works for you, you may find a physical product as Rachel did. It works for you or you may find in eproduct works for you as well, or you may find selling your services or something else works better for you. Keep pushing, keep evolving the way that you drive the income. The other great thing that I really love about what Rachel talks about is the purpose of viral traffic.

A lot of bloggers want viral traffic but they don’t actually have any way of capitalizing upon that apart from a few extra dollars from advertising revenue or AdSense revenue. I love that Rachel is thinking as she’s creating the content about what product she will promote as a result of that piece of content. Now I’m sure she creates more than just the 29 pieces of content that have gone viral. I’m sure she’s probably created hundreds of pieces of content and not all of them have gone viral but to have a product there that she can promote off the back of that viral content before she even creates it, before she even publishes that I think is a very smart move.

As you are thinking about your content, always be asking yourself the question, how is this post going to make money if it takes off? What can you promote off the back of it? What sponsorship or partnership could you arrange before it goes off? What affiliate product could you promote as a result of that post going viral or what how could I capture email addresses from that? At the very least, do something that’s going to enable you to promote something else later on for people. So think about that content before you hit publish particularly if you think it’s the type of content that will be popular with your readers.

Rachel is brilliant with this. You’ll learn a lot more about it if you go and check out her Facebook group. Again, links in the show notes to all of these things. The viral titles downloadable that she’s created is great. I think it’s 25 different types of titles that can work for you and these work on Facebook. I’ve tried them and they do really work very well but they also work as blog post titles as well. So check out those downloadables. They’re in the show notes. Today’s show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266 and check out the Facebook group and check out her course as well.

I did the course I think it was a year and a half ago now and it really changed my Facebook strategy at that time. I probably need to do her course again though because things have changed in the last year or so and I need a bit of a refresher on some of that. Lastly, I just love the fact that Rachel is using her income to do something that’s not just about buying her a house or new car, she’s actually doing something that’s changing the lives of her readers by creating value for them but also to use that money to be involved in adoption.

I know she’s a big supporter of other not for profits that I won’t enlist here but I know she’s someone who has been very generous with her influence and with the income that she’s able to generate as well. Thanks Rachel for sharing generously today. There’s a lot more she could have said but I did limit the time that she could talk today to 10 minutes as I have with all of our stories so check her out. Her resources are all linked on the show notes today. Thanks for listening. Again, the show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266.

I should also say, I’m an affiliate for Rachel’s course so I want to say that right upfront. I do get a small commission when you buy that and if you buy that. But check it out, she has a money back guarantee on it as well. So if it’s not for you, I’m sure she doesn’t mind refunding and money and I certainly don’t mind missing out on the commission if you do go that option as well. For me, it’s kind of pointless to recommend something if it’s not actually going to help you and if I haven’t done it myself. So check out what she’s got to offer. Thanks again Rachel and I will chat to you next week in this blogger breakthrough series.

We got I think two or three left in the series and then we’re going to get into some interviews and a couple of other things that I’ve got lined up for you as well. Thanks for listening and one last little thank you to PodcastMotor who put together this podcast. They produce it for me, edit it for me, you can check out them and I’ll link them in the show notes as well.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find us at problogger.com/podcast. Tweet us at @ProBlogger. Find us at facebook.com/problogger or search ProBlogger on iTunes.

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