When it comes to blogging, everyone has their own story on how they got started are why they wanted to have a little spot of their own on the internet. Some wanted to start a hobby site and others maybe wanted to see if they can make some money online. However, there are many different stories in between, just like the one we have today from Sarah, who is the latest blogger to be featured in our weekly Meet the Bloggers series.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
Hello, I’m Sarah Arrow and I started blogging in 2007. My husband had a transport company, I was on maternity leave, and the leads for his business dried up. He came into the lounge and asked for my help. I said sure, not really understanding what I was committing too. I started looking at budget friendly (non-existent) ways to market his business. I found a site called BT Tradespace (now closed) and I was encouraged to blog or podcast. Blog? Oh, that’s writing. No thanks. Podcasting? Oh that’s speaking… Let me take a look at writing again… I had to write a 50-word blog post to get my profile online. It took me 2.5 hours to write those 50 words. It was the most painful experience in my life (and I have 3 children) and if the alternative wasn’t podcasting, I’d have done that instead.
I started blogging for a business that I knew very little about, and I had to work it out as I went along because no one gave advice for service based businesses and how to blog.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
I have around 50 different blogs. My most popular is a women’s business blog. When I started this, there was only content for high-flying women, and we created content for the rest of us. The niche chose me on this site. I also have several award-winning marketing blogs and writing sites. I’m not a blogger who talks about blogging, I actually have non-blogging businesses and websites.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Wherever possible I like to monetise via selling products, books and affiliate revenue. I do have one blog where I monetise by selling coaching services. I prefer to have a mix of monetisation options so that if one drops I’m not losing too much revenue.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
That podcasting would be easier!
I didn’t realize that blogging was writing. I didn’t realize every non-publisher on the planet would be telling you that you’re wrong. I didn’t realize how wonderfully therapeutic writing could be. I never knew that being rich isn’t as resented as much as imperfect grammar is.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
Blogging Tips (of course). I also love The Time Doctor. Mike shares incredible time management tips and will make your blogging more productive. I also visit Succeed at Selling every day. Susan is an incredible sales expert and every post has something actionable around sales.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
I love Thrive Content Builder. My blogging career would end if this was ever taken from the market place! I love it to bits. I’d say more but I’m sure there is a limit on the amount of times I can use the “love” word in this post 😉
Thrive Leads… I love this too. It makes list building from my blog so easy! In fact, I think I may adore this slightly more than the Content Builder.
I use Longtail Pro for my keyword research. If no one is looking for what you’re talking about, how will you generate leads? Anywhere where the person has to type to get an answer, you will need a keyword or a keyphrase.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Keep writing. Stop reading what you’re doing wrong and focus on getting it right. I recently read “Expert Secrets” by Russell Brunson and in it, he advocates publishing daily in order to discover your voice. Often a new blogger will not publish regularly enough to discover their voice and what resonates with their audience. They speak about “quality content” with no clue that what they’re writing isn’t working. Publish often, fail fast and come back stronger.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
My own advice – Write What You Wish to be Known for. What you write is what you will be known for. If you whine on your blog that’s what you’ll be known for. If you write scorchingly honest posts, that’s what you’ll be known for. You will be known for the stories you share, you will be known for the mistakes you make and you’ll be remembered for how you made your reader feel. Make it good.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
Good hosting (starts at $8 a month), Thrive membership ($19 a month) Active Campaign email marketing ($9 a month) and then the rest on FB ads driving traffic to the site and then re-targeting content with specific offers.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
You can find me here – sarkemedia.com/blog where I share a variety of tips for entrepreneurs who are marketing their businesses through their website.
Thanks again Sarah for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.