No matter what type of blog you have, there is definitely a niche audience out there just waiting to hear what you have to say. That is exactly what you will find in the world of special interest and family blogs. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the content of a blog that matters, it’s also the passion and story behind it as well.
In this week’s latest edition of Meet the Bloggers, we get to talk with Lisa, who created a blog to keep her friends and family updated on what’s going on in their lives, while also keeping a focus on farming in the process. In addition to her personal blog, Lisa also has a freelance writing business and blog of her own as well. If these aren’t great examples of how to bring blogging together in your own life and business, I don’t know what it. Enjoy!
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I’m Lisa! I spent seven years teaching in the public schools of Washington before coming home to focus on homeschooling my kids. I started my first blog MaggiesMilk.com just to keep family members and friends in the loop of our crazy large family life down on the farm. I’d always enjoyed writing, and it was my outlet.
My blog started as just a hobby. But, a couple of years after I stopped teaching, money was really tight. I didn’t want to return to the classroom because I loved being home, but I knew our income needed a boost.
I started researching work from home opportunities, and found freelance writing. I started changing the posts I was writing, to give myself some samples in a variety of niches. As I started landing gigs, I earned enough to pay for hosting. That’s when I launched my second site LisaTannerWriting.com. Bootstrapping was a necessity, and it really helped me to distinguish need vs want in the whole online business thing.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
My blog focuses on helping working moms balance diapers and deadlines. As a mom of eight, I have plenty of tips and tricks that help me get it all done.I share productivity tips, ideas for integrating kids into a business, ideas for finding paying gigs that are flexible, and ways to streamline.
When I first started this second blog of mine, I really didn’t have a main focus. I’d write about whatever caught my fancy that week. Over time, I began to see a pattern in which posts got the most engagement, and I used that information to slowly narrow my scope.
In finding a niche, I tried to look for the intersection of what I enjoyed writing about, knew a lot about, and was helpful for my audience.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
I monetize with affiliate marketing and my own products (an ebook and a course currently). I also continue to offer services (writing and virtual assistance).
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish I knew not to play the comparison game. There will always be people who see higher traffic, make more money, and seem to have it altogether. There are always a bazillion “experts” out there who will tell you if you just do x, y, or z, your pieces will all fall into place and you’ll be a success.
So now I keep an eye on what the experts are doing, but only take action if it makes sense for me and my goals. Don’t compare yourself to others, but instead focus on being the best you possible.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
I always read the new content on:
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
When I switched to the Zippy Courses plugin, my course got an amazing facelift! If you’re looking for course ware, I highly recommend it.
I love using Molongui Authorship to easily add new author bios for guest posters, and for managing my own author bio.
Buffer is my go to scheduler for Twitter and Facebook. I love how easy it makes it to schedule from my phone, which is where I do most of my web browsing from. I also love that the free plan works perfectly for my needs.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
It’s okay to not do everything perfectly. It’s much better to actually start and try, learning as you go, rather than never taking action over fear that you’ll make a mistake.
As you learn and improve, implement new strategies. Don’t stress or fret over mistakes that you made when you were learning.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Read posts aloud before you hit publish. Not only will you catch errors, you’ll be able to hear your voice much better. As you read, be listening for parts that just don’t sound like you. Places where it’s worded not like you’d talk. Then make changes to let your voice shine. Readers want to hear from you.
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I’d start with a .com domain and hosting, looking through deals and trying to get the most hosting for my money. I’d have about $20 left, and I’d use that to rent a PO Box for six months or so. That way I wouldn’t have to put my address on my newsletter and I’d still be in compliance from the get go.
I’d stick with free services for list growth and management, themes, and plugins, until I had the money to pay for upgrades. Baby steps are key to growing without blowing the budget!
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
My primary blog is LisaTannerWriting.com
You can connect with me socially as well:
Thanks again Lisa 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.