This is an interview with Chelsea Clarke from HerPaperRoute.com
Hey, Chelsea. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi Lidiya, thanks so much for having me!
I’m a marketing and blog strategist. I help entrepreneurs learn how to use blogging and marketing as a tool to fuel their business.
I offer free training on all things marketing at HerPaperRoute.com: affiliate marketing, Pinterest marketing, content marketing, email and social media marketing.
And then at BlogTips.com, I provide everything you need to become a successful blogger, offering training on blogging, SEO, and WordPress.
My goal is to take make the business of blogging accessible for everyone.
When did you start your first blog and how did it go?
Technically, I supposed I started my first ‘blog’ as a kid in the early 90s, but this was pre-Internet so my blog was Zerox’d onto paper and called a ‘zine’ haha!
I started my first online blog in the early 2000s, on Tumblr. It was just as a hobby. I wasn’t taking it too seriously or trying to run it as a business at the time.
It wasn’t until I had graduated University and working as a corporate marketing strategist years later that I realized the earnings potential in blogging.
I set up a proper WordPress website, monetized it, and was able to quit my job and blog fulltime within a few months. I haven’t looked back!
How many blogs do you run now and how much do you earn from them?
Well, I have 3 blogs that are my ‘all the time’ blogs (HerPaperRoute.com, BlogTips.com and my cruelty-free beauty/style blog StyleFauxReal.com).
And I tend to create and sell additional blogs several times per year, so I usually am running at least 5 others at any time.
My main blogs bring in about $13,000 per month before expenses, and then the ones that I sell go for anywhere from $1,600 to $60,000.
So I don’t have a set income, it always changes. How much I make depends on how well I promoted a specific product that month, or if I had an awesome website that sold.
Read also: How This Family Guy Made Over $1 Million Building and Selling Blogs
How do you monetize your blogging business and what’s your favorite way to make money blogging?
I monetize my blogging business with digital products, affiliate marketing, coaching and advertising.
My favorite way to make money blogging is by affiliate marketing! Learning about and promoting cool products is always exciting.
My other favorite way to make money is from teaching affiliate marketing. There’s so much to learn and it’s a lot of fun getting to share my strategies with students of my blog school.
Building websites for other people is another of my favorites too. It’s all good, really!
Read also: How This Girl Started a Blog That Earns $15K/Month and Quit Her Job
You recently sold your 1-year-old beauty blog for $50,000. What did you do during that 1 year to make it happen?
That year I spent most of my time creating content for it!
Writing several blog posts a week, most of which were reviews for subscription boxes and beauty products, and designing hundreds of graphics and pins. As well as promoting the content each day to generate traffic. It was a labor of love for sure!
Anyone who runs a reviews type blog knows how much work and time goes into it.
So, if you are thinking of selling your blog, I would recommend that you focus on traffic, design, and blog revenue.
These are all things that buyers take into consideration when looking to invest in a blog. I share more tips on how to sell your blog here, too!
Read also: How I Made Over $5,000 from My Blog Last Month
How do you balance working on blogs in similar niches such as HerPaperRoute and BlogTips?
It can be time consuming delegating what fits one blog or the other for sure. But BlogTips’ intention really is to be a one-stop resource for beginner bloggers to learn the basics of blogging, whereas HerPaperRoute is more related to money and business.
However, the topics that cross between the two blogs works. One supports the other, when it comes to what my students and community members need.
So, I would suggest that if you are looking to expand your blog by launching a second or third one, staying in the same niche can be a good thing.
It doesn’t hurt to create your own competition. People want options, you may as well be running the show no matter which option they go to.
What are your best tips for treating a blog like a real job and growing it?
One of the things I love most about being a blogger is that I get to work from home, and can stay in my PJs all day if I wanted to.
But honestly, that’s where the casualness ends. To run your blog as a business you really do need to have the mindset that this is your job, and spend each day working just like you would if you had an office to go to.
When I wake up I instantly spend 30 minutes promoting in Facebook groups until my toddler wakes up. Then after he’s taken care of, changed and fed I go right to my laptop and get to work for the day form my couch.
Everyone will have their own way of making it work. But having a routine and sticking to it each day will help you, bigtime!
Read also: How to Start a Blog as a Stay at Home Mom and Retire Your Husband at 30
What’s your biggest source of traffic and how did you increase it?
My biggest source of traffic for most of my sites now is Google, which is the holy grail of blogging for sure.
It took a long time to get it there. Organic Google traffic doesn’t happen overnight and it can take several months or even years for a new blog to start ranking well. Even if your SEO is on point from the start, it takes time.
It was a combination of SEO, unique quality blog content, relentless promotion, and patience.
So I always recommend that while you are waiting to crack into Google’s good graces, you focus on your Pinterest marketing efforts, and use Pinterest to generate traffic from the get-go. Even a brand new blogger can have big results from Pinterest so this is important!
What’s your current Pinterest strategy like?
I like to do a bit of manual pinning each day while also having pins scheduled as well. I tend to check in to Pinterest a few times a day to repin other people’s pins and follow new accounts.
When I pin a new blog post, I make sure that I pin it to boards which have the same keywords as my pin description, related to the blog post content. I’m also a big fan of promoting pins!
How did you launch your most successful course so far – Be Your Own Blog Boss – and how do you promote it now?
I pre-sold Be Your Own Blog Boss before I had it completely finished yet. I wanted to test the market and see if people were interested in what I had to offer, so I promoted it for an ‘early-bird’ discount a few weeks before launch.
I used Facebook groups, Pinterest, my blog, guest blogs, and my email list to generate sales, and surprised myself by how many people wanted in!
A year later and we now have over 7000 students, and growing! I still use those same platforms to promote it now.
Do you think every blogger can earn with affiliate marketing?
I do think any blogger can earn with affiliate marketing.
If you have the drive to seek out your ideal customers and put your links in front of them actively, you’ll make money. There’s really nothing else to it.
You can’t just write a blog post and wait. You need to get out there and promote your content.
How do you choose what affiliate programs to join and what’s your favorite way to promote products to your audience?
My favorite way to promote products is to explain why I use it and what its done to improve my business/life. I won’t blog about a product unless its something that I am personally excited about.
My favorite products to promote will always be the ones that offer an awesome benefit. Whether that be a tool that helps bloggers save
If the product is good for the earth and good for your business, I get excited about it.
How do you make a blog attractive to brands when you’re looking for sponsored post opportunities?
Brands want to see that your blog is active with fresh content regularly, as well as having active engagements such as social shares and comments. Your blog posts should be in-depth and interesting, of course too.
Nowadays Instagram is so popular, that brands also want to see that you have a good following on Instagram too.
Above all, make your niche as obvious as possible.
Don’t write on a million different topics because brands want to sponsor bloggers who have a niche audience who fit in line with their product.
If you don’t have a defined niche, you don’t have a defined audience, and a brand will have a harder time figuring out if it makes sense to invest in you.
What’s next for you and HerPaperRoute?
We have a few exciting launches coming up later this year, but in the meantime my main focus is creating more free resources and training!
I am constantly updating the HerPaperRoute Profitable Blog Toolkit, a free resource library which contains a ton of tools for bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Thank you again for having me =)
Pinterest @HerPaperRoute @BlogTips
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