This is an interview with McKinzie Bean from Moms Make Cents.
Hey, McKinzie. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hey there! My name is McKinzie. I am a mommy of two, married to my sweetheart and a blogging junkie!
I started my first blog back in June 2012 and have been addicted to blogging and online marketing ever since.
Now I love teaching other moms how they can grow profitable blogs and make money from home over on my site Moms Make Cents.
How long have you been hustling on the side and from home and what do you love about it the most?
I started my first side-hustle back in January 2015 and it has escalated from there!
My favorite thing is the flexibility it has given me to stay at home with our kiddos. It also has been a great way for me to make new friends, refine new skills and grow our savings account in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible.
Read also: How to Start a Mommy Blog and Make Money
What businesses have you built as a stay-at-home mom?
I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur but my main businesses have been my blogs MomsMakeCents.com and TodayMommy.com.
Those are where most of my time and focus have gone.
However, in addition to my blogs, I’ve also sold on Amazon FBA, been a virtual assistant and even became the #3 recruiter in the world for the direct sales company SeneGence.
When and why did you start Moms Make Cents?
I officially launched Moms Make Cents in June of 2016.
I was currently working as a virtual assistant and had been selling on Amazon and so many other moms were asking me how I did it.
One night I was writing a long email to one of them about how to sell on Amazon FBA and I thought, “
That email turned into my first blog post on Moms Make Cents.
How are you currently making money from your blog?
On Moms Make Cents the two primary ways that I monetize are through my course sales and through affiliate sales.
My two main courses are Pin to Profits and Mom Blogging Mentor where I teach other moms how to get traffic and make money online.
I also make a significant portion of my income from affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend products or services and if someone makes a purchase through your affiliate tracking link you earn a commission. It is a win-win for you and your reader. They get to learn about a great new product and you get to earn a commission for sharing something you love.
You reached 20K page views just 3 months after starting the blog. How did that happen?
The main traffic driver for me was Pinterest. I’d professionally been managing client accounts as a virtual assistant so I applied those same strategies to my blog and the results were explosive.
I actually retested my strategies last year with a brand new blog in the parenting niche to see how effective my Pinterest strategies were for brand new bloggers.
With that blog, I was able to get over 20k page views in the first month. I outlined my process here in my guide about what strategies work for blogging beginners.
The key points are having high-quality blog posts that thoroughly answer questions, testing different blog post graphics, and creating lots of new graphics so you continually have fresh content to share.
I go through my group board strategy, Tailwind tribes, etc. in more depth in the post.
Read also: How I Grew My Blog to 78,000 Monthly Visitors Using Tailwind
What are the biggest mistakes people make on Pinterest?
Can I pick two Pinterest mistakes?
First is they aren’t focusing on their graphics enough.
They either upload a horizontal or square image from one of their posts and call it good.
Pinterest graphics need to be vertical (the recommended length is 600×900), with bright high-quality images and big text. You want a vertical image because it takes more space in the feed and you want big bold text because you need it to be easy to read even on a mobile device.
I like to make my Pinterest graphics with Canva because you can save templates which really speeds up your pin creation.
The second mistake I see is that pinners aren’t focusing on Pinterest SEO.
A lot of bloggers get a big burst of traffic to a post when they start initially pinning an image and then that traffic fades away after a few days.
That is because it just was shared to a ton of their boards and group boards and now that it isn’t going out in such density to those boards there are
One way to get long-term clicks and traffic is by implementing Pinterest SEO. This means strategically using keywords in your pins, descriptions, boards, etc. to help Pinterest understand what your pin is about so they rank it correctly in the Pinterest search.
How can Pinterest help bloggers increase their affiliate income?
By answering questions and solving problems.
Let’s say for example you are a parenting blogger. One common problem could be that a mom cannot get her toddler to stop having tantrums.
You could write an in-depth post about how to calm tantrums and link to things like helpful books, weighted blankets, lotions with calming scents, etc. that the mother could use to help her child regulate their emotions.
Plan your post strategically so that you can highlight different affiliate products.
When you solve a readers problem by linking to a product they are 1. grateful for the help and 2. more likely to purchase because they were actively looking for guidance on that subject.
A great way to figure out what problems your audience is struggling with is to use the free site Answer the Public. You enter in your keyword and it will give you a list of question that people frequently ask about that topic.
How many hours a week do you spend on your business now?
Right now I probably work on my business about 40 hours a week.
Thankfully back in early 2017, I was able to have my husband quit his job so we could focus on the businesses full-time.
However, there have been many times when I have not had that much time to work. In 2018 I had a very challenging pregnancy that had me in and out of the hospital and I was only able to work about 15 hours a week.
Even though I pulled back my hours for nearly a year I was still able to bring in a full-time income and provide for my family.
Read also: How Suzi Whitford from Start a Mom Blog Retired Her Husband at 30
What made you create your Pin to Profits course and who is it for?
I created Pin to Profits because I saw that there was a gap in the market.
Many Pinterest courses were teaching you how to get traffic, but they never taught how to optimize it and turn that traffic into sales.
Pin to Profits is a complete system that teaches how to master the foundations of Pinterest so you can drive that traffic, but also how you can leverage that traffic to build profitable sales funnels and scale your income with Promoted Pins.
How do you balance blogging with being a mom?
This was so challenging for me when my husband was working. I was trying to pull off 40 hours a week working on the businesses and I still had a little baby at home that needed me.
I would work every night from 10:00 to 2:30, plus a little bit when my baby slept and occasionally in the evenings when my husband got home.
This was too much.
Eventually, I burned out big time and refocused a bit more on my little boy.
It’s easy to get sucked in on your phone all day trying to work or read that new blog post but the days with your kiddos are ones that you can’t get back.
If you are having a hard time not getting distracted by your phone (that was me!), set a timer for one hour and leave your phone in the other room. Take it completely out of the equation and for that hour be the best mom you can be.
Get on the floor and play cars, wrestle, and chase. Do whatever makes your child feel loved. Be everything to them at that moment.
I found when I gave that dedicated mommy time to my little boy that he was more willing to play independently later so I could get some work done.
Where can people find you and what’s next for Moms Make Cents?
I would love for you to come say hi to me over at MomsMakeCents.com or in my free Facebook group Blogging Newbs.
Next, I hope to continue to serve and teach other moms that want to make money from home. If you need help feel free to reach out and maybe I can write a blog post just for you!
Stock Photo from Africa Studio @ Shutterstock