Who are you and what business did you start?
Tracie Fobes and I started a blog
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I had dinner with a friend and she shared how they were getting out of debt. I was intrigued and so my husband and I did research and decided to do the same thing.
One thing we learned was that we needed to fix our spending. In my research, I learned about how to get great deals at drug stores, use coupons, and live frugally.
I began sharing what I learned in an online forum. One of my friends told me that I should start a blog.
I had to Google “what is a blog” as I had NOT idea what she was talking about. I decided to jump in with both feet.
One Saturday night in January 2009, my site was born.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I was clueless! I had to Google everything as I did not even know anyone who might be able to help me.
I had to learn HTML and coding — two things I knew NOTHING about. I broke my site time and again and would spend hours fixing it.
The initial set up was not too difficult but learning how to run a successful blog was something I knew nothing about.
Because of that, I nearly lost it all at around 5 years in. I did not have a proper monetization strategy and placed too many eggs into someone else’s basket.
One morning, I received an email that I thought would end it all. The partner I was using was slashing my rates and that, in turn, reduced my income by nearly 75% within 3 weeks.
I had to let much of my staff go. I had to do extensive research to learn where I went wrong and what I could do to fix that.
And, I did!
I was able to rebuild my business and create a smart action plan that lead to many streams of income, which all helped with the growth. Within two years, I was back to where I had been previously with my monthly income and it was continuing to grow.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Back when I started, Facebook would show every post you made to every follower. I had family and friends who wanted to help so they shared it with those they knew. That lead to more and more people finding me.
Those followers share it with their friends and the site began to grow from there.
I always jumped in to use new social media platforms to find readers and potential customers who would want to read what I wrote and buy the digital products I sold.
Retention has been easy as people find and follow me — because of me. It is not so much what I offer but because they can connect with me.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Things are incredible!!
After ten years running my site, I sold it for SIX FIGURES!!! The timing was perfect as I wanted to move into the coaching aspect of blogging to share my experiences and help others learn how to start and run a profitable blogging business.
I now sell courses, books and coaching and get new clients and customers every day. I know what I did wrong and what I need to do to grow my community, following and customer base to continue increasing my profits.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Oh my word – yes!! I have learned more about tech, blogging, and business than I had ever imagined.
But, one thing stands out to me. And that is perseverance.
Things are going to come your way that can help or even hurt your growth. You can’t let that derail you from following a smart business plan to keep you focused and on track to achieve your goals.
When a windfall happens, it is easy to stop doing things you feel may not be worth it and throw all your efforts into that one idea. Don’t do that as that one concept or idea might go away in the blink of an eye and you could fall flat on your face.
There will also be events or issues that make you feel what you are doing isn’t worth it. You can’t let those thoughts take you off course. You have to make the decision you CAN do this and you are going to find a way to overcome what has happened.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Oh gosh – I use many!
Hosting – Known Host
Platform – WordPress
Email Provider – ConvertKit
Landing Page Builder – Leadpages
Course Creator – Teadhable
eCommerce Store – Shopify
Cart System – ThriveCart
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The one book that has made the most difference for me is Profit First. It change my mindset in how I manage the money my site makes.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Don’t think you can’t do it — you can!! There is a lot of information online and people who are willing to help – so use them!!