Rachel has been doing this for years now. I think it’s about 11 years that she’s been blogging and working particularly on Facebook where she’s renowned that’s why I interviewed her on that topic last time. Today she’s going to share her story with a series of breakthroughs that have helped her to move from blogging income that paid for her groceries and paid for a modest mortgage through advertising revenue to building a business that’s in high six figures per year some years. And has literally transformed her life and the life all of others as well. I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about that result later.
It’s one that is really impressive and I find quite inspirational because it’s not just about buying things for her, it’s actually about making a difference in the lives of others as well. I will mention that last time Rachel was on in that previous episode, she had some free downloadable cheat sheets to help you with your Facebook marketing and they’re particularly going to help you with a story that she shares today around getting viral content. She’s going to tell a story about how she got viral content to her blog. One of the cheat sheets is how to get viral titles or how to craft viral titles. I will link to that in today’s show notes and you can grab that as well as a couple of other downloads that she has for you as well.
Rachel also has an amazing Facebook group which I’ll link too in the show notes too which is all about Facebook marketing. It’s the group I always recommend to people who want to know more about how to do Facebook with the latest strategies with all the algorithms. I always say go to this Facebook group. So I’ll link to all of that in today’s show notes. So you might want to open them up as you listen to her story where I’ll also link to all her other things. She’s got numerous sites. You can find the show notes today @problogger.com/podcast/266.
That’s 266 if you look for the latest podcast, it will be there and I will mention that Rachel also has a course that I think is opening on the day this podcast goes live. So I’ll pop a link into that as well for you to check out. It’s all about Facebook marketing. Okay, there’s lots of things there but you can find all those links on the show notes today. I’m going to hand it over to Rachel and then I want to pull things back at the end of the show today just pull out some of the things that I heard her talking about that I think we can apply as bloggers today. Here’s Rachel.
Rachel: Hi, it’s Rachel Miller here. My story with blogging is interesting. I have a couple of URLs. I started with the website quirkymomma.com. And I’m going to spell that so it’s Q-U-I-R-K-Y-M-O-M-M-A no one spells it that way but that’s a story in itself. So Quirky Momma was my first website and I sold that website and then I went on to create the websites 1Crazy House, Crazy Cat Lady and One Pot Crockpot as well as the website and the brand moolah.life.
My journey through blogging and my breakthrough from blogging and my breakthrough to becoming a multiple even high six figures some years blogger is really harnessing the power of your audience. Okay so I’m going to take you guys back about five years ago. Do you guys remember when these loom bracelets were a thing? My daughter was about seven and she came home with these rubbery bracelets and she was so excited about the thing she was making, all of her friends, they were swapping them and they were making them for each other. She was so excited by these and I knew that if my daughter was excited about these bracelets, there are probably dozens of other kids out there excited about these bracelets too.
So I went online and I went through a lot of different tutorials to find ways to make these bracelets even cooler for my daughter. I realize that there weren’t a lot of tutorials. So what I did is I created basically a how-to guide on how to make these loom bracelets for kids. I knew it will do well I didn’t expect it to go viral and I didn’t expect it to sell like a mad sauce. When it went viral, the fact that we had put affiliate links on there and that we have monetized the post really well, it was the first time that I saw what happens when you combine a huge surge of traffic with an affiliate product and kind of the magic that that brings.
We got 1.9 million page views to that post and then we saw our revenue just skyrocket that month. that was a huge breakthrough for me because I realized that virals aren’t just about getting people to see your content, virals are helping your bank account see like a big growth because every time you have a post that gets a lot of engagement, every time you love on your audience and you create content for that audience that your audience relates to and resonates with, it takes your whole audience takes your whole exposure of your brand to another level.
Every time you make a new post that goes to that next level, you have a new I guess baseline took to grow from. So yes, I made $4,000 that month in affiliate sales. That gave me a baseline to say, hey, wait a second. What if I tweaked these little things in this post and next time I create a viral, next time I have a post that goes bonkers, and yes I’ve had more than, I think I’ve had 29 posts on that site go to over a million.
I’ve had other sites that I have, they all had posts that had gone to over a million. Next time I have a viral, what will I do to take the next viral to an even bigger level. So it makes me more than $4,000, it makes me a new amount of money. My next breakthrough after that was okay, so we’ve done affiliates and I’ve got a viral post that create these pieces of content to get massive engagement and organic and given that I’m not paying for. I created that content, I market it on Facebook and through different channels to get eyeballs to it.
I have affiliates on it. now what can I do instead of an affiliate because with an affiliate, I may be making 8% if it’s a really good affiliate or maybe I’m only making 2% or 3%, what if I sourced that product myself? Then I went from affiliates to dropshipping and that was a really cool job because I went from making pennies on the product to making 30% of the product. After dropshipping then it was fulfillment through Amazon. So it was really fun to see that breakthrough and that breakthrough for me happened the first time I got a product to go just bonkers and that was those affiliate product that I got to go bonkers was those loomband bracelets.
How long have I been blogging? I have been blogging for 11 years now and it was it was really cool to see what happens when you can mix engagement with a product. What was the impact of my breakthrough. My breakthrough, I don’t know how to say it. It kind of changed my life because before this point, I saw blogging as something that paid for my mortgage or paid for my mortgage and the groceries.
At that time guys, put this in perspective. My mortgage was $550 a month so I wasn’t asking a lot out of my blog when I was getting hundreds of thousands of views and millions of views a month to be able to pay for my mortgage. When I saw what happens with affiliates and products when you can get attention on that product and how it brought in a surge of revenue, why can’t I have that revenue every month? Why can’t I have that traffic every month? So instead of having one viral with one affiliate product, we scaled it. We made 29 virals with 29 products and so now I have 29 posts that have each brought more than a million. Some of them two million three million each.
It was so exciting to see, that’s 3 million page views guys, that’s people that clicked over to my website. I don’t know if I got to three, I think I got to 3 million one time. Most of them I got 2 million the 29ers and a couple 1.9 million to two million and then we’ve got one that’s almost 3 million. It was really cool to see what happens but we want to always whenever I have a viral now, I want to always put a product on that viral.
So you don’t want to just have a viral for the sake of traffic, you want to have a way to monetize that traffic. Before this breakthrough I just was monetizing with just ads which is great but you can do so much more. What if you had ad traffic, ad revenue from AdSense or Ad Network and an affiliate product or and your own product that you’re selling. That was my breakthrough through blogging and then my next breakthrough, so I had that transition from not selling products and just doing ads into now having products that are affiliate and then from affiliate into drop shipping and then into my own physical products and I was creating product lines.
Then my next scale from that after that is bringing into eproducts. What I mean by eproducts is online or digital. Something where you’re not having to keep a physical product in stock because it’s super scalable. You can just drive more traffic to it and make more sales. So yeah so that was my transition of sales using traffic and building an engaged audience to building a lifestyle business. Today guys, I look at my websites and I am amazed at the gift that they have been to me and the gift that they’ve been to my family.
I’ve paid for my adoptions. We adopted two of our children and our adoption was paid for almost entirely through blog money. Could you believe it guys? Could you believe it? Debt free blog money. From there, we went on and we’ve built the websites, it’s paid for our new house, it bought my husband’s car. I could not have had that happen if I didn’t have the transition of realizing I’m building this audience for a purpose. That purpose that I’m building that audience for is to, yes, get ad revenue and yes, to make a difference in their lives but make a difference in their lives by selling them a product.
So think about yourself and myself, what says that something’s important to us, it’s either our time or our money. For us to make a difference in our reader’s lives, we kind of need to have them make an investment of time or money into something. Yeah I’m just so thrilled that my blog got to make investment in people’s lives and make a difference in their lives and make people smile with loom bracelets, with vacuum cleaners, with cat food, with meal plans and more recently with a course that helps people learn how to grow audiences too.
What tip would I give you guys so you can have a similar breakthrough? I want you to think of a product that you can create an audience for. So is it loom bracelets? What kind of people enjoy loom bracelets? Parents of kids right? Because they’re the ones crafting and kneading these little bracelets together. It could be cat t-shirts, crazy cat lady t-shirts. What kind of audience buys a crazy cat lady t-shirts? Crazy cat ladies. So let’s make an audience celebrating those people and the things that they love. Darren, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate you and I hope you have a great day.
Darren: Rachel is one of the most enthusiastic speakers I’ve ever heard. We had her at our Success Incubator event last year and she knows what she’s talking about with Facebook. One of the challenges we Facebook is that things are constantly changing. What’s working today in a Facebook page, or on a group, or with live video isn’t always going to be working tomorrow and Rachel’s probably the person that I go to when I want to find out what the latest changes have been.
So do check out her Facebook group, I’ll link it in the show notes. Do check out the downloadable cheat sheets that I’ll also link in the show notes today. If you want to invest in learning more about Facebook, check out her course which goes live today. It’s October 2018 if you’re listening to this in replay, I think she always has a white list for her courses as well. So I’ll pop a link to all that in the show notes today.
Let’s just recap a couple of things that I heard Rachel talking about today. I love that she has evolved her monetization and this is something that I’ve talked about numerous times on the podcast before. Many bloggers get into blogging thinking they’re going to monetize in one way and it can work. Rachel talked about how she was able to fund her groceries and her mortgage using advertising, using AdSense or other ad networks and that’s brilliant.
A lot of bloggers, that changes their life but they don’t know that there could be more. Many bloggers stop at that point. I was very similar. AdSense income was amazing for me. It delivered more income than I thought I would ever get online but once I began to experiment with other income streams and for me it was other types of affiliate marketing and my own products very similar transition and evolution to what Rachel talked about, that literally changed my life.
Today, AdSense is great. I could live off my AdSense earnings but it’s about a tenth of what I make and I would never have been able to unlock all of these other income streams if I hadn’t pushed enough, I hadn’t experimented with different income streams. Many of you have seen the money map that we talked about with the different ways that you can monetize blogging. I came up with about 40 different ways you can monetize a blog and Rachel talked about three or four of them in her session. I’ve experimented with probably about 20 of them and have said about five or six today.
There’s lots out there. Not all of them are going to work for you. You may find ads work for you, you may find affiliate works for you, you may find a physical product as Rachel did. It works for you or you may find in eproduct works for you as well, or you may find selling your services or something else works better for you. Keep pushing, keep evolving the way that you drive the income. The other great thing that I really love about what Rachel talks about is the purpose of viral traffic.
A lot of bloggers want viral traffic but they don’t actually have any way of capitalizing upon that apart from a few extra dollars from advertising revenue or AdSense revenue. I love that Rachel is thinking as she’s creating the content about what product she will promote as a result of that piece of content. Now I’m sure she creates more than just the 29 pieces of content that have gone viral. I’m sure she’s probably created hundreds of pieces of content and not all of them have gone viral but to have a product there that she can promote off the back of that viral content before she even creates it, before she even publishes that I think is a very smart move.
As you are thinking about your content, always be asking yourself the question, how is this post going to make money if it takes off? What can you promote off the back of it? What sponsorship or partnership could you arrange before it goes off? What affiliate product could you promote as a result of that post going viral or what how could I capture email addresses from that? At the very least, do something that’s going to enable you to promote something else later on for people. So think about that content before you hit publish particularly if you think it’s the type of content that will be popular with your readers.
Rachel is brilliant with this. You’ll learn a lot more about it if you go and check out her Facebook group. Again, links in the show notes to all of these things. The viral titles downloadable that she’s created is great. I think it’s 25 different types of titles that can work for you and these work on Facebook. I’ve tried them and they do really work very well but they also work as blog post titles as well. So check out those downloadables. They’re in the show notes. Today’s show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266 and check out the Facebook group and check out her course as well.
I did the course I think it was a year and a half ago now and it really changed my Facebook strategy at that time. I probably need to do her course again though because things have changed in the last year or so and I need a bit of a refresher on some of that. Lastly, I just love the fact that Rachel is using her income to do something that’s not just about buying her a house or new car, she’s actually doing something that’s changing the lives of her readers by creating value for them but also to use that money to be involved in adoption.
I know she’s a big supporter of other not for profits that I won’t enlist here but I know she’s someone who has been very generous with her influence and with the income that she’s able to generate as well. Thanks Rachel for sharing generously today. There’s a lot more she could have said but I did limit the time that she could talk today to 10 minutes as I have with all of our stories so check her out. Her resources are all linked on the show notes today. Thanks for listening. Again, the show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/266.
I should also say, I’m an affiliate for Rachel’s course so I want to say that right upfront. I do get a small commission when you buy that and if you buy that. But check it out, she has a money back guarantee on it as well. So if it’s not for you, I’m sure she doesn’t mind refunding and money and I certainly don’t mind missing out on the commission if you do go that option as well. For me, it’s kind of pointless to recommend something if it’s not actually going to help you and if I haven’t done it myself. So check out what she’s got to offer. Thanks again Rachel and I will chat to you next week in this blogger breakthrough series.
We got I think two or three left in the series and then we’re going to get into some interviews and a couple of other things that I’ve got lined up for you as well. Thanks for listening and one last little thank you to PodcastMotor who put together this podcast. They produce it for me, edit it for me, you can check out them and I’ll link them in the show notes as well.
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