Using blogging as a platform to show off your expertise and help others learn how to do more, is something many bloggers are finding success with today. This is especially true in the world of online business and marketing. As we all create new content, courses, guides, and tutorials, we are also helping to train and influence that next wave of bloggers and marketers in the process.
That is exactly what you are going to learn about from Kristin Laren, in this latest edition of Meet the Bloggers. Not only has Kristen built up a professional blog, brand, and business online, she’s also making a great income in the process. Discover how all of this came together through her story and interview below.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
Hi, I’m Kristin! I created Believe In A Budget in January 2015 to share my adventures in side hustling. I’ve always had a ‘side hustle’ mentality for years, without actually knowing that was a phrase until a couple of years ago.
I decided to launch my blog in hopes that I could take all my experience from side hustling, share it online and help someone else who wanted to side hustle!
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
I always knew I wanted to blog about side hustling! I have done so many different kind of side hustles that I thought it would be helpful to share all my experiences on how to make money, save money and budget.
My blog really took off when I wrote a blog post about how using Pinterest helped grow my website traffic. Soon after hitting ‘publish’, fellow bloggers and businesses reached out to me to see if they could hire me to help grow their Pinterest presence. Before I knew it, my blog started to include posts about how to use Pinterest!
Today, I have three different niches that are all intertwined! My topics include side hustling, helping creatives get started with blogging and learning how to freelance as a Pinterest virtual assistant. While all are unique and different, they easily crossover with each other.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
My income streams are really diverse. When first got started a little over two years ago, 90% of my online income came from working as a Pinterest virtual assistant.
Today, I do very little freelancing! Instead, I transformed my Pinterest VA business into multiple Pinterest courses and products. I also earn income from affiliate products, sponsored posts/brand partnerships and ad revenue.
To get even more specific, within each income stream, I have multiple resources. For example, I have several different affiliate products and services that I use and recommend to my readers.
All of these different affiliate resources make up my affiliate revenue stream! This really allows me to be diverse. Plus, if one income stream is a little slow, generally another income stream picks up! The more income streams, the better!
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I really went into blogging as a total newbie. I had no experience as a blogger and essentially started from scratch.
Looking back, I spent too much time researching – as in months of researching – and trying to learn things on my own.
Once I made the decision that I wanted to treat my blog like a business, I invested in my blog and myself. First I bought Building a Framework and then purchased Elite Blog Academy. Both of these completely changed my outlook on blogging!
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that it’s ok to invest in myself! First, I would review my budget to see what I would feel comfortable spending. Then I would research a book or course in my price range that could help me get started blogging. Plus, knowing myself, I’m more likely to take something more seriously if I have to spend money on it!
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
The first two major time savers I use are Tailwind and PostPlanner. I use Tailwind to schedule all my pins on Pinterest and PostPlanner to schedule my posts on Facebook. Both have really affordable monthly or annual plans!
The third tool I use is SamCart. It’s the ‘checkout’ page that I use for all my products and courses. I can customize the checkout page to fit the look of my blog and it’s a really easy checkout process. I also use SamCart for my affiliate program. SamCart was definitely an investment for my blog, so I would only recommend it if you are already selling a product!
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Extend grace to yourself! Allow yourself to enjoy the process – go slow, learn as much as you can, have fun and be patient. Blogging should be a creative outlet that makes you feel good!
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers! Everyone is at a different place and you can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end.
Bloggers are really friendly – don’t be scared to leave a comment on a blog post you enjoyed reading or sending a quick email to say hi to someone you admire. It’s better to view everyone as a friend than your competition!
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
I would purchase my own domain name and hosting. It’s really important to own your online space, so purchase your own website! There are plenty of other free resources you can use to get started, such as a free theme or newsletter provider.
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
You can visit my website at www.believeinabudget.com.
Thanks again Kristin 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.