Success Stories: a conversation with Lauren Monitz
July 30, 2019
Welcome to a new installment of “Success Stories”, a series I created to try to understand the reasons behind the success of those bloggers who’ve managed to create amazingly successful blogs and at the same time, manged to turn them into valuable passive income sources.
Today, I’m interviewing Lauren Monitz, from thedownlo.com.
The way this works is: I send them a Google Form with the questions, and they take their time to answer them as detailed as they can. In this instance, Lauren shared some very interesting insights into her current blogging state, how long it took her to get some serious traffic and how much money she’s spending monthly to keep everything working.
Let’s take a look…
How long have you been blogging for?
I’ve had a blog since 2014, but didn’t start taking it seriously until last year.
How long did it take you to consider blogging as a main income source?
It’s not, it’s just one of my revenue streams :) As a freelance social media and content creator, I’ve learned not to put all my eggs in one basket.
What was the first milestone you reached? (was it visits, pages views, monthly income?)
Getting 10k monthly pageviews, which is really the minimum to be able to monetize for ad revenue.
What got you there, what did you change from your previous strategy that suddenly made sense?
I started putting a lot more time into my blog. I used to chase bylines and give my best articles to other sites. Now I consciously write at least four dedicated articles a month for my blog and regularly optimize old posts for SEO and social sharing.
What would you say is the minimum amount of money you’d recommend someone to invest up-front when starting a blog? (I’m talking about hosting, SEO tools, themes, etc).
Monthly I spend about $200 on tools and apps, which comes out to about $2500 annually
When starting from scratch, how long would you say it takes (on average) to start getting constant traffic and eventually income? Is it 6 months without succeeding at any of these a failure?
It really depends how much time and resources you dedicate to it. I’d say 6 months to a year if you’re serious.
What would be the number one resource you’d recommend to new bloggers trying to make a living out of their passion?
Any final words of encouragement? Any courses, or links you’d like to plug?
If this is really what you want to do, treat it like a job and not a hobby. Know there will always be ups and downs, but don’t give up. I have a course called the Influencer Institute which isn’t specifically about blogging, but more holistically about defining your niche, building an online brand and monetizing it across all channels. Check it out at https://www.theinfluencerinstitute.com/
That was very interesting, I feel like it was a different take on last installment’s take from Victoria Sully. Let me give you my own takeaways from Lauren’s responses:
- Making money and having a successful blog requires effort. Others have mentioned time as an important factor, and they’re not wrong. But Lauren also brought up the very valid point of working your butt off to make it work. She’s writing four posts a month and trying to update her older posts for SEO improvements all the time.
- Another interesting bit that Lauren mentioned, was putting money to get things moving. While others so far have focused on keeping expenses to a minimum, Lauren is spending money to make money. She’s currently spending $200 dollars a month, which might not be ideal for someone starting out, but it’s a definitely good indicator to those who’re already getting consistent and significant traffic on their blogs. You might need to spend some money in order to automate things (Note from Fernando i.e paying for Tailwind or paying for full access to Grammarly)
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! That’s another great insight. Lauren’s applying it in the sense that she’s not just using her blog for it, but you can also apply it into your marketing strategy. Normally bloggers tend to focus on Pinterest, but what about Google? Bing? Facebook? Instagram? You need to consider all options and use several of them in case one fails you (maybe changing their algorithm, causing your page to stop ranking).
- And to stay on theme with “working hard”, Lauren’s final piece of advice for new bloggers starting out and trying to get their blog to grow is to treat it like an actual job. Which let’s face it, makes absolute sense. If you’re trying to get some money out of it, why would it work if you’re inconsistent, or just don’t spend enough hours on it to make it look just right? It wouldn’t, that’s the whole point. You’re not tapping into some magical source of income, you’re literally creating a new job for you, so start treating it like an actual job already!
So, what are your takeaways from Lauren’s answers? Share them in the comments, I’d love to know what you took with you from her answers. And stay tunned for the next installment of “Success Stories”, where I interview Drew DuBoff, an Online Entrepeneurs coach from drewduboff.com/.
See you on the next one!
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