Success Stories: a conversation with Victoria Sully
July 18, 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.
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, Victoria shared some very interesting insights into her current blogging state, how she’s created several blogs after her first one started making money and her recommendations for new bloggers.
Let’s take a look…
How long have you been blogging for?
Over six years, since April 2013.
How long did it take you to consider blogging as a main income source?
It took me around four years to realise I could make a full-time living from blogging. For the first three years I didn’t make money blogging or even realise that I could. In my third year I discovered I could charge for brand collaborations and sponsored blog posts and started making a part-time wage from my blog.
I then went full-time in my fourth year. Now I have four blogs that make money each month!
What was the first milestone you reached? (was it visits, pages views, monthly income?)
I’d already been blogging for a few years before I began to make money or take it so seriously, so the income was my first noticeable milestone. Being able to make my blog my full-time living after four years of blogging. It was an amazing feeling. Since then I have set up three more blogs and my latest milestone has been this month with my baby blog. It’s seven months old and it made £100 this month.
My middle two blogs took around a year before I made money on them, so I’m pleased to start making some after only seven months on my youngest.
What got you there, what did you change from your previous strategy that suddenly made sense?
Realising I could monetise and starting to treat my original blog like a business. I definitely changed strategy. Before that I had an online store and I thought that was my ticket to online income. It was a lot of hard work and there was very little profits and reward. I’d started blogging in the meantime, but hadn’t realised I could make money from it, so it was more a hobby and for enjoyment.
Once I realised I could make money then my gameplan changed. I started networking with bloggers and finding blogger network groups to join that were linked to brands and collaboration opportunities.
I started to focus on content that I was passionate about and that had a focus. This is why I have since set up more blogs.
Firstly to make more money online, but secondly to have more focussed blogs. Originally my main blog housed all sorts of lifestyle content, but now I am focussing on just a few topics on each blog to make them more relevant. I also started looking for and applying to blogging opportunities every day on Facebook and Twitter and getting my name out there.
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).
The minimum for me has been £36! My main blog has cost more than this, but my other three blogs only cost me £36 each per year! You can get started with very little. My three WordPress blogs are on a basic WordPress personal plan which had the domain included in the first payment and only cost £36 per blog per year. I am not self-hosted and I use free themes. I think to get started and see if blogging is right for you then you don’t need to spend much at first. It’s better to get a feel for everything and see if it’s right for you before investing a lot of money. I also like to keep things simple and keep my outgoings as low as possible. Other advice out there will be to go self-hosted right away and buy this and that, but I have managed to make money from all of my blogs even as basic as they are. It really depends on your monetisation strategy and own goals.
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’s different for absolutely everyone. I know someone who set up a new blog in January and they are already getting over 10k sessions per month. My two year old blogs get nowhere near this yet! It depends on how good you are at SEO and marketing your blog. I started making money from my travel blog at only four months, but very little money. Two of my blogs took around one year to make money and another took three years. It really depends on where you want to make income. If you want to make it from ads then you need a lot of traffic. If you want to make it from affiliate links then you need great SEO on the page to attract the right readers/customers. If you want to make it from sponsored posts then you usually need a good domain authority which can take years to build up. It depends on your strategy and how quickly you can build stats. There’s no definite answer.
What would be the number one resource you’d recommend to new bloggers trying to make a living out of their passion?
Facebook groups! There are lots of Facebook blogger groups where bloggers are more than willing to help one another, share opportunities, talk about latest industry trends and more. It’s usually a very welcoming community and you can learn a lot just by being in the groups and following the conversations.
It’s a great place to keep in the know.
Any final words of encouragement? Any courses, or links you’d like to plug?
If you love blogging then go for it!
It can take time to grow and build, but if you are aiming to make money then it’s the same as any business.
You’re only regret will be that you didn’t start sooner!
Here are my links:
You can find me blogging at my four blogs:
Or connect socially at:
That was very interesting, wasn’t it? There are some overlaps between her insight and Jon’s from the previous installment, let’s recap:
- Making money and having a successful blog takes time. Victoria has been at it since 2013, and her first blog started making money only after 3 years of posting. That is in part, because she wasn’t aiming at monetizing it right away, but still, it took time for her to build up an audience.
- Keeping your blogs focus on a single theme is also a good idea. That way you’re helping Search Engines understand what you’re blogging about and when to show your link to others. This is also known as niching down. So Victoria, instead of having a single LifeStyle blog to write about everything she’s passionate about, has created a total of 4. It’s definitely a good exercise to take a step back from your own blog and see if that might not be a good idea for you as well.
- While blogging for free is definitely possible, Victoria is also an advocate of paying, at least the minimum amount required to have a professionally looking blog.
- In order to make money “fast”, you need to understand where is that money going to come from. That way you’ll be able to focus your efforts. It’s like Victoria said: It really depends on where you want to make income. … from ads then you need a lot of traffic. … from affiliate links then you need great SEO on the page … from sponsored posts then you usually need a good domain authority which can take years to build up. Focusing your effort will help in avoiding getting frustrated when things aren’t happening fast enough.
- The final takeaway I want to cover is her recommendation about joining Facebook Groups. I can’t stress enough how helpful they are. From being a place where you can get feedback about your writing and strategies to being a place where others can help you promote your content (as long as you do the same for others as well, of course). Blogging tends to be a job for one person, especially when just starting, but that doesn’t mean you need to be alone throughout the process. My personal top recommendations would be:
Do you have any favorite groups?
So, what are your takewayas from Victoria’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 Lauren Monitz of thedownlo.com.
See you on the next one!
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