I listened to an interview between Darren Rouse from Pro Blogger and Ana White from Ana-White.com the other night. Ana is a carpenter from Alaska whose blog gets over 3 million views a month! I think we can all learn a bit from her.
The interview was a Q&A format where Darren would pose a question and Ana would answer. The following is what I got out of listening to the interview:
- When asked if you choose the niche or if the niche chooses you, Ana said that the niche chooses you. You basically can’t force yourself into a niche, it has to happen organically.
- Instead of plainly describing her blog as somewhere that she shares furniture plans with others, she describes her blog as something that helps anyone improve their lifestyle regardless of time, money, or skill level. The way she describes the blog is a lot more intriguing to me instead of the “plain” version.
- Her hardest challenge is committing to the blog and finding the time to do stuff regarding it. She’s also a parent and a wife so sometimes its hard to find the time. A blog really is a full-time job and you have to treat it like one.
- Ana’s content strategy is simple: meet the needs of her readers. Her content must either be inspirational, informational, or interactive. You do not want to waste people’s time when they read your posts!
- She doesn’t really have a certain time of day that she posts but she is consistent with her posts. Consistency is very important!
- Of course, a popular question was: how did she get so much traffic? There really wasn’t much strategy behind it. At first she hardly got any page views which apparently is very common when a blog first starts out. It takes time for people to discover you. Her traffic took off when she asked another blog if they’d showcase her work and they did. Traffic basically comes from word-of-mouth because of great content. Without great content, traffic is pointless. That was something that she reiterated…great content is key.
- Instead of using social networks to promote her blog, she uses it as a way that her community can get in touch with her.
- Ana doesn’t outsource anything. She spends her time doing things that answer this question: what do people count on me to do?
- Instead of searching for and writing guest posts, she focuses on writing great content. Guest posts are not something that are necessary to have a successful blog.
- When it comes to making money, she started the blog because it was something that she wanted to do; not to make money from it. As time went on and her server bill got high, she needed some way to pay for that. The way she decided to do that was to work with an ad agency to create ads on her blog. This has enabled her to make a “full-time living” and she’s now able to support her family. She doesn’t want to charge people to get her plans and there’s deep meaning behind that. She started the blog when she was poor and she doesn’t want $5 or any amount to get between someone who was in her position from improving their lives. That’s something that I really respect about her.
Instead of providing reviews of things I do, I’ll give you links and information on how you can experience those things for yourself in the future.
Darren Rouse is looking to do more such interviews. You can receive notifications of these by going to this link and filling out some basic information.