Lisa Tanner helps busy moms grow a business with their kids at their side. Find out how she makes $2400/mo from her blog without massive traffic and email list.

Revenue of $2,400/mo

Email list size of 430

Founded in 2015

 

Hello! What’s your background, and what is your blog about?

Hi! My name is Lisa Tanner. I’m a certified teacher with a master’s degree in elementary reading and literacy. After teaching for seven years, I left the classroom to homeschool my own kids (all 8 of them!)

I write for other busy moms who are trying to grow a business with their kids at their side. I’m on a mission to prove you don’t have to wait until your kids are older or you have more time to launch your own business and do what you love. I help moms minimize their decisions, integrate their kids, and get more done.

Lisa Tanner Writing blog currently brings in an average of $2400 a month, with me working on a part-time basis.

What motivated you to get started with the blog?

After I stopped teaching, our budget had no wiggle room. Money was tight, and we didn’t want to stay in poverty. So, I started freelance writing to help supplement my family’s income. Originally my blog started as a source of samples. I wrote mainly about small business and entrepreneur topics.

'I’ve realized if I don’t believe in myself, no one else is going to believe in me either.'Click To Tweet

My fellow freelancers kept asking me how I found time to write while homeschooling eight kids. As I shared my tips and tricks, I realized I’d found what I was meant to write about. The content on my blog slowly morphed into my new niche, and I love it!

What is the revenue model for the blog?

I currently offer a variety of services and products on my blog. It’s still the home of my freelance writing and virtual assistant “hire me” pages, and I continue to offer those services. Coaching is also available, I love helping other moms find clarity in their work/life balance.

In addition to services, I currently sell two products. My course, Balancing Diapers and Deadlines has over thirty lessons to help moms premake decisions, engage their kids while they work, and improve their productivity. My ebook, A Busy Mom’s Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time. This details the method I use to gain an extra 2.5 hours each week to work on my blog, and walks moms through the process of starting their own Family Writing Time.

Affiliate marketing is my final monetization strategy. I enjoy creating posts around products I recommend.

While the majority of my income still comes from my freelance services, I’m slowly gaining ground on more passive types of income (products and affiliate income.)

I’d definitely recommend knowing your target audience. It’s worth it to take the time to create an avatar. If you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to, you aren’t going to sell anything!

What are some strategies you have used to increase the blog’s traffic?

While traffic is something I’m still working on, I have learned a few things along my blogging journey. I’ve seen the most traffic from strategic guest posts on blogs in my niche. At first, I didn’t know how to capitalize on this burst of visitors, and I saw very little in terms of return traffic.

Now, I’m better prepared. I know the importance of ensuring my guest post fits into the topics on my blog. I’ve started creating freebies these new visitors will find attractive, to try and capture new leads before they leave.

Social media is another primary traffic source for me, especially Facebook and Pinterest. It’s definitely worth it to take the time to create images. This is one area I’ve invested in a couple of times – getting some help on my social media presence. Each time has been well worth the investment.

I’m currently experimenting with round up posts. I try to find a topic where I can easily fit in some key influencers, and ask their permission for inclusion. Typically, they respond well, if I’ve put in effort to be genuine and make it relevant to their audience.

Networking is essential in blogging! Take the time to reach out to others and build the relationship. Be building those relationships all the time, so when you reach out to ask for something, you already have a connection.

How have you grown your email list?

Trying to grow my email list wasn’t my focus when I originally started blogging. But, I realized this was a huge oversight on my part, and now I’m trying to make up for lost time.

'I’ve also used giveaways to gain subscribers. Getting a key influencer to share resulted in a big boost. This is another example of why networking is so important!'Click To Tweet

My email list currently has 439 people on it, and I’m now adding a couple of new subscribers each day. I email my readers once a week. When I write to them, I typically include a link to my latest blog post, a tip or strategy I haven’t published yet, and often a question to try and get feedback.

I’ve learned having a single sign up box on your blog isn’t enough. Now I offer multiple content upgrades, PDF freebies, and a free course. Each of these are designed to grow my list. But, simply making these items isn’t enough. You’ve got to strategically market your goods and get your name out there.

I’ve also used giveaways to gain subscribers. Getting a key influencer to share resulted in a big boost. This is another example of why networking is so important!

To stay motivated, I’ve installed a browser extension from Videofruit that shows my current list size each time I open a new tab. It’s encouraging to watch the number go up!

How do you write great content that performs well?

As a busy mom, my writing process is a bit untraditional. A couple times each month, my kids and I sit down and brainstorm. We talk about things I could write about, and I write down everything. You never know where you’ll find inspiration, and I’ve definitely taken something my toddler has said and turned it into a blog post.

Once I have a solid list of ideas, I start combining them. I look for the best ones, and try to create headlines for each. Posts that answer specific questions mompreneurs have do well for me.

After coming up with some headlines, I use think time to my advantage. I typically write my personal blog posts on Monday. So each Sunday evening, I review my headlines. I read through any notes I jotted down, and quickly write down anything I can think of about the topic.

When I head to bed, my brain keeps working. My topic is weaving itself into my thoughts, and when I wake up, I grab a piece of paper and write down a quick outline. I continue thinking about my post as I get breakfast, take care of farm chores, and move on with the rest of our day. When it’s time for me to write, I’m ready to go. I know the direction my post is taking, and it comes out easily.

After writing, I take time to do a quick edit. I make sure my post delivers what I said it did, and that there aren’t any glaring errors.

Then I spend time creating graphics. I used to skimp on this part. But, without good graphics, your great content isn’t going to get shared.  

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome with your blog? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

I’ve made plenty of mistakes when it comes to blogging. My biggest mistake was not marketing. For an entire six-month period, I did nothing to promote my blog. During the first part of this period, I was taking a full load at college to keep my teaching certificate up to date, and it was all I could do to write content. Then, I had baby number eight and just didn’t have the energy to pour into marketing.

But, no matter the reason behind my social media hiatus, my blog grew stagnant during this time. I realized the mistake I had made. It would have been better to cut my posting schedule in half and spend the extra time focusing on marketing.

I also waited too long to develop my reader persona and start an email list. By doing this, my product launches were very disappointing, I just didn’t have a large pool of readers to sell to.

If I were to start a new blog, I’d identify a clear niche before starting. I kind of jumped into this blog with one purpose (gaining freelance writing samples), and then morphed it into what it is today. I feel like I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out the purpose behind my blog. Once I knew what I wanted to write about, I’d focus on building relationships with my readers and key influencers.

Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Coming from an educational background as a teacher, I didn’t know the first thing about writing a blog post when I first started. Gina Horkey’s course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, taught me so much.

I shifted from an academic perspective and format to a web-friendly one. Occasionally, I find myself slipping into the academic rut. That’s when I pull out my strategy of reading my posts aloud. If I hear myself sounding like I’m in a lecture hall instead of sitting down with a friend for a conversation, I try to reword my content.

Paying for social media help was another particularly helpful move. It’s sometimes hard to spend money on your blog when you aren’t earning a ton, but I’ve typically seen a great ROI each time I invest in myself.

Also, learning to engage my kids has been helpful. If I don’t know what my kids are doing when I sit down to write, I’m probably not going to approve of their decisions. So, I take time to ensure they’re engaged in an activity or two. This reduces the number of huge messes I must tackle during my writing time.

What’s your advice for bloggers who are just starting out?

I’d recommend focusing on relationships and networking. You can only reach so many people on your own, but when you join forces with someone who’s already established, your reach expands dramatically. But, don’t be fake or annoying in trying to grow connections. Be genuine and friendly.

Also, believe in yourself. It took me a long time to gain confidence in myself. Now, I’ve realized if I don’t believe in myself, no one else is going to believe in me either.

You can do this!

Where can we go to learn more?

You can head over to my blog or connect with me via Twitter or Facebook.