Miranda Marquit’s is a freelance journalist, who runs her blog on the side. I find this interview particularly interesting because she sees the blog’s monthly traffic & email list size as vanity metrics.
Revenue of $2,000/mo
Email list size of 1,500
Founded in 2011
Hello! What’s your background, and what is your blog about?
My name is Miranda Marquit. I’m a freelance journalist who has covered money for 12 years. My blog, Planting Money Seeds takes a look at how to create your desired life by using money as a tool.
While my blog is profitable, my main source of income remains freelancing. I’ve made six figures for several years with my blogs, podcasts, and freelance writing.
What motivated you to get started with the blog?
When I started my blog, I was writing content for a lot of other blogs and publications. I realized I needed my own home on the web, writing about money. So about five years after I began covering money, I finally started a blog.
At the time, not a lot of people were writing about money as a tool, and I’d begun changing how I manage my financial resources, so I thought that would be a good angle that others weren’t covering.
Since getting my journalism degree in 2005, I’ve freelanced and worked from home, setting my own schedule. I was making six figures freelancing when I started my blog, so I had some financial flexibility.
Adding the blog provided another revenue stream, and allowed me to reduce my freelancing workload. I also earn revenue from podcasting, speaking, and coaching.
What is the revenue model for the blog?
My blog model is a partnership. I have a business partner who manages the backend and monetization through affiliate marketing while I do the writing. We split the profits after paying expenses.
I’m someone who likes different projects, so it’s great to diversify income. I also find that it helps to work hard and learn from others. I’m part of a mastermind group and they help me clarify my vision and give me pointers when I’m not doing as well as I should have.
What are some strategies you have used for building up the traffic?
My biggest thing is just providing good, interesting content.'Be realistic about your expectations. Set achievable goals and break it down.'Click To Tweet
I don’t actually take a lot of time to try to build traffic. I’ve been involved in the online community for more than a decade, and my reputation has allowed me to get a lot of word of mouth referrals and I go to conferences, network, and use social media. As terrible as it is to say this, I don’t actually try to do anything with traffic building.
How have you grown the email list?
Once again, I haven’t actually tried to grow the email list. I have a fee downloadable that rewards people for signing up for the list, but I don’t make extra efforts.
I am considering changing the style of my newsletter from a digest to something more personal or putting together an autoresponder course, but for now, I’m not too concerned about it.
How do you write great content that performs well?
For the most part, I think about what my readers would find useful. I pay attention to the types of things they want to know or the problems they’re having and then write about a solution. I try to bring my personal story into it, writing about things I have experience with so I can provide real-life solutions.
I adopt a relatable tone that’s accessible. I also pay attention to grammar, spelling, and usage. While I make some mistakes (as do we all), I try to keep my content as clean as possible.
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?
The biggest challenge I have with my blog is how it hasn’t been a priority. I could probably make a lot more money with it, but my time goes into other projects and money-makers that offer more immediate rewards.
Moving forward, I hope to put a little more time and effort into the blog, and create a strategy to help it grow.
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Joining a mastermind was hugely helpful for me. Finding others who are at about the same place you are, but with goals to move forward, and different skill sets, can be very advantageous as you develop a plan and get support.
Attending conferences to network and learn has also been helpful. Podcast Movement has been great for my podcasting projects, and I’ve learned so much and met so many great people at FinCon.
What’s your advice for bloggers who are just starting out?
Be realistic about your expectations. Set achievable goals and break it down. So often we look at success stories and don’t realize they didn’t happen overnight — or we think we’ll explode in a few months. The reality is that you need to create a plan, work hard, and tweak your plan.
Where can we go to learn more?