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Each month, we share the story of a member of the DNW community that is making money from blogging. These stories share the blogger’s journey and tips about exactly how they make money and get traffic to their blogs. I hope you find these interviews inspiring and helpful in your own journey. This month, we are featuring Sophie Frame who is a Lifestyle/Parenting Blogger from Baby, Toddler & Kids.
1. Introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Sophie! I’m originally from the UK but now officially calling Australia my home. I came here nearly 5 years ago with big plans to travel around Australia and then the world.
I took a job in a remote indigenous community for 3 months to earn some travelling money. It was about 1000km from the nearest town and in the middle of the rainforest. The first day there, I met my partner and that initial 3 months turned into 4.5 years and today we have two beautiful daughters together!
We recently moved down to the Gold Coast and now my partner is the main childcare while I work full time blogging and freelancing.
2. Describe your blog
I run a lifestyle/mum blog called Baby, Toddler & Kids where I mostly write about all things mum, baby, toddler and pregnancy related. It’s aimed pretty much exclusively at Australian mums with young kids at home.
It’s still in the early stages but the big goal is to help make life easier for Aussie mums by providing relevant information, specifically to them, rather than having to make do with US or UK content.
Australian search results are filled with US websites and, in Australia, we use different measurements, weights, brands etc. Having to convert quantities or figure out if products are available here can be really annoying.
So, my big dream would be to have an Australian focused site with recipes that use Australian measurements, crafts that use Australian brand products, buying guides filled with Australian brands….. You get the idea.
It’s still a LONG way off!! For now, I’m concentrating on buying guides as that’s what will help me earn some passive income and give me more time to spend on branching out.
3. When did you start blogging and why did you start?
Living so remote, childcare is non-existant. So, while my partner went to work 10 hours a day every day, I was at home with the baby.
Luckily, we have an excellent satellite internet network and I have great wifi!
I’ve always been a workaholic (whatever that work happened to be at the time) and I’m terrible at sitting around with nothing to do. Soon, I realised I could start a blog and freelancing business from home, with very few overheads. So that’s exactly what I did!
That was about December 2018 and if you could see my first blog you would probably laugh! It was pretty terrible. Then, around March 2019, I stumbled across Sharon’s Build Blog Freedom Fast Track course and decided to start from scratch.
That’s when Baby, Toddler & Kids was born.
4. What is the most rewarding part of blogging for you?
Firstly, I am obsessed with SEO and finding a really great keyword. Then seeing an article rank higher and higher over the weeks is addictive for me!
Secondly, blogging and freelancing have given me so much more independence, both financially and personally.
As I said, I’ve always been a workaholic and having no work and no businesses to run was fast taking me into a really bad place.
I love my kids more than anything, but I’ve always said I’m just not cut out to be a full time mum. It’s so difficult and life changing. I needed something that was just mine and that I was good at for the sake of my mental health.
Blogging and freelance SEO writing have given me exactly that and I honestly think I’m a better person for it.
5. What do you find the most challenging?
Finding time and balance!
I love my kids AND I love my work. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get the balance right and, ultimately, I usually feel like I’m giving one too much attention and the other not enough.
6. How much did you earn in the last month and how?
Last month I earned just over $1600 USD but about $1000 of that was from my freelance work. The only reason I have the skills to earn that money is thanks to Sharon’s Build Blog Freedom Fast Track course and other teachings.
Then the other $600 USD was from my blog directly, with about $50 from ad revenue (way down thanks to the pandemic) and the rest from affiliate sales. I was on track to earn more from affiliates, but I think the covid-19 pandemic has had an effect. I didn’t see a decrease though and things stayed level so I’m still happy.
7. What tips do you have for bloggers trying to monetise their blogs?
Just stick with it! It’s hard and sometimes I wanted to give up but now I’m so glad I didn’t. Before my second daughter was born, I would stay up until midnight working then get back up at 5am to do another hour before my toddler woke up.
Also, implement SEO from the start. If I hadn’t started off straight away writing to keywords, having my menu and site structure set up correctly, building links, and everything else I’m sure I wouldn’t have seen earnings as quickly as I did.
8. How much traffic did your blog have in the last month and where does it come from?
I had 10,076 pageviews last month and about 75% of those came from search, 7% from Pinterest and almost all the rest from direct traffic.
9. What tasks do you do that have the biggest impact on your traffic?
Writing articles to well researched keywords!
Right now, that is about it! I wanted to get good at one thing and that one thing has got me to where I am.
Now I have that just about mastered, I’m starting to learn new skills and branch out into other areas, like creating Pinterest focused content as well.
10. What has helped you the most when it comes to getting search traffic?
Not being afraid to go after the low hanging fruit, in terms of keywords. At first, I thought I had to go after all these high volume keywords which, naturally, were difficult to rank for.
Nowadays, I’m much more open to writing to keywords with a monthly search volume as low as 100, or even slightly lower if it supports other content and can be monetised easily.
11. What are your main goals for your blog?
I really want to earn enough passive income from the blog that I no longer have to freelance (or don’t have to freelance as much).
If I could earn enough to support our family just through blogging, that would be a life changer for us.
12. What are you doing to work towards your main goals? How do you work out where to prioritise your time?
I really am just churning out as many affiliate focused articles as I can at the minute to reach my passive income goals.
I realised that there are a lot of time intensive jobs that I was doing that could easily be outsourced to a VA so I could concentrate on content creation. Now I have a great woman I work with who does all the boring, labour intensive jobs that suck up my time. She is an angel and I’m so grateful for her putting up with all the boring jobs I give her, like checking hundreds of links or creating comparison charts.
If something doesn’t directly lead to revenue, I try to outsource it at the minute. My blog is a business and I’m in the growth stage so I’m willing to invest my earnings back into it.
13. What three biggest tips/pieces of advice do you have for other bloggers?
- Treat it like a business from day one – A lot of people think blogging doesn’t cost anything and they won’t have to spend much but if I hadn’t spent money on quality courses and tools, I’d still be floundering around in the dark.
- Avoid shiny object syndrome – There will always be the next “great idea” that tries to steal your focus. I have a new idea for a business or niche site just about every week and keeping focused on my current blog is hard.
- Don’t be afraid to take a break – Sometimes I get sucked into a blackhole of working, working, working and before I realise it a whole week has gone. That’s a week of family memories, fun experiences or connecting with my partner lost. The times when I’ve shut the laptop and taken a few days off, my blog didn’t fall apart, but I came back feeling refreshed and happy.
14. Where can we find you online?