Lena Gott of What Mommy Does
I am so excited to welcome Lena Gott of What Mommy Does to the blog today. I have been devouring her ebook, How I Grew My Blog from 7K to 350K Monthly Visitors in 9 Months. Her strategies are simple but powerful and I am learning a ton about how to get my blog seen.
Tell me a little about yourself, your family and your blog.
I’m a CPA by education but I’ve been a stay-at- home-mom since the day my first child was born 9 years ago. I have three kids – ages 9, 6, and 4.
My blog is about basically everything I’m interested in and passionate about all tied up under a parenting umbrella. Sometimes I write about family fun and other times I write about saving money.
Recently I started focusing on blogging and ways to make money from home (for moms) because that’s what my readers were asking for.
How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been writing online since 2008 but not on my own blogging platform until 2010. What Mommy Does has been around since 2012.
I learned a ton from your blog traffic ebook, can you tell us a little about writing it? How did you find time to write about your blog and kids? Was it hard to write?
I published my ebook is December 2015, but I started writing it many months earlier. I kept picking it up and putting it back down because the more I wrote, the more topics I thought to include. It was like a never ending saga!
I remember vividly wanting to write it after I surpassed 100,000 monthly page views because I felt like I had gone through an impossible struggle and I knew every other blogger out there was going through the same thing. I just wanted to help others avoid my mistakes.
I wrote it in a stream of consciousness way, adding subheadings as I went along. I added to the table of contents as I went. Every 10 pages or so I would review what I had written so far and add to it wherever I found gaps. Honestly, I didn’t have much of a plan. I just knew it would be done when I felt like I couldn’t say anything more on the subject!
Ha. Now that I look back at the process, I realize that I went about this a completely ridiculous way. My writing processes were very inefficient and doubt filled! I spent months writing this ebook and almost didn’t publish it in the end because I doubted my product so much!
I actually wrote a second ebook, Simple Ebook Creation, about my process for writing my Blog Traffic Ebook and explained how you can validate your ebook idea then write and edit it the easy way. It’s very similar to my blog traffic ebook in the way it tells my story and explains how I would do things differently if I knew then what I know now.
How did you find time on top of writing for your blog?
This is my biggest struggle! I spent a lot of time working on my monetization strategies in 2016, so I feel like I have a pretty good base of monetized content.
This means I don’t write as much as I used to – I think I average one post per week now whereas I used to write 3 every week.
I work while my youngest is in preschool and also when I can get a babysitter. My standard work time is still evenings after the kids go to bed.
What is your schedule like with a blog and three kids?
I work 20-25 hours each week, mostly while my youngest is in preschool and then 2-3 hours at a coffee shop when I can get a sitter as well as in the evenings after the kids go to bed.
I try to take off as much as possible, although I rarely take a full two days off from blogging. I almost made it this weekend, but decided to do our interview on Sunday night! 😀 Even if I can get fit in 2 or 3 hours over the weekend, I feel like it helps me manage my to do list.
What are your favorite blog posts?
I actually just put together a massive list of my 60 favorite posts on the blog! It’s on my About Page.
What are your favorite tools and resources for blogging?
I love taking courses. On average, I purchase one course a month! I know it’s a lot, but I like to have something to consume at all time (in carpool, etc), and courses with video modules are great for this. I can expand my blogging knowledge quite a bit this way.
I only recently found podcasts, and I’m working my way through some of the gems in the archives. When in doubt, I’ll listen to Darren Rowse or Amy Porterfield or Pat Flynn.
As for favorite tools – I’d say my favorite tools are plugins that make my life easier. I like SumoMe for making announcements I’d like all my visitors to see, Theia Post Slider for making fun slideshows so my content is more interactive, and Ad Inserter for placing ads on my blog. Also, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive without Tailwind or PicMonkey.
What one piece of advice would you give a brand new blogger?
Learn everything you can. Find a few bloggers whose advice you feel is solid and read everything they’ve ever written about blogging. Do what they say and then move on to some new experts. Always keep your eyes open, write a lot of content (try new things!), make sure you install Google Analytics and watch your stats so you can gain insights on what’s work and what’s not, and never get in a rut.
Every time I think I have this blogging thing figured out, I learn something completely new and it changes my world. Blogging can be so overwhelming. In the end, remember that the difference between a successful blogger and a failed blogger is that the successful blogger is STILL BLOGGING. Take it one step at a time. Do one thing each day to move your blog forward and you’ll achieve great things!
Where do you see your business in five years?
I honestly don’t know! That’s what I love best about blogging. I can see myself still having fun working on WhatMommyDoes and I can also see myself getting into traditional book publishing. Yet I can also see myself starting a blogging university of sorts. Who knows?!
I really appreciate your willingness to interview me on your blog! Stop by WhatMommyDoes.com any time to say hi. Oh! And I’d love to have you and all your blogging friends in my private Facebook group just for bloggers – Adventures in Blogging. 😀
Thanks Lena! Don’t forget to check out her two ebooks, How I Grew My Blog from 17K to 350K and Simple EBook Creation!