Today's interview comes from Cat of BudgetBlonde.com. She's been blogging for years, and has turned her passion into a full-time business that supports her family of four: one husband in medical school, and two twin babies! She's an inspiration, and someone you can learn a lot of things from. Take it away, Cat!
What's your elevator pitch?
I'm a freelance writing coach and a full-time blogger who worked a gazillion extra hours a week on my business to make sure I could quit my job to work at home and raise my newborn twins myself.
When did you start blogging? What made you start?
I started blogging in May 2010. I was a big fan of reading frugal/DIY blogs. I liked what they were doing and wanted a break from all of the academic writing of grad school. So, one day, I just decided to start and the rest is history.
How long before you made your first dollar? Do you remember what it felt like when that first payment went through?
Two years. My first dollar came from a writing job that I got because of my blog. It was a very, very sad $10/post but I thought it was awesome. I remember looking at my husband and telling him I could finally call myself a writer since real writers get paid for their words.
How many blogs do you have? Did your first idea “stick” or is your current site some different version of your original idea?
I have three blogs. I actually had a blog before Budget Blonde that I deleted because it was lame haha. Budget Blonde stuck. Then I acquired a second blog and just finished building a third with a partner.
What are you working on now?
I just launched a freelance writing coaching program where I help other bloggers break into the online freelancing world.
Do you make a part-time living online? A full-time living?
A full-time living.
Can you break down your income into categories?
I make money from blog advertising, affiliate links, freelance writing, and coaching.
What other ways have you made money? Writing for others, organizing for others, etc?
Yes I write for more than a dozen different sites. I love it. 🙂
How long before you started taking “this whole blogging thing” seriously?
It probably took me about two years to realize that Budget Blonde could actually turn into something that would make me a full time salary.
If you had it all to do over again, what would you change? Anything?
A few things. I would start on WordPress, I would start mainly in the PF space and not in the frugal/DIY space, and I wouldn't work with clients who were jerks to me just because I needed the money.
Do you have any advice for someone just getting started?
Be yourself. Let your freak flag fly. The more you are real, the more worried you are about publishing a post, the more people will relate to you.
There are a variety of ways bloggers can monetize. Which do you recommend? Which would you advise beginners to stay away from?
I like a ton of diversity. I'm learning that selling products and services is far more lucrative than other methods.
Name one thing bloggers do when they're beginners that you feel they shouldn't do.
They often fail to realize that blogs are for the readers not the bloggers themselves.That's fantastic advice! I agree, it's very easy to think that all your readers are your fellow bloggers. After all, that's who is stopping by to comment, isn't it? But if your niche is cooking, your audience comes for recipes, not blogging advice.