I had a chance to talk to Elaine Rau who runs LadyBossBlogger, a blog about the who and why behind female entrepreneur brands. She shares tips on business, how she’s grown a successful business blog, and why your content marketing might not be working.

What motivated you to start your business?

It was out of necessity that LadyBossBlogger was created. I had quit my job, moved overseas and was both jobless and purposeless. I needed to make money online somehow but had no clue how to do so. So I decided to interview female entrepreneurs who had done it so I could learn from them. 

How long have you been running LadyBossBlogger? 

Since September 2016.

Tell me about your business.

I started by selling interviews on my blog a week after I started it. It was a pay to play platform and place to advertise for female entrepreneurs. Sign up to get interviewed.

A portion of the funds are donated to the charity we support called, The Micah Project. It’s a home for street boys in Honduras.

A year and a half after the blog was founded, it transformed into an affiliate marketing blog where I started talking about the products and services I used to create my business.

The step I am working on now is creating my own digital products to sell to answer some of the reoccurring questions people always ask me. Stay tuned for that!

What makes you different than all the other entrepreneurial female bloggers? 

Consistency. There are lots of consistent bloggers out there, but I don’t know too many who have posted consistently 365 days in a row.

I truly believe it’s my consistency to bring value to people’s lives every single day that has brought me so much success and how I managed to gain 100K+ followers in such a short period of time (1.5 years).

If you can help people solve their everyday struggles in business, you stay relevant and at the forefront of their minds when they are looking for resources.

Where are you based?

Chicago, IL.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t try to be everything to everybody.” Once you niche down, a whole new world will open up to you, this is the KEY to succeeding in business. If you don’t know how to find your niche, grab my 12 Most Profitable Niche List.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new clientele?

Instagram DMs. If your Instagram page represents your brand well, it helps you tell 80% of your story. If people respond, they already have a general idea of what you’re about and are interested in learning more.

It’s a great way to build connections because you already have a sense of what they are interested in from their profiles. It’s also a fantastic conversation starter and relationship builder.

The foundation of business is relationships.

What’s the hardest part about blogging for a living? 

Getting everything I want to done! I have a billion ideas running through my head and not enough hands to do them. Luckily I hired on 5 interns this summer to help me out. Learn about internship opportunities. 

What would you say to a business that’s not sure whether they should start a blog?

A blog will never disappoint you, only you can disappoint your blog! A blog helps with your online credibility, your SEO, and in general, can only do great things for your business.

Content marketing is what works in the market right now. If people derive value from your free posts, they are 80% more likely to invest in your services and buy your products. The odds are too great to not start blogging and to take it seriously.

Also if you want to start a blog host it on either GoDaddy or BlueHost, those are the top two hosting platforms and make sure it’s a WordPress blog. Never use free blogging platforms if you’re in business. If you don’t buy it, you don’t own it and therefore you can’t monetize on it. 

What advice would you give a business who struggles with engagement on their blog and/or social media? 

I would ask if you’re providing the information that your viewers want to read? Do you know your audience? Have you done enough market research? Are your topics and content valuable enough that they would want to save to read later or share with their friends?

Are you promoting your blog enough? If you spend 5 hours on a blog post, you should spend 20 on promoting it. It doesn’t matter how valuable your content is, people must be able to find it! The best place to do so is Pinterest. Learn how to get 100 followers in 7 days.

Another thing that you must focus on more than anything is getting people’s emails. Social media is great and all but if you don’t have a way to contact them after they leave your blog, all that hard work you put in goes down the drain. Which is why you must have an email marketing strategy in place. Learn how to turn your social media followers into subscribers.

What would you tell a business that’s trying to build their online presence?

Be consistent in everything you do – in branding, in colors, in style, in feel, in format… everything. When people start recognizing your content and picking it out from the rest, that is good branding and what will make you stand out from the rest. That way if people like your content, they know what to look out for to acquire more of it. I use Canva to help me do this.

What’s the best way, in your experience, to get attention on social media? 

Once again, branding and consistency. Also engaging with your audience by having conversations with them via DMs, comments, messages, etc.

What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?

If you want to make money, you must be willing to spend money. You don’t need to spend a lot, but if you want to grow consistently then you’ll start investing in resources to do so. The hard part is knowing what to spend on so you’re not wasting your time or money. I have tried and tested loads of tools and have boiled it down to these five:

ConvertKit

Using ConvertKit, I create landing pages to collect emails from social media as well as my blog so that I can stay in contact with people. This drive 3x more traffic to my site when I email them my latest blog post. People who have engaged with you once are 5x more likely to stay engaged with you.

SmarterQueue

This is a social media scheduling tool that helps you keep your content evergreen, which means that you can reshare your content on autopilot. It cycles your posts every 30, 60 or 90 days depending on how you set it up and how much content you already have.

It also helps if you find content to share that is relevant and valuable to your audience. This not only helps you gain credibility but also puts you on the radar of some of the bloggers and influencers you love if you’re constantly sharing their content.

Tailwind

SmarterQueue doesn’t schedule for Pinterest (yet) and this is the only tool that Pinterest has partnered with, therefore it’s legit! Read 43 Pinterest marketing questions answered directly by Pinterest to learn about the best Pinterest practices.

FreshBooks

As a business owner, you can write almost everything off as a business expense. Read this article to help you learn what you can write off. FreshBooks helps you keep track of every single receipt you spend on your business. All you need to do is take a picture of it or if it’s electronic, link up your payment so that it automatically calculates it in your expenses to make sure you’re always in the green.

Shopify

If you want to start an e-commerce business, Shopify is the way to go. It’s the most user-friendly, easiest to learn and best tool out there. It also integrates with your blog which makes it better than selling on Amazon because you can actually collect and track your client’s information to continue selling to them while branding yourself. Use ConvertKit and Sumo to help you do this.

The following tools are free for you to use after you buy a domain from GoDaddy or BlueHost and set up your WordPress blog because you need a blog to utilize them.

Shareasale – this is an affiliate marketing platform where you go to select products/services you’d like to sell on your own blog where you can get a commission from. The first product I promoted on their platform was Tailwind and made $70 my first week. Sign up to become a Sharesale affiliate.

Ultimate Bundles – this is an example of an affiliate product you can sell on your blog that isn’t associated with an affiliate platform because they have their own. It is also a resource you can use to further the growth of your own business. Grab their bundle for every resource you need in order to work from home and sign up to become their affiliate. I made $267.11 in two days promoting one of their bi-annual blog bundles.

ValuedVoice – a platform that connects bloggers to sponsored post opportunities. I made $185 in 2 weeks through sponsored posts and all I did was post their awesome content to my blog, I didn’t write a single word myself. They paid me $35-$50 per post.

CreativeMarket – graphics you can post on your social media to help you have content for an entire year. Take an hour of your day, use SmarterQueue to schedule the graphics to your platforms and don’t worry about social media for the rest of the year. I just signed up to start promoting them.

What is an issue (or issues) you are passionate about?

Women empowerment. I believe media is the way to change how people think and ultimately, change the world. The more frequent women are properly portrayed in the media, the more women will rise up in leadership, embrace themselves and embrace others because empowered women empower women. Gone are the days of women tearing one another down, it’s time to rise up together.

Do you think it’s important for female writers to be outspoken about women’s issues? And why or why not?

If you feel strongly about it, talk about it; if you don’t know anything about it, learn; and if it doesn’t interest you, leave the topic for other women (or men).

Elaine Rau is the founder of LadyBossBlogger.com, a blog for female entrepreneurs with content written by female entrepreneurs. It’s a resource hub for ladies looking to start, grow and scale their businesses by learning from one another and joining a community of entrepreneurs. We post daily interviews and resourceful guest posts every day at 6 PM CST.

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