This is a follow up story for Mommy On Purpose. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Mommy On Purpose is a mom blog geared towards helping moms navigate the new-mom life.
When I saw the true potential for earning an income with my blog, I realized that moms all over the world could make an income online - and be free to stay home with their children.
My mission now is to help moms monetize and grow traffic to their websites so that any mother who wants to be home with kids can be!
I specialize in Pinterest traffic, teaching bloggers how to generate traffic with my course Pinteresting Strategies, and saving them time on pin creating with my pin templates subscription (learn more here).
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The biggest change in my business since I last talked to Starter Story is that I introduced a recurring income stream.
If you’re willing to put in the work, you can find a solution to your problem that genuinely works for you.
One thing that often feels lacking in the online business realm is STABILITY. It can be challenging to know how to budget when you’re relying on ad income - you can live like a queen in quarter 4 (when ad spends is at its highest), and find yourself living on rice and beans in February!
Even when selling your own products, one-time sales require that you are bringing in a constant stream of new leads (to make new sales). The hustle never ends! Product sales can fluctuate wildly just like ad income.
For example, one month in 2020 I had an affiliate whose youtube video went viral. She sold over $10,000 worth of my courses in just a couple of months! She made great money, I made great money!
Then the viral died, as virals do and we both made a lot less money the following month.
This is INSTABILITY at it’s finest!
I desperately wanted to create recurring income for my business - so I came into 2020 thinking about memberships and subscription programs.
It took a few months weighing all the pros and cons and coming up with exactly the right recurring revenue model for my business.
I wanted something low cost but high value, that also didn’t require much time commitment from me.
I launched my membership group in February, and it will generate over 6 figures by the time it’s a year old!
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
I learned one wildly important thing this year and that is if you teach something WELL, and you create an engaged audience who genuinely values your opinion, they will be willing to buy from you AGAIN.
They will ASK to buy from you again.
I know this is basic sales 101 but for some reason, I have self-limited these past 4 years by thinking I had already shared everything I have to share about Pinterest in my main Pinterest course, and that once a customer has purchased my Pinterest course, I’ve done my job and that’s all it is for me to do.
And yet, every single week I get multiple emails asking for something else - my personal opinion on their Pinterest account. These people offer to pay me, and I tell them no.
I turn down money..
Over and over and over again.
Well, I tell them no because I felt bad charging $97/hr to talk to them, feeling I wasn’t really going to be able to give them $97 in value.
I also know that working an hour behind the scenes on my blog is worth much more than $97 an hour in the long run, so I couldn’t possibly charge LESS for an hour of my time.
So there was no way I could justify offering personal help with Pinterest, in my mind, even though people were ASKING me for it.
BUT, all it took was a little out of the box thinking to come up with a way that I could charge much much less and still make enough money to justify my time - a low-cost membership group solved both problems.
I guess at the same time I also learned that if you’re willing to put in the work, you CAN find a solution to your problem that genuinely works for you.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I know this is probably not how many successful businesses are run, but I don’t like to plan too far ahead.
I don’t ever plan to make a million per year with my business. I don’t NEED - or even WANT - to make a million per year.
I will work on my business for as long as it’s enjoyable and profitable, and then, when it no longer serves me the way it should, I will let it go.
I HOPE for another 2-3 good years.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I don’t read business books, because I honestly don’t have time and when I do make time to read I like to read to relax.
Anything by Sophie Kinsella is worth the time.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
If you aren’t seeing growth, I’d encourage you to consider USER INTENT.
Lack of true understanding of user intent is probably the biggest “missing piece” I see for many online businesses.
Come at ALL your tasks from a user intent place, and things WILL start to click.
User intent should factor into:
- your keyword research
- your post writing
- your titles (for Google AND Pinterest... and yes, they can be different)
- your image choices
- your affiliate link choices
- your opt-in creation
- your email content
Once you have user intent down, you can pile the other "building blocks" for success on top of it - good technical SEO optimization, a solid Pinterest strategy, collaborations with other bloggers, paid ads.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Because my goals involve only maintaining (and not growing), and because I like doing the work myself, building a team isn’t something I’m interested in. I do have a part-time assistant who takes care of email and tasks that I just don’t want to make time for, but expanding my team is definitely not something I plan to do in the foreseeable future.
There are undeniable benefits to remaining small.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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