How I Created A Profitable Blog Helping People Defend Against Bullies

$4,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
1
Employees
product
I should have said
from Vancouver
started
$4,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
1
Employees
279K
alexa rank
platform
social media
blog
design

Hi, my name is Bryn Connor and I am the founder of I Should Have Said… a self defense website for verbal bullies.

The people who use my site range from young people to age 65 and many have a difficult person in their life or a bully they are dealing with. The best thing about my site is I receive so many emails from people thanking me and letting me know that the verbal self-defense comebacks and tactics have helped stop bullying and even saved their life.

I make money off advertising, books, and apps. Right now I am making about $4,000 a month. I am in the process of redoing all of my products because I have changed my avatar (audience) and I am creating products catering for their needs.

I have a book Snappy Comebacks for all Situations and I am finishing off two other books Comebacks that Stop Bullies in their Tracks and Verbal Self Defense for Kids, Clean Comebacks Kids can use at Elementary School.

I am also learning to sell physical products on Amazon to diversify my income.

how-i-created-a-profitable-blog-helping-people-defend-against-bullies

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

One day I was at the planetarium with my two sons, who were 4 and 6 at the time, and my older son commented to me that a picture of earth from space was ugly. I didn’t think much of it until another boy came up to me and told me that my son had said the earth looked ugly. I told him that my son was entitled to his opinion thinking it wasn’t a big deal.

Two minutes later the boy’s father stomps on over to where I am sitting with my kids and starts yelling at me in front of twenty other families! He is screaming “How dare you talk to my son like that! I can see why your husband left you, he didn’t want to be with someone like you.”

Everyone in the room was staring at me, it was horrifying and I was so embarrassed with all eyes in the room on me. I had lost my wedding ring a couple of months before. I pathetically replied, “I am still married, I just lost my wedding ring.”

I was so mad that some idiot had publicly humiliated me when we hadn’t even done anything wrong. I was even angrier at myself for the way I responded. For two weeks I kept thinking I should have said… and that is how I got the idea for the website.

At the time I was a stay at home mom doing web development projects on the side. I had previously started another web site but I found the writing tiring and I didn’t keep it up. Shortly after I started the site, I had to go back to work full time as my husband lost his job, so I initially only put in an hour a week on the site for the first few years.

Take us through the process of designing the website and concept.

When I first started the site I was doing animations for YouTube videos and embedding them on my website.

One day my son knocked water over my computer keyboard and I had to take it in to be repaired. I had to use my spare computer, a notebook, that didn’t have video editing capability. I decided to create polls where readers could vote for the best comeback to a nasty comment or situation. It was a huge improvement to the site, and the spilled water was a blessing in disguise.

Over time, the look of my web pages improved, as well as my pictures and storytelling. Most of my traffic is organic and from Pinterest.

how-i-created-a-profitable-blog-helping-people-defend-against-bullies

My audience kept asking me for apps and books so I created what my audience was asking for. I receive emails from parents of teens and elementary school kids who ask me questions, they need help with bullying situations and I am currently creating products to cater to my audience.

I hired someone off Upwork to create two apps for me. I had done all of the storyboarding and had the graphics done by someone on Fiverr. The app developer was extremely difficult and demanding to work with.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The first version of my web site wasn’t that great. Even though I had a web development, multimedia background, I didn’t know how blogging worked and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Blogging is about connecting to an audience and creating products to serve your audience.

It took me a long-time time to find my voice, and I also changed my ideal customer over time.

WhenI started out, I would write more formally, over time I started writing as if I was talking to a close friend in a more casual style. Originally my site was for everyone, now my target audience is a 34 year old woman who is having trouble with a friend or family members snipping at her.

It took a year to get traffic to the site, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take a while for new sites to rank on Google and it took me a while to figure out that my social media audience is primarily on Pinterest.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I focused on SEO and learning what works. I get about 700,000 page views a month and at one point I was getting 1.2 million visitors a month.

If people are interested in SEO they can read articles about SEO and listen to Neil Patel, who is an expert at SEO and marketing.

how-i-created-a-profitable-blog-helping-people-defend-against-bullies

I have focused on SEO and learning tips and tricks. I have blog templates that I created to maximize SEO on a page.

Pinterest works well to bring in page views but SEO is better traffic because the reader is searching for what your site has to offer. I have three types of posts I publish on Pinterest, one type works well for click throughs to my site and the other type of image works well for saves. Pinterest is more of a search engine that social media and content you post can be found at a later date. As of today, I have 196,750 repins of images from my site.

This type of image is better for click throughs to content. It is very important that your images are large and easy to read on Pinterest.

how-i-created-a-profitable-blog-helping-people-defend-against-bullies

I find quotes get saved or pinned a lot but not as many clickthroughs to the web site.

how-i-created-a-profitable-blog-helping-people-defend-against-bullies

I publish one blog post a week and I have found list posts do exceptionally well. My readers request topics, if I receive the same request three times I will create a post.

I use newsletters and selling email sequences. I am going to create product bundles and with my new books, with a companion workbook

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I plan to expand the products I sell through email funnels and on my site / Shopify store. I had a Woo Commerce store on my site but it was slowing down my traffic, in 2018 site speed became a ranking factor with Google. I recently removed Woo Commerce from my site and I am changing things up. My pan is to eventually have everything set up on a Shopify store. I also plan to sell my books on Amazon which is something that I originally resisted.

I created a second website called Bullied to Empowered to help families whose children are being bullied. When my son was in grade 5, his former best friend tried to turn every boy in the class against him. This kid led a two month hate campaign unbeknown to us. We had to figure out how to turn everything around, deal with the school, and help our son navigate friendships and find a way to empower him through this horrible situation. It was so stressful for our entire family, and I know I can help out other families going through a similar situation.

I am going to create a product that can help parents and families navigate bullying for elementary school kids. The product may be part of a membership site. Life can work in funny ways, it is amazing how a stressful situation leads to a business idea to help other people.

I also launched my first product on Amazon this year. It wasn’t hugely successful but I learned so much, including the use of Facebooks ads to sell products; which is something I plan to do for all my products in the future.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

If I had to do it all over I would invest in a course like Elite Blog Academy. Many of the rock star bloggers, the Tom Brady’s of the industry, have taken Ruth Sukoups course. If you are interested in an expensive course join a blogging Facegroup course and ask people what they think of the course for an honest opinion.

Before you get good at something you have to be a newbie, just get started and work your way through the messy middle of not being so great at something. Learn from the experts and save yourself a ton of time.

I have also learned more from some Facebook groups than blogging courses.

I wasted a lot of time doing everything myself when I should have paid someone to help me. I now have someone helping with social media, Wordpress admin and writing some blog posts. I plan to just outsource everything. I create screen capture videos for tasks and send them off to my VA.

I recently heard Raj Jana speak at Seller Con about how he managed to grow his Amazon business to 100,000 a month in a year by outsourcing everything and creating SOPs.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  • Big Scoots - The best web hosting company, all the bloggers with heavy traffic. I love them.
  • ConvertKit - Great for email sequences.
  • MailChimp - I keep Mailchimp for my email list for lower converting traffic.
  • Pic Monkey - I could not live without Pic Monkey, even though I know how to use Photoshop I prefer using Pic Monkey for speed.
  • Tailwind for social media scheduling for Pinterest and Instagram. A must have for heavy Pinterest users.
  • Vaultpress - An offsite daily backup vault of my website. This is sort of like life insurance for bloggers.
  • Pinterest - Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest
  • Amazon Business / Helium 10, Manage by Stats

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Elite Blog Academy - I found the Elite Blog Academy to be the best blogging course on the market.

I listen to about 5 hours of podcasting a day! I like the following podcasts:

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Before you get good at something you have to be a newbie, just get started and work your way through the messy middle of not being so great at something. Learn from the experts and save yourself a ton of time.

One big mistake I see people making is not investing in training.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I eventually want to have 3 VAs that do almost everything.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Bryn Connor,   Founder of I should have said

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