Table of Contents
Welcome to episode 009 of The Blogger Genius Podcast. My guest is Rachelle Doorley from the blog, TinkerLab.
Rachelle has been blogging for over seven years. She is an author and arts educator and helps kids and parents become creative inventors.
In this episode we talk about how to build a successful course, how she wrote her first book, why she thinks it’s valuable to work with other bloggers in her space, and why she’s writing another book.
Transcript – #008 How to Build a Successful Course with Rachelle Doorley
Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian: [00:00:00] Hi,welcome to the show. Today I have my friend, Rachelle Doorley, from the blog, Tinkerlab. So welcome, Rachelle.
Rachelle: [00:00:11] Thank you so much, Jill. I’m very happy to be here.
Jillian: [00:00:15] Let me first read what it says about you on your blog.
Jillian: [00:00:20] You are a maker, a teacher, an arts educator, a mom, a Girl Scout leader, a traveler, a sketchbook collector, a creativity enabler. I love it.
Jillian: [00:00:40] So can you tell me how you started with Tinkerlab because we met… I was thinking about it… six years ago. And you had launched TinkerLab and you were growing it. So can you talk about what inspired you and the evolution of TinkerLab?
The evolution of TinkerLab
Rachelle: [00:00:57] Absolutely. I can’t believe it’s been six years, so that was actually shortly after I started it. So Tinkerlab’s been around for about seven years now a little over seven years. So basically what it is it’s a website, it started as a blog, and it’s a hub for parents and educators or grandparents or after school teachers who want to support creativity in young children through art and science and tinkering.
Rachelle: [00:01:27] And we do that by providing free content through our blog, and we also have a free five day art challenge where families can download art activities that are really simple to do with your kids. We also have classes both in person and online. And so we deliver this content in lots of different ways.
Rachelle: [00:01:46] And you know this all started when my older daughter, I have two girls, and when my older daughter was one and a half and she started just drawing. She started making marks on paper with crayons. And up until that point I was an art educator I worked in schools…
Jillian: [00:02:09] I have to interject. I have to say that you have a master’s from Harvard.
Rachelle: [00:02:14] Yes. OK.
[00:02:16] And so I was teaching in schools and museums and I had worked with children from kindergarten all the way up through adults. When I started TinkerLab I was in the middle of training docent program at a really big local art museum. So I worked with people of all ages but I never worked with one and a half year olds before.
Rachelle: [00:02:36] And so my challenge became how do I apply all this cool stuff I know about best practices and arts education to my own child’s experience. And I started hunting around for ideas and found some blogs and some books that guided me. And then I realized I had to kind of put my own flavor on it and figure it out for myself.
Rachelle: [00:02:54] How do I create this home tinkerer lab experience and basically turn my home into a lab? And my daughter became my key subject and then I just grew a passion for it. It became this really big thing for me and I stopped working at the art museum and really focused 100% on creating experiences for other people like me who were also looking for ways to foster creativity with their kids.
Jillian: [00:03:19] What I love about your content, and you could tell me how you feel about this. Your philosophy… which is everybody can be creative. It’s not about instructing kids, it’s really about allowing them their creative freedom.
Rachelle: [00:03:43] Yeah that’s exactly right. So for the most part I really try to present experiences that are open-ended and that encourage children to think creatively and build their self-confidence.
Rachelle: [00:03:54] And so by having a prescriptive art experience that says this is exactly what you have to do, and here are the five steps to do it, isn’t really going to get them there. But you know something like that’s not bad, it can definitely teach them skills. But what I’m really trying to get at is helping families or teachers set up experiences that really encourage children to ask big questions, to think creatively, to you know find their own passion for whatever questions it is that they’re trying to pursue. And that can really be done through open ended art experiences.
How she wrote her first book
Jillian: [00:04:27] And then you’ve you’ve written a book that I love with pictures of your kids going through of lots of fun art experiences and now you’re also writing your second book. Can you talk about how that happened?
Rachelle: [00:04:43] Yeah. So I had this one and a half year old and I wanted to do art with her, and I started hunting around and finding all these resources in the process of trying to figure it out. I found some books, then I thought… I’d really love to write a book.
Rachelle: [00:05:00] But at that point, I’d never written a book. I wrote didactic panels in the museum which are like vinyl things you see on the wall. And I wrote a newsletter that went out to our teachers every week, and I think that was like my introduction to blogging. I’d written papers in grad school, but I’d never written a book.
Rachelle: [00:05:19] And so it became this quest for me, like I want to write a book on this topic. And I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for out there, but something that’s really about how to encourage how to build and support this home environment that support open-ended creativity.
Rachelle: [00:05:37] And so I just realized I can chip away at this 1 blog post at a time, and I just started building these arsenal blog posts and then over time I developed a voice, and got a lot of feedback and realized what kinds of things people were interested in learning about, and what things they weren’t. And after a couple years, I had enough content to make a book, and I was lucky enough to find a publisher.
Rachelle: [00:06:01] And then the book happened. It got published and now I’m finishing up my second book.
Jillian: [00:06:09] Wait, so the first book is called TinkerLab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Innovators.
Rachelle: [00:06:16] Little Inventors.
Jillian: [00:06:18] I’m sorry.
Rachelle: [00:06:18] It’s funny, we actually went back and forth: should it be innovators, should it be inventors. They are both really good. And so that book is great, and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on it. And it’s you know it’s designed for kids ages 2 to 6 and it has all kinds of ideas in it that parents can implement right away with very simple materials and so now I’m working on two more books. Book writing thing really stuck.
Jillian: [00:06:47] Although I have to say I remember a conversation after the first book, where you’re like I don’t know if I could do this again.
Rachelle: [00:06:56] It’s like giving birth.
Jillian: [00:06:57] OK so what inspired you to do it again?
Rachelle: [00:07:00] You know I had enough space from it, and when you start something you’ve never done before, you’re blind and you don’t know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. And so having gone through it one time, and having a little bit of space, I could see that I could just be a little bit more strategic about my second book, and I could set up things in my life that would make it more doable, and not so willy nilly and Helter-Skelter.
Jillian: [00:07:29] So what’s the second book about?
Rachelle: [00:07:32] I can’t talk about it just yet.
Jillian: [00:07:34] Really. OK I got it.
Rachelle: [00:07:35] I’m not at liberty to talk about it, although I will say that it is a creativity book for kids who are in a little bit of an older age group, so ages 8 through 12. So moving up into a different age and it’s in the world of calligraphy, handwriting, that kind of thing. But I can’t say too much more.
Jillian: [00:07:56] And when will it be out?
Rachelle: [00:07:58] It’s supposed to come out in the summer of 2018. We shall see.
Jillian: [00:08:04] Yeah OK. Now can you talk about the evolution of your blog because you started writing blog posts and that turned into your book. And then you started creating courses, right. And like how did that happen?
Rachelle: [00:08:22] Writing is such a fulfilling experience. And obviously I’m sticking with it and I loved doing it. It’s not a huge moneymaker. And I realize that I just needed to diversify my income and figure out other ways to really get my word out, and get my ideas into the world, but also now pay my rent and keep food on my table.
Rachelle: [00:08:53] So obviously I’m continuing with the book writing but my website is monetized in lots of different ways.
Jillian: [00:09:01] Do my mind walking through the different ways?
How to monetize your blog
Rachelle: [00:09:03] Not at all, and then I’ll circle back to this question. So money comes in through book writing. And then one of the nice things now is that, I’ve had a book that’s been out for a couple of years, I still got residual checks for my book. My book that’s already been out for a while. So people keep buying it and money still comes in. That’s really lovely to have that passive income.
Rachelle: [00:09:24] And then there is advertising on my website and that’s nice. Also passive income. And I have an affiliate agreement with Amazon. And so that’s a little bit of money.
Jillian: [00:09:38] And that’s like Amazon Associates?
Rachelle: [00:09:41] Correct Amazon Associates. So you know if somebody goes onto one of the blog post and they are like, what kind of painter are you using? And they click over. Then I get a percentage for that. And let’s see there’s something. Oh sponsors. So if we find really good sponsors that are a good fit with our brand, then we like working with them, and they might send us products and we can review it or something along those lines. And those sponsorships can work through our blog or through our social media. So that’s another way I think there are five different ways.
Rachelle: [00:10:14] And so what I was realizing is that all these different ways, aside from the book writing, that we were monetizing the website, were not really in our hands. Right, so if Amazon changes their terms next week then our percentage could drop, and we could make less money, which is actually happened this past year. And the same goes for advertising, and the same goes for sponsorships rights, and money can dry up.
Rachelle: [00:10:36] So I think it’s really important to diversify where your income is coming from, and then realizing that I really wanted to have some products on our site. So I had been selling little products here and there, like downloadable PDFs.
How she figured out what course to build
Rachelle: [00:10:57] I really wanted to teach a class right. I come from a teaching background. And so I ran a beta test and kind of figured out what the class would be about.
Jillian: [00:11:05] So explain what that means. One thing that I know about you is you are very close with your community and they talk to you and give you feedback.
Rachelle: [00:11:19] Right. Right. Right. So feedback is really important.
Rachelle: [00:11:29] So I should also say, it’s like a piece of advice for those of you who don’t already have a newsletter. It’s super important to get some kind of pop-up or something on your website where people can sign up for your newsletter because then you can.
Jillian: [00:11:43] You can use MiloTree.
Rachelle: [00:11:45] Yes, and I love MiloTree. So actually this is something I wish was something I started from day one, was having a newsletter. It’s ok. I have one now and I’ve had it for a while, but why I mention it is is because you can get directly in touch. I mean there’s lots of benefits to it, but one is you can get in touch with your fans right away and you can survey them and ask them what they’re looking for. Right, what do you want or what’s your pain point, and how can we help you solve it?
Running a class prototype
Rachelle: [00:11:45] And so I ran a survey, and I’ve done actually a number of surveys asking different kinds of questions and just try to get to the root of it, like what people want, what’s the format they want, what problems can I help them solve, and then from that data, I pulled this class together, and I ran it as a beta, meaning that it was a prototype, and I wanted to have people join me who were willing and interested and excited about the content, but also willing to be guinea pigs and help me through trouble shooting some of the problems that might exist with it.
Jillian: [00:12:47] So did you charge for it?
Rachelle: [00:12:51] I would recommend anyone who’s running a beta, I would definitely charge them. I was actually invited to be in a beta for for free program someone was running, and they said it’s free. And it’s funny, because it was free, I did not have an investment in it, and I just failed to show up and it was no fault of the class the. Actually it was probably really good.
Rachelle: [00:13:14] I think it’s really important that people have that financial investment because then they’re on the hook, and they actually want it. They’re not just giving you lip-service, sure I’ll do it, I will help you out of it. It’s something that they actually want. So I did charge, but I didn’t charge the full amount, I made it very reasonable but still enough that people, when they signed up they felt like they needed to be there. Yeah.
Jillian: [00:13:37] And there is something that is true that people value things they pay for more than things they get for free.
Rachelle: [00:13:44] Absolutely. Yes so I ran the beta and then because I gave them this discount, they were willing to give me their feedback.
Rachelle: [00:13:56] And so along the way we had a private Facebook group and they would share their thoughts with me and I also ran this post survey at the end and got more feedback from them on what they liked and what they didn’t like.
Launching her online course
Rachelle: [00:13:56] And then from there, I launched the class officially and I charge more money. And oh the other thing I offered my beta class, which I think is a nice thing to do, is I offered them lifetime access, so every time I run the class they can retake it if they want to. And I think they really appreciated that and it’s also really great for seeding future classes. So you know they’re my diehard fans and if they want to take the class again, they’ll show up and they’ll give feedback to people and they’ll be present. So they’re that “launch party” basically, that comes along with you.
Jillian: [00:14:49] Right. And I talk about this, but really to build a business you need about a thousand fans, raving fans. And there you are building that, you know, who will buy your next book, who will take your next course, who will talk about you on social media. It’s like it doesn’t take millions. It’s actually a much smaller number than people think.
Rachelle: [00:15:17] And you know it’s a good reminder too that I always feel better at the end of the day when I connect one on one with someone. So if somebody reaches out to me, or they want to have a conversation and they’re in one of my classes, or they’ve done something with me, I always have such a good feeling. It’s a much better feeling than like, Hey I sent a newsletter out to thousands of people today. No one got in touch with me. It’s like, oh that’s nice. Did I affect anyone today? I don’t really know.
Can you get rich from creating a course?
Jillian: [00:15:45] Right. Right. Now here’s the question: Is creating of course a get-rich-quick scheme?
Rachelle: [00:15:54] That’s a really good question.
Jillian: [00:15:56] Because I get tons of emails saying I just created this course and it’s a six figure course and stuff like that. So my instinct is that that is not true. But I don’t want to put words in your mouth.
Rachelle: [00:16:11] I don’t know if I’m well positioned to answer that question. For me it has not been a get rich quick scheme, but it is also my biggest source of revenue. So I think it just depends on what your goals are, and it depends on your niche and how much you’re solving for people, and how much they’re willing to pay for that.
Rachelle: [00:16:34] And it probably has a lot to do with how you deliver the concept. I guess the other piece of it is your commitment. So what I can say is that I’ve launched the class now three times, and each time I launch it, it’s a bigger. It’s bigger than the previous time. And so that wouldn’t be necessarily getting rich quick, but it’s definitely a growth opportunity.
Rachelle: [00:16:57] The only thing I see kind of happening in the class space is that it’s reaching that… it’s starting to reach that saturation point, which is something that’s going to happen anywhere online right. You know people start getting excited about it, they hear about it, and people start selling courses on it.
Rachelle: [00:16:57] And so the market is definitely getting saturated, and I think it’s making it harder to get rich quick. But there are people out there who are making those six figure incomes off of their classes, and so I think it’s… I think it’s still an exciting place to be and to invest time into, as long as you have a passion for it, and you’re excited to show up every day and commit to it and keep going with that.
Lots of potential for teaching courses online
Rachelle: [00:17:37] There’s a lot of potential, there’s a lot of potential for teaching classes, and I mean the beauty of it that I see, and I’ve always had this in me, is that you can reach so many people with one experience. So when I was teaching elementary school art I had a class of 30 children at a time. I was actually teaching a bunch of classes, but say just 30 kids. And I was teaching a workshop one weekend, we had 30 teachers in the room, and I was like, wait a second, all these 30 teachers in the room, each teaching 30 kids let’s say. So right now I’m teaching this class to these 30 teachers and this is going to impact 900 students. And that was such a powerful moment for me when I realized I can do something one time, and have the potential to reach so many more people. And I was teaching in Los Angeles Unified School, just directly with kids who didn’t have access to a lot of things, and it was really powerful for me to think that I had this ability to impact people who need it so much, who might not get it otherwise.
Rachelle: [00:18:39] So you go and teach a class online and it has that same exact potential, which is exciting. So if you get excited about that potential, and you really feel like you can serve a lot of people, and you want to, I think the sky’s the limit really. Right. And it’s I think some people are going to nail it and should, and other people won’t.
Rachelle: [00:18:59] And it just kind of depends on, again, what the niche is and their passion and their commitment to it.
Jillian: [00:19:05] I think that is so right on. I think the idea that if you have something inside that you want to teach other people feel that authenticity. They feel that you’re an expert in your field and they want to learn from you, and that you can reach thousands and thousands of people.
Rachelle: [00:19:28] Yeah absolutely. And again if it does go back to that need. So in serving your audience, finding out what they really need, and if you’re just doing something that you think is fun and important, but nobody really wants it, then you’re not going to make millions of dollars doing it.
Jillian: [00:19:43] What was surprising? What did you find out that surprised you as you were building your course?
Rachelle: [00:19:55] Well that’s a really good question. Taking me back to when I was designing the course. I guess one of the things that surprised me was how far reaching it was. You know I live in California, and to see people sign up for the class from all over the world, and I know that I have a blog following of people from all over the world.
Rachelle: [00:20:20] But it was kind of amazing for me to see people show up in our forum or a shared group, from Belgium and from Australia and from Portugal, speaking all different languages, but showing up in this place and showing examples of their kids doing the work, in all these different places and all the different interpretations of the same set of rules and it was also such a beautiful surprise to see the world get a little bit smaller, with all these people coming together.
Jillian: [00:20:56] Yes. And I would say that every day I am running online businesses, I feel that the world is small.
Rachelle: [00:21:05] It is. It is.
Jillian: [00:21:07] You know and that and that especially as moms, we all want the same things for our kids.
Rachelle: [00:21:15] We definitely do.
Jillian: [00:21:17] So in terms it’s like the nuts and bolts like social media. How do you see social media? How has it changed for you? What’s working for you now?
How to use social media to grow your blog
Rachelle: [00:21:27] Yeah great question. Social media has changed a lot obviously since I started it, you know seven years ago. Pinterest didn’t even exist when I started. And so I think it is so important to stay as much as you can on top of what’s happening, what those changes are in the last year. I’ve had a lot of personal issues going on with my family. My mom was really sick. And so you know I just had to turn off a lot of social media. I’ve lost track of what’s happened. Things have changed a lot. That said, when I started, Facebook was really strong. That was a place where I put in a lot of investment and a lot of time and I still think there’s a lot of growth potential in Facebook, and where I’m putting all my effort right now is a trifecta of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Rachelle: [00:22:15] And you know going back to when I started, I think what helped me probably more than anything, content is important, but it’s the community, and it’s not just my community, not just the people that show up for me who like my content, but it’s also people who are running in the same space as me, or running in similar niches as me, whom I became friends with and we help each other. And so I’m seeing a lot of that happening on social media.
Rachelle: [00:22:48] On Instagram, there are Instagram pods, where people will work together to help each other’s Instagrams grow. Are there are Facebook pods, where someone will post, Hey I posted something today on Facebook, and everyone pops over and likes it or comments on it to help them out.
Why you want to work with your competitors as collaborators
Rachelle: [00:23:04] And so that that kind of thing is still alive and well, and I think that that kind of community support, and finding people that you love, and that love you, and that can really help you grow, and seeing yourself as part of a community. No one can grow on their own. And you know even though I largely work by myself, I know I would not be where I am now, if it weren’t for the support and friendship of other people. And your social media is a big place for that.
Jillian: [00:23:34] Yeah, the Internet is really big. And I always say, befriend your competitors because you can help each other. And that you are not exactly in competition with them. There’s room.
Rachelle: [00:23:49] Yeah exactly. No you’re not. You’re not. Everyone has their own spin on things, and your readers or your viewers or your listeners are going to come to you for your specific taste. Right. And what you are serving up on your menu will be a little bit different.
Rachelle: [00:24:04] And you know it’s like two Italian restaurants can exist on the same street because they’re not identical.
Jillian: [00:24:08] Exactly. And I think it also creates a feeling of abundance rather than scarcity.
Rachelle: [00:24:15] Yeah yeah. And you know the other piece of it was that when I started, I had two really little kids and I was feeling very isolated, and I was looking for a community. And so to find all the other people who were doing things similar to what I was doing, my world felt a lot smaller, and I could connect with them and we could understand each other. And you know this is how you and I met we were. You know, we bonded immediately because we had you know we were both building businesses, and we both had little kids. So finding other people is so important and it just helps. It helps you get through the day. It’s all about the people anyway.
Jillian: [00:24:57] Moms in my preschool had no idea what I was doing being a blogger, building an online business. But to find other people online doing it was so comforting.
Rachelle: [00:25:13] Yeah yeah. It can be really comforting and you can help each other too. It’s like the other day one of my online friends, she shared how she does video with a certain kind of light. And I was like, that looks like a really cool light. I went and ordered it right away. And we do the same. I did the same thing back and I’ll share, this is a resource that I’m working with and I really like it.
Rachelle: [00:25:35] So yes, you can be a constant help to each other in a number of ways and it can be, you know, I’m having a hard day. Talk me off the ledge.Or how do you grow your newsletter list, and what’s that trick that you’re doing and how can that work for me too?
How many hours a week do you work on your blog?
Jillian: [00:25:50] And how many hours a week would you say you work?
Rachelle: [00:25:54] You know, I’m really trying to be a mom first. To whatever extent I can, so I pick up my kids from school everyday and that’s what my work day, it’s kind of work backwards from that. So how many hours do I put in my day. It is about my week and that’s about 25 hours per week. And you know, I try to leave a little bit of time in there open for meeting with a friend, or getting errands done. And so probably ends up being like 20 hours a week.
Jillian: [00:26:21] Got it. So that’s very doable.
Rachelle: [00:26:23] I think so. It’s been different at different stages. So like when I was finishing up my first book, it was very very intense and so my husband would come home early and I would go to the coffee shop and write. And so I think during that season, my hours probably went up. Right. Two or three times. And so it’s seasonal for sure. Like there are sometimes things that come up and the hours go up and I have to work on the weekends. So I also run live workshops in my studio, and so sometimes like a Saturday, I’ll be out for four hours, or Thursday night, I’ll be out for three hours and my husband covers me so it probably averages about 25 maybe even 30 hours a week.
Jillian: [00:27:09] What about your business at this moment are you most excited about?
Rachelle: [00:27:14] What about it am I the most excited about right now. That’s a great question. So I’ve been doing this for so long, and I’m still so in love with the idea of everything that I’m doing. So I feel like I’m excited about all the pieces I have been running, this online class, and I’m excited about launching another side of it. So the ways I have been doing it is with launches.
Rachelle: [00:27:48] So what I mean is I’ll have a quarterly launch, so I’ll say it’s January and I’m going to launch my online class, and then I’ll do it again in April, and again in July, and again in October,. But I’m working right now and making that course evergreen.
How to get people into your funnel
Rachelle: [00:28:04] So I’m working on getting people into a funnel so when they sign up for my newsletter, they get some free content that gets them excited about what it is that TinkerLab is about, and that moves them through my free challenge and I could talk about that as well. And then from there they will be given the opportunity to sign up for my class.
Rachelle: [00:28:04] And so rather than run these launches four times a year, it would just be this ongoing funnel, where as people join my website, they will get the opportunity to take the class, and the class would be there all the time, and I’m doing that because we’re finding that people want to take the class in February. Like well, it just started last month. I’m sorry you’ll have to wait till April. But that’s not when they want to take it. And then by the time April rolls around, they’re on to something else. So that’s not helpful to anyone. So I want to be more helpful and more useful.
Jillian: [00:28:58] Explain your free course and how that rolls into your paid course.
Rachelle: [00:29:03] Yeah absolutely. So the free class I run it as a five day challenge. I have a mentor named Jadah Sellner who is amazing, and she ran a website called Simple Green Smoothies, and they did these challenges, and I’ve followed along for years and loved how they did it.
Rachelle: [00:29:21] And I was like, I really want to do a challenge, and the way the challenge works is it’s like a free course. I do five days of free ART content basically. And you got essentially a menu, like a meal plan, and it gives you five activities to do with your kids over the course of the week, and it gives you a list of supplies that you buy ahead of time, or you gather ahead of time, and a lot of them are things you can find around your house, so it’s not too difficult.
Rachelle: [00:29:54] And then each day for five days, you set up one of the projects with your young children, and then do it and then we have this online forum, a group on Facebook where people can share what they’re doing and it becomes a really beautiful community of people who are having this shared experience of creativity with their kids and feeling supported and nurtured and energized by it.
Rachelle: [00:30:16] And then at the end of the five days, if they really love it and they want to continue, then they can sign up for five more weeks of it and every week for five weeks, they’ll get you know more projects and the support group will continue.
Rachelle: [00:30:29] And from that, I’ve actually received a lot of feedback from people that they want even more, so I’m thinking about, well how can I expand that and make that into a bigger program that’s longer than five weeks, and so that’s something that’s also brewing in the back of my mind. But if you’re interested in checking it out you can go to look at Tinkerlab Art Start and it’ll take you to sign up for the Art Star challenge. So right now they’re happening quarterly. But you know maybe by the time someone listens to this, it’ll have the evergreen setup and it’ll just leap you right into it and you’ll get it in your inbox right away. That’s the goal.
Jillian: [00:31:06] Oh that’s wonderful. So now if you had one piece of advice that you wish someone had told you when you were starting your business what would that be?
Technical advice and theoretical advice for bloggers
Rachelle: [00:31:19] So I have to have one that’s a technical piece of advice, and one that’s a little bit more a little more theoretical. Is that ok? So the technical thing is that I get most of my traffic through organic search, and I wish I had known about search engine optimization or SEO earlier. So I found out about it right in the beginning. There was actually a mom in my daughter’s preschool who was an expert.
Rachelle: [00:31:51] She was like a consultant and I didn’t even know what it was. It took maybe two years to really understand that people are finding me organically. And there’s actually strategy behind that. And so I wish I had done that right from the beginning. If you haven’t been doing SEO, you can be like me and you can fix it. You can go back and you can put Yoast onto your website and you can sign up for a keyword tool finder. And it’s definitely doable. But I wish I did that from the beginning.
Jillian: [00:32:24] So Yoast is a plugin your WordPress that helps you optimize your posts.
Rachelle: [00:32:32] Exactly. So if you’re on WordPress, I think maybe it’s on other sites too, but on WordPress you can get Yoast. It’s so great because it’ll give you the greenlight if everything looks exactly how it should, and will be a yellow light if things were almost there, red if it’s terrible, and it gives you all kinds of areas where you just plug things in. What is your keyword that you’re trying to go after and you have to write out the description of the content, and it tells you that you need to have more keywords inside of your post, and it just guides you through the whole thing very very very simply, and makes it really easy for you to get those keywords in there and to optimize your posts the best way you possibly can.
Rachelle: [00:32:32] And then the other tool that I recently discovered, Google used to have this keyword finder that sort of changed over the years and it became less useful. But I found a new one I paid for it, but I like it a lot. It’s called Mangools. I think it’s spelled M-A-N-G-O-O-L-S. It’s a keyword finder and it’s just really comprehensive and you can actually test it for free.
Rachelle: [00:33:39] I’m not an affiliate. I wish I was right now. But but you can test it for free. And I like it. I think it’s obviously good enough. I decide to pay for it.
Jillian: [00:33:48] Yeah I use one called KWFinder. I find them really useful.
Rachelle: [00:34:05] Yeah it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s definitely is because you know people are searching for things and it’s a great way to find people and that’s how I get people in my newsletter. They come to my website and they like what they see there, and they’ll sign up for my newsletter. But if they don’t ever find my website, they won’t sign up for my newsletter so that’s important it’s great.
Jillian: [00:34:26] Now what is the other piece of advice?
Rachelle: [00:34:29] So the other piece of advice is to think about how important it is to be in this for the long haul, and to see it having a long plan for yourself, and to make sure that whatever it is you’re doing, that you can be passionate about this thing for a really long time, because burnout is so inevitable.
Rachelle: [00:34:29] There have been so many moments where I just I haven’t wanted to throw in the towel. But I’ve been exhausted absolutely exhausted. Like someone hacks into my site or my web site’s overloaded and things are shutting down or there’s just some kind of technical problem, and when those things come out those are the things I hate, obviously, those are the things that really get to me.
Rachelle: [00:35:17] I can be techie but I’m not that techie. And so when the techie things happen, I just love what I do so much, that I’m motivated to figure it out and it doesn’t burn me out and stress me out and kill me. And I can keep going, so just to make sure that whatever it is you’re doing, you love it enough that when stuff hits the fan which it will, that you’re still motivated to do it. Because that’s the thing that’s going to drive you to get through the hard times. So that would be my advice.
Jillian: [00:35:49] And I totally agree. It is because you love it.
Rachelle: [00:35:53] It’s because I love it. Yes it is. Absolutely. You know so I went back to my mentor Jadah. She runs this program called Love Over Metrics and I just love that. That phrase says that metrics are important, and we’re running businesses, so you want to quantify what you’re doing, want make sure that you can put food on your table.
Rachelle: [00:35:53] But the love has to come first, you know to be a love for what you’re doing, and love for your audience, and just really believing in your content. And that’s going to drive you and that’s going to keep you happy and enabled and confidants and connected to your audience.
Jillian: [00:36:38] Absolutely.
Rachelle: [00:36:39] And they’ll see right through you if that’s not there.
Jillian: [00:36:45] So OK. Rachelle, how can people find you? Reach out to you? Learn more about you? Start in your in your classes?
Rachelle: [00:36:56] Yeah absolutely. So if you go to TinkerLab.com. So “tinker” like you know, tinkering in your studio. “Lab” it’s all one word. T-I-N-K-E-R-L-A-B you can find my website, and if you wanted to try out this Art Start Challenge, you could just do a forward slash “art start” and loop right into that five day challenge that will hopefully be evergreen. On social media everywhere I’m TinkerLab. And so you can just search for TinkerLab or you can look for my name anywhere.
Rachelle: [00:37:30] And if you wanted to reach me by email I’m Rachelle at TinkerLab.com. My name is spelled R-A-C-H-E-L-L-E at TinkerLab.com.
Jillian: [00:37:40] Thank you so much for being on the show.
Jillian: [00:37:43] It was such a pleasure. And I just adore everything that you’re doing and I just want to support you however I can. And I love that you’re running this show. It’s awesome.
Jillian: [00:38:30] If you’re trying to grow your social media followers on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest, plus trying to grow your email list. Definitely check out MiloTree. It is the smart popup you add to your blog or your site, and it asks your visitors to follow you on social media or subscribe to your list.
Jillian:[00:38:52] Just a couple of things… it’s super easy to add to your site. We offer a WordPress plugin or a simple line of code. It’s Google-friendly on mobile so you don’t have to worry about showing pop-ups on mobile. It’s lightning fast, it won’t slow your sight down and you can grow multiple platforms at once, so check it out MiloTree.com.