Today, I’m interviewing Allison Baggerly from Inspired Budget, and we’re talking about money and blogging! Yep, we’re going there.
Money is one of the most uncomfortable topics to discuss, which is why I think it’s so important.
Allison shares how she pulled herself out of over $100,000 in debt, which led to her creating her blog to help others do the same.
We talk about how as a blogger, you should think about budgeting (even if you have debt), so you can grow your online business successfully.
You do need to spend money to make money, but how do you know how much to spend? How long should you give yourself to build a blog? And what about all those expensive courses? Are they worth it?
These are just a few of the topics we cover in today’s conversation. If money is something you think about and worry about (and who doesn’t?), this is the episode for you. Listen now!
Table of Contents
- The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Course
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- My 4 Biggest Takeaways Newsletter
- The Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
- Inspired Budget
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Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:16
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie. I am a serial entrepreneur, I founded Catch My Party and the MiloTree pop-up app with my husband, David.
I am a business coach and as I like to call myself a business translator. I take what is working in online business, break it down, so you can make more money, and grow your own blog or online business.
Before I get started, I want to talk about my WordPress course that I just launched. I have been getting tremendous feedback. I have been told that there is no fluff, that it goes through systematically.
How to write an optimized blog post, how to think about your business, how to create content, that will get your audience excited. And then it goes into all the nitty gritty about WordPress.
How to use the Gutenberg editor. How to understand all those crazy dashboards. I try to give you the shortcuts, so, you know what to pay attention to and what not to. You can find out more at milotree.com/wordpress, super easy.
And I am raising the price on Friday. So, click through to see how much it costs. And know that this price will be in place until the 29th. And then I’m going to increase it because this is my introductory price.
I would love you to take this course, I offer a complete guarantee because I want you to love this. I want this to change your life. And if it doesn’t, then I haven’t done my job. And I do think I have done my job with this.
Okay, for today’s episode, we are talking about something that people find uncomfortable. We are talking about money, and how to think about money when it comes to your business.
So, I’m interviewing Allison Baggerly, from Inspired Budget, she teaches women how to get out of debt. She’s also a blogger.
So, what I wanted to focus on with her is how to think about spending money when you’re starting a blog and especially at the beginning when you’re not making money. How to accelerate that to really treated as a business.
Also, what if you have debt? How do you deal with debt? I think you’re going to like the honesty in this episode. We do not beat around the bush. And I think we are so, in agreement that a business is a business and it needs to be treated as such.
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Alison Baggerly. Alison, welcome to the show. It is great having you.
Allison Baggerly 3:15
Oh, thank you for having me, Jillian, I’m so excited to be here and talk about this today.
Why Is Talking About Money So Taboo?
Jillian Leslie 3:19
And I was just saying before we pressed record, I think we all are scared to talk about money. And what is interesting also, though, I have learned for podcast episodes that have money or monetizing or something like that in the title, those do the best.
So, people are thinking about money, they just don’t want to talk about it.
Allison Baggerly 3:42
Well, it’s such a taboo topic. And I think so many of us have heard, “Don’t talk about money, it’s rude.” And who wants to be rude. But we have to talk about money, it seeps into every single aspect of our life. Why aren’t we talking about it?
Jillian Leslie 3:56
I agree. And I do think so many online entrepreneurs and bloggers want to start their own businesses because they want to make their own money. They want to take their fate in their own hands, launch something.
These are people who work hard, and they’re like, “Why am I doing this for somebody else? Why can’t I do this for myself?” But I think that they don’t know. And I want to talk to you about this. How do you manage thinking about money and starting a business?
So, overall, what are your thoughts about that? How should somebody who let’s say goes, “I have my nine to five. But I have this dream of starting a blog or starting an online business?”
How should I think about that and how should I think about it when it comes to budgeting when it comes to all of that stuff?
Being a Teacher and Starting a Blog
Allison Baggerly 4:50
So, that’s exactly the position I was in years ago is I had a nine to five I was a teacher, an elementary teacher. And I knew deep down for many years, this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s something bigger, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
And when I did, I knew it was going to be start a blog, start an online business work from home so, that I can take my kids to school, pick them up, manage my own schedule.
Make my own money break through that teacher salary into something that was higher paying for me. And the way I looked at it was I said, Okay, I’m giving myself and at the time I told myself, I’m giving myself this five year deadline.
Because I can’t work as a teacher and run this business on the side for a long time, because it was affecting my family. It was affecting my health; it was affecting all of these aspects. So, I gave myself this deadline.
Jillian Leslie 5:43
Alright, first of all, how many years ago was this? How many kids did you have?
Allison Baggerly 5:48
Oh, I started in 2017. And that’s when I realized summer of 2017, I said, “I’m going to do this.” I had my vision. I started my blog, I started my Instagram, I started creating products.
And at the time, I had young kids, I had probably like a six-year-old, and maybe like a three-year-old or four-year-old.
Jillian Leslie 6:10
Allison Baggerly 6:11
And so, yes, a three-year-old and a six-year-old. So, little kids, which meant I was going to work all day as a teacher. I would get there like 6:45 in the morning, get home from picking up kids from daycare, by 5 o’clock yeah, 5 o’clock in the evenings.
You have to drive and pick them up and do all the things make dinner. And then I would work from 7:30 until 10:30 at night, and it was exhausting. And then I would work on the weekends. And it takes a toll on you. And I wasn’t expecting that toll it would take.
And so, when I originally gave myself this timeline of five years, one year in, I was like, “I can’t do this for four more years, I have to find a way to replace my income.” So, that was my whole goal was how can I replace the teacher income I am making.
Quitting Your Job to Become a Full Time Blogger
And when I was able to do that consistently. I actually only did it for three months before my husband I decided this is it. Allison’s going to quit at the end of this year. So, we decided in March, Allison is going to leave.
So, what I did was I had this runway of income, I was still going to be paid for my teacher job for May, June, July and August. And I decided in March, okay, I’m going to quit because I’ve replaced my income.
What I did was I saved that money in a savings account called “my quit teaching fund.” It’s literally what it was called “my quit teaching fund” because I knew I needed to have some backups, because I wasn’t going back.
Any of the net money, I didn’t spend in my business went there, so that I could support myself taking that leap.
Jillian Leslie 7:59
Got it. Now, first of all, I realized I didn’t ask you how did you get into budgeting? How was budgeting the thing that you decided this is what I’m going to build my business around?
Finding a Niche by Solving Your Own Problem
Allison Baggerly 8:09
I never thought it would be budgeting because I hated math. I always hated math. But basically, my husband and I got pregnant when we were on our honeymoon. So, I was 24 years old, got married. We got pregnant accidentally on our honeymoon.
And when we got back realized we were pregnant, we realized we could not afford daycare payments. Daycare was going to be $800 a month, we did not have $800 a month. And so, we looked at our budget and we looked at our debt.
We weren’t budgeting to be honest; we weren’t budgeting. But we looked at our debt payments, and we had over $111,000 worth of debt on two teachers’ salaries. Our minimum debt payments alone were $1,400 a month.
So, I was like, okay, number one, we need to have a plan. And then we need to tackle this debt. So, we did that. We paid off all $111,000 worth of debt that did not include our mortgage in 4 1/2 years on two teachers’ salaries while having two children.
So, you’re talking like $1,500 a month or more in daycare expenses. And during that process, what I thought would be this thing I did that I hated and I just sacrifice for this period of time and that I would never budget again.
I seriously thought once I’m done, I’m never writing another budget. During that process I learned that I love budgeting, and that I love helping others.
And so, I was able to take my skill-set of teaching, my talent of teaching and my passion for personal finances and create them to put them together to make Inspired Budget.
Jillian Leslie 9:43
Wow, wow. That’s terrific. That makes perfect sense. And again, I remember when my husband and I decided we were going to get pregnant. And I was talking to somebody who had a kid and they were talking about daycare.
And I didn’t realize how expensive it was going to be. And we had to take a couple months off trying because I was like, I cannot wrap my brain around this.
Allison Baggerly 10:06
I know, and it’s even more expensive now. It’s so crazy. And it can really be difficult financially when you are trying to make progress with your money to have those daycare payments.
Thankfully, it’s a season, but I know that as kids grow, there’s always something that you’re going to be spending money on with them. Once you get into, like, athletic.
Jillian Leslie 10:32
Allison Baggerly 10:34
Oh gosh, don’t talk to me about braces, I’m hoping my fingers crossed, none of my kids will need braces. I think that for me, starting my business, was a way for me to have a little bit more freedom, and more of a say, in my life.
Teaching, I was very good at teaching. I had a skill for teaching, but there were parts of teaching that I found no joy in. Usually, it had nothing to do with the kids. It was everything to do with administration or paperwork and things like that.
And so, I wanted to build a business that I found joy in. And if I don’t find joy in parts of my business, I can hire it out to someone who does find joy.
Jillian Leslie 11:15
Again, you’re in a position where you started making money. So, let’s talk about the person who says, two scenarios. One, I have a job, like you had a job, and I want to start a side hustle. How long should I give it? And how much should I invest in it?
And then the other person is the exact same scenario, but that person has debt?
Allison Baggerly 11:37
Jillian Leslie 11:38
So, let’s start with the person who doesn’t have debt but has a job but wants to kind of segue like you did. So, you without debt and you with debt.
Why You Need to Invest Money to Make Money
Allison Baggerly 11:46
Okay, so basically, number one, you have to decide that this is a thing that is worth going after. We’re not talking about a hobby; we’re talking about a business. So, you have to be willing to invest money to make money back.
Your goal is not to spend money on all these things and never see a return. I think once we open our mind up to that, what I say is to set it up in your budget, in your personal budget.
When you’re just getting started out for what you will be spending on your business and try his best to keep your costs low when you’re starting out. Because you’re going to make mistakes along the way.
You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that later on, you realize that wasn’t actually a good fit for me, that wasn’t what I wanted to do.
So, for me, when I started out, we would set aside money in our budget every single month for me to put in my business. And it was not a lot. I think in the first six months, I had -$66, I had spent more than I had earned on my business.
But that was that was doable. And then once I started really making that money, my business was able to fund itself and I’m no longer pulling from the personal budget at all. Now, it’s completely separate.
It should be separate from the beginning. But when you’re starting, sometimes you need to use some of your personal money, to set up the website to pay for hosting, to do what you need to do, really.
And then let’s talk about someone with debt. Because I know there’s probably a lot of people that are saying, “I can’t do this, because I have credit card debt. I can’t do this until I’m debt free.” And what I want to say is, that’s not necessarily true.
When we write a budget, whether it’s a budget for our business, whether it’s a budget for our personal life, it is a plan for what is important to you.
Create a Budget for Your Business
And so, when I write my budget, I want to be able to spend the money on what’s important to me, and be able to cut out the rest, cut out the things that don’t matter.
So, in my family’s budget, for me that looks like being able to take a summer vacation. And I’d rather cut out other things that don’t matter to me as much like subscription boxes, I could care less about that type of thing. Just as an example.
In my business, I would rather pay for contractors and for help. And I’ll cut out some of these other fancy things that maybe I don’t want to pay for. The same is true even when you have debt.
If your business is something you are passionate about, then find a way in your budget to still fit it in and still pay off debt along the way. Because the hope is that you won’t be pulling from your personal money for very long.
How the MiloTree Pinterest Pop-up Grows Your Pinterest Followers
I’m taking a break because I had to share a story. Today, I was on the phone with a rep from Pinterest and we were talking about our MiloTree pop-up app.
And I was explaining how this is different than say a regular email pop-up although you can of course grow your email subscribers with MiloTree. What he was so, impressed with was that you could grow your Pinterest followers with MiloTree.
And what he shared with me was that people really struggle to grow their organic engaged Pinterest followers and that Pinterest followers matter because it’s a signal to the algorithm, that your account is important.
So, if this resonates with you, and you’re trying to grow your Pinterest followers, or your followers on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, your email list, head to milotree.com and grow your followers while you sleep. And now back to the show.
Having a Monetization Plan
Jillian Leslie 15:29
So, let’s talk about then how you were able to quickly start monetizing. My hunch is, you had a plan. A lot of times people go, I’m going to start a blog, I’m going to start writing posts, and then the money is going to start flying through the windows.
Allison Baggerly 15:44
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Jillian Leslie 15:47
I know. Meaning they’re like, I want to be an Instagram influencer. And I’m going to write blog posts. And somehow all the pieces are going to come together and checks are going to arrive without going no, I need to go how can I monetize?
So, when you set out to do this? What were you thinking and how did you start bringing money in?
Starting with Digital Products
Allison Baggerly 16:10
I think that when you set out to do it, it’s a learning process. It took me time to try to figure out I was like, “Okay, I know I want to sell digital products.” So, before I even launched my blog, I create digital products and sell them on Etsy.
I was like, “Okay, I know I can do that. Let me start there.” While that’s bringing in money, and I did have Instagram. I started growing my Instagram following I would drive people to that Etsy shop.
I remember one day I was shared by another person in Instagram, a big person shared my information. Immediately one of my stories, and I talked about my printables and I drove people to Etsy. So, here, I have no website, and I made $900 in one day.
First, I did, what is the smallest bite-size thing I can do? Because in that moment, setting up the website felt really big, but I can create printables and upload them to Etsy and be done there.
Jillian Leslie 17:08
What was your first product? And what was your first product that got success?
Allison Baggerly 17:14
My first product were cash envelopes, my first product that got success was this printable budget binder that I don’t even sell anymore, because I think it is the ugliest thing ever. But people bought it.
Jillian Leslie 17:26
The first thing was cash envelopes. What does that mean?
Allison Baggerly 17:29
Yes. Printable cash envelopes. So basically, envelopes that you cut out and you put cash in to help you with your personal budgeting. And so, I would sell those on Etsy. And then I have this planner that I made.
This budget planner, I made it in PowerPoint, I had no color. I thought it was good at the time I look back at it. And I’m like how did I make money on this? But it was solving a need, it didn’t matter necessarily. It was solving a need.
And if I had waited until it was exactly what I wanted it to be. And it was beautiful and perfect. I would be teaching right now in elementary school.
Jillian Leslie 18:06
I love that. How many products from cash envelopes to this budgeting printable? How many were on that? How many products did it take before you went from one to the other?
Allison Baggerly 18:19
Oh, gosh, probably I think like cash envelopes, first I had a second budget binder that I listed and it never sold. So, I scraped that and then I created the next one. And that’s the one that I used for probably the first year and a half of my business.
Jillian Leslie 18:33
Was that the only thing that was making you money?
Allison Baggerly 18:36
So, at the time I started with that I start with my cash envelopes. And that’s when I then dived into my blog post. How do I set up my blog? How do I get, 1¢ from Google AdSense, getting that set up?
And from then it went into working with sponsorships. Sponsored posts on my blog, sponsored work on Instagram, and then going in and out and starting to really research.
Okay, now that I have these streams of income kind of set, and I’m no longer spending my time working on them. How can I now go and work on other streams of income because this just isn’t going to cut it?
Starting a Membership Program
So, I started a membership. I have a membership group to help women with budgeting and to make it work for them. So, it allowed me to free up my mental space because I had done these other tasks that now feel so easy but, in the moment, felt difficult.
And I now have grown to where I’m able to offer other solutions for people.
Jillian Leslie 19:38
Is your membership your largest piece of your business where you make the most money like if you have buckets, printables sponsorships ad revenue membership?
Allison Baggerly 19:50
Yes. So, my membership, I want it to come up with like 50%. It’s going to probably be about 50% of my income. So, nothing else really comes close to it, my printables kind of come close, but not really.
Jillian Leslie 20:05
Okay, and are you still making new printables?
Allison Baggerly 20:09
So, I hire that out, because I don’t find joy in it. So, when I hire that out, I will sometimes hire out new printables. But then I also kind of just have some of them set up as tripwires, and just sending people there.
So, I do have like printables inside of my inner circle that people get for free, or inside my membership that people get for free. My VA makes those.
Using Tripwire to Sell Products
Can you explain how your tripwires work?
Of course, and I started this within the first year of my business, and it really helped. Basically, when someone signs up for my email list.
Jillian Leslie 20:47
Getting a freebie.
Allison Baggerly 20:48
Getting a freebie. So, they go to the opt-in, they sign up, after they sign up, it immediately takes them to a landing page.
Jillian Leslie 20:56
Like a thank you page.
Allison Baggerly 20:57
Your thank you page, “Thank you, your freebie will be arriving in your inbox shortly. Because you’re so awesome. Here’s an offer for you.” Essentially, it outlines the offer, it’s $15, and so, for a while that was making me $1,000 a month.
Just this one thing was making me $1,000 a month, then what I did is after I let that set in, and I got used to that I added an upsell to it. Okay, let me create the second product that upsells them. And it’s a little bit more.
So, if you buy both, I think you spend like $38, I think. I just changed it recently, but just getting your feet wet. I think it’s really easy as business owners. And I don’t know if you do this, but this is totally what I do.
I’ll see other business owners and I might sign-up for their email list.
Jillian Leslie 21:49
ADVICE: Build One Level of Your Business at a Time
Allison Baggerly 21:51
I see this complexity level in their business. And while it’s inspiring, it can also be so, intimidating. And they did not get to that complexity level that works beautifully overnight.
So, take one layer and apply that to your business, especially if you’re working nine to five. Especially if you have debt and you’re not maybe bringing in good income yet from your business you can get there.
But don’t make it this overly complex machine that you’re throwing money into. And you’re not seeing a return.
Jillian Leslie 22:27
I so, agree. Couple things that you’ve said that really resonate with me. One, you started with products, you did not start as, “I’m a blogger, I’m going to be an influencer.”
Like it’s kind of amorphous, you were very specific about making sure that you were making money from the very beginning. And I think that’s a way to get out of this blogger mindset into an online business mindset and you have a blog.
Like a blog is a very important piece of this because that’s your home base. But it’s not like blogging was say, 5 or 10 years ago, where you’re just like this cool person on the internet.
That comes hopefully later, but it’s more intentional rather than I stumbled. A lot of the bloggers, I interviewed back who started 10, 15 years ago, go, “Oh my god, I start a blog and I blogged about my family. And then brands reached out to me.”
They kind of backed into being business phase. I think being intentional upfront and saying no, no, I’m a business first. I think that’s the way to grow much faster.
Working with Sponsors
Now for brands, when you started doing sponsored content, were you reaching out to them? Or were they coming to you and what types of brands?
Allison Baggerly 23:44
They started coming to me and they just wanted me to promote their free stuff. I fell for that like two times. And then I’m like, you know what, I don’t want more crap in my house that I don’t care about.
I once had someone offered me literally a refrigerator filled with beer. He was a beer company. I’m like, “What about me?” I drink, but I don’t talk about it. I’m so confused. And so, I’m like, “No, I don’t accept free gifts as payment. Thank you though.”
And for me, it started with them reaching out to me and after having some that were willing to pay me money. I had a good following on Instagram. My blog was bringing in page views. I actually have an agent now.
Because the thing is, what I realized about myself was being someone who was new in the business and just someone who has a tendency to just say yes too easily and not charge what I was worth, I almost didn’t know what I was worth.
So, I have an agent who anytime a brand reaches out to me if it is a brand that I am willing to tell my best friend Amanda about them and say, “Hey, I think you should do this thing. I think you should look into this.”
If I will not tell my best friend about it, I’m not going to promote it. And so, that causes me to not just be this walking advertisement on my blog on Instagram to my email list.
Because I’m going to filter everything that I promote through this lens of what I tell my best friend to buy this product to get this thing to sign up for this service.
Jillian Leslie 25:23
Okay. How did you think of the idea to get an agent? How did you do that? And how does that work? What is the split that kind of thing?
Allison Baggerly 25:33
I don’t think I’m allowed to do it, like NDA. I think I’m allowed to share the split. But actually, I was in a mastermind group, and I was talking with a friend and I said, “This company is paying me this much for this service.”
And she was like, “You are way under charging.” I was like, “How do I know that?” And she said, “You need an agent.” So, she knew someone and connected me with an agent.
We had a phone interview, to determine if it would be a good fit personalities and things like that. And I said, “Yes.” So, essentially, what happens is, if I have any incoming brands, reach out to me and say, “We want you.”
If it’s someone that I agree I will work with, then I will respond, cc my agent and say, “Thank you so much. I’m very interested, here’s my agent’s information, she’ll reach out to you as well.”
Then my agent reaches back out and gives them my rate sheet, my media kit tells them that we’re not doing any pro-bono work, or that I’m saving that for something different and negotiates the contract.
So, she looks at the exclusivity, she makes sure that I’m not taking on another brand, when I was supposed to be exclusive for a certain amount of time with someone else. And she negotiates all of it, they pay her and then she pays me my portion.
Jillian Leslie 26:55
Got it. And how often are you doing that? Are you still doing that now or are that’s not where your focus is?
Allison Baggerly 27:02
I am doing it now. My outlook on it is I would rather have five big deals in a year than 20 really small deals. Because I see my email list, I see my blog, I see my Instagram following as this area I want to protect.
And I don’t want to be overly advertising and seen as this walking ad and, throwing in affiliates onto that. I have to be very mindful of who I’m going to work with, and how often I’m willing to promote.
So, I wait for companies that might have more money, and are willing to pay my rates, because I can reach my income goals. I think my goal for 2021 is eight brand deals paying certain amount every single day.
Jillian Leslie 27:49
Give me an example of a brand that you think that is aligned with you.
Allison Baggerly 27:55
Oh, goodness, like Ally Bank.
Jillian Leslie 27:58
Allison Baggerly 27:58
Ally Bank would be great because they’re high yield savings accounts, online savings accounts, and being able to just promote them.
But even just brands that I love to use myself would be something I would be willing to work with, even if it’s not like this finance brand. I actually have and you can’t see it, but I can I have all these sticky notes on my doors.
At the beginning of 2021 I put sticky notes of all of my dream media hits. All of my dream brands to work with, all of these things so that way I can always keep in mind what I’m reaching towards.
Jillian Leslie 28:34
Got it. Now let’s talk about courses.
Allison Baggerly 28:38
Jillian Leslie 28:38
Courses are huge. And, I’m actually finishing a course right now on WordPress and “How to Write Blogs in WordPress.” And I feel like there’s two things. One, we are taught to be constant, always learners.
Like, one of the great things about being an online entrepreneur is you’re always learning. And then people are selling new courses. And some courses can be $20 and some can be $2,000.
When Buying a Course Makes Sense
I think there is a trap where we think by paying for courses and quote unquote, learning, we are growing our businesses. And so, I’m not actually doing anything, but I’m just watching videos and feeling like I’m investing.
What is your thought about investing in courses when you are trying to grow a lean business?
Allison Baggerly 29:29
So, I do have a lean business. I have invested in courses the most I’ve ever paid for a course is over $2,000. And the least is like you said, $20. For me, I have to have an outcome. It has to have a return on investment.
In my eyes if I’m going to spend $2,000 on this course. So, I spent $2,000 on a course to help me grow my membership. I said okay, I’m going to spend this $2,000 and by six months I need to have made that back.
I need to increase the number of people that I bring into my membership.
Jillian Leslie 30:02
Was this tried by the way?
Allison Baggerly 30:04
Jillian Leslie 30:04
Allison Baggerly 30:05
It was. And so, it allowed me to really guide myself. But I knew just taking that information in would not be enough, it would not make an impact on my business if I just watched everything and did nothing with it.
So, not only did I have a plan to consume the course, but then I gave myself two months of implementation. And I gave myself a deadline, I said, I am launching again, by this date.
I’m going to have done everything to implement it so, that I can gain more members into my course and see a difference. And I did. So, I think a course is great, but it’s only as good as your implementation process.
Right after I bought that course, I was very tempted to buy Digital Course Academy by Amy Porterfield. But I was like, No, no, no, because I need to take this time to implement all that I have spent on this other course.
So, I have this thing where I will not allow myself to purchase another course until I have fully completed and seen the return on investment in one. And now I’m to the point where I’m like, okay, one course a year is maybe for me.
Depending upon the size, especially these massive, massive courses that take a lot of time. I think that courses are good. Only if you use what you learn, and you commit to doing it.
Jillian Leslie 31:33
Do you think that you can get far enough by let’s say, watching somebody free content? And a lot of times, course creators create a lot of free content to say, no, this is the real deal. and like starting there.
Allison Baggerly 31:33
I think that’s a really good starting spot. I think that’s exactly what I did. I invested in a blogging course that I ended up never doing because I had already consumed so much free content.
By the time I bought this blogging course that I thought was going to be so incredible. I was like, “Wait a minute, I already know all of that.” But I traded time for money. I didn’t have the money to buy this huge $1,000 course.
So, I traded my time learning through freebies, through YouTube videos, through podcasts. And then by the time I bought this blogging course, I already had the information.
Now, had I bought it sooner, I would have gained the information right then and there. So, it’s a trade-off time and money. Now, in my business, I’m willing to spend money so, that I don’t have to spend my time.
That is why right now I’m willing to spend the money on an expensive course that can give me everything in a shorter amount of time. So, I don’t have to do the hunting, I don’t have to do the digging.
But when you’re starting out, don’t think that you can’t find value in some of that free content. Because it can take you places.
That’s exactly what I did. I started out by only consuming free content and it didn’t get me to where I am. But it got me further than if I had just tried to do it completely on my own.
Jillian Leslie 33:25
Hmm. Okay, so as we wrap up, what would be your biggest tips to somebody who is listening to this podcast and says, “You know what, I am ready to make this leap. But I’m scared.” What would you say to that person?
Allison Baggerly 33:43
I would say that the fear is normal. That is a completely normal response. It doesn’t mean you aren’t ready. Having that fear holding you back, doesn’t mean you aren’t ready, it just means that it’s different.
Give Yourself a Deadline and Hold Yourself Accountable
And so, what I would say is give yourself a deadline, small deadlines to do certain things to help hold you accountable. If it’s going to mean investing in a small course give yourself a budget.
Whether that is side hustle money you’re making, or your own personal spending money. Maybe that’s what you spend your personal spending money on your personal budget on building this up, because you know, you have these hopes and these dreams.
But for me, it’s those bite-size chunks, those bite-size deadlines, spending money, with purpose, not going out and spending more money than you can chew. And then you feel like oh my gosh, no, it has to work immediately because I just dropped the $1,000.
It doesn’t have to be like that. But giving yourself those deadlines. Having a roadmap to follow will help make it easier and it won’t feel so daunting.
Jillian Leslie 34:53
I love that. I love that. It’s like breaking it down and as you were saying, you see these complicated systems that people have set up and like, you don’t know how long that took them to do it.
It’s like, one piece at a time. One step, followed by another step. And then if you look back in a year, it’s amazing how many steps you’ve made.
Allison Baggerly 35:15
Yes. And I like to think of it like, taking it back to my personal finances with budgeting and paying off debt. I’ll never forget sitting there and realizing we had $111,000 worth of debt, I had no idea. I had no idea it was that much.
I knew what the minimum payments were. But I had no idea. And I remember standing there, and I remember telling my husband, I feel like I’m staring at a mountain, and I have no idea how to get to the top.
And it’s like, when you look at it as this huge thing, it feels impossible. And why bother? Why bother when it feels so hard? But what we did was we took our goal, and we broke it down by year and by month.
How can I just do this one thing this month, to get closer to that goal? And do that with your business. What is it? You have these big dreams, these big goals that can feel so impossible. Break it down.
What’s the one thing you need to do this month? Is it to set up your website, get your domain, set it up and go through and start researching how on earth to use WordPress? Do that one thing.
Then the next month figure out okay, is it you’re going to create your one digital product that you’re going to start focusing on? Create that one thing, and by the end of the year, you’ve done all of these things.
And you’re looking back down and you’re like, how am I halfway up the mountain already?
Shoot for B- Work So You Can Move Forward
Jillian Leslie 36:34
I know. Absolutely. And I’m going to say I share this a lot. Remember the concept of B-minus work. B-minus is above average work. I’m not saying go to C-level work. But it’s not A-plus work.
Do not hold yourself to that standard, you will get nowhere remember, perfection is not profitable. So, do stuff that’s a little bit embarrassing. That’s a little bit rough around the edges.
When you talk about your first budgeting binder. And now you look back and you’re horrified that you want to put it out even if you feel like God, this isn’t my best work, make it good enough, make it B-minus and move forward.
Allison Baggerly 37:17
Yes, I completely agree with that, 100%. Because even my first website, when I look back at the beginning of it, I’m like what is this, but it was my B-minus work then, but I was basing it off of my own. What I had known what I was capable of at that time.
And as you continue to work on it, you grow and you create better things and your B-minus changes your level of norm changes, and that’s totally normal.
Jillian Leslie 37:46
Absolutely. Okay, Allison, I loved this talk. I feel like it’s very inspiring. If people want to learn more about you reach out to you all that stuff. Where can they find you?
Allison Baggerly 37:57
Well, you can follow me on Instagram @inspiredbudget, you can go to inspiredbudget.com and I even have a free training about, “How to Pay Off Debt Even If You Don’t Make a Fortune.”
If you’re sitting here and you’re that person who is in debt, whether it’s your business debt, whether it is your personal debt, and you’re thinking, I want to change my financial habits. You can learn more about that at inspiredbudget.com
Jillian Leslie 38:20
I love that. Well, Alison, thank you so much for being on the show.
Allison Baggerly 38:24
Thanks, Jillian. I had so much fun.
Jillian Leslie 38:26
I really liked what Allison shared in terms of thinking about money while growing a business. And I think so much of this is setting a really solid foundation at the start.
Rather than having to play catch up creating a blog and then trying to figure out eventually how you’re going to monetize it. I am a big believer in building things with really solid foundations, which is why I recommend my WordPress course.
In fact, that’s some of the feedback I got. Somebody who recently finished the course said, “I wish I had taken this when I was starting out.” This course gives that foundation it gives you a way to think about your blog as a business.
It gives you a way to think about creating content that your audience wants, loves, and also a way for Google to really be able to serve up your content in search. If this sounds interesting to you head to milotree.com/wordpress.
If you have any questions about it, reach out to me. But really, I think this course could give you the foundation you’re looking for and prices are going up on the 29th. So, act now and I will see you here again next week.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Motherhood and Blogging with Jillian Leslie
- How to Write About Difficult Topics in Your Blog
- How to Drive Enormous Traffic to Your Blog with Melanie Ferguson
- 5 Secrets Successful Bloggers Know to Grow Their Blogs with Jillian Leslie
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.