Today my guest is Kara Maria Ananda from KaraMariaAnanda.com. Kara is an expert in the healing and wellness space, and has built her successful online business creating health-related courses for women.
Her first courses were all about natural health, but then when she saw other wellness professionals needing help building their own businesses, she moved into educating these budding online entrepreneurs.
In this interview, we talk about Kara’s journey from healer to teacher, and how she organically grew her business to help solve her customers’ problems.
I think you’ll find Kara inspiring. She is continually looking to improve her life and her customers’ lives, by adding lots of positive energy into the world.
- Kara Maria Ananda
- Catch My Party
- Awesome Birth Teacher Training
- Women’s Healing Arts Teacher Training
* May contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Table of Contents
Transcript — How to Grow an Online Business in the Wellness Space with Kara Maria Ananda
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast. Brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 0:11
Hello everybody. Welcome back to The Blogger Genius Podcast. Today, my guest is Kara Maria Ananda. Now Kara is a women’s healing arts educator. She is also a holistic business coach.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 0:28
What she wants to do is help women in the wellness space, get their message out. So welcome to the show, Kara.
Kara Maria Ananda 0:29
Thank you so much, Jillian. I’m really excited to be here and talk with you today.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 0:34
Yeah, we were starting to talk offline and I’m like, No, no, let’s wait wait. Both of us would start talking. I’d be like, Oh no, no, let’s wait till we get on the show. You were talking just about your philosophy and all that.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 0:56
So the way I found you was I was looking at our current customers who use MiloTree, and I saw your site and I thought, wow, I wanted to talk to you.
Getting into the wellness space as a blogger
Jillian Tohber Leslie 1:07
And I haven’t interviewed that many people in the wellness space. So I thought this would be really interesting. So tell us a little bit about your journey and how you got to be this online entrepreneur in this very specific space.
Kara Maria Ananda 1:25
Oh, well, thanks so much. I’ve had a long journey in the wellness world and healing arts. I’ve always been passionate about natural healing. It’s been a part of my life since I was younger and I found myself always gravitating towards that.
Kara Maria Ananda 1:39
My very first job was actually at an integrative health clinic and massage therapy school when I was a teenager, and then later in life, I decided that I really wanted to focus on that professionally So I became a massage therapist.
Kara Maria Ananda 1:54
Then I got really passionate about women’s health and my practice as a massage therapist and evolved into really focusing on pregnancy and birth and women’s cycles, and became a birth doula and a postpartum doula to childbirth educator.
Kara Maria Ananda 2:11
I started teaching about women’s health and for many years I had a private practice.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 2:15
And where are you located?
Kara Maria Ananda 2:17
Oh, well, uh, currently.
Kara Maria Ananda 2:19
So I’m actually located in Southern New Hampshire about 45 minutes from Boston, and I’m in my hometown right now where I grew up, but I actually spent 20 years living all over the West Coast.
Kara Maria Ananda 2:32
I moved to Seattle, where I studied massage therapy and became a doula. I’ve lived in Oregon and California and Sedona, Arizona, and recently just last year, actually moved back to my hometown, which is really cool.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 2:47
Can you just briefly explain what a doula is for people who don’t know?
Kara Maria Ananda 2:51
Oh, yeah. A doula is a companion for somebody who is pregnant and going through birth and labor and postpartum.
Kara Maria Ananda 2:59
They provide emotional support physical comfort measures like touch and massage, and heat packs and ice packs and all that kind of stuff, and but it’s really somebody who supports women through through the childbearing process.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 3:15
I wish I could have had you.
Kara Maria Ananda 3:19
It was so special, so I was really very involved in the doula world, and was attending a lot of births and was teaching doula workshops where I would travel.
Kara Maria Ananda 3:33
What happened was, I was on call at the at the end of like doing all this for about 10 years in person.
Kara Maria Ananda 3:39
What shifted me to working in an online business was that, I love all the doula work, but is really working one on one with people and I was on call 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Kara Maria Ananda 3:52
I would then travel somewhere and then teach for multiple days, and was back on call and then some things happen in my life that really changed.
Kara Maria Ananda 4:01
My mother passed away and I felt like I needed to shift, and I really just focused on how I could reach more people in more places, and be able to spend more time with my family.
Creating an online business in the wellness space
Kara Maria Ananda 4:11
So about 9 or 10 years ago, I really focused on the online business and so I started creating classes online to teach people about birth and women’s health, and then that evolved into also business coaching and support and online business.
Kara Maria Ananda 4:27
It’s been really amazing. It allowed me to spend more time with my older son as he was growing up, and I’ve had two more children, but I’m able to be home with and homeschool.
Kara Maria Ananda 4:36
I get to help support women to discover natural health, and become leaders and provide support in their own community all over the world from North America to Europe and Asia and the Middle East and South America.
Kara Maria Ananda 4:52
It’s been really satisfying for me to be able to feel like I’m making a bigger impact online, while also being able to have that freedom to actually spend more time with my own children.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 5:09
This audience is predominantly women and these are predominately moms. Although there are some, of course not moms, but what would you say to a female entrepreneur? Where do you think she needs the most support?
Kara Maria Ananda 5:30
Oh, women, we need so much support, right? And especially if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re a mom, I get this question a lot.
Kara Maria Ananda 5:37
People want to know how do I have this growing online business that I’m running, as well as being with my children and spending a lot of time with them and homeschooling.
ADVICE: Setting clear boundaries as an online entrepreneur
Kara Maria Ananda 5:49
Really, time management and being able to set really clear boundaries and ask for support when you need it. Like my husband. He supports me a lot and our business we really run it together, and homeschool our kids together.
Kara Maria Ananda 6:02
So having that support is really key. And you know a lot of women that I know who are entrepreneurs, we need to ask for what we need and set time whether that’s childcare or really prioritizing what we’re doing.
Kara Maria Ananda 6:19
Because it’s not just the time that we spend with our children. That’s important. But it’s also the example that we’re spending that we’re showing them.
Kara Maria Ananda 6:27
So spending time investing in our dreams and our passions and our hobbies and saying, this is important, you need to do something else, you need to find a quiet activity so I can do this.
Kara Maria Ananda 6:36
It shows them and it demonstrates to them as they grow up that, investing time in their passions is important, too. So I think that there’s a balance and we need to let go of guilt and having to do everything perfect and ask for what we need.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 6:54
I completely agree and I think that I’ve mentioned this previously on the show, which is I have a daughter and she has watched my husband and me running Catch My Party or our first business and MiloTree.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 7:10
And I like that we don’t just go to an office and stuff happens. And then we come home and see her. She sees everything.
Kara Maria Ananda 7:16
That’s so great and what a fun business for her to grow up watching too, parties. I bet she has some opinions and ideas.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 7:23
Oh my gosh, yes. Very much so.
Kara Maria Ananda 7:28
Educational too, you’re teaching about how to be an entrepreneur. A lot of kids aren’t learning this in the school system today. And I think it’s one of the most important skills for children to learn to.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 7:38
Yeah, so my husband and I are talking business all the time and, and we only have one child, so she’s there listening. And she created her first business, which is back like a year and a half ago, when fidget spinners were a big deal.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 7:52
My husband is a 3D printer guy. So he printed her 3D printed fidget spinner and she’s like, Oh my god, I want to do this and sell them to my friends at school.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 8:05
So they figured out how to personalize them with somebody initials. And then she started a business.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 8:12
What was so funny was, they were kind of outlawed at school. So it was almost as if there were like these drug dealing transactions going on.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 8:20
I’ve watched her kind of open her backpack up and like, take out the spinner. And then somebody would handle this wad of cash and she shoved in her backpack and she’d come home with all these singles and she’d be like, counting her money.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 8:36
And it was so funny, but I think because she has grown up with us as entrepreneurs. She’s gonna be one.
Kara Maria Ananda 8:43
Yeah, absolutely. You know, my oldest son, he just started college this year as a freshman. I have an 18 year ol,d a seven year old, and a two year old so they’re pretty spread out.
Kara Maria Ananda 8:57
But the the oldest one, he actually got really involved in entrepreneurship too, he did some programs during high school in the summers and entrepreneurship, but before that he got involved in it in junior high.
Kara Maria Ananda 9:09
He figured out that on the way to school, he could stop off at the corner store and buy candy, and then he would buy the candy bars. He didn’t eat them because we weren’t really into candy.
Kara Maria Ananda 9:20
I mean, he probably ate a few, but but he wasn’t bringing them home and eating them. He would buy them and the take them to school and sell them for double what he bought them at the corner store.
Kara Maria Ananda 9:29
He did this all on his own. I found out about it after it been going on for a while.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 9:35
Were you proud?
Kara Maria Ananda 9:37
I am. I am kind of proud. Yeah. And then he ended up, as he was older in high school, he actually got a wagon and he would take it and park in the summertime and sell sodas to people in the park during the heat waves and yeah, entrepreneurial spirit.
Kara Maria Ananda 9:51
I feel like I have more faith in him as he’s growing up. I’m like, okay, he has the ability to like figure out strategies and solutions for things.
Kara Maria Ananda 10:01
And I think that’s one of the most important skills that that kids can have as they’re becoming adults, actually, in a world that’s changing so rapidly.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 10:08
Yes, yes, I totally agree. Okay, so let’s talk about your journey. So you decided that you were going to move your business online and you created your first course?
Creating your first course as a blogger
Kara Maria Ananda 10:19
Yes, I created my first course before I totally decided to go online. It was kind of like a little test.
Kara Maria Ananda 10:25
I created a childbirth education class for parents. I didn’t even really promote it. I just kind of tried it out to kind of feel around with the online space and had a few customers and it inspired me.
Kara Maria Ananda 10:35
And then I realized, you know, after thinking about it, that I really wanted to shift and I wanted to reach more people. And that online was really a way the way to do it.
Kara Maria Ananda 10:46
So then I really jumped in, really focused on the online business. And I created the what’s now the “Awesome Birth Teacher Training” and started teaching, reaching out and educating childbirth teachers around the world. And it was so inspiring.
Kara Maria Ananda 11:02
And so that developed. Then the next was the “Women’s Healing Arts Teacher Training,” which covers all the different cycles of a woman’s life from menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, and menopause, and sexuality and different natural healing arts that we can use for empower self care during all these cycles.
Kara Maria Ananda 11:20
And then after that, I realized that some of my students were amazing, and were had taken both of these trainings, and I knew that they had other certifications and other trainings.
Kara Maria Ananda 11:31
But I was still seeing them struggling to actually get their business out in the world, and start teaching workshops or doing consultations and creating a website.
Kara Maria Ananda 11:40
So then I created the “Healing Arts Business Academy” to support women’s wellness leaders to create online businesses and products and services and find confidence to share and publish online.
Kara Maria Ananda 11:54
And then that’s grown into a variety of courses now, for all about women’s leadership, and holistic wellness, and how to create online courses.
Kara Maria Ananda 12:04
And I do a lot of private mentoring also, with women in the wellness field, who are coaches and midwives and doctors and massage therapists who want to expand their online presence and share their message in a bigger way.
Building an organic online business by listening to your customers
Jillian Tohber Leslie 12:19
What I think is so interesting about what you said just now, is that you started with something and then you started to listen and see problems that you could solve and that it sounds like it was like organic growth.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 12:36
Like, “Oh, I see that these women are taking my courses, but then they don’t know how to start to build businesses, I will help them.”
Kara Maria Ananda 12:43
Jillian Tohber Leslie 12:44
So it sounds as if it was this natural progression.
Kara Maria Ananda 12:48
Yeah, it’s very organic. Sometimes people look at me, and they’re like, well, you do all these things, and how do you do all these things all at once, but I did them one at a time. And they’ve built up and it’s been very organic.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:01
I’m very passionate about what I do, and helping the people that I work with.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:05
So for me, I have to feel really passionate about something. So I listened to my intuition and what I’m writing about to people, what I’m talking to people about in my coaching sessions.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:15
And then these subjects that are the passionate kind of hot topics of the day, that’s what tends to evolve into the next offering, the next course, the next sale.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 13:25
So just basics, what kind of platform are you using to build your courses?
Kara Maria Ananda 13:33
I use Simplero, it’s a great, very simple all in one holistic business management system that’s really specifically designed for people that are creating online course businesses.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:45
And I’ve been using Simplero for the past five years. I love it. So that’s the heart of my business.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 13:50
I’ve never heard of it.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:50
Yeah, it’s smaller. It’s not as popular as or well known, because it’s a smaller company. But they’ve been around and naturally growing.
Kara Maria Ananda 13:59
I connected with the CEO of the company about five years ago, through an entrepreneur group. And as he was starting the company, and I was like, this is a perfect fit.
Kara Maria Ananda 14:09
He was a holistic coach that wanted to create a platform for other holistic coaches to be able to share their their courses online who are really focused on this.
Kara Maria Ananda 14:18
And it’s has a lot more than just online courses. So I actually run my shopping cart and my email list. And email automation, and you can do deadlines. And you can do landing pages. You can even do a whole website, although my website is on squarespace. com. But Simplero is really the heart of my business.
Kara Maria Ananda 14:38
It’s been pretty awesome. I have a blog post on it on my website about Simplero about how we use it. And actually, if you go to my website, I have a tools bar where I list my favorite tools, and Simplero is number one.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 14:51
Is MiloTree on there, by the way?
Kara Maria Ananda 14:54
Oh, I’m going to add it.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 14:56
Do you know, we have an affiliate program?
Kara Maria Ananda 14:58
Yeah, yeah, definitely. I will add it, actually it’s on my list of things to do. But you know, as being a mom, there’s one thing at a time, right.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 15:07
So let’s talk about how to share this.
Kara Maria Ananda 15:09
I will share more about how how your program has been helping me too.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 15:13
Oh, well, here, okay, so tell me. So that’s how I found you was I saw MiloTree on your site.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 15:21
Would you share actually about Pinterest and your thoughts and how you ended up with MiloTree?
Kara Maria Ananda 15:27
Absolutely. See, I’ve been using Pinterest since the early years, like what was that 2012 ? And I always enjoyed it. And I’ve always, tried to share my blog images.
Kara Maria Ananda 15:38
And over the years, I’ve focused on creating vertical images and my blog posts that could be shared on to Pinterest. But I didn’t really focus a lot on it over the last year.
How Pinterest can grow your business as an online entrepreneur
Kara Maria Ananda 15:51
But then what happened was that I’ve consistently noticed that even without putting a lot of effort into Pinterest, by sharing my blogs there, and by other people, pinning my blogs to Pinterest that I consistently get a lot of traffic.
Kara Maria Ananda 16:06
And I have been quite focused on Facebook and Instagram over the last couple of years. But honestly, with the algorithm changes and the loss of organic growth, it’s a little disappointing to see how everybody’s organic growth is, is going down.
Kara Maria Ananda 16:21
I still think that Facebook and Instagram are fantastic for connection and essential for entrepreneurs, especially for the ad platform. But I love that Pinterest was just bringing all this organic website traffic that was equal to Facebook without putting effort into it.
Kara Maria Ananda 16:38
So I realized I should put more effort into this if all this traffic without really focusing on it, what happens if I really focus on it?
Kara Maria Ananda 16:46
So the last, two, three months, I’ve been really focusing on daily going into Pinterest, really creating, super optimized vertical images with words for all my blog posts and sharing them on Pinterest and and and seeing what I can do.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:02
And so I found MiloTree because I was like, yeah, how do I get more traffic. This is a really amazing place to be connecting with people through Pinterest.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:13
And so MiloTree is really cool because I got this little pop up now on my website, and it just pops up and invites people to come follow me on Pinterest.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:21
So now I’ve been naturally growing and my Pinterest followers and my reach. And just last week, I actually hit a million monthly viewers on Pinterest for the first time.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:34
It was really cool. Now it’s like 800k, but I’m still like super psyched about that because it was like 7 k for like the last year and I realized it went up to 90k.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:45
And I was like, Look, this is growing. I should do something about this. And so with my effort with having MiloTree, with using Tailwind with really optimizing my Pinterest images, that it’s grown.
Kara Maria Ananda 17:59
Specifically the monthly viewers is nice, but a lot of that honestly, is for pins that aren’t even my own, to but my own personal website traffic, which is the indicator of how is Pinterest working for me since I started using these putting an extra focus on it.
Kara Maria Ananda 18:16
My Pinterest website, referral traffic has grown from where it’s been consistently been 4% of my monthly viewers to now 17% of my website traffic.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 18:26
Kara Maria Ananda 18:26
Just from putting effort into Pinterest. So I’m super stoked about it.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 18:31
It’s motivating, isn’t it?
Kara Maria Ananda 18:32
Jillian Tohber Leslie 18:33
When you see results. It’s funny, because with Catch My Party, we were totally all into Facebook. And then all of a sudden we started noticing we were getting traffic from Pinterest.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 18:46
And it told us go deep into Pinterest. And so that’s why we built MiloTree and all of that. And so it was really kind of like, Whoa, we see this and almost like I think Pinterest is a sleeping giant because I don’t think it’s a sexy as Instagram.
Kara Maria Ananda 19:06
Yeah, because you don’t put selfies on Pinterest. Pinterest is not a selfie platform.
Kara Maria Ananda 19:12
It’s funny, they say that faces don’t generate as much interaction on those pins as having to like just information.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 19:20
Kara Maria Ananda 19:21
Yeah, Instagram. I love Instagram. And I put a lot of effort into it. But recently, I haven’t. I have just been kind of posting when I want to because Pinterest has been so satisfying. And the fact that it’s an information place.
Kara Maria Ananda 19:35
So I realize that as an entrepreneur, where I’m excited about sharing information and articles and blog posts and not like, necessarily pictures of myself.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 19:44
Right and the truth is that your audience wants to be inspired by you. But really, it’s about them. Them learning and solving their own problems.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 19:58
And it isn’t as much like a cult of person like oh my God, like what’s Kara doing? No, it’s like, what can Kara teach me?
Jillian Tohber Leslie 20:10
And so that’s where I would say, why it it doesn’t surprise me that Pinterest is a richer platform for you then Instagram.
Kara Maria Ananda 20:20
Yeah, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. I think you’re right when it’s like a sleeping giant because it’s been around for a while. But this new phase, it’s really changing.
Kara Maria Ananda 20:29
And I think that it’s different. I think a lot of people are really realizing that it’s a great place for people who are sharing information. And it’s a great place for being a wellness entrepreneur.
Kara Maria Ananda 20:39
It’s not just for crafts and food. People are looking for health information all the time on Pinterest. It’s awesome.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 20:50
Maybe it’s just my awareness. But I feel like the wellness space right now is blowing up.
Kara Maria Ananda 20:56
It is. Absolutely. I have a couple articles about that on my website too. I have a lot of blog posts about what’s going on in the wellness field. And it is huge.
Kara Maria Ananda 21:07
So health and wellness specifically like natural, holistic wellness, alternative medicine. Healthy Food is a $3.7 trillion global industry. And it’s poised to grow significantly in the next five years.
Kara Maria Ananda 21:22
And women are leading this category. Not only are women leading as entrepreneurs and small business owners, which is really empowering and exciting. But women are the main consumers to women make 80% of the choices for the health care and food shopping and all these kind of, you know, healthy lifestyle changes in in households today.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 21:43
What’s funny, so I would say that really Pinterest started and it was cupcakes and weddings and things like that.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 21:53
And then I feel like food blogging just took off on Pinterest. And typically the ooey gooey unhealthy foods that you just look at and you just start dying to eat.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 22:06
But at the same time that is always has always been really popular. You know, beautiful cakes and cupcakes. And you always want to get that like chocolate shot, you know where it’s like oozing out.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 22:17
But then now I’m seeing wellness coming in. Especially with like Whole 30 and just this focus on living a healthier life. I feel like that is like this new wave of experience for women.
Kara Maria Ananda 22:35
Yeah, people are looking up, like healthy snacks has been like trending as one of the top things that people are looking up on Pinterest recently.
Kara Maria Ananda 22:44
And you know, there’s tons of like paleo bloggers and wellness bloggers who have really blown up. I mean, you can find like thousands of recipes for like, how to make homemade bone broth and how to heal your gut and how to eat paleo and keto on Pinterest
Jillian Tohber Leslie 22:59
And the combination. So for example, we just made, this weekend delicious chocolate cookies with almond flour.
Kara Maria Ananda 23:08
Oh, that’s awesome.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 23:09
And we found the recipe on Pinterest.
Kara Maria Ananda 23:11
I love almond flour last night. I just made homemade baked apple cider donuts with almond flour.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 23:21
You know you can have that ooey gooey experience now. But with like a healthy twist. A somewhat healthy twist.
Kara Maria Ananda 23:27
Yeah, high protein.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 23:31
So thank you. By the way, I’m so glad that MiloTree is working for you. And one thing that’s nice, I just want to say, here’s my little plug, which is MiloTree will grow your Pinterest followers.
Why MiloTree grows high quality Pinterest followers
Jillian Tohber Leslie 23:42
But what’s great about it, it will grow Pinterest followers who’ve already come to your site, because it’s your visitors. And those Pinterest followers are the Pinterest followers who are aligned with your content.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 23:54
So Pinterest will show your pins first to your followers. And if your followers respond to them, then Pinterest will show those pins to other people on the platform. So if you align your followers with your content, then you will have even more success on Pinterest.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:15
That’s awesome. And I think that’s really cool. Because like I said, I’ve been on Pinterest for a long time. So I think that a bunch of my followers might have started following me like five years ago, they might not still be active on the platform.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:28
And well, you’re like reach and your monthly views, you can have a really small following on Pinterest and reach a lot of people.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:35
I just have over 4,000 followers. And probably a lot of those came from a long time ago. But I just reached like a million monthly views.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:43
But at the same time, having new engaged followers that are going to see your content interact with it first is really important.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:50
And because of the platform, I don’t feel like it’s super easy. Like, you know, you click on pins, and you save pins, but you’re not always looking to follow people.
Kara Maria Ananda 24:58
So having a prompt for people that are visiting your website to also follow you there is is really helpful. I feel like it kind of closes that loop a little bit.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 25:07
That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But you’re right. I mean, we currently with Catch My Party every day, we follow new people, because I think the algorithm likes that right?
Jillian Tohber Leslie 25:21
It says, Yeah, active. But the truth is, when I’m like browsing for myself, I’m looking much more for pins than I am to find new people to follow, right. So that’s interesting. I hadn’t even thought of that.
Kara Maria Ananda 25:34
Yeah, but now I see MiloTree or other bloggers, websites. And so it’ll pop up, I’ll be looking at somebody’s blog, and it’ll pop up and I’ll be like, Oh, great. You’re active on Pinterest, you know, right?
Kara Maria Ananda 25:45
So it’s kind of like a, it’s kind of like a letting people know, like, I’m active on Pinterest right now, and tells me the sites that I think we’re older. And so becoming more active and engaged now and sharing really good pins like, those are the people I want to follow. So it’s a little badge.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 26:03
It’s like a little bit of social proof.
Kara Maria Ananda 26:04
Yeah, little social proof, which is really good. That’s one of the things I’ve been focusing on a lot today.
Kara Maria Ananda 26:10
I think that as the way that we interact online is changing. Like, now we have all these Voice Search technologies, and people are using Pinterest as a search engine.
Kara Maria Ananda 26:19
And social media is changing, like having our own websites is really important. But also trying to think about how would our websites change into the future, and with this new interactivity, how can people interact with us in our websites, and we create more opportunities for interaction.
Kara Maria Ananda 26:38
So that’s one of the things I’ve been focusing a lot on recently, is giving people more options of things to do that engages them with my website, and content that can be like fun.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 26:47
Can you give some examples?
Creating interactive experience on your website as a blogger
Kara Maria Ananda 26:50
Recently I created an online oracle deck on my website, which is really cool. So you can actually go to my website and choose a card of the day.
Kara Maria Ananda 27:01
In the top navigation bar, it says oracle and you can click on that page. And they’ll invite you to discover your card of the day. Discover your destiny.
Kara Maria Ananda 27:13
And so these are messages for, like, positive motivation, living inspiration for leaders.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 27:22
Oooh I like it, so today, mine is “Trust your intuition and you will succeed.” Oh, that’s so nice.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 27:32
It’s like you’re just putting out some good energy into the world. So thank you.
Kara Maria Ananda 27:36
Yeah, and the next right, you could choose a new card, you can come back whenever you want to, if you want, like a positive message. So little fun things like that.
Kara Maria Ananda 27:45
The other thing that I did is I created a search bar on my website. So it’s like my own little Kara Maria Google search bar.
Kara Maria Ananda 27:53
You can actually type in any word like birth, or, sexuality, fertility your business, and it’ll pop up all the different blog posts and pages that have that information.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 28:07
That’s wonderful. I like the way you’re thinking how people are all different. Somebody’s going to use your search bar, and somebody wants a little dose of positivity, and you’ve got something for everybody.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 28:24
Which is, again, back to that strategy of like, let’s say you’re going deep now on Pinterest. And what I recommend then, is to show a variety of images for a certain post, because you don’t know what somebody’s going to respond to. Right?
Kara Maria Ananda 28:40
Yeah, now, I’ve been spending a lot of time going back and updating my old blog posts, because there’s some blog posts that still get a ton of traffic. And it’s exciting to see.
Creating new images for Pinterest and updating keywords for older blog posts
Kara Maria Ananda 28:51
But then I realized, like, oh, wow, this is getting a lot of traffic. And it has an image that I created two years ago, what happens if I add a new image that we got to capture people’s, current sensibility of what they’re attracted to?
Jillian Tohber Leslie 29:06
Yes. And then, are you adding new keywords? Are you adding more text or more information? Are you then updating the date?
Kara Maria Ananda 29:16
Oh, yeah, that’s another thing I did this year, I updated my website, and I took the date off of the blog post. So all of the blog posts will still have the date in the URL, but when you go to my website, it doesn’t say right underneath the blog post, like this was written in 2016,
Jillian Tohber Leslie 29:34
Okay, but you’re not, you didn’t have the date in the URL
Kara Maria Ananda 29:38
I did at the very beginning, I didn’t like 2013. And then I changed the blog URL around 2014, so that the date was no longer in the URL, right.
Kara Maria Ananda 29:50
But it was still showing up on the blog posts until about six months ago, when I changed that. And I took that off so that now all those older blog posts, somebody could go to to it. And they would just see the title and they would see the content, they wouldn’t know when it was published. So it feel more relevant.
Kara Maria Ananda 30:07
And yes, I am changing keywords. I am adding keywords to headlines, I try not to take away the words that are already in the headlines, though.
Kara Maria Ananda 30:16
If they are ranking on Google because you don’t want to ruin a current ranking that you have. So I’ll add an extra keywords. And I reformat the articles because some of my older ones, I realized that I had a lot more text, like multiple sentences and longer paragraphs.
Kara Maria Ananda 30:30
Writing for the web today, we really want to create, almost a paragraph space between like every sentence or two. So definitely reformat it to make it more readable.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 30:40
I love all these. I mean, everything you’re saying. I’m like, Yes.
Kara Maria Ananda 30:43
Yeah. So that is a huge, like getting a lot more traffic and more shares of blog posts that are still super relevant. You know, it’s great
Jillian Tohber Leslie 30:53
I see you have keywords at the top of your posts.
Kara Maria Ananda 30:56
Oh, I do. Oh, those are tags.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 30:58
Tags. Yes. So they’re showing.
Kara Maria Ananda 31:00
Those are actually searchable to on my website. If you click on the tag, you can find other blog posts with that same tag on my website. So that’s another cool interactive thing on my website.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 31:13
What I love is that as an entrepreneur, I can tell that you have been educating yourself, going from being a doula or a massage therapist, you wouldn’t necessarily think online entrepreneur, but you speak in a very sophisticated way about your online business.
Kara Maria Ananda 31:33
Absolutely, I am passionate about education, that’s what I’m all about. And that’s because I, myself, am a lifelong learner. And I’m super passionate about learning.
The need to be a lifelong learner as an entrepreneur
Kara Maria Ananda 31:41
So I consistently am also, taking online courses, and studying with mentors, and doing a lot of my own personal research. And really, you know, what entrepreneurs do is we learned a lot through trying things.
Kara Maria Ananda 31:54
So I try a lot of things, and I really look at them and analyze what worked, what didn’t work, and it’s, those are all learning opportunities. And it’s a great way to figure out how we can grow and evolve is through learning and trying and taking risks.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 32:13
That’s terrific. Now I just have been thinking about this as you think about building courses content, I’ve been talking to some people who are building courses. And it seems like it is one of these things where you never finish your course, building it.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 32:29
So how do you get there because everybody says, I should I should write a course, I should create a course. But how do you get from beginning to end? How do you know, when that course is done? What’s your process?
Kara Maria Ananda 32:42
Oh, well, you know, that’s a really good question. And I love all my courses. And I’m really passionate about supporting people to create online courses today.
Kara Maria Ananda 32:50
I actually created a new program that I have on my website, it’s called the, Of Course Academy, you can create your own signature online course.
How to build an online course as a blogger
Kara Maria Ananda 33:00
And to help break down the process of how I actually do this, because there is quite a process.
Kara Maria Ananda 33:06
I think the first part is really research, you have to research what you’re doing, how to be able to communicate it online, what’s going on and really figure out as part of your research, how you can stand out.
Kara Maria Ananda 33:21
It’s important to have your own style, your own story, that’s the part of what you’re doing, to make it you know, unique in the online world, and, and give it that value that only, you know, that is something that only you can really offer.
Kara Maria Ananda 33:37
And then I use Simplero and really use, you know, an outlining process of creating an outline, creating topic and my sub topics. And then testing those out first through like social media posts about those topics, through blog posts, see how people react to them, and then organizing them.
Kara Maria Ananda 33:56
And then, you know, teaching and teaching them is a lot of fun. I love teaching online. Having the right equipment makes a great deal.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 34:04
Are you making videos?
Kara Maria Ananda 34:06
Yeah I do a variety of different things from different courses, I do videos of me presenting a teaching. I do screen shares, you know, presentation style videos about certain topics, or demonstrating things online and the online business and audios and PDFs. We can create so many different kinds of media and really create these amazing multimedia experiences.
Kara Maria Ananda 34:29
And then, of course, yeah, there’s also marketing and promotion. And, you know, you could have a launch. You could have an Evergreen Launch where you have your course available ongoing and there’s different kinds of marketing strategies for each of those.
Kara Maria Ananda 34:42
And then upkeep, yeah, it’s really, it’s never done. I mean, this year, I went back and I updated a lot of my courses and went through and redid the the course membership site that they were on to make them really beautiful and on point with my current branding.
Kara Maria Ananda 35:00
So there’s always more to do,. You can always go back. I think that if people want to create an online course, because they think it’s just something that they just do once and the launch and it’s just going to create passive income without them having to do anything else, that that’s not going to exactly be how it turns out.
Kara Maria Ananda 35:16
It’s a path. And it’s an ongoing process. And I love that about courses too, is that you can just do it the first time you get your course out, and whatever way it is, and then you evaluate, and then you can always upgrade it and add enhancements.
Kara Maria Ananda 35:32
And so it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be really valuable and passionate, and actually give people the value and the solution that you’re offering to them.
ADVICE: Done is better than perfect as an entrepreneur
Jillian Tohber Leslie 35:43
I love that because I teach this all the time. I say it to my daughter, I say to my husband, because he can be more of a perfectionist, Done is better than perfect.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 35:56
And Reid Hoffman, who founded LinkedIn always says this thing, which is, if you’re not launching your product, and you’re not embarrassed, you’ve launched too late.
Kara Maria Ananda 36:09
I love that.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 36:10
There needs to be that element of like, oh, you need to know that in a year, you’re going to look back on this and be embarrassed. And if you don’t do that, you’ve waited too long.
Kara Maria Ananda 36:20
Yeah, upgrades are always happening. I’m consistently going through my website and just changing little things, we put things out.
Kara Maria Ananda 36:27
And then as an online entrepreneur, we’re always, you know, upgrading. And I like to do little upgrades. Because sometimes you see, this is really good, but maybe it could do better.
Kara Maria Ananda 36:37
And sometimes it’s just a few words or an image or phrase. So I like to go through and make 10% changes, I’ll make 10% of a change to like the words in an area or try, you know, changing a photo and test it out and see if it gets better results or worse results. And if so, then change it back to what it was.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 37:00
Now, given the you have a one year old —
Kara Maria Ananda 37:04
He’s 21 months old right now.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 37:06
Okay. So almost a two year old.
Kara Maria Ananda 37:07
Jillian Tohber Leslie 37:08
How many hours a week are you working on your business?
Kara Maria Ananda 37:11
Oh, you know, I knew you’re gonna ask this. And I’ve been stumped with this question. Because I don’t work all at one time, right. And I don’t keep a schedule.
Kara Maria Ananda 37:20
I’ve been thinking maybe I should keep a timer for a week and test this out and actually see, because I work in little bits of time, a half an hour here or half an hour there, and then a couple hours here.
Kara Maria Ananda 37:34
But I work a lot because I’m really passionate about what I do. And even when I’m not working on my website, or responding to emails or working with clients or create a course, I’m still working because there’s other projects that I’m working on.
Kara Maria Ananda 37:46
I have books that I’m writing slowly, creating images on Canva. So I’d have to say like, you know, at least 20 hours a week, if not, you know, up to 40, I don’t know, I’m really not sure.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 38:01
That’s amazing. Yes. Well, again, if you’re passionate about it, you do the work, the great thing about being an online entrepreneur is you have the flexibility to say, Oh, my baby’s crying, I can go be with my baby. And then I can come back with my baby is napping.
Kara Maria Ananda 38:20
Absolutely. And you can be at the playground so that the kids could be happy playing, and you can get on your phone and do Pinterest or respond to emails.
Kara Maria Ananda 38:27
So absolutely I take advantage of all those little time blocks when I can.
How to monetize as a wellness online entrepreneur
Jillian Tohber Leslie 38:32
Absolutely and are you mostly monetizing via coaching and courses?
Kara Maria Ananda 38:37
Yeah, those are my two main main things. Right now. I have an amazing selection of online courses for women’s health, birth, business, spirit manifestation and life.
Kara Maria Ananda 38:49
And I also provide private coaching mostly for women and wellness and small business and who are wanting to create a bigger online profit sense, or just designed their signature programs.
Kara Maria Ananda 39:03
And I also do some writing and some speaking, but those are my two main main things. I love teaching. And I love helping people to enhance their communication and spread their message.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 39:15
Great. Okay, we started the interview. And I said, when you work with female entrepreneurs, what do you think they need?
Jillian Tohber Leslie 39:23
And you were saying they need support and all of that. So how do you go about getting support and feeding your own sense of self, so that you can be a mother, homeschooler, and also have this business?
Kara Maria Ananda 39:41
Oh, wow. Well, self care is really important. I make sure to eat really good food, like a high nutrient dense food.
Kara Maria Ananda 39:48
We have snacks throughout the house, like hard boiled eggs, things that I can like, grab, like one hand foods are really important, you know, green shakes, things like that.
Kara Maria Ananda 39:58
Also, you know, I have doors. I shut doors, headphones, headphones are a magic key for mom entrepreneurs.
Kara Maria Ananda 40:08
The kids are noisy, they’re watching, you know, Paw Patrol or something. You really need some time to really focus, putting on your headphones.
Kara Maria Ananda 40:15
When you sit down at your computer or laptop, or even phone and listening to like relaxing music. It creates your own little world where you can focus and calm down, and relaxes your nervous system.
Tips on setting boundaries as an entrepreneur
Jillian Tohber Leslie 40:27
Mm hmm. Ok. And then how do you get it? You were talking about boundaries. So what are your tips on setting boundaries?
Kara Maria Ananda 40:36
Oh, yes. You know what, I ask for what I need. My husband and I communicate a lot. And I make sure to check in, not only do we have calendar systems online, and in our family area for a family, but I’ll check in like, every day before we go to bed.
Kara Maria Ananda 40:51
It’s like, Okay, this is going to happen tomorrow. This is when you need to have the kids to do that. This is what I can do this.
Kara Maria Ananda 40:57
And then in the morning again, because sometimes we wake up and things can get, you know, really busy with the kids doing stuff.
Kara Maria Ananda 41:03
And so again in the morning we will like check in with our tea or coffee and be like, Okay, this is what we need to do today here at this time there at that time, and then we know what other parts of the day can can kind of flow.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 41:16
That’s great. That’s great. Well, this has been such a pleasure, and I’m just like going to explore your website. Because you make me feel really good with my little moment of my oracle.
Kara Maria Ananda 41:32
Oh, thanks so much.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 41:36
I feel very inspired and like the universe is today set out to kind of conspire to bring me, to give me what I need and what I want so what I’m working towards that.
Kara Maria Ananda 41:48
Jillian Tohber Leslie 41:49
Truly this has been such a pleasure and thank you so much for being on the show.
Kara Maria Ananda 41:55
Oh thank you so much.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 41:56
Oh wait, before we stop please tell people how they can reach out to you.
Kara Maria Ananda 42:04
Oh, absolutely. Well, you can find me on my website KaraMariaAnanda.com and I have that free oracle and the top navigation bar you can get your personal message of the day.
Kara Maria Ananda 42:15
And I also have some other great free resources to under the free tab on my website, including a masterclass right now for women on how to grow your wellness business, with the three tips to what is growing fastest and wellness businesses today.
Kara Maria Ananda 42:32
And plus more fun stuff including some quizzes and women’s wellness ebook and more.
Kara Maria Ananda 42:39
And I love hearing from people to whether you have any questions about natural wellness for women or for creating an online business in the wellness world.
Kara Maria Ananda 42:50
And I’d love for people to reach out to me through the contact form and say hello, and let me know you know if there’s anything from this talk that was inspiring, and if there’s any questions way that I can be of service or support.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 43:02
Oh, well, Kara, thank you so much for being on the show.
Kara Maria Ananda 43:07
Oh, thank you so much, Jillian. I really appreciate it. This is a lot of fun.
Getting more Pinterest followers with MiloTree
Jillian Tohber Leslie 43:11
Pinterest has been huge for Kara’s business and that’s why she uses the MiloTree Pinterest pop up because it pops up and it asks her visitors to follow her on Pinterest and her followers just keep growing.
Jillian Tohber Leslie 43:23
If you want to get your own MiloTree Pinterest pop up, head on over to MiloTree.com. Sign up and you’ll get your first 30 days free.
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