Are you wondering how to grow your blog while raising kids? Do you know blogging is a great career for someone wanting the flexibility to be a parent and a business owner?
Today, I have Micaela Preston on the podcast. She’s the founder of Mindful Momma. Her blog helps people make lifestyle and product choices that are better for their health and for the planet.
She started her blog to solve her own problem when her kids were little, and in the process, starting helping others families live better lives.
Plus, she’s been able continually reinvent and grow her business as her family has grown.
Today we discuss:
- How she was able to turn a hobby into a real business
- How she’s grown her revenue streams
- How she drives traffic to her blog
- How she thinks about providing value to her audience
- How she’s been able to stay flexible all these years and continue to reinvent her business
If you are a busy mom raising a family, and interested to see why blogging can be a fantastic way to start your own business while staying flexible, I recommend you listen to this episode.
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- MiloTree Membership Group
- The Blogger Genius Podcast episodes
- Catch My Party
- The Blogger Genius Podcast on iTunes
- Mindful Momma
- Blog Smarter
- Post Planner
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Welcome to the The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, I am a serial entrepreneur, I have founded two companies with my husband, MiloTree, the pop-up app and Catch My Party.
Jillian Leslie 0:26
I’m a business coach and a business translator. I love all things business. So, I take what’s working, and I break it down. So, you can use these strategies in your own blog and make more money.
Before I get started, I wanted to ask you, if you wanted to get Cliff Notes from me every week in a newsletter I send out or take my most recent episode, and I share my four biggest takeaways.
This way you can stay up to date in what is going on in online business and blogging. And then you can decide if you want to listen to the episode. So, if that is interesting to you, head to bloggergenius.com and sign up.
I promise you, my newsletters are short and sweet, and hopefully useful. For today’s episode, I have Micaela Preston on the podcast. She’s the founder of Mindful Momma.
Her blog helps people make lifestyle and product choices that are better for their health and for the planet. She’s solving her own problem. And in the process, really helping others live better lives.
She is an old school blogger like me, we talked about the flexibility of blogging and how it can change and evolve with you as your life changes and evolves. One thing before I launch in my recording my sound is a little weird. It’s not bad.
Just wanted to give you that heads up. So, here is my interview with Micaela Preston. Micaela, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you.
Micaela Preston 2:19
Thank you so much. It’s great to be here, Jillian.
Jillian Leslie 2:22
I love talking to OG bloggers, and you are one of them. So, could you share how you got into blogging what your journey was like and where you are now?
Starting a Blog to Solve Your Own Problem
Micaela Preston 2:33
Yes, I definitely am an OG blogger. I started my blog back in 2006. And when I started it, I had two boys, they were ages two and six. And I was doing a lot of research because I was concerned about the products that I was using on them.
And in our home and about toxic chemical exposures and also environmental things. I was just, doing a lot of research about this. And so, at the same time, I discovered the medium of blogs, which was relatively new at the time.
It wasn’t brand new, but I had discovered it and I was like, “Oh, this is really cool. I love it.” So, I decided that I could start a blog and share what I was learning and researching with other people. And I could do it for free.
At the time, I use Typepad, which was before I even knew about WordPress. It was just a free space that I could use and it was really like that online diary as well. It was a place to share what life was like with my kids and the things I was doing.
And, also the products that I was using and what I was learning along the way. So, that’s really how it started.
Getting a Book Deal
And then a couple years in, I actually got a book deal from a publisher that approached me and wanted me to write a book about green and healthy living.
I should mention that my blog is called, Mindful Momma. And my mission with the blog is to help people make lifestyle and product choices that are safer for themselves and for the planet. So, that’s the goal of my blog.
And that was also what I wrote my book about my book is called, “Practically Green.” And that was over 10 years ago already that I wrote this book. That was also what kind of kicked off that.
Hey, this maybe could be more than just a hobby, which wasn’t something I’d really thought about. And around that same time too, brands started contacting me.
Because, brands were also discovering this space of bloggers and that they could get this exposure. People would be exposed to their products and brands through blogs.
And so, I had a lot of brands approached me and I was doing sponsored posts and things like that. So, it really kind of kicked off this idea that hey, this could be a bit of a business. For many years, it was just more of a sidekick.
I was obviously raising two kids and I also have a marketing background. So, I was still doing some consulting on the side, but I turned it into this health and wellness focus.
And, went along that path for a while just doing the blog, part time and some other consulting.
Turning Your Blog Into a Business
About 2016, was when I first decided I want to really turn this, into more of a true business and really put my heart and soul into it and try to see what I can do with this blog.
And so, I took my first blogging course, and that was really helpful.
Jillian Leslie 5:41
Did you know what it was, and do you recommend it?
Micaela Preston 5:44
Yeah. It was called Blog Smarter. I believe that the program still exists, although not with the same person who founded it. So, I can’t speak to what it’s like today, but it was great for me. It really helped me just focus in and think strategically about everything.
All those things that you need to do if you really want to build a blog as a business. And, now it’s 2021. And I would say that, the growth of my blog, it never like skyrocketed, but it has grown steadily with, what I have been doing.
And I have continued to educate myself, take more courses, do many different things. And now, I do make a full time income from it. So, it’s just turned into a great way for me to make a living, still teach what I love to do.
My kids are a little older now. But I was able to raise my kids and do what I loved and be flexible. And all those things, it’s just so great about having a blog.
How Your Blog Changes Over Time
Jillian Leslie 6:50
Totally. And that’s what I would say, blogs are great because they can go through seasons. So, while you were raising your kids, and you didn’t have the time, to do it full- time, you could still do it in the background.
But you had this thing that you had been building and by the way, Google rewards that. It looks at your blog and says you’ve been blogging for a while you’ve been blogging consistently about this specific topic. You must know what you’re talking about.
So, when you’re ready, and your kids have now gotten older, and can feed and dress themselves, you can turn it up. When you have that time, and you planted seeds that help it grow.
So, when you said you became more intentional, let’s say in 2016, what did you do? What were the things that you changed or focused in on?
Micaela Preston 7:45
Well, first of all, I did revise my blog, I switched it over to WordPress. And I created a new design and a format, which made it a lot more clear that this was not a hobby blog that this was a resource for people to come to.
Turning Your Blog Into a Resource
So, I just made it clear from visually that it was a resource for people who are looking to learn more about natural and eco-friendly lifestyles. And then I started using like, lead magnets to build an email list.
And, just determine my posts more strategically. My blog posts, back when I was doing it, just with young kids, it was more like, oh, whenever I can fit it in and about whatever I feel like it.
Now, it’s much more strategic where I think, “Okay, this is what I really want to educate people about. This is what people are asking me about.”
So, I really changed that format of how I was delivering content and just being more strategic about everything to do with it, the whole package.
Jillian Leslie 8:54
Let’s talk about then you started monetizing via sponsored posts. And now, what are the different ways in which you monetize and when did they come on board, like able to add them?
How to Monetize Your Blog
Micaela Preston 9:09
I do have four pieces of monetization. And those are affiliates, ads, sponsored posts and my own digital products. Currently the affiliates are really my biggest source of income. But when I first started those were very, very small.
I started with Amazon Associates, just like a lot of people do. And, that’s kind of a smaller, source of income for most people unless you really have lots of pageviews.
And then I just started finding other little, places to become an affiliate for products that I was using and believed in of course. And then I’ve been lucky to have found some that had larger payouts.
So, some of my sources of affiliates might be a bit surprising. But mattresses for instance, like organic and natural mattresses, I have a blog post that does extremely well about that.
And those because they’re high-priced items, you make a larger amount from affiliate income. And so that is, a great source of income for me.
Jillian Leslie 10:24
No, wait, let’s step back for a second. Did you write the blog post knowing that you were going to be promoting mattresses and that this had a TypePad? Or was this like an accidental thing?
Like you wanted to write about mattresses and then say, I don’t know, if you went to ShareASale or someplace like that, and said, “Wait a second, they’ve got an affiliate program?” How did you figure that out? Which way?
Micaela Preston 10:46
I already knew that I could make money from it. And I believe it started with one brand approaching me and saying, “Would you like a free mattress? And then if you want to promote, we have an affiliate program.”
And so, I went down that path, and then realize there were other brands that I could also promote. And over the years, I’ve worked with a few different brands that way.
But what I didn’t realize, and I guess, in some ways, I got a bit lucky, but that Google would pick me up as being an expert in this topic. And that I am now, pretty high up in the Google search for people searching for organic and natural mattresses.
I didn’t realize how good this was going to be. I knew that I was going to try but you know how it is you don’t always know which posts are going to take off with Google search. Despite your best SEO efforts, they don’t always work out. This one did.
And so, I feel really grateful for that. And, I have a few other good ones in terms of some of them are like cookware, or people buying food products or memberships to food sites online, those kinds of things. So, affiliates have been a good source of income for sure.
Jillian Leslie 12:06
So, with this mattress post, when did you initially post it? Do you remember how many years ago?
Republish Posts that Are Successful for You
Micaela Preston 12:13
I don’t know for sure. But I’ve republished them since then. Because I keep them relevant.
Jillian Leslie 12:18
That’s what I wanted to ask you. So, you’ve got this money post? Did it take off immediately or did it take a while for it to start to payout?
Micaela Preston 12:26
It took a while. I can’t tell you exactly when I first published it. But I think what happened was, I started to realize, oh, this is getting more traction, look at this Google’s, giving me some pageview from this. And so, I started paying attention.
And then over time, I added more brands to it, I beefed it up, I’ve republished it. Because I want to keep it relevant. Because that’s important for SEO, you can’t just, ignore a post, once it’s doing well.
If you just ignore it forever, Google might be like heh, or somebody else comes along and writes a better post. So, I try to pay attention.
I look in my Google Search Console to see what keywords it’s receiving views from and ranking for. So that’ has helped me.
Jillian Leslie 13:17
Do you look at those keywords? Then do you go back to the post and make sure to add those specific keywords?
Micaela Preston 13:25
Sometimes, yeah. I don’t want to mess with it, every week or anything like that. I don’t want to mess with it too often. But I pay attention. And maybe on the big ones, maybe once a month or so I’m looking at them just to make sure.
Jillian Leslie 13:38
And how often would you say you are republishing or adding new content to them?
Micaela Preston 13:45
I don’t have a set schedule for that. But maybe every couple of months, I would go in and add a little bit of content, few keywords or something like that, making sure the links are still active as well. And nothing’s broken in there.
And then in terms of actually, republishing it to like today’s current date, I don’t do that very often. Actually, my goal is to do that about once a year for my top posts, make sure that I’m keeping them.
And not only that, but I’m also sharing that content with my email lists and my social media and everything because those are important posts for me. So, I want to keep them relevant and upfront with everybody.
How Do You Drive Traffic to Your Blog?
Jillian Leslie 14:23
Now, is Pinterest a big source of traffic for you?
Micaela Preston 14:27
Yes. It’s about 20% to 25% of my traffic.
Jillian Leslie 14:31
Micaela Preston 14:32
Jillian Leslie 14:32
So, Google is your biggest traffic driver?
Micaela Preston 14:35
Jillian Leslie 14:36
Micaela Preston 14:37
Jillian Leslie 14:38
Micaela Preston 14:38
I’m not a recipe blog, per se. I have a few recipes but I know like recipes and crafts. I do have a few DIY like cleaning products and body care and other eco-friendly things. So, those always do well. But my other content does pretty well too.
I do a lot of product roundups where I’m sharing the top eco-friendly laundry detergents or natural deodorants and things like that. So, that does well on Pinterest.
And again, I try to keep it relevant, I keep creating new pins and putting them out there and making sure that I’m keeping things rolling with Pinterest, especially with those top posts in the posts that make income.
Jillian Leslie 15:25
What I like about what you’re saying is those top posts are assets to you. And you treat them as such. So, they’re like stocks in the stock market or money in your bank account and that you’re nurturing that.
You’re making sure that they keep their value, if not grow in value.
Micaela Preston 15:43
Yes, yes, definitely. And it took me a long time to realize that, but now I realize that and I like your word asset. It’s really true.
Jillian Leslie 15:52
So, okay, you discovered affiliates? And then when did you turn on ads? How did that work?
Signing Up With an Ad Network
Micaela Preston 16:02
What year was that? I’m trying to remember what year it was. But definitely quite a few years ago that I finally made Mediavine, like had enough pageviews to apply to Mediavine. And so, then I turn that on. And that’s been great.
Just really helpful to have that extra source of income, which is basically passive, it’s there all the time coming in. And the more I can grow my pageviews, the more I can grow my ad revenue, so that’s really helpful.
I think I started with Gourmet Ads, before I could get into Mediavine, but then now I’m with Mediavine.
Jillian Leslie 16:46
You started your own products, so, talk to me about how you thought of that, what you created, where you sell them, and how that’s going for you?
Micaela Preston 16:56
Well, that’s a relatively new part of my income stream. So, it’s very small at this point, but it’s going to grow. I currently have an eBook that is eco-friendly brands guide.
So, it’s basically sharing all the top eco-friendly brands with clickable links, so that people can get to what they’re looking for easily. But it’s also a source of revenue for me because those links are affiliate links whenever those are available.
So, I’m currently using that more as a tripwire. And it’s available all the time on my blog for sale. But I also use it as a tripwire through my lead magnet. So, when someone joins my email list through one of my lead magnets, I have many of them.
Then they get served the opportunity to buy my brands guide at a low price. So, that is a good little trickle of income coming in. But then the bigger thing that I’m working on is an online course.
Creating an Online Course
I’m working on that right now. And I’m really excited to be launching that in mid-May of this year. And it’s called, “Easy Home Detox.” And it’s a beginner’s guide to helping people detox their home and products.
It’s an online course with videos and lots of other content. And it’ll really help walk people through the process of all the things that you can do to detox your home and through both habits and the products that you’re using in your home.
And so, that will be launching soon and very excited about that.
Jillian Leslie 18:38
So, let’s talk about your lead magnets for a second. You said you have many. How many do you have? How did you start creating them? And what do they look like?
Micaela Preston 18:49
I don’t know how many I have; I should probably add them up. But I’ve created them for various posts over the years and then I’ve created some that are not really associated with one blog post but more of a general one.
So, like the primary one that I’m featuring right now is “10 Easy Ways to Detox Your Home” because that leads in and gets people started down the path leading to the course that I will be offering soon.
And I have another one called a “Greenwashing Guidebook,” which helps people understand what greenwashing is and how to look at products and not be fooled by greenwashing.
Jillian Leslie 19:30
What is greenwashing?
Micaela Preston 19:31
Greenwashing is when companies try to make their products look green and eco- friendly and natural and healthy by putting little logos on there.
Or little pictures of flowers or saying things like natural which really doesn’t have a definition legally but yet their products might still be filled with toxic chemicals.
Like a laundry detergent that just says botanical and you think it’s better than the other stuff, but it really isn’t. So, I teach people how to, uncover the greenwashing and ways to find the truly better products.
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Head to milotree.com, get your first 30 days free. And now back to the show.
Why You Want to Add Lead Magnets to Your Best Posts to Grow Your Email List
Jillian Leslie 21:12
So, you write a blog post, and then you say to yourself, “I can put a lead magnet in this blog.” Start with how you think through this. Like when you go, “I’ve got a blog post, I’m going to put a lead magnet in it.”
And then the lead magnet is going to say as soon as somebody signs up for it, they will get my tripwire. How are you building this? At what point do you start? And do you go, “Wait, I’ve got a post, I could go put a lead magnet in.”
Or you’re setting this all up from the beginning.
Micaela Preston 21:43
Yes, I’d say it’s been a combination of different tactics over the years but like one example, for instance, is I have a blog post about green cleaning products. And I’m sharing all my favorite green cleaning products and brands in the blog post.
But for a lead magnet, I’m offering them a green cleaning shopping guide, which has my favorite specific products for all the different cleaning chores.
Like an all-purpose cleaner, and a dishwashing detergent and a laundry soap and a stain remover and the toilet bowl cleaner, things like that. All my favorite brands in a printable PDF, so, they can take it with them shopping.
Jillian Leslie 22:25
Did you create the PDF in Canva? Did you have somebody do it? Is it a one sheet?
Micaela Preston 22:31
Actually, I just had it revised. I’m using a VA who’s helping me with some of these things. And so, she made a beautiful new version. The original one I made was a bit cheesy, I created it in Microsoft Word I believe.
But now I’m having some of these older ones redundant and they look much better. And so, it has a cover, and it two pages beyond the cover. So, it’s a really nice looking PDF that someone can download once they get on my mailing list.
Jillian Leslie 23:01
Got it. And are you finding that the blog posts specific opt-ins do better than say the general opt-in. Where are you finding success?
Micaela Preston 23:11
Well, overall, the general opt-ins do better because they are promoted in other parts of my blog. So, maybe on the sidebar, if someone’s using a desktop or on a pop-up that comes up on a desktop.
I use LeadPages and LeadPages just makes it really easy to put your lead magnets out there and make them look good and seen. And so, overall, whatever the primary one I’m promoting.
Like I was saying the one about the 10 Easy Ways to Detox Your Home is the one that I’m getting the most traction from right now. But if someone goes to my mattress post, they get a pop-up that says, “Get my mattress shopping guide.”
And then they’ll get on the list. So, I do it strategically for the posts that make the most sense or that maybe have more income potential and that kind of thing.
Jillian Leslie 24:08
Or the most traffic.
Micaela Preston 24:10
The most traffic. Yes.
Jillian Leslie 24:12
So, that might be an indicator to, “Oh, I should make a specific lead magnet for this specific post because people are entering into my community via that post.”
Micaela Preston 24:22
Jillian Leslie 24:23
This way I can go keep them in the loop.
Micaela Preston 24:25
Mm hm. And then I do have a resource library on my blog. So, once someone’s a member on my email list, they can go and access my resource library. It’s password protected, but they have access to all of my lead magnets there.
Jillian Leslie 24:43
Is it for free? It’s a free thing if they join your email list.
Micaela Preston 24:48
Yes. So, that’s a special perk of being on the email list. You can get access to all of them.
Jillian Leslie 24:53
Can I ask how many people are on your list right now?
Micaela Preston 24:57
I’m currently about 3,000. I had about 4,000. But I just did a big calling of the list lately. And I’m going to try to keep on top of that, because I want, people that are really using it. So, I want to be sure to get rid of people that aren’t really opening my emails.
Jillian Leslie 25:17
Absolutely, one thing is through lead pages, I don’t know if this is true. Can you have them deliver your opt-in? How does that work? Or are you doing it through your email service?
Micaela Preston 25:29
Yes, you can have them deliver your opt-in.
Jillian Leslie 25:31
Micaela Preston 25:33
It’s just once they get it, then they’ll get an email with the opt-in.
Why You Want to Set Up a Tripwire
Jillian Leslie 25:37
And then does that also connect to your tripwire? Can you set that up in LeadPages? Or again is that something you set up yourself?
Micaela Preston 25:46
Well, I set that up through LeadPages. But it’s the thank you page. So, once they’ve signed up, they get the thank you page, “Thank you for signing up for my email list your free download is on its way.”
And meanwhile, “Don’t miss out on this great deal.” That kind of thing. And so, then it’s right there.
Jillian Leslie 26:07
And how much do you charge for your tripwire? How much does it normally sell on your site? And what is the discount of your tripwire?
Micaela Preston 26:15
It is normally $47 and I’m selling it for $12 right now. I might change that. I’ve been thinking that it could be doing better. So, I’m thinking about changing the price point on it just to experiment a little bit.
Maybe $11.99. You know how it is with prices. Sometimes the higher price is better and sometimes the lower price is better. So, I need to do a little more testing with that.
Jillian Leslie 26:42
I like how you are testing because you don’t know. You have the hypothesis, but until you put it out there, you have no idea how it will perform. So, I say good for you for changing it up and trying it and then you can always change it back.
Micaela Preston 26:56
Right. Right. Right.
Jillian Leslie 26:58
Absolutely. Okay, so let’s talk about then your email strategy. How often are you sending emails to your list? What are they filled with? Are you selling in your email list? Like what is that? How would you use it?
Micaela Preston 27:09
Yes. So currently, I’m sending two emails a week to my layout.
Jillian Leslie 27:13
Micaela Preston 27:15
I’ve been pretty consistent with that, lately. Not always in the past, but now. The first email will be whatever new blog post I’ve published that week; I try to post one new blog post a week or a republished post.
I am, taking advantage of good older content and making it a little bit better and republishing it. I’ll put that in and so, that’s the first email.
And then the second email, which goes out on Saturday mornings is my eco love list. It’s a fun way for me to share a lot of different things that I’ve been loving, or that I’ve been seeing lately.
And it includes things like products I’ve been using, or recipes I’ve been trying or thinking about or DIY ideas that I’ve seen.
And also, articles, people want to know about something having to do with recycling or with toxic chemical legislation or something like that, like interesting articles. I just tried to share all the cool things that I’ve seen that week.
Why You Want to Set Yourself Up as an Authority
But it’s also a chance for me to stick some affiliate links in there and, tell people about some new products that I’ve been trying. So, it works out really well that way.
Jillian Leslie 28:30
And it really sets you up as an expert, like, “Oh, Micaela knows this stuff. I need to open her email so I can stay up to date because she’s my source.”
Micaela Preston 28:40
Jillian Leslie 28:41
So, I like how that puts you in a position of authority in a good way.
Micaela Preston 28:49
Yes. I really enjoy it too. It’s fun. It’s a way to be a little bit more personal too. I might say a few things not much, but a little bit if I went on vacation or something about my kids or something like that.
Just to make sure that they know I’m a human out there and not just a robot.
Jillian Leslie 29:08
Do people ask you questions? How do you find out what people are thinking? Do you ask for feedback? Do you do it on social media? Do you do it through email? How are you getting feedback?
Why You Want to Create a Facebook Group
Micaela Preston 29:21
Well, in my welcome email. When someone first signs up on my email list. I do ask the question, what is your biggest interest in green and healthy living, what are you looking for?
And so, I do get people who respond to that not everybody, obviously, but I do learn a lot from that. And then I also have a Facebook group now. I’ve had a Facebook page for a long time. But of course, those aren’t doing so well anymore.
So, I started a Facebook group. I think it was in December of last year maybe and it now has like, almost 800 people in it, which is great. And so, that’s a great place, I’m finding to actually have more of those discussions or, communicate things.
Learn from people and also on Instagram too, whenever anyone leaves a comment, it’s something that you can learn from them. So, I always appreciate that.
And I try to ask questions in the Facebook group to get people, to reply to make comments. It’s not always easy. And then another thing I do is occasional surveys of my audience, where I’ll just use like a Google survey. Google Forms.
And I will ask questions and see, what kind of answers I get, because that is always really helpful.
Jillian Leslie 30:46
And do you then use this feedback to determine what to create next?
Micaela Preston 30:51
Yes, yes. So, I might ask, what else would you like to learn about? Do you want to learn about zero waste living? Or do you want to learn about clean beauty or non-toxic cleaning, or different areas like that.
So, I can learn from things that I asked. And I asked demographic things like whether people have kids at home and things like that, too. And it’s just always helpful and interesting to ask those questions.
Jillian Leslie 31:17
Now, are you making videos?
Micaela Preston 31:20
A little bit. Yes.
Jillian Leslie 31:21
So, share how you do that. Because I think that there’s always this pressure, like, I need to be making videos, but how have you incorporated video into your blog or into what you’re doing?
Micaela Preston 31:34
I’ve done a few videos that I’ve put into posts, like about products that I’ve talked about. And then I’ve done Facebook Lives in my Facebook group. And on my Facebook page, I’ve done webinars, so a little bit of things.
I feel like I can always be doing more. But it’s, hard to find the time but ideally, I would be doing a weekly Facebook Live in my Facebook group. That’s my goal. But I’m not quite there yet.
Jillian Leslie 32:09
I get it. I get it little by little. Now, let’s talk social media. Where are your people? What do you like the best? And where are your people hanging out?
How to Best Use Facebook and Instagram as a Blogger
Micaela Preston 32:22
I’d say it’s a combination of Facebook and Instagram. I really like Instagram, because I am a very visual person. So, I like it. And I definitely have some, great interactions with people through Instagram.
But I don’t get a lot of people visiting my blog directly from Instagram. I think that there is an indirect effect that we can’t really measure and just that you become a recognized figure in the industry.
And people might look you up later and there’s no way to track that. So, I think it’s worthwhile to spend time on Instagram even though I don’t have a ton of traffic that comes from it.
Jillian Leslie 33:09
What are you doing, stories? Are you doing posts in your feed? What are you doing on Instagram, then?
Micaela Preston 33:13
I definitely do posts in my feed. I’ve just made an effort recently to try to do that more often. So, I’m doing at least three if not four posts on Instagram, every week, and then I always share those stories. And I tried to share other stories too.
I’m not as great as spontaneously jumping on Instagram stories and talking. But I will occasionally do that. So, I’ve done some of that. I’ve done a little bit of IG stories, too. And I’ve done a little bit of the reels.
Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to do all of that.
Jillian Leslie 33:53
That’s what I wanted to ask you. I want to ask you; you have your fingers in a lot of pots. And as bloggers we have to wear a lot of different hats and manage a lot of things and know a lot about a lot of different technologies. How do you manage your time?
Managing Your Time as a Blogger
Micaela Preston 34:13
Well, I am now outsourcing most of Pinterest. So, I have one VA that does all the Pinterest scheduling for me using tailwind and they have their own system and I’m like take it away.
Jillian Leslie 34:25
You create the pins, or they’re creating the pins?
Micaela Preston 34:28
We create the pins but I now have a separate VA who’s creating the pins. And she writes some of the descriptions now too. So, actually, I’m really outsourcing as much of that as I can.
And then once the pins are out there the other VA takes them and does all the scheduling with tailwind and tribes and all that good stuff.
Another trick that I have, is that I use an app called Post Planner to feed blog posts to my Facebook page on a regular basis. And they are kind of on a schedule, so, I don’t have to do anything there.
So, it just makes sure that my Facebook page is continually putting out my older content. Now, it’s not being seen as much as I would like, but at least it’s out there. So, that’s another thing I do.
In terms of scheduling my time, I always try to put out a new blog post, I published it on Monday, I put out the email on Tuesday for that blog post. So, the first two days of the week are really kind of focused around that.
And then I have other things that I do during the rest of the week. Like right now, I’m working really hard on this online course. So, that’s taking most of my time.
Other times of the year, I might be working on a new lead magnet or other things like really diving into SEO.
Jillian Leslie 35:53
Do you get burnt out?
Micaela Preston 35:55
Jillian Leslie 35:56
What do you do? How do you deal with burnout?
Micaela Preston 36:00
I just try to take a break, if I’m feeling burnt out. Sometimes I get a little down, thinking, “Oh, I put in so much work, and it’s just not growing as fast as I would like.” I just try to make sure that I have a pair of brakes and work on my mindset around it.
Because I have a lot to be grateful for the way that my blog has worked out for me over the years. And to be honest, I’m not looking to build an empire, I’m just looking to create a really, great resource for people and income to keep it worthwhile.
So, it’s worked out really well for me that way and so I really can’t complain. But every once in a while, sure, you get a little sick of it. So, I just try to take more breaks. And, I can because I’m a self-employed blogger.
Jillian Leslie 36:54
One thing I always talk about is how we think because we’re inside of us. So, we think the world revolves around us. And therefore, we think everybody’s looking at us and paying attention to what we’re doing.
And I realize that, that people are into their own lives. And when you take a break, they’re not really noticing. So, it’s okay to take a break and come back and just pick up where you left off. And to not think, “Oh my God, I’ve lost half my audience.”
You have it. They’re right there for you. So, it’s like being a little kinder to ourselves. And begin, oh, my god, they’re all like, “Where is she?” Well, the truth is, they’re really busy. They’re not noticing.
So, it gives us more permission to take breaks and to take care of ourselves and recognize they’re there.
Micaela Preston 37:44
Exactly, my goal is to publish one blog post a week, but if I don’t, that’s really okay. No one’s going to quit following me just because I didn’t post a new blog post.
Jillian Leslie 37:57
Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, so what about your business are you most excited about right now?
Creating an Online Course to Grow Your Blog
Micaela Preston 38:02
Well, I’m really excited to explore the online course. I’ve dabbled in it a little bit. So, I did a version of it last year, which didn’t work out quite the way I wanted.
I decided to revise it in some certain ways to make it a little more accessible and really help the people that are more beginners and need the help the most.
And so, I’m really excited to just develop this fourth leg of my income streams, which are these digital products, because I really like the idea of having a lot of different income streams so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
So, if an algorithm changes happens, which it has happened, and they will continue to do is that you’re not just going to be lost because you’ve lost a bunch of your traffic or something. So, I am excited about that.
And I think there’s so much potential with digital courses these days. So, I’m excited to get this one launched, and maybe build another one, a bigger one. So, maybe a membership. There’re so many options. So, it’s exciting.
Jillian Leslie 39:13
I love that. Micaela, I have to give you some feedback. I always try to find people’s special sauces. And I think yours is your flexibility and that kind of excitement about what’s around the corner and your willingness to roll with whatever changes.
Because as an original blogger myself, we’ve seen a lot of changes. Some go our way, some don’t. But I think the ability to ride through them and to go, Okay, well, let’s say this changed, and now this strategy isn’t working anymore. What could I do?
What can I experiment with, to go this way? And I feel that from you. So, I just wanted to say I feel like you have this smile, and you have this excitement about what direction can I go even after all these years, and I think that’s what it takes to be successful.
Being Flexible as a Blogger
Micaela Preston 40:13
I would agree with that for sure. And that’s what keeps it relevant and exciting, too. I’m someone who doesn’t like the same same every day all the time. I like the change. I’m not saying I like it when Google puts out an algorithm change that I don’t like.
But I like always learning new things. I’m one of those perpetual learners, I’m always taking courses and learning how to do new things. And if that’s a way that I can continue to share what I’m doing with a larger population, then that’s great.
So, that’s how that works for me. I really do like rolling with the changes, I guess.
Jillian Leslie 40:53
I can feel that I really can. So, Micaela if people want to reach out to you, how can they do that and learn more about what you’re doing and learn about your course?
Micaela Preston 41:03
Oh, yeah, I’m at mindfulmomma.com. And I do have a waiting list for my course right now. If you are interested, you can navigate to that through the blog. And that’ll be opening in mid-May of this year.
And otherwise, there are various lead magnets, as I talked about, if you want to join the mailing list and get going down the path of green and healthy living, that would be awesome. I am at Mindful Momma, M-I-N-D-F-U-L M-O-M-M-A on everything.
So, Instagram, Facebook, all of those things. And I have a Facebook community called Green and Healthy community. So, you can find me there as well.
Jillian Leslie 41:41
Oh, well, this has been such a pleasure. I love talking to the old timers just because we’ve seen so much.
Micaela Preston 41:57
Yes, yes. It’s been a ride.
Jillian Leslie 42:00
Totally. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Micaela Preston 42:03
You’re welcome. Happy to be here. Thank you.
Jillian Leslie 42:06
I hope you guys like this episode. My biggest takeaway is that to stay in it for the long haul, you have to always be reinventing yourself. And sometimes that can be tricky because changes happen that might not go your way.
But if you can be flexible, and if you want to be experimenting with new things, trying new things, I think there is no better job. If you feel like this podcast is helping you grow your blog, please head to bloggergenius.com and sign up for my newsletter.
So, you can stay abreast of what is happening in online business by hearing my four biggest takeaways from every single one of my episodes. Again, bloggergenius.com. Super easy to remember and I will see you here again next week.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- Why the Blogging Riches are in the Niches with HollyAnne Knight (Part 1)
- How to Launch a Successful Course Through Trial and Error with HollyAnne Knight (Part 2)
- How to Write About Difficult Topics in Your Blog
- 5 Secrets Successful Bloggers Know to Grow Their Blogs with Jillian Leslie
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