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This is an interview with Gemma of Seaside Sundays.
When and why did you start Seaside Sundays.com?
I started the blog at the beginning of 2017 while I was still on maternity leave with my second child.
Just before Christmas 2016, I was on Pinterest and came across a blogger’s income report where they had made $5000 in one month.
I thought to myself “If I can do that, then I can quit my job”.
I looked into it a bit more and listened to podcasts and read lots of blog posts before making the jump to buy the Seaside Sundays domain.
How was life back then before you started Seaside Sundays?
I made a good living at my job but I was paying for daycare which negated a lot of the income I brought in.
My job was very demanding and required lots of travel which made life difficult for my family.
I had been looking for a new job opportunity for a while as I was on maternity leave for a year.
As the time to go back to work crept closer, I started getting worried.
Your blog has grown over the years to thousands of visitors every day and is now one of the most popular and successful parenting blogs on the internet. How did the early days of Seaside Sundays.com look like?
For the first month or so, I just churned out content without even promoting it.
I also spent a lot of time on the chat with Bluehost as I really struggled with the technical set-up part of the blog.
I didn’t know what ALT text meant or how to use WordPress and it was all very confusing to me.
Plus I only had a couple of hours during naptime to work which was stressful.
Once I had 30 posts, I joined a “pinning pod” of other bloggers who all pinned each other’s posts every day.
It was a lot of work but it helped me grow my traffic from 0 to 7000 page views in the first month.
In those days it was fairly easy to get a viral pin on Pinterest and I took a course called Pinteresting Strategies early on which really helped me.
How did you make your first $100 as a blogger?
Amazon Associates! I actually made my first $100 in my first month of getting traffic to the blog which I know now is not that common.
I had a viral pin on Pinterest that drove a lot of traffic to one post which in turn blew up my Amazon Associates link.
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Amazon is always the easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing as everyone is familiar with it and it is easy to drive sales to a known entity.
Many newbie bloggers struggle with choosing a profitable niche for their blogs. Why did you decide to create a blog in the parenting niche and what factors did you put into account when you made that decision?
In fact, my original idea was to do a crafts blog, lol. My first few posts were all crafts and recipes.
I then clued into the fact that I’m actually not that good at baking or taking pictures of crafts and the blog sort of morphed into parenting and fertility naturally.
Actually I have a funny story about how bad I was as a food blogger. One of my early posts was a cupcake recipe.
It went viral on Pinterest and brought me thousands of views. And comments on my blog.
You see, I had forgotten to include the eggs in the ingredients list and everyone’s cupcakes were disgusting and they were letting me know!
That is when I realized I will never be a food blogger!
How do you monetize your blogs, and how much do you earn from them monthly?
All of my blogs are monetized in multiple ways in order to offset the quiet times.
I use display advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and my own products to build my income.
My favorite way to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing.
My blogs make around $15,000 a month on average. Of course it is more in Q4 and less during the summer months but now that I have 4 blogs, I find they balance each other out.
You recently opened an Etsy store selling trackers and planners for fertility. Who’s your ideal client and how do you find clients like that?
I was already selling the fertility planners and trackers on my blog (and I still do) and I realized I could reach a much larger audience on Etsy.
My ideal client for the planners is someone who is engaged in their fertility journey and is willing to put in the work to make lifestyle changes that can help improve her chances of getting pregnant.
What people, books, programs and other resources have helped you on your business journey?
I am a course hoarder!
Both Carly Campbell and Michelle Schroeder Gardner were really helpful when I was starting out and they are both still very influential bloggers.
Another blogger who has disappeared that I really loved is Pot Pie Girl. She always had the best tips and tricks for improving your Pinterest.
I also listen to the Blogging Millionaire Podcast religiously and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their blog traffic and income.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out with blogging, what would it be?
My advice would be to step away from Facebook blogging groups and focus on your business.
It can be easy to get panicked when you read about traffic being down or Pinterest being dead.
It is important to look at your own results and take action based on them rather than what the social media is saying.
What’s next for you and your business?
I’ve started a new blog every year for the last 2 years and it has become a lot of work. I need to work on my time management.
I created three new ebooks in 2021 (Digital Products Dynamite, Gift Guide Blueprint and Second Blog Strategies) and I would like to create more courses and ebooks.
My goals for the next year are to get my last two blogs on Mediavine and knowing me, probably start another niche site!
I’d also like to try my hand at blog flipping and build up a blog to sell in the next 18 months.