Thank you so much to Karyn of Teach Beside Me for taking the time to share her blogging tips with us. I’m so excited to be featuring several bloggers over the next few weeks – real-life successful bloggers – and hearing their thoughts and tips about blogging! So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and be inspired!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog:
I blog at Teach Beside Me. It is all about creative education ideas and hands-on learning for teachers and homeschoolers. I am a former teacher and now homeschool my 4 kids. I create lots of educational printables and do reviews on educational products as well. I think what makes my site unique is my voice. I try often to create unique content that is different from what others are doing, but I also think my experiences and educational spin on ideas makes my site different from others.
Karyn’s most popular post teaches Geometry with marshmallows!
How do you make money through your blog?
I make money several different ways: through selling my own products (printables & books), through my ad network (AdThrive), affiliate sales, and sponsored posts.
I started selling my products last year after giving them away FREE for years. It has quickly moved to one of the top income sources for me! I am so glad I finally jumped into doing that! I also was part of a collaborative book project that has been really successful.
For affiliate sales, my biggest earner is Amazon, but I also have a few good ones within my niche that have been successful for me.
Sponsored posts come through networks that I am part of as well as independent companies who reach out to me. I have a media kit that I send to people who are interested in working with me that explains my rates and services.
What is ONE piece of advice you would give to a new blogger starting out in your niche?
Be YOU. Do not worry about what others are blogging about, do what you are passionate about and what works for you. And don’t be afraid of your uniqueness. I think this is such an important thing to understand in the blogging world now. There are so many bloggers that it can be hard to stand to from the crowd! Don’t worry about comparisons and keeping up with others. Obviously you need to keep up with the trends and the current advice, but do it in your own unique way!
What is your favorite way to get traffic to your blog?
My top two traffic drivers are Pinterest and Google. So I recommend creating great pins for each of your posts and joining some group boards to help get your content seen on Pinterest. This is my favorite way! I love Pinterest!
Also, learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so your content can be found through Google. If people can’t find you, they will not come! Feed Google. I share my intent to Google+ even though nobody really uses it. It helps content to come up in searches better. Also, I use the Yoast plugin on WordPress to help me with my SEO skills.
But, I think the most important way to get traffic is to create content that people want to see! If you don’t have great stuff, people won’t care to read it.
How much time do you spend blogging each week?
I am not sure I want to admit that! 😉 I spend a lot of hours – 20/week, perhaps (probably) more. BUT, since I am earning an income, it is well worth my time.
What is ONE big blogging hurdle you had to overcome and what steps did you take to overcome it?
I think my biggest hurdle to overcome was believing that I was worth earning money from my site. I did not think that my things were good enough to charge for and I waited way too long to believe in myself. I wish I would have started selling my own products and services earlier! Putting my first shop item up for sale was scary, but once people started buying things I started believing in myself more.
What is one of your favorite blogging tools/resources and why?
Still Have Questions?
Leave them in the comments below – then be sure to head over to Karyn’s Blog!