One of the best ways to learn how to succeed as a blogger is to engage with other bloggers and learn from their success stories and failures. That’s why I’m proud to launch our new Blogger Talk interview series where you’ll get to hear from some of my favorite bloggers as they share their best tips, favorite resources, and words of advice to help you succeed when you start a blog.
This week, we’re talking to Minuca Elena, a blogger with a unique niche. Minuca creates influencer roundups that provide quality content and bring huge traffic. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers.
How did you end up starting your blog?
I started my blog in December 2015. Until then, I used to work with another blogger that was a freelancer and wrote posts for clients.
So, I had experience regarding some aspects of blogging, like how to make roundups that get a lot of traffic, but I was completely unaware of other basic elements like SEO, how to get subscribers or what a sales funnel is.
I know that for many bloggers these are advanced stuff, but now, I feel you can’t be a serious blogger until you at least have a basic understanding of what these things are.
Do you still have a day job or is blogging your full-time gig?
No. I do not have a job. I support myself from what I earn online. I always felt that the employee lifestyle was not suited for me because it does not offer me the freedom of choice that I like.
I have a service based business, so I still have clients, deadlines, and requirements that I need to fulfill. The difference is that my clients are not my bosses. I can organize my time and tasks the way I want.
It is crucial the way you present yourself and communicate with your customers. My clients understand that I am the expert at my job, and they don’t need to give me any instructions for me to do my work well.
I earned this confidence over time, and I always do my best to over deliver and get the best results.
I get testimonials from every client that I have, and they all are very satisfied with my work and even recommend me to other bloggers.
What are the biggest mistakes you made when starting your blog?
I don’t know how many mistakes I have done. It is better to say that there are things that I could have done better if I would have done more research. I will mention a few of them:
I had a free ugly theme for far too long.
I didn’t have an author box on the first two guest posts that I wrote.
I didn’t have any freebie or opt-in box for the first couple of months, so I wasted a lot of traffic that could have been converted into subscribers and potential clients.
I did not have enough confidence that I will succeed as a solopreneur, so I wasted a couple of months going to interviews and worrying about getting a job, before starting my own online business.
What’s your biggest current challenge as a blogger?
Everyone faces challenges all the time. It is called progress. I have even done an expert roundup where 40 bloggers talk about their biggest challenges. I find difficult, even frustrating, to make people take my job seriously. Many of my relatives and acquaintances don’t understand what I do. They are under the impression that earning money on the internet is either illegal or an unethical scam.
Although I support myself from blogging and I even earn better than other friends or former colleagues of mine, I’m advised all the time to get a job. I am lucky that my mom is very proud of my work although she does not understand completely what I do.
What are you most proud of achieving with your blog?
I’m proud of many things that I have accomplished in my online activity. I have been featured five times as a blogging expert on Huffington Post. For me, expert roundups are my (not so secret) strategy. I contribute to all the roundups on topics that I have experience.
This has helped me increased my popularity, get my brand in the spotlight and build valuable connections with other bloggers. Also, the SEO benefits on being featured on different blogs are very powerful. The domain authority of my site is constantly improving.
Another thing that I’m proud is that I have done blog posts in all type of niches: SEO, social media, blogging, PR, parenting, cycling, food, sex, gardening, etc. I am glad that all my posts brought a lot of traffic and engagement to my clients.
Walk us through your process of creating a blog post — how do you come up with ideas and execute them?
I create awesome influencer roundups that provide quality content, bring huge traffic, get more leads and I help bloggers connect with influencers.
An expert roundup or an influencer roundup is a type of blog post that has one main question that is addressed to top specialists from a certain niche, and all the answers are put together in one article.A roundup provides a lot of value to readers because they can find out not only one person’s opinion but the advice of many experts. Roundups are huge posts that often have over 10k words and offer a great diversity of perspectives on the same topic.
Expert roundups bring a lot of traffic because all the influencers that are involved in the post share it with their social media followers, often link to it in their posts sending their audience to my post. I can do a roundup in any niche. You can check my expert roundups on my site, and you will find all the roundups that I have ever done.
What is your best tactic for promoting your blog?
As I mentioned above, I promote my site through the expert roundups in which I am featured. Some of them are my posts where I include my answer to the key question, but most of them are from other bloggers that see how much traffic a roundup gets, make one for their blogs and invite me to participate.
I also include an author bio and a backlink to my site on every post I make for clients. I’m against ghostwriting and although I make posts for other bloggers I always insist on getting credit for my work.
Clients need to be educated. I’m considered the authority in making expert roundups and clients understand that they have more benefits in displaying my name as the author.
This is something that we agree from the beginning. If a potential client insists on using my post without acknowledging me as the author, then I refuse him or her. There are plenty of bloggers interested in my services, so there is no need for making a compromise on my principles.
Any final words of advice for other bloggers?
Know your readers. Interact with them on social media and in the comments on your blog and see what are their main worries. Write content that solves those problems and helps your readers. Your blog must be about your audience, not about yourself.
Also, remember that you are helping more people by answering some frequent question on a blog post and not wasting time to reply to each message on social media or email you get. As your popularity grows, you need to learn how to manage your time efficiently.
The most important advice I have for you is, to be honest. Admit your flaws and mistakes because no one is all knowing (except God). As long as you are confident in your expertise, being real helps you bond with your readers.
Thanks for your time, Minuca. Don’t forget to follow Minuca on Twitter @MinucaElena.