Both Randa and I get a lot of questions about blogging so we decided to share an Ask a Blogger Anything interview. We are sharing some frequently asked questions that we get about blogging and social media.
If something isn’t answered here that you want to know, feel free to join our free blogging Facebook group and ask us. We don’t bite!
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Who are you hosted with?
Randa: I’m also with Flywheel, they’re incredible!
Who do you use for your email newsletters?
Stacie: I started using ConvertKit last summer and I’ve seen massive growth on my email list. I highly recommend them! I wrote a post about how I got 1000 email subscribers in 30 days. I had never seen that kind of growth when I was on Mad Mimi.
Randa: I’m also with ConvertKit and we use ConvertKit for Click Start Club.
How often do you pin per day?
Randa: It’s about 25-30 scheduled pins through Tailwind and then whatever I come across “organically” at night when I’m creeping food and health categories.
Who do you use for tech support?
Stacie: Let me preface by saying that I’m not comfortable with the tech stuff that goes along with blogging. I’m not good at it so I outsource. I’ve been with WP Site Care since 2014. They handle all my technical stuff including plugin updates, backups and any code fixes I need. They are wonderful and I highly recommend them for any WordPress site support you might need.
Randa: I cross my fingers nothing happens and if it does that my host can fix it.
How many hours per day do you spend on your blog?
Stacie: I’d like to say about 8 hours, but sometimes it’s less and sometimes more depending on what I have going on. If I have a sponsored post, it will be a longer day since they typically take me a few hours to write. If I’m doing recipes, it will also be a longer day. I usually spend about 4 hours a week making recipes and taking photos. I usually do most of my work in the morning. I’m up at the crack of dawn (early bird here!) so I can get my work done and have more hours in the day to relax and do what I like.
Randa: I don’t clock in and out like a regular job. I begin at 7 and end at 4 with a few stops in between. I try not to work at night but I’ll sometimes edit photos or check out semrush while I watch TV. There are days where I spent 12+ hours on the blog though, it’s not as easy and simple as some think.
What kind of camera and lens do you use?
Stacie: I use a Canon 6D and mainly use the 100mm 2.8 lens for most of my food shots. Sometimes, I’ll use my Canon EF 24-70MM F2.8L II USM lens if I have a bigger dish like a casserole or I want to capture more of the scene in the photo. Not cheap, I know, but so worth it to up your photography game.
Randa: I have a Canon 6D and I use the 100mm 2.8 lens for the majority of my posts.
What are your top three sources of traffic?
Stacie: Pinterest, Google, Direct
Randa: Pinterest, Google, Direct
What are you currently working on improving?
Stacie: SEO! I ignored SEO for soooo long. I thought if you build it, they will come. Ha! I had no idea what I was doing until I joined Bloggers Tell All. SEO is a long game so I’m hoping the improvements I’m making now will pay off down the road.
Randa: I’m working on SEO as well. Social media traffic comes and goes, Google is forever 😉
What tasks do you outsource?
Stacie: I have a bunch of small tasks that I outsource to various people. I have someone write my email newsletter, respond to Facebook comments, schedule sponsored Twitter posts, schedule 10 pins a day, tech support, site speed support and probably more that I’m forgetting.
Randa: Facebook scheduling (for the most part, although we have lowered the amount to once a day since I am not seeing a return anymore) and Instagram scheduling for @BewitchinKitchen. I also have the smaller package from Simple Pin Media to schedule 10 of my pins a day.
What courses do you recommend?
Stacie: I’ve taken some great courses and I’ve also taken some doozies. I’m going to recommend our photo editing courses (LOL!) because I know they rock! Another course that I really enjoyed was Asana for Bloggers and Content Brew.
Randa: Well I’m going to recommend our courses as well (Editing with Photoshop and Lightroom) and I also love Bloggers Tell All. I’m a little bit of a course junkie, I buy and take a lot. I’m going to recommend Dominate the Search Engines as that course got me started with SEO. The next courses I plan on taking are the Pitch Perfect from Jenny Melrose and Alisa Merideth’s course on Pinterest Ads.
What is one piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?
Stacie: You have to spend money to make money. Invest in a fresh, clean site design and a good hosting package. Invest in YOURSELF! Improve your photography, learn all the things and keep doing that daily. The learning never ends especially in blogging because things are changing on a daily basis.
Randa: Don’t be afraid of networking! In my early days I thought it was “weird” to speak to people I have never met in person, now some of my closest friends are my online friends! I’m thankful I finally met a few of them at a conference a few years ago but I wish I wasn’t so weird about online networking in the beginning. I missed out on time with some incredible people and it’s nice to know others in our business to bounce ideas off of!
Who do you recommend for site design?
Stacie: I love Purr Design, but they have a long wait list and are on the pricier side. However, they have beautiful designs and they know what they are doing.
Randa: I also recommend Purr (wow Stacie and I have a lot of the same answers) but another designer that does beautiful work is Hello You Designs.
What frustrations do you have about blogging?
Stacie: I hate that I’m so bad with the tech stuff and that it scares me. I wish I understand the backend of my blog better and that it didn’t give me so much anxiety. It’s annoying that I have to outsource so much when it comes to anything technical. However, it’s not my strong point and I’d rather have someone I trust that knows what they are doing.
Randa: Balance. I have such a tough time with setting a schedule for myself. I also have a hard time delegating which is what I plan to work on.
What was your biggest blogging mistake?
Stacie: Where to even begin…oh wait, I wrote a post about all my blogging mistakes. I think the biggest mistake was posting so much thin content. I’m painstakingly working through old content now to try and beef it up.
Randa: When I started blogging, I had no clue about anything. My early posts are only a few lines long, no recipe cards, and no images! Going back to fix that now is a pain, especially when I’m going back to make them a little more SEO friendly.
How do you stay organized?
Stacie: I could not manage my day, both personally and professionally, without Asana. Game changer, people! Try it and be amazed. You’re welcome.
Randa: I’m so bad at this, I wing it. However, I do use Asana to plan and remind me on when projects and posts are due. I agree with Stacie, Asana is awesome!
What is your favourite ad network?
Stacie: I’ve been with Mediavine since June 2016 and could not be happier. I’m making great money and I love how they are so transparent and have their publishers best interests first. If you are getting 25,000 sessions per month, APPLY! You are missing out if you don’t.
Randa: I’m team AdThrive! I’ve been with them since June 2016 and the money I make compared to my last ad network is a difference of thousands of dollars. You do need 100,000 pageviews a month so if you’re not there yet, go with Mediavine. If you are, reach out to AdThrive. They are some of the kindest people in the business!
If you want more blogging tips head to the blogging advice section of our blog!
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