In my third and final interview from The Pause Fest Conference, I sat down with Kate McKibbin, who is the founder of the Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily Blog. Kate is an expert in building blogs from nothing and through her own sites, she was able to quit her day job within 12 months, and make multiple income streams.
Kate is so knowledgeable in the blogging world that she started an online course called Secret Bloggers Business to share everything she knows. She was able to make a substantial amount of money from these blogging courses in a very short period.
Check out my interview with Kate on YouTube below.
Here are 5 key takeaways from the interview:
1. Start your blog lean
The temptation to go onto Freelancer.com and hire the most expensive person you can to help you build the best-looking blog from scratch is something you should avoid. Early on, you should concentrate on finding your niche and narrowing in on your target audience.
If you waste too much money before you have got a small amount of traction, you won’t know if your subject matter and the way you present it is relevant. Once you have nailed your niche, concentrate on giving as much value as you can.
2. Build an email list from day one
The issue with building up followers on social media is that you don’t own their data; specifically their contact details. Even though this strategy has existed for ages, Kate still swears by it: make your main focus building an email list from day one.
This email list down the track will become your customer database when you turn on monetisation. Forget the naysayers who tell you email is dead because it’s not; you just have to use it in the right way, deliver value, and not overdo it.
To help build your email list, try releasing a free eBook or a free course to get more subscribers. These two methods have been around for a while, but that’s because they work the best, as long as the content is perceived to be valuable and you put some effort in.
3. Ignore traditional blogging models (monetise early)
The bloggers who are the most successful are the ones who are not trying to follow the traditional blogging model. The traditional blogging model, Kate says, is to try and build up an audience before you start making any money.
Why would you put all this time into something and then start to make only a little bit of money much later down the track?
Your goal should be to make money from your blog from day one – period!
4. Test some monetisation concepts
When you offer free content and products, pretty quickly people will contact you asking for more and that’s when you can test some paid products or services.
The best way to test a product, according to Kate, is with as minimal spend as possible. The easiest way is through a free Kickstarter Campaign or by creating a landing page and driving traffic to it through a low budget Facebook Ad Campaign.
One tip Kate insists on is never to run Facebook ads just to get traffic; always have some type of opt-in offer as part of the ad. Also, you don’t need a huge budget for Facebook Ads – try starting with $5-$10 a day.
Once you have tested a few ideas with these methods, you will then have a rough idea of what people want and you can concentrate on putting a lot more effort into some new products.
“What you think people want, and what your friends agree and your mum agrees people want, doesn’t necessarily have any baring on what actually is going to happen”
5. Sell your own product vs someone else’s
With a blog, there is always the option to sell and promote other company’s products or to sell your own products. If it’s a personal blog about things you love, then you may be better off being an ambassador for other brands.
The most effective strategy, though, that Kate recommends, is to establish your own platform to sell your own things. Otherwise, you will be helping grow someone else’s platform and only getting a percentage of selling their products.
The other advantage of selling your own products is that you can do it with a much smaller list of email subscribers.
If you insist on working with brands and promoting their products, then you should start communicating with them early on. This way, you will build a long-term relationship with them that you can leverage once your audience is big enough.
6. Try eCommerce early on
Another income stream you can earn from your blog is to trial an eCommerce store as an extension of your site where you sell physical goods and ship them to your audience. Kate tried this and for her, she wasn’t passionate about it and felt it was too much work.
Either way, you should test an eCommerce store early on to see if it works for your niche and to gauge if it’s a good return on your time. The key to putting time into an eCommerce store is to understand how it’s going to affect your lifestyle by taking time away from other things that you love to do.
7. Offer a paid course
If you’re solving a problem for people with the content you are sharing on your blog, then that can be turned into a course of some sort. Kate did this by emailing her followers and offering a blogging course to see if anyone would actually pay for it.
When people signed up and paid her through PayPal, she then began creating the content for the course. Taking this presale approach to selling digital goods is a great way to create the mental willpower needed to come up with quality course content that is valuable to your audience.
As you become a subject matter on the problem that you are solving, you may be asked to go to the next level and make a further income from your blog by being paid to speak at events. As your audience really starts to grow you could even think about running your own events.
“There is never a point where I can say this business is sorted. You have to be constantly growing, developing, and innovating. It’s all about continuous problem solving and trying new things out”
Books Kate Recommends
The One Thing – Gary Keller
Sacred Success – Barbara Stanny
Check out Kate’s blog Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily and if you want to start your own blog then have a look at Kate’s Secret Bloggers Business site.
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
If you haven’t heard of Prince EA, then you should of. He’s the guy who delivers amazing spoken word rhymes over the top of inspirational soundtracks. His YouTube channel has millions of views, and the video’s he produces are some of the best quality and most creative you will find.
The production that goes into these videos has to be seen to be believed. If you’re looking for a millennial with a different view of the world who is not afraid to ask the questions nobody is asking or the questions nobody wants to answer, then Prince EA is for you.
If you’re pursuing any level of success, then Prince EA is a must.
Below you will find what I believe are his top three videos that will change humanities path to greatness!
1. Why Most People Die Before Age 25
This is a heartfelt video about how people stop chasing their dreams before the age of twenty-five and how they die inside even if they live a long life. Prince EA talks about how people make excuses for their dream and delay their dreams.
He says that life shouldn’t be something that you just get on with. Everyone can relate to this video, and the challenges Prince EA talks about are real for all of us whether we like to admit it or not.
“You will never start this video again with the same perspective you had when you clicked play”
2. I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White
This video will seriously change your perspective on the world and the many different races that co-exist. Prince EA presents the idea that our race is nothing more than a label and that labels cause racism and wars.
He explains that who we really are is not skin deep and that we are all global citizens. He uses a brilliant analogy about our bodies being like cars that we get from a dealership called society. Our race is nothing more than a model of car but at its core, we are all the same.
I love how Prince EA says in this video that who we are is found inside, not on the outside. You’ll find this video will move you and challenge your current view of the world. This simple idea that is presented in this video is the key for all of us to have global success.
This idea is what has the power to bring us all together and create as one team rather than in silos. Burn the freakin labels!
“Who would you be if the world never gave you a label?”
3. Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?
Prince EA’s most popular video with more than 17 million views is all about changing our relationship with technology. The myth we have been sold is that technology has made our lives better. In reality, technology has caused us to lose the human connection between each other.
Yes, technology has many advantages, but what it has done is exacerbate the flaws of the human blueprint. The digital age, as Prince EA puts it, has become obsessed with taking selfies and creating content that is about “I” instead of “we” or “us.”
This digital disease has been caused by a choice. Choice is at the centre of every one of life’s significant challenges. Prince EA says it the best when he says that our choices cannot be autocorrected. It’s time for all of us to have a regular digital detox.
What is one lesson you learnt from Prince EA’s inspiring videos? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
Going back a few years I was lucky enough to be part of a very successful business. At the time, everyone told me that I was successful and living a dream life. While the money, cars, clothes, and nightclubs may have made others think I was successful, I felt I was anything but successful.
I was low on energy, depressed, anxious, and uninspired. As I recently reflected back on this entrepreneurial journey that most never get to have, I asked myself the question “what is success?”
It’s a question I want all of you to ask yourselves and answer truthfully. Everyone’s answer will be different but strangely enough, the fundamentals of our answer will be similar.
The reason I made this video for all of you is to get you thinking about your version of success and show you how you can get it so very wrong using my own story. The good news is my story has a happy ending. I won’t share with you what that is cause you have got to watch the video to get that.
Let’s just say that all of the walking around late at night listening to Tony Robbins Tapes helped me to discover something new during my ultimate low. It’s in these times of severely low inspiration and shocking heartache that you can discover something new.
“As quick as you can make lots of money and have lots of success, it can be taken right from underneath you, so be humble” – Tim Denning
All it takes is a new idea (a seed) to come your way (and be planted), and it can blossom into something totally unexpected. Who knew that listening to something could take me down a whole new path that I never expected.
You’re smarter than you think you are, and you will never have all the answers no matter how hard you try. As you get older, you will realise that you can’t plan any activity or control it, so when you learn to just go with the flow and be on the lookout for something great, phenomenal things can happen to you.
Whatever you put out into the world comes back at you ten times harder. My hope is that if you put out nothing but good vibes then you can do some seriously cool stuff. Firsthand, I can say that the more good I put out, the more good comes back.
There is a platform for all of you to achieve what you have always dreamed of and you just need to find it. It’s hiding somewhere where you least expect it so keep an eye out and don’t dismiss any idea without thinking it through.
When people try and reach you on social media, be humble and respond to them if you can. Be grateful for what you have because nothing lasts forever my friends and remember it’s not all about you.
I made this video for all of you, so I hope ya’ll enjoy it and get inspired by my story!
What’s your story? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
My second interview from The Pause Fest Conference was with the delightful Chiquita Searle, who is the former General Manager of The League Of Extraordinary Women, and now runs her own copywriting & content creation business.
Chiquita intrigued me after I watched her TedX talk about how she changed her life and some of the key concepts she learnt from entrepreneurship. She has a Dalai Lama kind of female wisdom that I found captivating, and she shares some real gems around what you can do to change your life.
After interviewing Chiquita, I found that the idea she has grasped the best is to understand what happiness is and how to find it. This is her number one priority and something that she believes should rule your life.
Finding your true happiness is a real cliché right now, but Chiquita goes much deeper into what it means and describes in detail the feelings that come from true happiness. As she described what happiness was, I finally started to see other sides to my own happiness that I hadn’t seen before.
What she then does after explaining happiness is tie it back to entrepreneurship and how many people don’t see the link, but that they should.
Check out my interview with Chiquita on YouTube below.
Below are my five key takeaways from the interview.
1. Happiness and purpose are joined at the hip
Never allow yourself to be unhappy, and always believe that something will come your way that will make you feel happy, and believe that you are resourceful. Pick a purpose that makes your soul sing and is something that gives you a feeling that you can’t get from anything else.
To find your purpose you need to think about what you do in your spare time, that makes you happy. You then need to ask yourself, “why is it that I don’t believe I can’t transform this passion into a source of income?”
A lot of people don’t know where they are headed, and they don’t take action. People are on a treadmill, and they follow the same pattern day to day. The challenge with society is that we put our happiness in the arms of somebody else.
We wrongly look for happiness in things like shopping, addictions, etc. We are responsible for our own happiness, and we have everything inside ourselves to be happy.
Social media shows us everyone else’s highlight reel, and we are natural comparers as humans. These highlight reels make us think that this is the life others are living when they are actually not. We dull our senses with TV and social media but what we should be doing is feeding our brains.
“You don’t need to pay for information anymore, and you barely need a university degree”
Your happiness is attached to what you do and your purpose. You spend more time at work or on your business than you do in any other area of your life, so you need to make sure what you are doing is important.
2. Entrepreneurship sprouts from your happiness
To be the best version of yourself you need to be happy with your work, and that most likely means being an entrepreneur. Interrupting your current pattern of thinking towards your work takes courage, is difficult, can be scary, and takes real belief in yourself.
Your thinking can be even more difficult to change if you have no experience in the field you want to go into, or if you don’t know anyone in your niche.
One way to overcome these challenges is to ease into entrepreneurship slowly. Try negotiating a four-day workweek with your current employer and then spend the other three days on your passion. Doing this will require you to make sacrifices like having less money and limiting your social life.
As you move into entrepreneurial activities Chiquita says expect sleepless nights and worries about money to arise – these are both reasons for you not to pursue your passion which is why most people don’t.
“You have time; there is always time. It’s just about how you prioritise”
Once you find your passion, you will feel different. When you are doing a job you don’t enjoy you drag yourself to work, surf the internet heaps, take longer lunch breaks, etc. – you’re not inspired and not passionate.
When Chiquita had her first business, which was a clothing label, and she was still working a normal job, she would wake up at 5 am, work for two hours on her label, get ready at 7 am, and then be at work by 8:30 am.
After coming home from work, she would then do it all again. She explained in our interview that when you’re on purpose and following your passion, you will feel different and probably excited all the time. It’s this excitement that fuels you to work these longer hours on your dream.
3. Try to uncover successful people’s deepest, darkest secrets
Chiquita shared with me that one of the reasons that The League Of Extraordinary Women succeeded over similar communities, was the entrepreneurs they got to speak at their events didn’t just tell their typical startup story.
The speakers were told before an event that they could only take part if they agreed to share their deepest, darkest secrets and be real. They were encouraged to share things like whether they mortgaged their house, took their kids out of private schools and sold their products out of the boot of their car.
When the attendees heard about someone else having to overcome significant challenges, this is what would inspire them with their own entrepreneurial endeavours. Similar communities were concentrating on the overnight success stories, but they would never have people speak that failed badly, or that would present the really hard part of their successful journey.
The reasons these hard times and dark secrets are avoided within entrepreneurial circles is that it’s scary to talk about, and people are afraid of what others might think. The reason The League Of Extraordinary Women is so successful and began by word of mouth alone, Chiquita explains, it that the hard times are some of the best learning you can do, and there is just nothing else like it.
“When you hang around other entrepreneurs you start to think to yourself, if they can overcome all of that then I can too”
4. Disruption is everywhere
One of the benefits of people starting to find their passion and discovering entrepreneurship is that lot’s of people like Chiquita are leaving jobs they hate to follow their passion. The reason Chiquita says this is happening is partly due to the face that corporations are stuck in the “this is how we do it, and this is how it’s always been done” mentality rather than embracing innovation.
New startups that come onto the scene and are innovating end up stealing the market away from the corporations. Monopoly industries are being disrupted by the likes of Uber because they provide a far superior, more reliable, cost effective service, and they use technology in a clever way to do it.
“Entrepreneurs are forward thinking. Without them, we would still be in the dark ages”
5. Dealing with writers block
A core component of entrepreneurship is creativity. Sometimes when you have to work on your art form (your business), you may be having a day where you are not feeling inspired. A lot of the time Chiquita says that we try to push through it, and that’s not always the best way.
What Chiquita recommends is to walk away or take a moment so you can think about something totally different. It’s when you’re not thinking your creative endeavours that you will come up with something that works or become reinspired. This is a great lesson for entrepreneurs but also very useful to me when I am blogging.
Books Chiquita Recommends
Ask and it is given – Abraham Hicks
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The E-myth – Michael Gerber
Check out Chiquita’s copywriting and content creation business at www.chiquita.com.au or follow @Chiquitasearle on Instagram
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