If there was one person who is living their dream, it’s definitely Shailaja. For the last 13 years, she has run her own one-Woman show, which began as a simple blog and has transformed into a mini-empire, complete with eBooks, a weekly newsletter, and a new course for people to build their brand on Instagram.
Shailaja started her blogging career back in 2007 when she became a parent. What a lovely idea, to start a blog about being a new parent, to discuss all the wonderful new things that come with it, including the challenges. Finding her cornerstone, Shailaja wanted to grow her blog. She wanted more readers and what better way to do that than with the power of Social Media.
The usage of social media around the world is ever-increasing and is without a doubt one of the primary online activities in which humans engage. Statistics from 2019 show that there are ~3.5 billion social media users worldwide and the number is growing exponentially. For context, 3.5 billion people are around 45% of the population of the planet. What better way to reach new Moms than through platforms like Facebook.
And so, Shailaja extended her blog and reach into the world of Facebook. A great choice, since Facebook is the market leader in social media and has been shaping the way of the landscape since its launch. Roughly two-thirds of US adults (~68%) report they are Facebook users. The primary purpose of her Facebook page was to inform her readers about her blog posts, especially new ones, and drive traffic back to her site.
Once Shailaja found her foothold on Facebook, she expanded to Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, and Pinterest. From there, Shailaja found her true audience. The kind of connections Shailaja found via Social Media have been unimaginably helpful to her and enabled her to build her brand to where it is now.
Shailaja says her true clients are those who realize that making money from their blog is a happy bonus, because they are doing what they love at the same time, and by sticking with it, they are able to make a sustainable income just from their own content.
Currently, Shailaja focuses her intent on helping content creators grow a loyal audience of engaged readers, clients, and customers while tapping into their passion for whatever it is their blog focuses on. What more could anyone ask for in life, than to be financially independent and doing what they love, right?
After starting her own newsletter in 2017 to share her tips, tricks, and insights into growing this loyal audience bloggers want and need, she found it somewhat challenging. The newsletter wasn’t an immediate success and growing the audience was somewhat difficult. When faced with such adversity, she remembered one of her core tenants:
Once she remembered that, her newsletter subscriptions soared and continue to grow to this day.
Shailaja runs her blog on WordPress and when I asked her what she thought of that versus other platforms, she noted since switching to WordPress hosted by ChemiCloud, she hasn’t had any troubles whatsoever. In fact, the few times she has had to contact support, ChemiCloud was able to take care of her within the same chat and efficiently answer her technical questions. Noting that WordPress had a slight learning curve, but after some trial and error, it’s something that people can grow to love and learn from on their own.
Knowing a thing or two about her website and wanting to keep it highly performant, some of her favorite WordPress plugins include Shortpixel for image compression, LiteSpeed for Caching, Yoast for SEO, and the Updraft Plus plugin for Backup. For anyone who thinks WordPress is complicated, Shailaja says to reach out to ChemiCloud because of how easy they have made it for her!
Shailaja was kind enough to share with us some tips for readers wanting to start a blog:
Tip 1: Be completely sure that a blog is a commitment you are willing to make, whether for money or as a hobby. Consistency is key to a blog’s growth and success.
Tip 2: Study courses (free or paid) and learn the ins and outs of how to set up a blog.
Tip 3: Keep it simple in the beginning. You don’t have to spend money on a fancy theme or a snazzy landing page. Just start creating content. The bells and whistles can come later.
Tip 4: Figure out what could be your best monetization strategy. From ad revenue to sponsored content, affiliate marketing to coaching, the variety is endless. Pick one revenue model and work with it for a while before diversifying.
Tip 5: Work on one social media platform at a time. Anything more and you get overwhelmed and frustrated. Enjoy the blogging journey.
Thanks, Shailaja, for the great advice! Personally, I’m in the process of redoing my own blog and have been considering some of the tips you provided since we first chatted!
When it comes to topics worth writing about, Shailaja has no shortage. In fact, she told me she keeps a running database of topics to write about that she frequently draws from for inspiration and new course materials.
Speaking of that new course, there’s a lot of design work that goes into those ya know, you have to make them look great to engage with your customer or it’s going to feel like a really boring college course and no one will finish it. When I asked Shailaja what design tools she likes to use, she mentioned her love of Canva Pro and said it’s the only design tool she uses and loves, since it requires no fancy setup or background in graphic design to make templates useable. Canva Pro is in fact a great tool to have if your website and social media need some awesome artwork!
When asked about the future, Shailaja said she can’t wait to work on some new courses and hopefully launch a new membership-based site in a year or two! She also just launched her new course on Instagram and plans to keep expanding her blog and newsletter.