One thing I love about Ell and why I absolutely wanted to have her on here is because she started from nothing. She didn’t work in the fashion industry, have a background in photography, or all the connections. She is proof that hard work and a good strategy can make you successful. Check out our interview below for some great advice on how to grow a blog.
Can you share how you got started?
I’d love to! The beginning of 2017 was extremely tough for me. I was a college dropout at the time with no real direction. I waitressed full time so that I could pay my bills. Waitressing is tough because there isn’t a lot of financial security. It’s also a dead end job in the sense that you aren’t able to improve your income. I felt lost, and I felt like I had no purpose. I was so broke that I would take out credit cards just to afford groceries. I remember calling my mom and saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” Even admitted to her that I was depressed which was hard for me. That’s when I had this idea to start a blog. I loved to write, and writing was my favorite part about school! So in April 2017 I finally got the courage to start a blog, and that’s when EllDuclos was born!
And for those who don’t know about you, what do you blog about?
At first my blog focused mainly on beauty & lifestyle. I had a passion for trying out new makeup products, and I also loved writing motivational pieces! Now I also blog about marketing, Pinterest & social media!
There’s so much pressure to be successful on Instagram, but Ell’s largest revenue source comes from her blog. Can you share some advice for people who are frustrated with Instagram?
I would say, don’t put your eggs in one basket! At the end of the day there is no guarantee that social Media is going to always be there. If Instagram was gone tomorrow, how much would it affect you? It’s a scary thought if it’s someones main source, but it’s the truth! We need to realize that Instagram isn’t always definite. I think it’s important to grow every platform you can but to most importantly put your focus on your blog because you can control that!
Even without having a huge following on Instagram, how are you able to work with brands?
I have been able to work with brands because I have an engaged community (BossGirlBloggers) and because my blog has an engaged audience! Brands care about Instagram but they mainly care about an engaged audience! You can have all the followers in the world but if they don’t engage with you, then it’s not helping you too much. Again, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! You may think Instagram is the one thing you need to be successful, but there are plenty of ways to “make it” as a blogger/influencer. I just get so sad when bloggers feel like they can’t be influential if they don’t have a large Instagram following.
You started a Facebook group with over 30K members that’s helped you drive traffic to your blog. What do you think made it successful?
I still am shocked to this day at how much it has grown! I think one thing that has helped me the most is being consistent and active! A lot of large groups become very overwhelming and hard to manage. I actually experienced some negativity this past week about how I run my group. It becomes VERY time consuming and overwhelming and I know many admins give up at staying actively engaging with their members. I think what standouts the most about my group is that I genuinely care about helping my members and getting my members’ questions answered. Even if I can’t always approve questions in a timely manner, I try my best and offer support and tips as often as I can! I think of Boss Girl Bloggers as a community that brings like-minded women together!
One thing that I noticed as I watched you grow is that you had a lot of insight to start things that no one else had. You really were a pioneer in creating courses, content and a community. What led you to do that?
I think I always listened to my heart. I went after things that I enjoyed doing! If I have insight on something that I know my audience would find valuable, I would share that insight! The biggest part about being an entrepreneur is to constantly create opportunities for yourself and to stop waiting for the opportunities to come to you! I am a huge risk taker and I love to challenge myself! That’s how you grow!
A lot of people see other people’s success and try to recreate the same things for success. How did you come up with these new ideas that people weren’t fully utilizing?
I guess it all comes down to my head lying on a pillow. I swear my thoughts keep me up at night. I am constantly brainstorming ways that I can continue to grow and help others! I’m sure there are others out there who have done it before me. It’s funny, I am almost afraid to read other blogs just because I want my own voice and style. I don’t want someone else’s style to rub off on me. (It sounds ridiculous but I actually get anxiety over it.) Being in the public eye, you are constantly judged and examined. You don’t want to screw anything up, but I try to use my own voice and tell my own story which I think is what ultimately sets you apart from others in such a saturated market.
You swear by Pinterest. Why is that?
Before I started my blog I used Pinterest as a way to escape. I remember coming home from long shifts at work and just planning out my “ideal, dream life” from my wedding, to my outfits that I thought I could never afford! It was a way for me to “dream.”
One day I started realizing that these pins were all made up of blog posts! That’s when I had the idea to start my own blog. From that moment, I knew Pinterest was HUGE for bloggers. I started testing out strategies on Pinterest with my blog and now Pinterest is not only one of the reasons I started my blog, but it’s also the number one source of my blog traffic! It brings my not even 2 year old blog, 90,000 pageviews a month!
Also, you love Twitter! Why is that? How can more people use Twitter?
Surprisingly I used to HATE twitter! I never really thought that it was useful. One day I decided I wanted to be active on all platforms so I took the time to really give twitter a try! I started tweeting and interacting with other bloggers on twitter and felt like I found a spot in the “twitter community.” Now I couldn’t imagine not having my twitter fam! They are super supportive and so fun and inspiring to talk with! It’s also another great source of blog traffic!
Before we go do you have any last words of advice?
I think what I really want to say is, if you are a blogger wanting to turn your content into a full time job, know it is possible! But it’s also important to know that everyone’s journey is different! It takes a lot of patience and consistency. Don’t compare your blog to anyone else’s. Be your own voice and STICK TO IT! Don’t give up on your strategies too soon! At the end of the day, doing what makes you happy is most important!
For people who want to learn more about blogging where can they go?
You can follow my journey on social media
Instagram – @ellduclos
Twitter – @bgbloggers
Facebook Group – BossGirlBloggers
Facebook – @EllDuclos
Pinterest – @EllDuclos
If you would like to learn how to master Pinterest for blog traffic growth, check out my affordable course here
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