Today I am speaking with Elaine Rau from Lady Boss Blogger. Elaine is honestly amazing at blogging, affiliate marketing, courses, all of those things. And today we’re talking about many of those things, as well as how she got started with blogging, how she started to make money from blogging, and more. I’ve never heard anyone start their blogging monetization journey as she has.
So, make sure you stick around for that. But in this conversation, we really open up how blogging can help you to grow your brand and how having a deeper meaning than “I want to start a business” can be a really great motivator for your business. Tune in below.
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Elley: I wondered if you could introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about you what you do in your business.
Elaine: So, I’m a full-time blogger, business owner, and influencer. I basically started off in the wedding industry, and I worked through corporate America. I climbed up the ladder to be a national wedding sales manager. I loved my job. It was literally my life. I would wake up and be on calls with brides from, I don’t know 8 am until 8 pm when I passed out. So, that was my life and I really did like it.
But one day my boyfriend called me from overseas, he was living in Honduras, and he told me that his brother had just been murdered. So, I asked my boss if I could go see him be with him, to be with his family and attend the funeral. And he said no because it would affect sales.
That’s when I realized that I was just a dollar sign to the company. I wasn’t a human. I wasn’t valued as such and I had to get out of there.
So, I quit basically moved my entire life to Honduras. And Honduras is a developing country. I had no connections with family, except for my boyfriend. I had to reinvent myself because over there, because first off I didn’t speak Spanish, so I wasn’t able to communicate with anyone except for my boyfriend. And second off, weddings don’t really happen there. When you’re in a developing country, I mean, only the rich elite have weddings.
So, all my skills and sales didn’t translate there because, as I said, I couldn’t speak to anyone. Wedding industry skills obviously didn’t translate either.
I had to reinvent myself and come up with a way to find purpose again, and have a reason to wake up in the morning. I’m also a little bit of a workaholic, so being jobless, I was going crazy.
When I was in the wedding industry, I would blog for this girl. I was her intern and I would go to events around Chicago for her. I didn’t even like writing. So, I was a blogger, but I didn’t like writing. I would attend the events because I liked the events. The blogging part was like a side thing. I was like, okay, if I have to attend this or want to attend this event, I have to write this blog post about it. So, it’d be like this 200-word post and I would take a bunch of photos there.
But remembering that, that’s the reason why I started blogging again because I wanted that feeling back of importance and of happiness. I associated blogging with being free and happy. Yeah, that’s why I started the blog. So long story short, that’s how it all started.
Elley: Wow, that’s such an empowering story to be in that day job that you actually really enjoyed in the wedding industry. But that day when you worked out “Wow, I’m literally just a number. They care more about the sales than me.”
I think what an empowering thing to then go on and say, “Hey, I’m just going to make this my thing.
So, the question is when you started getting into blogging for yourself because I know you mentioned obviously you did it for this other girl when you went to the events, but when you got into blogging for yourself, did you ever see it as a business? Was it like, I’m gonna make money from this? Like this is gonna be my job or was it at that moment still just this is my stress relief. Or this is what I’m going to do until I make money from a job?
Elaine: Yes, it was the latter. It was definitely something that motivated me. I needed a purpose to wake up to, so I just needed something to do. And because the other girl had her blog for eight years and wasn’t making a dime from it, I didn’t even know you could make money blogging.
But I actually ended up making money a week into blogging, and I was like, “Oh my God, this could be my job.” And how I did it was I basically emailed 100 women and asked if they would pay me to be interviewed by me. I know, it was the most unconventional method; I’ve never heard anyone else do this before. And because I didn’t know there were certain ways to make money blogging, affiliate marketing courses, different stuff like that, that normal people do. But I had no concept and idea of how to do it. I just figured maybe I’ll try this.
So anyway, I did that and out of 100 women, 10 women got back to me. And then one woman agreed to pay me $5 to post an interview on my brand new blog, so I just ran with it. And that’s how I made the majority of my money. Actually, my very first year was through interviews. And since then my business model has completely changed, but that was how I got started.
Well, the reason was that number one, I wanted to post every day and I wanted to learn, I didn’t have anything to say when I started because I was at rock bottom. So I wanted to connect with women who were in the space who were doing cool things with their lives. I got to network with them from a developing country. So, I interviewed them to learn from them. In essence, I have thousands of mentors. I hacked the system.
Elley: Yes. Oh my God, when you put it like that, you’re a freaking genius. That’s so smart.
You were not only able to grow your blog and your income, but you were also growing your knowledge to help you later in business. You learned as you interviewed these women.
That’s amazing. I love that. I love hacking the system. So, you started making money from these interviews when you first started blogging. When was it that you actually said, “Okay, this is my business.” Did you have a day job and you quit it? Could you share a little bit about that experience with us?
Elaine: Yeah. So, when I started, I also got another job as a teacher in Honduras. So, I did that during the day as a substitute teacher. So, basically, I would teach maybe one class a day or two classes a day.
I was a substitute, so I had all this free time. I could blog and learn about how to do my business and then I would just go to a class here and there as my full-time job. It paid peanuts. Like literally $500 US a month. So, I decided if I’m getting paid peanuts like I’m gonna do peanut work, you know?
So basically when I was there, I was there for a year then we moved back to the states and I had to come up with a whole new system of how I worked. Because down there, obviously, the cost of living is different. Everything is just different.
And then moving back to the states a year later, first off, my husband couldn’t work because he was immigrant. So we had to get all this paperwork, all these documents in order for me to sponsor him. So, I had all these financial responsibilities, all these stressors, and so I got another job. I hated it so much because I like didn’t want to go back to the wedding industry. I knew that I didn’t want to stay there. And I didn’t want to fall in love with it, to be honest.
So, I got a job as a social media manager. And all I could think about all day was Lady Boss, Blogger. How whenever I would wake up in the morning at seven, I would go to work then come home around like four or five, and just like go crazy on Lady Boss Blogger until past midnight. I mean, I was doing that for I don’t know, maybe six months, and I was getting so exhausted, so frustrated. It wasn’t a very sustainable way of living.
And one day my car broke down and I pushed it through the snow with my husband, and I was like, “This sucks. I can’t do this anymore. I need to find a way to do go full time in my business.” Anyways, I went into work one day, and my boss commented on something I was wearing, and I don’t know I just flipped out, not on him, but internally. So, I quit on the spot. And I literally drove home crying so happy. And I was like, today is the day that I am going to just do my own thing. Like, I don’t even care. And that’s how it happened. So, I was at rock bottom, not good financially. It was just the worst but I just made a decision in my mind. And from that point on, my business started booming. I think it was like do or die and I told myself, “I’m not about to die.”
Elley: Yeah, that’s crazy. I love that you said, “No, that’s not happening. You can’t talk to me like that. See you later. I quit. I’m gonna go do my own thing.” I think that’s so cool. So empowering.
And it’s something that I know we say in Australia, and that’s it takes a lot of balls to do that. It’s something that takes a lot of confidence. And for you to be able to just up and quit, it takes a lot. And it sounds like it was a bit of a lead-up, you mentioned that it was all you could think about. Months really working towards it. And then there’s one day, it’s like the cherry on the top that just made everything just fall into place. And you were like, no, see you late.
Elaine: Yeah, and it wasn’t even that, you know, there’s always a tipping point, but it’s like when you’re just like feeling so bad. And someone comments negatively on you.
Elley: When you quit and went full time in your business, even though it was a little bit difficult in the beginning. So, are you doing the same thing now as what you did back then? I know you mentioned earlier that your business model has changed from the whole $5 per interview type thing.
.Elaine: Yes, it was $5 the first month but every month I expanded that. So, then it was $10 in the next month, $15, $20, $25, $100. I wasn’t working for peanuts. As my audience grew, I grew as well.
But anyway, that was my first year. Then the second year, I decided that I needed to start investing my time and learning passive income. Because everything at that point was dollars for hours. Right? And I was trying to get away from that.
So, I started learning, affiliate marketing, and that business idea transformed my way of thinking. And I took this course all about affiliate marketing, and I learned how to do that. And I thought, “Okay, this is the way to do it.”
Then after that, I was interviewed on the Huffington Post about blogging and how I created such a successful blog, and people emailed me asking about blogging. I’m like, okay, let me just compile all their questions into one document and basically created it into a course that I could sell, instead of answering them via email one by one. And then that’s how that happened. And then basically, I already have the audience built-in from all these interviews and then I just sold them the course. And then that’s how everything started transforming and changing because I stopped working for hours for dollars.
Elley: Yeah. Which is a very, in my opinion, like it’s a difficult business model. And it’s something I try to avoid, you know, time for money is, is hard because you’ve only got certain amount of hours in a day, right? Like there’s only so much work you can do. So switching the course is probably the best decision you ever made. Would you say?
Elaine: Oh, definitely. Yeah. And such courses too, is also affiliate marketing in terms of like now that like, when you write blog posts or anything, even the stuff in your courses, it’s all about like affiliate links, and then like if someone purchases, you know, from your opinion or from your recommendation, you get a commission from that as well. So you’re recommending the services that you personally use, you can get either a discount from the or monetary compensation for it because of your recommendation. So that’s how I’ve been able to free up my time and income everything.
Elley: Yes, more people need to get into affiliate marketing. It’s one of the greatest tools that we have available to us as online business owners. So let’s talk more about the blogging side of things. Because I mean, as we know, you literally have leveraged every ounce of knowledge and time and resources that you had available at the time and still to this day. So I have a question for you. Because I know that there’s probably a lot of ladies listening right now that are like, I’ve always wanted to start a blog or I have a blog, but I just don’t know how to get it off the ground. What advice would you give for them? You know, more? So on the strategic side of things, like is there particular things they should focus on when they’re first starting their blog? Or what would you say?
Elaine: I would say focus on what your first when what you’re interested in, and then your audience will start to grow and then they will start to tell you what they’re interested in. And then it will kind of like take shape or form as long as you listen to what it is that they want, then you’ll know what to sell them. So yeah, so basically, yeah, cuz I feel a lot of people they’re like, Oh, well. If you don’t start with, you know, your passion, your core, it won’t take off the ground, you know, because you’re not passionate about it.
Like, for example, I never wanted to blog about blogging. I just listened to my audience and what the questions they were asking me. And then I was like, Okay, let me you know, get you let me give you what you want. But of course, before you have an audience, the only audience you have is yourself, right? Listen to yourself. What it is that you’re interested in what you like, what you want to talk about because if you don’t blog, I posted a brand new blog on at 6 pm every single day for two whole years. So I created a massive amount of content. But it wasn’t even me. I leveraged other people in terms of like, the all those blog posts other people wrote because I didn’t even do like, like it wasn’t even a zoom or a conversation or podcast or anything. It was like I send you the interview questions, you answer it and I post on my blog. Yeah, because I didn’t have my will first my Wi-Fi capacity would allow me to do So I had to find a way to make it work, right? Yeah. So I would say just, or if you like love writing, because most bloggers start off because they love writing. That wasn’t my case, but a lot of people do.
So write about what you like, but be very consistent. It’s like as if like, you have to think of yourself as a channel. If you go home every day at 6pm, and you want to watch a show. And let’s say that show is not on at 6pm. When you want to watch it that week, you’re going to be very disappointed, right? Then if the next week, it’s still not on, you’re done with that show, or you’re done with that blog. Right? If you’re consistent, that not only and that Garner’s trust, right? So it’s kind of like it’s the same thing as a relationship as a friend is there for you, every time you call them or every time you need them to be there.
You have to show up for them daily, even if they’re not calling you, even if they’re not looking for you. If you’re there, that’s when they’re going to notice you and that’s when they’re going to garner the trust and then that’s when they’re good. Ultimately buy from you.
Elley: Yeah, that’s so true. Because I mean, in all areas of business like consistency at the core of everything, that’s the key to creating a thriving business and brand, like you just said, is having the consistency to show up and allow people to get to know you to trust you. And all of those things, even in those beginning stages, when, like you said, you know, you might not have an audience and you might not know what they want just yet, but like you are your audience in the beginning, and even at that stage, would you say that it’s really important to be consistent in that early stage? Or is this you know, more so later on?
Elaine: it’s just as important at the beginning as if you start out consistent, and you build that into your discipline of posting every single day, like, I did not want to do it, okay, but I was like, I know I have to, and so that’s where that you know, and when you train yourself in that way, it actually becomes easier as you go on.
Elley: Yeah, that’s so true. It’s like building a habit or like working a muscle at the gym, you know, the smaller you start You can build it up and build it up and you build that habit or you build that muscle. So very gently. Okay, so I know you said that you posted every single day for two years straight. So I’m curious to know, because I’m sure there’s some ladies are like, Oh my god, do I have to blog that much? Well, what would you say to those ladies? Like, did they need to blog every day? Or can they do a little bit less than that?
Elaine: Do as much as you’re comfortable with, but obviously stay consistent with it. If it’s once a week, I wouldn’t recommend less than twice a month. Yeah, just because, you know, with like, algorithms, I mean, everything works on algorithms, right? If you want your content and you found you need to pull up posting fresh content, that’s what Google that’s what Instagram, that’s what Facebook, that’s everything. Yeah. So and if you want your, you know, your content to be fresh to other people as well, you know, I mean, the posting date is right there. If they see your blog, and it’s like, oh, your last post or 2013.
Elley: Minimum twice a month, if not weekly is absolutely ideal. Yes. Yeah. So yeah, that’s really great advice. Awesome. Okay, cool. So I want to switch up the terrain a little bit, because I know that you’ve had some pretty incredible achievements since you first started blogging by the sounds of it. And then of course, went full time in business now doing a lot of affiliate marketing the courses and helping other people to do those things. So I wonder if you could pick just a few special wins or achievements between back when you first started and now what would you say they are now it doesn’t matter how big or how small, but I just wanted to you could share a couple of your favorite achievements over the years.
Elaine: I would say the very first one and the one I still love is just having time freedom, having built something that I can be able to be like, Okay, let me like go to Bali for a month, you know, or let me like, you know, take off vacation because like literally as an entrepreneur, you can do that. If you have all your systems running in place, and like your business model can run on its own That is ultimately what, what I wanted. And that’s what I’ve got. And it’s incredible when you get there, of course, I like what I do. So I like working. So even sometimes when I’m on vacation, like last time, we went to Cancun met my husband and I and actually the wife, I was like, terrible there. So you know what, I’ll just take the week off. So I just did you know, so I feel like yeah, freedom is something that will come but you really have to grind for it and put those foundations in place in order to achieve it. Most people aren’t willing to do that two, three years of foundational work in order to get there and they want to get there already. And it’s like, No, you come on, you need to work.
Elley: Yeah, everyone who now has time freedom that he’s at that place where they’re like, you know what, I’m just gonna go to Bali for a month like you said, like everyone that’s at that level started where you know, the ladies listening now, they might be thinking, Oh, but I really want time freedom now, but there are only six months in or a year in and that’s the thing is it takes a lot of foundational work. Like you said, set the systems up, get everything working for you so that you’re not heavily you know, you don’t have to heavily be, I suppose in the business, you can more work on it, and then go for it. That’s a really great achievement. I think that’s probably one of the best achievements I’ve ever heard. I love that.
Elaine: I would say that’s like the second one. My very first one, I would say is actually, like my mission of why I even started this and it’s kind of grown and transformed into it. But basically, the blog started on the the places called the micro project is a charity for street kids who live in Honduras. My husband was one of these kids. So this charity picked him up off the streets gave him education at home. This was the house and the land where the blog was founded upon, right when I moved down to Honduras, I didn’t have a place state, so they gave me a place to stay. And so that’s where the idea and everything was born. Right. Yeah. So ever since then, we’ve we’ve given back in terms of you know, monthly donations and stuff like that. So this is is a charity that’s close to my heart as well as obviously my husband’s heart. And something that hopefully will be full circle is actually all these courses is a kind of a beta test of how we can get people who already have the education and the resources to learn how to start an online business. How can we translate that into a way for a developing country, somebody who maybe just has Elementary Ed or like, majority of my husband’s family, they only have elementary or they didn’t graduate elementary school, maybe Middle School, right? How can we get these people to you know, start an online business of their own or give them the skills or the education on order to do that? And so that’s the ultimate goal is to bring these resources and I don’t know maybe changing lady boss blogger into more of a nonprofit kind of sector, I’m not sure. But then, yeah, bringing these resources to places where they, they really desperately need it.
Elley: Yeah. And what an empowering you know, message to kind of put out there I think, you know, so often it is very easy. We are in business to think, Oh, you know, I want to just grow my business and be able to take a month off of Bali, which is fabulous and be my own boss and stuff. But I love it deeper than that you have this deep desire to actually make an impact in the world and make an impact in other people’s lives to educate them with the tools and the resources, the strategy, all of those things to help them have that success as well. Like the people who maybe aren’t given that chance normally, you’re actually wanting to do that, which is pretty incredible. That’s so amazing.
Elaine: That’s another reason why it spurred me when we were living down there. When we lived there, my husband’s nephew was murdered, as well. And he wanted to get, you know, into computer sciences and everything like that, but he didn’t have the resources to do that. He didn’t have the environment, all that stuff. So if I don’t know I just feel like we’re here to change the next generation in terms of their thought in terms of how the education they have and all that so that that’s that’s why I also have a team of interns. Because I’m super passionate about, you know, helping the next generation of woman right now, yeah, women in the States, I do have a few international interns as well, but for them to like have the skills and the mindset to be able to then go into the career world and change things up.
Elley: Oh, I love that so much. What’s it like running in terms now that you’re talking about interns? Does that come with challenges? Is it empowering?
Elaine: Well, actually, from day one, I’ve had an intern. Yeah, so I met like, the same thing it was when I was blogging and for the other girl, and there was at this event I had met like her best friend. And then I was starting this thing. And she was like, Hey, I’m interested. I don’t know. It just kind of happened. And I was like, great. And so I gave her a bunch of tasks to do. And I realized, actually, after I graduated from college, that I’m actually really good at delegation. So that’s actually a skill that like not a lot of women have it? Yeah, like because a lot of women want to do it on their own. Yeah, right. Yeah, and they don’t necessarily mean, especially if it’s your business, it’s your baby you don’t want to like, but like, I, I graduated art major, I was a ceramic sculpture degree. And I really believe in like, I just I love that community, our field everyone has, you know, pitching your ideas. Let’s see what we can come up with what we can create blah, blah, you know, and so I brought that into business, as everyone’s always surprises like, right, you graduate with an arts degree and you’re like, That’s crazy. But like, I feel like I really I like that because not my ideas aren’t the best, like I want. And that’s very empowering for the interns to because they’re like, wow, I can actually contribute to this. Yeah, this and then they take it on on themselves as you know. It’s it’s just mission focus. I’m mission focus. I want to, you know, everyone we need to move together. I love that so much. Honestly, this is so empowering and sorry, empowering For the women that are listening, right now being like, yes, that’s what I want to do. I want to empower more people. I want to have a deeper mission because like I said, it is easy to just go, I’m going to start a business just because but the fact that there’s a deeper meaning behind what you do, I’m sure you would agree that when you have that greater mission to influence or to impact or to educate, it’s an incredible motivator. Like every day, you want to get out of bed so that you can make a difference in someone else’s life. There’s nothing like helping someone else to motivate you to actually get shaved down. And actually, it’s actually I would say, even at when you’re starting, it’s okay to like be like, motivated in terms of empowering yourself, because that’s probably who you need to empower more than anyone else at that time. Like when I started, I was at rock bottom in terms of confidence in terms of everything. I literally thought that I had zero skills. That’s how negatively I thought of myself. And so I needed to empower myself, which is why I linked myself with these other woman and then basically learn from them right. So I needed to empower myself first that first year until I was even at a point where I could empower other people. So it’s okay when you’re starting to Yeah, to find resources to empower yourself.
Elley: Yes, definitely. You’ve got to have that self-belief and the confidence in yourself like you said. If you hadn’t worked on your empowerment and your confidence back then you probably would not be here on this podcast speaking with me and all the ladies listening right now. So, it’s important, especially in those early stages.
All right, fabulous. Well, I think we will leave it there. We’ve talked about a lot of amazing things today. I’ve appreciated you coming on the podcast and sharing all of your wisdom and also your mission with the ladies listening. As I said, that’s one of the greatest things about you and something that I’ve really appreciated that you brought into this conversation. So, for all of the ladies listening that want to know more about you. or want to know more about Lady Boss Blog, or maybe they want to start getting into making money from their blog, or become an influencer, or affiliate marketing, where can they come and find you?
Elaine: So I’m all over the web at lady boss blogger.com or just like just just type in Google lady boss blogger or Elaine Rau. Then all my stuff will pop up.
Elley: Fabulous. The links for Elaine are below, so you can go check it out. Make sure that you send Elaine a thank you message for coming on and having this amazing conversation with me today. I so appreciate it and I will talk to you guys in the next episode.
You can follow Elaine here:
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