Ask a Blogger Anything

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

Who are you hosted with?

Stacie: I recently moved to Flywheel and have been happy with them so far! You can read my post about how my move went and why I switched hosts.

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?

Stacie: I pin about 30 to 50 times per day. I use Simple Pin Media for Pinterest management and they do about 10 pins a day and I do the rest. I pin via Tailwind and live pinning.

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. 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!

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