I knew nothing about blogs when I started Hey Eleanor.
I mean, I knew how to write a blog, but as for knowing about the blogging world… nothing. Truth be told, I didn’t even subscribe to one blog before Hey Eleanor. NOT ONE! I quickly realized I had a lot to learn.
There were a lot of people offering advice.
Some for free, some in random bits and pieces. A few people offered online “How to grow your blog 300 percent in three days”-esque eBooks for about about $30-40 a pop.
Their promises were big, but I was skeptical.
Who were these so-called “expert bloggers”? Did they really know all the secrets that would catapult my site from 100 visitors a day to thousands? And lastly, why would I pay someone I’ve never even heard of $30 when I could pay best selling author Gary Vaynerchuk $17.20 for a copy of his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook?
Eventually though, my curiosity got the best of me.
I bought Sarah Morgan’s $25 eBook, How to Double Your Blog Traffic in 90 Days. I read through the thing in about 90 minutes. And while it did include a lot of stuff I already knew (apparently, I was way knowledgeable than I thought), she did enlighten me to many things I could be doing. My blog traffic did double in 90 days, and now gets 20x as much traffic.
While I’m sure I could’ve learned a lot from Vaynerchuk’s book, the big difference between him and Sarah is that he’s writing for a more mass audience. Sarah, on the other hand, is writing for bloggers exactly like me. Her book was two hundred pages less than Vaynerchuk’s, but was incredibly specific to what I needed. No fluff.
I also liked knowing I was supporting another young entrepreneur like myself.
In the past year, I’ve tried to not spend too much money on Hey Eleanor.
But when I do, I often look to small businesses. While they’re not always the cheapest, they’re often exactly what I’m looking for. More specific to what I’m doing, and often times you get direct access to an actual person who wants to see you succeed.
I used to be afraid that everyone selling self-published books and courses were snake oil salesmen disguised as adorable bloggers in hear-to-toe J. Crew, but I’ve learned that most people are just like me– wanting to share their hard-won knowledge with people while supporting themselves.
Most of believe that shopping local is important, but with Amazon Prime right at our finger tips, it’s 100 percent easier to click twice and have something magically show up at your door. Maybe you need deodorant, groceries, or something to hang on that vacant wall in your office. Instead of going to a big box store or Amazon, how about looking at Etsy? Or a cottage food producer (my friend Harmony made that awesome grain-free banana bread pictured above and it’s RIDIC!)? Or my friend Andy’s new comedy album (it’s really good! She’s in the Top 5 on this season’s Last Comic Standing.)
Yes, a screen print from some guy in Virginia might cost $20 more than one from, say, Ikea. But come on– you’ll get cool new art to hang in your wall (I’m sorry, but if I have to see that Ikea Audrey Hepburn picture one more time…), you’ll help him make rent, PLUS you won’t have to deal with the stupid Ikea parking lot. Everybody wins.
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Hey guys! Let’s rally around small business owners. Here’s a few I’ve written about: Melissa Joulwan (yes, THE Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl fame); Jina Schaefer, whose wellness coaching business will get you into shape in no time! And how ’bout Ruth, who quit being a fancy lawyer and started writing romance novels? Yowza!
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