This is the fourth edition of the What I learned interview series.
I first discovered Annabel’s blog by reading one of her guest posts on problogger over a year ago.
I wanted to share her story because it’s inspirational and her business model is an outstanding example for up and coming entrepreneurs.
Here’s some quick stats about her site,
Domain Registered: Aug 2010
Alexa Traffic rank: 97,558
Twitter followers: 3,407
Facebook page likes: 620
Google+ users have her in circles: 1,725
What impresses me the most about Annabel’s business model is that she found an effective way to use her skills to pursue her favorite activities.
She isn’t just a prolific freelance writer and web designer she also owns the popular travel blog Get In the Hot Spot.
This means her professional success is integrated with her favorite personal past-time, traveling.
This is a great way to have a WIN-WIN built into your lifestyle.
This means, the more she writes about her travels around the globe, the more people read her blog, the more people read her blog, the more she’s able to travel.
How can you beat that?
Ok, Enough of me let’s go to the interview with Annabel Candy – the founder of SuccessfulBlogging.com.
Darnell. How did you stay motivated to blog and write when it seemed like nothing was working?
Annabel: Having started blogging years earlier and written only one blog post I knew I just had to commit.
So I promised myself I’d write three posts a week for six months and committed 100% to that.
During that time I started to get a few comments from strangers which kept me motivated – it’s great to know that people are actually reading your blog and I also got a few tweets from influential bloggers which encouraged me to stick with it.
Twitter and the connections you make with other bloggers are a great motivational tool.
Darnell. Your blog was recently nominated as one of the top 10 in 2012. Can you share any strategies or plans that you had going into 2012 that exceeded your expectations and/or disappointed you.
Annabel: My only real strategy for the four years I’ve been blogging is to stick at it, keep trying to improve my writing and strive to help my readers as much as I can.
In 2012 I decided to try monetizing my travel blog and set myself an income goal which I exceeded so that was great.
The real disappointment is how few brands understand bloggers and want to work with them and how many of them actually alienate bloggers by approaching them in the wrong way, for example by offering ridiculously low rates for sponsored blog posts or expecting bloggers to feature them in exchange for a low value product.
I know that will change in the future but it’s my biggest irritation right now.
Darnell. I noticed that you #PayItForward by donating 10% of your book sales to help local entrepreneurs in developing countries. Why not go shopping with that money instead of helping people?
Annabel: Lol, I worked as a volunteer in Africa when I left university and it’s really important to me to give something back.
Now I can’t help out by being there physically because of time and family constraints I do what I can by supporting Kiva and World Vision.
Darnell. Would you rather have 10,000 new subscribers on your email list or your YouTube Channel, why?
Annabel: Is that a trick question?!
Every blogger wants to build their email list because that’s a real personal connection you have, much more so than followers on a social media outpost like YouTube or Twitter.
Someone giving you their email address shows they trust you so that’s a much more powerful connection than any other. So the email subscribers definitely.
Darnell. On your blog you mention how you have learned from your previous mistakes like changing domain names, etc. How do you plan on anticipating and avoiding new missteps in 2013?
Annabel: I’ll still be failing in many things I do though hopefully not making such drastic mistakes.
Now my blogs are set up and I have a good connection with my audience things are easier but I make mistakes all the time.
Every blog post I write is an experiment and some which I think will be hugely popular bomb while others that I dash off quickly with no expectations resonate with a wide audience.
I quite often announce new series and then drop them after one post or a few because they’re not going anywhere. It’s normal. But every now and then I start a series people love that builds my subscribers like nothing else.
So I don’t plan to avoid missteps but I hope to fix them quickly when I do make them.
Darnell. Iphone or Android? Why?
I only bought my first mobile phone last year and that was purely because I wanted to get into Instagram so it had to be an iPhone.
I think you can use Instagram on Android now but the iPhone camera is supposed to be the best one.
I love it because it’s a creative outlet and it allows me to upload photos immediately.
What I learned from Annabel Candy – a successful Internet marketing professional:
- In order to obtain success you have to commit to it and wait for it. It won’t happen over night it may take several months.
- Monitor the results of your content and don’t hesitate to make changes. If your blog post series isn’t working out cancel it.
- #PayitForward. Because what if the person that needed help was you?
I want to thank Annabel Candy for taking the time to do this interview.
Help her #PayItForward by buying her book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.
You can also check out her guest post on problogger that I spoke about here.
I always tell people to shoot for the sky. That way if you miss you might land on a mountain top.
I started this interview series because I wanted to understand what separates successful online entrepreneurs from everyone else.
Each new interview it becomes more clear what they all have in common.
Don’t miss the first interview in the what I learned from series featuring Steve Scott – The Six-Figure Affiliate Blogger. You can also browse all of the latest interviews here.
Now it’s over to you.
What did you learn from Annabel Candy
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