How do you build your blog into a 6 figure business? Karianne Wood, award-winning home and lifestyle blogger, shares her blogging journey and 5 surprising ways you can earn an astounding profit by writing about the things you love.
Tune in to learn how to build your blog into a business and 5 ways to monetize your blog today!
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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- The business of blogging.
- How to monetize your creativity.
- KariAnne’s emotional and successful journey of weight loss.
- #1 life secret to success.
- 5 ways to earn money blogging.
- Why you need to join KariAnne’s mastermind group!
- So Close to Amazing | Hardcover: https://bit.ly/35dz4Ie
ABOUT KARIANNE WOOD
Best-selling author and renowned speaker, KariAnne Wood is the author and owner of decor and lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farms.com which attracts an audience of millions every year. Thistlewood Farms was awarded the decorating blog of the year by Country Living and one of the top 10 decor blogs by Better Homes and Gardens. KariAnne is passionate about helping others to turn their blogs into a business and runs a coaching group for aspiring bloggers.
CONNECT WITH KARIANNE
- Website: Thistlewood Farms: https://thistlewoodfarms.com
- Mastermind group: https://thistlewoodfarms.com/thistlewood-mastermind-community/
CONNECT WITH US
- Website: http://www.hammersnhugs.com
- YouTube: Ahna Fulmer // Hammers N Hugs
- Instagram: @ahna_hammersnhugs
- Facebook: Ahna Hammersnhugs
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Let’s go stop talking and start doing tomorrow. Years and decades of my life away saying I was going to lose weight and I never did. And so if I have one piece of advice, how to find joy in this world is let’s go, just do it. Welcome to the M perfectly empowered podcast with a leading DIY lifestyle blogger on. Where women are inspired with authentic stories and practical strategies to reclaim their hearts and homes by empowering transformation. One imperfect welcome to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I am your host on a filmer today. It is my joy to introduce you to Carianne wood Carianne is the best-selling author and renowned speaker and the author and owner of decor and lifestyle. This’ll would farms. This blog attracts an audience of millions every year and has been awarded the decorating blog of the year by country living one of the top 10 decor blogs by better homes and gardens Carianne is passionate about helping others turn their blogs into a business. And she runs a coaching group for aspiring bloggers featured in better homes and gardens country, living HGTV, this old house. Good housekeeping and cottage journal to name only a few. Welcome my blogging mentor and bright red lipstick wearing friend Carianne wood. Carianne welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast that caught her mid coffee drink woman after my own heart is okay. I have mine here. I have to tell a quick story about you, because I don’t know if you even remember this, but everyone listening here and watching regularly knows that this is not where I started. So like three years ago, when I first started this whole craziness, I had no social media or anything, and I didn’t even know how to post something on Instagram. I didn’t know how Instagram works and I quickly figured out if I’m going to get serious about blogging. I need to get going on social media and Instagram was still as a hot mess who understands Instagram, but I picked out 20 of my top favorite Instagrammers and I sent you all an email. This was like two years ago now. And I found everyone’s email on the Instagram. Profile. And I sent 20 people an email asking for your tips, advice, like, how do I grow Instagram? How do I make it work for a blog? And four of you wrote back and I’ll never forget the four of you because it meant so much to me because there was like little old me had very little going on. You were one of them and you wrote back to me. And that was when I first connected with you. And then through that email, I found out about the social gathering retreat that was in Waco. And then that’s when I met you for the first time, but that says so much anybody listening or watching this, just understand that when Carianne says she’s only an email away, she really means she’s only an email away. Even if she doesn’t know you. And you’re like, you know, a little old, you feel like you’re a little old, nothing, she will still respond to you. So anyway, I’ll never forget that that meant so much to me. And then. I love it. And it’s just been amazing watching your journey and all of the incredible things that you’re accomplishing. And I just think you are somebody to watch, I guess, isn’t that what they always say? She’s one to watch my brain. I just don’t watch too closely. Oh, well, when it comes to blogging, I mean, my goodness, there is not a better person to learn from. And one of the things that I love about this podcast and doing this is we get to press the rewind button and hear how things first got started, because we rarely get to hear the messy and perfect backstory. We just get to see the successful highlighted kind of curated. Outcome. So tell me a little bit how you initially even got started blogging and what in life prompted that journey for you? Well, I was sitting in my home in Kentucky. We had jumped actually from Texas and moved to Kentucky and we bought a pharmacy. We lived in the middle, it was very, very rural, rural area. Between you and I on it, I was lonely. It was hard to make friends in a new area. And I thought I’m going to start a blog. And a lot of my friends were like, what’s a blog. Like people didn’t even know social media kind of wasn’t even a thing. Then there was really, I think we had Pinterest, maybe Facebook. There was no Instagram. There was no Tik TOK. And so I just got on there and just started talking to people and I didn’t anticipate it being a business. I didn’t anticipate any of that. I just enjoyed the process of getting to meet people online and connecting and making connections like you and I have made this connection. And then about probably six months into it, I went to a blog conference called Haven and Haven. There were all these. And they were all making money. And I was like, wait, whoa, whoa, rewind. How is that even possible? How can you make money off a blog? And I went back home and I’m a marketing girl. So I applied all my marketing and everything that I knew from school to growing the blog with really guerrilla marketing, a lot of ways to grow the blog without spending any money, because it wasn’t a business at the time. And that first month I made a thousand dollars and. Now the blog has over. Well, the blog and social combined have over a million followers and it’s a full-time business with employees. And this is amazing. I have to tell you, I actually just interviewed Kristin Stockdale yesterday, and I did not realize that Haven was your first conference. So how many years ago? Are we talking that you initially started the blogging process? So I started the blog December 9th, 2011, and I went to my first blogging conference in June of 2012. So for those six months I was doing. I mean little questionable content. I was putting my toes on the blog. I love your toast story. It makes me laugh. I love it. And the thing is, if you meet me, you’ll see, like I do randomly pick up things on my test. I mean, I have extraordinarily long toes. Like, let’s just go, she’s got talented toast, FYI. So you don’t want people Googling things to do with toast. Like that is not. What you went to SEO for? So, you know, I learned so much at that conference. I learned so much along the way, and it was just, I think the thing that I discovered was I fell in love with the business of blogging. Not only just blogging, but the business, like the business of it. I’ve been doing it now since basically 2012. And I wake up everyday with new ideas and new passions and new things that I want to do. And it’s just, I feel so extraordinary, blessed to be in this space. Yeah, it’s the thrill of the challenge. The possibilities are endless in this virtual space. One of the things that we’ll talk later about your mastermind group and your coaching group, but one of the things that I know that you hear all of the time, and so many of us have felt it especially blogging because the possibilities are endless. So it often feels overwhelming and it’s confusing and you struggle to really dial down and focus in. And with that, I think comes a lot of uncertainty and a sense of fear. And I don’t know if I can do this so easy to see the success of other people and people have these massive websites and they’re raking and six, seven figures from blogging and from their website. Was there ever a point in your journey that you can think of where you sat down and just questioned? Is this worth it, like, is this challenging to the point that I don’t want to keep going with it? Or did you ever have those thoughts and how did you overcome that sense of, oh, I just don’t know if I can do this. Well, I never, ever, ever have thought about stopping. Like, I can tell you that true. Like if anything, I’m like, what else can I do? Like, but I will tell you in full transparency in this space that we are in, it is so easy. To compare yourself to others and the challenging. And this is an old adage that a lot of people say, but it is so true. You are comparing your beginning or your middle to someone else’s chapter that’s farther along and it’s not fair to yourself. It’s not fair to your blog. I always say to people, and I know this sounds so. I don’t know, Pollyanna or whatever, but it’s the truth. It is the absolute truth. And if you hear nothing else today, hear this and absorb this. You need to run your own race. You have your own story and you have your own journey. That is not someone else’s. And so many times we look at someone else and we’re like, well, honest, starting a podcast. Maybe I should start a podcast. Well, if a podcast doesn’t lean into your strength, you probably should not start a podcast. You need to find what brings you joy and do more of that. I love that. And I think there’s also that sense of that comparison trap also. Almost discouraged as creativity, because it’s constantly, like you just said, it’s sort of nearing what somebody else has done as opposed to just simply looking at, okay, what are my strengths? What brings me joy? Like you just said, and if you can highlight that you are going to succeed because it brings you life and you’re not going to want to give up because you actually enjoy it. So I love that. Well, I also think that to the farther along that you get on the journey, it turns into more of a job and less of like when you start, when I started my blog, I was just there. I was a mom writing, funny stories of my kids, throwing pillows on the floor, writing random thoughts that popped into my head. There was pictures of your toes. Yes. Yes. There was no monetary compensation attached to it. I was just doing it for the joy of it. Well, sometimes the farther along you get in the journey. When money becomes attached and you’re working and it can be a little bit of a joy Steeler. So for those of people listening, who are working, who are working blogger, I would encourage you to remember your roots. Remember what brought you joy initially, and do more of that. So for example, with me, I tell stories I’m a storyteller in her life on a knows this, and I’m a storyteller. On the blog. And I think that that’s so important. I still tell stories. I still write my heart and those might not be the posts that are SEO. Those are not going to be probably the posts that bring in the most amount of money to the blog. But those are the posts that make me happy and fill me with joy. And if I’m filled with joy, then I can communicate that. And it makes me want to keep going as a blogger. I think the other importance of that aspect too. One of the things that I’ve discovered in this business is there’s a lot of factors that influence your revenue, just in terms from a business standpoint, reach this, the amount of people that you have certainly is part of it. But I think a large part of it is relationship. It’s the one thing that is really unique about the blogging business as compared to some other virtual personal brands, is the opportunity to establish that relationship. And I think you’ve said this before, but it’s creating that sense of relationship and keeping people coming back because they want to know more about you, not just how to DIY X, Y, Z, that’s practical, but what is unique about blogging is you get to share. Who you are. And actually stablish relationships. It’s that concept that if SEO disappeared, you want the people who are truly bought into what you do, because they love you and you love them back and they feel that relationship. And you do that so well. And I think it’s encouraging. Well, okay. So can I tell you a shameful story? I love your shameful stories. So when I write a blog, this is so shameful. I’m not even joking with you. Okay. So when I write a blog, post, your hair looks gorgeous by the way. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. But when I write a blog post, I have. Phone set. So if someone leaves me an email, it dings. So whenever people leave a comment on the blog, it dings. So when I write a story, I am really writing it for the interaction with readers. Like I want them to say this spoke to me, or I was encouraged by this. So I write the blog and I set it to go out by email at eight o’clock and I lay there in bed and I listened to my phone. And it’s like, oh, they commented. Oh, they commented. Oh, they like me, but it fills me with, it truly fills me with joy because it’s like I’m using 26 letters of the alphabet and a few random pieces of punctuation. To get my heart out there and people hear it and they’re getting it. And that is if you took everything else away from why I blog, that’s the heart of why a blog right there. Yeah. And I think that’s so important to hear when you’re thinking about a blog and turning it into a business is you don’t want to lose sight of. That relational aspect, no matter what your blog is about, just remember that it is people reading it. It’s a real life person on the other side, you usually, and to make sure that you’re connecting with that person. So there’s one other thing that I want to highlight here. Talking about just growth and transformation. What a lot of people may not realize watching and listening is that you have lost over a hundred pounds. 105 hundred, 505. Do you have your bracelets on? Oh, I love it. I love it. Yeah, you have lost 105 pounds and I want to touch a little bit on, tell me about some of the transformation that you’ve experienced, not just physically, but mentally. How have you seen that journey? Change your life in different ways that you. And we don’t need to just, I can do a deep dive on this. Like I could talk about what goes and just the mental aspect of it all day long, because I’m so passionate about it. So for people that didn’t know me before, some people, if you’ve read my blog, you know, that I was a lot heavier let’s talk numbers. Cause I do love a good number. So I started at 2 25 and I’m now one time. And people say, well, how did you do it? That’s the first question. How did you do it? And I think they want the answer of, I put on an astronaut suit and ran around my house 40 times that I sweated it all off, but I did not. I did a program called Optivia, but the focus of opt to be as really, truly healthy proteins. And eating vegetables and water for me, water is the key. I still drank water and I expected that I would lose the weight and then everything would be perfect because isn’t that what happens? Like we lose, there was so many things that I was putting off because I was heavy. So I would say, you know what? I wish that I would put more pictures of myself on the blog, but oh, I’m too heavy or, oh, I wish I would go after a campaign where I did an outside photo shoot, but. And not just in the blogging, but just in life. There were things that I never did because like, for example, I didn’t really fly places. Number one, I’m scared, but number two, sitting in a seat, I was scared of that, you know, keeping it completely real here. And then I lost the weight and I remember stepping on the scale and I actually got down to one 19 and I remember stepping on scout with a number of a one in a one, like what is happening in his life. And then I stepped off and I thought, okay, now, Let’s go. Everything’s going to be perfect. I’m skinny. Everything is perfect. No, no, no, my friend, no, no, no. That’s when the journey really started because I had to get in the Headspace of, I had stuff to work on inside of me. I mean, there were crutches that I used when I was heavier. So I’ve been in the process right now of slowly dismantling crutch by crutch, by. To when an emotion comes at me to try to understand, okay, I don’t need to go eat 47 Oreos when something upsets me. Oh, I don’t need to go in there and eat until I feel sick. It’s like the process of relearning to love myself. And the thing that I discovered I’m about to start crying when I say this, because I was amazing when I was 225 pounds. I was an amazing individual. I wasn’t less than because I was heavier, but I couldn’t see that. I couldn’t see that that person was okay. And when I lost the way I thought, well, I’m a new person in reality. I’m the same person, whether I’m 225 or whether I’m 120 pounds, like I’m the same person. And so if anybody’s listening to this and maybe wait, it’s not your crutch, maybe you have something else that you’re putting off living your life. Because you’re scared because you’re using that as an excuse. I want to encourage you to stop today and start living with. Where you are right with the person that is today, start living and start doing all the things that you’re scared to do. Because in reality, I mean, people definitely noticed I lost weight, but it wasn’t like everybody goes, oh, well now we’re going to start bawling her blood. Cause she’s skinny or, oh, all of a sudden now we’re doing all this. Cause she’s getting no people came along and they loved me when I was heavier and they love me now. I just love that. It’s a process of learning to love yourself is truly what this happened. It’s such a beautiful example. Obviously I have a ton of DIY stuff on my blog. And as you know, I’m also a fitness and nutrition coach. And so a lot of what I talk about is before and after in this concept of transformation and one of the first things that my fitness nutrition clients here for me is exactly what you’re saying is this concept that you cannot be redefined. You can only be redeveloped because I believe from the moment that you’re created in your mother’s. You have been infused with infinite worth by a divine creator. From that moment you can’t add to your value. You can’t detract from your value. Meaning that before and after picture the value is unchanged. You can’t change it. It’s there you are infinitely valuable from the moment that you were created. You can not be redefined, but you can be redeveloped and redeveloped to fulfill your God-given purpose. With more energy, with more joy, with more freedom, whether it be food, freedom, mental freedom, emotional freedom. What you’re saying is literally the heartbeat of this podcast and my blog. Is that very sense that you are fully valuable before and after. That is unchanged. You can’t change it, but you can redevelop and you can live life with a little bit more energy and joy and be able to experience maybe more. And that’s that redevelopment part. And so I absolutely love that. You said that and that that’s your heart because that’s well, one thing I want to ask. So Sunday morning, I had never sang in the choir before. And I’m now trust me. I’m no, like, you know, I mean, I don’t need to take it on the road. I’m sufficient in the choir. Okay. Well, and I always kind of wanted to sing in the choir, but in our church, our choir is like front and center, like it’s right there. And so Sunday morning there I was. Standing up there and just praising God. And a lady came up to me afterwards. She goes, girl, I have never seen anybody get so involved in singing and praising God. And she goes and wearing the, you just said a boots while you were doing it. I’m like, let’s go. Let’s go. So yeah, I definitely. I’m definitely. It’s been life-changing in ways that I never anticipated. I never, if you would’ve told that, Carianne what I’m telling you now. I would have been like that. Right. I’m sure. You know what? I’m skinny. Everything will be fine, but you’re right. Redeveloped rather than redefined and redefined. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And I think again, for anybody listening, it’s that encouragement that whatever it is in life, it may not be a journey for weight loss. It may, whatever it is that you struggle with, just understand that even if it gets fixed, even if you see transformation, your values on changed, you’re amazing to do. You’ll be just as amazing tomorrow. It’s just simply a matter of growing and redeveloping. So one of my favorite questions to ask you’ve experienced so much success in your life, whether it be losing a hundred, five pounds, whether it be growing this incredible business through blogging. If you could sum up the key to success in one word or phrase, what would it be? Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. It’s two words. Let’s go. And let me explain that. You know, I coach people and I talk to people all the time and I pour into people. And the thing consistently across the board that I find that most people stress. Is there scared they’re not going to be perfect. They’re scared, whatever. There it is. Whatever they’re about to do. Let’s say, so for example, let’s say even like losing weight, you’re scared. You’re not going to do it in the right way. You’re scared. You’re not going to do it perfectly. You scared you started a podcast. Maybe you’re nervous. You read up on all the things of how to do it, but maybe you don’t have the perfect microphone. Maybe don’t have the perfect sound technician. I mean, I don’t know, you know, and I always say the same thing when they tell me, I say number one, Life is not about being perfect. Like I started off this whole entire podcast taking a sip of coffee. Cause I didn’t know we were on, you know, I mean, that’s, that’s mine, but you know what? I didn’t let that affect me. I didn’t let that. Yeah, exactly. I didn’t let that mentally. I’m like, oh, well people drink coffee. Let’s go. So to me, I always tell them the same thing. Let’s go stop. Talking and start doing, because we sit here and we dream, we have all these things that we want to do. We have all this stuff that we want to accomplish, but in reality, we are scared to do it and we always are going to do it one day and we say, tomorrow, we’re going to do it tomorrow. We’re going to do it. And then tomorrow never shows up. And I think that’s one thing I did take away from the weight loss too. Is. Tomorrow. I mean, I would say that’s how I made myself feel better tomorrow. I’m gonna eat healthy tomorrow. I’m going to do it tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Tomorrow years and decades of my life away saying I was going to lose weight and I never did. And so if I have one piece of advice, how to find joy in this world is let’s go, just do it. Okay. Do it. Yeah. And for those of you listening and watching, I want to point out here, you’re going to hear this concept over and over and over again. And if you haven’t heard it yet, You will met him many times because that is one of the most consistent. And he is literally the title of this podcast. And my brand is the concept of him perfectly empowered. You want to see transformation? You need to embrace imperfection, empower transformation, embrace imperfection. Embrace it let’s go. Just get it started. It is not going to be perfect. Um, and I, I’m going to give a real life example of this, how I’ve employed this, and also an example of why Carianne is such a good coach. And we’re going to get into more of her expertise here in the second half, but you’ve heard me tell the story, but that very first retreat that I was at that I met cardiac. First of all, she got up and started talking about her rug, this blue and white rug that she has. And I remember thinking like, wow, this woman is really passionate about rugs because I didn’t know what she was like, affiliate links and all this other stuff. Like, I wasn’t really clear what all that was. And then I understood it more. But anyway, she was a very, very passionate person. And I had this media kit done ahead of time because I was told like a couple of things to try to have. To try to have prepared ahead of time. And I’m a work ahead, kind of a person I wanted to maximize the time that I was there. So I prepared this media kit ahead of time. Wait, look how red my face is because I know where this story’s going. I love this story because this is so perfect. So Carianne is one of the most encouraging people you will ever meet. If you are blogging and you want to actually grow, we’re going to talk about this then, but you need to be part of her coaching group, period. End of story. Because. You will be so encouraged. Trust me when I say this, but I took this media kit up to Curry in, and I kind of think I gave you the preface from the very beginning, like, cause you’re always like, you need to know. You’re amazing. Like you’re so good at telling people that, cause I know that’s a big issue for so many women. I have my issues, but I’m kind of like you and that I know I’m amazing. Like got that. Thanks to Jesus, like saved by his grace, not by my own strength, but I do have confidence. I just need to know the, how. And so I kind of prefaced that statement. And so you said, oh, okay. And then you looked at my media kit and you said, this is no good. I mean, talk about, let’s go. I loved it because I was like, you pivoted instantly, like had I come to you and clearly shown that I was a little uncertain and I needed that reinforcement. You would have never said that you would have instantly been like, look, you can do this. You’re underselling yourself. Like you would have totally changed direction, but I told you, you told me, I wish I could go to like, look I don’t need. Yeah. Like just tell me what I’m doing wrong. And you’re like, all right, let’s go. This is no good, but this is why she’s so amazing because she will meet you where you’re at. And that was exactly what I needed. And you’ve always been that way. Like you don’t beat around the Bush with me. You’re like, no, you could, this is what you need to do anyway. That’s what makes you such a great coach. It makes me laugh because I was like, Now in fairness, the media kit was very nice. It was beautifully done. It was beautifully done it. We just needed to tweak the information a little bit, but the media was beautiful. It was beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. But anyway, I absolutely love that about you. You are so good at meeting people where they’re at. You’ve shared. You have lots of funny stories. That makes me laugh every time. I love your shameful stories, but can you think off of top of your head, one of the funniest or most serious mistakes that you made in your blogging career that you ended up was like a huge life lesson that resulted in success ultimately, but was a huge learning curve. Other than the toes. Well, I’ve got a good one and I’ll try to shorten it cause it’s kind of long, but it was a painful, extraordinarily painful lesson. And you may have heard me share this about my first, when I actually went to that blogging conference at Haven. So I go to this blogging conference at Haven and I don’t know, I was originally supposed to go with a friend and then she backed out the last minute. And so I was like, should I just go by myself now? I know no one, I mean, I know no one in the blogging world. I mean, I read their blogs. None of the people that I was friends with were there. So, and also keep in mind, I’m a little insecure because I’m heavier. And so I already kind of have that, like a little bit of body insecurity going into the conference and you walk into a blogging conference. You’ve been there. Everyone is literally like 10 feet tall and they have legs like with long high heels on them and this gorgeous blonde hair. And, you know, and they’re like 20 years old and. Looked like they stepped out of a fashion runway and there, I was like straight off the car from Kentucky and I walked into, I didn’t know anyone there at all. And so I walked into, we had a cocktail party that was the first party there. And I had these little business cards that my son had printed off on laser print. And then you tore them apart. You bought like the sheet at Walmart, you fed it through the laser printer and you took them apart. And there were a little like still like where the perforated edges, where I’d torn them out of the sheet. And I think I could only have enough ink to print like 12 of them. Okay. So I come in and I’m at the conference. I mean, at the cocktail party with these cards and I walk in the door and I walk up to this table, these beautiful girls, and I say, Hey, y’all this is what farms like, and I hold the card out like this to them. And they literally looked me up and looked me down and like took a card, like, thanks. Like, all right. Like, oh, this’ll work. Like, haven’t heard that, like that. RGU like, all right. And I go, oh, well, okay. Thanks. And I think, well, this table, this is the lane table. I’m going to go by. Went from table to table to table. And it was the same reaction because nobody knew me. My blog was very small. People were, I mean, I’m not going to say they were mean they just weren’t. There was no welcoming, there was no embracing. I here, I was to find all these friends. And by the end of the night, I had clutched my cards so hard that I sweated off the digital printing. The cards are all like curled up and sweated on. And I, and I just kind of hang my head in shame after being rejected by generally the room. And I go and I go up to my room. And I sit on the edge of my bed and I had a phone that flipped up at the time and I flip it up and there are all these messages from my kids and they’re like, mom, you know, we know you’re amazing. We can’t wait to hear your stories. And I’m sobbing. Like when I say sobbing, I don’t mean like, like a little tiny crime, like, and I almost packed up my bags that night and went. And I thought to myself, you are more than this. Carianne like, you are amazing. You are incredible. You’re so much more than fissile would. And so I put on red lipstick the next morning I got up, I put on these amazing yellow box. Flip-flops I remember they were real sparkly and just beautiful. And I, they made me feel like super cute. And I went downstairs. I threw the business cards away. And I went downstairs and I agree to people like, hi, I’m Carianne not like, Hey, I’m leaving my blog. And by the end of the conference, no joke on it. I’m on the front row of the conference. And I remember sitting next to Annie Sloan’s people like it wasn’t her, but it was like her people. And I turned to them and I. Thank you so much for coming to the conference. Thank you. And they’re like, oh, do you work for the conference? I’m like, no, no, but I speak on behalf of all the bloggers here. Welcome to the prince. She’s been speaking on behalf of everyone there ever since. And so cut to like five years later, I’m the keynote at the conference. And I want to say, cause you know, I do love the Lord. With every fiber of my being, I’m a good Christian person. And I walked up to the front and I only thought good Christian thoughts to the two people that I saw in the audience that I had seen that night. I would be remiss if I did not mention that. I did not think bam, like who’s on the stage now. They’re like, let’s go, let’s go. Let’s go. Well, fast forward another five years to last year. Would you have ever imagined that first year, that 10 years later you would be sitting in a room of what, 50, 60 women all telling you how you have changed their life because of your blog, because of your coaching group. That was the most amazing night. And the best part is I had like little snacks that I had brought, which I didn’t know this was going to be a like, Hey Cray. And you’re amazing. So I just sat there. I remember eating grapes, like, oh, tell me more. Oh, Oh, oh, you’re all about me. Okay. Hold on. Oh, what did you say? Say that one more time. This time. Hold on. Let me get my, let me get my phone out. I need to record. Well, you truly were deserving of all the things that were said. I was part of that group and it was certainly well-deserved. So before we go to a quick break here, what is one goal you hope to achieve? You’ve achieved so much already, but we’re all about goals here. What’s one that we’re going to bring you back on after you’ve achieved. Okay. So my goal, which is kind of hampered right now by the current situation in the country is I actually want to host a retreat, but well, I want with Leslie and I, we want to do a retreat where we’re going to do photography, where we’re going to do, but it’s very small retreat where we just pour into some people. Really encourage them right where they’re at, but give them all of the life skills. I mean, all the blogging skills. So you do, we’re going to do photography. We’re going to do writing workshop. We’re going to do how to connect with brands. Like everything in one small space to have the amount of people. Yeah. I’m on the waiting list. We had it scheduled and then we had the, I remember out of that, but yeah. Yeah. What’s one personal goal. To go to Europe. Have you never been? I’ve never flown. Oh yeah. I’ve never flown out the country. Oh, so I’m here for it. Like I’m here. My best friend from high school actually just moved to the UK and I mean, I’m a big doubt in Abbey. Oh, I mean anything that’s said in a small Hamlet in England, like just sign me up for, so I want to go see the cliffs of Dover. I want to like go to Wales. I want to go see Buckingham palace. I want to walk through a country lane on a bike with really cute outfit on like I am here for all of it. So I can’t wait for you to do that. I’m with you. Give me a dark hair. Swarthy. Well dressed Victoria, Victorian, man. I’m there. I’m there. Yeah. Dark Poldark. As he stood on the cliffs with that hair blowing, I’m like, let’s go skate Turner. He lives in Ireland. I think he’s from Ireland. There you go. Maybe I need to stop over to Ireland to I eat it. That’s right. That’s right. Aiden. And we’re coming for you. We’re going to take a quick break, but when we come back, we are going to hear it more from Carrie. We’re going to play a quick round of this or that. And then she is going to tell us her expert advice on turning your blog. Brand into a business that pays right. When we come back from this break, save time, get practical inspiration delivered to your inbox every month. With exclusive access to the premier digital women’s health and home magazine for just 1499 a month, you will get delicious and nutritious recipes, essential cleaning, and organization hacks. Must have product recommendations, helpful fashion ideas, practical DIY tutorials, creative fun for kids, home decor, inspiration, stress free entertaining tips, evidence-based health and wellness advice, productivity challenges with prizes, exclusive access to upcoming and perfectly empowered podcast guests and exclusive access to bonus printables and templates on podcast. Show notes, giveaways, and so much more with this exclusive membership, the imperfectly empowered. Journal for claim your hurt and home with a digital health and home magazine, full of practical strategies you can actually use, want to try and issue for free visit www.hammersandhugs.com and click on them. Perfectly empowered journal tab to sign up for a free issue of the imperfectly empowered. Today we are back here with Carianne. We are going to play a quick round of this or that you get two options. You don’t have to think about it real hard. Okay. Going back to what we were just talking about, would you rather be Elizabeth Bennet from pride and prejudice or judge Judy? Oh, I know it’s horrible for you. I would thought there’s no way you could match a list. I think I’d be Elizabeth. I be Elizabeth Bennett because she’s over in the UK, in England, so, right. Exactly. Yeah. Especially if you get Darcy, I mean, that’s a good deal though. Judge Judy is a close second candy or baked goods, candy, favorite candy. Reese’s peanut butter cups, which I’ve not been into my mouth in a very long time. Would you rather go to a garage sale or a thrift store garage sale? First thing you notice about somebody, their smile or their. Their outfit. Okay. It wasn’t one of my options only cause I’m trying to shop every day for that or neither. Okay. This or that? I would say hair. I’d probably say hair, hair. Okay. Flats or heels flats currently, but I’m working towards heels, working towards seals, fall decor or Christmas decor, Christmas, Christmas, please. Would you rather decorate or craft for like decorate? Decorate? Yeah. Great. I agree. I mean, I liked them Darcy. I’m still stuck on Darcy. I liked that judge. Judy was still really like, she was only because she is like one of my other goals. Although her show is off, was to fly out and be sitting member of the audience in her show, like, and go like, you know, they’re always nodding. Like they paid people to sit in that audience. They pay people. What I think our show’s done now. I think they’re just doing rerun. And if she ever has a resurgence I’m judge Judy, I’m here for you. There she is there. All right. Well Carianne so were you run a coaching group? I have certainly benefited from it. You started it like a year ago? I think. Cause it was. After the social gathering, I actually started in August. So August of not this, so it’s been a year and a half, so this December will be a year and a half, but yeah, I started in a year and a half ago. Yep. I was one of the first people in the group. That’s right. Um, and it is absolutely amazing. You will learn all kinds of things. So, especially for those of you listening and watching who have a blog, or you’re interested in blogging now more than ever. Virtual businesses are basically thanks to COVID. I think this is where the future is going. More and more businesses are going to go virtual. So, you know, there’s so much to understand, and for those of us that were in brick and mortar jobs for so long, it’s really hard to understand how you can do blogging. Full-time how do you make money blogging? So let’s just start with that very question. How do you make money blogging? Oh my gosh, how do you make money? Let me count the ways. There are so many ways. So we actually counted up the other day. I was doing a talk and I was like, let’s just see how many different revenue streams. So we counted up 29 different revenue streams to this a would the waste 20, in other words, 29 different ways that this award makes money. I’m not talking companies, I’m talking 29. Kind of random, disparate ways that this’ll would brings income in, but there are really five major revenue streams. One of which is the ads on your blog. Another one is working with brands. We currently work with 58 different. And I’m a brand ambassador right now for six of them. So that is another revenue stream. A third revenue stream is if you are just starting out, I would include this one because it’s how I made my first, when I talked about that thousand dollars, this is how I made it. I actually sold ads on my very own sidebar. So the space that was over there, I sold the ads. The fourth is affiliates, which since the pandemic and everything going on, affiliates have in our business at least have tripled quadrupled in a way. Probably they never were a part of our business model as much, but now they currently are at a much bigger slice of the pie and the fifth way. And this is my favorite way actually. Really to monetize what you are good at. So find something that you enjoy. So if you like to cook, then teach cooking classes. If you like to put outfits together, like I’m all about it now. I’m like, I was just about to take pictures of my outfit and link it all out to different people. So anything that you are good at? You can find a platform and monetize it, but really those are the five major revenue streams. There are a zillion, more that. Maybe not as prevalent, but there are everyday I learned of a new ways that people are making money off of, I think an important thing too, to clarify, especially for people listening or watching who are not familiar with just the virtual space and running a business virtually or personal branding. I did not understand this. There’s a difference between a website and a blog, a website can incorporate a blog. It can also incorporate a storefront. It can incorporate something that you’re selling. It can incorporate a lot of things on your actual website, but then the blog is really those like personalized posts that you yourself are creating on a recurring basis in some way, shape or form. And it’s interesting because there’s a lot of personal brands who don’t. Blog. They may have a service that lives on their website. And so even if you are a personal brand and you have a website, I think these tips are also for you because you may need to add a blog to your website and create even more revenue. I’m in another business group with a lot of personal brands and a lot of them don’t have. Ad revenue. Like they don’t have any ads incorporate on their website because I’ve never thought of it cause they don’t have a blog. So anyway, all that to say blogging, I think is an important thing to incorporate. Even if you currently have a personal brand, you have a website, get a blog on there, have somebody write the blog for you as well. And hence, another revenue stream that I’ve done personally is writing logs for brands. I mean, in other words, if you’re a writer, you could become a freelance writer. You could become, I mean, you could write for brands, you could write for other blogs. You know, there’s a whole market out there just depending on what you want to do. You just need to really figure out what you’re good at and dial down. Tell me what? So for people listening, because ultimately we need to get you into Koreans coaching group. You will not regret it. Trust me. There is so much information there that you offer at such a low price. Really? When you think about the amount that you are gaining from this group, when people would come into the group, what ultimately are they going to get out of it? Like, what do you present that they’re going to benefit from? Whether they have a website already, or they’re a blogger wanting to grow their blog? Tell me a little bit about what it is. So I believe number one and encouragement. I think we could rule the world if we just were encouraged to achieve all of our goals and our potential. Like, I just feel like we are always selling ourselves short. So there’s definitely a lot of encouragement over there. We also have a lot of information that tells you. I mean on a multitude of topics. So we have a year and a half worth of content that are taped and categorized with a workbook that accompanies them. So we talk about Instagram. We talk about Pinterest. We talk about how to make money off a blog. And we do a deep dive into that. We talked about how to make money off of affiliates. We talk about how to grow your email list. Anything that as a business owner, you need to have a successful blog. I’ve pretty much. Talked about it. Yeah. And you’ve even dived into, I mean, one of the most practical ones, you know, that I can think of off the top of my head is you just talked about the ways that you save time, because that is one of the biggest things. When you’re a personal brand, especially when you’re starting out, you are your own everything. You’re oftentimes your own accountant. You’re your own. Yeah, brighter. You’re your own secretary? You’re your own HR department. You’re everything. And so it’s time. Time is the number one, I think barrier for so many of us. And you just did a deep dive on how you save time and it was excellent. And I’m sure it’s on there somewhere, but just really practical. Are so good at taking bigger concepts and making them actionable. So for anybody questioning, like what exactly this group looks like, and is it just going to be a bunch of like rah, rah, I’m amazing. Or is it going to be like stuff I can dig my teeth into? It’s going to be both because let’s be honest. There’s groups. I’ve been a part of that. If I’m told I’m amazing. One more time without anything I can actually do, but you know, what’s interesting. You don’t struggle with that C struggle. You don’t struggle. So I, a hundred percent get that. And it is funny because my husband always says you’re kind of a conundrum, like, so on the one hand, you’re like, go do it. You can do it. You can do it on the other hand, I’m like, we’ve got to do this and this and this and this and this and this and this to get there. So. I am a big believer in action items in the doing of things which goes back to let’s go because to me, I believe that if you have the steps to take and you have the knowledge to take those steps, I firmly believe anyone can be. And I’m not just saying this on this podcast. I believe this in my life. I believe anyone can be a success at blogging. Anyone. It’s just, how hard do you want to work? How much do you want to work to accumulate knowledge? How much you are willing to the learning curve is very steep. So to ramp up, I always say this is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. I mean, I’m talking to you as someone who’s been blogging for nine years. Okay. So that’s nine years worth of knowledge. That’s nine years worth of seeking. Logging has changed a zillion times, right. But definitely we need action items to keep progress. Yeah. And that’s why you are so good at what you do, because I say that kind of tongue in cheek, because the fact is, I think I’ve always said this. I think it’s a circle. It’s the chicken before the egg people who struggle with confidence. I firmly believe if you want to become more confident, you might need to read less motivational books. You might need to read more how to books because it’s that, how to that empowers the confidence like, oh, now I understand what I’m doing. And so I think there’s that really important. And that’s where you are so good. I think. Encouraging people because you’re not just filling them up with positive words, which is really important, but then you’re backing it up with something they can do about it to help inspire more confidence. And that’s where I think coaching is so crucial. So anyway, you will not only be encouraged the group of people that are, there are amazing. I’m still part of the group of that does. I said that I’m amazing. So you should come to the group. That’s not what I meant. Can you just think what my favorite little thing about the group is still? We have over 300 women in there. But people have broken off into little mini groups and they have their own little mini meetings and they’re all friends together. And I’m like, so sometimes I’ll be on a call with someone I’ll say, now, who are you friends with? And they’ll say, I’m friends with this person in this room. And when everybody went to Haven, you can see the groups of people all breaking off. And I was like, oh, I see your little friend group. Oh, I see. Y’all like, it was funny. It’s so cute. How you, you just find your people find the people that you click with in the group. And then so many blessings that I really. Did not do a coaching group for a very long time. I did individual coaching one-on-one and I was always very resistant to the coaching group because number one, that’s a lot of showing up a lot of people. Yeah. And there’s a lot of people counting on you and a lot of people with hopes and dreams, and my passion is to try to help everybody grow. Hopes and their dreams. And that’s a big responsibility on someone’s shoulders. And I’m a little person now I’m a little tiny five foot, 120 pound person. You know, that’s a big responsibility on my shoulder, but the joy that came from it and watch it, seeing the success. Just look at you. I mean, absolutely. I’m a testimony to, I mean, your coaching, you were really the first person who at that social gathering retreat was the first time that I thought, huh, this blog really could turn into a business because you made it realistic. You were sharing very practical ways to actually turn a blog into something that you can sink your teeth into and make a full-time income doing it. So, listen, if you want to turn a blog into a business, Carianne hands down, no matter what you blog about. Truthfully DIY decor is probably the primary niche in this group, but frankly, anything that you learn there can apply to anything you’re blogging about. These are general concepts that would benefit anybody. No. What your topic or what’s your niche specifically is. And the link to her group is going to be on the show notes on my email@example.com. But it’s this’ll wood farms.com backslash this’ll would mastermind community. And again, that is going to be on the show notes. So you will be able to find that read a little bit more about it. It is what $10 a month. And dollars. I’m telling you, you will make more money than what you pay her. You really will, if you’re into it and you want to learn, I promise that you will very quickly make more than what you’re paying. Well, and also too, I do want to put this out there and I say this with all sincerity, if anyone’s listening and they want to email me. Please put my email there, Cari in this wood farms.com and I will answer any blogging questions. They have any questions about the group any way that if you always have this burning question, like, Hey, I wonder, can you do this? I’m thinking about starting a blog and. Like to paint giraffes for a living. Do you think this is a viable book? Let’s go make sure they have polka dots on them. But yeah, I think I just want to put that out there and I say with all sincerity, because sometimes you might be listening to this and you’re like, could I actually do this? Like, is this something I can actually do? And the answer is resoundingly. Not like a little, yes. Like yes, all capital letters with 50 exclamation points. Yes. You can do this. You just need the tools to know how to start exactly. Right. We’ll make sure that your email is there. And I just want to end with this. You wrote this on one of your blog posts recently, and this is literally Korean’s message. Every single time that I see her, even if she doesn’t say it, her smile says it all, but this is what you will get from this group. Caryn said in one of her recent posts, I want to encourage you today just in case no one else has mentioned it. You are amazing in this whole wide world. There’s no one just like you, you got this. So Carianne, I just want to end with that and your bed, what shameful is. You’re reading my own words to me and I’m like, that’s beautiful. It is beautiful. I mean, just put some red lipstick on it and. Sorry. And basically, and Carianne, I can speak on behalf of many, many people as you have at the Haven conference 10 years ago, I speak on many people’s behalf. When we say we’re so grateful for your input in our lives, I would certainly not be where I’m at right now. If it was not for your coaching and mentoring and being willing to tell me that is no good. This is what you need to do. I love it. It’s been an honor having you on here. Thank you. This has been seriously, so much fun. One of my most favorite podcasts ever. Oh my gosh. Well that means so much. Yep. We love you. Love you right back, girl. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. It is my honor to be here with you. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. If you were watching on YouTube, be sure to click. Scribe button below. So you don’t miss a show and leave a comment with your thoughts from today’s episode below. If you are listening via your preferred podcasting platform, would you help keep us on the air by rating our show and leaving an honest review of your thoughts from today in case you haven’t heard it lately, your story matters and you are loved. This is your host on a former, and I will see you here next time on the imperfectly empowered podcast.