Minuca Elena has been featured as a blogging expert on over 50 different sites, including the Huffington Post, The Blog Herald, Successful Blogging, and American Webmasters Association.
In this exclusive interview, she talks about her blogging journey and the challenges she faced along the way.
Tell us about your blogging journey
I started blogging after working as a VA for another blogger. I knew I could earn money online and I was unemployed at that time so I thought I should give it a try.
I built my site in December 2015 and launched it with an expert roundup. Through that post, I was able to connect with some great bloggers and influencers.
One of the bloggers that I featured in that post, later became my first client. She liked my roundup so much that she asked me if I can do one for her site as well.
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I should have charged higher prices. I used to charge meager prices in the beginning. Unfortunately, I think this is a necessary step for every freelancer.
I couldn’t have charged the prices that I charge now because then I didn’t have the experience, knowledge or skills that I have now. It takes a while to build your portfolio and become known in your niche.
I think that the most important lesson that any freelancer should be aware is that you should always charge at least half of the money before you start working on a new project. It happened to me twice to work on something and not get paid because I trusted my clients’ word too much. Despite agreeing to hire me, they changed their mind later, and I lost a lot of time and effort without being paid at all.
What was your biggest challenge when you started?
My biggest problem when I started working online was finding customers.
I didn’t have any experience in marketing or SEO, so I didn’t know how to promote my services.
A few months ago, I did an expert roundup where bloggers shared how they earned their first money online, and I saw that even the ones that are now influencers, had a difficult time in the beginning. So, if you are a newbie and you are not earning enough money yet, just be patient and keep working hard.
Also, the fact that English is not my native language made things even more difficult for me.
I used to always rely on friends to proofread my posts for me. Grammarly helped me a lot to improve my grammar.
How do you monetize your blog?
I use my blog to get more clients for my services. I am a full-time writer at Career Resource Institute, and I do some social media management for a client where I manage his Facebook group about blogging and SEO. My primary income source is the expert roundup posts that I create for clients.
How long did it take for you to make your first $1000 a month?
I crossed $1000 per month after four months of working online.
What are your favorite blogging tools?
I love Grammarly and Canva. Ahrefs is great for SEO tasks like keyword research. I use Viral Content Bee and Flauntt for social media promotion.
What is that one strategy that has generated most of your blog traffic?
My best strategy to get traffic to any site is to create an expert roundup. In this type of content, I feature top influencers who help me share and promote the post. It’s a great way to build genuine relationships, get backlinks and improve your rankings. There are a lot of benefits that a professionally done expert roundup can bring to a site.
How do you network with other bloggers?
I connect with other bloggers on email and social media. I particularly like Facebook groups because you can learn things from more experienced bloggers and build real relationships that can lead to mutual benefits.
It’s better to be active in groups that don’t allow self-promotion because there is much more interaction there. In groups where bloggers just drop links, nobody makes time to get to know other members.
What advice would you give someone just starting off as a blogger?
Network as much as you can. Be focused on becoming friends with successful people. Avoid spamming them and don’t destroy valuable relationships by pitching your services or products to everyone.
You may not realize, but even people that haven’t bought anything from you can help you earn money by referring you to their friends or by teaching you things that took them years to learn.