Lily Ugbaja is the founder of Finding Balance Mom and a few other niche blogs. She helps moms to grow their blogs by simplifying and automating things like content creation, promotion, etc.
Lily discovered about making money blogging while reading parenting blogs. She used to be a small business owner back then. She quit her business and bought her first domain name. Now she is one of the prominent bloggers of Nigeria.
1. First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got into blogging.
I’m a stay at home mom of 2 toddlers and a College Dropout.
When I was pregnant with my first child I decided I didn’t want to go back to work after I had him – not that I loved being an employee anyway. I needed to be with my child and raise him myself so I forwent every ambition I had and decided on the stay at home mom life.
I should mention that I did start a small business for the flexibility to be with my kid, study online and still make an income but it didn’t work out as planned.
In my quest to be the best mom ever, I started reading blogs about parenting and I found myself asking “Who’s behind this blog?”, “What’s the motivation behind all this effort?” That was when I discovered that blogs could actually make money, like cold hard cash!
Where in the world had I been!
For several years before I had my kids I was always running a business. In fact, it started as early as my 2nd year in Junior High but none of those businesses promised the continuous challenge to learn, not to mention the potential for passive income that blogging did. So I bought my first domain name, dropped out of school (where I was on scholarship!) and here I am.
2. How many blogs do you have? And how do you manage them?
Right now, all I have is FindingBalance.Mom. But I’m working on launching a few niche affiliate marketing blogs pretty soon.
Even though FBM is what I’m most passionate about, I used to freelance write for sites like that so I’ll be building a chain of niche sites starting with a pregnancy blog next month.
Those sites will also be case studies for my teachings on FBM.
So the management strategy behind FBM is mostly tools, I use tools to manage social media. I have plug and play templates for graphics, blog posts. I can literally write and publish a great blog post in 4 hours using my templates and I use my signature blog plan.
I try to make everything evergreen so I don’t have to do the work from scratch again.
3. How many hours do your work on your blogs every day? And how do you manage your time?
OK, this is a hard one.
Like I said before I’m a SAHM to 2 and we practice attachment parenting which means that they are usually all over me. So blogging isn’t really separate from my day to day living activities. Plus it’s a culture where it’s a man’s world and there’s a silent expectation of subservience from women so it’s almost like I don’t have a job to attend to until everything else is done.
I would say I spend over 10 hours a day on the blog but I know that if the actual time where I sit to work was calculated in total it wouldn’t go over 4 hours on the best day.
How do I manage my time?
The best I get is blocks of 25 minutes around the day so what I do is decide what’s most important to get done for the day, how long it would take to get it done and divvy that up into blocks of 25 mins.
Distractions used to be my biggest issue so to sort that out, any ideas or thoughts that come in until the task at hand is finished get put down quickly in a distraction list (a sticky note on my desktop) and I get back to work immediately.
I also batch tasks to boost my productivity.
4. Do you outsource any blogging tasks? If yes, share with us some details like from where and what type of tasks you outsource.
No, I don’t outsource any tasks at all. But that’s going to change soon, there’s no way around it if you want to grow I guess.
5. How do you promote your blog posts?
In blog promotion, I rely heavily on Pinterest and influencer networks so I use a 3 step plan. Optimize, boost, and outreach.
What I do here is optimize the post for promotion from influencers by linking to them from within the post.
I could use a quote from their blog, or just link to one of their relevant posts. This way they get something out of promoting it.
The next step is to boost.
When I hit publish, I don’t outreach immediately.
I want the people who I’m reaching out to to see that I’m actually worthy of their attention so first I’ll create a few pins and schedule that out on Pinterest then send out a newsletter to my list.
On around day 3 or so it should have picked up around 50 – 100 shares or/and a few comments, that’s when I move on to the next step.
Now is the time to reach out to everyone I’ve mentioned!
6. How do you monetize your blogs?
I have a few tripwire products that convert really well but I’m still in the process of developing my core offers so products make up only about 10% of my income right now.
I don’t use ads at all.
7. Which devices and gadgets are you using now for blogging?
I use an HP Pavilion Laptop, I love how big the screen is so I don’t strain my eyes.
A lavalier microphone for recording better sound, and my android phone for short videos. I use an Infinix Hot 6X.
I also use glasses with anti-glare coating for my eyes. I had a nasty period with severe eye problem so I had to find solutions.
8. What apps, tools, or plugins do you use to make your blogging journey easier?
- ScreenCast-O-Matic – This is my newest addition to my list and I use it for recording my screen and as a video editor. A friend, Enstine Muki recommended it and it’s been fab!
- Tailwind – This is my savior with Pinterest. I literally couldn’t do Pinterest without it.
- Mailerlite – My email service provider.
- IFTTT – Short for if this, then that. I use this to automate twitter and my Facebook Page without actually scheduling anything for those networks. That way I only maintain Pinterest while still being active on all the other networks.
- Notes on my phone and sticky notes on my laptop for jotting ideas and distractions.
- Powerpoint for blog graphics, Canva for products like my Pinterest Templates.
- Visme for Infographics.
- Moz for Research, along with Ubersuggest, and AnswerThePublic.
Then I love these Chrome Extensions
I have a few too that I use on Opera.
9. What’s your workspace setup like? If possible, share a picture of your workstation or home office.
I have 2 “official” workspaces. Here’s one.
You can see my microphone plugged in, earbuds I never use, a letter “V”, and a spaceman. The last two items belong to the little people currently under the table.
The other “workspace” is in the children’s room but like you may have already guessed I work from everywhere!
10. What’s the best blogging advice you have ever received?
“Create and Connect”.
Ryan Biddulph said that. The idea is creating great content isn’t enough. You have to through genuine and helpful interest get connected to your audience and especially influencers.
In fact, I’ve personally found that connecting matters even more than creating to an extent. The business with the best connections, not the best product, grows the fastest. Double points if you have great content too.
Following this advice has helped me quickly grow my reach and income far quicker than I imagined.
And given that most people don’t focus on this or do it wrongly, it’s a perfect way for a newer blogger with little to no ad bugdet to grow.
Based on demand and my experience with this, I’m creating a comprehensive course on blogger outreach right now.
If you have any questions to Lily, feel free to ask via comment. She would be happy to answer your questions. And if you liked the interview, please share this interview on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.