Welcome to our Student Success Interview Series. In this series, I interview a few of our students from the Blogging Fast Lane Course to learn about their blogging journey, celebrate their blogging successes, and talk about a few tips that they have for others.
I will also be dishing out actionable advice in these articles, so make sure you take the time to read the article.
Meet the Blogger Behind Find Love & Travel
For this student success interview, I decided to speak to Sam Opp, the blogger behind Find Love & Travel as I was so impressed by her traffic growth, despite being in the middle of a pandemic!
Sam is now a full time travel blogger and content creator at Find Love & Travel who focuses on mid-budget/attainable travel. She started her blog at the end of 2017 to use it as a dairy after she convinced her husband that they should quit their jobs to travel around Europe and Southeast Asia.
After joining the BFL community and focusing on her blog, she went from getting around 50 pageviews a day to now over 64,000 sessions per month.
Interview: Find Love & Travel
Can you tell us a little bit more about your blog before joining BFL?
Before BFL, my blog was more of a diary. Once I decided I wanted to be a travel blogger full-time, I had tried to focus on learning SEO and Pinterest.
I was able to get a hand on Pinterest, however, SEO was still so foreign to me. It wasn’t until 2019 I decided that I needed to invest in a course if I wanted to be a successful blogger. My traffic was around 50-90 pageviews a day.
Comparing your blog to where it is now to before you joined our community, what are the biggest changes that you’ve seen?
When I first started the BFL, I immediately learned I was making so many simple blogging mistakes. To be honest, I want to kick myself every time I think about it, because I had to go back and fix so many things, whereas if I had just invested to begin with, I could have saved myself so much trouble.
Not only did I change my theme, make my site more user friendly, and work significantly on my SEO and affiliate programs, I have grown my traffic to over 64,000 sessions in the last 30 days!
Editor’s Note: Taking the time to learn SEO can be a HUGE game changer for your blog. This is why we take the time to equip our students with SEO skills so they can successfully implement a content strategy for their blog which will get them continious views!
As you already know, in our community, we encourage everyone to share and celebrate their wins. Could you share with everyone what are a few of your wins or results that you have gotten thanks to the course?
Currently, my biggest win was hitting 64,000+ sessions in 30 days. One of my dreams/goals was to be able to apply for an ad network like Mediavine and I now meet that requirement!
Another huge win for me has been making real income as a blogger. For so long I was making literally pennies. I owe it to this community and course for helping me reach my goals.
Making money through display ads by joining an Ad Network is a GREAT way to make passive income. If you’re unfamiliar how this works, essentially once your traffic has reached a certain threshold, you can join a display ad network who automatically places ads on your site. You get paid based on your RPM (which is dependent on where your primary audience is based.) For more information, check out this article on monetizing your blog.
What’s the biggest / most valuable lesson you’ve learned when it comes to blogging and how has learning that lesson impacted your blog?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that it is important to invest in yourself. Notice where your weakness lies and invest courses/people/etc. That can teach you and help you grow.
Another huge lesson was treating my blog as a business and not just a hobby. It really changes your mindset.
Editor’s Note: Click here to read about the Mindset of a Fast Lane Blogger
What are some of the blogging goals that you want to achieve this year?
Now that I have hit 50k sessions (which I was aiming for July) I now am reaching for 150k sessions. Additional goals are to really build out my “affiliate machine” and take what I have learned from Anna and Tom to the next level.
As I mentioned before, I have had to go back and fix A LOT of things, and I am to this day still fixing and re-optimizing old posts. My goal is to start only looking forward to creating new content instead of having to backtrack.
If you could give advice to someone who is just starting out in blogging, what would it be?
It would be to just get started. Sometimes we push things off to wait for the “perfect” time. Next, would be to invest in yourself and your craft. Learning SEO has changed the game for me.
My last piece of advice would be to celebrate your wins, learn from your mistakes, and surround yourself with a community who can relate and be there with you throughout your journey.
What I loved most about Sam’s interview is she placed A LOT of importance on:
✅ Investing in yourself
✅ Treating your blog like a business
The Mindset of Blogging Like a Business
If you want to earn from your blog, the bottom line is, you have to treat it like a business. This means setting aside money to use as “captial.” This involves getting a premium theme, hosting, and courses to help boost your knowledge. If you’re non-techy or want to invest more into your business, you can also look at hiring someone to create your website from the get-go or investing in content for your blog.
While of course all of this isn’t necessary, getting into the mindset of investing in yourself AND your skills is crucial for success. So many people spend thousands of dollars in a college course which they don’t use and yet are hesitant to invest money in something that can potentially be their main source of income. If you want to find out exactly how much bloggers can earn…check out this video I made.
Follow Her Journey
I’d like to thank Sam for taking the time to share her blogging journey with us. And hopefully, you’ve picked up a few lessons along the way and are inspired by her success!
If you want to check out her blog and social media channels, here’s where you can find her: