By Emily Merrell
In our society bloggers and influencers are used interchangeably, sometimes not knowing the other platform exists. Elaine Rau is someone who was able to do what many cannot: turn her blog into a job! Not only does she help other bloggers get better at blogging, she started making money from her blog after just one week.
SDS: Lady Boss Blogger is synonymous with what many bloggers strive to be. When you started Lady Boss Blogger, did you anticipate it’d grow into a following of 150k+?
ELAINE RAU: I had no idea how popular it would become! It didn’t hit me until after a year of blogging when I was interviewed by the Huffington Post “on my success” that I realized that I was really good at blogging. I also didn’t realize until later that it was very unusual for a new blogger to make money from their blog starting from week one.
SDS: You teach individuals “how to make money blogging”, “how to get paid as an influencer” and how to “monetize emails”. How long did it take you to figure out your worth as a blogger?
ER: About 1.5 years after starting my blog and 100K followers later, I started getting loads of emails about blogging. At the time, I didn’t blog about blogging – I blogged about entrepreneurship, startups, and business tips. I found it interesting that people were asking me about how I grew my blog instead of my actual content. So, I created a course based on their questions.
Then after another six months, I started getting some traction on my Instagram page @elainerau and people started emailing me questions about how I made money on Instagram. So, I created a course for that too! You can see where I’m going with this with why I launched my third course. I simply created what people wanted from me. (Use promo code LADYBOSS20 for 20% off simply for being a Six Degrees Society reader!)
SDS: What’s your favorite part of living the life of a blogger? What sort of industry were you in before blogging?
ER: I can do ANYTHING I want with my time…that is all I have ever wanted. My father fell sick last year and out of four siblings, I was the only one who could fly overseas immediately and take care of him for a month. I posted about it on Instagram asking for prayers.
Before I started blogging, I was a National Wedding Sales Manager and was on the phone with brides from the moment I opened my eyes to when I shut them at night. It was EXHAUSTING. I never took a sick day and worked through almost all the holidays.
Now I don’t answer my phone EVER. The only time I will ever schedule a call is when I’m asked to be on a podcast, YouTube channel, or during my weekly calls with my team. Other than that, you will never find me on the phone and all my business is done entirely over email.
Additionally, I can vacation as long as I want and wherever I want. I could decide to work one day, take the next day off, etc. I used to have a hard time taking time off my business until I took a month-long trip to Bali and my views on work/life balance views were altered. Now I plan a trip at least every other month and will be traveling to Cancun in a few days!
SDS: Everyone has a catalyst moment for when they start blogging, what was yours?
ER: The moment my boss said “NO” to me asking for a few days to go bury my brother-in-law who had been murdered in Honduras. He gave me no other choice than to quit. I moved overseas to be with my fiance and his family during this time of crisis. I started blogging because while I was in the wedding industry, as a stress reliever, I would volunteer my time as a blogger for an online magazine and related blogging to feeling good.
I hit rock bottom when I moved to Honduras because I was jobless, purposeless, and passionless all at the same time of trying to be there for my boyfriend (who is now my husband). It didn’t help that I didn’t speak Spanish or have any friends there either, so I started blogging to feel good about myself and the circumstances I had chosen as well as to stay connected with the rest of the world.
SDS: Do you have any lessons you wish you had known before you started blogging?
ER: Start your email list from day one. I wish I had 100K subscribers versus 100K followers on social media. Email is still the best way to get ahold of people. I call my subscribers my “truest fans” – they are also my best customers.
SDS: Lastly, what sort of blogs do you follow and what’s the best way to find them?