How We Started Blogging with a Failure

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I think many people look at Alex and I at our current level of success and think that we have some native skillset or creative abilities that have helped us get where we are today.

I’m here to tell you that we don’t drink some kind of special Koolaid that gives us magical powers to boost our confidence or help us succeed.

We are just like you. We had no idea what we were doing when we started our first blog. We had some hopes and dreams and we were pretty motivated to the cause.

But despite this motivation and willingness to do whatever it took, our first blog still flopped.

We created content that no one read and an awesome diet program that no one 1 person purchased. I know the diet program was awesome because we actually recycled and repackaged it and still successfully sell that same diet program today. 

The product wasn’t the problem. We were the problem.

In this episode, Alex and I take a deeper dive into how we started blogging with a failure and the many lessons that we learned along the way. 

TL;DR: Getting drunk off of mimosas and getting paid to put amateur photos of your dinner on the internet is harder than it looks.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why our first blog ultimately failed
  • The biggest mistakes that we made in the first few months of blogging
  • Why it’s so incredibly important to build your audience before your product
  • About the lamborghini boys and why you need to find the right people to follow

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Resources and Mentions:

Download the Transcript:

Episode 4: Full Transcript

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Lauren  0:01  

Welcome to the Launch Your Blog Biz Podcast. I’m your host, Lauren McManus. I used to be a full time tax accountant and CPA with a whole lot of limiting beliefs and “I can’ts” whenever I thought about starting my own business. Fast forward a few months, and I quit my job after starting and growing my first blog to six figures in just a year. This is my space to share and yours to listen and grow, about how to build and scale your own blogging business and design a life on your terms. Let’s get started. 

Hey, y’all, I hope that you are having a fantastic day. I am still in Mexico. And it is so hot right now. I mean, I can’t leave the house after 12pm every day. But I won’t complain here because I would still take this heat any day over all that winter and snow up north that a lot of people have. I am definitely a southern girl through and through. 

But anyway, y’all I have another great story for you today. It’s the humble beginnings of my personal journey to entrepreneurship. And I think it’s a great reminder to many of you that Alex and I had absolutely no freaking idea what we were doing when we first started. It’s a good reminder that there isn’t any magic kool aid that we were drinking to make us cooler or more awesome to accomplish this. 

Honestly, just a lot of mimosas, oh, and mistakes, like all the mistakes, every mistake that you can make, I think really. And one of the reasons that I love the story, still to this day is that these mistakes that we made in the beginning are still so incredibly relevant to bloggers today, right now. And honestly, we still see people making these mistakes all the time. 

So please do me a favor y’all and just listen up, make sure that you haven’t allowed yourself to fall into any of these traps. And I honestly think that they’re more like mindset traps. Because we get stuck in these mindsets of thinking that what we’re doing is right, and then it’s going to work no matter what. And sometimes we just go down this narrow path and we get a little stuck. And it can be really hard to get out and to you know, see the forest to the trees and all that. 

So today I want to share with you some of the biggest fumbles that we had in those first few months of blogging. And at the end, we’re going to talk more about why and how we did find some success. And y’all who better to help me share this story, this origin story of our first blog then my fellow co founder. Welcome back, Alex Nerney. 

Alex  2:40  

Hello, hello. It’s good to be here. Lauren McManus, we’re, we’re having some fun.

Lauren  2:45  

Yeah. How are you doing today? Alex? 

Alex  2:46  

I’m doing well. The weather here is 70 and sunny and Beautiful in Austin, you know. So now we’re just chilling. We’re having a good time. It hasn’t heated up to its normal 100 and 100 million degrees that it gets in the summer. But you know all about that living in Texas the time you did.

Lauren  3:02  

Yes. Right now it’s like around 90 but feels like 115 in Mexico, so I wouldn’t mind taking 70 degrees for sure. Alright, y’all enough. Oh, enough about the weather? Let’s 

Alex  3:13  

Yeah, why are we talking about the weather? What are we doing? Alright.

Lauren  3:16  

Let’s talk about this first **** show that was our first blog. And that blog, y’all was called Health and Happy Hour. And, Alex, do you remember pumped we were to come up with this name. Like, I feel like, we definitely thought that we had zero chance of failure, just because of how awesome this blog name was. 

Alex  3:37  

You know, that’s what makes a great blog is just simply the name just like any company, you know, it’s just the name that makes them great. It’s not what Apple does. It’s the name Apple that makes them great.

Lauren  3:47  

That’s false.

Alex  3:48  

That’s, that’s a lie. And the it’s so funny too, because it was just another place where we spent so much time thinking about like, Ah, you know, we had come up with multiple names and stuff like that we came up with it. And it’s like, this is this is it. We’re gonna be so successful. 

Lauren  4:04  

Yeah, there’s a first lesson right there. Don’t spend a week trying to come up with a perfect blog name because it absolutely does not matter. It’s something that we teach often because we thought we had such a perfect blog name. And reality was this blog failed. And our next one that was a success. It was hard to spell hard to pronounce autocorrect changes Avocadu to an avocado every time you try to spell it out. And even our readers, our clients, you know who take our diet programs, misspell it all the time. But despite that, it’s still a huge success. 

Alex  4:39  

I remember going out to where we the Blue Ridge Mountains with your family and your uncle was like so it’s like “avo-tato” “avo-bada,” you know, he like he couldn’t get it to like avo-ca-du and it’s like four syllables, one word, and it’s just like, this is not the best name. But it’s funny because people still say they’re like, no, it’s a great name. And I’m just like, not really. But it works. 

Lauren  5:03  

It’s like when you have to explain the punchline of a joke, like, it’s just not funny anymore. And that’s kind of what that name is. But anyway. So ya’ll besides spending too much time on that blog name, one of the first things that we really did wrong with this blog was just that it was a blog that was by us and for us. And this isn’t necessarily a bad idea. But this blog was so much about us that we really lost sight of what really matters, because we created content for enjoyment. 

And while we did create content that we believe would be beneficial for others, we didn’t truly put other people first–who they were, where they were, you know, where to find these people, how to build this audience. We didn’t dive deep enough down that path, it was more of just creating things that we thought were awesome, and hoping to attract people that also thought that they were awesome. 

And your blog can and should be a place where you can share your story and just be you. But you have to remember that you’re still here primarily to help others. And I think that the content that we had in this first blog is just a fantastic example of how much it was about us and how much we just did not think about other people. And Alex, I’ll let you talk about some of that initial content with the cursing and the photos that we had up there. 

Alex  6:29  

It was an amateur hour, certainly. But the one of the bigger things was, yeah, it was just like where the focus was, was so funny, because it was just like, well, we like sweet potatoes and eggs, let’s make a sweet potato casserole, we like cursing and like doing all this stuff. So let’s put bleep bleep over, you know, all this text. 

And it was just like, so internally focused on the amount of fun that we wanted to have. I’m really glad we got those images, because it was just like, you and I wearing the sunglasses and like, pop in the bottles of champagne and stuff like that. 

I look at those people, and not only do I cringe, I just cringe at like, the thought process that was going through our heads, you know, like, we were trying things which is better than most. But holy crap, we were so far off of anything even relevant. I remember at the time, there’s this blog called Thug Kitchen. And we were just like, yeah, kind of modeling it off of what they were, which isn’t always a bad strategy. But– 

Lauren  7:31  

They did it in their own way, though. And we were trying to do it in our way. But it did not work.

Alex  7:37  

No, it was just it was an utter failure.

Lauren  7:39  

You know, what I think is really important here too, is that y’all are probably thinking like, obviously, you failed, because you, you know, you’re just getting drunk and whatever blundering about, but actually, y’all we were trying, like, despite the jokes that we make about this, this journey, this beginning of this first blog, we actually were trying, we were still spending tons of time researching, looking at other blogs, you know, looking at courses, like all kinds of stuff, we were actually really trying, and we were investing quite a bit, we were just trying to really do it in our own style. And we still, of course, didn’t put our audience first. 

And one of my favorite stories about this is when we did try, because we bought an expensive camera, and we bought expensive lighting equipment, thinking that this would, you know, help us take really great photos, because part of the blog was to be, you know, to have recipes and be a food blog. And I just remember one day, we had these big obnoxious lights that we bought off Amazon for our photos. And we were out in Arlington, where Alex’s dad lives, and he’s not home on the weekends. So we used to go there and work on the blog. And one night we had these photos just or I’m sorry, these lights just staged up all about the kitchen. And we’re, I’m you know, taking pictures, and Alex is doing these weird things in the kitchen in front of the food. And all of a sudden Alex’s dad walks in. We didn’t expect him to be there. And he walks in and just he looks at us and we look at him. And there’s this look on his–

Alex  9:04  

You remember his reaction? It was just like, “Woah.”

Lauren  9:05  

He thinks we’re filming a porno. Like, you can just see in his face that he thinks we’re filming a porno. It was just hilarious to have to explain to him what we were doing. And it was like the amount of like a shame, like shame. And it was it was hilarious. 

Alex  9:20  

The amount of shock and the amount of No, no, no, no, no, no. You know, it’s like, it’s not what you think.

Lauren  9:25  

Yeah.

Alex  9:26  

Because he was just like you just see like him like lose the color in his face. And just because like I think he had like a trip or something he was going on they got canceled. So he just showed up randomly at his house. And we’re just like in these lights and just like in these weird positions just like no like we promise this isn’t what it looks like.

Lauren  9:43  

Yeah, it was great. And you know that that house in Arlington brings back a lot of memories for us because we were living in Uptown Dallas at the time. And we’ve talked in other episodes about how we were getting away from the distractions to be able to really focus on this first blog. And that house in Arlington was exactly that for us because in Uptown Dallas, there was just so much going on between our friends and all the social stuff going on in Dallas and the weekends. So that house in Arlington that was empty on the weekend was really our like staycation and our place where our blog, and really these businesses that we have were born. We put so many long nights and weekends in that space on that table. You remember Alex?

Alex  10:25  

It’s like, it’s still like I went and visited, my dad saw is the same house and visited two weeks ago, something like that. And I still went back to that same there’s this circular glass table that we worked on for just hours on it. And it’s still like, it’s weird. It’s like hallowed ground, like I get there, and like I was working on something that day, and I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat at that table. And it just, it still has this weird thing to it. Because I know, it’s like where kind of everything started for us. And when we started to truly build these businesses, the even though they were an epic failure, at the beginning, it was so important for us to learn all these lessons. So it just still feels like sacred in a weird way. 

Lauren  11:13  

Yeah, it was definitely definitely special and really, really important to be able to find that space for you, when you’re trying to start a business or to grow it, to find your space, whether it’s at a cafe, whether that’s, you know, in an office, in your own home, wherever you can go to find peace, it really made a lot of difference for us having that space to be able to grow things. 

Ya’ll, I want to transition a little bit to some of the few things that we did wrong, because they’re really all in the same vein of focusing on the wrong things the wrong time. Doing the wrong test at the wrong time, taking the wrong courses at the wrong time. Most what we did was really kind of under this larger umbrella. 

And I want to start out with just the very beginning and some of the first things that people begin to think about when they start this kind of business. This was the first couple of weeks for us where we were spending our time and it was all wrong. And it’s so important because we see our new bloggers do it all the time. Despite the fact that in our courses, I tell to go to them blue in the face. Do not spend your time most of your time here. 

And one of the first things is that we spent probably three or four days it felt like coming up with our mission statement in the very first week. 

Alex  12:29  

Yeah, it was it was such a funny thing, because you just felt oh my gosh, this is so important. You know what it was? We read that book? Um, “Why?” And it was this book by I forgot the dude’s name. I apologize, dude, who made “Why?” But it’s it talks about like, you need to find your central like purpose, you know, like, What does Apple do? They don’t build computers, they create innovation. 

And what it did, and I think for some people, it might help them but for what it did for us was it made us spend a literal four days to a week on a mission statement. I’m talking about a one sentence statement to encompass what we want to encompas because we thought it was so important at the time. And it was just like, looking back. It’s so comical to think about us spending all that time just trying to come up with this elegant new, creative mission statement when people were just out there. Like when the reality was is most people out there just like I’m just trying to lose weight. You’re just starting to think too much and trying to get too much in our heads about something grandiose. 

Lauren  13:31  

Yeah, for sure. And we’re probably exaggerating, probably didn’t take us three or four days for that single sentence. But it’s just an area that we shouldn’t have been focused on right at that moment. 

Alex  13:41  

We definitely spent a lot of time on it. We spent, wait, I just remember spending at least two days, going back and forth on it that this is what this is and stuff like that. It was a–oh, “Start With Why” that’s the book name. Want to make sure I got that one. It’s not just Why, it’s “Start With Why.” And but yeah, we definitely spent a lot more time I don’t want you to undersell it because it was like, I do remember spending all this time going back and forth about it.

Lauren  14:07  

What it wasn’t just the mission statement to it was the mission statement in combination with the About Us page and just trying to figure out and explain why we’re here when in reality all this changed and has evolved tremendously. So I mean, this blog that we were trying to spend the time on didn’t even succeed. And our next one, our next mission statement and About Us page was entirely different. 

But the point is that this content changes and evolves over time so much and you need to just get something up that feels right and move on. And the other area that I see people really struggling and having the biggest time suck in the beginning is on their homepage. And I know that this is an area that I struggle with the absolute most because I am a perfectionist by nature. I am type A personality to the tee and it bothered me having my images not looking absolutely perfect, or being perfectly centered. And the reality was I was looking at other blogs and trying to mimic them with my limited, like barely no WordPress experience, you know, with these limited themes I was using trying to make things work when I had no idea what I was doing. 

And the reality of it is, depending on how you’re driving your traffic, people are aren’t often visiting your homepage quite as much as you think that they are. They’re generally coming in from YouTube videos or podcast episodes are coming in from Instagram. Or if it’s Pinterest or Google, they’re reading your articles first. They’re not just landing on your homepage, to see who you are, of course, they’ll check out your homepage to find out more. But in reality, your homepage should be something that you just get something up that looks simple and professional doesn’t even have to have a photo view or whatever. If you don’t want, just get something up and then move on. Because the content is so much more important than all of these other little things you get hung up on.

Alex  15:55  

Yeah, the blog is such like a fluid thing. I think most people, when they envision their website, they envision, oh my gosh, I’m going to get this domain name. And this homepage is going to be done forever and set in stone. The reality is that it’s an ever moving, ever evolving process. I mean, how many times have we changed the design of like our blogs? Lauren, how many do you think? 

Lauren  16:20  

I don’t know, too many, Alex. And like they are still changing. 

Alex  16:23  

Yeah. 

Lauren  16:24  

They change constantly. So you should never worry about perfectionism here just, again, simple professional, I think that’s the biggest thing that I can stress. Because what really, really matters is your content, how you’re talking to people and what people are reading or listening to or watching that is what is the most important. 

Alex  16:44  

For sure. 

Lauren  16:45  

So one of the other things that we did here, probably the biggest mistake and one of the biggest lessons learned and really what ultimately I think what is down the path of actually quitting this first blog and starting over was that we created a product before we built our audience. Because remember that we had this blog, and we had these great ideas of this great content and a great way to monetize that when we didn’t really have any idea what we were doing or who we were even selling to who was even reading our content. And we spent, I think several weeks Alex, remember writing those those two diet programs. 

Alex  17:26  

Yeah, there were two diet programs,  “The Lean Fit Girls Guide” was one of them. And there was another one that we spent, an– 

Lauren  17:33  

Well remember, they were called “The 21 Day Challenge,” which is what our successful product to this day is called.

Alex  17:39  

That’s interesting, because I think it went through like a few variations. And one of the variations was 21 day. And then I remember we did like maybe The Fit Girl’s Guide was the opt-in that we used. 

Lauren  17:49  

It wasn’t I think it was just part of the original product because several guides. And man I remember being so impressed and proud of the covers that I made for those workbooks for those ebooks, like I spent so much time designing these beautiful covers, I thought people were gonna buy them immediately because they look so good.

Alex  18:11  

We made this beautiful sculpture, this amazing work of art in the middle of the woods, where nobody was ever going to visit or see it–like that was essentially what we did. 

Lauren  18:20  

That’s exactly what it was. Yeah, and but actually one person bought.

Alex  18:24  

Anna–

Lauren  18:25  

Remember that?

Alex  18:25  

Anna Geffort.

Lauren  18:27  

Yep. One single person.

Alex  18:28  

You always remember your first…sell on your blog.

Lauren  18:32  

This is what happened, y’all, we created these awesome diet programs that actually didn’t have anything wrong with them inherently because we recycled and repackage that content into successful products on our next blog. 

But that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that we had no idea who we’re selling to. And we therefore didn’t know how to design a product around them. And we thought they were so great that they would just be listed on our website and sell themselves because they were so great. And what happened was we had one single person purchase that product, we had one for guys and one one for women and one sale we even had built out a whole community behind these programs. I mean, we spent a lot of time to bring these to life. And–

Alex  19:18  

It was just I remember that defeating feeling. And, you know, just to share with people of like one person buys your product. And then they show up at this community page. And it’s you, me and Anna in a group together. Yeah. And it was just like so cringy and just like

Lauren  19:35  

“Welcome to the community,”

Alex  19:37  

“It’s just us.”

Lauren  19:39  

Would you like some personal coaching? 

Alex  19:41  

Yep, pretty much.

Lauren  19:43  

Yeah. So that was really what ended up leading us to just scrapping this whole blog. I mean, it was a lot of different things that caused us to kind of come to this decision, but I think that we had at this point, gone so far down this path over the first few months of creating quite a few articles, creating these products. And we’re just so far down this idea that we’re like, you know what, we have to take a massive step back and just totally rework this system like we just need a fresh, clean slate. 

And that’s essentially what what we did. And we decided to start another health and wellness blog, because we weren’t giving up on the idea of remaining in the health and wellness space. That was one thing we were sure of, because it was where we had experienced in, and what we were still passionate about. But we needed a whole new idea and new take on this. And that’s what ended up happening. 

And y’all on this vein of doing things, right, starting over and beginning to do things, right, we want to tell you one of the things that we encourage you to do right this time around or wherever you’re at. And that’s to find your person or your people to follow and look up to in the beginning and throughout your journey. Because that’s one of the things that we didn’t have, we didn’t have any guidance in the beginning. We really didn’t know what we were doing. And I’ve said it before is at this point, we knew that we had a health and fitness website, but we hadn’t even yet identified ourselves as bloggers. 

So when we were trying to find ways to monetize our website, a blog is what it was. We were just typing in Google “how to make money online.” And there’s literally millions and millions of hits in all these different spaces on how to make money online. But if we had typed in things like “how to make money blogging,” and we had followed the right people, I believe that we would have gotten there so much faster. And I know that because Alex and I still take courses and follow certain people that we believe we can relate to and that are really successful. And Alex, I think you’re best suited to share this next part because I love your love hate relationship with these “gurus in Lamborghinis” as you call it. 

Alex  21:51  

The Lamborghini Boys? They’re my favorite. It’s funny because I think if you’re a guy and listening this podcast, you’re gonna know exactly what I’m talking about. I think if you’re a girl, you’re not going to.

Lauren  22:02  

Or it’s the Instagram influencers and– 

Alex  22:04  

Yeah, 

Lauren  22:05  

The beautiful girls on beaches and yeah, it’s that’s our version of that. 

Alex  22:09  

Yeah, your version of it is like the girls with like, the beautiful hair products. And this how I get this silky hair. The version for dudes is like, man, like Wolf of Wall Street meets just like the cheesiest, like movie you’ve ever seen, where it’s like, some guy is like dancing in front of a Lamborghini. Like, do you want to be rich like me? You know, he’s like, got girls behind him and stuff like that. And like, I’ve even seen helicopters in ads and stuff. And it The Lamborghini Boys, you know. And like, that’s what internet marketing is for guys. It’s just like, all these people coming out like you want to be rich, right? Yeah, yeah. And they’re just, Dan is just, oh my God, it makes me die to watch like inside internally. 

Lauren  22:49  

And I think y’all that if The Lamborghini Boys, as Alex calls them, if that speaks to you, then no shame in your game, you absolutely learn from those people, or if it’s the beautiful Instagram influencers. If those people speak to you, and you find them relatable, then absolutely listen to them and learn from them. It’s, it’s more about finding who you believe is the most relatable to you and is on a similar path to success or already has some success in a way that you believe you can also do. So it’s not that you want to hate on those guys, it’s just that find what really does work for you.

Alex  23:27  

I want to hate on him. You know, I just I want to hate on just this idealization that like money is gonna make you happy. 

Lauren  23:33  

Well, that’s true. 

Alex  23:33  

Money will make your true life a lot better. But there’s this sort of idealization out there. And it’s harped on by Instagram influencer culture, and by marketing culture. That is, you know, like, once you get this Lamborghini and these babes like, your life is gonna be awesome. And it’s just not, it’s all just kind of smoke and mirrors. 

And one of the things that it led us down. At the time, we didn’t really have any, you know, we had to buy some courses. Like, we tried to avoid The Lamborghini Boys when possible. But, you know, there were things that we had purchased at the time in order to learn. And what ended up happening–and another sort of in that same vein of mistakes–is that we did just so much course bouncing, you know, we just like went from this person to this person, and that person, that person. What Lauren is trying to say here, what she is saying is that you need to find somebody you truly like and be with them for a long time and stick with them the whole time because there’s just levels to learning. 

And if you are just constantly taking a little bit here, a little bit there a little bit here a little bit there. It’s really hard to actually get anywhere. So what I tell people on the YouTube channel is the same we’d say here is it might not be us. You might like The Lamborghini Boys and that’s like your vibe and what you want you know and then go for it. 

But we want people who vibe with what we like. You know, we like to travel, we like to be authentic, we like to hang out and chill and enjoy a cup of coffee over, you know, in the mountains. Like that’s more of what speaks, you know, to Lauren and I. And this also this course bouncing, just one quick story of like led to these purchases of these just obnoxious softwares and tools that we absolutely did not need. 

One in particular, was this $500 per month software I bought–keep in mind, our blog is making $0. And I’m just like spending all of my money trying to learn this stuff. It’s a software called Infusionsoft. And I spent a ton of money buying this because I was just so convinced, I think, because The Lamborghini Boys convinced me, really, really what you need. And so we buy this just obnoxiously expensive software. And in a few months, we realized, like, nobody’s buying our products, nobody’s showing up, we do not need to be paying $500 a month for this. And then I tried to get out of the contract. And they wouldn’t let me out for like, another four months. I was like, I don’t have the money to pay for this, like I do. But like at the same time, we need to be spending this money in better places. And they basically yanked like two grand from me. So I’ve always told Lauren, I’ve just been waiting for the day and the platform to crap–to roast Infusionsoft. And this is my time to shine. This is my moment. But it was just like–

Lauren  23:54  

Let’s talk about forgiveness. Alex. Let it go, let it go, take it easy, Alex. Let it go. 

Alex  26:19  

I’m getting worked up, I’m getting worked up like I, I want to stand on stage and just have the team of Infusionsoft, like there in the crowd and be like, “They’re terrible, avoid them.” But it just it hurt so bad at that time. That being said, you know, thank you for letting me vent it, Lauren. But it just it was the it was a bigger thing. Of course balancing and of not paying attention to one source and finding one person that you truly trust and believe in that I felt also led to a lot of the mistakes that we made.

Lauren  26:49  

Yeah, I think a good way to sum it up is that we took webinars and how to do webinars, and we bought into launches that taught about launching. And most of them were great products and great courses. Even Infusionsoft, we’ve obviously never used it again. But I know people that like it. I know people that like it. It’s just that everything was wrong for us at the time. 

And there’s a reason why Alex and I, why you don’t see us on Instagram throughout our travels, you know, I still travel full time, and I have for the last three years now. And there’s a reason that you don’t see me all over my Instagram account, taking all these cool digital nomad photos like that, because that’s just not me. I suck at taking photos, I don’t enjoy it. And it’s not the way I want to run my business because I don’t enjoy it. And there’s a reason why Alex and I don’t do this stuff. It’s because it’s not who we are. 

We’re sitting here behind our computers, grinding out content and trying to grow our business and trying to constantly get everything updated and awesome for you all. So we don’t spend our time looking beautiful on camera, because it’s just not who we are, and it’s not how we run our business. And we ultimately don’t care if you don’t end up choosing us. What we personally believe in is honesty and transparency. And those are the kinds of people that we follow. And that’s what we try to do in our content, we try to exemplify that in our content as well. But whatever path makes sense for you, and just make sure that you find somebody that you can truly relate to. And we’re only going to cry a little bit if it isn’t us. 

Alex  28:22  

It’d just be a single tear, like a just a single, sad, lonely tear. 

Lauren  28:27  

And that’s really what we’re about and Create and Go and why we started this website was to create the type of content and courses that we wish that we had had in the beginning. 

Alex  28:39  

Can you imagine if we had these courses, like when we were starting out? That’s what still drives me to this day is like, it would have been a game changer–

Lauren  28:47  

Would have been a different process. Yeah, for sure, for sure. And we do constantly keep these courses updated all the time based on what’s constantly working for us. But that was really why we started Create and Go. And it’s what we’re again going to be talking about throughout this podcast. Because you probably are at this point wondering what did we do right? How did we eventually find success? And that’s another really long tale over many episodes, we’re going to take a deeper dive in other episodes in the future. 

But I’ll tell you the one thing that ultimately did make the biggest difference for us in turning this second blog around. The most important thing that we did right this time was that we put the people first, and we built an audience first before we bothered trying to make money. We became so focused on money, the first time around that it blinded us to the real reason why we’re doing this, and we just didn’t set things up the right way. So we built that audience first. And then we spent time getting to know that audience pretty well before we tried to go ham on the monetization. 

We built an audience of people we learned who they were, what they were about, what they really wanted from us, and what we could give them in return, how we could help them. And y’all that has made all the difference. And I can say one thing with certainty. The failures are actually so important, because they really do define you and what you do. But you just need to make sure that you frame all of your failures as lessons learned, and that you grow stronger and faster with each mistake. 

And above all, just one thing that was really important to Alex and I on this growth process in finding success is that it’s so important to fail fast. I think that this is something that served Alex and I really well in those first few months, because no matter what, we never really stayed stagnant. 

We at one point, tried five different email opt ins on five different health and wellness topics, to try to see what was working. And I remember checking daily, the different stats on our email signups, and our clicks here and there. And we tried everything so diligently and paid so much attention to the detail, to where these people were coming from and what they were interested in. And we never stayed still, we we’ve failed often. But we failed fast. And we learned from it.

Alex  30:30  

Failed early, failed often. That’s what that’s what it really failed like–failed like. It felt like we failed a lot. I’m failing to speak correctly on this podcast, you know, but it was just this mentality. I remember, I went to a little internet marketing conference thing, and this guy got up there. And he said, this impactful speech. And it wasn’t a very complicated idea, because like, most good ideas aren’t. But he was like, what makes me different than other Facebook marketers is while they want to spend $5 a day to test something, I’ll spend the $35 that I would have spent a week on one day’s worth of testing. And I’ll get all the data back in that one day. And I’ll be a week ahead of my competition. 

And that’s really kind of the mentality that we approached blogging with, like we just were just in this constant state of just trying this and trying that. While it was like a baby deer walking on ice, a lot of times, we eventually did start to get places because we were just so willing to fail. Like Lauren said, we tried to five opt ins, five completely separate opt ins just to split test, you know, the interest somebody had in signing up for this thing. But that data told us so much about our audience and so much, so many things that we needed to know to get better. So I think that’s a great lesson. 

Lauren  32:25  

Yeah, I agree. It’s so important, y’all to never stop moving, never stop learning. And if that’s the case, you will continue to stay on a path towards growth and success. And honestly, that’s both professionally, and personally as well. As long as you keep framing everything as lessons learned, and you keep trying new things, and you keep putting work in to continue moving, you will continue moving forward. And I think that about wraps up this episode, Alex. Anything else you want to say on that? 

Alex  32:57  

No, I just, you know, I’m gonna speak from the heart. I just I’ve loved doing this, you know, I love like us going back through and remembering these times. Because, you know, it’s just, it’s easy to forget, in a way, and then not at the same time. It was yesterday. And it wasn’t yesterday that we were in the trenches, you know, just like where you are now. And, yeah, it’s just been a blessing. I really hope our listeners connect with this and enjoy this as much as I think we both are. So.

Lauren  33:26  

Yeah, I think so do I think the mindset is just so important. along this journey. You can tell people what to do and what not to do and the biggest mistakes that you made. But when we reflect back on this stuff, it’s ultimately, the mindsets that we had around those things that I realized were too important. Again, that mindset of failing fast. If we didn’t have that it would have taken us three, four times longer to do what we were doing. If we didn’t have that mentality of just aggressive growth and trying and we wanted it really badly. 

So I encourage you, all of y’all, to always check your mindset. Check your mindset and make sure that you aren’t getting lost in the trees. You can still see the forest through the trees and you can see the bigger picture. 

Alright, y’all, thank you so much for joining us today. We will see you next time. Thanks, Alex, again for joining us.

Alex  34:15  

Thanks for having me. See you guys.

Lauren  34:17  

Bye.

Alex  34:19  

Nailed it!

Lauren  34:22  

Thanks for listening to the Launch Your Blog Biz Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. And please share the love by leaving us a review if you loved this episode. And if you want to learn more about how you can launch and grow your own blogging business, make sure to check out our website at createandgo.com.

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