Ok, I am beyond excited about this week’s feature. Not only is Katie from Kroger Krazy an incredibly successful blogger, she’s also just a really awesome person in general! Her site is the place you want to go to if you shop at Kroger. She is the perfect example of finding success by choosing one thing and simply doing it better than anyone else. When it comes to Kroger deals, Katie has them on lockdown.
The things Katie shares below can help anyone looking for some quality blogging advice from someone who has found success through her blog. Trust me guys – she is very successful and you’re going to want to read what she has to say!
Another reason I wanted to hear from Katie is that she went through a re-brand that turned out to be wildly successful, and she shares some of her experience with that below.
How did you choose your url? What does it mean to you?
Well, that one is easy. I post All Kroger, All Day so Kroger Krazy seemed to fit with that.
How long have you been blogging?
Just over 4 years.
What is your main blog niche?
Who designed your blog?
I have design elements from both Mortiz Fine Designs and Pixel Me Designs.
How long did it take you to earn your first $100?
I made $100 in my first month of blogging.
What is the best piece of advice you have received about blogging?
Serve your reader.
What is one thing that you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
I wish I had known how much technical skill you needed. I just wanted to post the DEALS! I had no idea about all the backend stuff that goes on. I used to stay up until 3 am every night trying to figure it all out. I taught myself a lot, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have invested in a designer and tech person right away and saved myself so many headaches.
You re-branded very successfully. What was the main reason behind doing that? What was the biggest challenge with the re-brand?
So, I started off like every other deal blogger posting EVERY SINGLE deal out there. This included free samples, online deals, coupons, national store deals as well as Kroger deals. I operated as CouponKatarina.com for 2 ½ years and had SOME success with that. I then hit a plateau and realized that I could no longer compete with the huge blogs who were posting the same exact deals I was – except they had teams, where I just had me and maybe one other helper (sometimes). I decided to just focus on ONE THING. I checked my analytics and noticed that my Kroger deals were my readers’ number one destination. And my heart was absolutely with those posts as well and it showed. It was a no brainer. So in May of 2012 I rebranded as Kroger Krazy and have never looked back. It has been the BEST decision I could have made. Not only have I set myself apart from “the pack”, but I have made myself the expert on all things Kroger. Being able to declutter and focus on just one store has enabled me to ROCK it out.
The biggest challenge was getting readers acclimated to the new focus. Many of them were very disappointed because they relied on me for freebies and other deals. Those who did not have a Kroger store near them, I lost as readers. Some of them were not nice about it too. I went through a couple of very low months (traffic-wise), but once people realized that I was providing useful content, that changed. Regardless, I still felt very strongly that this was the right decision for me.
What is the most recent “aha” moment you have had about your blog?
Recently I have started posting a lot of personal pictures and doing videos. This requires me to “put myself out there” so to speak, which is difficult. The majority of my readers LOVE getting to know me better in this way. However, when you put yourself out there like that, it also brings out the haters. For the first time in 4 years I am getting mean and hateful comments from people. Let’s face it, those words are hurtful. And I found myself spending WAY too much time on them. So, my aha moment was realizing that every moment I spend on those comments is taking away from the rest of my readers who DO NOT feel that way. That’s when I adopted my new mantra: “Am I going to expend energy playing defense against the 1% or building awesome for the other 99%?”
What goals do you have for your blog?
To be awesome. To diversify. To grow so that I can hire more help and focus on my videos and other projects instead of the daily grind.
What concerns do you have, if any, about the future of your blog and its income?
Being a store-specific blog, I have 2 MAIN sources of income: Coupon prints and ads. If either of those go away, I am in big trouble. So my main goal for 2014 is to diversify. I have a few things in the works as far as working with brands directly…just waiting to sign on the dotted line. 🙂
Do you do it all yourself of do you have a VA? How many hours does your VA work?
Oh goodness no. There’s no way I could do this all by myself. I would be a crazy person. I have the most amazing VA ever. She probably works 30 hours a week, but I pay her per TASK so I’m really not sure on that. She is a huge TEAM player and works toward the success of my blog, not what she can get out of it. I tell her every day that she can never leave me. HAHA! How did I find such a gem? I advertised for Help Wanted on my blog. I highly recommend it!
How many hours per week do you work on your blog?
About 80 hours a week.
Do you try to keep set hours for yourself or do you just work until the work is done?
I really struggle with trying to balance everything. It’s hard to turn it off because it’s MY business. I pretty much have the computer always open. Phone under my pillow at night. 🙂 I do try to take at least ONE weekend day off. And when I say day, I mean afternoon. 🙂
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a blog (any blog)?
Pick something you love. It will show. Be the expert on it. Be prepared for LONG endless hours before making any real money. Get a great support system. This not only includes design and tech people, but fellow bloggers who can relate to what you’re going through, to whom you can bounce ideas off, etc.
What is your #1 revenue source?
Coupons.com, Google adsense follows that
What is your #1 traffic source?
Facebook, then Direct Traffic
Do you have another job, or is blogging your main source of income?
My blog is enough. 🙂
How long did it take to start making an average of at least $1,000 per month from your blog?
About 3 months
Can I just say wow?! Such great stuff from Katie!
First up, I’d like to address Katie’s quick success. This is the 7th feature I’ve done here and she is the first blogger that made $100 in her first month of blogging and the first who made $1,000 per month within 6 months of starting. I am not quite sure what to attribute this to, since I know some of the other bloggers I have featured have tremendous work ethic just like Katie and it took them longer to find financial success through blogging. I am guessing it’s because she is just that good at what she does.
I would also like to highlight Katie’s #1 traffic source. People are constantly complaining about Facebook and the way they are handling business pages, yet Katie is seeing tons of traffic from her page. This is due to incredibly high interaction with her fans. I still don’t believe (and Katie proves this idea) that Facebook should be ignored in any way as a source of traffic for a blog.
I also like that Katie has addressed the challenge with putting herself out there more. Deal bloggers are generally a lot less personal that lifestyle bloggers, so sharing parts of their lives can be scary. I like that Katie has grabbed the bull by the horns and just gone for it, ignoring the haters. Her quote about spending her energy on the haters vs. supporters is one of my favorite blogger quotes I’ve ever heard.
So as we do here on the More from Your Blog features – let’s show Katie some love and check out Kroger Krazy. If you’re a Kroger shopper, something tells me you’ll be following her site very closely after just one look!