How Lilach Bullock Left Her Corporate Job, Became a Blogging Expert & Found Work/Life Balance [EP 33 The Blog Chronicles]
Here’s who we chronicle on this episode of The Blog Chronicles…
She’s a savvy business owner living in greater London, England.
Before becoming a full-time blogger, she was working as a training manager for some big name clients like television personality Gordon Ramsay and Chef Jamie Oliver.
When her daughter was born, her employer wouldn’t let her go part time, so this future blogger knew something had to change.
Today she is a highly sought after digital marketing consultant. What she does is help businesses with their digital marketing and social media. And she is a frequent speaker at social media conferences like Social Media Marketing World.
And listen to this: Forbes has recognized my next guest today by listing her in the top 20 of women social influencers. And Oracle gave her the title of “Social Influencer of Europe.”
In this interview, Lilach talks about where she started as a blogger, why she chose to work for herself from home instead of her corporate trainer job, and we ask her about some of her blogging tips in the second half of our conversation.
Alright, it’s time to get our chronicle on now with Lilach Bullock.Meet the savvy entrepreneur Forbes calls a top social influencer!
Lilach Bullock Interview Transcript
( For those who like to read.).)
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.
Matthew Loomis: Hi
Welcome to the Show!
Lilach bullock: Hi Matthew.
Thanks very much for having me I’m really delighted to be here.
How Long Have You Been Part of the Blogosphere?
Matthew Loomis: Great to have you on the Show today.
First of all Lilach, I want to start with asking you.
How long have you been blogging?
Lilach bullock: Oh my goodness.
I think I’ve been blogging for about ten years now.
Matthew Loomis: Oh wow.
Lilach bullock: A long time… It’s interesting because blogging has really evolved.
You know my first blog is about three hundred words.
Then it went up to five hundred words and it’s so different now. Blogging has really evolved, hasn’t it?
Matthew Loomis: Yes it has.
You’re talking around 2007 when you started
Lilach bullock: Yeah.
Matthew Loomis: There wasn’t even really that much social media presence at that point.
Lilach bullock: No.
In fact, I started in 2006, that’s scary.
I started my first business in 2006.
Matthew Loomis: That’s when MySpace was the big thing.
Lilach bullock: In America it was.
It wasn’t that big in England.
Matthew Loomis: Oh really. Okay.
I didn’t know that.
Lilach bullock: Yeah. It wasn’t that big.
What Line of Work Did You Pursue Before You Found Your Blogging Career?
Matthew Loomis: Lilach what did you do before you began working independently online?
Lilach bullock: I used to be a training manager.
I had really big clients like Gordon Ramsay and
I worked in London City and in all honesty, they wouldn’t let me go part-time when I had my daughter.
That was the push for me to set up on my own.
That was the driving force. That was my reason I set up my own business. I don’t think I would have ever dreamed of it otherwise.
Matthew Loomis: Did you start your own WordPress blog?
How did that come about?
Lilach bullock: I actually set up a virtual office business.
Many years ago I used to be a legal secretary and I worked up rank as it were.
When I had Emily I was a training manager. By the time I had Emily I decided well I’ll just provide P.A secretarial work for companies and I’ll just do it as a virtual P.A.
That’s how I initially started and it was interesting because that’s how I got my first client back then in 2006 online. From an online network called Academy. Literally for ten days. They were with me for the whole duration when I had that business.
I actually sold the business because it grew so much.
I can’t remember what my site was built on initially. That’s awful, isn’t it? I have gone through so many websites. I think it was professionally built and then it eventually migrated onto WordPress.
In What Time Frame Did You Start Experiencing Results From Your Online Presence?
Matthew Loomis: You have to remember those little details when you write your biography.
You know 🙂
Lilach bullock: Absolutely 🙂
Matthew Loomis: Lilach, you have built quite an online presence.
Forbes has listed you in the Top 20 Women’s Social Influencers.
You are also recognised in Europe as a social influencer.
Going back to where you started. How long did it take for you to see significant results with your online efforts?
Lilach bullock: Oh that’s a good question.
I think I first got listed in 2012 or 13.
It took a good six years but in all fairness, social didn’t really start to take off until 2009 really. That’s when it was really at its peak, really going for it.
So I would say it took about three years but there was a lot of behind the scenes before that.
Matthew Loomis: A lot of behind the scenes stuff.
Lilach, can you tell us a behind the scenes story that maybe the average blogger could relate to. A quick story that was happening behind the scenes to help you grow in those early days?
Lilach bullock: Oh gosh.
I think the only behind-the-scenes stories I remember are a bit chaotic and stressful if I’m really honest.
I remember at one point I had five people working in my house and I had two in the kitchen We were just bursting at the seams. It’s funny how now everything is very virtual. Back then I moved into offices and had staff.
So it was a very very different business model that I had.
I guess I should remember better things, shouldn’t I? But those are the things that I remember like that rather than other things. I don’t know really.
Matthew Loomis: That sounds pretty amazing.
That was your start-up, right?
Lilach bullock: It was.
I mean on one hand it was great.
but on the other hand, I had the opposite problem everybody else had.I didn’t struggle to get clients I had so many. I couldn’t cope. Another thing I remember as well I used to hire a lot of mums who used to work for me. I was a young mum myself.
You really help other mums because it’s really hard particularly for mums to get part-time work. I remember I had two or three who were sick one day (or their kids were sick.) So it was a nightmare and I had to get some temps in to cover.
Which was just horrendous. So yeah…
I actually sold that business two years later because I realised the business model wasn’t the right one for me. I quickly understood that and I think I struggled to have time for myself.
I kind of lost my way.
I’ve been in business now for eleven years, but it’s only in the last year… eighteen months that I’ve actually managed to achieve the work-life balance which was the main reason I went into business in the first place. So that was something that I could never succeed in. Yeah, so that’s interesting.
I just remember being really busy. Very stressed and having too much work that I couldn’t cope with.
How Do You Cope With That Work-Life Balance?
Matthew Loomis: What is a quick tip for that work-life balance?
For entrepreneurs and solopreneurs out there.
What would you say to them?
Lilach bullock: I would say learn to say NO.
I think for women that’s much harder than for men.
I would say be ultra disciplined with your time. Think about the things that generate an ROI for you. So I rarely go to networking events. I only go to events if I’m speaking and I only go if I’m paid to speak. Really be focused with your time and be very commercially savvy.
Learning to say no and being ultra disciplined and being very focused on money-making activities makes you much more productive with your time. And allows you to think ”well if there is no ROI from that, then that’s the time I should be spending with my family instead.”
Matthew Loomis: That’s good stuff.
Lilach bullock: It is hard and it is tough and it takes a long time.
Sometimes it’s not easy.
It’s taken me a long time to get here.
Matthew Loomis: Did you find it difficult at first working at home.
To shut it off and turn it off at times?
Lilach bullock: I have done.
I am better.
I have really nice office space. I have a large office space I have kind of a mezzanine going on here. I have some really nice positive images around me and nice journal books and stuff.
I love being in my office it’s a very calming happy place.
I love what I do but I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment so every day I go to the gym as well. So to have two hours out of my day to go to the gym and work less and spend more time with my family.
My daughters home educated as well. So I’ve completely changed the way I work. I make sure that I’m really tight with timings and make sure the time that I do work is really productive as well.
Can You Give Us a Few Tips Based on the 5 Points That Are Helping People in Their Online Business As a Blogger?
Matthew Loomis: That’s great Lilach.
I want to go now and tease out a few of your tips.
Today you’re helping people do one of five things according to your website.
*You are helping people get more traffic to their website.
*You’re converting more website visitors or subscribers you’re helping them do that.
*You’re helping them get other bloggers to write about their business.
*you’re helping clients get big-name websites to offer them guest posts.
*You are getting more followers on social networks for your clients.
I’d just like to run through these five areas and ask you for one tip on each one. I know these things are client specific and that can vary things but if you could provide one quick universal tip for each of these.
Let’s start with getting more traffic to your website what can a blogger do?
Lilach bullock: Sure.
So I think it all boils down to the content that you’re putting out there.
The better quality content out there the easier it is for you to generate traffic. So write for your audience don’t just write for Google.
Make sure that you take the time to create really good quality content which generates a lot of shares.
There is a lot of tribes and blogging communities out there so befriend other bloggers as well and share each other’s content. That can really help especially if you’re just starting out as a blogger.
For me, the key to my traffic is producing really good quality content.
Matthew Loomis: All right.
How about converting more website visitors or subscribers?
Lilach bullock: Okay.
For me, this is something that I’m really passionate about and I don’t think it’s enough airtime.
Because we are very obsessed with wanting more. So we want more traffic, more followers. But, we don’t take enough time to actually think about actually converting that traffic.
If we all had the same amount of traffic but we all just worked at converting 1% of that traffic we would have double the revenue or double the subscribers etc… just from making a few changes.
So what I try to do is to teach people to look at ways that you can be converting your website and what’s your objective of your website.
This is something that a lot of people don’t know. A lot of bloggers get confused, what’s the point of having traffic what do you want them to do?
*Are you looking at capturing names and email addresses?
*Are you looking to sell products?
*Are you looking to them to just share your blog?
What is it that you want and don’t go after vanity metrics. Five-six years ago vanity metrics were important and helped. Now they do not bring an ROI.
*Be really focused on what you want.
*Leverage the different tools to help you capture emails names and emails.
*Be really clear concise calls to action which compel your visitors to take action.
Matthew Loomis: I think they used to call vanity metrics social proof.
Is that correct?
Lilach bullock: Yes.
But we all know it can be gained, don’t we?
Matthew Loomis: Yes, definitely.
Especially on Twitter, my goodness.
Lilach bullock: Yeah.
Twitter, it’s harder now. But yeah…
How Would You Get Other Bloggers Engaged in Your Blog and Your Business?
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
Lilach what about getting other bloggers to write about your blog or your business.
How do you do that and what’s one thing you can do?
Lilach bullock: I think the easiest thing to do.
Which is becoming very popular (and a little bit saturated so you do have to be careful) is the whole expert blog thing.
I mean I get requests several times a day. I’ve even had to set up a Trello board for my P.A with my expert quotes because I just get so many every day. But I still think they can be very useful for bloggers and new bloggers to get a lot of people on your list.
They don’t necessarily guarantee you’ll generate a lot of shares and engagement because that’s down to the individual blogger.
You can make it a little more personalized by creating a cool image of them that helps that you’re a part as well.
But that’s a really good and easy way to get some quick wins.
How Would You Get to Guest Post on Famous Websites?
Matthew Loomis: What about getting big-name websites.
To have you guest post on their website?
Lilach bullock: Well that takes time.
You’ve got to start with the smaller science first to show your credibility and then you can gradually go up.
Also, it depends on who you are, what you’re writing about, what company you work for… there are a lot of variables to it. It’s about befriending journalists as well.
Getting to know them sharing their content. Engaging with them, Building up those relationships. So they when you do ask to write you can do it as well.
It’s also about pulling in favors. For example, I work with other agencies and they might say to me ”oh, you know you write for such and such can you do me a favour can you get our client in there and we’ll return the favor for you?”
So it’s also that collaborating with people that are in your position as well.
So there are a lot of variables.
I recommend that you start off small so that you can show what links you’ve written for as well. And take the time when you’re pitching to really show them that you’ve actually taken the time to go through their sites. Give them an example of a post that you liked and why you liked it.
Rather than just sending a copy and paste template email because they just get in the bin they don’t get opened.
Matthew Loomis: Often times.
Those templates are picked up by the spam filters.
Lilach bullock: I think they are.
But it’s more about they get so many.
I mean, I get hundreds of emails just for my blog and I don’t have a bad blog but it’s not up there like Forbes or Mashable or the likes of those. They must get thousands every day.
So you have to stand out. You really have to stand out.
I would go for a more targeted approach rather than a quantity approach. So I would create a wish list with say ten or twenty blogs that you’d love to get them on call. Spend some time on their site getting to know it see what type of content they like.
What.. what does well as well. What performs well for them and create a pitch wich is really tailored for them. Which highlights that you’re going to create to create a lot of value for them as well.
How Can We Generate Quality Followers on Social Networks?
Matthew Loomis: That’s good.
And more followers on social networks.
Now we know that vanity metric are not really very useful today or they don’t mean as much as they used to.
How can people get more quality followers on social networks?
Lilach bullock: I think again it’s just about being very targeted.
So engaging with the right people, not just playing the numbers game.
I would be naive to say having a lot of followers doesn’t get you anything because I get a huge amount of traffic because I’ve got a lot of followers. So I can’t be too hypocritical here because I do know the power of having a lot of followers.
Well, I’d like to think what I have is a loyal engaged targeted audience. And that’s what people should be going after.
What’s the Right Way to Go About Targeting Your Audience?
Matthew Loomis: Whats a way to target people.
On social media.
Lilach bullock: Well, there are a lot of different tools you can use to help you.
And thinking about what your objectives are.
For somebody like me, it helps to have a lot of followers. I do a lot of influencer outreach. So for me and professional speakers.
For me, I have to have a lot of followers I have to have a lot of reaches and the profile I need that social proof etc…
But if it’s a company or even a blogger they don’t necessarily need that many. So I would focus on the types of followers that I need.
I would go more into potential clients and I would try and monetize it. Rather that go for the vanity side because they won’t make any money for me, I’ll just look good.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ultimately, it’s about making money.
Lilach bullock: Absolutely. Yes.
How Blogging Has Changed Lilach Bullocks Life!
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Lilach, I want to wrap up today’s show.
This is one of the shorter shows I’ve ever done but I know that we had some issues earlier so we’re going to have to wrap this up here.
Lilach, how has blogging changed your life?
Lilach bullock: Oh goodness. Where to start?
It’s really changed my life!
It’s opened up opportunities I’ve travelled all over the world from blogging.
I’ve managed to speak at some amazing events and venues. People ask me how I got in Forbes and all these other places and I believe it’s down to blogging.
I think though, more importantly, it makes me money.
As ruthless as that sounds. That’s what I care about. I spent a lot of time for years wanting to be liked and wanting lots of people to read my content and things like that.
But in order for me to create that work-life balance, it means I had to work less. Which meant I had to earn the same amount of money if not more for working less.
So it completely changes your perspective with everything and makes you very commercially driven. So I make sure that My blogs perform well.
I create content downloads so that I can boost my subscriber rate.
So, yeah, I love blogging. I am a huge fan of it but I believe you should only do it if you can monetize it and if it’s right for you and your business.
If it’s the right goal. If it’s going to get you the outcomes that you want from doing it.
Matthew Loomis: Right absolutely.
Do you have any issue with someone blogging just as a hobby or for fun?
Lilach bullock: Not at all.
If they want to do it just for fun or a hobby. Go for it!
It’s a very enjoyable thing, but remember that’s what it is. The challenge is a lot of bloggers that do it and want to make money from it but they treat it as a hobby and that’s why they don’t make money from it.
Matthew Loomis: Yes, and that is another show in and of itself 🙂
Lilach bullock: Yes. 🙂
We could talk about that for hours, couldn’t we?
Matthew Loomis: We could. But Lilach we’ve got to wrap up today.
Connect with Lilach Bullock Online
So where can people connect with you online?
Lilach bullock: Yes, sure.
*My blog is found at – www.lilachbullock.com
I am on Twitter – @lilachbullock as well
Matthew Loomis: Brilliant!
It’s been a pleasure having you on The Blog Chronicles today Lilach.
I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and let’s keep in touch.
Lilach bullock: Yeah. Definitely.
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.
The Show Notes
Email Lilach Bullock – [email protected]
Telephone Lilach Bullock – +44 7590 554292