Part Time Blogger: She’s a Teacher By Day Who Found Blogging Success [EP 21 The Blog Chronicles]
My guest today has been building her blog for over two years while teaching social studies to middle school students during school hours Monday thru Friday.
She is also a self published author. Her book has been instrumental to her blog’s success.
Her name is Janice Wald. She resides in California.
In this episode of The Blog Chronicles, we find out some of her secrets to building an audience while working a day job.
She is excited about where her blog is going and is looking forward to blogging full time after retiring from teaching.
Here are some of the things you will find out in this interview…
–Her domain name and the purpose of her blog
–How she manages her time blogging and working
–Two critical ways to simplify your blogging
–One guaranteed way to get more online attention
–The one tip to going viral she recommends the most
–Two tricks to steady traffic flow to your old (archived) posts
–A few reasons why CoSchedule is so helpful
–How blogging has changed her life
Are you currently working a job but want to start a blog? Leave a comment sharing what is holding you back or how you are finding success!
Part Time Blogger Success Tips from Full-Time Teacher Janice Wald!
Janice Wald Interview Transcript
( For those who like to read.)
Matthew Loomis: Hi Janice.
Welcome to the Show!
When Did You Start Your Website Mostly Blogging?
Janice Wald: Hi Matt.
Thank you so much for having me on today!
Matthew Loomis: So Janice.
You own a website called – Mostly Blogging dot com
Now, when did you start this website?
Janice Wald: Well.
I’ve been blogging since the end of 2014.
I originally started on a blog called Reflections, (it was not so posted.) Then about nine months in I realized that this was going to continue for me and I was taken very seriously.
I realized that I needed to be on a self-hosted website and that’s when I changed to – Mostly Blogging dot com.
Matthew Loomis: Alright!
So you also agree that you need your own real estate online to be really successful?
Janice Wald: Definitely.
What is the Motivation for Mostly Blogging?
Matthew Loomis: So.
What is the purpose of Mostly Blogging dot com?
Janice Wald: Well.
I want to empower readers of course.
I’m really delighted when everyone tell’s me they find my tips helpful.
It’s not just for bloggers!
I offer blogging tips I offer writing tips. If people are interested in writing they can get value from my site.
I offer productivity tips. Often if people are looking for time management tips they can get value at my site.
I write often about search engine optimization.
So if people are looking to be found in search engines they can find value at my site. I often write about social media so people who are interested in using social media let’s say for none other than pleasure can find value at my site.
All the Relevant Tools and Links Can be Found in the SHOW NOTES
Matthew Loomis: Great! Sounds good.
I will be linking to your website in the Show Notes.
Are You Blogging Consistently at the Moment?
Janice Wald: Thank you!
Matthew Loomis: Let me ask you this.
Are you a full-time blogger right now?
Janice Wald: I’m actually not a full-time blogger.
Actually, I’m a teacher.
I teach medieval history and I teach yearbook design.
I love graphic design obviously working with computers. So I am a middle school teacher but it is my goal to be a full-time blogger one day when I retire from teaching.
I started early and it sort of took off to my delight.
How Do You Juggle Between a Successful Blog and Teaching Students?
Matthew Loomis: That’s great.
I think your story can really inspire people.
There are a lot of people that one day would want to become full-time bloggers and are currently in job situations.
Can you tell us a little bit how you are managing a full-time job and a successful blog?
Janice Wald: Thank you for asking.
Many people do ask that it’s a question I frequently get asked.
How am I able to do both?
I’ve actually blogged about it several times because I get asked that question so frequently.
I would advise anyone who needs to multitask clearly the way I do…
By day I’m a teacher and in all my free time I blog, at the same time, I have time for my family and my friends.
I would advise that you make a schedule. That’s exactly what I’ve done, in my blog posts I’ve explained this.
The week starts Friday because Friday I blog for Saturday. Saturday I blog for Sunday. Sunday I blog for Monday.
Monday I blog for Tuesday and then I get a break.
On Tuesday nights, Wednesday and Thursday I respond to commenters. So people who have commented on my articles they certainly deserve a comment back.
It’s very important if you’re going to be a successful blogger.
I need to make time in my week not just for blogging but to respond to the people who have written me and have questions about the articles that I wrote.
So by breaking the week up into two parts from the point where I blog and the part where I catch my breath from the articles and respond to the people interested enough to comment on my articles.
It’s worked out pretty well.
In my mind, I get that low midweek Tuesday night Wednesday night Thursday night, my husband and I are able to catch up on our television shows that we’ve taped.
If I do have social plans on the weekend, I know that in advance on Thursday. So that instead of responding to the commenters, I blog on the weekend.
If I know I’m not going to have time on the weekend if I know I’m not going to have time let’s say on a Friday night, then on Tuesday night or Wednesday night I make sure that I’m all caught up on my comments.
My advice, in a nutshell…Is to stay regimented.
That’s what’s worked for me for several years.
Matthew Loomis: When you say regimented.
You mean disciplined?
Janice Wald: Absolutely disciplined yes.
You need to look ahead.
It’s very important to have that editorial calendar and look at it all the time. I can’t in my mind say, I’m going to on Saturday for Friday because what if I have social plans on Friday?
Then I still need to make sure the blogging get’s done.
So I have shelf-posts I’ve posted all ready to go.
I call them shelf-posts. (My daughters are away at college but there have been times when the unexpected happens they’ll come in unexpectedly.)
Or I don’t think sickness has ever stopped me because when I’m in bed I have more time to blog not less.
That’s my advice is to stay regimented and at the same time have posts ready to go.
I’m a teacher so if my report card grades are not ready when I expect them to be ready, I have shelf-posts ready to go.
So I feel I’m organized.
I think that organization is very important!
As well as being regimented.
Do You Have a Variety of Shelf-Posts in the Pipeline at Once?
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Do you have several different shelf-posts going on at the same time?
Janice Wald: Yes I do.
I find that I am so excited about a shelf-post that I say, ”Okay, this isn’t going to sit on the shelf any longer, I’m going to use this.”
But I always have at least one ready to go for the unexpected. That’s the bare minimum I try to have more than that.
So if the unexpected happens, I’m prepared.
Tell Us About Your Book – The Insiders Guide to Building a Successful Blog in Relation To Bloggers
Matthew Loomis: Sounds like it.
I like the term ”shelf-post” that’s good.
You also have a book called – The Insiders Guide to Building a Successful Blog.
Who is your book targeted at, is it just new bloggers or is it for experienced bloggers as well?
Janice Wald: It’s for bloggers of all levels.
Actually, commenters have written me that one reason they like my blog is that it isn’t just for newbies.
It’s for bloggers at all experience levels.
My posts are for bloggers of all experience levels. I think if I were to write basic blogging tips all the time my blog might get stale pretty fast.
I try to write tips for all levels.
What Value Could a New Blogger Capture From Reading Your Book?
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
Now, in your book you write eleven different ways to simplify your blogging.
Can you share one or two of those that are critical for bloggers who really want to grow a lot in the next year?
Janice Wald: Oh yes.
I’ve actually already mentioned one in this interview.
Definitely, you need an editorial calendar.
You can’t ”wing” it no matter how much you think you can, you can’t wing it.
I would definitely advise an editorial calendar and automation tools exist. There’s no reason not to use them if they’re going to make our life simpler and they’re free.
I’ve actually written about that as well offering eighty-nine free blogging tools.
Many of them are automated and expedite our tasks.
What Advice do You Have for Bloggers Who Want Online Attention?
Matthew Loomis: Sounds like a good one.
Janice, you also share in the first section of your book three guaranteed ways to get more online attention.
Which of those three are that anybody could do today and see immediate results?
Janice Wald: Well.
You’ll have to network.
It’s not just networking on any blog.
You should network on a like-minded bloggers site.
There are many ways to find like-minded bloggers. Google of course or any search engine you could just type in blog and the plus sign and your niche.
Even top blogs the plus sign and your niche.
People that are interested in your topic that’s how you’ll meet them. They’ll go to your site they’ll read your comments and they’ll learn about you.
In my article, I recommended getting in early. If you subscribe to the blog then you know when the blogger publishes. If you’re the first commenter then everyone who comments on that article will have to scroll past you. They’ll all see what you’ve written and they’re going to learn about you.
If they don’t go to your site then you go to their site.
You can always go back to the article and read all the comments that have come in after you and if there’s just someone that would be an interesting reader for you or if there’s someone’s blog you’d like to read definitely go to their site and comment.
In this way, you’re going to build a community. You’re going to make a network of people who are interested in what you are interested in.
Many people have followed me back to Mostly Blogging dot com and they’ve told me that. They’ve said I read your comment on someone else’s blog.
I found your comment interesting and here I am.
They find my site interesting they find my other articles interesting and they subscribe.
That would be my first and foremost tip to anyone looking to build a community.
People find that they don’t have the time but that’s how you build a blogging community.
That is how you get a readership.
What Procedure Do You Use for Blog Commenting?
Matthew Loomis: Janice.
What’s your process for blog commenting?
How often do you do it per week?
Janice Wald: Knowing how important it is.
I do it every chance I get!
If I’m going to a site for information I still make time to comment on the blog. (Especially as I’ve said if I’m early.) If I’m one of the early commenters.
I know that every person that goes there is going to scroll past me and see my comment and see my name then I definitely will comment.
We should at this point mention CommentLuv. That’s one of the very few tools that I pay for.
I have CommentLuv on my site.
They say and I highly agree, that if you are commenting on a blog that has CommentLuv on it then definitely make a comment.
The beauty of CommentLuv is that your headlines will show up along with your comment and often you’re able to pick the headline that you want to show up.
So let’s say three headlines ago I got more page views than let’s say two headlines ago. When I click on that headline that I want everyone to see and everyone who comes in after me sees not just my comment but my headline.
There are actually blog goals that are full of CommentLuv blogs. People actually publish a list of comments that have CommentLuv on it.
It’s so important, it’s that valuable that you comment on a blog that has CommentLuv.
That’s one way to find a list of bloggers I’m happy to say because I know most people include Mostly Blogging dot com because I do have CommentLuv on my site.
How Does Your Book – All About Getting and Maintaining Traffic, Help Blogger Posts Go Viral?
Matthew Loomis: Good stuff!
I’ll link to comment love as well in the Show Notes.
Now, in section two Janice of your book called – All About Getting and Maintaining Traffic.
You write about four ways to make your blog post go viral.
Which of those four techniques of going viral do you recommend the most?
Janice Wald: Well.
There are several.
But I think first and foremost you’ve got to have a clickable headline.
I do have a blog coaching service so people come to me and say, ”I don’t understand why I’m not getting blog traffic.” I go and have a look at their headline and there’s just one word, say, ”Beauty” and beauty I’m sure is a very nice headline.
If somebody is going to take their time to read an article they need to be made a promise. They need to be told in that headline what they are going to get in it.
I’m going to use a metaphor here for opening that door. You know before you enter a building the first thing you see is the door.
Do you want to turn the door knob?
That is the importance of that headline. There are several formulas for what I call a clickable headline.
- You need to have a headline that makes a promise.
- You should have a number in the headline. Research shows it should be an odd number. Research show it should be a prime number.
- How many tips are you going to guarantee your reader and what are they going to get out of it?
- Make the promise come true in the article.
Some people read my headlines and they say, ”Oh. no no no there’s no way is this article going to come through on that promise.
And then they read my article and they find that ”yes” my articles do live up to their headlines.
Credibility is everything in blogging.
I would never write a ”clickbait” headline. (I think it’s called.) And then not live up to the promise in my content.
So that what you need to do and it’s a pretty simple formula.
You start with a number of tips and you end by making the reader a promise by the time you are done with my article you will know this.
That right there is the best tip that I have for making your blog post go viral.
I find that to be true on the last post I had that went viral I had a prime number in the headline and a promise. So it’s exciting on one hand but on the other hand…People say there’s no way to predict an article that will go viral.
But there are factors that make it probable that it will go viral.
Matthew Loomis: The headline is a big factor, right?
Janice Wald: No one is going to read your content.
Unless you have a clickable headline.
You could have the greatest content in the world and no one would know unless you have a clickable headline!
Are You a Fan of CoSchedule?
Matthew Loomis: Absolutely!
Speaking of writing great headlines.
I’m a Big fan of the CoSchedule Analyzer Tool, Do You Use That?
Janice Wald: Oh yes.
A hundred percent of the time!
I will spend thirty minutes at a time. (I don’t think I’ve spent longer that thirty minutes but I will not click publish unless I get a good high score on the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool.
The beauty of the headline analyzer is that it tells you what you’re lacking if you don’t get a high score.
So then I know what it is that my headlines need and then I try again and I put in those elements. And sure enough, my score’s higher the next time.
How Useful Do You Find CoSchedule To Be For Helping Bloggers?
Matthew Loomis: I love how it helps you get a percentage of emotional words.
Power words and unique words.
That’s just great.
You’re obviously a big fan of CoSchedule because in your book you list six ways how CoSchedule can improve your blogging.
What are other ways besides that headline analyzer tool that CoSchedule can help bloggers?
Janice Wald: I would recommend that people subscribe.
I do, I read their articles.
Their articles are amazing they have really empowered me to empower my readers.
They definitely made me a better blogger. What is fantastic when I’m done, I site my references I always research and site my articles and then after I’ve published I go to let’s say Twitter.
When I go to Twitter I cc the author of the article that I got my research from and there’s a way to do that on Twitter with the app sign and the authors will actually retweet my article for me.
Not only are they wonderful writers, they have brilliant articles that have empowered me as a blogger. They are very supportive of the blogging community because as I’ve said they’ve shared my articles with their readers.
I know one day they wanted to survey their readers I completed the survey and they actually sent me about twelve cheat sheets just to say thank you.
These are some of the ways that I’ve used CoSchedule to my advantage in addition to the headline analyzer.
What Stratagem Do You Use To Keep Traffic Coming to Your Older Posts?
Matthew Loomis: I need to spend more time on their blog and get on their genus.
Janice, let’s shift over to your archived posts.
I want to ask you for a couple of tricks that you use to get more eyeballs on your old posts or your archive posts.In your book, you share twelve but we only have time for a couple.
What are a couple of tips to keeping the traffic flowing to older archive posts?
Janice Wald: I have two tricks.
That you need to grip.
First of all, you need to backlink to your relevant articles because especially as time passes you might have more than one article on the same topic.
So readers interested in this topic might want another article to read about it. So it’s win-win, you might get traffic to an older post and they are going to get more information about a topic that they are interested in.
There are a lot of reasons you want to do this.
People won’t leave your site so quickly. Your bounce rate will improve over Alexa you will see your bounce rate is improving because people are now reading the second post on your site and not leaving right away.
I have read (and this has worked for me) that if you put the backlink at the beginning of your article instead of at the end or elsewhere in the article you are far more likely to get traffic to that post.
And I found that I have a related posts section at the end where I would give links to my older articles on the same topic.
I found that when I backlinked earlier in the article like through the anchor text I received so much more traffic to my older posts.
I don’t know if it’s because people are busy and they don’t get to the end of my article where my related post section is. Whatever the reason if your readers want traffic to older articles they need to link back to them in the article.
And I highly recommend early in the article.
So, You Make Sure the Backlinks Are Placed Early In the Post?
Matthew Loomis: Fascinating.
Okay, so put your backlinks in the front.
Before they even scroll down they should be able to see the links.
Janice Wald: Yes.
Matthew Loomis: Janice.
I’ve got a philosophical question for you to close this today that I ask all my guests that I like to know.
How Has Blogging Changed Your Life?
Janice Wald: Wow!
I did not expect to get the fulfillment that I have received over the last two years of blogging.
As I indicated so much so now I’m considering when I retire definitely to do this full-time.
There are so many aspects of blogging that are fulfilling.
I have people writing me from all over the world all walks of life thanking me for my tips and telling me how my tips have helped them.
The empowerment that people have told me that I’ve given them is just phenomenal.
What better gift does any blogger get better than that knowing that you’ve helped people?
The stories people have written me telling of hardships and struggles and how in some way I’ve made this easier. There is just no greater gift there really is no greater gift than that.
I’m writing more and more how people can make money from blogging but I know for a lot of people that’s thanks enough for me.
Clearly, as you can see I don’t have the words but that’s just me that’s something I didn’t expect what to experience.
Matthew Loomis: You sound like you’re a very rewarded person.
Janice Wald: Thanks to my community!
Thanks to my readership!
They have made me feel appreciated and for that it’s mutual and of course, I appreciate them in return.
Matthew Loomis: You also get to help students during the day.
Janice Wald: Yes.
I’m a licensed English teacher.
I have a credential as well in social studies so that desire to help people improve their writing there is a connection to what I do by day.
As I said I’m a yearbook teacher at my school so I help students by day with their writing. Even history, of course, they write essay’s for me so there is a continuation of what I do by day and by night.
Do Your Students Know That You Are a Successful Blogger?
Matthew Loomis: Do you ever refer your students to your blog?
Janice Wald: I have not.
I don’t know if telling them I do this thing online is relevant.
However, they have searched me up. They’ve typed my name into Google and they’ve seen that I am a blogger and they’ve seen my articles.
One young lady came up to me just this semester and she told me that she appreciates the articles and that she reads them. Some of the teachers at school as well have found me online and at least one has subscribed to my blog.
So even though I don’t advertise it at school it seems to be getting out.
I know that some of the teachers as well have told me that they want to start blogs education blogs and so forth and have asked for my advice in this regard.
Matthew Loomis: Everybody gets Googled right? 🙂
Janice Wald: Seriously! 🙂
Matthew Loomis: Janice.
Where Can People Get a Copy of Your Book – An Insiders Guide to Building a Successful Blog?
Janice Wald: Well.
Certainly, it’s available on Amazon dot com
And if they go to Mostly Blogging dot com they will see a picture to my cover and a link in my sidebar.
Matthew Loomis: If someone wants to follow you on social media.
Where can they find you?
Janice Wald: I’m everywhere!
I believe in the ”shotgun effect” you put yourself out there and see what comes back.
Klout Score says you should be out there and I really am. I’m on LinkedIn I’m on Twitter I’m on Facebook. I guess those are the biggies. I always make sure I promote to Facebook to Twitter and to Pinterest.
I guess those are my top three.
But like I said I’m everywhere. My articles are on Reddit and LinkedIn as well.
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
You know we just met today for the first time, I’ll have to look you up on social media as well and start following you there.
Janice Wald: I’m also active on Kingged.
As I write more and more about marketing.
Kingged is a marketing site I’m also on Kingged as well, you’ll find me there.
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
Janice thanks for coming on The Blog Chronicles today.
It’s been fun.
Janice Wald: I was excited to be here.
Thank you for inviting me and having me!
The Show Notes