I can’t wait to share this amazing interview I did with one of my successful students, April Lee!
She runs a home decor blog and makes up to $3,500 per month with her blog!
Below is the interview and a transcript of the conversation.
Below is a transcript of the video. Slight edits have been made to improve the flow of sentences and grammar.
Hi everybody. I’m Suzi and I’m so excited today. I have April Lee from LoveOurRealLife.com.
She’s going to share with us how she’s grown her blog to a success – and how she’s juggled motherhood along with blogging while also having an awesome career.
So April if you want to introduce yourself, we would love to learn more about you.
First Suzi, thank you so much for having me. I’m so honored to be here. Once again, my name’s April, I’m author of Love Our Real Life. I’m married to my husband, his name is Jason, and we’ve been married for about 18 years.
We have two kids and they’re not littles anymore, but they’re still little to me.
My son is 15 and he’s a freshman in high school and my daughter’s 13 and she’s a seventh grader.
I started my blog and January of 2017. I also work part-time as a hospital-based outpatient speech pathologist.
What do you blog about?
Yes, so LoveOurRealLIfe is a DIY home decor and organization blog. So really a home blog is what it’s about.
Why did you decide to start this home blog on top of everything else that’s going on in your life?
It kind of sounds crazy when you think about it, but I love my job as. I’m a speech pathologist but there was always I wanted to own my own business.
I really wanted to have a business of some sort.
But with my kids schedules and my husband, he is an attorney, and he works a lot of hours so I I did not want to take a lot of time away from my family.
I knew brick and mortar business would be all consuming and so I thought a blog was a great way to kind of get my feet wet with a business and have the best of both worlds.
Why did you decide on the home decor niche?
I was finding that when my girlfriends and I would get together we would talk about, you know, just different projects we were doing in our homes and different organization like painting furniture or whatever it might be.
And one of the things that I noticed was that we were always talking about how I hate this about my house or I hate that.
And it just bothered me that I was doing it too.
And I was thinking, you know, this is where we’re raising our families, our homes. Yeah, so I don’t know I just felt kind of a passion about you know, finding small ways to love our homes a little bit more.
How many hours do you work as a speech pathologist? Is that a full-time job?
It’s not, it’s a part-time job. I work two and occasionally three days each week and it’s scheduled.
I have scheduled days so with my kids ages, they’re in school, Monday through Friday
So on the days, I’m not at work as a speech therapist, I am able to spend those days blogging.
Summers are a little bit rough just because my kids are home.
But I usually get two to three days to work on my blog.
What are your best time management skills to juggle motherhood and blogging?
I feel like staying organized is is crucial having a plan. I try to sit down and Sunday is a good planning day for me.
Actually my husband and I we try to sit down every Sunday and plan out our week together. So we know what to expect and what’s coming up with both of our work schedule, and also our family schedules and that gives me a better idea where I can plug in work.
I am realistic about my to-do list. I think I get caught up sometimes as many of us do with all of my to-dos – and having a better sense of how much time or blocks in my day really helps me.
How do you get traffic to your blog?
Do you manually pin and do you create your own pins?
I do a combination of just little things I’ve picked up through different Facebook groups and just different strategies, but I do both manual pinning and Tailwind.
My biggest success is from my most popular personal boards on Pinterest.
What do you use to create your pins?
I know it a lot of people love Canva and I use it for a lot of things but for me Picmonkey just makes sense. I use it for almost almost exclusively for all of my pins.
I love it. I have the Picmonkey app on my phone which has been kind of fun because when I’m driving my kids from, you know, whatever activity and I’m sitting there and I have 15-20 minutes as I’m waiting, it’s kind of fun to be able to make pins.
How do you make money with your blog?
Pinterest is where I get most of my traffic and that’s actually where I make most of my money; most from ads.
I have been on MediaVine since April of this past year.
In 2019 it was just a game changer for me personally. Prior to that, I wasn’t making a whole lot and I still have a long way to go in terms of of revenue.
But it was a big difference once I started getting ad revenue, and as my traffic continued to grow as I just got better with Pinterest.
And Amazon affiliate links. It’s probably 80% ads and 20% Amazon. I definitely need to diversify.
I actually make more than my part-time speech job at this point.
Making up to $3,500 per month!
I’m consistently making $1,500 to $3,500 every month (mostly through MediaVine ads and Amazon affiliate sales) depending on my overall traffic. Getting enough traffic to qualify for a quality ad company has been a complete game changer!
How are you building your email list?
Yes. I actually have looked through and and taken a lot of tips from your course List by Number. It’s really great that is definitely an area I need to focus on.
I have about 4,000 on my email list. But I feel like I need to grow that. So that’s on my list of things to focus on.
The first time I ever saw you Suzi was when I was googling how to make printables. Through a YouTube video – and that’s actually how I found you in the very beginning.
So I’ve used various freebies just to get people to sign up and I actually have one trip wire – I’m working on products as well to grow my blog.
I think the whole thing can be kind of fascinating actually.
The fact that people are actually buying the things that we create. It’s kind of exciting.
When you just started blogging, what do you wish you didn’t do? What do you feel like you wasted your time on?
I feel like I wasted a lot of my time just floundering around trying to do everything. I wish I would have had someone to guide me the very beginning.
I know you’ve got an amazing course. I took the Abbey Lawson from Just a girl in her blog – months and months and months after I had started. I wish I would have had that from the very beginning and I know now she doesn’t have that course anymore – and she recommends yours by the way in a lot of groups.
Tips for New Bloggers
Getting out content is important and finding where your audience is. Also knowing who you’re writing for and trying to be as relatable as possible.
I think is helpful and just to put out content until you find your niche. I feel like it will come once you get several posts out – then you can start to get a little bit more focused.
What I got hung up on is that perfection piece and wanting everything perfect .
And first of all, it will never be perfect ever and you can always update.
I think that’s one thing that worried me in the beginning. It’s funny, you think that when you first start blogging that so many people are going to be reading your posts and it’s not true.
Thank you so much April, I really appreciate this. It’s awesome to see how you’ve grown your blog and now you’re making really good money with it. Congratulations on your success!!
April Lee from LoveOurRealLife.com
I love diy projects, crafts, and organization! Over the years, I’ve completed hundreds of projects that have helped make our house a home and I am so excited to share some of these with you.
I’m a firm believer that we all have the ability to create a home we love with a little bit of effort. Our homes are where we are raising our families. It is SO important to be happy in the places we spend so much time.
No more saying “I hate my house”. My mission is to help you find ways to appreciate your home instead of focusing on the negatives.
Please let me know in the comments below if the transcript was helpful or if you just watched the video instead.