Welcome to our Student Success Interview Series. In this series, I interview a few of our students from the Blogging Fast Lane Course to learn about their blogging journey, celebrate their blogging successes, and talk about a few tips that they have for others.
I will also be dishing out actionable advice in these articles, so make sure you take the time to read the article.
Meet the Bloggers Behind ElWell
One of the things that I love about the Blogging Fastlane course is that it can be applied to multiple niches, not just travel blogging!
To give you a real life example, for this student success interview, I decided to interview Jessica and Nancy who run ElWell, a super informative website about caring for your elderly parents.
I have seen their blog grow month on month (along with their traffic and income) so I am really excited to dive deep into what helped them along the way.
Let’s jump straight in to their interview!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and ElWell
ElWell is an online caregiving hub that helps people look after their parents as they get older. I (Jessica Silver) run it with Nancy Farmer – she’s a physiotherapist who’s passionate about helping older adults stay as mobile and independent as possible, and I’ve personally seen how hard it can be as a caregiver to find the answers you’re searching for.
We actually had an offline local business offering physiotherapy and occupational therapy to older adults in their home, and had a blog page on our SquareSpace website.
We saw the potential of growing our blog, but knew that we’d need some help to do this! And that’s when we found BFL. Although we’re definitely not a travel blog, we watched the webinar, fell for Anna and Tom’s enthusiasm and could see how their knowledge could translate to our niche.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your blog before joining BFL?
Our website was built on SquareSpace, so we decided to move it over to WordPress and focus more on the blog. We took a “how to build a WordPress site in a day” course, and then over the course of a weekend (with lots of blood, sweat and tears thrown in!) we created ElWell.
As we started to implement what Anna and Tom taught us in the BFL course, it was amazing to see it grow. This was happening just as the pandemic was starting, so that gave us the time to really develop our content and put it all into practice.
Editor’s Note: One of the things that we keep telling our students as well as new bloggers is to make sure that they DON’T spend too much time making their blog “look pretty!”
Your content is the most important thing so don’t spend weeks trying to get your blog to look perfect! Aim for progress, not perfection.
Is there anything in particular in the BFL course that has impacted your blog the most?
That has to be SEO. We didn’t know anything beforehand and reading old articles that we had on Squarespace makes cringe!
Now, thanks to good SEO, we’ve got over 75% of our articles ranking on the first page of Google.
The BFL community has also been amazing – everyone goes out of their way to support you if you have a question.
When you’re looking after both the technical and editorial side of things it can be a bit overwhelming at times, and having this support there really means the world.
Editor’s Note: Blogging can be a lonely journey which is why we place such a huge importance on community! Surrounding yourself with like minded people who are all working towards the same goal is inspiring which is why the community aspect of the BFL is so important.
As you already know, in our community, we encourage everyone to share and celebrate their wins. Could you share with everyone what are a few of your wins or results that you have gotten thanks to the course?
Watching our traffic rise has just been the most exciting thing!
We’re well on our way to 20K monthly page views in just over a year, and seeing how much of that is organic shows the beauty of SEO.
We’re also really proud of having a dwell time of over 8 minutes on average per article, so we know we’re providing the answers people need.
And all this has helped us negotiate sponsored articles month on month and bring in consistent affiliate sales so we can keep working on it!
One of the things I love about their blog is how detailed their articles are. Every article that they create is in-depth and full of valuable information, really creating articles that are well-suited for their niche. Take this article on How to Make Stairs Safe for Elderlies.
They give tips, suggest products that people can easily purchase, and give solid advice from the point of view of a physiotherapist which adds to the overall credibility of the article.
While SEO can be overwhelming, we try to break it down into small easy to follow steps, with detailed video tutorials throughout the course.
If you want tips on how to write articles that people will read, check out my video below explaining the basics of On-Site SEO.
What’s the biggest / most valuable lesson you’ve learned when it comes to blogging and how has learning that lesson impacted your blog?
Keep track of where your articles are, and keep optimising them. Every month I look at ranking and how it changes month-on-month. If there’s a big change, we can look at what and why this is – and do something about it!
Get to grips with Google Analytics – you’re running a business after all so you need to know where traffic is coming from, and what they’re reading. This helps us plan future content, find partners to collaborate with and relevant affiliates.
When you’re busy doing everything on your site, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture. I started a ‘monthly accountability and wins’ document so I can keep track of progress, feel proud and energised. The BFL threads for this are great too.
If you could give advice to someone who is just starting out in blogging, what would it be?
Keep going! It’s a long game and you need to invest your time. Build your site yourself, write really good content and everything else should come.
Not everything is going to be right for you – for example, social media for us is good for building the brand but it’s not the main traffic driver so we don’t put all our energy into that.
You’ll learn as you go on, but trust your instinct.
What I loved most about Jessica and Nancy’s interview is they placed A LOT of importance on:
✅ Importance on Treating Your Blog like a Business
As most of you know, SEO is our jam! It is one of the reasons why Adventure in You grew to be a success.
Within our first year, we reached 30,000 page views, and continued doubling and tripling until we reached a peak of almost 650,000+ each month. SEO is a great tool to get continuous traffic, month on month!
While there are a ton of things to learn when it comes to SEO, I recommend taking the time to learn about it as it is honestly so invaluable.
Follow Their Journey
I’d like to thank Jessica and Nancy for taking the time to share her blogging journey with us. And hopefully, you’ve picked up a few lessons along the way and are inspired by their success!
If you want to check out their blog and social media channels, here’s where you can find them: