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Today I’m talking with Lauren (Ell) Duclos, who managed to turn her blog into her full-time job after she decided it was time for a change. She’s inspiring and is the definition of someone who doesn’t let anything get in their way.
On top of being a full-time blogger, Ell also manages a highly popular Facebook group with over 30,000 (!!!) members.
Hi Ell! I’m so happy to have you here talking to my audience about your blog turned full-time business. Can you please just start by telling everyone a little bit about yourself?
I am a motivational, creative entrepreneur who enjoys blogging about my journey through entrepreneurship. As I was venturing through my blogging journey, I realized I wanted to do more than just make myself happy. I also wanted to help others go after their happiness in life as well.
That’s when I decided to start my community; BossGirlBloggers. The intention of BossGirlBloggers was to have a place where female entrepreneurs and bloggers could come to feel supported and learn how to grow their blog & biz while creating connections with others who are doing the same thing! For me, my blog is a sense of my freedom, not only financially but also being able to explore the world and work from wherever I want!
I found you through BossGirlBloggers and it was the first Facebook group I came across where I actually felt a sense of community – you’ve done an amazing job making a group that is over 30,000 people feel like a tight-knit community!
What was it that motivated you to start your blog?
I am actually a college drop out, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. College didn’t make me happy and it was extremely expensive! I wanted to prove to not only myself but to others that I can be successful even if I didn’t have that college degree. Before I started my blog I was suffering from depression. I had a full time job as a server and many would think it’s an easy job but, it takes a toll on you physically and mentally. It became exhausting and draining. I could feel myself feeling hopeless, as if I had no purpose in life. I knew I had to make a change, which is when I decided to create my blog!
I really love that you aren’t ashamed and it just goes to show that just because it’s the route everyone else is taking, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to success (as you’ve proven). Now when you first started your blog, what were the biggest obstacles you faced, and why do you think you faced those obstacles?
I think my biggest obstacle so far has been accepting the fact that not every day is going to be awesome. Just like any job, you will have off days and that’s okay! I noticed my income was really great in the fall and winter but once it hit spring and summer, my income was dropping. I was still able to support myself through my blog, but it was still a shock and I thought that maybe I was doing something wrong. On top of that I figured out how much I owe in taxes and when you first start making full time income through blogging, the taxes really hit you hard!!! It can be surprising. Other than that, I also had health issues arise. I was working so hard on making my blog and biz happen that I developed insomnia and I even would forget to eat throughout the day. It was very unhealthy.
I’ve definitely noticed the spring and summer dip in income and traffic as well and at first, I was really upset over until I realized it’s totally normal. It’s nice you brought that point up because I don’t think many bloggers realize that even if their blogs aren’t seasonal, they’re still going to face highs and lows during different times of the year!
How did you make the transition from working full-time to being able to quit your job and focus on your business?
It was not easy. Many nights I would come home from a double (12 hour shift) and stay up until 4am working on my blog & biz. I would wake up the next day and repeat the process. I was so determined and so passionate about what I wanted to do that I would not stop. As my income started to come through my blog, I wouldn’t spend any of it. I put it away in my savings account until I knew that I could cut back on my hours. I never wanted to quit my full-time job completely without feeling really financially secure, because anything can happen!
Lastly, if you could offer one piece of advice to entrepreneurs or bloggers just starting out, what would it be?
I would say, don’t get discouraged. A lot of entrepreneurs and bloggers are so quick to give up because they feel like they aren’t seeing the progress they want. The thing is, any bit of progress is good progress and you should be proud of it no matter how big or small! You will have days that are slower than others. You have to want it bad enough that you are willing to push through those days where you feel like giving up.
Don’t let numbers get to you. Your blog is not defined by its statistics! Whenever you get upset, just remember WHY you started, and take that with you moving forward. Anything is possible!
Thank you so much Ell for speaking with me today! Please go check out Ell’s blog, join her Facebook group and show her some love on social media!
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Dana Nicole is an award-winning freelance writer for MarTech/SaaS who was rated one of the best SaaS writers by Software World. She specializes in writing engaging content that ranks high in search engines and has been featured in publications like Social Media Examiner, ConvertKit, and Hotjar. Dana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has over 15 years of experience working in marketing for national brands.