In 2017, every female entrepreneur I know has a passion for empowering other women. I ran into CEO and EIC of Lady Boss Blogger, Elaine Rau on Instagram and was immediately impressed with this female power house who's entire platform is dedicated to spotlighting and empowering female entrepreneurs through shared experiences and success stories. Elaine features 100's of women on her blog. After reading her 100+ reviews on Facebook from female entrepreneurs who have worked with Elaine, I had to reach out. Not only did she feature little ole me on her blog but she chatted with me about her start, her blog, marketing, and more!
Many of my readers aspire to start their own business, many of them are bloggers. How did you get into blogging and what about your approach to blogging do you think has made you so successful in such a short amount of time?
I started my blog during a really low point in my life. I think what made it so successful was honestly because I had no other options and I had to learn how to make money online somehow.
I had just quit my corporate job and moved overseas to Honduras from Chicago. My fiancé’s brother had just been murdered in Honduras and I knew I needed to be there for him. So I asked my boss if I could go see him and attend the funeral and his response was “No, it will affect your work and it is busy season.”
That was the exact moment I realized that my boss didn't care about me at all and I had to get out of there. After working my butt off for him for two years - basically from when I opened my eyes to when I closed them at night, through holidays without a single vacation - working my way up from being a part time sales rep to being the National Wedding Sales Manager, I got nothing back in return.
The move to Honduras wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped it would be either. Being in a completely foreign third world country where I didn’t speak the language or understand the culture was very isolating. I had left all my friends, my home I had built in the heart of Chicago, as well as everything I knew. It wasn’t the first time I moved from another country (I moved to the states when I was 17 from Taiwan) but it was the first time I had moved to a place where I couldn’t communicate with anyone.
I started the blog to not only be able to communicate with the ‘outside world’ but also to find purpose and clarity in my life. My job had become my life and had become a huge part of my identity and without it – I was lost! I didn’t know what I was passionate about. I didn’t have any interests other than working my way to the top of the wedding world. And I couldn’t pursue any of those passions I knew about back home because first, there were no jobs available, and second, even if there were, I didn’t speak Spanish so I wouldn’t be able to obtain them.
I had to get creative and find a way to make money online, but I didn’t know the first thing about how to do that. I come from a family of academics, so they all have all had their career paths set out for them, in fact, I didn’t even know entrepreneurship was a thing until I started meeting some in Chicago right before I packed my life in one suitcase and moved to Honduras! So I created a blog to help focus my thoughts and I named it Lady Boss Blogger because that is what I wanted to be!
I started reaching out to ladies who inspired me because I wanted to learn from them. I created an interview with questions I was curious about and sent it to them. To my surprise my inbox started overflowing with interviews and I started posting them on my blog. I learned something new from every single interview, it was like I had tons of personal mentors giving me great advice and telling me of great entrepreneurial resources. It was great because I couldn’t afford a mentor, and these ladies offered their advice freely!
After a week of posting interviews, my blog was already gaining a TON of traction and the likes, views and shares I was getting was incredible, especially for a new blog. So using my sales background, I decided to craft a sales packet and see if I could monetize it… and IT WORKED. I couldn’t believe it when I received my first entrepreneurial dollars just a few short weeks from launching my blog. That first $5 was enough reassurance for me to dive head first into making this my full time job because now I knew how I could make money from it.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with the decision to quit their jobs and jump head first into entrepreneurship, what was your experience with becoming a full time entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t suggest quitting your job and jumping head first into entrepreneurship – UNLESS you already have a CONSISTENT cash flowing side hustle that you can continue to grow. Use the resources that your full time job provides (such as the money that you are making) to continue your education or to invest in a mentor or coach to help build your own thing or to get clarity on what you want.
Entrepreneurship is depicted in the media as this glorious thing that will solve all your problems… it won’t. In fact it may create more problems! Entrepreneurs become wildly successful when they have not only figured out a way to solve a problem better than anyone else, but they have also learned how to SELL their idea, concept, or product in an extremely easy and manageable way.
I set out to solve the problem of finding resources for female entrepreneurs and in turn became the resource provider. Ask yourself, what is something that you research every day? What kind of questions do you type into Google? What are you interested in learning about? Then how can you give back?
Your blog, LadyBossBlogger, is not only successful when it comes to your reach and engagement, but you have been successful at monetizing your blog as well. What advice would you give to other bloggers who are eager to start generating revenue?
I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing or selling ad spaces or any of the ‘traditional’ ways of making money blogging for that matter. I was just on a mission to collect information. If you’re interested in learning how to make money blogging, RESEARCH all the ways there are to do so and choose the ones that work for you and your vision.
Here are just a few ways to monetize your blog;
Sell your own product or services (ebooks, checklists, online courses, etc.)
Sell someone else’s product (by joining affiliate programs)
Sell sponsored blog posts (either sell your blog posts or post a guest post on your blog written by someone else)
Sell membership to access the information on your blog (need to create a membership site)
Sell ad space/banners on your blog
I personally don’t believe in ad spaces though. I get requests almost every single day to ‘buy an ad’ on my side bar, but I turn them down every time because I didn’t want my site to look spammy - regardless of the money. It may be hard to turn it down initially, but the more consistent you keep the look and feel of your blog, the more you will be rewarded for it in the long run – especially if you want to create a sustainable business out of it. Think about the blogs you like to look at and model yours after the aspects you like about theirs.
As a blogger, you interact and meet female entrepreneurs all over the world. How has social media, speaking engagements, and features impacted your business?
I am terrified of public speaking. I have never been a shy person and love to be the host of the party, but getting up and speaking in front of an audience TERRIFIES me. That is why I hide behind my blog. I haven’t even been able to tap into video because that terrifies me as well, which isn’t the best considering that speaking engagements and video would probably take me to the next level. Perhaps I ought to hire a public speaking coach? If you’re reading this and think you can help me email me at firstname.lastname@example.org would love to talk to you!
What would be your advice to another woman who may be thinking of starting their own online business and what are some steps you think they should take to get ready?
Stop thinking and start doing. The first step is always research, but don’t stop there. Implement things that you learn and take steps towards achieving a small goal. If it turns out that things aren't exactly going the way you thought they would – GREAT! You’re learning! Continue forward and tweak your strategy the next time round.
Think of your business like you would sports. You start off in middle school playing and trying out various sports to find the one that you like best. Then you choose one and hone it throughout high school. Once you’re ready for college, you have all this muscle memory built up that you may even get a scholarship as a token of appreciation for your hard work all these years in perfecting your skills! However, you must start. Every expert was once a beginner.
Your brand is based on female empowerment and “feel good vibes”, what do you feel is the biggest reward of empowering other women?
The biggest reward for me is getting feedback from my audience. I embrace both positive and negative feedback. Without a good balance of both, the blog wouldn’t be heading in the right direction! Of course I prefer more positive and feel the most fulfilled when ladies tell me how much they have learned on my blog.
Another one I get often is ladies emailing me to tell me that after reading a post on my blog they have felt motivated to continue their journey. Knowing that other people are in the same boat as you and reading other people’s stories is so empowering and enlightening as well. We all need encouragement and to be able to be that platform to unite women is a huge honor for me.
Being that you have interviewed so many amazing women, what has been the most impact lesson you have learned from another woman?
I feel that the most impact lesson keeps on changing as my business keeps on growing. The most recent quote that I have been loving is, “Content is king but distribution is queen and she wears the pants” and the most recent lesson that I’ve been learning is that self-care is key. You are nothing without your health, so this is something that needs to be priority.
What are you future goals for “LadyBossBlogger” and how can people support your movement?
I would love for LadyBossBlogger to become the “Huff Post” for female entrepreneurs, and for it to be THE site to get featured on because of the weight it holds. Like when I was featured on the Huff Post I felt SO LEGIT – that is what I want for LBB. If you want to read my interview on Huff Post it’s here: bit.ly/ElaineHuffPo.