I'm blown away every single day by the people I'm meeting and connecting with online, and Megan Johnson, aka #TipsyWriter, is no exception.
I found TipsyWriter.com via one of my tweets at one of my Twitter followers that was retweeted by her (which I consider to be solid proof that this Twitter thing totally works, btw).
Because I could be called Tipsy Web Designer depending on the day, I followed Megan on Twitter and immediately went to TipsyWriter.com.
But every time I saw a new blog post from her on Twitter, I read it. One day, I clicked on a link to her blog and saw it had gone from beautiful to gorgeous! I knew immediately it was a new WordPress theme and wanted to find out more about Megan, her blog and her WordPress journey.
Read on to learn more about Megan, how she monetizes her blog and built a community of over 20,000 followers on Twitter.
When did you start your Tipsy Writer and why?
I started TipsyWriter almost two years ago (it’ll be two years next month!) totally on a whim. I was helping someone come up with a title for their own website and had the idea. You know how sometimes you just have those ideas that are too good to not follow? I guess TipsyWriter was one of those for me.
I set up the site, started writing, and have been involved ever since – and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to just go with my gut and give it a shot!
What do you feel makes your audience/readers special?
When you have a blog, it’s like there’s this invisible network that you didn’t realize you were joining. Pretty soon you’re talking to bloggers about numbers, what your plans are for the future…basically comparing experiences.
Now, I could have told you that my audience is special and the best around, but what i’ve learned just from talking to other bloggers out there is that my readers are so much more involved, engaged, and all-around awesome. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. (YOU GUYS MAKE THIS HAPPEN – THANK YOU!)
Did anything surprise you about creating your website?
Honestly, I’m kinda surprised that I really fell in love with it as much as I have. Sure, I have always enjoyed writing and getting to help other people, but I wasn’t sure how much i’d really enjoy the whole web-community thing. Turns out, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
It’s long hours sometimes, hard work on occasion, but that feeling of knowing that I get to help people every day through a community that I created – I can’t tell you how rewarding that is.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own blog?
This is probably the one question that ALWAYS come up when I am interviewed and my answer will always be the same: DO. IT.
You have only a limited amount of time in your life and maybe even less than you might hope, so any time that you’re not putting toward chasing those passions, creating, or making those crazy ideas a reality is going to waste.
You don’t have to have a largely successful blog overnight, just put yourself out there. If you’re worried about that being scary – good. Let that fear drive you. It’ll always be scary on some level, but I promise you you’ll be glad you did.
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?
So about 9 months into TipsyWriter’s life I decided that I wanted to completely change the look of the site. (Fun fact – TipsyWriter’s look changed 3 times within that first year. I don’t recommend that.)
I very clearly remember sitting in a coffee shop and thinking “I want this site to be the girlies thing I can think of!” So I did it. In a few hours I had the site looking entirely different…and noticeably sloppier.
Although (thankfully) this look didn’t last too long on TipsyWriter, I learned a lot from it that can be taken in terms of blogging advice and advice in life. Whenever you are sitting there bored out of your mind wishing that something exciting would happen so that you wouldn’t be bored anymore, consider going for a walk or a drive or something simple…just don’t make drastic decisions that are much harder to undo than they were to do in the first place.
How long did it take you to launch your blog once you decided to do it?
Unlike a lot of people who spent months planning, writing, building up hype, or whatever else, I pretty much had the idea one night and was writing on it by the next day.
I think because I hadn’t ventured into the blogging world at that point, I didn’t realize that that wasn’t necessarily the best way to go about doing things. But looking back, I don’t regret just jumping full speed into things. Things work out for a reason.
How did you promote your site when you first started out? Has anything changed between then and how?
When I first started trying to promote my site, I would spent lots of time Googling where the best places to submit articles were and things like that. Probably not surprisingly, I spent a lot more time researching for not a whole lot of gain.
At some point, I decided that I should spend less time focusing on how to get more traffic and more time focusing on how to build a community. Once I did that (and quit stressing over numbers and changed my focus to people) I got both things that I wanted. Now, my strength is in the community that has been built. All other numbers are secondary.
Do you have an email list, and if so, what is the most effective way you have grown your email list?
I totally “get” why people build an email list. But I’m also someone who gets so many emails every day that I rarely get a chance to read those emails from blogs I once frequented. Right now, yes I have a popup on my site asking for people’s emails. In the past it has been in the sidebar. Other times I’ve decided that I didn’t want to collect emails.
In other words, I go back and forth on how to go about collecting them. At the end of the day, I never want to pester my readers (either w/ emails themselves or asking for their email addresses) so it depends on what I’m doing with my site. Just because things look the same on the surface doesn’t mean a lot isn’t brewing underneath!
Do you earn money from your site, and if so, how? Affiliate marketing, ads, products, etc.?
I do earn money from my site. I have ads on my site, I accept sponsorships, etc. My one thing though is that I am extremely picky when it comes to these things. I turn down offers if I don’t think they’re a good fit.
I hate doing it sometimes because I founded a marketing company myself I understand first hand how frustrating being told no can be. But on TipsyWriter the audience comes first over me making money from it…but that money is also what keeps things going.
Who are your favorite bloggers or podcasts?
As far as podcasts go, I love Jess Lively’s “The Lively Show.” She has some truly inspirational people on there and I find that they are especially easy to listen to while I’m doing client work during the days.
Bloggers I jump around – I’m a big bloglovin fan so I subscribe to tons of different blogs. I don’t think I have a favorite blog though – they all have something to add and I think that’s a beautiful thing.
In addition to Tipsy Writer, Megan also founded a digital/social/content marketing agency called in.spekt.co that helps companies find their ideal customer via social media and connect with them – and stay connected.