Today we have another ‘Small Victories’ interviwe with blogger Carleen Coulter, of Beauty and Fashion Tech.
These small victories interviews are with members of ProBlogger.com and are all about highlighting some of the small wins that real bloggers have – our hope is that they’ll inspire other bloggers at similar stages to not only celebrate the ‘big wins’ and those that have already gone pro – but to focus upon the smaller things that take us forward as bloggers.
Transcription of Interview with Carleen Coulter
For those of you who prefer to read than listen – here’s a transcription of the video by The Transcription People.
Lara: Hi everybody, this is Lara Kulpa from ProBlogger.com and as part of our new series on small victories I have with me today Carleen Coulter. Hi Carleen.
Carleen: Hi. How are you?
Lara: I’m wonderful. How are you?
Carleen: I am doing very well.
Lara: Good. So how about you give our listeners a little bit of a background?
Carleen: Okay. My name is Carleen Coulter. I’m the author of multiple blogs but my primary one is beautyandfashiontech, the words beauty and fashion followed by T-E-C-H .com.
Carleen: I also have a blog, girl gloss and run some affiliate sites and I also run a little non profit blog for my dog.
Carleen: Yeah, he doesn’t try to make any money.
Lara: So …
Carleen: Oh, go ahead.
Lara: No, no, no, you go, go ahead.
Carleen: I basically started blogging, I’d say it was about three and a half, four years ago now. Kind of did it on a whim. I just one day started reading some other blogs and said, hey, I’d kind of like to try that and started doing it. I’m actually an attorney by profession.
Lara: Oh, wow, nice. Very nice.
Carleen: So it’s … yeah, you know, it makes for a nice combination. I kind of like writing about things that aren’t legal topics from time to time.
Lara: I can’t blame you there.
Carleen: Yeah. The legal stuff gets kind of dry.
Lara: Yeah. So when you put your … put in your application to be featured in the series, what was the small victory that you were talking about?
Carleen: Well actually I had kind of a small victory and then more of a medium victory. The small victory was when I first started doing this, my, my now husband, he was then my boyfriend, was really kind of teasing me about it. He, you know, he would go, “So you’re writing about makeup, you think you’re going to make some money from this.” Because I told him, well, you know, I’d kind of like to make a little money, extra money on the side.
Carleen: And, you know, he said, “You’re never going to make money on that. You’re falling for some make money online thing.” And I said, “Well, you know, I’ll try and see what happens.” So after maybe, I don’t know, a month or two, you know, I start showing him, “Oh, here, look. I’m at least making, you know, a buck a day on AdSense.” He’s like, “That’s not money. That doesn’t count.” And so I think I was about three months in and two things happened. First, I got my first AdSense cheque. So I actually, you know, made enough to get to that hundred dollar mark.
Carleen: And then I also sold a $1500 ad contract for a six month ad contract.
Carleen: And so he comes home and, you know, I proudly show him this $1500 and that pretty much shut him up after that. And he simply said, “Yeah, you can do more of this.”
Lara: Yeah, sure, absolutely. That’s awesome.
Carleen: Yeah. So that was … that was the small victory. The medium victory was really from there it kept growing and … when I first … I was … I’m originally from Nebraska and I moved out to Illinois to be with my husband and I took a cut in pay. I lost a part-time teaching job that was extra income from that and the cost of living out here is kind of ridiculous.
Carleen: So, yeah, I moved out here, I really kind of needed extra money and was looking to replace my teaching income and what happened was by about the one year mark I had done that. So that’s kind of my medium victory is that, you know, things grew. I replaced all that lost income, actually increased it quite a bit and in the end last year my husband was laid off of his job and that actually probably saved us. I mean …
Carleen: My income at that point covered the mortgage and we got by okay. And, fortunately, he’s re-employed now.
Lara: Right. That’s fantastic. You know, a lot of people talk about how they think that everybody is trying to get into the blogging thing and the making money online thing because of the way the economy is of course in the United States and things are getting rough around here and we’ve been battling this whole thing for a couple of years now and it’s really nice to hear that within such a relatively short period of time, if you look at the grand scheme of things, I mean, a year, but that’s not asking a lot, to be able to put in the effort for a year’s time. And …
Carleen: Yeah, you know, yeah, I think it … the key is putting in the effort.
Carleen: I mean, it’s definitely work.
Lara: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s … there’s nothing … Darren recently had a post about how unsexy it is and …
Carleen: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
Lara: Yeah. You know, there’s nothing … there’s nothing out there saying that this is one of those like set it and forget it kind of Ronco rotisserie things, you have to really put in the effort, and that’s fantastic. So let me ask you this, being a member of ProBlogger.com and coming to the site and everything, what are some things that you think have helped you along the way?
Carleen: Well, first off, I have to say that ProBlogger, ProBlogger.net, the actual blog, was instrumental from the get go for me. When I first started blogging and started realising, oh, I could actually make some money from this, I think I read every single thing on there. I mean, yeah, I mean, Darren was like … he was a God to me. I was like, “Wow, this is just amazing. It’s a great site.”
Carleen: So when ProBlogger.com the forum and everything started, I immediately wanted to be part of that. And I think it’s a very useful place, especially … I think it’s particularly probably good for new bloggers and then there’s some established bloggers in there who are quite active.
Carleen: So it’s a nice mix of people. You get new people in there with fresh ideas and questions. I mean, I’ve learnt from people’s questions.
Carleen: You know, people ask questions that I never thought of and I thought, okay, that’s interesting. And then I also learnt from the answers.
Carleen: And then, like I said, there’s experienced people in there too who bring their own wealth of knowledge.
Lara: Right, right. One of the things that I hear a lot from people, now that we’ve been sending out the weekly newsletters and kind of pointing people in certain directions each week, one of the responses I keep getting is that people are feeling almost like wallflower-ish. You know, they go in there and they’re kind of like, you know, “There’s so many people with such great information I feel like I have nothing to add,” you know. To which my answer is always, “Well, you know, your learning process can be somebody else’s learning process as well,” which kind of goes along with what you just said.
Carleen: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean, I can’t, I can’t say how many times I’ve seen somebody either in, in the ProBlogger forum or another forum ask a question where I just … it might be a very basic question and it’s something I’ve never thought of before.
Carleen: And I get something out of that and I say, hey, I really learned something from that. Also you can’t … you can’t discount the, just the social interactions and getting to know people.
Carleen: I’m always one that’s always loved forums because I’m just pretty social and, you know, if you’re kind of a wallflower you really can, you know, get to know people just by going in forums, asking a few questions, throwing in your thoughts and, you know, don’t worry about being new or maybe not having been blogging that long or anything. You know, I think everybody has something valid to add.
Lara: Fantastic. Well, Carleen, thank you so much for talking to us today. And go ahead and tell everybody what your URL is again.
Carleen: The primary site is beautyandfashiontech.com. The first part is easy, beauty and fashion T-E-C-H .com.
Lara: Okay, great. Well thanks so much and we’ll see you in the forums.
Carleen: Yeah, thank you for having me.
Lara: Absolutely. Bye bye.