Q&A with Agnes Hsu

Publisher Interview: Agnes Hsu of Hello, Wonderful

At Mediavine, we work with over 4,400 websites, and we are continuously blown away by our publishers’ creativity. 

From creative food bloggers like Karli Bitner of Cooking With Karli to fashionistas like Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen to crafters like Becky Jorgensen of Patchwork Posse, our publishers have got it going on. 

We love introducing you to our publishers via our publisher interview series on our blog. Today we’d like for you to meet another creative soul, Agnes Hsu of the blog hello, Wonderful

Thank you for joining us today, Agnes! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your everyday life. 

Hi, my names is Agnes and I run a creative site for kids, hello, Wonderful. I’m a mom of 3 kids (age 1, 7 and 10) from Los Angeles and am passionate about pursuing what you love, kindness, rainbows and unicorns.

Oh and also food! I just recently started a kid-friendly food site called hello, Yummy and run a unicorn shop were we (literally) send unicorns in the mail. I’m always dreaming of how to make the world a more magical place, but really just love talking entrepreneurship and brainstorming new ideas with people to help them pursue their passions.

I’m a big believer we all have magic inside us and whether we realize what it is yet, it’s there.

How did you get started blogging?

I was taking a hiatus from my first business (a bakery of all things!) to spend more time with my kids (two at the time, age 2 and 4). I wanted to create arts and crafts with them that would be simple yet beautiful. Crafts that both kids AND parents would love doing together.

So the start of hello, Wonderful came about and we became known for cute and colorful crafts. I also love curating playful products so we also feature creative, often handmade, unique products we love for kids on the site.

How long have you been a Mediavine publisher? How did you first hear about us? What drew you to Mediavine as a partner for display advertising?

I became a Mediavine publisher in 2016 and had heard rave reviews from many bloggers I know. Many talked about amazing RPMs but most importantly, the fact that Mediavine cares as much for their bloggers’ success as their own.

Describe your experience with Mediavine. What do you love about working with us?

What drew me to Mediavine was their transparent approach to communication. Also their personal attention to each and every partner. I still remember staring out, I had an issue with my site being custom so I was only able to use Mediavine on desktop for several months at first. Mediavine made an exception for me which I was ever so grateful.

Once I was able to get Mediavine on board for mobile, I had some hiccups. Amber personally got involved in several long, thoughtful emails. I was blown away by one of the founders personally taking her time to troubleshoot my issues and helping me come to a good conclusion on what to do.

How has your Mediavine ad revenue changed your life for the better?

Mediavine ad revenue has given me the option to work on other side hustles for fun, like opening up my Send a Unicorn shop were we send cute unicorns in the mail to spread magic.

The income from Mediavine helped me start up the shop and inventory which has helped increase income overall to my family. It’s been a great way to diversify my income while pursuing a unique niche and passion. My unicorn shop often makes as much monthly as Mediavine, so in a way, I can say Mediavine doubled my income!

How do you think the blogging industry has changed since you started your website?

Blogging is more competitive than ever and the constant algorithm changes of social media and SEO with Google updates require bloggers to be constantly learning new practices.

For example, when I started a few years back, video was non-existent. Now it’s a must to get any sort of reach on social media.

What are the best and worst parts of blogging for you?

The best part is being my own boss, working from anywhere, and inspiring my kids creatively as well as helping them become socially responsible citizens. For example, I helped my daughter start a Rainbow Rock Project where she paints rocks and donates money to the homeless. Blogging opened up the initiative to a wider audience and therefore, we had a greater social impact.

The worst part, keeping up with social media changes and algorithms (see above) ha! But also dealing with copycat-like big companies who recreate your viral crafts for their social media audiences or for sale.

I’ve had both happen to me and it stings, especially since I’m a one-woman show and these companies have big marketing and video production teams behind them.

What has been your biggest success as an influencer?

One of my biggest successes for growing traffic is creating viral videos on FB, many which have been viewed millions of times, the top one over 20MM. I have a good sense of knowing what will resonate with my audience and also have a good handle on creating DIYs or curating products they want to see.

Who are your FAVORITE bloggers. Who inspires you? Why do you like them?

It’s so hard to pick 3, there are so many I respect and love. I admire Kim from The Best Ideas for Kids because not only are her ideas super cute, she is such a smart blogger, and approaches blogging from a very strategic and deliberate perspective. Her growth has been phenomenal as a result.

Rachel from I Heart Crafty Things, someone who has been in the kids craft space for a long time, yet always has a laser focus on the type of crafts she delivers time and again, while always being original. I instantly recognize her work when I see it online and btw, it’s super cute too!

Rachel from Handmade Charlotte because her DIY projects are always whimsical, unique and gorgeous for both kids and adults to make together. If I could name anyone who started me down this path, it was Rachel’s blog as inspiration for her beautiful style.

What are the most popular 3 posts on your blog?

What are your 3 personal favorite posts on your blog? 

DIY Unicorn Dreamcatchers — One of my most popular posts but one I made for my daughter’s birthday and her friends which they loved

How To Make Mini Water Blobs — Because it was the first post that went viral for me just 6 months into blogging. I remember getting 75K pageviews in one day from it and the high that maybe I could do this “blogging thing” for a living after all.

Recycled Bottle Bubble Art — This was the one that went majorly viral as a video on FB with over 20MM views but the best part? It wasn’t even a post I planned, just something cool I shared I did with my kids. This shows me, blogging doesn’t always have to be planned or keyword-driven. Sometimes you need to share something you love doing and you may be surprised at how many others agree.

What tools and resources do you use to manage your blog? What could you not live without? Why?

  • Tailwind and a GREAT Pinterest VA since Pinterest is my greatest source of social traffic
  • WordPress management and tech support so I can sleep at night knowing if my site gets hacked I have someone to reach out to immediately
  • Adobe Creative Cloud for editing
  • Great DSLR and video equipment, lights, and overhead set up for videos — because videos drive a lot of my traffic on social

What is your biggest traffic source?

Pinterest

What strategies have you used to make that your top traffic source?

  • Invest in good photography skills wether that is researching online resources and teaching yourself like I did, or taking a class.
  • Learning how to edit a photo to take it from okay to great.
  • Investing in decent (not necessarily the best or most expensive) photo gear
  • Using a scheduler like Tailwind.
  • Creating multiple pins per post.
  • Using a great Pinterest VA (if you can afford one)

Do you have any advice for bloggers on how to grow their traffic?

Really understand what you offer in your niche that is different and drive that home to your readers and/or make sure you spend all your effort reaching that right audience. I believe strongly in “product market fit” and blogging is no different.

If they are a food or craft blogger I would definitely invest in Pinterest, either an online course, a scheduler or VA and/or all the above! Pinterest is key for these niches and can lead to significant traffic.

Anything else you’d like to add to help other bloggers grow?

Make sure you find your clan or tribe; “choose people who choose you” is my new favorite quote. You don’t have to have the largest audience but if you continue to speak to the right people, more of them will appear.

Be CONSISTENT even when there are crickets. When I first started, no matter how small, I consistently posted at least 3x a week, shared all my posts, pinned X number of times per day, sent out one email per week.

What’s the one thing on any restaurant menu you MUST order?

Dessert, I never skip dessert!

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited and why?

Paris will always be my favorite city because I grew up there as a young child and went to a strict Catholic boarding school run by nuns. They were the first to teach me the strong work ethics I still have to this day. I’ll always be grateful for that, and also, Paris is such a beautiful romantic city. Who wouldn’t love it? 🙂

What’s your favorite quote?

I have a lot but one of my favorite ones right now is, “Love is a verb.” It’s actually my mantra for 2019. I want everything I care about (related to work, family, friends, life) to have meaning and so I am being intentional about showing love through actions vs. words.