Publisher Interview: Kyle James of Rather Be Shopping
Mediavine publishers are simply the best. Yes, we may be biased, but we’re also honest.
Whether you want to know about capsule wardrobes from fashion blogger Alison at Wardrobe Oxygen, family travel from Andzrej of Wanderlust Storytellers or world-class quilting from Becky of Patchwork Posse, chances are pretty good that a Mediavine publisher is an expert.
We’re continually honored that these incredibly talented content creators trust us to help with their monetization through full-service ad management.
We’ve made it our mission to highlight as many MVPs (Mediavine publishers) as we could in the last year in our publisher interviews. It’s our privilege to interview content creators from all niches, and share with you their blogging stories, as well as their tips for other bloggers and sources of inspiration.
One of our larger blogging niches at Mediavine is FINANCE. We work with some of the smartest frugal living experts around, like Alexis Schroeder of Fitnancials, Jeff Proctor of DollarSprout and Kelan Kline of The Savvy Couple, and we have even more interviews planned for the rest of 2018!
Today we’re talking to Kyle James of Rather Be Shopping. We’re so glad Kyle is here to talk with us about how he got started blogging, his SEO strategy and his advice for making a living as a blogger. Thank you for joining us, Kyle!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your everyday life.
I have three kids, a beautiful wife and a mortgage. Not to mention a horse, a pygmy goat, five chickens and a couple dogs.
When I’m not working, you’ll find me hanging out with my daughter and her horse or hitting the golf links with my son. If I’m having a great day, you’ll find me on a date with my wife drinking a tasty microbrew.
How did you get started blogging?
I was slinging drugs as a pharmaceutical rep back in 2001, very tired of all the travel; I came up with a website that listed coupons and deals for a slew of different online stores. At the time, I had no idea what I was doing, but knew I wanted to work for myself at some point. Rather-Be-Shopping.com was born. After a huge learning curve, the site started to gain popularity due to some good publicity and I was able to run it full-time starting in 2003.
Then around 2008 I added a blog and started talking about funny stories like the time my 2-year-old knocked over an entire grocery store display of soda. Plus some highly useful content like all the stores that will price match Amazon and the best return policies in the known universe.
How long have you been a Mediavine publisher?
Since November of 2016
What was it that drew you to us as a partner for your display advertising?
I was tired of trying to do it myself.
How do you think blogging has changed since you started?
Everybody and their aunt is blogging now. So it means you have to up your game and really knock it out of the park with content. I always strive for “best of the web”…don’t always make it, but it’s definitely my goal.
What’s the best part of the blog world for you?
I love starting with a blank computer screen and churning out something that will be read by thousands of people. Not because they think I’m cool, but because the content helps them better their lives (or better yet, save money).
Then it gets completely awesome when I share the story idea with a group of consumer reporters that I’ve networked with over the years and I end up doing a bunch of Skype or in person interviews on the topic.
What’s the worst part of blogging for you?
Having my wife come home at 2 p.m. and I’m still wearing the sweat pants and t-shirt that I woke up in.
Who are your FAVORITE bloggers. Who inspires you? Why do you like them?
J.Money at Budgets are Sexy — He taught me the importance of being “real” when I write.
Lifehacker.com — A bunch of great writers. I try to emulate their style. They don’t take themselves too seriously yet they always produce “best of web” stuff.
What are your three FAVORITE posts on your blog?
- Talk Your Way to a Deal: How to Negotiate at These Major Retailers — If you’re paying full price….you’re paying too much.
- Learn To Crack the Price Tag Code at These Major Retailers — This bad boy got me on FOX News and Good Morning America.
- What Day to Shop? 12 Insider Tips on Store Markdowns — Fun info. Shop on the right day of the week and save some serious cash.
What tools and resources do you use to manage your blog?
Mediavine, Sumo, ZenCache, Yoast SEO
What is your biggest traffic source?
What strategies have you used to make that your top traffic source?
My main Google strategy is to pretty much ignore Google. Write kick-ass content that’s better than anything else out there and people will link to it (and share it) and Google sure as heck will find it and rank it. Throw in some light SEO and “boom goes the dynamite.”
Anything else you’d like to add to help other bloggers grow?
Put in the work. There’s no shortcut way to grow traffic that’s sustainable. Oh, and never let someone tell you that you can’t make a living as a blogger. That’s nothing more than fuel for the fire, baby.
What’s the one thing on any restaurant menu you MUST order?
If I see a homemade Lemon Meringue Pie (at any restaurant) my fat cells immediately start screaming.
Thanks so much for joining us on the Mediavine blog, Kyle!
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