- 08 Jan
- Clarissa Laskey
Publisher Interview: Hilda Solares of Fittoserve Group
It’s the beginning of a whole new decade, which can mean a time where people want to make changes, transform and grow, much like the ever growing list of Mediavine publishers.
Can you believe that list has over 6,000 people as of the beginning of Q1 in 2020?
Some of that growth can definitely be attributed to the fact that many of our Mediavine publishers are always willing to share tips, advice and expertise to help others learn and succeed.
Our Publisher Interview Series is all about providing inspiring stories of how our MVPs started their blog, increased traffic, grew their audience and the ways that Mediavine has helped improve not only their business but also their personal life too.
Take a journey with us as we share our interview with Hilda Solares from the site Fittoservegroup, a blog that encourages people to eat well, feel well and serve well.
We are excited she’s on the blog. Please say hello and learn how her easy keto recipes and lifestyle tips empower people to live their best lives, and how they put her on a path to blogging success!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your everyday life.
Hi, I’m Hilda the co-owner of Fittoserve LLC and the recipe creator for our blog Fittoservegroup. I live in sunny South Florida where the only season we really experience is summer and yet my oven still manages to be always on.
I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for over 33 years and have two amazing children, Michelle and Matthew, and one fantastic son-in-love, Peter.
When I am not busy creating recipes that aim to make the low carb, keto diet a delicious breeze, I’m trying to get my garden to bloom.
How did you get started blogging?
Well, if you must know, I was pretty much pushed into blogging, lol. Back in 2014, one of my closest friends created a free site on WordPress, then invited me to her home and surprised me by telling me I needed to start blogging.
I was terrified at the idea but knowing that she had taken the time to do this gave me the courage to dive deep into this alien world. Little did I know that day would forever change my life.
You see, Fittoservegroup was birthed after my husband Randy and I began to transform our health by combining our Christian faith with that of a keto diet. Our friends and family wanted to know what we were doing, so we formed a church community group to support and encourage others with our knowledge.
The blog is simply an extension of what we teach, which is to eat well and feel well to serve well.
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?
We joined Mediavine on May 7th, 2018. I first became aware of your platform from a blogger friend, Kelli Miller from 3boysandadog.com, who encouraged me to sign up after hearing the traffic our site was generating.
Can you believe I had never heard of Mediavine before this?
I had no idea that I could have been a partner years ago. Once I was accepted, I quickly realized what a great opportunity I had missed and understood her enthusiasm about joining.
Describe your experience with Mediavine. What do you love about working with us?
Working with Mediavine has been an incredible blessing and frankly, I love EVERYTHING about this partnership. To say it’s changed our lives is an understatement.
Since joining, we have seen our blog grow exponentially. I see the growth as a direct result of the support Mediavine gives to its publishers.
I’ve learned so much from their private Facebook Group, where other partners generously share their growth strategies and business tips. Today, I tell everyone about Mediavine, #Idreaminteal 😉
How has your Mediavine ad revenue changed your life for the better?
The revenue has completely changed our family’s financial picture. We have been able to do major home renovations, invest in our business, take family vacations, increase our giving to organizations close to our hearts and save for our future.
These were all goals we had hoped for and were only made possible because of our connection with Mediavine.
How do you think the blogging industry has changed since you started your website?
So much has changed since I first started blogging, back in 2014 when writing 300-word posts was considered good practice.
Today, my articles need to be much longer, which is why my recipes give plenty of tips while aiming to answer the reader’s questions. The good news is that besides this being good SEO practice, it has made my RPMs higher, resulting in better income.
What are the best and worst parts of blogging for you?
The best part of blogging for me has been the ability to generate passive income while sharing my passion and connecting with the readers.
Probably the most challenging aspect has been the struggle for people to understand how complex it is. The many moving parts to staying relevant in this industry is something the majority of people don’t recognize.
When I try to explain all the work that goes on behind the scenes, it’s hard for me to even list all that it entails. However, with that being said, I love how it has forced me to grow and wouldn’t trade what I do for anything else.
What has been your biggest success as an influencer?
I would have to say that our most significant success has to be the traffic growth our blog has experienced and how we have used this as a platform to help others wanting to do a ketogenic lifestyle.
The comments, emails from people thanking us for sharing our recipes and tips is something I am entirely encouraged by. That is what motivates me to keep blogging.
Who are your FAVORITE bloggers? Who inspires you? Why do you like them?
My all-time favorite bloggers have to be Crystal and Kelli, from Learn to Blog Hangouts.
These ladies have been part of my blogging journey from the onset and over the years I have seen how they have grown their blogs and business by their sincere desire to help others.
With multiple avenues of revenue for income, it’s been inspiring to see how they have done so with great integrity.
What are the most popular 3 posts on your blog?
My top 3 posts are currently:
- Ultimate Keto Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Easy Keto Broccoli Cheese Slow Cooker Soup (a crockpot soup)
- Easy Keto Lemon Cookies (a soft-baked cookie recipe)
What are your 3 personal favorite posts on your blog?
Although it’s not a recipe, my personal favorite is my post, Jesus and Keto for Transformation, where I share the reason we are passionate about what we do.
As for favorite recipes, this is hard to choose because I tend to be partial to the latest one. However, if I had to pick it would have to be my recipe for Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars, along with my Keto Trash Cookies, because they combine the salty to sweet ratio perfectly.
What tools and resources do you use to manage your blog? What could you not live without? Why?
A tool I regularly use and lean on a lot is Tailwind. The ability to schedule my pins weeks in advance and their tribe section makes it much easier to grow my Pinterest traffic. It’s been a great timesaver and worth the investment.
I also really love Mediavine’s Create plugin. It’s easy to use and its multifunction capacity has made sharing my work more straightforward. Allowing me to create lists of recipes quickly has made it simple for readers to find similar content on my site and increase my time-on-page.
What is your biggest traffic source?
Pinterest is my largest source of traffic.
What strategies have you used to make that your top traffic source?
One of the quickest ways I have found to grow my Pinterest traffic is to consistently create new pins for my top pages.
My strategy is to check Google Analytics to determine which pin is responsible for driving the traffic and then create similar pins. It’s an easy tip to implement and one that gives fast results.
Do you have any advice for bloggers on how to grow their traffic?
Although Pinterest is what drives the majority of my blog traffic, diving into SEO strategies has made it possible to grow my traffic even further. The best advice I can give is to dig into your Google Analytics and create posts that line up with terms people are already searching for.
In the beginning, I would develop recipes based on what I wanted to make, but today I always check my analytics first to see if it makes SEO sense to do so. This ensures that I am creating what the public wants and allows me to be focused.
Anything else you’d like to add to help other bloggers grow?
I would add that it’s essential to find a community of bloggers that you can learn and grow from. I am part of several Facebook groups where I glean from the knowledge of others and where I also try to add value.
Blogging can be isolating and since few people understand all that’s involved, it’s crucial to have a place to be both heard and understood. I believe it’s a way also to prevent blog burnout, something that can happen if you’re not feeling supported.
Name something on your bucket list.
At the top of my bucket list would be our ability to grow our blog to the point where we could employ as many of my family members as possible.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited and why?
Zion National Park, located in Utah, has to be my favorite place. I love being inside the canyons and every time I visit I discover something new.