One of our favorite attributes that all Mediavine publishers share is that in one way or another, they are all chasing their dreams.
Whether it’s in health and fitness like Christel from Diabetes Strong, finance like Kelan from The Savvy Couple or a combination of things like Alexis from Fitnancials, MVPs challenge the conventional wisdom, buck the system and carve out their own niche in the digital space
Today’s interview with Mediavine publisher Sara Trezzi from the website Gathering Dreams is another perfect example. We loved hearing about her blogging philosophy and her sheer hustle to achieve the life of her dreams.
Let’s welcome Sara to the Mediavine blog!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and your everyday life.
My name is Sara, the dreamer, and I run Gathering Dreams, a blog in which I collect everything I love in life.
Daniele, my sweetheart since high school, is the amazing photographer behind the blog.
I write about traveling, food, and anything to do with personal finance, especially how to create side hustles to set you free you from your day-job!
How did you get started blogging?
Well, as I said, I’m a big fan of creating side hustles. And although I had a very consuming job, during the last 8 years I have come up with many business ideas.
First I created an online tea company that imported organic tea from Sri Lanka.
I loved the process of creating a physical product, but it was so much work, and I still had a full-time job at the time and couldn’t keep up with it.
Then I became obsessed with generating passive income. That’s how I started investing in rental properties.
At that point, I managed to go part-time, but Dan was still working 5 (sometimes 6) days a week.
So I got bored, and as much as I like investing in real estate, I wanted to find something a bit more creative. That’s when I came across blogging!
And decided to give it a go!
How long have you been a Mediavine publisher?
I joined Mediavine in February 2018!
What was it that drew you to us as a partner for your display advertising?
You guys have such an amazing reputation! When I was doing research for my blog, before I even launched, I knew my main objective was to join Mediavine!
After using Google Adsense for a couple of months, I couldn’t be happier about my choice to switch to Mediavine!
How has that evolved over time?
The automatic way you place ads in the content, the ability to simply change settings without having to use complicated ad code everywhere, and your stellar customer support are second to none!
Your team helped me more than once with technical problems, sometimes not even related to your ads, but to my specific settings. All I can say, it’s a huge thank you!
I also love being able to turn ads on and off for specific posts, to test conversion rates and revenues.
How do you think blogging has changed since you started?
Well, since I only started a few months ago, not much has changed!
It’s definitely more competitive, and you really need to find a way to stand out. A lot of bloggers write similar content, and you need to find your unique way to put a twist on it!
What’s the best part of the blog world for you?
My blog is my world, and I can make what I want out of it. I love how you can create a unique business, based on your personal passions, and reach thousands of people every month.
Being able to set my schedule and work as much or as little as I want from anywhere is a dream come true!
I also love learning new things every day!
What’s the worst part of blogging for you?
Blogging can be a rollercoaster emotionally. No one is driving you other than yourself, and some days it can be hard to find the motivation you need to keep going.
Who are your FAVORITE bloggers. Who inspires you? Why do you like them?
Mr. Money Mustache: he made me discover that living without a job was possible by reaching Financial Independence.
Millennial Revolution: I love them, and I just want to travel for the rest of my life like they do!
Michelle from Making Sense of Cents: She actually inspired me to start a blog! By reading her income reports, I finally decided to give blogging a go!
What are your top 3 posts on your blog?
- 25 Creative Ways To Make $100 a Day
- 17 Smart Passive Income Ideas That Actually Work
- Personal Finance Hacks That Will Make You Rich
What are your 3 FAVORITE posts on your blog?
My favorite is the post in which I go through how I got 180,000 page views and made $3,800 after 3 months with Gathering Dreams: How to Make Money Blogging (In No Time)
I also love my blog post about generating passive income, 21 Smart Passive Income Ideas That Actually Work.
And Personal Finance Hacks That Will Make You Rich is one of the first posts I wrote, and still love it.
What tools and resources do you use to manage your blog?
Tailwind and Mailerlite. I also love Short Pixel for WordPress to compress images!
What is your biggest traffic source?
What strategies have you used to make that your top traffic source?
When I was doing my research before launching my blog, I read a few articles about how Pinterest could drive a lot of free traffic to your blog quite quickly.
I started to study what other successful bloggers where doing. I looked at their pins, what was working and what wasn’t.
I also went into bookshops and looked for the best book covers: what was driving my eyes? I also looked at printed ads on buses and magazines. And I tried to replicate that in my pin design.
I make several pins per post: 4-5 pins for my recipes and up to 10 for my personal finance posts. And then I still make at least 1 new pin a month for all my old posts. It can become tedious, but it has helped me to grow really quickly.
Pinterest is an amazing platform, and although I really recommend new bloggers to learn SEO as quickly as possible (I wish I started sooner), nothing can give you a jump-start like Pinterest.
Do you have any advice for bloggers on how to grow their traffic?
Don’t try to learn everything at once. There is so much to do when you are starting out. Concentrate all your effort and learn to drive traffic with one platform before you move to the next one.
I started with Pinterest, Google is next, and then I will start to look at Facebook.
Learn one thing at the time! And as a new blogger, if you have no experience at all, start with Pinterest!
Anything else you’d like to add to help other bloggers grow?
Do NOT give up too soon!
I gave myself a year to reach my goal, and I was not going to give up before I got there.
Some days, when you see no traffic on your blog, it’s hard to keep going.
But stay motivated, and treat your blog as a business: invest in it from the start.
Take courses that will help you to grow, educate yourself as much as possible. This will really help you to fast-track your success.
What’s the one thing on any restaurant menu you MUST order?
Pizza! Pizza all my life! Love carbs! It’s in my Italian blood!
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