Adeline Ganley is a mom, wife, writer, blogger and founder of FrugalFanatic.com. Since launching in 2011, her site has grown from a simple outlet for sharing how to save money into a popular frugal lifestyle blog. She is also the founder of SimplyBloggingAlong.com, which was created to help teach people how they, too, can earn a full-time income from blogging. She is frequently featured in iBlog Magazine and is a contributor to other large websites.
Please tell us something about yourself and your website – When did you get an idea to launch your own website and how important is it for you be online?
I first got the idea to start a blog a few months after I had my second child. I wanted to have an outlet to share my tips and ideas on how to live a frugal lifestyle. I was clueless in the beginning and had no idea that my blog would ever be more than just a hobby.
Did you have someone help making the website or did you do it by yourself?
I started my first blog, Frugal Fanatic, by myself. My brother helped to design the logo, but I did all of the technical work of setting up hosting, installing WordPress and learning how to do all of the behind-the-scenes tasks for blogging. I then had a designer create and install a custom theme.
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your website?
Choosing the right domain name can be difficult. As soon as you come up with a good idea you find out someone already has that exact name and URL. When I started Frugal Fanatic, I wanted a name that would convey the topics I was going to cover on my blog. My husband and I made a list of words that we wanted to include. Luckily, we were able to form a good URL that would be cohesive to my topics. For my second website, Simply Blogging Along, I took forever coming up with the name. I thought about it for months before finally deciding on the name and URL.
What kind of Theme do you use on your website and what are the “must have” plugins you would recommend?
On Frugal Fanatic, I have a custom theme and on Simply Blogging Along I am currently using a Studiopress theme called Minimum Pro. I would also recommend using the Foodie Blogger Pro because there is a lot of customization options available without needing a website developer or experience with coding.
Some of the plugins that I highly recommend using include:
- Genesis eNews
- W3 Total Cache
- Contact Form
- Pin It Button for WordPress
- No Follow Link
- Better Click to Tweet
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your website? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
I use the self-hosted form of WordPress on both of my blogs. It is very user-friendly and allows you to easily write posts, insert images, create links, and create custom sidebars amongst many other tools.
How much time do you spend writing/posting your articles? Do you communicate with your readers through comments?
It is hard to say exactly how much time I spend writing and posting, but it is definitely the bulk of my time for blogging. Since my blog is now a business I do spend anywhere from 30-40 hours a week working on it. Honestly, it does not feel like work since I am so passionate about my blogs.
As a blogger, the two most important tasks are writing awesome content and promoting your blog. So, I would say about 75% of my time is spent on these two tasks alone. I communicate with my readers through blog comments, weekly emails, and through social media. Engaging with my audience and developing relationships with my readers is a big priority.
How do you promote your website?
There are so many different ways to promote a blog. The most common ways I use to promote my blog is by:
- Writing guest posts
- Commenting on other blogs
- Utilizing social media
- Sending weekly email updates
- Collaborative projects with other bloggers
Do you have any current projects?
I just completed my book Breakthrough: The Complete Guide to Growing Your Platform & Blogging Your Way to a Full-Time Income. As a blogger I know firsthand the constant battle of growing your platform, engaging with your audience, and monetizing your blog all the while trying to balance you daily life. I wrote this book to help other bloggers by providing them with proven strategies to develop a blog foundation that will take their blog to the next level.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a couple of projects planned for the next few months that are going to focus on consulting and coaching bloggers.
Would you encourage other people to make their own blog/website/online business?
Yes, I would definitely recommend starting a blog. If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be making a full-time income from my blog I would have thought they were crazy. Even if you do not have any intentions of monetizing your platform I would recommend starting a blog to have as a creative outlet.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure should they start a blog of their own?
For anyone who is new to blogging or considering starting a blog, I would tell them to focus heavily on networking. A lot of bloggers skip over this without seeing the huge benefits of networking and collaborating with other content creators. Not only is it great for support, encouragement, and education, but having other bloggers help to promote your blog will help you to grow much faster.
Photos ©: Frugal Fanatic