Sometimes people ask me why I love blogging so much, and I give them plenty of different reasons. One of the biggest for me is the people I meet. There are some people that just amaze me with their knowledge, passion, and creativity. Gayla Baer is definitely one of those people. She never lets negativity or setbacks get her down, and she always seems to be on the cutting edge of blogging and Internet marketing. I’ve learned a lot from her and I know you will pick up a few lessons from her answers below. Enjoy this interview!
You have an amazing story of selling one of your blogs for $95,000! Tell us briefly when you decided to put your blog up for sale and why you believe it sold as well as it did.
I decided to sell my site when I woke up to 3 1/2 feet of water in my basement and more pouring in. I closed the door to the basement and decided I needed to get lost in something to give me peace when there was nothing I could do about the disaster that was occurring. I picked up my copy of Problogger Book that my friends and mentors Darren Rowse & Chris Garrett had written. I’d been wanting to read it anyway – seemed like the perfect time.
While reading that book, and discovering the formula to calculate a sites value, I realized I was sitting on a piece of valuable online real estate. I notified 7 companies I thought might be interested. Within a few days the first offer came in – I was floored. I knew I was staring in the face of an estimated $30,000 disaster, but suddenly, that problem didn’t seem so overwhelming. I truly believe my site sold as well as it did because of my faith and because it had grown into a strong commission generating site. It was going to be a good moneymaker for whoever bought it. The site was sold via private exchange – not on a website auction site.
You’ve recently started two new blog networks with Gadabout Media and Gadabout Health. Starting up a new blog network can be a daunting task. What gave you the confidence to do this and what do you feel are the special characteristics that will make this venture successful?
Honestly the confidence came from being a channel editor to a team of amazing writers. Standing by, watching them lose their jobs one by one made me eager to do something, anything – to provide some sort of safety net to catch them. There’s nothing worse then being axed from a team and being left feeling alone and isolated. Thankfully, I never had to experience that aloneness long. My dear friend Marijke stood with me in forming Gadabout Media and Gadabout Health. She’s been such a rock for me since I was downsized myself over a year ago. Marijke allowed me to sulk for a while, but lifted me up and encouraged me to forge ahead. I think she recognized the one character flaw in me – that being that I can’t do anything alone.
Because Marijke partnered with me, my former team would never have to feel that if they chose not to. Daunting? I guess it’s the mother of multiples training I have but I’ve never seen running a network or channel as daunting. Perhaps it’s the quality people I have been lucky enough to surround myself with – maybe both. I do know the writers I’ve worked with for the last several years have made leading them so enjoyable and leaves me wanting to do more to protect, encourage and support them in any way I can.
What are some qualities that the most successful bloggers share?
The most successful bloggers, in my opinion, are those who put their readers first. Those who see blogging as a humanitarian effort of sorts – and aren’t selfish with their knowledge. I believe when you give of yourself you reap rewards ten fold. Just look at Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett and John Chow. Those guys share everything they know with the world and they are truly blessed. They have beautiful families and enjoy what they do – and it shows. I aspire to be just like those guys only cuter 🙂 Just kiddin’
I’d also like to add that a real ‘need’ to succeed works wonders. The thought of going back into an office or cubicle environment is not something I care to ever do again. When you have a family depending on your – nothing inspires you like a perfect mix of necessity and responsibility.
Blogging can be stressful if writers take on too many projects. What are some ways you relax and recharge?
The way I relax and recharge is escaping to the water. I love going to the lakes – floating and soaking up the sun with an adult beverage in hand. I take long walks with the special man that’s come into my life. When I can’t get to the lakes, I like curling up with a good book and my dogs. Most of the time I can be found reading something on marketing or Law of Attraction.
What advice do you have for new bloggers starting out?
Don’t expect it to be easy. Nothing about blogging is easy. It takes time and perseverance. Do your homework. Make sure you’re getting into a market that’s going to be profitable – if you’re looking to make money through writing. If you don’t know where to begin, ask! There are plenty of bloggers and writers who are happy to share tips and advice to keep people from falling, failing and quitting. Anyone can do this – really!
What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned in your experience as a blogger? As a web-entrepreneur?
I’ve learned I will [and do] make mistakes. Today I learn from those mistakes and move on. Elbert Hubbard said it best… ‘The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.’ I had to stop letting my fear of criticism rule me.
As a web-entrepreneur – I’m only as good as my network and my readers.
Where can we find more about you?
I have always had several irons in the blogging fire – I can be found blogging on:
Work at home & online career consulting – www.gaylabaer.com
A guide to gadgets, gizmos and domestic bliss – www.momgadget.com
Diet, Health, Fitness and Weight Loss – www.slimfitmama.com
Dating & Relationships – www.date1411.com
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to encourage everyone to at least explore their options. Don’t spend that first dime on opportunity or educational materials without talking to someone with experience first. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. My email is always open – I’m happy to investigate opportunities or offers for people to help them avoid being scammed, it allows me to tap into that investigative Charlie’s Angel I always seem to be channeling.