Tell us about yourself and your blog!
My name is Lauren (Ell) and I am the creator of EllDuclos.Blog & Boss Girl Bloggers. I started my journey a little over a year an a half ago (April 2017). I have always had this dream of creating a community for like minded women who wanted to pursue a lifestyle that made them completely happy! I am all about living the “freest” lifestyle! Not only finding financial freedom, but freedom to spend your time how you wish!
What inspired you to start your own blog?
I was actually going through a dark time in my life, you can read about it here. I was extremely depressed, waiting tables for a living and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get ahead. Financially strapped was an understatement. When you know you are so unhappy that you start contemplating life… that’s when I knew I needed to make a change immediately. I always loved writing when I was in school. SO, I decided to start my blog! It began as a way to express my thoughts and pull myself out of the depression I was in. Little did I know that it would change my life in the best way possible.
How would you describe your blogging style?
I would say that my style is “REAL”, I am not a “perfect” writer by any means. I write from my heart and I try to be as real as possible. I am not an uptight, grammar police, business professional! I don’t sugar coat anything. I think having your own voice and being REAL with your audience is HUGE. Being relatable is HUGE. You need to keep your audience engaged with your content, otherwise they will get bored of your content quick. Having your own style, personality, and voice is so important as a blogger.
Can you tell us about your ideal reader?
I would say my ideal reader varies. I write a lot about how to pursue your passion and turn it into a full time career. (Blogging)… I also help other like minded females chase their happiest life. I believe that when your career and passion collide, that’s true happiness. If you think about it, you work a majority of your life… You might as well enjoy what you are doing!! I also write a lot about beauty and lifestyle too! I don’t like to stick to one topic because there are so many things I enjoy writing about!
How do you structure your days?
You could probably say I am the most unorganized person. I try to be as organized as possible but sometimes I find “winging it” works a lot better for me! I like to wake up, get coffee, and go with the flow.
Is blogging your profession or hobby?
It’s my profession and hobby! I love blogging but this year I was able to turn it into my full time job! For that I am thankful.
What has been your most successful blog post?
I would say my most successful blog post is my How I Turned My Blog into a Full Time Career post.
Describe your writing process from start to finish.
My writing process is pretty basic. When I have ideas I jot them down in my phone notes. Then, I create a rough draft on my phone and transfer it over to my wordpress editor. After, I reread and make finishing touches! I then have to add all necessary links, photos etc. Hit publish and BOOM, there’s my new post!
Where and how do you work best?
I definitely work best in a quiet atmosphere. Sometimes I will put on some jazz music to get inspired. (don’t know why it inspires me! HAHA) I find that if I feel inspired, I need to act on it immediately.
What were the first few steps you took to get your blog up and running?
I honestly went out on a whim. I started on wordpress .com and quickly realized I wanted to move to self hosting. I did that, chose a theme that I loved and got to writing. The thing about blogging is, there is a lot to learn!!! If you try to learn it all right away you will drive yourself insane. Just continue to write what you love and learn along the way. You can always go back and make adjustments when needed.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your blog and attracting an audience?
I definitely think my Facebook group Boss Girl Bloggers was where it all started. Having my group helped me to connect with my audience on a more personal level. Personal connections go a long way when it comes to growing an audience.
Then I started to get into Pinterest and that helped TREMENDOUSLY. The combination of the two has taken my blog to a whole new level that I am forever grateful for.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I think my biggest challenge so far has been time management. I manage a lot on my own. For example: My 2 Instagram accounts, My Facebook Community, My 2 twitter accounts, My own Pinterest, 5-7 Pinterest clients a month, My own blog and so much more!
I tend to take on more than I should. I just can’t help myself! I need to practice better time management for sure. I also tend to work ALL the time. I try to take time away but since I love my job so much I can’t help it.
How did you overcome these challenges?
It’s still a work in progress but I find that making a list at the beginning of the day from most important tasks to least important tasks helps! Then I will set a timer and start working on my first task… When the timer is up I will stop working on the task. If I didn’t finish the task, I put it at the bottom. Then I continue down the list repeating the same process. I find this helps to make sure I am not focusing on social media or a specific task for too long.
I also try to set a time where I put my computer away and hide my phone so I don’t get caught up in my job.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
It can be tough but I find that when I watch certain shows, like Gossip Girl (as weird as that sounds) and play some jazz music, I feel more motivated and inspired… Something about the city really inspires me! I also like to scroll through Pinterest. It’s very motivating and inspiring on there. BUT, there are times where I just need to take a break whether it’s a day or weekend.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Honestly, I don’t even know who my competitors would be. I like to think I have my own voice and style. It’s really hard because there are tons of people out there who want to take the easy way out.
Example: My content has been copied and pasted onto other’s sites multiple times. It’s hard when you put in hard work just for people to steal and copy!
For me, I try not to read other posts that are related to my niche. (I know it sounds unsupportive and strange) BUT, if you read a post you are more likely to feel inspired by that post and you then write your own post that ends up being EXTREMELY similar out of inspiration…This is always a fear of mine so instead of worrying if I may accidentally copying someones content, i’d rather just not read other similar topics all together.
I always write from the heart. I also tend to story tell and relate my blog posts to my own life. A lot of people love that because it’s more relatable! PLUS - no one can copy real life situations.
What do you wish you knew when you started your blog?
I wish I knew from the start how beneficial Pinterest is because that has made a SERIOUS difference for me. I also would have self hosted right from the start. AND all the tax/legal jazz would have helped! Taxes really get ya when you have your own business.
What blogging tools/resources could you not work without?
Again, Pinterest & Tailwind! GAME CHANGERS. I also love being self hosted.
Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
My biggest influence has always been my mom. She was a single mom who raised us on her own. My mom always put a roof over our head and food on the table even if that meant working 3 jobs. She really is my rock and best friend. I wouldn’t be the strong independent woman I am today without her! She helped push me to go after my dream of writing and blogging.
What advice would you give to other bloggers?
My advice would be to have patience. There’s so much info out there it can be overwhelming. You have to remember, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. If you aren’t patient you will want to give up right away. Blogging success doesn’t happen overnight.
There are also MANY different ways to achieve blogging success. Always do what works for YOU. On that same note, consistency is key. You need to be consistent with your blog and your strategies if you are wanting to turn it into a career. Just like anything in life, being consistent helps! Can’t stress that enough. Don’t give up if you aren’t seeing results right away. KEEP TRYING.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
I learned that I really can achieve anything I put my mind to. It’s all about how determined I am. I learned that I am more determined than I thought I was. I also learned that blogging full time is A LOT of work! Even if people don’t think it is, but I love every second of it!
Where would you like your blog to be 1 year from now?
I always hope to grow daily. I would love to see my income and blog continue to grow. I also hope to buy my own home soon! Those are my hopes but we shall see! (:
Where can we find you?
Facebook Group: BossGirlBloggers