Today, We are going to Interview blogger James McAllister of Kinacle.com. He has been blogging for over 7 years, his blog is about baby and children’s product brand called Kinacle. He has a few other blogs. Let’s know more about James McAllister in this interview.
1. Please tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
Sure thing! I’m the CEO of a baby and children’s product brand called Kinacle. Through our blog, we’re able to help hundreds of thousands of parents and caregivers from around the world make the job of parenting just a little bit easier. 3x a week we publish articles on topics such as babies, toddlers, pregnancy, and parenting in general.
Additionally, I recently launched a blog geared towards helping parenting bloggers succeed with their business. Running a brand myself and having tons of industry insight on what works and what doesn’t, I expect this to be as valuable of a resource for mom and dad bloggers, as our main site is for parents.
2. Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
As I’ve been blogging for over 7 years, I’ve gotten a fairly good grasp on how powerful blogging can be for any business. Before we even had any products to sell, I launched our blog knowing that one day it would be the foundation for all of our online presence. I was right.
Once we had some initial traffic, I developed some products and began selling them both on our website, and other sales channels as well. From there, it was all a matter of developing profitable, scalable systems.
3. What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Our best strategy has been retaining the visitors we do get more effectively than our competition. Every visitor we try to push to take some sort of action, whether it’s buying a product or signing up for our email newsletter. Either way, we get to market to them over, and over, and over again, bringing them back to our site on a regular basis.
This has led to a steady increase in traffic over time, as our email lists have grown.
4. Please tell us some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
My biggest strength has been persistance. Especially early on when the results weren’t there and the brand wasn’t really making that much money, the fact that I pushed on and continued cranking out content was key to our success. So many people give up shortly after starting blogging because they aren’t really getting anything out of it.
The thing about blogging though is that blogs tend to grow exponentially. In my experience, it’s much harder to go from 0-100 visits a day, than it is to go from 100-1000 visitors a day. It only gets easier as time goes on, and the rewards only grow. Being persistant and pushing through, even if you’re not being rewarded financially just yet, will ultimately be the difference between success and failure.
5. How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
As parenting is a very competitive market to be in, it’s imperative that we remain in the forefront of our customer’s minds at all times. Therefore, we really try to be seen and heard from often, moreso than in other markets I’ve worked in previously.
Email subscribers are contacted several times a week, with the exact frequency dependent on numbers of factors. Up until recently, we also had a person doing social media full time, although as we recently rebranded, we are taking a brief pause from social media at this time. However, on a typical day, more than 20 posts go out across the various platforms.
6. What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
Dependability. Your readers should be able to count on you. This means the information you give should always be of high quality. You should always publish on a consistent schedule. If they need help, you should be there to guide them. They need to know that you are dependable, and they can rely on you if needed. This is one of the keys to developing a loyal following.
7. What was your greatest failure in blogging and what did you learn from that?
My biggest failure was competing in competitive markets early on, without much of a strategy. My first blog was a simple tech blog, without any defined niche. After that, I started another blog specifically on iPhones and iPads, which did a little bit better, but I still did not have a strategy.
I simply wrote content hoping that people would show up to it, and somehow I’d make money with my ads and affiliate links. Unfortunately, without a strategy, I failed to get very far.
8. Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
There are far more than I could possibly list here, but I’d like to mention both Donna Merrill of DonnaMerrillTribe.com and Joy Healey at JoyHealey.com. Both are wonderful, incredibly authentic people and have helped me far more than I could ever thank them for, on both a professional and personal level.
9. How much time do you spend blogging?
As I have writers produce most of the content that’s published on our main site, I only spend a few hours a week blogging myself. Far more time, however, is spent marketing that content and connecting with other bloggers to run promotions.
10. A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
You must absolutely treat it like a business from the very start.
This means defining who your ideal visitor is. Choosing a niche you can actually compete in. Developing a marketing plan on how you’re going to distribute your content, and finally, how you’re going to make money from it.
Then you need to think about the type of systems you can create to make this happen effectively and develop a plan to scale.
My first few blogs failed because I did not keep this in mind from the beginning, and no matter how hard I would’ve worked, they never would have gotten anywhere. Treat your blog like a business, and it will eventually start paying you like one.
11. What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
I prefer two types of traffic, and will quickly detail both of them. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages.
I love PPC traffic because it’s so scalable, and makes us money right away. Through Google Shopping campaigns for our products or Facebook Ads directly to landing pages, we know exactly how much money we’ll make off of each click and tweak the system so it only becomes more profitable over time.
The reason I mention this here is because this traffic also tends to become some of our most engaged blog readers. They have quite literally bought into our ecosystem and already know, like and trust us. They are the ones that tell their friends and family and help us grow through word-of-mouth. Finally, they don’t require that much ongoing effort to acquire – set up the ad campaigns and let them run, tweaking them along the way, and you’re done.
- Long-term Organic Sources
Despite this, most of our traffic comes from long-term organic sources such as Google or YouTube. Even Pinterest can act as a long-term organic source, due to the insane shelf-life of the content (we have posts over a year old generating hundreds of visits a day from Pinterest!)
I love the model of this – put something out there, and it will continue bringing new people to our website for years to come. The return only becomes greater over time.
12. What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
Definitely the connections. There is nothing more rewarding than making friends from all over the world. I’ve met some truly amazing people through blogging and the fact that I get to connect with so many kind, brilliant, incredible people is worth more than the money to me. The opportunities and happiness these connections have brought me are truly invaluable and I’m so thankful blogging has given me the opportunity to do that.
13. How can readers get in touch with you?
The best way to reach me would be to email me directly at james[at]kinacle.com
Thanks again James McAllister for taking the time to share your tips and story with the Blogger Meet community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are getting success online, be sure to keep reading through our blogger interview series.