Tracie Fobes Podcast
11:13AM Apr 30, 2020
I was petrified. I was scared. But the more scared I felt, the more I felt I had to do it. Because in those moments of that sheer fear and like, Oh my gosh, this isn't gonna work. What if I fail? I kept having to remind myself, but what if you succeed?
Hey, guys, it's Mike from Make Time Online... Today we're joined by the one and only Tracy, who has sold six figures and continues to teach people all about.
So Tracy really is someone that is just so open and honest and down to earth with everything to do with blogging. She has kind of been through this path, this journey, where she started an Oscar actually, but she started back in 2010 time I would have guessed that So over time, and kind of it's built her blog up into a six figure business, six figure business, and then she's actually sold it in October 2019 for over six figures. And what she's ended up doing, she never planned on sending her first website on that website that she had it was Penny pinching mum that she ended up selling. But what she has ended up doing is just acquiring so much knowledge about blogging, and she just shared it so openly, and amazingly on her Facebook group, blog, blogger Education Network, and also her website, Tracy phobes.com. You can find out all that kind of information there. Now again, is quite a long chat. So if you want to just kind of skip to the end and get like the main points I'll summarise my main takeaways from the chat within the last 45 minutes or so. If not, listen to this one because she just walked you through so many useful tips that are just so useful to start and scale and what happens during setbacks because man, she's had some big setbacks and just got stronger and stronger from it. So enjoy this chat guys. Cool. So Tracy, obviously, your first sight ended up being like quite a big success for you. And we're just kind of talking there and you're explaining some of that stuff. But I really want to know, I want to dig in a bit more about what happened when an affiliate site basically cut. Was it everything that they cut, and it was about 75% of your income? I believe.
It ended up being about 75% of my income, almost over night, and like everybody else, guys, it was Amazon. It was Amazon did it to me personally. I was making too much money. They were not seeing the profit margins they wanted. That's where this stuff comes from. And I think it's important we understand that this wasn't Amazon going to pay you When those prices start dropping, and they're such demand, their profit margins decrease, and they operate on certain margins, and if they can't meet that they have to find a way to cut that happened to me. I was making a killing. I killing, killing, killing and I'd like more than $10,000 a month just from Amazon
a lot crazy.
And it was for the holidays, I was making 35 and $40,000 a month just from Amazon.
What year was this that this was happening
about 2013 2014 some error is when this all happened. And so I was rolling and I thought this is so awesome. I just kept about an Amazon you know why why would I worry about anybody else? Amazon's you know, bread and butter here. And then I got an email and the email said that email and
tell telemarketers and the email said Well, we've been Basically are not hitting our profit margins. And so we're going to basically take all these categories you are making money on and you're not gonna get paid at all i categories is making seven 8%, zero overnight, and the other ones they dropped. Whereas everybody else can work up that tier and the more you sold, you increase your percentage of affiliate income. I didn't get any of that it like 75 80% of my income gone virtually overnight. Well, within two weeks, they gave me a two week notice. And so kind of went by just trying to figure I just roll with it like, Okay, this is going to be okay, but it wasn't. And a few months later, I had built myself up to a staff of about six people. I had about five of them go. I had to stop paying myself so I could pay the person who was working for me because I couldn't run everything myself. I knew I was virtually impossible for me to take care of everything that had to be done without some help. So I had to pay somebody I've had certain tools and things that we need to run our businesses, I couldn't change my hosting, I couldn't change a lot of things. And so I had to cover those expenses and ran really tight for a long time. And honestly, in that moment, I thought about quitting, but I didn't.
So did they give you a reason as to why they cut all of that?
They just said they weren't hitting their profit margins that I was costing them too much money, which was kind of weird to me. But I'm like, okay, but I was there. This gave me an example it was toys was one of the things and so toys I was making No, no 4% 5% of them are remember. And so they showed me what their profit margin was on a toy. And basically, because of the volume I was producing in those toys, their profit margin had diminished below where they needed to run as a company. And so because of my individual sales, because they were so excessive, apparently lowered Their profit margins. And so because they were paying me such a vast amount because I was selling such a huge volume of toys, they couldn't afford to pay me anymore, which I know that sounds really weird when you say it like that. But I kind of get it because it was the volume they were having to decrease their prices to be in line with like Walmart. Walmart runs on like very low profit margins, especially on things like toys. And this around the holidays, right? You're dropping all those prices at Christmas because everybody wants toys for their kids. And because they were operating so low, Amazon, they just are having a hard time competing with that. So and I kind of I mean, I've just was like, sick to my stomach. I was mad. I'm still a little bitter when it comes to Amazon. I'm not going to deny that. But honestly, with everything that's happened I saw the writing on the wall six years ago. Like they did this to me. They're gonna get to everybody else. Eventually. You wait, you see Everyone else is going to be going through what I'm going through right now. And I was right.
It's just It's crazy. But what I bet so many people this is like is so on point right now for so many people because it's the exact same things pretty much just happen. But for everyone. I just didn't I couldn't get my head around it when they made all these cuts because in my head, it was kind of like, Well, you know, affiliate marketing, they're only you're making them profit. So how can they possibly be like worried about them losing money or whatever, or it just baffles me that they can say that you were costing them so much money, but I guess when you actually set it like that, the low, low profit margins and stuff it does kind of make sense,
dude, yeah, Yes, it does. And it's like, I don't know, I'm, who knows maybe this is I'm hoping maybe this could be a short term thing for Amazon. But the little greedy monster Amazon seems to be they're going to take those extra profits when things get back to normal. Whatever normal happens to be, and whenever that happens for all of us, and I think they're gonna run with it, but we could hope and pray that maybe they'll bring some of those back. And they This is a temporary setback with everything that's going on. And because of the mass volume, and shortage and products, I'm really not sure of all of that just again, because I'm not getting those emails now, because I kind of take them to the curb on my new site. I don't even use Amazon. So I don't know. It's really interesting. It's, you know, and that's the, what's a good thing or not, but I have such empathy for everybody. Because I've been there. I know exactly how every single person feels that pit in your stomach that oh my gosh, what am I going to do now? Or where do I turn? Or what do I do? Or should I quit blogging now because there's no sinking point. So I went through that range of emotion that's like grief, you know, the five stages of grief. Yeah, we're all five stages of grief really with Amazon and eventually we'll come to acceptance.
That's very true. Yeah. And there's so much I want to dig into there but this this site was for your was it Penny pinching mom?
Yeah, it was Penny pinching mom and everything I did there was helping families save money. So obviously during the holiday season, everybody needs gifts for everybody out there. So I did my best to help them find the really crazy low deals on all the toys and clothes and electronics and gadgets and everything that they wanted to have wrapped for Christmas. So that's why I did so well. And I thought I was doing great. And apparently I was doing too great. So
so this is the same site as well that you have now sold, isn't it? Is that right?
Yep. The site that I nearly lost in like 2014. I sold for six figures.
Yes. Oh, that must be such a good feeling.
It really is, you know, when I think it comes back to this, what do we do in those moments when our world is crumbling around us, you know, and we can't control? I can't control Amazon. I can't control other people, but I can control myself. When that happened, I had to really analyse what was I doing? And what mistakes Have I made in my business. And, you know, it really was my fault because I did not diversify. I did not find several income streams, I put all my eggs in the Amazon basket. So when the basket fell over and the eggs all cracked, I had no eggs left. So that's my fault. And I can't blame amazon for my mistakes in running my business. So I kind of have to thank Amazon, which sounds really weird to say, but if they had not done that, they would not have forced me to pivot my business. find different revenue streams, different alternatives. Row that site to what it became that a major company here in the States bought it for six figures. It's just crazy to me.
I don't know if you heard or read the book called anti fragile. And it's basically exactly the point that you're making there, though. It's kind of, you know, this kind of almost two things that happen when bad things happen. Because bad things happen in business all the time. The problem is overcoming problems and things like that. And some people just crack under the pressure. Whereas some people sort of patch over it and like, make it better for the short term, but then the whole point of anti fragile is exactly that. Like whenever something bad happens, you almost rebuild it in a way that's better and stronger. And so each time a problem happens. You're almost making this machine even better and stronger each time that's happening. It's almost sounds like exactly what you've done with yours.
That is exactly it. You know, and it was kind of fun because I I started challenging myself. And I was petrified. I was scared. But the more scared I felt, the more I felt I had to do it. Because in those moments of that sheer fear, and I, oh my gosh, this isn't gonna work, what if I fail, I kept having to remind myself, but what if you succeed? What's going to happen if you pull through on this, and something good happens. Some of what I tried, didn't work so well. But a lot of what I did was successful, and they ended up being able to carve myself a new path, and instead of it being one single path to income, that path all of a sudden had all of these veins and these little sub paths. And so I started finding different small ways to bring in that income. So I was not so heavily vested in that one source and it just, it forced me to make a course it forced me into learning how to make printables it forced me more into finding sponsored posts and how people pay me to be on my website. It pushed me to On my SEO for traffic, so all of these little things came together to create this massively successful site. That again, I'm not sure would have happened. Had Amazon not done what they did to me.
Yeah, that's very, very true. So can we like try and break down some of the nitty gritty some of the actual things that you did? So obviously, your income has been slashed overnight, you've gone from six members of staff down to one almost instantly. What was like your first step? What was your were you looking for another like affiliate products, or what was your very first thing that you did when that happened?
Okay, the first thing that I did is I looked to see where are people coming to my site right now. So I dug into my analytics, and I saw which 10 posts are getting traffic right now. And I looked at those and I tried to find other partners that I could add. And one of those I think one was a another blogger who had a product I was selling their things. But then I looked at that after I thought about the products and I updated that. I started thinking about, you know what, I'm tired of relying on everybody else to pay me. I want to have something I can sell and I'm in control. So I analysed each article to determine what product can I sell that people will want. And the funny thing was, the thing I created was a cash envelope template, which sounds so tiny and miniscule in the grand scheme and it was like three bucks that's all I sold the thing for the things sold like crazy. Every time I turned around, people were buying that silly little cash envelope because they needed it. It literally solved the problem and they're like three bucks. I can do three bucks. All day long. They would buy it when you say it's like cash envelope you mean literally an envelope because the cash
like yeah, like a cash envelope. Like cool. Getting the paper money from the bank. Put Get into an envelope. And that is how you spent because that was my whole journey. And the whole premise of how I blogged and my financial blog was that we did not use credit cards at all. We were a strict cash family. I didn't even use a debit card. I paid everything with paper, and coin Wow. thing. And that was how we got ourselves out of debt was by not using plastic at all and really owning our money by handing it over and it became painful to hand over that hundred and $50 at the grocery store. So I thought twice about everything I put in the shopping cart. That was the whole premise of my site. So the cash envelope was the perfect fit for my reader. Because it was my premise. It was what I taught it was my belief system, and that's why they were there. I would go through each I tried to each blog post and I tried to figure out what I could create. As I had a couple of printables they started doing well Mike You know what, I'm gonna go crazy with this. I started making printables for everything and I opened a shop actually started selling printables are making good money selling printables Mike wall, took printables made a course started making good money on a course. So it just was one thing kind of led to another. But it really truly started with that first blog post, the one article that people were coming to me above all others that I could find a product to create. And the rest was history.
So you've obviously gone down the whole product through and you know, creating your own products. And I've heard from so many different people the same thing, you know, even if you can just create something very small. It just adds this whole diversities here. You know, like you're not reliant on affiliates anymore. You're not relying on ads or whatever all your other income is it basically opens up a whole other stream so I can see so much the like the benefits of doing that. But did you did you also look for affiliates at the same time were you like trying to pick up those things as well, was it? Were you just completely focused now on product creation?
I did find some affiliates. But at the same time, I also realised that I realised Amazon. Yes, they took away a lot of what I was earning. But Amazon still had conversions. Because there was such trust with Amazon, that I was better earning a 2% Commission on something that could potentially convert, then linking to a site that maybe as many people don't click through on or it's not as reliable that might pay me 5%. So the reliability and trust factor was still there with Amazon, so I didn't completely eliminate them. I brought in a few other like, sites that people knew like Walmart and Target and those places where there still was that trust. I didn't go find mom and pop stores. I didn't go a lot of that because my readers I knew would not shop there. So I think it comes to that too. You have to know who your demographic is and what they're going to do. I also People were frugal and they are stretching every single penny as far as they can go, they are not going to go to a site and buy something that's going to charge them $7 shipping. If they can go to Walmart, get it cheaper and get free shipping, they just would never do it. And it kind of was almost when I would find those. I felt like it wasn't it was like really ethical, if you will, for my site, because of what my I was preaching about lowest cost and lowest prices. I had to stay true to that. So yeah, I maybe switched a few things out maybe with a few other partners, but and then Nisha was in. There weren't a lot of strong affiliate partners out there that were going to pay me a lot. I still made good money with Amazon. Not nearly what I was, but I still was making money because I got those conversions. So I think that's another thing people have to realise is don't go flush Amazon down the toilet, really, I mean, because that's really not going to help you because people trust Amazon, you know Like they're going to shop there. So if they're going to shop there, you may as well put the link, I would rather make 1% than no percent. And that was kind of how my attitude came to be when it came to those links. But again, I did find a few partners and a few things I swapped out. But for the most part, I had to leave a lot those links intact, and I kind of didn't abandon affiliate marketing, but I would add in new partners as I found them, and I really kind of pursued other revenue streams. That made much more sense for my readership.
Okay, so you've obviously gone from that horrible stage where everything's been cut almost overnight, and then you started putting a few products and things together. When did you find you were sort of getting the ball rolling again and getting back back on track to where you were?
I think it was about 12 to 18 months. So it took me some time to build it back up, but I didn't quit. I didn't give up I remember when I finally got to pay myself about eight months in. So I went quite a while where I didn't really pay myself. myself like little, very, very little, just big corporation and I had to for tax issue, so I had to be paying myself something. But yeah, it was quite a while and then it was really funny then once that income was sustainable, because of that, I always have feared that ever since that happened, there's this part of me that's always worried that something's going to go away. So it always forced me to like, Oh, my gosh, if my product stop selling, I need something else. What can I do? Oh, if that stops working, I need something else. So honestly, my fear of losing it all again, or something going away again, that is really what propelled me to find all these different revenue streams.
And so I'm guessing that's kind of when it led on to, you know, getting more organic traffic, I'm guessing I don't know for sure. But I'm guessing you got a lot of traffic from Pinterest around this time.
I did, I got a lot from Pinterest, but I was also invested some money and so, so funny here, I'm broke guys. And I still was investing money in my business, right and was investing into learning SEO and improving my site because I knew the importance of that knew that if I invested a few hundred dollars in a course, that if I took everything and apply that I could easily make that back tenfold by getting traffic to replace that to pay for the investment. And so I made investments that SEO was one of the next things that I tackled, because I knew that I wasn't doing very well with that. And if I could get that organic traffic there, I knew the organic traffic would click on some of those links, and those products and things and even if they weren't going to buy what I was saying on Amazon, I was tracking cookie and so I kind of went into this cookie mindset. So I started working on that plus it was helping my products. But I built up that SEO to try to be Get more of that traffic and my ad income up went up exponentially. I mean, I was doing really well. I was doing that, you know, 29 $30 CPM rate for my average network. So it was doing amazingly well. Once I learned how to properly SEO because the advertisers loved it. They loved where that traffic was coming from, and they knew there was value there.
Which, which ad network was that?
I was AdThrive. I was that's why
Oh, amazing. Yeah, I've heard that is like what media vine and then advise even better,
they're pretty much the same thing. I think, when it comes to that, I always tell people to check because everyone's like, all media binds better or advise better. They're not better. They're different. Yeah. And you really have to ask, because the way that they approach things, number of ads, niche, all of that there's so many factors that just ask before you just assume.
Yeah, I think it's just because what ad thrive is 100 is 100,000 page views, but you revised 25,000 sessions? Yes, yeah. Yeah. Which is basically a little bit different. But
yeah, it's a little bit different. So yeah. So yeah, that was a big factor for me was that SEO traffic and it really did make a difference. Now what's really cool is once that SEO traffic started coming in, I knew how to SEO, I started pivoting myself into sponsored work, because I could use that SEO knowledge as a selling point in pitching potential sponsors who want to work with me. So I started making more money through sponsored work as well.
So you becoming the sponsor. So you get that as in you were writing content for someone else.
No, but no, I was. I was having companies work with me. So dollar jet is a great example. They work with me for a year and they would send me content, and they would pay me to write about something in their store, go take pictures, do the stuff and write about them on my site, with the content that was going to help my readers So Valentine's Day was coming around. People have to shop candy and cards and all that great Valentine's Day stuff they want $1 General wanted to position themselves on a frugal blog about saving money that dollar generals were to go to shop. So I went and shopped and took pictures and showed people Hey, look at what you can get $1 general and save money. So I would work with partners in that regard. And they would throw money at me to write about that.
Yeah, I've heard some from some people about how good sponsors can be done if you know Calvin Klein.
Yeah, yeah. And so I was making what before I sold Penny pinching mom. I was making five figures pretty much every single month with sponsored posts.
Wow. It's just it's like a whole new avenue. That is to me that I know. I've heard so many people mention it. I've even heard other people call it something like brand ambassadors ships and things like that. Or I guess it's kind of the same thing.
Right Ambassador ship tends to be a little different. That's where you are working with them and maybe a little different capacity. They have you tweak things and whatnot. Whereas a sponsorship is literally usually right about that sponsor and you might do an ad campaign behind it. It's usually a bigger ad spend on a true sponsored posts and a brand ambassadorship because I've done both my ambassadorships paid me, usually a lot less than my sponsor at work. And it was sponsored work was usually a one and done, you get an email, and you would work on the post, you would shoot it out. on your blog, you would put on your social, you might do a newsletter blast, you might pay for a Facebook ad to boost the content, whatever you agree to with a sponsor. You send them an invoice you'd be finished.
Cool, yeah, no make sense. So you would prefer the sponsorship route then rather than So my understanding brand ambassadorship is more like a monthly fee that you get and you have to keep working and keep keep producing content. Important sponsorship could just be literally one post.
Absolutely. Not. Exactly. Yeah. So every sponsorship is different, like Dollar General is different their sponsorship covered a year course of a year. And it was like every two months, I was writing something for them. But it was written in a way that was treated like the sponsor post, where there was significant value there. I mean, I was paid a lot of money to write these posts every two months. So it's just this consistent income that was coming in all the time, gave me content ideas, I knew what to write about, which was great because a lot of times as bloggers we struggle with worlds I'm gonna write about this week. Well, if you have a sponsor, and you know what you're going to write about, it's basically written out for you. So it did help with that as well. But it's really crazy concept to be paid excessive amounts of money to write an article on your own site in caps and they got the Add income on top of that, and then after so many If there were links in that I could transfer those links into my affiliate links so that I got paid up front. Then if that post kept going, I was getting the ad revenue. And I swapped the links to affiliate links. So I got those links to. That's amazing.
I've never heard anyone put it. So clearly, I've heard people talking about all that sort of stuff before, but I've never thought of it. You're actually kind of getting paid in three ways. Aren't you from once one sponsorship? Absolutely. Awesome. And, yeah, there's so many things that I really want to dig into. that something that you did mention, was kind of like so. Well, I want I want to dig into more about how you actually built your team. So you said that you had six members of staff, you obviously lost five. How do you decide that must have been really painful for a start, but then how do you decide when to employ someone else because you must have been wary about all of that.
You know what the funny thing is I at that point that point forward, I only went with freelance 1099 years. I didn't need anybody else on as a permanent team member. Because in the freelance spectrum, if I don't need you, it's not as painful. There's not that emotional attachment there is but there's not because she's not really working for me. They just they contract to several people. I'm just one of their contracts that they work with. And so we would do small tasks. And everything that I did, I'd be like, Okay, do this. And I would send that out. And then I might wait a month. And I'm like, okay, I want you to do this now. And so rather than giving them consistent work that they did week after week, it was just a task based system, which made it a lot easier. So if I didn't have the funds for them to do something I didn't have to worry about how am I can't pay you this week. I don't have any work. They weren't literally waiting for me to say hey, I have this. Oh, can you do that? It just worked a lot better. kept that relationship kept me having the people I needed to help me without the stress of making sure that they had work to do week after week.
I still sounds really like for me, that still sounds really complicated. And it sounds almost like more work in some ways. Because does that mean? Well, I'm guessing you had your certain freelance workers that you would do you have to train them up? Like how do you how do you make sure that they're doing the right thing?
What I used a group on Facebook, and I looked for people specifically, that were in my leash that understood my terminology and what I was looking for, and I would interview people, and I did testimonials. And so then I had a list of two to three different freelancers that I interviewed, that we agreed that they could work on individual tasks. So I could shoot something over and say, Hey, I need you to work on this database for me, and they knew what I met, because they had done it before on other sites. So I was very specific With the freelancers that I used, because I wanted to make sure they understood terminology, and how this type of website was run, and that made it a lot simpler. But I also took the time and created a Trello workflow for my business. And I had a place that had like all of my graphics in it, I started recording how to do different things. And so if I brought somebody new, and I could just shoot them that card from the Trello board, like here's how you do it, think. And so everything was pre recorded and pre written out. So and I had done that all along. I've always taught in that method that as I had to teach somebody, I would write it because I always said if this person quits, I sure as heck do not want to have to go through this whole hassle of trying to show somebody else how to do this. So it was all written out. I didn't record too much but I didn't text and I would shoot them the text like here's how you do it. So I was planning ahead with is really funny when I look at it, because I had no idea how much I would need that in the future. It just something on me must have just decided that you know, it'd be really smart if you wrote this stuff down.
So you didn't you hadn't heard that from anyone else that was just all of the top us just thought
that I came up with I was like, you know, it just would make sense because I just think it's a good thing to have I had done the type of thing in jobs that I had had, I would go into positions, and there would be no, I went to this one position to handle payroll for a large company, and there was no manual on how to do it. And when they were training me, I'm like writing all these notes. I'm like, why is there no manual? And she said, Well, I don't know, Mike. I am writing a manual. And it was a company based in Secaucus, New Jersey, and they had about 10 locations around the country and it was a temp agency. So we did a lot of payroll. And every agent, every location, did the same thing where nobody knew what they were doing. Well, I ended up putting it in writing. My manager loved it so much that he submitted it to the CEO and the company adopts It and reproduced it and it became the standard for their entire Corporation on how to do payroll, because it was written out. And so I think that whole thing came to me is like, you know what everybody needs to know how to do this. So I was just prepared, not knowing what I was preparing for.
Yeah, no, it will. It does make perfect sense, isn't it? I don't know why everyone doesn't always do that anyway. But can you give some like examples of like, what you would get a freelancer to do because I've spoken to some people are like, I need to outsource stuff, but I don't know what to outsource. So what are what would you say is the first stage to outsource?
And the first thing I outsource was my social media management. I did not have time to monitor my group. I did not have time to take care of my page. I was like, I just can't. And so I found somebody who got my voice understood what I was looking for. And they went in and they took care of everything. I had to rarely show up to social I did show up because that's just who I am. But it was great that they were taken care of Questions, comments. They were scheduling all my content and taking care of that. Then I turned into a Pinterest manager, because I knew Pinterest was important. And although I fully understand Pinterest, and I know the nitty gritty of it, I just didn't have time to do it. So it wasn't an issue of I don't want to learn Pinterest. I'll just hand it off. No, I learned Pinterest and then I handed it off to the right partner who understood what I needed to have done.
Just Just on that point, I've heard someone exactly doing that. Who didn't understand Pinterest. You know what, not even someone This is multiple people that you even see on Facebook groups and things like that, where they're like, I'm so confused. You know, I've handed it off to a Pinterest manager, someone's doing my Pinterest and it's still not working. It's like well, you can you can tell where the problem is like you just said you knew what to do. You were telling them what to do is completely different. Just going please fix my Pinterest and like get me loads of traffic. I think is that two completely different things?
Absolutely. I think education is so smart. And before you ever can hire somebody to do anything, you need to understand it. Pinterest, I see people who say they want to hire out their SEO. Well, that's fine. But you need to understand SEO because how can you monitor and measure your ROI? And if they are doing the right things, if you don't even know what those measures and those stats need to be trying to, to hit? So yes, we have to understand before we can hire that out, but yeah, that was one of the next things that I went with was getting Pinterest and so I had somebody who did that I would have. I did a lot of like, lists and things around holidays with again, shopping and whatnot. So I would have people create those for me, I would have them make my databases. I would have them research, the deals and the different things that I needed. I had somebody who would check my email, and I would just only have to address the emails that were specific to Me. So it really helped a lot, because then I was able to focus strictly on that content creation, and that SEO, and then working on developing the products. I even contracted out my printables being made at first because I didn't have time to make printables for my site. So for me, it was worth paying a couple hundred dollars to have that made, because I easily made that $20 back when I had a good quality product to sell.
Yeah, that does make sense actually. The next bit that I really want to get into as well is there's almost like this stages that you've been through. And so I think it would be just, I know a lot of people have spoken as well about potentially selling their blog at some stage. And again, it's almost like this big scary thing of like, How on earth am I going to do that? And how much do I sell it for? Where do I sell it and that sort of stuff, and I'd love to get your insight into what you actually went through to sell yours.
Absolutely. So through that whole learning process and rebuilding everything. The one thing that never changed with me was this feeling that I had always been alone. Even when I first started, I would reach out to people and say, how did you make a drop down menu on blogger? This tells you how long I've been blogging. And no one would help me or how did you add this little thing to your sidebar? or How did you change that font, and no one would help. And I would spend countless hours researching and breaking my site more times than I care to count staying up late. Probably tears like crazy because I would get so mad and frustrated, but I figured it out because I'm just like a dog with a bone. No, I just. And I kept thinking there's got to be some people to help, you know, and it just never forgot that. And when I threw it through this rebuilding thing, I'm like, I wish somebody would have been here to help me and tell me not to go down this path. I didn't make this mistake. And so I just kept keeping all these things in my mind and was in a bunch of Facebook groups and just sort of randomly answering questions and people are like, Can you teach me how to blog? And I'm like, I'm not a blog coach. No way. I'm not gonna do that. And I kept getting more questions. So I'm like, fine, I threw up a website, just call it my name, put a few things on it. I was like, Alright, whatever. And I just kept going, and I kept getting more questions. And the more I would answer questions, the more I'm like, this is what I like, I'm loving this. I'm liking that I get to share that don't do what I did things and to do this instead, so that you don't have to live the nightmare that I lived. And so I kind of started getting more into coaching. So about a year and a half, two years ago, I just was like, I don't know if I can keep Penny pinching Mom, I don't know what to do with it. It's making me really good money. It's doing its own thing on the side. I'm not really doing much there. But I'm like, I don't want to close it. So I just kept on and I just kept thinking something will happen someday. And I mentioned at fin con one time to a friend of mine. Yeah, I might sell I don't know. And he emailed me in July is like, hey, do you remember that conversation we had at VidCon, like two years ago and you said, Hey, I might want to sell my site. I think I know somebody who might be interested. Would you like me to share your information? I was like, Sure, why not? Turns out it was the Motley Fool. And they created a subdivision called soapbox, and reached out and they were collecting, collecting is not only the word I want, building up this whole network of personal finance blogs that they were going to control to hit different markets and connect with different types of readership. And all of our communication there are negotiations went through. I was the second blog they purchased. And that happened in October of 2019. But the whole process was pretty simple. They had a price they wanted. I had a price I wanted, and we're pretty close. And for anybody who's wondering basically, it was about two times my gross income.
Two times your annual gross.
Yeah, between two to three times my annual gross is what they offered?
Well, yeah 30 times a month or something.
Yeah, five times off your net or different things. But this is what our experience ended up being. They went off of the gross income, because they knew there were expenses involved in that. But I had to provide tax returns, I had to provide detailed financial statements so they could see every penny I was spending. I had to give them access to every bit of my analytics, they could see traffic clicks, all of that they got access to Pinterest. I gave them access to my Facebook analytics. So I literally created this open window to give them a complete look at to what they were getting. And once they saw all of that and built those numbers in and negotiated all of that, then we signed the contract in October. They took over and the funniest thing of all is that now I am a freelance writer for the website that I sold. Yeah, I still write for them from time to time and I get paid to write on the website.