It's Making Money Monday, and this week, I'm featuring a success story!
Kimberly Gauthier from Keep the Tail Wagging is going to share a bit about herself and her journey.
Please tell us what exactly your business is all about.
Keep the Tail Wagging is an online magazine for dog lovers that shares tips on dog training, behavior, health, nutrition, safety, and new pet products. I've always wanted to create a website about dogs. I saw that so many magazines have an online version and I thought it would be fun to morph my blog into an online magazine that appeals to people like me - people who are nuts about their dogs.
What made you decide to work from home?
We adopted a third dog and it's a lot of work. I want to be a stay at home Fur Mom, spending time with our cool dogs, going on walks and hikes, spoiling them like rotten, and connecting with others who understand. I got the idea when my boyfriend and I took a trip with the dogs. We rented a lake house for several days and it was heaven. Mornings on the beach, afternoons on the computer, evenings watching movies. I realized that I wanted every day to be like that so I got to work
How many jobs/businesses did you try before you found what worked for you?
I started out trying to building a photography business and worked at it in various ways for a few years, before giving up. I have so much respect for photographers today, because of my experience with trying to launch a business. Through this experience, I discovered a love of writing and social networking, which lead me to Keep the Tail Wagging.
How long did it take to earn your first profit?
Not long at all. I started blogging 2009, so when I launched Keep the Tail Wagging in January 2012, I was receiving checks from Google Adsense within a few months. Owning and managing a blog isn't very expensive and I was able to break even pretty quickly and started making a profit within the first 6 months.
What challenges did you have to overcome when you first got started?
The biggest challenge was not knowing what I wanted to do; what message I wanted to deliver. I love dogs, I support dog rescue, I wanted to promote reputable breeders, quality food, inform about health and recalls. And I wanted to do all of this in a fun, honest way. That turned out to be a tall order, but I got there.
There are so many pet blogs out there and I needed to find a way to stand out in a crowded niche. I also was learning as I was going along. It's taken a lot of confidence and patience. When I have moments of frustration and insecurity, I take the dogs for a walk and listen to the Adam Carolla podcast. That's my way of grounding myself so that I can hit the ground running when I return to my computer.
Have you realized your income goals yet?
No, I haven't. But I know that I'm on the right path now to realizing my income goals. I'm connecting with big brands in the pet industry, I have advertisers on my site now, and I have a clear direction and passion for my magazine that I didn't have with my photography business.
What are some of your biggest challenges now?
1) Finding people who will commit to writing for me regularly. Many people express interest and may even submit one article, but people don't realize what a commitment even one time a month is; it's easy for me, because I love writing, but it's not easy for everyone.
2) Rejecting guest post submissions. I get several submissions weekly from people who simply want to park a link on my site. Although I have guest posting guidelines, some people don't read them or simply don't care. It takes a lot of my time to review guest posts only to reject them; it's kind of a bummer, but one of the tasks of a blogger.
3) Explaining to small businesses that I can't promise them customers or traffic. I get emails from people weekly who want me to write about their business, their product, or their rescue group. That's not what Keep the Tail Wagging is about - the site is about sharing dog care tips. Sometimes these requests do fit in line with my blog's mission, but most times they don't and I have to explain that to people. The bonus is that I can invite them to write an article sharing dog care tips to my readers and include a mention of their business/product/rescue group in the bio and people respond well this this.
What do you love most about your business?
I love when someone responds to an article. I love when I'm able to help someone. Whenever I write an article, I always keep in mind "how is this helping?" I also love when an article prompts a back and forth with dog lovers who share their own experience with the topic. It's all about community and I love it.
What would be your advice to someone just getting started?
Be passionate, be patience, and have fun. I love many things, but my passion is our dogs. I feel like my purpose in this life is to honor the love and loyalty of dogs and there's nothing like knowing that I'm on the right path.
Success does happen overnight; we hear about these stories. But I bet if we dug deeper, we'd hear that the person worked for years to gain that "overnight" success, so be patient.
And definitely have fun. When a part of my business isn't fun, if it makes me miserable, then I cut it out. Granted there are things that I like to do more than others, but every part of my business rocks and I'm happy to do it and can't wait to see where it takes me.
If you want to share your success story, contact me with your name and url and why you should be featured! : )