Hey! It’s great to have you here!
I wanted to tell you a little bit more about me and this website in the hope you’ll want to hang around a little longer…
Who am I?!
I’m Leanne, 34, blogging coach, affiliate marketing strategist, award-winning travel blogger, part-time doctor, full-time entrepreneur…
I’ve been described by other people in this industry as a community player AND a hustler! Yes, you can be both!
I believe in working hard, working smart and working ethically. All whilst surrounding myself with an inspiring community of other creative business-folk who keep me motivated and focused.
I started earning a full-time income from blogging without a HUGE blog by being affiliate savvy and affiliates account for around $5000 of my monthly income.
I also make up to $5300/month selling digital products and had a $5600 launch back when my email list was only tiny with 900 subscribers.
Being successful is not about page views and subscriber numbers. It’s about connection, trust, authority, authenticity and above all ethical strategy.
I’m here to teach you the ropes…
But first, 3 fun facts about me!
- Before becoming a blogger I was a family doctor. (I still do occasional shifts to keep my hand in.)
- I once got slapped in the face by a wild eagle…
- I lived in Australia for two years and very nearly didn’t move back. My biggest regret is not starting my travel blog back then!
My Journey into the blogging world
I stepped into the exciting online biz world back In August 2017.
After completing my GP training, I was beginning to feel disillusioned in my role as a full-time doctor. I loved helping people but felt frustrated and stressed by the lack of time I had with each patient. I knew if I carried on working full-time, I would burn out quickly.
Around the same time, I also went through a bad break up and was left feeling broken. I needed a way to take control and feel more ‘me’ again!
I decided to take a short sabbatical and booked a 3 month trip to South America. Having always kept a hobby blog when I travelled, I planned to do the same, until a friend pointed out that this could be the creative opportunity I was looking for. So I set to reading every article about blogging I could get my hands on.
And so my travel blog The Globetrotter GP, was born.
Learning to blog for success
I won’t lie to you, I made MANY mistakes along the way. But over time, I learnt the skills that I needed to run a successful online business talking about one of the things I love the most; travel.
Through trial and error, a lot of research and a LOT of hard work, I mastered the art of making passive income through my blog, gradually allowing me to reduce my GP hours.
I now work more-or-less as a full-time blogger. I still do occasionally medical shifts (usually about 1 a week) to keep my skills up-to-date. But this is now out of choice not a necessity and that feels pretty good.
On days when I do step back into my doctor role, it allows me to be a better GP and to actually enjoy the job. I can’t ever imagine giving up medicine completely – I’ve worked hard to get here – but I’ve found the equilibrium that keeps me happy and stimulated.
When I started my blog, I quickly realised I didn’t want to earn my money through sponsored posts. The occasional one with a brand I loved, maybe… But I saw friends of mine stressed to the hilt trying to juggle multiple poorly paid sponsored campaigns, just to put food on the table.
I also felt uncomfortable navigating the idea of being paid to have positive opinions – what if I didn’t like a product? I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice my authenticity or my audiences trust.
I spent hours reading blogging income reports and it became apparent that the bloggers who were really killing it, were not making much of their money from sponsorship. Instead, they were earning their money passively, achieving great work-life balance in the process.
Over time, I developed a geeky obsession with learning everything I possibly could about gaining traffic through search engine optimisation and Pinterest and monetising that traffic through affiliate marketing.
I believe my years of medical training gave me the foundation for learning, analyzing and putting in some serious hard work to get me to where I am today. It also gave me a foundation in understanding psychology which is SO important for affiliate marketing.
I remember right back when I started my first blog, a close family member told me (out of genuine concern) that there was no way I could make decent money from a blog, let alone match my doctor income.
I told him that I would report back in a year and was happy to tell him a year later that I was earning a steady $1500 a month from the website. A year later, I’ve had some weeks where my blog’s passive income actually exceeded what I eared as a doctor!
In fact, pre-pandemic, I was earning over $5000 every month with affiliates alone with a travel blog that was getting about 40K sessions a month proving that you don’t need a ginormous blog to make a full-time living.
Since then I’ve gone on to win an ethical travel blogging award and have been described by a marketing manager of one of my favourite travel brands as ‘the affiliate girl.‘
Nowadays, I also create and sell digital products and using ad networks and email marketing is also a big part of my business.
So guys and girls, don’t let people tell you (even if they have your best intentions at heart) that you can’t achieve success doing something you love. You absolutely can. Let’s prove it – together!
As my geeky obsession with SEO and affiliate marketing gained speed, local bloggers and friends started coming to me for advice. I love teaching people, always have, and if they asked a simple question, they usually got an essay in return!
This sparked an idea that maybe I could formally teach other people about the topics I’m so passionate about?
However, self-doubt initially held me back. At the time of starting this website back in August 2019 I had around 36,000 page views a month which I know for 2 years into a blogging career, certainly wasn’t bad and it was earning me a full-time income. But there were bloggers out there who’ve been doing it years and years who have more than 300,000 page views and are making an absolute killing! Could I even be taken seriously amongst such big-players?!
But then I realised that is exactly why I SHOULD start this website.
I wanted to show people that you don’t need years of experience and massive traffic to make a solid passive income from your blog. You don’t have to take on multiple poorly paid sponsored campaigns (usually requiring risky do-follow links) just to put food on the table. I wanted to show people how to be smart, tactical and turn their small or medium-sized blog into a viable full-time business just like I did.
I went to a conference in the summer of 2019 and several of my blogging friends talked me into launching this website. They told me they wanted me to make a course so they could take it! They even went so far to help me name and set up this site whilst we were there so I couldn’t back out!
It was the best decision I ever made.
I realised I thrive off teaching and brainstorming creative strategies and out-of-the-box ideas for students. I am never happier than when I am helping other bloggers to realise their dream of becoming a professional blogger.
And as Passive Income Superstars community grew, so did my own websites. I used them as a testing ground for my hair-brained strategies to work out what works and what doesn’t and share my findings with my community along the way.
In July 2021, I finally launched Affiliate Marketing Superstars – a deep dive into affiliate strategy. It feels so good to know I have been able to help bloggers achieve clarity with their affiliate strategies.
At the time of writing this, I have been able to help over 1300 bloggers earn more money blogging with my various courses and ebooks. That feels pretty amazing!
Some of my students have achieved amazing results. Like for example, one of my students in the travel niche who was making barely any affiliate income, enrolled in my course and the next month earned 8x the course price and has been paying her bills and mortgage with affiliate revenue – in the middle of a pandemic when travel is virtually non-existent!!
Every time I hear a success story like this, it keeps me motivated to keep helping more bloggers achieve their dreams.
Will you be next?!
My experience learning SEO
It took me months, reading and learning to fully understand SEO. Had I known about it from the start, my blog would be much bigger now. I want to teach you how to do it right from the START.
You can see below a screenshot showing my daily traffic over my first 18 months as a blogger. As you can see, the first year was slow as I got a lot of things wrong. I started learning about SEO in April but it was several months before I truly understood it and perfected my strategy.
By October, I had a good grasp of SEO and you can see that my traffic started rising steasdily and consistently, even during times when travel traffic becomes diminished such as during the winter months.
Imagine if I knew in August 2017 what I know now? That graph would be looking a tad different!
As yours can…
Want to learn more about SEO? I suggest starting with this SEO beginners guide.
My Affiliate marketing growth
I started affiliate marketing when I had 5000 page views a month. Within a few weeks, I had my first sale resulting in a $200 commission. I presumed it was a fluke but then every month, it started increasing. Just over a year later, I had earnt $15,000 through just that ONE company, alone.
Nowadays, affiliates account for around $5k+ of my monthly income.
The graph below shows my affiliate income growth (in pounds sterling) over 1 year with the AWIN affiliate programme.
How would you like to see results like these..?!
Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? I suggest you start with this beginners affiliate marketing guide.
Or if you’re more advanced, check out these advanced affiliate marketing strategies.
My experience with creating and selling digital products
In 2019, I started creating and selling digital products and it is now up there with affiliate marketing as my favourite ways to make money blogging!
I’ve created and sold everything from printables to digital tools, to ebooks to templates to courses! In the last 6 months, I have earned $13,628 via selling digital products and some months have earned upwards of $5300!
And remember what I said about you not needing huge page views to be successful with affiliate marketing? Well, the same goes for digital products and email lists. When I first launched Affiliate Marketing Superstars, I only had 900 subscribers and yet made $5600 in the first 10 days.
You can read the full case study (plus tips for launching with a small list) here
It is far more important to have engaged subscribers who trust your advice and look forward to opening your emails than 10 x as many followers that are unengaged. It’s always about quality over quantity!
So if you need a little help to get started on this path, I’m your girl!
Want to learn more about creating digital products? I suggest starting here.
My experience with email marketing
Email marketing has been a huge part of my business and I love connecting with my audience with my weekly emails.
What many bloggers don’t realise is just how powerful email marketing can be as a means to promote your affiliate products. You don’t need your own products to be successful making money with an email list!
For example, I recently promoted a product via a few emails over a week and made $1400 commissions!
One of the biggest challenges most bloggers have is growing their email list. Creating the right lead magnet is a big part of the battle but if you want to really accelerate your growth, I recommend collaborating with other bloggers in your niche by cross-promoting each others freebies.
With a combination of a variety of lead magnets and collaborating with other bloggers, I have been able to grow my email list by up to 600 subscribers per month!
⬆️ The graph above shows how I acquired 593 subscribers in 1 month with one day where I had 86 subscribers join my list in a single 24 hour period. This is as the result of hosting a challenge and collaborations!
But gaining subscribers is only half the battle. Keeping them engaged is another matter. My best advice for this is to stay niche and provide a LOT of value. I always provide value more than I sell and that is reflected in my email engagement rates.
Industry average open rates are 15-25% but I usually see 38-40% and up to 80% for new subscribers. Industry average click-through rates are 2.5% but I usually see 7-8%.
Want to learn about getting started with email marketing? Check out this beginners email marketing guide.
Need some help choosing an email marketing platform? Read this comparison between Mailerlite and Convertkit.
Want to get started growing your email list today? Then take my FREE 7-day email marketing course by clicking here.
So if you stick with me, I will teach you everything I know about growing a blog to make passive income without relying on brands and sponsorships. Instead, you will be making money in your sleep.
It won’t be easy and you might not get success overnight. But if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.
Let me show you how…
Courses you can take and resources to help you make more money blogging!
To learn Affiliate Marketing
- Free affiliate marketing 5-day challenge/mini-course (suitable for beginner/intermediates)
- The Affiliate Superstar Toolkit – article and email templates, affiliate product pin templates, checklists, planners and trackers to help you make more money blogging the easy done-for-you way.
- Affiliate Marketing Superstars – A deep dive into affiliate marketing strategy which starts with the basics but builds up to cover advanced strategies such as automated affiliate email funnels, Pinterest marketing, social media strategies and open-close cart sales. It is, as far as I know, the most comprehensive affiliate marketing course for bloggers currently available!
- Click and Convert (coming soon) – an ebook showing you how to make the most of the articles you already have by increasing click-throughs and conversions. Taken from one of the most popular modules of the Affiliate Marketing Superstars Course…
To learn SEO
- SEO for Affiliate Marketing Success – how to use SEO effectively to rank for the most lucrative keywords for affiliate marketing. Suitable for beginners-intermediates.
I also recommend…
- SEO Jumpstart – for those looking for a more detailed SEO course. This one is not mine. It’s written by Eb Gargano but I think it’s an amazing resource that I highly recommend.
To learn email marketing
- The Passive Income Guide to List Growth -this ebook will help you to grow your email list rapidly.
- The Passive Income Guide to List Monetisation – this ebook will help you to engage, nurture and monetise your email list (whether you have your own products or not!)
I also recommend
- The Email Marketing Fairy – stuck for what to write in your weekly newsletters? Then you need these witty, engaging email templates!
- The Hot List – a detailed email marketing course which also touches upon sales strategies and creating sales pages. It’s a deep dive into all things email marketing that I highly recommend!
- List by Number – if you are having trouble navigating Convertkit or Mailerlite, you will find this video tutorial course a useful resource!
The Blog Boss Management System – your new blogging HQ and fastest route to blogging organisation and efficiency
30 page ebook template – want to create an ebook but not sure how. Create an ebook in a day by using this beautiful template. All you have to do, is focus on the content!
Sales funnel Elementor page templates – want to create a sales funnel but not sure where to start to create the sales pages that you need such as a webinar sign up page, lead magnet page, sales page, affiliate sign up page etc? Then use these simple, beautiful templates compatible with the free plugin Elementor.
The tools I use
- Website host: Siteground
- Keyword research tools: Keysearch and frase/”>Frase
- Email marketing platform: Convertkit
- Graphic design tool: Canva Pro
- Scheduling tool: Tailwind
- Affiliate cloaking tool: Thirsty Affiliates Pro
- Amazon Associates plugin: Amalinks Pro
- Site speed tools: WP Rocket and Short Pixel
- Website theme: Flatsome
- Sales page builder: Elementor Pro
- Photo editing: Lightroom
- Course platform: Podia
- Sales funnel tools: Thrive Leads and Thrive Ultimatum
- Camera: Sony A7iii
- Stock photo memberships: Deposit photos credits (for travel), Styled Stock Society / Ivory Mix/ Pixistock (for this site)
Want to be part of our community? Come and join us inside my Facebook group where I will teach you my tips and tricks!
Are you on Clubhouse? If so follow me @leannescott and attend my free blogging masterclasses!