M&M 46: Explode into a Successful Blogger by Focusing on Your Mission
What is your mission? In Episode 46 of The Money and Media Podcast sponsored by Down Payment Movement, PT Money interviews Grant Sabatier of MillennialMoney.com and the Millennial Money Minutes Podcast. Grant credits his success to focusing all his content through the lens of his mission: financial independence for all. He looks at his website as a platform, not a blog, and will only work with companies that align with his mission.
His website gets more than 300,000 visits on a monthly basis. He says that what makes a blog post great is sharing stories of where the blogger failed or made a mistake as well as things that makes them scared.
Intro Grant Sabatier–blogger, podcaster, author, entrepreneur
2:15 How Grant went from money maker to a man on a mission
6:20 Meeting Vicki Robin and partnering up in business
9:20 Being open and vulnerable are the keys to growing your unique message
11:45 Grant’s system to blog consistently and his non-schedule
17:00 Working with media on a worldwide basis
23:10 Ditching the scarcity mindset
24:48 Getting his message out through a podcast every day
26:25 A snippet of Grant’s monetization strategy talk for FINCON
Building a Platform to Further a MIssion
Grant Sabatier divides his life into Before FI and After FI, with FI being financial independence.
Before he achieved financial independence, Grant says that 120% of his brain power was focused on making money. He woke up every day thinking about how to launch another business, further ways to monetize the businesses he already had, and looking for new niches to get involved with.
Once he achieved financial independence, it was as though 90% of his brain opened up. He began to receive many more emails from his readers thanking him for helping them with their own financial situations.
These emails brought a true sense of joy to Grant. He became happier than he ever was when he was trying to make more money and discovered a missional calling in his life. He wanted to spread his message of financial freedom to as many people as possible.
Grant’s new mission became Financial Independence for All. He has a desire to help change policies to make financial independence easier, to get the message that this life is actually achievable for everyone, and everything it entails.
When he had this revelation, Grant began viewing his website as far more than a blog. It became a platform to further the mission. Rather than blogging for pageviews, he now asked how he could use the platform to get more speaking engagements and media exposure to further the message.
Grant literally skyrocketed his online business over a year’s time. One year ago, he owned a digital marketing company and was trying to get the blog to take off. He would have laughed at the idea of being mission-driven but he says he’s never been happier and never had more of a sense of what his next steps are than he does now.
What Makes Your Blog Unique?
Grant has high standards for the type of content he puts out, whether that’s through his blog or his podcast. He is a strong believer in only putting out high-quality content. One of the mantras for his website has always been, “Quality is better than quantity.”
Grant admits to feeling nervous about writing for the blog now that its reach has extended so far and the message is going out to so many. He actually came to FINCON in 2015 and didn’t speak to a single blogger because he was so afraid of putting himself and his story out there.
One of the things I find so interesting about Grant is how he talks about coming to his blog with respect. He truly feels a sense of mission about everything he is writing and sharing. He is certainly known for long-form content, with most of his posts over 2,000 words. The amazing part of those posts is that he writes them in one sitting, no matter how long it takes.
With so many personal finance blogs on the web today, what sets Grant’s blog apart? He says that it’s the same thing that sets anyone apart. It’s your personal story. Not your story of how much money you made or saved, but what mistakes did you make? What scared you? Where have you failed?
Building a Fire One Log at a Time
Grant believes in high-quality content, and he believes in writing it when it comes to him. Some of those 2,000+ word posts are written over an all-nighter because inspiration struck at 11:00 p.m.
As of this posting, he has over 100 posts on the blog. He has written over 70,000 words and definitely feels like he’s hit his stride as far as writing goes. He no longer has to try to think of topics to write about and the site is doing incredibly well with over 300,000 visitors and nearly a million page views each and every month.
Grant has a definite idea of how to grow a blog and the order isn’t necessarily what you might hear others say. His first priority is to figure out your story and then set your intentions. Then you need to write and write until you get those initial kinks out and your writing begins to flow.
He also does keyword research before writing certain posts so that he can include specific keywords or phrases as he writes the post. His research showed him that front page rankings on Google are often 1,200 words or more so he purposely chose to write long-form content. He doesn’t do that just because he’s wordy. It was a strategic decision.
He has been fortunate to receive a ton of media attention which has grown his email list by ridiculous amounts and it continues to grow. The amazing thing about getting large media sites involved with your content is the amount of traffic it can send you. Grant had his traffic up by over 20% from a single article shared by the New York Times.
Ditching the Scarcity Mindset
When you look at personal finance websites, you see a lot of the same things; how to cut back, how to be more frugal, how to live on $25K a year. Grant is the only millennial money blogger who comes at it from the vantage point of making as much money as you possibly can.
If you want to fast track your way to financial independence, making more money is the best way to do it. You can’t retire early by spending less but you can retire early by making more. This angle has created interest in Grant’s writing not only from the financial independence community but also from the mainstream media.
Grant also gets this message out through his podcast which has had over 1.5 million downloads across 245 episodes over the past 15 months. Grant’s own inability to sit still long enough to listen to a podcast for more than 5 minutes helped him decide to make his podcast exactly that.
5 days a week at 5:00 a.m., you can download the newest 5-minute episode. His co-host on Millennial Money Minutes is Matt from The Distilled Dollar. Matt is 4 years younger than Grant and is currently pursuing financial independence with his wife. The 2 hosts don’t always agree on every topic but they share their stories and tons of helpful tips for the listeners.
Monetization for Your Platform
If you are interested in learning how to monetize your platform, Grant has some advice for you. But you will have to come to FINCON to hear it all. I did ask him for a sneak peek for the podcast audience though.
He has made over $400K from his platform (not the blog), and he “didn’t get serious about it until 2017.” He is still shocked over the amount of money he can make through something like affiliate links over a weekend when he isn’t even working.
In his session, he’s going to talk about what it means to go from blogging casually to taking it much more seriously. In early 2017, Grant actually had someone reach out to buy his domain because he wasn’t really using it. That woke him up to the possibilities and he got busy. For the remainder of 2017, he blogged 2-3 times per week as a rule.
Come to his session to hear him talk about how to get serious, how to get the best ROI for the time you invest on your site, and how you can transition from thinking about your website as a blog to thinking about it as a platform and the changes this will bring.
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Philip Taylor owns and operates FinCon as well at the personal finance website PT Money.
Thanks for Listening!
Join us for FinCon18 September 26-29 in Orlando, FL, and hear from Grant in person, along with over 200 other speakers!