Blogging Advice Archives - Soulful Mandy
Browsing Category

Blogging Advice

Blogging Advice

Why Your Transparent Blog Income Report Isn’t Actually Transparent

I’ll be petty and have a tiny violin playing for me for just one blog post and that’s because I read this brilliant post and have to weigh in on my opinion about income reports. (Shoutout to Laura who’s easily one of my favorite REAL  bloggers).  

I like reports. They help me track my stuff, they help me see where I was last year and how far I’ve come. As a content manager, reporting KPIs is my thing. I even make it super entertaining and motivating for people to read and you actually learn something from them.

But income reports? That’s a blogging trend I’ll never understand. Don’t take this the wrong way – I’m totally open to getting destroyed in the comments and being called petty because I’m not able to monetize my blog in the same way (partially true, I’ll take it). But my blog is lacking actual entertaining content, so instead of spending a month reaching out to companies who would be willing to sponsor my blog post, I’ll just write this because I want to.

Maybe it’s a blogger’s thing to try and grasp on that very last bit of transparency they can get because I’ve never seen influencers or anyone else outside of the blogging sphere talk about how much they earn in such bizarre way. Again, maybe I’m totally wrong and this will turn out to insult quite a few people in the process of showing the non-glamour part of these income reports. 

Welcome to the ugly truth. 

Where most blogging income actually comes from:

  • Host provider affiliates – usually from a post on how to start your own blog.
  • Amazon affiliates.
  • Other types of affiliates.
  • Sponsored content that took a lot of soul selling and pretending you like the product because you’re too afraid to tell the truth.
  • Affiliate links in the actual blog income report (which should have a catchy title with the actual income – this income also includes credits you cannot turn into cash whatsoever).
  • 30+ rewritten printables that took 0.5 seconds to make in Canva but are now sold as an impressive bundle.
  • A ‘quit your job and become a full time blogger’ course that was made after a single successful month and now holds 70% of the entire blogging income and is NEVER updated even though blogging rules change on the monthly. 

I understand that this is what blogging is about for most people who want to monetize their content, I really do, and I totally get that it’s a business with funnels and strategies just like anything else.

But think about it – how much of our content is directly affected by the fact you aren’t writing about things you want to write about. Instead, you’re writing about things you KNOW will bring you money.

Are you sure you’re not losing your integrity and value because your KPI is more focused on money than it is on actual quality of your content? What are you actually teaching your readers? 

Click here to read my ACTUAL blog income report that’s completely and totally transparent and I mean that – because I love you and I want you to be your own boss and have freedom to be totally dependent on 30+ affiliate providers you need to constantly promote and make content around to make decent money! While you’re at it, check out my yet-another-generic-teachable-course-my-virtual-assistant-made on how to become a full-time blogger!

(Just kidding, both of these links take you back to my website. I need views for my non-money related KPIs. <3 )

Petty Mandy out!


Why Automated Comments Are a Horrible Instagram Trend
Blogging Advice

Why Automated Comments Are a Horrible Instagram Trend

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s automated Instagram comments. I’m really not sure why people think it boosts engagement – I suppose it can when they’re done right, but half of the time, I roll my eyes and call out about 90% of automated comments I get on Instagram. Don’t do it. Seriously, just don’t do it. Outsource it to someone else or spend an hour of your day organically commenting on other people’s content.

Please. Please. Just don’t use automated Instagram comments. Invest your time, invest your money, and you’ll see results.

If you invest in fake automated stuff, you’ll receive fake automated stuff back.

The supposed benefits of automated Instagram comments:

  • It saves you time.

That’s it. That’s the only “benefit” comments like that would give you. They’re not worth it and if you’re using them wrong they’re devaluing your business and branding you the wrong way.

I found some of my favorite automated comments (and some of my replies), just to show you how horrible this trend is.

Here are a few examples of what not to do:


How it looks like on someone’s feed? (none of these were organic)

It’s not working. It’s really not. I’d love to hear from someone who’s actually getting any benefits from posting automated comments because it just looks like you’re being completely fake and just want followers in exchange.

My favorite automated Instagram comment I ever got (that actually worked because it was niche-specific):


Here’s a thought – why not actually engage with people on Instagram? Why not give them something of value and establish a long-term relationship if you really want conversion for your business? The number of followers means nothing if they don’t engage – create relationships instead. Send DMs, comment authentic things, encourage people, and be consistently present on their timeline.

Need some help? I’m a freelance Content and Social Media Manager, working with small businesses and startups on their content and social media strategy.

Let’s talk and help you create real Instagram engagement!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – let’s build REAL Instagram relationships!

Blogging Advice

I Tried First 5 ‘Work From Home’ Ads I Saw On Facebook

My Facebook feed is full of bloggers, entrepreneurs, and pretty much everyone offering their courses. The wording is usually the same. They want to show how to start a side hustle, how to work from home, how to make XY 6+ figures amount of money per month doing work online, how to travel full-time, yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill. Each day, there are about 10 new bloggers, social media and marketing experts, doing exactly the same thing on my newsfeed. So I thought I’d give them a try and see if it’s really worth purchasing their products and what you actually get in those FREE checklists and courses they advertise.

I’ll probably get in trouble for this but let’s do it!

Disclaimer: I’m not an affiliate or BFFs with any of these people – I’m just fascinated by the fact this is now common practice and wonder about the legitimacy of these courses that claim they can offer you so much. I didn’t edit this much, sorry if I sound too harsh 😉 

I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

  1. FREE Workshop: How To Start A Wildly Successful Side Hustle by Susie Moore

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

Alright, so this one claims it’s fluff-free and jam-packed with valuable and actionable content. Her work’s apparently been featured on Forbes (article not working when clicked on Google), Business Insider (always features the same writers, so I’m guessing there’s some sort of PR partnership going on), etc. etc. Her Huffington Post author bio claims that her corporate career paid her $500,000 in her final year at age of 30, which is pretty much the skillset foundation for her online business, so I really want to see what she has to say about starting a business even if you lack confidence etc. etc.

where to buy Topiramate online Things I liked: She mentions having a passion for what you do more than she mentions money. The first video gives an important lesson on how to find your passion without going into monetization first. Also, huge thumbs up for having video transcripts.

buy dapoxetine canada What I didn’t like: Apparently you don’t receive the workshop all in one day – wasn’t mentioned before. I understand it’s a side hustle thing and it helps people not feel overwhelmed, but at the same time, it’s misleading – I’d rather see a Facebook AD that says 10-day Side Hustle Workshop for transparency. I’d love to have a checklist alongside the video that would help me work my way through the steps Susie mentions would help me find my passion.

On that note, the fluff-free adjective she mentions in the Facebook AD gets lost to me with this sentence in the email: “In Video 2, you’re going to learn the ONLY five things you need to start making money from your Side Hustle.” – and I bet they’re ‘determination’, ‘persistence’, ‘long-term plan,’ etc. etc. aka fluff aka not a real answer.

cytotec without prescriptions Will I continue with the workshop: Nah, sorry 🙁

  1. Social Media Rules Have Changed by John and Nadya

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

John and Nadya are home business experts and 7-figure earners according to their Facebook bio. Their AD claims that they will share social media tips that helped scale their business to six-figures a year to six-figures a month. Their taxes must be insane. After Googling them, they appear on a few podcasts, but as far as producing their own content goes, they aren’t really showing up. I do love their FB page, which is fairly active (although 40k followers wouldn’t be enough to make 6 figures per month).

Things I didn’t like: The first email is basically an opt-in to join their group and doesn’t really reveal anything – you don’t receive anything until you’re approved. Second email contains the phrase “It’s official .. you’re a genius!” which immediately put me off as I felt like things were going to get dumbed down for me. Waiting too long to be accepted into the group, the novelty of your FB AD already started to wear off. 

Things I liked: Friendly language. They have blog posts but those weren’t even mentioned in the email! I’d love a section like ‘while you wait, have a read of some of our popular blog posts’.

Will I continue with this? No, it gives away absolutely nothing with the first 3 opt-ins and it honestly looks like it’s a waste of time. In their own words, I’m ‘fired up’ and ready to go, but nothing is happening. On that note, I have a feeling this is pretty much affiliate marketing and sponsorship done through the group. I didn’t even notice they had blog posts until I went on their Instagram – I’ll definitely browse through those.

Update: Their emails they send after you sign up are completely irrelevant to what you’ve signed up for. They also don’t really offer value and are just promotional emails for the group.

  1. This Free Book Paid For My Tesla by Dean Graziosi

    I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

I’m a huge fan of video Facebook ADs and this guy is really grabbing the attention. I’ve heard of Dean Graziosi before, so I kind of know what to expect. It might be a good warning that if you Google Dean Graziosi, the second link you see is people asking how big of a scam he is.

Here’s the best part: after you put in your name and email, it asks you to pay for $20 shipping fees. He argues that ‘the book is free, I’m just asking for shipping costs’. Sure, smart marketing, but it doesn’t help the fact that you’re connected to the word ‘scam’ on the first page of Google. While I personally don’t think that’s the case, it definitely doesn’t portray him in a good light. 

I have watched Millionaire Success Habits on YouTube, which is probably more insightful than this so-called ‘free book’.  It’s extremely powerful and shares a lot about his habits that I’ll actually start implementing. The dude knows his stuff but his AD is a complete miss – I’ll stick to free content that’s available from podcasts, thank you.

  1. How to Retire in 100 Days as a ClickFunnels Super Affiliate by Russell Brunson

I Tried First 5 Ads I Saw On Facebook

I’ve also heard of Russell Brunson before and his ad has been in my face for a while before I decided to write this. If you Google him, you get some Forbes articles, his own website, an Amazon book, yadda yadda, the usual stuff. I don’t particularly want to retire and I’m definitely not interested in ClickFunnels (why is this on my feed), but let’s give this a try.

Things I liked: Immediate access. Yes please. No separate days with emails, immediate access. All 100 days in front of you in a form of educational YouTube clips. There are resources, everything you need from basically Day 1. Emails are almost unnecessary.

Things I didn’t like: His drawing is terrible. You’ll probably not retire after 100 days of doing this, let’s be honest.

Will I continue with the workshop: Not interested in ClickFunnels at all, but I’ll keep this on the backburner.

Update: Still subscribed 😛

  1. 5x Your Traffic Using Pinterest by Jenna Kutcher

I didn’t manage to grab a snapshot on my newsfeed as this was a while ago, but I want to add Jenna Kutcher’s Pinterest course on here. Jenna does photography, podcasts, she’s an entrepreneur, yadda yadda, basically doing everything there is under the sun. I like her blog, but I’m also glad she’s not mentioning her income anywhere, because let’s be honest, photography alone can bring you significant revenue. 

Things I liked: I’m a sucker for long webinars because they’re always full of value etc. etc. Also, it was available immediately. There are workshop payment plans! Huzzah!

Things I didn’t like: Omg Jenna girl, you send way too many emails. See pic for an example. I had to unsubscribe. Also, the webinar didn’t teach me anything – the only super valuable lesson I got is that Pinterest is not social media, it’s a search engine and you should optimize it as such. Also, about 25 minutes in, it suddenly becomes an ad for her other course and that completely takes over for the duration of the webinar.

I also didn’t like the “You only get our never-before-shared 5 Day Pinterest Kickstarter of tried and tested Pinterest strategies for FREE when you enroll in The Pinterest Lab by midnight TONIGHT.” when you should already receive those strategies in The Pinterest Lab ANYWAYS. What’s the deal?

Will I continue with the workshop: Nope.


These marketers are more worried about retaining you as a customer to show off their success for retaining you than they are here to actually offer you something of value. While you do actually get some valuable information, you can easily get this for free. The ads are misleading and most of the time the copy just builds up the emotion and anticipation and then leaves you disappointed.

The Ugly Truth About Blogging Courses
Blogging Advice

Are Blogging Courses Worth It?

Disclaimer: I’m not advertising anything with this blog post or anyone’s course – I simply want to highlight that blogging is becoming a fabricated business and it’s easy to spend money on things that will never bring you value. If you’re a beginner blogger, you’re better off investing in your writing skill than learning about these ‘blogging secrets’ from questionable sources.

I’ll probably get yelled at for this but hey, if it offends you, you should probably stop doing this. A recent Facebook group mentioned this article that talks about blogging course scams. It’s a really good read and a warning to everyone who’s naive enough to fall for them. As a content manager, I’d like to share my own input and shady practices I’ve seen in this business. 

Everyone wants to become successful at blogging. But here’s an ugly truth about blogging courses. 

Don’t be fooled that people who are monetizing their site are 100% genuine and want to help you reach your blogging potential – most of them just want the money. I’ve seen hundreds of travel bloggers posting on Facebook groups how they ‘just started their blog and would like to monetize them.’ I’ve also received the advice that you can easily make a course as soon as you reach a certain amount of views per month, regardless if you can repeat the thing again next month. Unfortunately, it’s not how it should be.

As soon as blogging got a ‘money first’ mentality, it lost its value and hard work. People just want to get easy money and they don’t care whether or not they actually teaching valuable information. Sure, it’s a business, and part of me is writing this because I’m incredibly petty, but the other part of me worries about the industry that’s becoming so fabricated it’s losing that personal touch.

Blog posts are becoming just rewritten blog posts from the first five you see on Google. And the people who claim they made it big, only made it big that one time. And then they went on to teach about it, leaving blogging altogether. See? It sounds crazy! 

I’m not a pro at blogging, far from it, which is why I’ll never set up something that will teach you ‘how I get 1000 views per day’ or ‘how I managed to explode my traffic with Pinterest’. And to be honest, I don’t really want to.

When I became a freelance content manager and spent a lot of time writing for others (including blogging coaches), I learned the ugly truth about how some people make money by teaching you how to blog. (This also applies to other businesses) 

Here’s how a lot of blogging courses are actually made.

PLR (I won’t link to these sites because they don’t deserve your clicks)

Unless they’re very passionate about the subject, most of these short-term bloggers will never put in the work that’s actually required to make a course from scratch. PLR stands for Private Label Rights. They’re products that allow you to download the content and rebrand for your own business purposes. You can find anything from books, email templates, email campaigns, or even full on courses.

Why it’s terrible: A lot of the content is actually extremely outdated, meaning the practices are no longer valuable. This is important, especially when it comes to blogging and social media. The algorithms and SEO policies change once every few months, but those books never get updated. This also means you can easily receive only 20% of useful information. Of course, you’re also copying the content – there are thousands of other bloggers out there doing exactly the same. These pre-made courses cost less than $5 and some people out there charge as much as $500 for the course. Also, someone spent a lot of time writing these courses and they’re also making money by offering you a template that has no proven results. 

Depending on whether or not the blogger is actually passionate about the subject, they might rewrite the content – but there are so many of bloggers out there that will use these course and email templates without changing a single thing. And they’ll still make money.

Can it be good: Yes – if you use it as a template and an inspiration and actually rewrite other content. Purchase at your own risk.

Btw, this is not entrepreneurship. Unless you can elevate that content and really change it into something current and personalized to your own business, this is a scam.

People who are really making money, make more money making money than they do telling people how they make money.

Not all blogging courses are bad.

Of course, there are a few of them with relevant and decent information. But that information could easily be obtained for free.

I’ve seen at least a dozen of ‘bloggers’ offering courses that made me raise my eyebrows. Here’s what they all had in common:

  • No payment plan (money upfront? in this economy? no thank you!)
  • No 30-day money back guarantee (most Teachable courses offer this – as it should be). 
  • They actually stopped blogging altogether and just focus on their course (‘those who can’t do, teach’ – there’s some truth to this saying). 
  • You can trace back zero of their content (search their name, see what comes up). 
  • Their social media presence is not that amazing (this is important, especially if they’re advertising certain Pinterest courses and whatnot)
  • They don’t offer any of their advice for free (come on!!!!)

And most of them were the ones that Facebook groups mentioned they were actually a scam. They take your money, they give you a basic course, and when you’re unhappy, they disappear. Or, they bait you in until you invest a certain sum and eventually disappear. Sounds kind of like scientology actually (sorry, still watching Leah Remini’s documentary). 

Don’t get scammed by blogging courses

Do your research on the blogger! Do you really feel like you’re getting something valuable or have you just fallen for the course because of it’s shiny Pinterest picture? 

Check their blogging history – how long have they had a blog? Let’s be honest, nothing good happens within 2 years of blogging for most people (and it usually takes a few months for SEO to even catch your keywords).

Check their content – you can use plagiarism checker to check their blog posts that talk about their course. If you see any similarities in wording, there’s a good chance it’s PLR. Stay away.

Only invest in the best

There are people out there like Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others who give content and business advice for free. Everything you need to learn, whether it’s about WordPress, monetization, social media, etc. all is available for free – save your coins.  

There really is no short secret to blogging success – you need to have a good content strategy, know SEO (which you can do through the official Moz website), and just work hard and post valuable content. Your readers will come. And you can do all this without wasting money on blogging courses.

Don’t get scammed.

5 SEO Rules I Follow To Grow My Blog Organically
Blogging Advice

5 SEO Rules I Follow To Grow My Blog Organically

If you’re a beginner blogger, you’re probably very confused about SEO and techniques to use to get organic traffic. Working as a content manager taught me a lot about SEO and white hat techniques you can use to grow your blog organically. Trust me, there are plenty of ways to do this. But these are the 5 GUARANTEED SEO rules that will bring you organic reach to your blog.

Continue Reading