Carleigh Bodrug has a community of over 1,000,000 people already! In a nutshell, she “makes plant-based eating really simple”.

Carleigh Bodrug started in 2016 when she bought the domain, plantyou.com. She didn’t know the exact plan at the time but knew there would be something she would do with it down the road.

Were you looking for a side hustle?

Carleigh definitely wasn’t thinking this could be a full-time job! She went to school for journalism and podcasting, so she knew she could tell a story well. At the time, she was working at a day job in a radio and television company as a broadcaster.

From there, she got the practical experience and know-how, to figure out that she could make something profitable.

At what point did Carleigh Bodrug monetize?

She was thinking this for a while. At this point, a few brands were connected with her and she had done sponsored posts, but nothing more. What made this more difficult was that she had an amazing full-time job at the time.

A full-time job that she loved, got paid well to do, and was with her friends! The job came with a pension and a ton of benefits that made it hard to leave.

Carleigh Bodrug first product?

Carleigh Bodrug’s first product was $7.99 subscription-based product where she sent out weekly recipes to a community of people. Quickly, the income from this one product outpaced what she was earning at her day job!

She left her day job in June of 2019 when she was earning over $100,000!

Do you think there is still opportunity with a side hustle blogging?

YES! Carleigh Bodrug absolutely thinks there is always an opportunity, as long as you are differentiating yourself. It is harder to get that traffic from Google now with all of the competing blogs, but you can get your traffic from anywhere.

Right now, Carleigh mentioned how big of an opportunity short-form video is, whether it be TikTok or Instagram Reels. YouTube has just come out with Shorts, which is another great platform for smaller creators to get attention.

Should a new blogger pick a niche?

Yes, niche content is so valuable to the reader. Carleigh Bodrug explains the narrower your niche, the better chances of success you will have.

If you can think of something different and special, that is your ticket to monetization early.

Once you start gaining an audience, you can broaden your niche later. You don’t need to stay in your narrow lane forever, but it makes it easier to start with.

How can someone get started?

Get a domain, website, and all that fun stuff. Bootstrap as much as you can, especially at the beginning. You just need a free WordPress theme.

The most important thing is to be consistent. If you are a food blogger, make sure you are constantly posting once per week. Carleigh Bodrug posted once per week for 2 years before monetizing.

From there, get involved in some Facebook Groups and get connected with people!

How many hours do you need to create a blog?

When Carleigh Bodrug first started, she was only working on her lunch breaks and after work. This was equating to basically 2 posts on Instagram per day. Once she took the workload up and realized she wanted to do it full-time, she was spending about 15 hours per week.

Where did you go to hire staff?

Finding staff is one of the hardest things to do in your business! Being Vegan, Carleigh Bodrug hires many mission-driven Vegans as well. Although this is not a requirement, it is a driving factor in why people apply.

What is your companies mission? If people can relate, you will have an easier time hiring people.

Are you doing any keyword research?

Yes, you should be doing this! At the beginning, Carleigh Bodrug didn’t really know about it. Here are Carleigh’s recommendations:

  • Download the Yoast plugin on WordPress
  • Use Ubersuggest to research keywords

What social media channel do you recommend we start on?

YouTube Shorts or TikTok! If you do not have time to focus on all platforms, that is okay! Most people don’t have the time for each platform.

The beauty of all these apps is that you can cross-promote one video on all the apps. Create a video in your regular camera app, post to TikTok, and repost that to Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts!

Where to connect with Carleigh Bodrug?

You can connect with Carleigh Bodrug on:

Her Website: https://plantyou.com/

Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/plantyou/

Her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlantYouBlog/