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Below is an excerpt from a recent interview I had with Terri Holley, owner of two successful businesses, the popular blog, Revolution Gray http://goinggrayblog.com/ and digital marketing firm Holley Creative www.holleycreative.com/.  Terri shares her process and a great tool list for growing a business from scratch.

So Terri, I know that you have seen amazing success with your blog Revolution Gray.  Could you talk a bit about how you got the idea for your business?

In 2007, I wrote a blog post about a Time magazine article that discussed women going gray. I noticed that days later my handful of readers had turned into hundreds. I was amazed that people were finding my little blog by searching for key terms like "going gray", "how go gray" and "transitioning to gray." As an experiment, I started a separate blog http://goinggrayblog.com/ focusing on this single topic.  As it turns out I came across a HUGE need I had no idea existed.

How did you grow your readership?

Honestly I have just continued to really tune in to my audience. If they have a question on shampoo or how to transition to gray, I write in response.  I have just listened to this community, followed their lead and that has been successful over anything else. 

I have also fostered two-way communication via very active communities on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. The unique theme also picked up numerous press mentions and has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Daily Finance, Huffington Post, and AARP’s Life after 50.

The website now boasts a loyal and engaged readership from visitors all over the world (over 110 countries to be exact) with over 45,000 page views per month. I think the success was due to focusing on a real need in a niche market.

What tools have been useful in helping you turn an article into a business?

  • My site is built with Wordpress which continues to be a quick and easy way to get a business presence up. 
  • I use Google Adsense to look at check out key search terms and topics.
  • As an Amazon affiliate I am able to easily connect my audience with related products.
  • Canva is a fantastic tool if you don’t have Photoshop skills but want to create beautiful graphics like a pro.
  • I use OptimizePress to create landing pages within Wordpress.
  • With Opt-in Monster I have seen an increase in leads by 200%.

To get a list of Terri’s favorite (and often free) internet marketing tools, click here: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/holleycreative/102-tools-holley-creative.pdf