An Interview with Laurence Bradford
Laurence Bradford, owner and blogger of ‘Learn to Code with Me’, is an experienced traveler, tech careers authority for About.com, and website coding expert. She chats with Luc today about the evolution of her site from personal journal to thriving business, real-time in-depth advice on what platforms to use, and even gives Luc a few tips on his own website!
- Laurence’s road to becoming a website creator was paved with many twists and turns.
- After college, she taught English in Thailand, worked at Bangkok ‘think tank’ and studied for her GRE to pursue a master’s in economic development.
- In her free time, she started doing Code Academy and fell in love with it instantly.
- She came back to the US and delved deep into learning how to build sites.
- ‘Learn to Code with Me’ was originally started as a personal blog to stay accountable and work out frustrations.
The Evolution of ‘Learn to Code with Me’
- Looking back, you can see that many of her early posts are about her.
- When she started providing value to her readers is when traffic started to pick up.
- Today, she has about 30K unique visitors per month-her goal for 2016 is 45K monthly.
- A few of her influences include Pat Flynn, Neil Patel of QuickSprout and Brian Dean of Backlinko.
- She doesn’t write based on SEO strategies. About 80% of monthly traffic comes from organic searching on Google and a few key posts.
Monetizing Her Site
- When she first started her site in April 2014, monetizing was not on her mind.
- Now, she has affiliate marketing on her site, which she started doing when she got serious about her site.
- Laurence is picky about what affiliate programs she chooses and they are related to her field.
- In September 2014, she launched her first course, Portfolio Dojo, a very niche course for beginning web developers that are looking for business.
- As a first launch, her course did well, converting at about 5%. Her goal was less about money and more so to validate the idea and generate interest.
- Laurence’s blog gives her authority status that open opportunities to write articles for other tech outlets, which are a consistent source of income.
Advice for Creating an Awesome Blog
- Provide Value- give people actionable information and tips they can use right away.
- Create a Community-people come for the content but they stay for the community.
- Be Amazing. Be Everywhere. Be Real-people aren’t just going to come to you. You have to put yourself out there.
- Guest-posting on other’s blogs
- Podcast interviews
- Live Events
Laurence Gets Real with Luc-Maximizing HIS Site
- Good copy is essential for organic traffic-Google can’t scan images and videos.
- Track Everything-you can’t change what you don’t measure.
- If you have a podcast, posting the ‘Show Notes’ is essential.
- Have easy ‘gimme’ items for your e-mail subscribers, such as guides, cheat sheets, etc.
- Research the most popular articles for certain keywords and concepts.
- Do surveys of your audience-gauge their interests and what they’re looking for.
Where to Find Laurence
- Her websitewww.learntocodewith.me
- Her course websitewww.portfoliodojo.com