An inside look at 2 new bloggers who are crushing it – Lily and Ms. FAF

This episode is a bit different. I have two guests today, both of whom are new-ish bloggers who have worked hard and seen amazing results in their first months of blogging.

It’s my pleasure to bring you a casual conversation with Lily from The Frugal Gene and Ms. FAF from Frugal Asian Finance.

Lily -> 9k views/month in 3 months, 2-3 podcast bookings, 1k+ Twitter followers….and she also brings in roughly $7k/month just from her AirBnB rental(!)

Ms FAF -> 17k views/month in 4 months, incredible engagement on every single post, and she has incredibly helpful monthly blog reports.

We chat about

  • How these 2 ladies have helped each other grow their blog traffic and engagement.
  • The supreme importance of real-world blogging relationships
  • How bloggers over-emphasize traffic and analytics
  • Is having paid software really going to make a dent in accomplishing your goals?
  • Gender/ race opportunities and limitations in blogging (why isn’t anyone talking about this?)
The Frugal Gene and Frugal Asian Finance Do You Even Blog Podcast
Thanks to Ms. FAF for the Pinterest image!

Listen to my episode with these two:

or listen on Apple Podcasts \ Google Podcasts \ Spotify

ShowNotes and Links Mentioned.

4 key takeaways from today’s episode.

1 – If you blog, you WILL have days where you feel 0% productive.

Even if you worked on your blog. Especially if you worked.

I am constantly

  • editing podcast episodes,
  • editing blog posts,
  • engaging on Twitter,
  • emailing,
  • organizing,
  • brainstorming,
  • doing technical work on the site…

Even if I charge through those tasks in an 8 hour period…I still feel I have nothing to show for my time.

It’s tough, and every blogger feels this sometimes. We want to see published content (aka the medium by which we achieve our goals) for our efforts.

Here’s 3 practical tips for avoiding what I’ll call “Admin Work Depression, or AWD.”

  1. Realize all bloggers go through AWD, even the influencers you look up to.
  2. Curb your perfectionism to cut down admin work, leaving more time for content creation and promotion.
  3. Do the work.

Sadly, with success comes more emails, guest post requests, opportunities, and more work!

Your favorite bloggers have AWD some days, but they’ve learned to power through it. They realize it’s a necessary part of the blogging journey.

However, in some cases, we do spend too much time in admin work. You could be a perfectionist, conquering inbox-zero every day and making sure your blog design is juuuussst right.

It takes wisdom and experience to determine whether your AWD is brought on by a normal day’s admin tasks, or if you truly could’ve spent your time better.

Either way…

Sometimes you just need to sit down and do the work.

Fight the depression, fight the unproductive feeling.

These feelings are brought by your ego (here’s further reading), which would love nothing more than to spend as little time possible working….and have uber success.

Re-read the last sentence.


Lily The Frugal Gene Frugal Asian Finance Do You Even Blog
I’m experimenting w/ Pinterest images. Pin me! (or the one up top?)

2 – We spend too much effort, energy, and time focusing on blog stats.

What are your blogging goals?

  • Blog traffic
  • Email subs
  • Impact
  • Revenues so you can quit your 9-5 job and traveling the world…working 4 hours a month on your million-dollar blog?

Sound good? Great. We’ve identified your goals.


If you had only 2 hours a week to work on your blog…what actions would take you closest to those goals?

  • Pouring through Google Analytics?
  • Optimizing your homepage for an extra 0.9% conversion rate?
  • Combing through Pinterest analytics?

Don’t get me wrong…

It’s important to track and analyze data, and to prioritize website traffic and your email list. Those are vital to blog growth.

But vital to traffic/subs/$$$$… content and following.

A+ content and loyal followers are cornerstones of blogging success, and any other related activity should be carefully managed.

So by all means, monitor your analytics and brainstorm ways to hustle for subs and traffic, but not at the cost of shipping content and engaging with readers.

(Reminder: without content (or with crappy content), you’re not going to get the shares/traffic/$$$ you desire anyways)

come onnnn go go go!

3 – Do you really need the pro version of XYZ product?

As bloggers, we tend to fall into a pattern of “If I just had XYZ, I’d have more traffic, subs, revenues, followers, etc.”

This could be

Again, ask yourself…

How important is it really that I have XYZ tool?

Unless you’re rolling in cash (in which case, sponsor me please), this is an important question.

  1. If the answer is “Yes, this will fundamentally change my business/blog,” then by all means, upgrade to the pro version, etc.
  2. If the answer is “I don’t know” or “unlikely,” then why would you upgrade? To see if it works?

Save your cash for when it matters and will make a difference. Chances are, paying for XYZ resource won’t make as much a difference as you think.

Stick with free versions and focus on growing your blog. When you start making bank like Rosemarie, upgrade.

4 – Blogging relationships are a key driver of sustained blogging success

Do I sound like a broken record?

I hear this from well-respected bloggers constantly, and I don’t see this written about often enough.

Lily and Ms. FAF have seen first-hand the power of a real-world relationship with another blogger. They’re considered friends now.

Friends with benefits!

(not in that way, silly).


Here some examples from my own blogging career, as well as Lily and Ms. FAF:

1 – Namedropping works.

I’ve been lucky enough to nail down recognizable podcast guests, and I use these names when I pitch potential guests. This is social proof 101, and it works like magic.

2 – Referrals and shares.

Bloggers who are actual friends (or even just acquaintances) are 100x more likely to share your content than an internet stranger. Lily and Ms. FAF have done wonders for each other’s growth (inviting each other to valuable group boards on Pinterest, retweeting, commenting and engaging, etc)

3 – The occasional huge opportunity.

I’ve recently created a partnership with a fairly recognizable brand, which could be an amazing opportunity…and it NEVER would’ve happened without a key blogging connection!

4 – It’s just nice. (having support rocks)

I recently Skyped w/ my blogging friend and accountability partner Nate, and it did wonders for my mood.

That’s how therapists make money.

If feels good to be listened to, talk things out, or just have an internet friend on the same path as yourself.

Being a loner sucks, and will render you 100x more likely to quit when the going gets tough. Having real friendships in your niche, as well as other levels of blogging accountability…will hold you to what you’ve started, and encourage you along the way.

Lily and Ms. FAF have developed an incredible level of trust and support. We should all be lucky to have another blogger who sincerely wants what’s best for us.

Love this episode and these two delightful bloggers? Please chime in below in the comments!

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28 Responses

  1. GAH my precious secrets! Preciousssssss. Lol, just kidding!!! I pinned it everywhere, Ms. FAF will too. I hope Mr. Samurai answers her e-mail!

    I really dig his podcast, I don’t know why he stopped making them!

    I didn’t mention this but Instagram is also worth looking at. Tim from Tub of Cash was totally right and he had 30K views in his first month of blogging. 30,000 views!

    And I want to thank Mrs. AR for setting us up πŸ™‚ I’m not sure if we’re allow to name drop her but this is all thanks to her!

  2. Yes, Instagram seems to work well for Tim. I hope he will be on the podcast one day to share his secrets. I also had a lot of fun with the podcast and would highly recommend it to all new and experienced bloggers.

    Thanks Mrs. Adventure Rich for setting this up! It was great talking to you, Pete and Lily! ^.^

  3. You can definitely see the community that blogging has by being a part of things like Rockstar Finance but sounds like we need a new side venture project: “Blogger Soulmate Finder” website πŸ˜‰

  4. Wow. I loved this podcast because I feel like I’ve known Lily and Ms FAF for longer than just the one month I’ve been following them. Thanks for interviewing up and coming rock stars!

  5. Wow this is exactly what I was looking for. A perspective to put things in perspective!!!! I recently started my blog and my page views are not up to the mark, wanting to stay anonymous does not help..

    1. Don’t worry too much about it right now. Just focus on blogging your heart out and producing the absolute best content you can (and tweet a lot. Grabber Buffer and Tailwind and take a pinterest course or two.)…and eventually people will start to share πŸ™‚

      Thanks for landing here and listening/reading PAI!

  6. WOW.. Just finished listengin to this while at th gym tonight, so inspring, Kudos to Lily and MsFAF.. you ladies are so right on, helping each other, lifting each other up, sharing, i wish more people and bloggers for that reason are like you ladies. Sooo love the tip about not being focused on numbers and just focusing on providing value.. so true and real. And thanks Pete for putting this together, i can even be your bloggin buddy πŸ™‚ LOL if you still need one, ala Lily and MsFAF πŸ™‚ Thanks guys and more power to you.

  7. This was a good one, Pete! I loved how far both Lily and Ms. FAF have come in such a short amount of time. I’m so amazed at their progress. I like all of the little tips and trick I gain from listening to your podcasts (I’m definitely going to look for some girl-bloggers-only Pinterest boards!). Thanks for the good content.

  8. Hi Pete,
    Excellent Podcast! I’m in the middle of doing my Pinterest scheduling for the week and I ran across your pin on Pinterest. I totally enjoyed the content and I can’t wait to hear and read more.

    It was awesome hearing the stories of Lily and Ms. FAF. I’ll definitely be heading over to their blogs to show them some love as well.

    Keep the great content coming!

  9. Hey Pete,

    It’s Chrissy, your newest super fan! Just listened to this episode and LOVED it. Hearing from other new bloggers is wonderful for beginning/aspiring bloggers like me. THANK YOU for putting out content like this – there’s not enough of it.

    I also wanted to comment on your thoughts regarding feeling unproductive when handling administrative tasks. As a SAHM, I also see my “admin” days (laundry, tidying, meal planning, food prep) as draining and uproductive.

    However, I learned about Dan Sullivan and his technique of categorizing your days. He has Buffer, Focus, and Free days. Basically, without the Buffer days (which are when you’d take care of admin tasks) your life/business couldn’t run effectively and you wouldn’t be able to have Free or Focus days.

    Buffer days HAVE to exist! So if you allow for them, accept them and plan for them – it’s easier to feel less annoyed by them. It’s really just a mindset shift, but has really helped me feel more productive and happy on admin days.

    Hope that info is helpful to others. Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to hear more of your content!

    1. TOTALLY. I’ve actually recently started dedicating Mondays for this type of work. I allow myself to do all the planning or the week, getting back to inbox zero, and working on client work….all day Monday.

      And thank you so much Chrissy! So glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

      Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you! (I’m debating creating a full 3-month course for completely new/aspiring bloggers [completely free of course]. Let me know if that sounds like something you’d be interested in. This is literally the first time I’ve written of it)

  10. Just wanted to say- good advice in this podcast! There are constantly days where I feel like I am not being productive at all. I spend hours trying to fix little issue on my blog.

    1. ding ding ding. Me too πŸ™‚

      Big picture. Audience doesn’t care about those little issues!

  11. I love this podcast soooo much!!! I thought I would listen to it for a few minutes and be done with it. Didn’t expect to listen to the whole thing. So entertaining and educational. Learned soooo much.

    Now I need to find a blog soulmate lol.

    1. ha!

      Thank you Kelly, those are very kind words. I appreciate you listening and even stopping by the blog to comment. That shows a lot, and I appreciate it πŸ™‚

      Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you πŸ˜‰

  12. This was such a refreshing episode, despite the audio issues, because although the other guests have been great, these 2 ladies feel like normal people. Their story felt a little closer to mine and make it all seem possible.
    I love the simple, get to work and build true relationships tactics. Such good strategy but with the emphasis on being truthful and honest; So seldom discussed.

    I am many months behind the curve in joining the group and listening but I am putting in my hat for Pete’s soul mate. I think since a few blog iterations ago I found your style and honesty to be worth coming back for and I am so pleased to have found your work again. So good and it has lifted my week ingesting all of this good content. I hope the influencers are finally carching up to you.
    Another great episode. Thanks!!

    1. ha! You’re more than welcome Thomas! I’m pretty sure you’re in the FB group, right? Have you found a friend in there yet? haha

  13. Nice to hear from people who are successful and have no clue what they are doing that makes stuff works, just left with ideas and guesses πŸ™‚ gives me hope!
    I did enjoy and thought their comment of not spending money was great! And also great insight: better the content, the less SEO you have to worry about.

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