Desirae Odjick: From personal finance to full-time blogger at Shopify

Desirae is a full-time content marketer at THE Shopify (in addition to her A+ personal finance blog Half Banked). Don’t forget to check out my 2018 SEO Strategy video as well!

Straight-up, this conversation is amazing for anybody looking to make a full-time (and then some) living from writing and/or digital marketing.

Desirae drops incredible knowledge bombs on what it takes to get hired as a full-time blogger, as well as the very specific skills you need to be able to prove in the process.

And she should know!

In this episode, we chat about:

  • The 4 P’s of Marketing – What they are and why they’re important
  • How to price your products 🙂
  • SOLID tips for writing
  • What matters for SEO in 2018
  • How blogging develops critical skills that are in HIGH demand in the workforce (seriously high-paying and flexible roles too)

This has quickly become one of my favorite interviews on DYEB, and you’ll definitely see why. Desirae is so much awesome. #grammar. #hire-me-Shopify

Enjoy, and be sure to check out the takeaways below 🙂

Pin to read later or just show you love DYEB 🙂

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Show notes and referenced links

Key takeaways from today’s episode with Desirae

1 – The top skills to get a blogging job.

Desirae mentioned a few really key ones which I found unexpected in interesting. Let’s hit them in order:

Write good content


That means absolutely nothing, I get it. Luckily, Desirae gave 2 specific “things to do” in order to improve writing skills specifically:

  1. Read everything you can get your hands on.
  2. Write more.

Again, it’s entirely too easy to glance at these and think “yeah ok. Read and write. Got it Pete. Thanks. Moving on…”

But STOP and think about what she’s really saying: Get way more experience, get immersed in content so much so that you start to LEARN what goes into producing good content.

And in that respect, she’s totally right. Immerse yourself more in other people’s content. Ask questions like:

  • why did I enjoy this article so much?
  • what made me read all the way to the end on this blog post?
  • what was it about this book that made me NOT want to put it down?


Also, write a lot.

It sucks to hear it, but it’s true, like ANY other skill on the planet: The more you practice, the better you get.

From Seth Godin (paraphrased)…

Are you writing bad? Is what you’re writing terrible?

Write more. Keep writing. Write until it’s good again.

10 pages or 10 years. Write more. Get better.

Be able to adapt your content based on your audience.

This is another critical skill…and this is what adaptation looks like in the content marketing world:

You should be able to demonstrate (not just tell somebody how) you’ve tested and optimized.

Tested and optimized your content.

  • I wrote XYZ, this happened.
  • So I wrote another XYZ but with ABC, this happened.
  • THEN I wrote just the ABC, this happened.
  • Now we make money.

Marketers (or at least marketing hiring managers) LOVE tracking and testing and optimizing. Constantly.

Tie revenue in to whatever you’re doing.

Desirae said it best: “companies (or freelance clients) aren’t hiring bloggers just to write about what they’re passionate about. They’re hiring bloggers to make them more money.”

Note: Desirae didn’t say your blog has to make $x,xxx per month.

She said, you need to KNOW how your content ties back in to revenues.

Is it specifically generating leads? Is it directly producing revenues via sales or affiliate revenues?

Notice anything?

Tracking and testing and optimizing. Constantly. Marketers like that stuff 🙂

Takeaway 2 – What on Earth do I charge for my products? Pricing is a part of marketing.

You are considering two diamond rings:

Sad but true 🙂
  1. The first costs $799.
  2. The second costs $7,999

We can’t help but assume the 2nd diamond is the better product. We mentally assign values based on cost, and we do this all the time.

Thrift store, Amazon, blogging products.

(Ever wonder why I’ve priced Online Impact so high before DYEB has even hit a year old?)

Ok great. But what price specifically should I price my online course/ebook/whatever at?

Desirae brought up a nice tip from Ramit Sethi: If you have to ask, you probably don’t have enough experience to accurately price something.

More specifically…

The best way to get a solid grasp of how much an info product should sell for…is to have bought other similar info products.

Over time, you’ll develop a sense of exactly where something should be priced at. BUT…given you don’t want to specifically go purchase $4,209 worth of online courses before you price your own….just make your best educated guess based on your previous experience.

Then add 10% 😉

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7 Responses

  1. Me, listening to my previous comments about my theme: “OH NO I TOTALLY DIDN’T END UP ON GENESIS.”

    Thank you so much for having me on, Pete! This was so great and I’m so flattered to have been invited to share with your audience!

    1. haha I know! I thought of that yesterday while editing and laughed lol.

      And it was my pleasure Desirae. Sincerely enjoyed learning from you!

  2. I have to say I truly enjoy you giving Highlights! I don’t often listen to podcasts and when there are things happening around you (14 month old nephew running around with Doc Mcstuffins on) it makes it super easy to check out and not forget to go back to it. Im going to try listening today. I loved to point of Writing Good Content. I’ve psyched myself out far too long and its a matter of writing more. The more you write the more you’ve exercised that writing muscle. And I have not been exercising it as I’ve been too busy being fearful of not being good enough. It’s such a practical way to solve the problem! Thank you!

    1. You are more than welcome Danielle! I understand the toddler thing, as I have some myself 🙂

      Yes. Definitely important. You might also enjoy John from ESI’s thought on that as well: the more you write, the better you get, but the more traffic you get as well. That’s super broad, but he said it way better lol.

      I think there are takeaways on that one as well,

      Thank you so much for coming here Danielle!

  3. I’m loving the highlights as well. I’m more of a reader than a listener… I like to be able to scan things and this was definitely valuable and makes me want to listen to the podcast afterall.

    I’m also about to go live to my audience about the very same thing, writing valuable content, so this was a great read right before I jump in.

    Pinned your post 🙂

    1. Thanks Mo!

      And I’m totally with you. I tend to appreciate other podcasts that also provide at least SOME form of text 🙂

      Thanks for pinning, reading, and potentially listening! Keep us posted on going live 🙂

  4. I learned so much from this episode. Especially how important focusing my content on a specific audience. I still don’t know what to sell on my blog if anything. On the good side I started Google AdSense and Amazon Affliates. Thanks Pete and Desirae.

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