In effort to bring the best of the best in blogging to our readers, we are presenting an interview series with Plutus Awards winners to highlight their efforts as well as share tips and tricks of theirs to the blogging community they serve. Since winning a Plutus Award takes a lot of hard work, these bloggers may share some insight that could inspire you to win your very own!
Today’s interview is with Holly from Club Thrifty. Along with a successful blog, Holly is a significant freelance writer in her own right with her own column in the Indianapolis Star, freelance course and new book launching with her husband early next year.
1. Hello Holly! Can you tell us about your blog and what PlutusAward you won?
My blog is Club Thrifty, and we won the Plutus Award for best travel-related blog. We aren’t a full-fledged travel blog, but we cover travel in addition to other topics like frugality and personal finance.
Editor’s note: Holly also won best Freelancer last year!
2. How did you feel winning the award knowing it was from your peers?
Winning a Plutus Award feels amazing! Receiving an award from your peers is a feeling that is hard to explain. It’s part validation, but also proof that people actually like you and support what you’re doing.
3. Where are you now? Are you still doing the same blog? How has it changed?
We are still plugging away at our blog and freelance efforts. Since we started Club Thrifty in 2011, it’s been a lot of work. I was able to leave my job to blog full-time in 2013, and my husband left his job to work at home with me two years ago. Nothing has changed except that we are more determined than ever to avoid having regular jobs ever again.
4. What advice would you give someone looking to grow their blog today?
My advice is to keep trying and plugging away regardless of what happens or who is reading. Even if your mom is your only fan, your blog will eventually gain steam. It just takes time. It’s important to know that the overnight blogging success stories are the exception, not the norm.
5. Blogging can be tough. How do you keep up with motivation?
I stay motivated because I have no choice. Ha! Now that we blog full-time and support our family this way, there’s no going back. Failure is not an option. I refuse to fail, and I am determined to become more successful over time. It will happen or I will die trying.
6. Where do you see yourself going from here? Any plans in the works you can share with us?
We have lots of exciting things coming up! First off, my husband and I wrote our first book this year, Zero Down Your Debt. It is available for pre-sale on Amazon.com now, but it will be in stores like Barnes & Noble after January 10, 2017.
On a personal level, I earned my own column in our state newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. This is a dream I didn’t even know I had, and I am so excited about where it could take me
7. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
That’s a tough one. I guess it’s overcoming many, many odds. A lot of people don’t know this, but I had two spinal fusions in my early 20’s. They left me unable to work or live comfortably for years, and interfered with my career and educational goals. I thought I would never have a family, build a career, or even live without pain.
But I managed to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish anyway – even if I endured chronic pain for years. The crazy thing is, the pain I was experiencing went away when I quit my job in 2013. Because I no longer had to dress up in suits every day, sit in an uncomfortable office, or endure the stress of a regular, 9-5 job, my back pain disappeared.
Other than pushing through hard times, my other greatest accomplishment is my family. I have two girls ages 7 and 5, and they are the light of my life. Sometimes I look at them and can’t believe I’m their mom!
Thank you so much for the interview Holly! Does anyone have any questions for her?