Interview with a Successful Startup Founder

Growing a Self-Improvement Blog to $25k/Mo

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
June 29, 2021
Category of startup
Education
Country of startup
United States
Revenue of startups
$10k-$25k/mo
Interview with a Failed Startup Founder

Growing a Self-Improvement Blog to $25k/Mo

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
June 29, 2021
Category of startup
Education
Country of startup
United States
Cause of failure of the startup

Ed started edlatimore.com, a site focused on self-improvement and a practical approach to stoic philosophy. It has reached $25k MRR and is aiming to $50k/mo passively, as well as receiving 100k visits/mo from organic traffic.

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Hi Ed! Who are you and what are you currently working on?

I’m Ed Latimore and I’m a writer who focuses on overcoming addictions, dealing with trauma, and developing practical applications of stoicism and forgiveness to improve the relationship you have with yourself and others. 

My website is edlatimore.com and is broken down into five categories: Mental mastery, physical mastery, emotional mastery, money skills, and addiction & sobriety. To supplement the free information on my site, I have a variety of books and courses to help people develop in these areas as well.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up extremely poor in public housing projects, but I managed to move out when I was 18 and I’ve never been back. I spent most of my 20s doing two things: drinking to excess and boxing. The former almost destroy my potential to go far in the latter, however, I eventually quit for good on December 23rd, 2013. Recovered addicts never forget their sobriety date. 

Drinking was my “keystone habit”. Once I knocked that one out, the rest followed. Now I could focus on being an even better fighter, writer, and eventually earn my degree in Physics. During this time, I had been writing about all aspects of my life and journey on my website.

I’ve always wanted to have a blog and be a writer, but I had trouble finding my “voice”. As a result, the blogs never quite took off or I lost interest. The thing that made this blog stick is that I found my voice—writing about what I’d learned the hard way with the intention of making sure that other people could learn it the easy way.

Because I’d overcome so many challenges (grew up in poverty, struggled and overcame alcoholism, won national titles as an amateur boxer, boxed professionally, and earned a physics degree to name few things), I believed that my perspective was authentic and that I could help many people with it.

How did you go from idea to product?

I started like any other would-be blogger or writer. I launched a WordPress-hosted website and began writing. Once I felt like I had a big enough following, I decided to start writing books and producing programs based on the things that I felt met two crucial criteria: I had personal experience with the problem and I could stand by what I taught no matter what phase of my life I was in.

Ed Latimore Landing Page

The first thing is what I think should be standard in the content creation industry, but unfortunately, many people are “faking it until they make it”. The second thing forces me to not only make decisions based on what I want my name and brand to be associated with, but also how I will carry myself in the future.

For example, I’ve been sober now for almost 8 years. I really enjoy the life that I have as a result of sobriety. I feel like overcoming that problem is something I have a lot of experience with (The first criteria met) and I’ll always want to be a sober guy with discipline over himself (The second criteria met). The second condition also works as a small hedge against any type of relapse. I’d never be taken seriously again if people caught me drinking, for example. I’d lose both from a business and personal standpoint.

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Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?

I’ve relied on a mixture of strategies to grow my website and brand. First, I’ve embraced social media and I’m extremely active there. This has given me a large audience to share my content and has made it easier for people to discover my content as well.

Growing a large social media presence has made every other part of marketing easier. I can grow my mailing list from social media, run sales from social media, and drive traffic to my website from social media.

The one thing that social media is not a great help on is driving organic search traffic to my website. To tackle this problem, I’ve invested heavily in my website to make it as appealing and technically sound as possible.

To supplement the technical design of my website, I’ve learned about creating high-quality SEO content that both the search engines and people enjoy. This makes it easier to rank for keywords that drive traffic to my site and this helps expose me to more fans and customers. 


How are you doing today and what are your goals for the future?

Today things are going very well from the revenue and social media side, but I have hit a small snag in the search engine traffic. However, these things are bound to happen when you rely solely on organic traffic, as Google is always modifying its algorithm. This just means that we have to adapt on our side and create even better content.

My goals for the future are to get the site to making $50,000/mo passively, as well as doing 100k visits/mo from organic traffic. I believe the best way to reach these goals is to continue to provide useful content that is both optimized for the search engines and serves my audience.


Since starting EdLatimore.com, what have been your main lessons?

From a content creation side, I’ve learned that if you went through it, someone needs to hear about your experiences. We are not so unique that no one has ever experienced similar problems before. You can help someone by creating something that teaches what you learned.

This means that you should write about it (or shoot a video, podcast, or make a post). Someone is going to get something from your story, even if you don’t think there’s anything particularly useful or remarkable about it.

From a business and operations side, I’ve learned the power of delegation. If you want to be successful at what you do, then you won’t be able to do it alone. It’s important that you select good partners and associates to team up and delegate work to as well as putting great systems in place to help you achieve this.

I’ve gotten better at delegating over the years so that I can focus on the most important part of my brand, which is content creation. I have people who handle my tech and advertising so that I focus on what I’m best at.

What were the biggest obstacles you overcame? What were your worst mistakes?

I’m fortunate in that I’m involved in content creation, so it’s difficult to make mistakes, per se. The one thing I wish I had more of is to promote my products more aggressively.

My email list is probably half the size that it could be today because I did not do the work of heavy promotion early on. I’ve easily left six figures of revenue on the table because I did not promote as heavily.

The big thing I’ve learned is that if you’re in business for yourself, you live and die by promotion and marketing. One of the big changes I’ve made recently is that I promote my content much more heavily now than I ever have before. This has resulted in more sales, signs ups, and visitors. All of those are excellent outcomes for my brand.

What tools & resources do you recommend?

My main tools for producing SEO content are Ahrefs and Page Optimizer Pro. I used these tools to dictate a lot of my content creation strategy.

I use Socialblade and Followerwonk to track my progress on social media platforms and spot trends.

To host my products, I use Gumroad and Circle.

I use Hypefury to promote my email list on Twitter and to make great use of urgency and scarcity to run sales of my products on Twitter.


Where can we go to learn more?

My website: edlatimore.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/edlatimore

Instagram: www.instagram.com/edlatimore

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