HTB #014 – The Journey to 1.5 Million Visitors a Month – Crystal Paine Shares a Few Keys to Her Successful Blog

Crystal Paine


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As a blogger, you are self motivated and you have a vision for what you want to do, but how do you actually get things done? While the answers are different for everyone, today’s guest, Crystal Paine shares some fantastic insight into her blogging success.

One thing I’ve long admired about Crystal is that she makes things happen. She doesn’t just talk about doing things, she gets them done. She consistently creates great content and is able to share her life and her wisdom in a transparent and inspiring way.

You’ll learn a lot and be inspired by Crystal today, so grab some headphones and join us for a chat!

Today’s Blogging Wisdom

Tip #1: Be Determined

Crystal was determined to be a stay at home mom. She didn’t have a backup plan, so she kept trying and failing and trying again to make her blog successful. Her perseverance BEYOND failures allowed her to ultimately build her blog, bit by bit, into something even bigger than she had dreamed.

Tip #2: Make Friends

Crystal was very involved in Yahoo Groups (hello 2008) when she first launched her blogs. Those relationships and connections she made were crucial to her success. What Facebook groups or mastermind groups can you be a part of to build relationships so that you can help one another in this blogging journey?

What Else You’ll Learn

Also in this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • The first step towards monetizing your blog.
  • How to find your voice.
  • How to find your niche.
  • How to know what to quit.
  • Hear Crystal’s inspiring blogging story.

Click to Tweet: “There’s ALWAYS room for YOU in the blogosphere… Be YOU!” – Crystal Paine

Quick Links

1. Crystal’s new bookSay Goodbye to Survival Mode
2. Crystal’s ebook21 Days To A More Disciplined Life“>21 Days to a More Disciplined Life
3. Crystal’s Pinterest page (with all her book reading links).

Take Action Now

What is your biggest takeaway from this interview with Crystal? How are you going to take action to improve your blog? Will you join a blogging group or choose to persevere beyond what seems like a failure?

Click here to share your takeaway or action step in the comments.

How to Listen to This Podcast

If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.

1. Listen right here on the blog. Click through to the site and click the little play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one in the app store, but I like one called Downcast. It allows me to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio.

You can also listen via a free app (IOS and Android) called Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – just click here to access the podcast in iTunes. You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

Leave a Reply


  1. I was so excited to see you interviewed Crystal on both this site and Inspired to Action. She is amazing and someone I look up to as a blogger.


  2. Perfect timing, really. I was thinking about if I should and when I should monetize my blog. It really resonated with me when Crystal said to focus on building the blog & creating the content that helps people before focusing on monetizing. That’s where I was heading but I wasn’t sure, and this podcast is like a confirmation and an encouragement that it’s okay to do that, to hold off on monetizing. So thank you! Oh, and it was kinda funny at the end when Crystal talked about Pinterest because I actually was on Pinterest, looking at pictures, while listening. 🙂

    • Anna,
      Oh that’s funny. Pinterest – I have a like/dislike relationship with it. 🙂

      She had some great wisdom, didn’t she? I’m glad it resonated with you. She definitely knows what she is talking about!

  3. I am so happy to be listening to your podcast, they have been so helpful! I am starting a new blog and would definitely benefit from reading your book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Sometimes I feel like God provides the perfect topic of inspiration for me through these podcasts. Crystal really hit some of my weak spots. I get really caught up in comparing my blog and ebooks with others. Her interview reminded me of three things: 1. I have a story to tell in my own way because I am my brand. 2. Even when I put tons of effort into quality content with little present return I have to just keep going after it consistently without loosing heart. 3. Keep working to build relationships with readers and online communities. Thanks for these really great tools. I don’t even remember how I came across hieroglyphic but I love it and what u do matters to me.

  5. Great interview! I love hearing from Crystal. One of the things that resonated a lot with me is that she said in the beginning it felt like she was doing a lot of work and only seeing small results. I was telling a friend yesterday about how much like that it was in the beginning of my business. I was literally working on it full time for months before things started growing. I think that is just part of starting a business and it takes a lot of perseverance. It’s encouraging to hear that others have been there as well.

    • Laura,
      So true. It’s a lot like the debt snowball Dave Ramsey talks about. All the small things we do consistently at the start of a blog or business gain momentum and grow until we really begin to see the results of all our hard work.

  6. I love your podcasts, Kat! This is my question. I, too, am so passionate about being at home with my baby. That’s all I ever wanted to do! But my passion in writing and the blog world is more ministry than money-making. I am a former teacher, and I started an education blog for moms last year, but I just wasn’t passionate about it at all. I didn’t even like teaching! Plus, I couldn’t keep up with both blogs – my ministry one and my education one. So the education one only lasted a few months. I have been so embarrassed by it. Anyway, I guess my question is, what if what you’re passionate about is not a high-interest, money-making topic in order to do it full-time (or even part-time) from home? Please understand, I’m not at all talking about getting rich off of it, but just have enough coming in to help supplement and to be able to continue writing. Because if I have to go back to work, then blogging will have to end. 🙂 Any thoughts on ministry blogs for money? Does the purpose have to be one or the other – either ministry or business? And don’t you think the blog world is over-saturated with certain niches? Like homeschooling and money-saving and motherhood and natural lifestyles? Thank you!!!

  7. Love, love, love Money Saving Mom. I really loved the encouragement of being a new blogger not needing all the bells and whistles. I am reading her book and have been challenged to write my goals and make them measurable.

    • Amy,
      I’m pretty convinced that bells and whistles are often more of a distraction than a benefit.

      Glad to hear you’re going to write your goals and make them measurable….that simple process has had a huge impact on my life and I’m sure it will for you too!

  8. So good!! I was totally inspired by her determination & perseverance. And the “you make time for what’s important and you make excuses about what’s not” thing? I think I needed to hear that… 🙂

  9. I was excited to see this podcast pop up in my twitter feed today. I have been blogging on and off for several years, usually more off than on. Recently, God has really been putting on my heart to change the direction of my blog, and get serious about using my story to help people, specifically teen and young 20 something girls. He has been reminding me that He did not give me the gift of being able to write so that I could bury it in the sand. This podcast was very encouraging that with some discipline, and finding my voice, not someone else’s, I can do it. I have followed you on Inspired to Action, and I am excited to now start following you here too. Thank you.

    • You CAN do it! And this:
      “He did not give me the gift of being able to write so that I could bury it in the sand.”

      ….so good, Steph.

  10. Really enjoyed this interview! (And I do believe those cold bugs are going around all over the country.)

    Great perspective about being the personal brand behind the deal blog. Thank you, Kat and Crystal!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Gretchen! The funny thing is that I’ve recorded about 6 podcasts with this cold, so people are going to think I’m sick for a REALLY long time. 🙂

  11. This is one of those podcasts that I plan to listen to several times again while I’m doing the dishes! Great insight. I liked what Crystal said about how she started out connecting with people through yahoo groups. It sounded a lot like today’s google plus. I’m finding that my target audience is active on that platform, and I plan to build more relationships there with other bloggers too. i look forward to your podcast every week!

  12. “There is nothing new under the sun…” Hey, that sounds familiar!

    I’ve been on blog hiatus for 6 months, partly due to adjusting back to full-time work outside the home, partly because I’ve lost touch with what I really want to write about. I just love to write. It was great to be reminded that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

  13. I simply love Cysyal and this podcast. It was so reassuring as a long time blogger that the struggles and trial/error really never end. Sometimes it’s do easy to want to throw in the towel but having a vision/purpose for the blog really alleviates those frustrations. Thank you for all your help… Support

  14. Nicole @ gidgetgoeshome says

    I love your podcast so much, Kat! It’s funny, the biggest takeaway I had from Crystal’s interview was how much she reads and how she sets goals for that and makes time for it. Of course, everything she said about blogging was awesome, too. But I wasn’t expecting to be inspired in my reading!

  15. Kitty Fernandez says

    Thank you so much for the interview with Crystal. I am just starting throwing around an idea for a blog in my head and Crystal’s interview had a couple of great nuggets. The best nugget is that I found your website and now I have a Great resource for blogging. Thank you, thank you!!

  16. This is my first visit to How They Blog! I love it and Crystal. Great tips for those of us starting out. Thanks!

  17. This podcast was great to get some fire back under my seat. Having even a couple of “to dos” to write down while listening has encouraged me to try – try again – to build and invest in the collaborative blog I write for.

    I am wondering – how did Crystal make contact with other bloggers and sites to write articles for them? I suppose it’s as simple as just emailing but at the same time I feel that there are so many requests for that opportunity that it is easy to get overlooked. I can see online relationships being essential.

    Oh thank you!

  18. What a great podcast! I gained so much from listening to you both. Perseverance is what resonated within my heart as I listened. To keep at it even when it seems all for not. I loved that she said she prayed over her blog every morning to help generate traffic and bring money to help her little growing family! Great advice and much encouragement!
    Thank you so very much!

  19. I love the way the blog is moving back to the roots.

  20. Sarah Johnson says

    I was wondering what rules or boundaries you have in place for keeping your blog personal without compromising your family’s privacy on your blogs and social media. I was one that was really held back by the “what do I have to offer” road block and loved yours and Money Saving Mom’s point about that there’s nothing new under the sun and what makes it “new” is that it has our story attached. Thanks!

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