160 Coach Radio – Teaching Women to Handcraft Their Own Furniture: Ana White [Your Story]

August 12, 2011 — 14 Comments

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Show Topics:

  • Starting a blog even when you’re not sure what one is
  • Growing it to 1 million page views per month three months later
  • Operating a world-wide business from the Alaskan Interior
  • How to become influential when no one knows you

Ana WhiteAna White is a contributor to HGTV.com, has been interviewed on NPR, and speaks at national blogging conferences. Ana is also regularly featured on media sites including Apartment Therapy.

Ana’s story began a few years ago when she and her husband were expecting a baby. With no money for a house she started sketching plans and began building with her husband whom she calls RAM (Real Alaskan Man).

With a mattress on the floor she wondered how she could make a farmhouse bed cheaply and easily. With $80 and some recycled lumbar, she made the bed they still sleep on to this day.

Ana found herself on a friend’s blog in October, 2009. Not sure what a blog even was at the time she clicked a button that said, “Get Your Own Free Blog.” Reaching hundreds of thousands of homemakers each month (most of whom are women), Ana has turned her online influence into income.

I asked Ana if she ever imagined she’d have the following she has now. She shared great tips on starting and growing an online community.

“Content is King, but community is Family.” – Ana White

Ana says to always start with what you’re passionate about. That’s not a new message around here but I enjoy seeing it come up frequently from new guests.

With 500,000 unique visitors each month and 2 – 3 million impressions, it hasn’t been difficult to monetize through advertising. Ana doesn’t charge anything for her plans and sees free as the way of the internet.

Ana received a cease and desist letter from Pottery Barn; apparently they didn’t want to be associated with her even though they’re well known for ripping off designs from popular bloggers. Ironic?

Connect with Ana on Facebook and twitter.

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  • http://bulanetwork.com/blog Randy Cantrell

    Good story, Justin. My handyman/craftsman skills are limited to changing light bulbs…but a week ago I did manage to pour a bottle of Drano down one of my bathroom sinks. It worked.

    Happy to have had you introduce us to Ana. I envy those of you with wood working skills!

  • Ana White

    Hi Justin, thank you so much for having me! Ana

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    My pleasure, Ana. It was great talking to you and hearing the back story. Keep inspiring people!

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I didn’t think I could do much either, Randy. You heard I built my bed though and it’s seriously the best piece of furniture we own. Ana makes it easy.

  • Anonymous

    How inspiring!  I like how she asks what’s the thing you could write about 5 days a week for the rest of your life?   What a great test to put ideas through.
    Thanks Justin and Ana!

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Agreed, Michael. That’s been my philosophy too and I’m glad to see it working for others. It’s not about the money, but it will surely follow.

  • Pingback: Living with the Lukasaviges » My husband and Ana White

  • Ivan Bickett

     So yet again, I’ve got a lot of notes!

    First, I have to say Ana comes across great in the interview. Very sincere, very passionate. Great interview.

    Here’s my take aways:
    -Thanks to the internet there are no truly original ideas. Everything is inspired form somewhere else. : I thought that was great to hear. I keep wondering if I’m just rehashing others content and then I think, “What’s the point?” But then I’ve realized that the ideas I’m discussing are not truly original, but I am explaining them the way * I * see them. My view point and explanation are what’s different.
    -I love these points Ana gave as what’s lead to her success: 1) genuine passion 2) luck of timing 3) consistently learning 4) listening to her readers. : I can’t say it better, so I won’t.
    -Her work has been integrated into her life. : THIS is the goal I have for myself. I want my work and my personal life to be so intertwined you can’t tell them apart. I love it when I hear that someone else has accomplished this. It gives me hope.
    -Start with what you’re passionate about. This was a recurring theme in the interview. : This is great! But as someone who has had a HARD time figuring out ANYTHING that I’m passionate about (due to some personal issues) I would simply say DO SOMETHING! Even if it’s just interesting right now and not something you’re SUPER passionate about. You can always change direction and course once you find what it is you were made to do.
    -Produce content that will be valuable for the long haul, not just today or this week. And there were these 3 points to go with this: 1) this type of content is relevant for the life of the blog; 2) Content is king; 3) Community is family – family before royalty and you take care of your family. : I think I’ve heard of this referred to as “ever green” content. Once you produce it it just keeps staying relevant. That’s what I hope to do, but not something that’s been in the front of my mind. Great advice to keep this in your mind at all times!
    -People are tired of over produced content. : I love this! I’m doing my best to get quality content out there. It’s not perfect, b/c I’ve learned not to ruin good with perfect, but it’s out there. Plus, I keep hearing people say oh I’ll start a blog when I get this software or a I’ll start a podcast when I get this equipment. JUST DO SOMETHING. You don’t need the best equipment in the world to get started, but you DO have to start!
    -Blog to build credibility. Use your blog to help write your resume or to create the story you want to live. AWESOME ADVICE! This was my thought pattern behind starting: http://abetterwayofbusiness.wordpress.com/

    Great show Justin and Ana!

    ~Ivan

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Yes, again, another person saying start with what you’re passionate about.

  • Sara Freisberg

    Loved this episode! Went and had a look at Ana’s blog. Completely amazing! This one was so inspiring I had to share it. Thanks for continuing to inspire us with other peoples awesome stories. 

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    It’s a great one to model, Sara.

  • Pingback: My husband and Ana White | MountainBelle.com

  • http://bluecapra.com/ Alan Reeves

    Just finished this episode.  There were so many great take-aways from this Your Story.  The one that sticks with me was a comment that we should decide what we want our resume to look like then go live it.  That was a light bulb moment for me.  I have been pointing that direction but without seeing that as the goal, I was just wandering around.  I have been falling back on what I have been taught, that it starts with a resume and a career is built upon that. 

    What a change of perspective to start with the end in mind and work backwards, building the resume to fit the life you want.  Simple idea, life changing consequences.  Thanks Justin and Ana, you have done more that you can ever know.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Thanks, Alan. I forgot about that comment until you brought it up. Many lives would look different if people lived that way.