Tracy Raftl: How This Confident Adult Acne Blogger Makes $80,000 Year

By Yaro Starak
15 Comments

Long term readers of this blog may remember I published an interview with acne blogger Fran Kerr, whom I coached to help start her blog. Fran eventually became a leader in the field, making $4,000 to $12,000 a month thanks to her blog.

Tracy Raftl came across Fran’s blog while reading sites during a period where she was suffering from adult acne too. Tracy felt she had her own story to tell and could also start a blog to help others suffering from the skin condition.

Tracy listened to my interview with Fran and decided it made sense to take part in my Blog Mastermind program to follow the same system I helped Fran execute to grow her blog.

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

Tracy RaftlAs you will hear Tracy explain in this interview, it wasn’t a quick journey, but through diligent work, following the steps I outline in my course, she confidently grew her blog business.

Tracy started in 2011 and within a year was making money. By the second year she had replaced her full time job income and in 2013 she made $80,000.

Today she makes her living selling various ebooks she wrote herself, and also makes on average $2,000 a month selling skin care related products from her blog via the Amazon affiliate program.

Can You Copy The Same Niche As Someone Else?

When I first came across Tracy and her blog it was very clear she was following closely in the footsteps of Fran (she even had a couple of guest posts on Fran’s blog).

Of course Tracy didn’t want to copy Fran exactly, although she saw the benefit in copying the same system of blogging.

Tracy had her own ideas about how to cure acne and her own experiences from curing the condition herself using alternative methods. She was confident that if she shared her advice using her unique voice, she could build her own presence in the niche, which she did.

I believe Tracy’s case study is a powerful one for any other person who wants to start a blogging business but feels their niche is already well served by others.

The great thing about the internet and blogs in particular, is that one option does not replace another. A person with acne can read Fran and Tracy’s blogs. Instead of ruthless competition, bloggers can work together to cross promote and support each other.

Of course you still need your own angle, your own point of differentiation. As Tracy demonstrates, when it comes to blogging, the differentiation point can be you – who you are, your story, you way of writing and your dedication to sharing and nurturing your own community.

I’m certainly not the only blogger who teaches how to make money blogging. Tracy is not the only acne blogger who can make a living from it. I honestly believe there is room for everyone who is genuinely committed to providing value to others and has something unique to say.

[Tweet “You Can Start A Blog About The Same Subject As Other Blogs And Still Succeed”]

A One Woman Show

There’s one other incredibly point about Tracy’s story – she’s done it all herself.

I don’t recommend you do everything yourself, in fact for some people who don’t have technical skills trying do it yourself will kill your project before you even start.

However I think it’s important to demonstrate that in this case study, Tracy was able able to grow her audience using blog posts, youtube videos and an email list, and then make a living selling ebooks she wrote herself.

She’s using a proven system to share and distribute her ideas, and makes money selling more of her ideas.

Relevant Links

Do you have any ideas that could help the world if you just take the time to share them via your own blog?

If so then I invite you to do the same thing Tracy did – join Blog Mastermind and follow my step-by-step process for building a blog, growing a strategic email list and selling your own products and services.

Enjoy the interview and please share it with your social media followers.

Talk to you soon,

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

Text Version

Click Here To Read The Transcript

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

Follow Yaro

View Yaro Starak's profile on LinkedIn
Follow us on Instagram

Share This Article


15 Comments

  • Ross

    Definitely agree with you Yaro – I think she’s underestimating the size of her market. I get that she operates in the natural niche, but I would suggest that people suffering from adult acne just want a cure/treatment that works, and so her market is actually a lot bigger.

    • I remember when I was working with Fran on this niche thinking the potential is huge. It’s also one of those markets where there are always new potential customers cycling through the market, so a great niche to be in.

      Yaro

    • Hi Ross,

      I don’t remember exactly what I said in the interview, but I think I meant that the niche wasn’t big, as in there weren’t a huge amount of really well known bloggers servicing it? I agree that the market is huge… although it is really hard to say how big it truly is… obviously the market of people with acne is huge, but doing it naturally with lifestyle changes takes time and effort and most people just want a quick fix (or that’s all they know to do and don’t even realize doing it with lifestyle changes is even a thing).

      Either way, there’s definitely enough people coming through for me to make high five figures last year without a lot of aggressive outside marketing! And I know I’m not leveraging the full potential of the business, but I’m working on it :)

  • Hi Yaro,

    Her story creates her success, along with following your system. That’s it; we have the tools to succeed, and we can use some freebies, and buy some others, but the power of telling individual stories, well, that’s where the money is.

    Either you can tell a brand story, or your story, but you need to move people into action to see the most success. I integrate my travels into every post and if you scan my sidebar you’ll see me in action, all over the world, going all selfie on folks.

    Why?

    That’s my story, and not one of the 7 billion people on earth can tell it like I can. Even if some semi-related travel bloggers are covering similar locations, or even if some folks who share blogging tips from tropical locations, are sharing their take.

    Many bloggers work in a similar niche as I yet in an abundant Universe, how can anybody “beat me” to the infinite? Makes no sense. That’s why it’s fun to see niche bloggers work together, to improve their skills, to benefit others, and to rock out this online bit.

    A rising tide lifts all boats.

    When I comment on this post, I help add value to Yaro’s post, and blog, and I certainly ain’t hurting myself ;) Win-win. Even though we both cover a somewhat similar topic, there’s more than enough “infinite” to go around, for the both of us, and for the many other bloggers in our general niche.

    Excellent breakdown, and great inspiration here once again Yaro.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Have a prospering week.

    Ryan

  • Jason

    Anytime I hear of a blogger going from zero to a significant amount of money per month or year, my detective hat goes on and I often try to read between the lines. This case study is no different.

    Going from zero to 80k a year in two years in quite an accomplishment. I’m not saying she isn’t making what she says she is, but I do wonder if perhaps there were a few white lies along the way.

    I decided to do some research. I used Internet Archives: Wayback Machine to look at what thelovevitamin.com looked like when she launched it.

    I found an interesting discovery regarding her aWeber statistics. It seems like she grossly mislead her traffic into believing she had more subscribers then she truly did ( a great way to show social proof and I guess an interesting way to kick start her credibility… but is it true?)

    Below you will find the statistics of her aweber button as captured by the internet archives wayback machine.

    You will notice that when the blog initially launched it already had 10,274 e-mail subscribers. Possible? Sure… but it gets weirder. For nearly the entire first year of her blogs existence her e-mail subscribers stayed at 10,274 per month, increasing by 4k subscribers in October … and then dropping by a WHOPPING 10k subscribers in November.

    Again… possible? Sure, things happen. But wait…
    in 2012 her subscribers stayed at a consistently monthly amount of 4758, until in september she saw a 1k jump… again this is very possible. It stayed this way until March 2013, in which she saw yet another 1k jump in subscribers.

    So far so good …but HERE IS THE KICKER, on May 31 2013 her subscriber list jump back to 10,274? WHAT DUH ?

    We don’t see any real organic growth until 2014, where each month you see a gradual increase in subscribers.

    So… what do you think? Did she purposely make it look like she had more subscribers than she did, in order to have the “social proof” necessary to facilitate her current success?

    FEB 11 2011 – 10274
    MAR 14 2011 – 10274
    APR 14 2011 – 10274
    MAY 17 2011 – 10274
    JUN 11 2011 – 10274
    JUN 30 2011 – 10274
    JULY 12 2011 – 10274
    JULY 25 2011 – 10274
    JULY 31 2011 – 10274
    AUG 11 2011 – 10274
    AUG 31 2011 – 10274
    SEPT 01 2011 – 10274
    SEPT 25 2011 – 10274
    OCT 11 2011 – 14434 <— INCREASE BY ALMOST 4K
    OCT 18 2011 – 14434
    NOV 07 2011 – 4758 <— DECREASE OF ALMOST 10,000 SUBSCRIBERS?
    NOV 29 2011 – 4758
    DEC 29 2011 – 4758

    JAN 03 2012 – 4758
    JAN 04 2012 – 4758
    FEB 01 2012 – 4758
    FEB 02 2012 – 4758
    MAR 02 2012 – 4758
    APR 10 2012 – 4758
    APR 15 2012 – 4758
    APR 28 2012 – 4758
    MAY 02 2012 – 4758
    JUNE 13 2012 – 4758
    JULY 12 2012 – 4758
    AUG 17 2012 – 4758
    SEPT 15 2012 – 4758
    SEPT 20 2012 – 4758
    SEPT 21 2012 – 4758
    SEPT 23 2012 – 4758
    SEPT 26 2012 – 5813 <—- FINALLY AN INCREASE OF ALMOST 1K?
    OCT 01 2012 – 5813
    OCT 10 2012 – 5813
    OCT 26 2012 – 5813
    OCT 28 2012 – 5813
    NOV 27 2012 – 5813
    DEC 14 2012 – 5813
    DEC 22 2012 – 5813

    JAN 06 2013 – 5813
    JAN 14 2013 – 5813
    MAR 08 2013 – 6872 <— ANOTHER 1K JUMP?
    MAR 28 2013 – 6872
    MAY 10 2013 – 6872
    MAY 20 2013 – 6872
    MAY 22 2013 – 6872
    MAY 31 2013 – 10274 <—- WAIT!!!!!! WHERE HAVE WE SEEN THAT BEFORE????
    JUN 28 2013 – 10274
    JUN 25 2013 – 10274
    JULY 10 2013 – 10274
    JULY 26 2013 – 10274
    JULY 30 2013 – 10274
    AUG 05 2013 – 10274
    AUG 10 2013 – 10274
    AUG 26 2013 – 10290 <— MAYBE THE FIRST REAL GROWTH?
    SEPT 02 2013 – 10290
    SEPT 24 2013 – 10290
    SEPT 26 2013 – 10290
    NOV 01 2013 – 12118 <— A 2K GROTHER? VERY POSSIBLE…
    NOV 11 2013 – 12118
    NOV 19 2013 – 12118
    NOV 27 2013 – 12118
    DEC 09 2013 – 12466 <—- FINALLY!!!!! REAL ORGANIC GROWTH

    FEB 14 2014 – 13018
    MAR 10 2014 – 13159
    MAR 17 2014 – 13216
    MAR 24 2014 – 13324
    APR 01 2014 – 13437
    APR 07 2014 – 13480
    APR 14 2014 – 13595
    APR 21 2014 – 13637
    JUNE 24 2014 – 14083
    JUNE 25 2014 – 14083

    • I can’t believe you put in all that effort to do this Jason. You might want to realign what you focus your energy on. Why not use this energy to build something of value, just as Tracy has done to help so many people with adult acne.

      Rather than look at Aweber stats, why don’t you spend some time reading her articles and see if they provide value, if they represent a person who is genuinely trying to help other people who have a problem in their lives.

      If you see valuable content, people leaving comments showing they are engaged with her work, why is it so hard to believe that she might actually sell products to these same people who want more help? There are millions of people who have acne in this world, why is it so hard to believe she could build a blog that reaches enough of them to sell $80,000 worth of products a year?

      You are basing your argument on using an aweber counter to enhance social proof. Her audience I doubt will be heavily swayed by a stats counter. If you accused her of faking before and after acne pictures that might make more sense, but I suspect most of her audience don’t even know what AWeber is.

      My own AWeber stats fluctuated so much over the years. Aweber stats included RSS subscribers at one stage if you set up AWeber to count them. My stats would go up or down or get “stuck” as well based on whether my feedcounter was working. There were all kinds of problems with AWeber not working well with Feedburner at times too. I did a mass cull of a lot of my subscribers (over 50% at one stage), and often experienced big jumps after someone promoted my work.

      All these sorts of things could account for what you are looking for within her aweber info. Not to mention you are using the way back machine to source your data, which based on my research often shows cached images, which don’t change.

      Good luck with your projects Jason.

      Yaro

      • Jason

        Yaro,

        You bring up rather good points. Perhaps Tracy could answer them for us.

  • Hi Jason,

    Wow, just saw this now. I agree with Yaro. I’m surprised you put so much energy into this, Jason. Time not well spent. Take of your conspiracy hat and put that energy into creating your own thriving business. I don’t know what to say to you because ‘The Way Back Machine’ is wrong. I have no evidence to convince you of that, but it is. I guess aside from the fact of pure logic as to why I would have the counter jump around so much if I was truly trying to fool people.

    The truth is, I started from zero just like everyone else and displayed my true stats on the sidebar, and the counter worked properly the whole time and displayed the correct number from all the way back then to currently. Why this website is showing screen shots of it being totally off is beyond me. All I can say is that I’m 100% honest, my displayed stats were honest, my before and after pictures are honest, my readers get a lot of value from what I share, and they’re willing to pay for it. That’s it.

  • Jason

    After listening to the interview I’m very much skeptical. Heck during your interview you seemed to have no clue how you made 80k. It was very nonchalant and even Yaro had to try his best to pull info from you. I don’t believe you made what you claimed. Without proof ( let’s see your ejunkie screenshots from your reports)… PayPal report totals? Where’s the proof?

  • Jason

    Or even an Amazon Associates report screenshot. You’d need to sell 25,000 a month earning the top commission tier of 8.5% to make 2k a month. I’m calling your bluff.

  • haha. Okay friend. If you really insist.

    Here is my E-junkie: http://thelovevitamin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Screen-Shot-2014-08-20-at-6.06.39-PM.png
    Here is my Amazon: http://thelovevitamin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Screen-Shot-2014-08-20-at-6.11.10-PM.png
    The rest came from affiliate stuff, like the bundle sales I mentioned in the interview.

    Here’s my bloody tax return (showing total income, after expenses): http://thelovevitamin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/IMG_3442.jpg

    Have a nice life :)

  • Mark G

    I just want to say that if I had as much free time as Jason apparently does, I could run several successful blogs ;) Good interview and great job, Tracy.

    • Hi Mark – agreed! And thank you :)

    • Jason

      Actually Mark….. It’s the other way, if you actually had successful blogs ( or in my case affiliate systems) you’d have the TIME, like I do.

  • That’s amazing! There are many experts but she really stands out and have helped many acne sufferers deal with acne.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Yaro: Email | RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube

Don't show again | X

Follow Yaro On Facebook

And learn how to build a better blog.

Follow Yaro Starak Facebook