Founder of Ice Cream Convos Xaviera Bryant Shares how Partnering with SHE Media Made Her a 6-Figure Blogger
Xaviera Bryant who is the founder of entertainment site Ice Cream Convos recently got well-deserved recognition by Google as a key and exemplary publisher. Bryant who is based in Atlanta started Ice Cream Convos with the goal to revolutionize and humanize entertainment news. Ahead, Bryant shares how partnering with SHE Media Collective helped her grow her website and publishing business, eventually leading her to earn her first 6-figure revenue in 2021.
When did you start Ice Cream Convos?
I started Ice Cream Convos on October 8, 2010. I wanted to write about entertainment with a fun and respectful approach. I believe entertainment news should be written with humanity as the approach and from a fresh, fun, and friendly perspective. The tagline for Ice Cream Convos is we serve delicious scoops of entertainment.
Are you a full-time blogger?
Yes. I’ve been full-time since 2014. I turned in my resignation on Dec 30, 2013 (my birthday), and became a full-time blogger on Jan 14th, 2014.
What led you to you join the SHE Media Collective?
I joined in 2020. Before joining SHE Media, I was never part of an advertising network but I worked with multiple different advertisers and I had to do everything on my own. I had to set up ad codes myself and take care of the optimizations and maintenance and It was a nightmare. After joining SHE Media I left the 7 different advertisers that I was working with. SHE Media consolidated and lifted a lot off my plate on the monetization side of things. My biggest hesitation with working with SHE Media was leaving all 7 relationships behind because they seemed like multiple streams of income. It was nerve-wracking to leave but after I came over it was like someone turned on the lights and everything better and easier.
“Before I joined SHE Media on my best day ever, my highest RPM was $5. After I joined SHE Media my RPM jumped up to as high as $31 and one time it actually went up to $50.”
After Joining SHE Media your earnings surpassed 100k making you a 6-figure blogger. How did SHE Media help make that happen?
I hit 100K in December 2021! Before joining SHE Media, I was responsible for making all 7 networks work well together and I had to balance content and monetization. Once I joined SHE Media, they took over the monetization and I had time to focus on creating the content. SHE Media took the monetization and optimization burden off of me which left a clear path for me to focus on creating and pushing content and focus on a social media strategy. The technical and monetization tasks were a distraction to my content creation efforts and they were draining. That was a big gift from joining SHE Media including increasing my RPM and ability to earn more.
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How did SHE Media help you increase your RPM?
Before I joined SHE Media on my best day ever, my highest RPM was $5. After I joined SHE Media my RPM jumped up to as high as $31 and one time it went up to $50. That is what really put me in a position to reach a 6-figure income. I finally felt like I was being paid for the quality of my content. I put a lot of effort into creating quality content with good grammar, photos, context, etc. For a long time, I didn’t know RPMs could go higher than $5. SHE Media changed my life seriously. This will be my 12th year as a publisher and I finally feel like I’m seeing the reward for the content I’m creating and it feels good.
In addition to the astronomical growth in your RPM, can you point out 3 things you changed in your approach to blogging that helped catapult you to 6 figures?
One of the biggest things was engaging my audience. I used to think you just write a post and set it and people will come. My secret to growing Ice Cream Convos was to engage and build a relationship with my audience. I engage with my audience so much that I have bought things on the baby registries of my audience members. When you take the time to get to know your audience they support your content and want to see you succeed. I’ve created my ‘village’. So when I take a day off I get a text message from people checking on me or when news breaks, they ask if I’ve seen it.
“My guiding philosophy is to treat each story and each person I write about with the same courtesy and empathy I would like to be treated with.”
Another thing is learning and trying to figure out what my audience cares about. Before I would think whatever interests me will interest my audience until I realized that’s not how it works. Tools like Google Trends and Twitter Trending help me follow the breadcrumbs my audience leaves. The last thing I had to change was my work strategy. Balancing my work and family and learning how to juggle work and personal life. It is one thing that has been a constantly evolving experience because I do get burnt out. As the blog started to grow, I told my husband things were going great with the blog after partnering with SHE Media and that he should come to join me.
Is that how your husband came to work with Ice Cream Convos?
Before working together on Ice Cream Convos, he had worked with the manufacturing company Caterpillar for 16 years. The day I told him I’m going to quit my job and become a full-time blogger, I showed him proof that I was making as much as I was making at my job. So when things changed at his job and he felt unappreciated at work he grew more interested in the possibility of joining Ice Cream Convos. I told him things were going great after partnering with SHE Media and if we could double the content and double the effort it would produce even greater results. I gave him time to think about it and he said yes! He quit on our anniversary. So he started working with me on August 20, 2020.
What is the guiding philosophy of your content strategy as an entertainment blogger?
My guiding philosophy is to treat each story and each person I write about with the same courtesy and empathy I would like to be treated with. A lot of people forget about the humanity of celebrities. They may be more well known or have access to more things but they are still humans and a lot of people forget that.
“Joining SHE Media felt like I was an independent artist that got signed to a record label.”
What are some challenges you’ve faced as a publisher and how did you overcome them?
As a publisher, my biggest challenge was growing my traffic. You can create the best content but no one reads about it. Learning about my audience has helped with that. But there are always slow days. Traffic has been my biggest challenge and boogyman.
Another challenge has been balancing work and life. I set daily money and traffic goals. I try to get 15K hits a day on the site or make $200 a day. Some days you feel everything is working against you and those days can be stressful. How I overcome challenges is to keep ramming at the door till it opens or breaks and I can walk through. I start my day at 8 am and sometimes work till midnight. I keep going till I hit my numbers or get as close as possible. There are days when you wake up and the numbers are already there. Being a publisher can be a rollercoaster.
What other ways has your partnership with SHE Media helped you as a blogger?
SHE Media has given me several opportunities and I feel like they are my advocate. I have spoken on panels at events, and I’ve done workshops that were special because I love to teach other people what I do. I’ve met so many amazing publishers and other incredible women in the community. Joining SHE Media felt like I was an independent artist that got signed to a record label. They care about my success and I’ve never had that before. The Facebook Group provides a sense of community where I feel comfortable. The Blogher conference was amazing. I tell everyone if they can, they should get in the door with SHE Media. They help advance you. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my relationship with SHE Media.
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