EPISODE 002: RAISING A BLOG AND A FAMILY WITH MELISSA ERDELAC
Blog Title: Mama Gourmand - how a foodie feeds a family
Pinterest: Mama Gourmand
About Melissa: MamaGourmand specializes in delicious, easy-to-make, family-friendly recipes. She is a Midwestern wife and mother of four who obsesses about food, loves to prepare gourmet-quality recipes, but is always short on time and energy! Her recipes taste time-consuming, but use simple ingredients and directions. From decadent desserts to classic comfort foods, find a recipe for everyone many with gluten-free alternatives.
Notes from Episode #002: Raising a blog and a family
Be comfortable with your own growth rate - you set the standard for yourself and it’s different for everyone.
Create a set "work week" for yourself with blocks of time in the day where it is possible to work and other blocks for personal time.Then stick to that schedule. Establish a routine and work that needs to be accomplished on specific timelines.
Use your phone timer to set a 30 minute chunk to complete one project before even taking a break, etc. It can help you focus one one thing.
Educate your family that this is your job and then own it. Actions are better than words and you need to remain consistent. Incorporate your kids into the work process to make them proud of your work and give them some ownership. You can use them as a hand model or give your kids a job to do online such as pinning items/tailwind scheduling.
Write out a rough schedule for yourself on “work” days and try to stick to it. Then when you wake up, you can know what you’re set up to accomplish.
If you need help with kids and getting some time to yourself to accomplish your blogging duties:
Check out the Y or another local kids daycare that offers drop off hours and is affordable for those times you just need to get some work done.
Set up a swap with a friend and take turns watching each others kids.
Head to an indoor playground/inflatables place and let your kids play so you can do some easier work but still be productive.
Make continuing education a priority in your field - webinars/podcasts are great for home based learning
Include family in the business - they are your built in support
Acknowledge you need help and be open to hiring a VAs for facebook scheduling, Pinterest, sharing with groups, promoting a post, web designer to add graphics or make edits to blog
Screen Cast-o-matic - this is a program that offers screenshots of your computer and lets you record your voice to share thoughts and processes, especially helpful in working with a VA.
It’s important to invest in yourself - equipment that saves time helps.
Sponsored work -
Seek Influencer websites rather than "going after" companies. Pay may not be as much as direct partnerships, but pay keeps consistently growing with each campaign.
Melissa does about 1 sponsored post a month if they align with her brand and the timeline works for her schedule.
There’s money to be made there.
A lot of work is done up front so when it’s all approved, you just click “publish”.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific amount of money because they are often able to be flexible.
Don’t overthink it! These companies want organic real posts now (vs a few years ago when it wasn’t like that) and you’re not just spouting about how great a company is, just sharing about one product in a natural way.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” - Vince Lombardi, Jr.
Helpful references from the episode:
Conferences (TasteMakers, Mediavine)- attending these shows keeps you in that professional mindset, allows you to form real relationships with other bloggers (great for troubleshooting, inspiration, commiserating), and keeps in the pulse of ever changing best practices
Podcasts - Food Blogger Pro, Chopped - You can listen while you’re working out and make notes on your phone when they trigger inspiration / ideas
Mediavine will do free audits on your site whenever you ask to see how to earn more money with adds
Food Blogger Pro essential for beginners! Used this religiously when I was setting up everything on my blog so I wasn't floundering around so much.
Helpful Facebook groups for troubleshooting / resources / questions - Join these groups for help: Food Bloggers Central and Mediavine.