I’ve been following this series since the beginning, because it started soon after I began blogging. I was never brave enough to send Katie my story before, because until recently I had no idea what I was trying to achieve by blogging. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how do you know when you’ve succeeded? if I’m honest, I started blogging on a whim – as a SAHM of 9 months old twins, I rarely left the house and had an unhealthy addiction to social media. In a spontaneous burst of excitement one day, I realized I could be writing blog posts instead of reading them… Within an hour TwinPickle was up and running, I had no idea WTF I was doing but I was instantly hooked.
The Awkward Response from Friends:
The response from friends was not good… thanks for the support guys. My family were on board, and seemed to enjoy reading my fun parenting stories, because they’re all still in the UK and many have never even met the Twins. But my ‘young professional’ friends were either silent (that says it all really), or had the balls to confront me about it… “You’re better than this,” “It’s just not good enough Babes,”. Because I spent a ridiculous amount of time and money studying and qualifying as an Architect, it seemed people thought I was having some kind of post-natal breakdown by starting a mom blog. Despite the likelihood my blog was the laughing stock of my artistic and endearingly pretentious circle of friends in London, I had found something I truly loved doing. And I was learning again… oiling the baby-brain cogs, and being creative in a whole new way.
The Twins… just because they’re cute!
Breaking Free from My Safety Niche:
I remained within the parenting niche for a few months and really enjoyed it, but out of the blue one day, I decided to write about arranging pictures in your home. A very simple post with a little ‘naptime makeover’ at the end of my own living room. I was terrified to hit publish. All my previous posts had been bundled up in cheekiness and dry comedy, so it was easy to keep up the pretense that I was just having a bit of laugh with all this blogging malarkey. But a post that is giving some kind of design advice? Eek, now my designer friends are really going to laugh… but fuck it… I’m doing it —> publish.
I started to build confidence in my ‘naptime makeover’ series, and began to care less about what friends thought. I read, and read until my eyeballs fell out – I learned how to write better content, how to market it, how to dominate Pinterest, how to increase DA score, Klout Score, and improve SEO. I improved my photography, got stuck into Instagram, joined a tweet pod and plenty of Facebook blogging groups. Slowly, it started to pay off… my traffic started to increase and analytics were clear – My most popular posts were (and still are) my design posts. People actually liked reading them, and why was I so afraid of heading in that direction anyway? I’ve lead design team meetings for multi-million pound construction projects… why would I not feel confident enough to write a few words on how to hang a picture on the wall?
Breaking the Seal on Monetization:
I started to get a few offers for sponsored posts which was fun, although most of them I turned down because I really had no use for free baby bottles and a fleece sleep sack (I’m not even sure people here in the Arizona desert know what fleece is). I wrote a couple of book reviews and received my free Jord watch I had seen so many other bloggers review… I felt like things were ramping up, but I was struggling to know where I was headed. Everything changed when I was asked to write a post for a big paint manufacturer. They wanted me to paint a room, make a video… and they wanted to pay me for it. Actual money for an actual design project. I was so excited about my cactus inspired color scheme, it became by far the most time-consuming post I had ever written. I think I earned about $0.10/hour but it was worth it… because I was officially a blogging success. Not because I had spent 7months earning what I would have earned in a day in my previous job, but because I had started something from nothing, gained a hobby I love, and had organically merged it with my previous career and experience. I had no shame in sharing my post to my personal page, I was proud of my project… and even some of my friends started to come round. Suddenly, my mom blog wasn’t such a ridiculous idea after all.
My makeover paint colors!
Finding my Blogging Happy Place:
I still write my parenting posts because I love them, and it gives my blog a personal feel. I also have my twin mom following, and love researching about twin facts and medical wonders of the world. So I’m left with rather a widespread niche, but hey, I had just under 10,000 page views last month, so I’m good with it! What feels fabulous, is I now know what I want to achieve by blogging: I want to remain creative, and combine previous experience with new skills. I want to grow something from home that can bring me a little spending money and keep my brain active. I was to share, engage and socialize with other SAHMs online, because we all need a little support sometimes. Feeling confident enough to say that out loud and feel like I’m on the way to achieving it is exactly why I am a blogging success…
If you’d like to read more from Katherin, head over to her blog: Twinpickle.com