Blogging Tips From Brittany Bullen: Mommy Blogger Academy
I always love featuring other bloggers on this site, but I was thrilled when Brittany Bullen agreed. Brittany is a mum, a blogger and owner of a freelance blogging company. She has achieved awesome success with her blogging adventures and today she shares her journey with us. Please make Brittany feel welcome and connect with her at the end of the post.
1. Tell us about yourself and your blog at Mommy Blogger Academy
Well, I started my personal blog, brittanybullen.com, about six years ago and despite all my efforts, it didn’t pan out the way I was hoping, so I gave up. After several years of hiatus and several startup companies later, I returned to blogging with a new sense of resolve and direction.
Part of that direction included building a “tribe” for myself, which is now called the International Bloggers Association. Through that organization, I came into contact with a lot of moms who were in the same situation I was in back six years ago when I got started. They were frustrated and confused, and I felt for them. It quickly became clear that I needed a separate blog for the things I was teaching my new friends, as I’ve discovered I really have a passion for it.
My ultimate goal with the Mommy Blogger Academy is to teach my fellow “mommy bloggers” (although admittedly I’m not a HUGE fan of the term) the skills they’ll need to not only have successful blogs, but to build successful careers either now or at the time which they’re ready to re-enter the workforce.
Additionally, I think it’s important to a woman’s self-esteem to feel like the things she’s contributing are valuable, that she is intelligent and every bit as capable of making an impact on the world while being at home with her kids as she could be working a 9 to 5 job. It’s a really exciting time, because we no longer have to be physically present in an office to make our presence known.
2. What made you start blogging?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl; it’s what I got my degree in. Dialogue is my specialty. I’ve definitely had my biggest successes writing/composing for the stage. The only problem with a playwright’s career, though, is that it’s all about waiting for someone to produce your work– you feel like you’re only as good as your current production.
I got into blogging because I was sick of waiting for permission to be seen and heard. I wanted to create something that mattered to people, inspired them, made them laugh or just taught them something useful. I’m always trying to figure out life, so it just made sense to write down all my musings and put them out there for people to enjoy.
3. On average, how much time do you dedicate each day/week to your blogging? How do you keep track of what you are doing?
Oh boy… it varies, and I really don’t keep track. I use ToDoist to keep lists of what needs to happen on any given day and that keeps me from forgetting anything important, and I also automate reminders and several other things using IFTTT.
I’m home with my boys all day, and my husband helps out with them at night so I can focus on my work. Then the two of us decompress and turn on Netflix after the kids go to bed and I keep working usually until it’s time to go to sleep.
During the day, when my boys are occupied with this or that, I’m usually at the kitchen table or counter with my laptop, or if we’re at the playground (or sometimes even at the gym) I write or respond to comments on my phone.
So I guess to answer your question… I’m always working, but I’m rarely JUST working. It’s a juggling act, for sure, but I love it. It doesn’t feel like work to me.
4. If you could have told yourself ONE thing when you started blogging, what would it be?
Don’t stop! Oh, how I wish I had stuck it out and been building traffic little by little all this time. I had the domain, I could have just knocked out one post a week while I figured things out… but I got too involved in other things and never thought to keep it up on a minimal basis. Longevity is huge in the blogging world, so it would have been nice if I’d been building a following for longer.
5. You have a section on your blog about ‘Freelancing Writing Services’. What does this involve?
I’m a big believer in freelancing for new bloggers looking to make money quickly, but I know it’s not always easy to come by new gigs. I started my freelance writing company, NerdyGirl Writers, as a solution to that problem. Through NerdyGirl, I manage a team of writers who’ve been trained and are ready at any given time to start churning out SEO-optimized posts for companies, since blog content is becoming an increasingly essential part of online marketing.
6. What would you say has been your most successful way of making money online to date?
Freelancing. For sure. That and the ads on my YouTube channel from back in my raw vegan days, I had a little cooking show. Those have been bringing in a little bit of passive income over the years, which is always fun. I also have some tracks on sale on iTunes that make money too. But definitely, freelancing has been the most successful by far.
7. As well as blogging, do you have another full / part time job or parenting responsibilities? How do you juggle these demands?
Hahaha! See above, #3. Actually I recently took on a real (salaried!) job with a new nonprofit organization, but that’s in its infancy so I’ve yet to see how all the pieces fit together. Needless to say there will always be plenty of demands to juggle!
I really don’t know how I would do any of this if I didn’t have the world’s most supportive husband. We’re both really into startups so he totally gets the “working all the time” thing. He gives me as much time to get things done as he possibly can, and he helps around the house quite a bit. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate his awesomeness.
8. What would you say is your favourite social media platform and why?
Pinterest. It’s fun to use and it’s not nearly as “flash in the pan” as other platforms. You can put something out there and it can still be sending traffic your way years later.
9. What has been the biggest hurdle that you have come across in your blogging career to date? How did you overcome this?
I can’t say I have entirely overcome it, but I think every blogger is always in a state of trial and error– figuring out what marketing efforts work and which don’t. But it’s more than that, because sometimes something works, but it doesn’t work as well as something else that might work better… so it can really be a guessing game.
As you might imagine, I’m always battling blogger burnout– who wouldn’t, running three blogs at the same time? So I’m always looking for ways to work more efficiently and keep things fun!
10. How do you drive traffic to your blog and grow your readership?
Lately I’ve been focused mostly on commenting and networking. The IBA has been a great way to meet new people, particularly mommy bloggers like myself, but still I always find myself gravitating toward reading blogging/marketing posts. I think it’s mostly because the titles are always more interesting!
11. What is the most important piece of advice you could give to a new blogger?
Set yourself up with a blog subscription service like Feedly or Bloglovin and actually use it. Fill it up with a “wish list” of bloggers you’d like to meet and read their posts, then leave thoughtful comments on them. Look for the other people who comment on their blogs or whom they feature for new people to add to your list. Networking is the single most efficient form of blog marketing– as evidenced by this opportunity to post on your blog, Catherine!
Oh, and don’t give up. Hang in there. If you have to cut back on your posting schedule, go for it, but don’t completely abandon your site. Let it grow and mature with you– or move your audience to a new site if you must, just don’t disappear! And if you’re completely stumped, of course, you could just buy my eBook…
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Brittany for sharing with us today. If you would like to connect further with her, you can do so at her social media profiles.
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