What were you doing (careerwise) when you decided to create your
I worked for 25-plus years in various public relations and
journalism positions. I had also been homeschooling four kids
(including triplets!) who are now all teens.
When did you start your business?
I started MommyBlogExpert.com in the spring of 2009.
How did you turn your idea/dream into a business plan?
I actually stumbled upon the idea of becoming a blogger -- I didn't
have a formal plan; it has just evolved. MommyBlogExpert really
started taking off within a few months of starting, so I decided to
continue building it brick by brick, up to today. My passion
continues to escalate, and my blog is still a work in progress.
What inspired you to do this?
I'm a mom, and I've learned so much from other moms -- I wanted to
share the knowledge I've acquired in the hopes that I can enhance
family living for others as well.
What was your start-up cost? How did you get the money, and what
did you use it for?
I actually had very low start-up costs, because I started for free
on Blogspot and you pay just $20 a year for online storage
associated with that. I already had a laptop, so I didn't have to
buy any equipment or supplies to operate. I'm a work-at-home mom,
too, so I don't pay rent [for an office].
What was the biggest obstacle?
Carving out time to keep moving forward and growing MommyBlogExpert
while homeschooling my four teens. I wasn't able to travel much for
business, since they were all still quite young when I started. I'm
now starting to travel -- my first big trip (without the kids in
tow) will be to Dreamers into Doers in January!
How did you maintain your confidence when doors were closed in
your face, when people didn't get it or said "no"?
As a former public relations professional, I've been told "no" and
rejected a thousand times and in a thousand different ways. I've
learned to just take it in stride. To be successful, you have to
have a certain level of confidence and belief in yourself. If you
believe in something, then do everything you can to turn that dream
How long did it take you to get everything off the
Several months of 12-hour workdays.
How long did it take for your business to become
My blog itself doesn't directly generate income, as I haven't
developed the affiliate advertising end of things yet. However, I
make money through clients who read my blog's content and then have
hired me to write regular columns for their blogs (such as Zulily
and DealPop), as well as several social media clients that I am
working with to reach consumers.
What's the hardest part of what you do?
Sometimes I have to neglect my husband and kids if I'm on a writing
deadline. I do feel bad about it, but I try to remind them (and
myself) that ultimately, if I'm successful, it will benefit my
entire family not only in terms of financial reward but in having a
fulfilled mom and wife at home.
What's the most fun part of what you do?
I love being home with my kids and trying out new products and
services. I love blogging about those personal experiences and
great family finds to pass on to other parents with kids.
Where do you work from?
Home … the master bedroom, to be precise.
Do you have employees?
No formal employees. One of my 13-year-old daughters is a budding
writer -- she writes occasional unpaid guest posts as Mini
MommyBlogExpert for fun, education, and to develop her writing
How have you been using social media to grow your
I tweet and use Facebook. In addition to the various Dreamers into
Doers groups I chat with, I'm also very active in several mommy
blogger social networks such as TwitterMoms, SheBlogs, Mom Bloggers
Club, and others.
Do you have entrepreneurial role models? What's so inspiring
Yes, Martha Stewart is my prime inspiration. Her book "The Martha
Rules" has taught me so much about success and business savvy.
How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your
business successful? How do you continue to grow and learn?
All those years in public relations (both working as an employee
and as a consultant) have provided valuable experience and
knowledge for me. I read a lot too, borrowing just about every book
I can from the library on entrepreneurship, building a small
business, harnessing social media, learning HTML code, and lots of
others. I also look to social media experts online, such as
Problogger, to learn from others who are geniuses.
If you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you do
I wish I could be better organized and a bit neater in the way I
manage the hundreds of pieces of paper on my desk, and learn to
stay focused in order to get more done in less time without having
to ignore my family as much.
What advice would you give to Dreamers who haven't become Doers
Every Dreamer is a Doer. Once you have a great idea, take the next
step and do some more. Even if it's little by little, try to do
something each day to move in a positive direction toward achieving
your ultimate dreams.
Keep up with Janis the Mommy Blog Expert