I am enjoying interviewing professionals about their line of work or their side hustles. Today I am sharing an interview with a lifestyle and travel blogger, Cate. She blogs at Sweet and Simple Life.
Remember, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, you should check out my free email course on the topic!
Tell us a little about yourself and your business. Why did you select it and how did you get started?
A little bit about me: I’m a working mom with two babies under two years old. For the past seven years, I’ve been working full-time as an online business manager and blogger. A little about my side hustle: I’m a Lifestyle blogger over at SweetandSimpleLife.com. I write about simple and intentional living, raw moments in motherhood, and family-friendly travel/vacay. It started as a hobby blog, and it grew into a business over the course of this past year. We get to do some traveling, some sponsored work, product reviews, and blogging conferences, which is so exciting! A typical work day for me is writing, editing, social media updates and strategic planning, networking, pitching, and other admin tasks (while also caring for my kids, our home, and supporting my spouse in his career and schooling). The goal of my business is to help people simplify, organize, and enjoy life. We’re busy over here, but so happy!
Describe what you do and what you sell for those of us not familiar with your line of work or product.
Simply put, as a blogger, I write articles that educate, entertain, and assist women and mothers to simplify, organize, and enjoy their life. Sounds totally boring, but it’s not! I meet new people constantly, research and write about interesting topics, and travel all over Southern California in search of family-friendly vacation destinations. It’s pretty awesome. On the flip side of that, I work with companies and brands that align with my vision and help my readers live a simpler, happier life. If it makes life easier for my readers, that brand or product is probably a good fit for me.
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
I love the flexibility. I’m not going to say that it’s “easy work” by any means. It’s hard work. I work every day. I get up early before the kids (3 AM to be exact), I work through naps, and I work after they go to sleep…but, if I need to take a day off, I can. If I want to go on a weekend getaway, I can bring my laptop and work while the babies nap. There is amazing flexibility if you’re willing to work hard and discipline yourself. I also love the writing. I love when someone tells me they read my article and it helped them through something they were dealing with. That makes every moment of the hard work worth it!
What are some challenges of this business?
It takes a lot of work to grow a blog. You have to have something special, something that people need or want. And you have to be present and consistent. It’s so much work! But it’s fun, and it’s fulfilling. I also have two small babies. They need attention, and diaper changes, and breastmilk. I have to multi-task many times throughout the day, feeding the kids while responding to emails or pumping milk while playing with my toddler. It brings a whole new meaning to multi-tasking or working from home. It’s a challenge, but challenges are so good for you. I think it’s great to face your fears and challenges head-on. Learn and grow. Don’t ever run away from the hard stuff.
For someone interested in what you do, can you share what to expect as far as earning potential and effort?
I’d like to say earning potential is unlimited, but the fact is, you have to work for your money, and there are only so many hours in a day. It will depend on how much work you put in, what your niche is, and how much skill you acquire as the months and years go by. I know a few bloggers that make upwards of $30k a month. But realistically, you’ll probably only make about $1,000 each month during that first year or so. And that’s with hard work. I have a non-disclosure rule in place with my clients so I cannot disclose exact prices, but I will say my starting fee for writing a basic sponsored post is $199. When you’re just starting out, you might just charge 40 or 50 bucks. But I never recommend working for free. Your time and energy are worth more than free product.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle in your line of work?
This blog business was actually just my “side hustle” until I got laid off from my regular job earlier this month. To start a side hustle like a lifestyle/travel blog, you need to be VERY specific about WHO you want to write for and reach. Basically, you need to know your audience before you even get started. It will save you so much time and stress. It will help you to reach the right people from day one. Go to a hosting website like Siteground, purchase hosting, purchase a domain name, download WordPress.org, find a free or a paid theme, and start writing. The internet is full of free info on how to start a blog. Use that to your advantage!
Anything else you would like to tell us about your business?
My business was really built to help women and mothers simplify their life and enjoy the sweet side of motherhood, so I hope that shines through in all of my articles and interviews. We’re still building and growing, and reaching into the family-friendly travel space, which is so exciting! I’d like to encourage everyone reading this, to pursue what they REALLY love. I love to write and raise my babies, so this suits me well!