Tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
I’m a longtime professional photographer and blogger, and co-author of three books. I have two kids and one on the way. We live in western MA and have three dogs, one cat, and 19 chickens. Some of my loves in life include reading, Bruce Hornsby music, moose, travel, cookies, and ice cream. My blog is a family lifestyle blog and I started it long before I figured anyone would read it. It was a way for me to hold myself accountable with regular writing, and to keep my photography fresh. I honestly started it with no idea of all of the amazing directions blogging can go in. I’m still stunned by it regularly.
How did you get started blogging?
I had majored in journalism in college, but I had declared my major so late that I was taking summer classes and up to six writing classes at once my senior year. I graduated with honors but I was so burnt out by writing from doing so many classes at once, that I took many years off to have corporate and hospitality jobs. Years later, I was married and had a daughter and had SO MANY feels I needed to get out by writing, that I just started. In one day. I needed to write about marriage, parenting, and anxiety. My firstborn was 10-months-old and I said, “I’m going to start a blog today so I can share writing and photography.” I thought up the name, got the URL, and never looked back.
Share with us a favorite quote!
I think it was Wayne Gretzky’s quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take,” and that one really speaks to me on a photography level, and a personal level.
What tools or resources do you use that help with your blog?
Google Keyword Planner is a must for me with my blog, as well as Google Analytics. I find a lot of support and encouragement in the “Courage to Earn” Facebook group, as well as the “That Pitch Life” Facebook group. I’m also a big fan of photo editing apps, like ReTouch and ColorStory.
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I do have the palate of a five-year-old, but even more so lately with being pregnant and being home all of the time. I pretty much make my kids fun food much more, and I eat it too! My blog has this easy recipe for Unicorn Toast which is sure to delight your 🦄 loving kids!
What social media tools can you not live without?
I’m a huge fan of Canva for making vertical graphics. And the ClickToTweet tool for having people easily Tweet from your blog posts. I also like using Google Trends to find out trending topics for blog posts. And as I said above, any photo editing apps, like ReTouch and ColorStory, really help with photography.
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
For me, with my background, good writing and good photography are key. With photography and writing, I get into this mode. I call it “Passion Mode” and it’s a bit like being on fire. If you really believe in what you’re writing about, and you’re in that mode, the content tells a story with an impact. I really try to get that feeling into everything I do.
Share with us any goals you have for 2020.
Well my goals are always to grow my business, while doing so in the most meaningful ways as possible. I’d say that 2020 threw a few monkey wrenches so far! One is good – I’m pregnant and due this fall. The other is the COVID-19 crisis. So it’s still early but I’m learning that this is a powerful way to spread meaning and joy through my blog and social platforms at a time of such uncertainty.
Any tips you want to share with bloggers just starting out?
I would say to write for yourself and write what you know. And it’s important to figure out your audience. Be consistent and confident.
What’s your favorite book?
I always loved “The Lovely Bones” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and i don’t think I’ve designated another favorite since those two.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I’m more of a northern girl (northern lights, moose, whales, etc.) and even though I’ve only been to Alaska once, it still haunts my dreams. That said, I go with my family to Orlando every winter through work and it’s so badly needed during a New England winter, and we always feel so incredibly lucky that it’s through work. We just bask in it.
The vast majority of your traffic comes from organic search, what do you accredit that to?
Well it’s a long work in progress and I still feel like I don’t know anything! I optimize for my readers, and not search engines. I use long tail keywords and get ideas from Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner. And I’ve been consistent in posting for over 10 years now! I use Yoast SEO and I’m really a fan of those all green lights before publishing!
What are some of the most popular posts on your blog?
Peppermint Snowball Cookies had a really long reign and for people trying to conceive, this one gets hits regularly!
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipes from your site?
It’s funny that you asked that because I updated this one today: Unicorn Pancakes I just love it so! My kids love these edible flower pots. And if I make these chicken avocado bowls non-spicy, my kids get excited.
What is your favorite part of being a SHE Media Partner?
I’ve been a SHE Media Partner for so long, and have been consistently happy. When I started as a partner and still today, I have loved being part of something that reaches so many women – at so many stages of life. I think this has been a wonderful introduction to what you can do with your blogging career, and the excitement doesn’t stop. I also like having access to sponsorships I’m eligible for – because one of those opportunities took me all the way to California for work! That was one of my best work experiences in all of my years of blogging, and I think it always will be.
What steps have you taken to increase your website traffic over the last year?
I try to get traffic from multiple sources – the way you’d want multiple income sources – or multiple anything! So for me, that’s targeting organic search traffic, then Pinterest traffic using Tailwind Tribes, and also paid marketing traffic – through Facebook and occasionally Instagram.
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