Our guest, Jennifer O'Shea, s an all-rounder with bursting energy. She’s a working mom blogger, and a military spouse. She’s also a teacher and a mom. She has a very successful business, and her website is called T.W.L., which stands for teach, workout, love. It is a working mommy blog community.
The T.W.L. site is especially dedicated to all the moms out there who take care of their families and try to have a career. This is a platform for moms to share their stories, inspiration, creativity, and uniqueness to pursue a more balanced life. So, if you are a mom or planning on becoming a mom, this website is for you as this offers numerous tools, supports, and ideas.
Minnie: A very warm welcome to you. How are you?
Jennifer: Good. Thanks for having me. I’m so glad to be here.
Minnie: You are so welcome. I’m so thrilled to talk to you today and hear your story. I hope you’re ready.
Jennifer: I’m ready.
Minnie: Okay. So, tell me about your business so that my audience has a point of reference.
Jennifer: So, I started my business probably four or five years ago. And I started it just as a blog to write and just a way to get a creative outlet out. Because I’m not really artistic at all. So, I try to find a way to be creative. And I know how to write and I’m a good writer. So, I started with that.
And then I started joining some blogging groups on Facebook and realized that, hey, I could actually make this into a business and even make money for doing writing and stuff, which I didn’t really know about beforehand until I started doing research, reading e-books, taking online classes, listening to podcasts. I mean, there’s so many things out there for people who are starting to become bloggers or influencers and want to turn their hobby into a business.
So, those things really helped me learn how to turn it into a business because it’s really different from actually just writing. There’s a lot more that goes into it than putting up a blog post and then seeing if people comment, seeing if people read it. So, being in those different groups really helped me learn how to develop my blog into a business. And now, I have found that my opinion is important, but I think other people’s opinions are also just as important.
And my goal was to have an online magazine for moms that was really easy to access. Because sometimes when you go to websites, you can get overwhelmed with pop-ups and ads and videos. And you’re, like, “I’m just trying to read this one article and I just wanna be able to read it.” So, I found a way to avoid that and make the layout of my blog pretty easy and accessible, where you’re not overwhelmed with ads, and you don’t have to sign up to read any of the articles. But there is a chance, if you wanted to sign up for a newsletter, to hear more about things, you can.
And I know, in this day and age, that people are, like, “I wanna be able to get to the article and I want to read it then. And I’m not gonna go out of my way to do anything else because I’ll just find it somewhere else.” So, I tried to keep it super basic, layout-wise. And invited people to write for my website. That way, it’s beneficial for them, building backlinks. It’s beneficial for me because I have great content and it’s new and fresh ideas all of the time.
And moms are so versatile and there’s so many topics that can go for moms, so I felt like if someone’s writing about an article about how to update a bathroom, that’s something that a mom does. Maybe it’s not a typical thing that a mom does, but during COVID when we were updating our entire houses because there was nothing else to do, that became a mom thing.
I thought that having so many different ideas and topics and – I’m a working mom, so I wanted to also focus it on working moms, too, because that’s who I am. But a lot of my topics can go for moms who are not working because they’re taking care of their kids, which is also an extremely, extremely hard job and it is working.
So, I went back and forth with how do I pick my genre that I want to focus on? So, then, focusing it on moms, essentially moms that work, which is basically every single mom because every mom is working, I kind of took all the topics that I would wanna read about or write about and I put them all together. And that’s kind of where we’re at now, is now I just have people wanting to write for my website and then I do finishing touches for them and I make Pinterest ads. But I’m not the best Pinterest designer. But I’ve found other people who are great Pinterest designers, too.
So, it’s like a give and a take in the blogging business world. You find someone who will do this for you and then you can do this for them. And it’s a community. And not everyone’s in it, and they don’t really understand. If you’re talking to your husband and they don’t know anything about blogging. They have no idea what you’re talking about. Or like a friend. I’m, like, “Well, I gotta post this thing on Instagram at this specific time.” And they’re, like, “What?” So, it’s good to be part of a community who know what you’re talking about.
Minnie: Yeah. For sure. So, I heard you talking about starting an online magazine. So, is that what you mean – do you mean that it’s all blog writing? Or do you have a specific magazine?
Jennifer: I don’t have a specific magazine.
Jennifer: So, when you are finding blog layouts, they can be overwhelming and so much money. Or they could be free. Really, it depends. And when I was looking for the layout, I really wanted it to be kind of like a magazine. Like how you could find there’s some other online magazine blogs that have a similar layout. So, I wanted it to kind of look like that even though I’m not that top-level yet. That doesn’t mean that I can’t get there.
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