Nashville stay-at-home mom blogger, Scarlet Paolicchi, started the Family Focus Blog in 2011 when her kids were just 4 and 6 years old. It has now turned into a Top Mom Blog with upwards of 63,000 page views per month, bringing in revenue through advertising and featuring family-friendly companies.
Mom, Incorporated caught up with Scarlet to talk about blogging, social media and some of the secrets to her success.
MOMINCORPORATED: How did you first get into blogging?
SCARLET: I actually had a friend that had a small blog and I thought that was interesting. Then I saw other mom bloggers and I thought to myself, “that is something I could do from home without too much risk or capital to start,” so I decided to give it a try.
MOMINCORPORATED: How did you turn your blog into a business?
SCARLET: Well, I explain it to my family by telling them a blog is really just an online magazine. You provide good content that pulls in readers and you make money through advertisements. For example, everytime someone clicks on an add in my blog sidebar, I make about 50 cents, which adds up the more traffic I get. I also accept sponsored features. The way it works best is when the ads are related to things my readers want. You know, like when you are reading a fashion magazine and the ads are sometimes just as exciting as the articles.
MOMINCORPORATED: Your blog is chock full of content and giveaways. Where do you get your ideas for what to write about?
SCARLET: I write about all things family related so I have a pretty big range. Part of my ideas come from what is timely and part come from everyday happenings that inspire me.
MOMINCORPORATED: How much time do you devote to it each week and, as a SAHM, when do you find the time?
SCARLET: Now that my kids are in school, it is so much easier to find the time! I try to blog between 8 and 3. I used to have to fit it in a nap time, after bedtime and in snatches while they were playing.
MOMINCORPORATED: With over 63,000 monthly page views, what do you think makes your blog so popular?
SCARLET: I think people come for the good content that people can relate to or that is helpful to them in some way. People want to know about healthy school lunch ideas, or DIY teacher gifts, and they find that type of information on my blog. They can also find personal stories as intimate as the loss of a baby when they need someone who has been where they are. On the lighter side, they can find funny stuff and giveaways as well.
MOMINCORPORATED: You have been featured on NBC Nashville, CBS Nashville, and MSN Business. How do you get media attention?
SCARLET: Honestly, it mostly finds me through my blog. I was fortunate enough to be contacted to be on the TV shows. I was mentioned on MSN as part of their coverage of the StartupNation Home Business Awards, for which I won Savviest in Social Media. I suspect there is another source of my media attention- lots of people find me through Twitter, @familyfocusblog.
MOMINCORPORATED: Speaking of Twitter, you have nearly 5 times more Twitter followers than Facebook fans. What role does Twitter play in your business?
SCARLET: Yes, I’m working on that! When I started my blog, I started my Twitter account. I didn’t start my Facebook page till much later when a fan suggested that I do so. Everyone has their social media that just comes natural to them and for me it is Twitter. I love it because it is so social. I meet new people on there all the time. People comment on my articles or ask questions and I share my blog info and other family resources. I love Twitter but I am starting to enjoy Facebook as well.
MOMINCORPORATED: How else do you use social media? Have you learned any must-do’s or never-do’s for any particular platforms?
SCARLET: I also use Pinterest and I am beginning to use Instagram as well. I find that each has its specific purpose: Twitter is great for meeting new people whether it is readers, bloggers, or business owners. Facebook is great for interacting with current readers. Pinterest is great for visual people who don’t necessarily have time to chat. My must-do would be that the more consistently you use the social media, the more successful it is for you and the more fun!
MOMINCORPORATED: How have you used Mom, Incorporated as a resource?
SCARLET: I love the interviews. I think they are great for inspiring you. They can be useful to get started and to those of you who are already trying to do a home business but could use a few tips from others. It is also a great place to be able to find like-minded people to network with.
MOMINCORPORATED: What advice would you give other women about starting a business as a blogger?
SCARLET: Chose your name and URL carefully and make sure it is immediately clear to others what your blog is about. Go straight for WordPress with your own domain so you don’t have to switch later and lose page ranking. Develop your favorite three social media platforms to go hand in hand with your blog right from the start. Be consistent in publishing. Find a few blogging buddies so you can all work together to promote each other and answer each other’s questions. Have fun and don’t give up!