Wendy Piersall founded eMomsatHome.com in early 2006. On her site, Wendy shares tips and insights on how to start and run a home-based business and writes on the challenges and rewards of working from home.
Wendy has just launched BlogJolt, a project aimed at increasing traffic and visibility of blogs by women.
I’ve asked Wendy to tell me more about her business and BlogJolt.
Antonella: Wendy, tell me about eMomsatHome. Why an online business?
Wendy: Turn on the internet and you are immediately connected to the world. When my internet is down, I can be in my big house and feel totally claustrophobic.
This is my third home based business (it would be impossible for me to just be a stay at home mom – it would bore me silly). But moms, all moms, have to spend a lot of time with their families. So they have precious little time to connect with other adults – which I can also say from experience keeps us sane…
So choosing technology and the internet was really the only way I would start up another business again. I’m just too social of a person to do anything else from home. And I really kind of fell into blogging.
I had “bigger plans” (ha!) to make my millions as an affiliate marketer. But I started up two blogs on my two sites because I was fascinated with the concept and I knew it would help me get better SEO rankings. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I’ll never forget the thrill of my first inbound link from Elana Centor at BlogHer. Wow. What a high – what a thrill – what a way to contribute!! So I went on a hunt to find a way to DIVE into the blogging world.
Antonella: How did get the idea for Blog Jolt?
Wendy: I came across the LinkedIn Bloggers group thanks to Robyn Tippins at SleepyBlogger.com. They were doing weekly “Blog Boosts” similar to my BlogJolts. Basically, members of the group all targeted one blog for the week, and every member wrote about the blog, linked to it, tagged/bookmarked relevant posts, and simply flooded the blog with traffic for a day.
You had to be a member of LinkedIn to join their group. I joined in the limited hope I would receive a boost – but found that boosting other blogs every week was way more fun than I had anticipated. It forced me to get out and really get a little outside of my comfort zone. But the rewards were amazing. I had fresh topics to write about, started making some good connections, and started raising my visibility in the community.
Then I got chosen for a Blog Boost and it was no turning back on anything but blogging. I got 14 inbound links in one day. My traffic tripled. And guess what? The effects were permanent. My traffic has never gone back down below my highest days prior to getting “boosted” (except weekends, of course).
Antonella: So, you saw the value Blog Boost. How did you decide to create your own Blog Jolt?
Wendy: eMoms just started taking off and I had to make some hard and fast decisions about which direction I would focus my efforts, because putting out just one quality site and blog really is a full time job, especially because I need this to actually make me a living.
I knew there were a lot of women and mom bloggers out there that would JUMP on this kind of chance to work together to help each other. It’s what we are about – it’s who we are. We are givers. We love to help each other succeed. We love to empower each other. Plus on the LinkedIn group, they had low participation because of the wide variety of blog topics. It made it hard for everyone to write. So I went to the moderators and made sure I wasn’t stepping on anyone’s toes – then launched the eMoms BlogJolt.
Antonella: How is Blog Jolt going to be different from the LinkedIn Blog Boost?
Wendy: They ran their project via Yahoo Groups and used it to track their efforts too. I decided I wanted to own this project more than that – and make it bigger. So I started up a separate blog to communicate with the members and promote it – though we still have to use Yahoo groups for email until I can get a listserv engine set up on my own domain – a challenge for the weeks ahead.
I also have some plans for two very fun tweaks to the original idea – one is to start breaking the moms into more targeted niches, so that they have an even more relevant pool to target in their BlogJolts.
The second is to start up an optional “Renegade Jolt” every week once we get about 70-80 members – in which we are tasked in finding a new up and coming blogger (or whoever we want to nominate, they could be established too – just not in our group), and jolt him or her without warning – as a way of giving back to the community as a whole – as a way of giving without expecting anything in return. And as a way to help new talent succeed.
Antonella: Thank you, Wendy, and god luck with your projects!