I’ve been meaning to write this post for the longest, but between life, designing, and running a small business I’m just now getting around to it. I first decided to post on this topic after listening to Elise from Elise Gets Crafty’s podcast, in which she talked about being a business owner who blogs and not the other way around. Her podcast was so helpful to me, to be able to not feel guilty or strange in referring to myself as a businesswoman/owner who blogs. This wasn’t always the case, as I used to work full-time outside the home and starting blogging to document and chronicle my pregnancy. Over the past year, so much in my life has changed from my career to having a baby to moving to opening my own business. Yes, I used to be just a blogger, in turns of what I blogged about and focused on. When I discovered my passion for design, I became a businesswoman and owner. And that’s where I’m at now, and I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll stay at.
Now before we get ahead of ourselves, let me breakdown exactly how I manage the two. I keep my business and personal blog separate for the most part. They are two different brands, because they have two different focuses, but both are me. Both are very much me, but for now keeping them separate is the right thing to do. New Mama Diaries is a toddler, where as Sweet Face Studio is a baby. They have so far to go, but as cousins and not quite as sisters. However, I have extended through a not so long reach sprinkles of Sweet Face Studio on New Mama Diaries, because New Mama Diaries is personal and I like to share what I’m doing in my life here on NMD. It would be wrong of me not to. Although, Sweet Face Studio doesn’t really get the same courtesy, because well she is the one wearing the suit, the breadwinner, she must be professional at all times. I can cut loose on NMD, not so much on SFS. Nonetheless, there’s no mistaking NMD’s professionalism as well.
I guess I’d say I’m a rather conversvative blogger, in terms of what I share on both avenues. I always have been. Why? Its my nature. Part from me being a very private person (ironic, huh?) and part from my prior military background, and having to adhere to the OPSEC guidelines. I always want to come across as professional, even if I’m sharing something personal, because reputation is everything. You never know who will come stumbling across your site and what impression they will get. Best you can do is make the best impression possible, while being true to yourself.
As a blogger, yes there is always the opportunity to monetize and take your blog to the next level. This is why it is so important to have it be a place that is appealing to both readers and brands. Its also important to be honest and transparent with your readers. They will respect you so much more in the long run for it and most likely even support your money-making efforts. Hey, everyone has to eat! Why wouldn’t someone use a large platform that they’ve spent tons of time building to help them succeed in another one? I felt it was important to let my readers know about my shop and that, occassionally I would be talking about it on NMD.
The last thing I would have wanted to do it be sneaky and try to slip on a link here and there to draw traffic. That’s wrong, and it really bothers me when people do that. However, I also don’t push my readers to support my business, but I do encourage them to visit my shop in the case they actually need something from it. I happen to create items and provide service, including blog themes and printables (yes that’s intentional) that my fellow bloggers and readers use or may be in need of. Why would I not let them know? Selfish in a sense, and I’m sure many would ask me why I never said anything.
Transparency is key! If people can see what you’re doing, they will trust, and again mostly importantly respect you. So, its totally cool to monetize your site, own a business and post about it on your blog, and vice versa. Just be professional about it and give your readers a chance to embrace that side of you. You never know, they just might be your biggest supporters! You’ve worked hard for it, so go forth and use all of your following and platforms to grow your business and succeed. If you have a dream to be your own boss or a business owner, go for it! People will love you more for you being you, and true to yourself, your goals, and your dreams, so don’t turn back! Its okay and remember, there’s room for everyone!
And yes, if you find yourself needing some guidance with branding or business consulting, please don’t hestitate to reach. I’d be more than happy to help!
Tenns, I think you keeping them separate sounds perfect. I’m so happy things are going so well with your business, too. I’m glad you were able to get some encouragement from that podcast. 🙂
You know Brittnei, its really the only way the two can work and be authentic. By keeping them separate, it allows me to keep my focus on one at a time, instead of intertwining them and they be in competition. Yes, I love listening to Podcasts nightly. I really need to get back to it, as I’ve been up late designing a lot lately. 😉
I feel similarly. I’m a business owner and a blogger and they really are separate, even though I can use the blog to show photos for fun. Not really profit because my business is 100% regional and not online at all.
People I’m photographing don’t really care that I’m a blogger!
It’s not quite the vice versa, though, because I have totally been hired by blogging friends, but only at THEIR request. I have never approached anyone.
I feel the same way about my designing a lot of the time. I feel like people who read my blog might not care about my designing and vice versa. That’s one of the big reasons I keep them separate too. Its just easier to appeal separately to the two audiences. Your pictures are lovely, so I always appreciate when you share them. I’m so glad you do!
Great advice! I love your work, I’m expecting big things for you Mrs. Tenns.
Thanks so much hun! I really appreciate your lovely words of encouragement! 🙂
Great tips. I agree that transparency is key. Even though we have “online” relationships, no one likes to be duped, even if it really isn’t hurting anything. Thanks for another great post! Good luck in your adventures!
You are so right! I hate that feeling of being duped, especially when I thought someone was there to help me. Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. I really appreciate it! 🙂