1 year ago
Q&A: Questions about The Everygirl and Blogging
My career path has been anything but traditional. I started my first (for fun) in 2007, then a graphic design business specializing in blog design shortly thereafter, launched The Everygirl in 2012 and The Everymom in 2018. We went from two cofounders to a team of 12 and I managed to grow my very part-time blog during this time. I get questions about my career path and growing a site/blog from time to time so thought I’d answer a few of the most recent ones here.
How and when do you see The Everygirl growing next?
Our team now has 9 full-time employees (soon-to-be 10), 2 co-founders (Alaina and myself), and a part-time director of brand partnerships. We launched a second website (The Everymom) last year and have since more than doubled the size of our team so that’s how we’re growing next/right now. There’s one more hire on the list – a graphic designer Know anyone who might be interested?
The days of the two of us sitting on g-chat at midnight trying to make sure we had content for the following day feel like they were another lifetime ago. It’s truly crazy/amazing to see how far we’ve come, and I hope our story will inspire those of you in those early days of starting a business or growing a blog to keep going.
What are one or two lessons you learned from scaling your company to what it is today?
The importance of handing things off and how to manage a team. As we’ve grown, roles have been able to become more specific – like having someone to focus solely on social media or graphics. We were so nervous to hand off instagram years ago but once we did, it allowed us to spend time focusing on the bigger picture. Splitting what was once one job into two allows our team to focus on making their respective domains the best, and to really focus on growth.
Alaina and I have always had our hands in a little bit of everything, all while focusing on growth and the bigger tasks (brand partnerships, HR, hiring, launching a new website, etc). Now that we have a much larger team in place, we just met (this week) to talk about some big things we’ve wanted to do but hadn’t made time for, and we’re in a place where we finally have the time.
Have your career goals and ambitions changed since having Margot?
No, but (and I’m not sure if motherhood has impacted this or just so many years of multitasking) I really want to focus on growth, and narrow down what I work on in a day to something big vs lots of smaller tasks, if that makes sense. So many days are spent doing a little bit of 10-20 different things and I feel inspired and excited to do the (bigger) things we’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Having a baby forced me to think about how I work best and made me want to do my best since the time I spend working is time away from her, so I want to make the most of it.
I’m actually involved (in a very small way) in another project that Conor is working on. I haven’t been able to do that much for it since The Everygirl is #1 and when I’m not working, I am usually with Margot. It’s been fun to be involved in something new, even if I’m only a little involved.
And yes, I’ll share more in the coming months.
Do you guys worry about consistent income coming in? How do you plan for it?
Back when I was designing blogs (pre-The Everygirl) this terrified me. I usually had a wait list with 10-20 people on it but sometimes I’d only have 2 names on there and would convince myself that my business was crumbling and I needed a new job ASAP (never dramatic over here). What I did then and now are probably different than what I lot of you are doing but I’d just have a sale or offer something to my customers and it would pick back up. I tried to make sure I had money in savings and definitely dipped into that more often than I should.
When we launched The Everygirl, we barely made any money year one and continued to work full-time on top of running our site we had to pay the bills. We have seen such incredible growth and we’re now at a point where affiliate and ads bring in enough that even if we didn’t have any partnerships come in we’d be ok. Fortunately, we’re seeing a lot of growth in all areas of the site. If you have employees, make sure you have the funds to pay them for at least 6 months. I don’t actively worry day-to-day but 9 people rely on us to pay their salaries and to provide benefits and we don’t take that lightly, but we’re in a very good place, so it’s not something I’m worried about.
My advice is to budget and make sure you have a fund you can pull from if and when things slow down. If possible, come up with a marketing strategy or a way to pick things up when they’re slow. If you have a way of setting up passive income (like ads, courses, etc), I would recommend that, too.
How do you keep tabs on employee happiness?
This is something that is so important to us. I regularly check in with our team and every 6 months at performance reviews, Alaina and I ask our what’s working, what’s not, what they’re most excited about, and if applicable, what they can hand off. When someone new joins the team I’ll check in and ask how things are going, what’s needed from me/us, and how we can help make things better and more efficient. It’s so important to have an open dialogue so everyone feels like they can come to us if/when something isn’t working.
I recently implemented flex hours on two work from home days a week, and everyone’s been so happy. Just start your day early or end your work day late, but take 2 hours to yourself during the day. All about that balance.
Any advice for someone looking to become a contributor to a blog/website like The Everygirl?
First, check the site to see the submission protocol (if they have one) and it’s always best to find the name of someone at the company and address it to them and the team. If you don’t hear back, find the name of someone else who works for the website you’re interested in writing for, and reach out. Don’t give up!
I would always include writing samples in the initial email instead of reaching out and asking how to submit. Make things easy and include links to writing samples vs an attachment that would need to be downloaded.
How did you deal with people looking down on your age when you started your business?
I actually didn’t struggle with that at all and feel like it’s way less of a thing these days since there have been so many successful founders in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. This is probably the cheesiest advice ever but just put your best self out there and don’t listen to anyone who tells you you’re not good enough.
How have you balanced work and motherhood?
None of what I do would be possible without our amazing nanny (thank you, Gold Coast Nannies!). I am not some magician balancing being a mom and working all day. It’s possible because I have help from my nanny and a supportive husband who is very involved in the care of our daughter. When I’m not with Margot, I miss her, but I get to say hi at lunch when I’m home, and we have mornings and evenings together. It’s so hard, because I want to work but I also want to be with my baby. That’s just the struggle of all moms. You just want time to yourself and once you have it you miss your baby.
At this point, how long does it take you to write and upload a blog post?
It really depends on the type of blog post, but probably longer than it should? Product roundups always feel the easiest although it can take a wile to source everything. This one was fast and easy since I just linked to everything we have on our patio, so it took about an hour or less. Most take at least 2 hours and If I’m styling or shooting, add on another 2 hours. If it’s a personal post, I might start it one day and come back to it over the few times over the course of a month. It is very very rare that I just start and finish a post in one day. I also don’t post daily and if I don’t have anything to say, will go quiet for a few weeks.
Is it possible to be an introvert and have a successful blog?
There are over 500 million blogs in the world, so I find it hard to believe that none of these bloggers are introverted. I am what one would call an extroverted introvert. I’m a great networker (not one to say I’m “great” at anything but I really am quite good at it considering the fact that I never go to events and love staying at home). I love being by myself and need my quiet time, but also really love spending quality time with close friends. My personality is probably why you don’t see a lot of me on instagram stories. It always feels super awkward recording selfie videos and sometimes drains my energy – I have to be in the right place to do it. When I have something to say, I would just rather write it out. I think writing is something that’s great for introverts, so my not-so-short answer is a definite yes.