Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

October 9, 2013

Don’t You Label Me a Mommy Blogger

by Kate W. Hall

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I’m the girl in the middle. And just because I’m forty doesn’t mean I can’t still call myself a girl.

After all that’s what I was, am, and will be long after I lose the “mommy blogger” label.

When I created Richmondmom.com armed with idealistic (clueless) enthusiasm and a part-time web designer (who later flew the coop on me) I didn’t know I was about to step foot into the world of the most loved (by brands) and despised (by, well many) categories of bloggers.

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Dammit, I used to be kind of cute and non-mom-like. Now I’m a ma’am and a Mrs. Hall (ever looking over my shoulder for my mother-in-law) and the parent at school who wrote those children’s books and had that. . .mom blog.

But I transitioned the blog to new owners in May and I can write about topics other than selling hot hunky bachelors, crazy people stealing my stroller at theme parks and driving across the country in a Chevy with a few of my best girls.. More exciting topics. Less mom-like and run-of-the-mill. Thank God.

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September 6, 2013

Do Something Forward-Thinking Now

by Kate W. Hall

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Some days it’s just tough to get past:

1) getting three lunches packed
2) coercing three children out of their beds
3) signing school paperwork & writing notes to teachers
4) being a good worker/wife/mom/daughter/sister (insert dutiful role here ___________)
5) answering requests for community service
6) doing dishes/laundry/grocery shopping/vacuuming (insert domestic chore here ___________)

You get the picture. So after a 7:30am game reporting-duty with my six-year old I’ll be embarking on researching a new venture tomorrow in-between buying paint for my boys’ room which they’ve requested I don Minecraft wall images (no idea how to make this happen, but I will!) the entire list may not be checked off but we’re on our way.

Every day, no matter how small a dent I make in the work, it’s a step in the right direction. Let’s not wait for the big leap when incremental baby steps lead us, step-by-step today.

That, my friends is wonderful.

June 4, 2013

Excitement

by Kate W. Hall

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Watching my son at a Richmond Squirrels game last Friday was a treat. This is a kid who is Minecraft-obsessed and hard-pressed to leave the creature-comforts of home, so to see him at a local minor-league baseball game touting logos & cheering was a fan to my fire.

What gets us excited about anything? It’s so easy to fall into the everyday/comfort/routine of home that it’s often hard to break out into a world of the unknown (potentially in-fun). But it can surprise us, too.

Breaking out of my role of CEO of the blog I created, Richmondmom.com has been tough yet I’m excited about the possibilities. Even when great friends/cheerleaders continue to share accolades I’m not sure I deserve I know it’s right for me.

After five plus years at the helm it’s time for something new & I’m thrilled that the new owners have some fire behind their excitement for “my baby.”

Sometimes we all need to break out I our comfort zone for the unknown, which may often be more thrilling than we expect. . .

May 27, 2013

Motivation

by Kate W. Hall

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It cannot be forced. It must be felt. Inner drive, light, words to inspire must be written, not forced.

When asked “How did you do it?” As I often am I respond “it’s passion, filling a niche, responding to a need with purpose.”

That is how a show-stopping (200k+ visitors to a hyper-local, unique and award-winning) blog is made, not born.

April 30, 2013

Think Big(ger)

by Kate W. Hall

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Why not push yourself beyond what you imagined? We–or should I say I because I couldn’t afford to build a team then–started with a handful of readers five years ago. Richmondmom.com will reach over 200,000 unique visitors this year.

How?

Listening to readers through daily interactions via social media.

Providing unique & high-quality content.

Interacting & having fun with our clients/partners/non-profits.

Doing good in the community & giving back.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

October 30, 2012

Why it’s Ridiculous to Be Someone Else

by Kate W. Hall

20121030-230450.jpg I post things like this all the time in our Facebook group.

I love humor and find it as necessary as the basic elements to feed me. Is this something that comes naturally to me? Bingo. Does it help my brand? Without a doubt.

It’s so critical to be ourselves no matter what we do, no matter what “conventional” wisdom tells us.

Creating posts, content & ads like everyone else is ho-hum & wont attract readership, nor is it any fun.

So please, if you stop by, let’s talk this through, and bring some fine wine, too please?

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October 28, 2012

Congrats! You’ve Arrived (At The Middle)

by Kate W. Hall

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Last Wednesday I was given the honor of being named one of Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40 by Style Magazine. Listening to the accomplishments of the thirty-nine others in my class I was humbled at my blogging and charitable efforts compared to their “roll-your-sleeves-up” hands-on community activism.

Sharing this observation with my manager at Capital One the next day, his response to me was simply: “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Could it be that our team’s endless clacking behind the keyboard is as valuable as planting a garden to feed the hungry?

Debatable, but great food for thought.

The true food for thought was the celebration in the moment, surrounded by my husband, mom, dear friends, brother and one of my sisters.

It was then that I realized that I had arrived at the middle.

20121028-093229.jpgWith Scott Blackwell, former manager, mentor & friend.

The five years of building the brand are behind me; the days of working bell-to-bell less frequent (yet not unheard of.) Now, with a team to support the mission, I am fortunate to have the much-appreciated arms and legs.

Our advertisers are valued partners; we work hard to make sure their investment is maximized and that their visibility is paramount. Our charitable efforts are a vital thread in our offering to Richmond; it keeps us grounded. The readers who inspire us to create new categories/content/contests: they’re just the best.

Yet, with an entrepreneurial-fed lust for innovation, I find myself leading this team through the middle of our journey to excellence. It’s a gift to reflect on the road behind (and to celebrate it, no less) and a dreamer’s dream to imagine what more the future holds.

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October 7, 2012

Investing in your Brand: Not Optional

by Kate W. Hall

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We’re often asked to promote new businesses (pro bono) on Richmondmom.com and when appropriate, when we have the space and our team isn’t super-stretched, we’re happy to oblige.

After all, I was a start-up five years ago with few resources and I’ve always felt compelled to pay the kindness I received from others forward. Here’s the thing that’s tough for us to verbalize to a brand-new business owner: one pro-bono ad on a blog with 150,000+ unique annual visitors sounds super-sexy, but truth be told it may not net you one sale.

True branding–staying power–takes an immense amount of investment, content, sources, links, and most importantly–relationships and proven customer service.

I’m not trying to be cold here; anyone who knows me knows I’m a bleeding heart. On this issue however it’s been a long time brewing in my message to new business owners: if you can’t afford to advertise or hire a sales rep (or be willing to market yourself), you likely aren’t ready to launch your business.

The first two years of my entrepreneurial journey were spent networking at women’s groups and Chamber of Commerce events, talking with small groups of parents at any (every) opportunity, and yes spending thousands of dollars on advertising, primarily on the web. Note: I’m not saying this because we derive our revenue from advertising. we’re a niche site and there are countless ways to market a brand.

I didn’t make a cent the first two years I was in business, and I was willing to make that physical, emotional and financial investment to make our blog polished, branded, stoic in the sea of come-again blogs that don’t stick.

I did everything myself at first from knocking on potential clients’ doors to mailing follow-up notes and business cards to standing for hours on end at children’s fairs in the hazy Richmond summer heat. Was I exhausted? YES! Was I frustrated? HELL YES.

If you’re not willing to do that, it’s like launching a business and going out for a swing. It may be a while before the breeze whips through your hair, but with careful investment of time and money + a boatload of passion, it’ll click.

September 25, 2012

Why Do It? Selling Bodies By The Hour, of Course.

by Kate W. Hall

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Well, there are sometimes we just do it for the scenery, as in when we emcee the annual Pink Tie Gala Bachelor Auction.

I love it when being a blogger meets being charitable meets meeting über-cool people like Susan Groves who heads up this amazing Pink Tie Gala enterprise for Susan G. Komen each year.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

August 2, 2012

Good Things Come

by Kate W. Hall

Good Things Come

Within the last week we reached 100,000 unique visitors this year on our blog. That was our entire count for 2011, and we’re on track for a 50%+ increase to over 150,000 in 2012!

Who would have ever thought a little spark of an idea at my kitchen table would be burning like an inferno five years later?

Thanks to the Richmondmom.com team for their amazing contributions & helping us get this far!

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