It's hump day, mammas, and you know what that means...
...it is time to meet another inspiring mom boss who is KILLING it not only in the world of motherhood, but as an entrepreneur as well!
Ladies and gentlemen; Meet the amazing Alexis:
While I have never met Alexis in person, she feels like an old friend to me, as she and I first "met" back in 2012 when I first started my cooking blog (which is now a personal/family blog). Fast forward 5 years and Alexis is a busy wife, mom to 4, and hardworking mom boss who not only runs a popular blog, but also an online business that connects business professionals with their own virtual assistant! Cool, right? Without further ado, here is Alexis:
Before you became a busy mom to your four sweet kiddos, what did you do? Did you go to school for either writing (which you do now on your blog, Learn as We Go) or business?
Before I was a mom, I actually got a degree in Elementary Education, but I've always been interested in writing. And I still love to teach, but as a stay at home mom, that isn't really something I can pursue right now. But I guess writing online is my own way of teaching while being at home. I kind of wish I would have gotten a degree in business. I've always been fascinated by entrepreneurs and starting businesses which is probably why I have so many side-hustles (blog, business, podcast, Usborne books rep). I just can't seem to stop myself!
Once you started having your kids, did you ever work outside of the home? What inspired you to begin your journey as a work-from-home mom?
I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom, so when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I worked to 2 weeks before she was born and then quit working outside the home. At this time, my husband was still in his undergrad (we were married at 22 and had our first baby at 24). And because we had children so quickly (4 kids in 4 years) and my husband didn't get an amazing job out of college and then went to MBA school after working for 3 years, I always felt like I needed to contribute financially. My husband and I both really wanted me to stay home, so we made the sacrifices to do that, but we were always tight on money so I began looking for ways to earn money from home to help financially.
When did you begin blogging at Learn as We Go and -- if you don't mind sharing -- how were you able to monetize it and make an income from it?
I began blogging at Lean as We Go in May 2011. Having my first baby was a huge transition for me. I went from being busy all the time, to being home all day and I soon realized that I didn't have any hobbies! So I started my blog as a creative outlet for myself. I mostly monetize my blog from sponsored posts and product reviews. I tried affiliate marketing many times and that never worked for me. But I worked on my social media following by being in lots of blogging support groups on Facebook, hosting giveaways and posting often. I'm also connected to a ton of agencies that connect bloggers with businesses. My numbers aren't huge, so I don't get selected often, but I'm in so many that they pop up here and there. I was never one to reach out to companies, but I often get people asking me to post for them. I think people know how influential bloggers are now and they come to me. I don't make a ton of money from my blog and it's definitely not consistent, but it's definitely helped our family over the years financially and also allowed us to do some really fun things for free.
In addition to blogging, you have also started another business that helps pair busy moms with trustworthy mom assistants. Tell us a little bit more about how Mommy Admin works and how you came up with the concept.
Mommy Admin is a place for small business and bloggers to find virtual assistants. And these virtual assistants are typically moms who have the marketing and blogging experience, but who are working from home. So businesses and bloggers apply on our website for a virtual assistant. They let me know what they need help with and how many hours a week. Then I match them up with one of our virtual assistants who has the time and expertise they're looking for. Then I do all the billing and paying and help train the virtual assistants as well.
I came up with this idea after a few experiences I had. First as a stay at home mom, I found it really hard to find work from home. Just a few years ago there weren't really any websites that hired virtual assistants. Then later I started working for a marketing company part time from home and that gave me a really good idea what being a virtual assistant looked like and what I needed in order to work well with a client. Then my sister was looking for at home work and asked if I knew anyone who needed a virtual assistant. I asked in a blogging Facebook group I was in and was surprised how many people responded! So I knew there was a need for virtual assistants and also a need for work for women looking to work from home. I had the skills from my years of blogging and then also being a social media marketer, so then Mommy Admin was born.
Is Mommy Admin currently hiring? If so, how do prospective assistants get in touch with you?
Unfortunately we are not hiring. We don't have enough clients to hire new admins right now. But I am working on it especially where I have more time now that 2 of my kids are in school. So we are always taking resumes. You can email me your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org and also explain any experience you have with posting to social media professionally or for your own blog. I'm hoping our business grows more so we can help more women work from home.
How do you market your business? (Facebook, Instagram, print ads, etc.) What would you say has worked the best for you?
So far it's mostly just been word of mouth. I've let people know about our business through blogger Facebook groups. We were featured in the Real Simple Magazine once in a small article. We also have Instagram and Facebook pages, but I've been so bad at posting on them. I'm going to work on that soonl. I did just speak at my first blog conference on How to use a Virtual Assistant to Grow Your Blog. That was super fun and I hope to do a few more speaking engagements in the near future. I'm actually pregnant with our 5th baby so I don't know how many I'll be able to do soon, but that's the life of a work from home mom right? I'm also going to start doing Facebook ads this month and we'll see how those go. Sorry, that isn't super helpful, but that's probably why our business has had slow growth. I've backed away from my blog a bit more so I can focus more on Mommy Admin.
What does a day in your shoes look like? How many hours a day (or week) would you say you spend working on Mommy Admin?
It varies depending on if we have new clients or new admins starting because that takes the most time getting everyone set up. There's a lot of communication and then explaining how to use our programs when we have new people. In a week I probably do about 2-5 hours of work. I fit in time in the afternoon while my youngest naps and then in the evening after my kids are in bed.
Can you give some words of advice to any moms out there who are thinking of launching their own side hustle (but aren't sure where to begin)?
My words of advice are to just do it. Learn as you go (which is always my motto - as you can tell from the name of my blog). You can spend months and months researching and planning, but I think the best way to learn is just to start. Know who your target audience is, know why you do your business and what your goals are, then start a website (we use squarespace which is really simple and user friendly), and then start telling people about it! There are so many people starting side hustles these days, you can do it too!
Finally, what is the best part of being able to work your business from home?
The thing I love most about working from home is I get to choose how much I work. If I have a busy day, kids are sick, and life is crazy, I can not work that day and it's ok. If I need to pull back from my business because I just had a baby, I can do that. If we go on vacation, I don't have to worry about taking vacation days, we can just go. A work at home business allows me to have a creative outlet while still being at home with my kids. There's definitely a balance that you have to figure out within your own family, but it's really nice to have that option.