Scarlet Paolicchi is a Nashville blogger and stay-at-home mom of two. Her award-winning blog, Family Focus Blog reports on parenting tips, family fun activities, eco tips, food, travel, decor, discounts, and giveaways. Find out how this biology major made the leap from retail management to full-time blogger.
You started blogging in 2010, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started with blogging.
I love nature and the outdoors so naturally, I was interested in biology, and I chose that as my major. I planned to go on to grad school, but I took a year off to stay in New Orleans while my husband (boyfriend at the time) was finishing his degree. I started working in retail management because it paid more than the zoo job offer I got. Then I ended up loving it, and I never went back to grad school. I loved how every day was different, and there was always a new challenge. It was very physical up and about on your feet all day.
When I became pregnant, I knew that retail hours (nights and weekends) were not going to work for me. Besides, I wanted to stay and be at home with my baby. I still needed to earn some income though, but I really wasn't sure how to do it. I tried being an independent distributor, but it just wasn't my calling. Then I met a friend who had a personal blog. I thought it was a cool idea.
Later on, I heard on the news about social media marketing, and I thought I would give it a whirl. I set up an online social media marketing business and started a blog to go hand-and-hand with it. I ended up loving the blogging but not so much the consulting and social media management for others. Blogging gave me a creative outlet and an opportunity to express myself, and I just fell in love with it.
Give us an example of how you first monetized your blog.
I first monetized my blog through reviews, if that counts as monetization. Then I progressed to paid sponsored features.
How do you minimize income peaks and valleys?
I minimize them by being proactive in engaging sponsors. The peaks and valleys still happen though — just a lot less frequently!
What types of marketing strategies have worked best for you?
I have mostly just used social media as my marketing. It is an excellent way to communicate with current readers and to attract new readers.
You have over 94,000+ Twitter followers. What tips do you have for using the platform?
I moved a lot as a child, and I learned that the best way to have friends is to make them. You have to put yourself out there and take the first step because most people are busy and won't bother to reach out first. I follow people who are into family topics, I retweet other's family topic posts, and I respond to some tweets. I am consistently active and interactive, and that is what it takes.
You can find Scarlet on Twitter @.
When did you realize your blog was going to be successful?
I never knew it was going to be successful. But I guess you could say I believed in myself and my blog enough after two years of blogging to go ahead and switch from blogger (free) to WordPress (paid).
What do you believe has contributed to your success?
You know those people who say dream big? I love those people. But I wasn't one of them. I started with a small dream, and I keep giving myself permission to dream a little bigger as I achieve success. Enlarging my dreams at a rate that I am comfortable with has contributed to my success. Hard work, steady, consistent, hard work contributes to my success. And loving what I do is no doubt the key that allows me to work steadily to create and maintain and grow. Always being on the lookout for new knowledge and keeping my eyes open for new trends also helps me be successful.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I'm not sure! Sometimes I have it all under control, and sometimes I feel like I have too much on my plate. I prioritize, and I manage my time wisely for both personal and business activities.
Do you outsource any parts of your blogging business?
I hire contributors because I like to get some fresh ideas and perspectives.
Thanks for sharing your story, Scarlet.
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Originally published February 7, 2011. Content updated May 22, 2017.