Jennifer James, founder of the mombloggersclub.com and themomsalon.com
By creating one of the largest social networks on the web, blogger and social media expert Jennifer James helps moms connect through the Mom Blogger’s Club.
James, a mother of two, began blogging in 2006 for ClubMom (now CafeMom.) As a freelance writer, blogging opened up a portal where she was able to write about everything from parenting to politics.
As she became more involved in the blogosphere, she realized there was a need for a central community where mom bloggers could gather. In 2007 she created the mombloggersclub.com. It’s now one of the largest social networks on the web.
“At last count there were 7,600 members,” she says modestly.
Alexa.com, a traffic measurement website, ranks Mom Bloggers Club at 9,575 – an impressive showing among millions of websites vying for traffic.
The focus is on the community and building relationships with other mom bloggers through the club.
“I never really had a business plan for it,” she admits, “it’s basically hit or miss.”
She still blogs through themomsalon.com, but today James spends more of her time in social media.
“I’m a hybrid,” she laughs, “I’m a community creator, a digital mom, an iPhone mom, or whatever.”
Making money directly from a blog can be difficult and requires a lot of traffic. Instead, the offshoots of her blog are where James earns her living.
“Blogging is a great spring pad for other opportunities,” she says.
As a consultant, she helps companies “get their feet wet” using social media effectively. James admits she isn’t much of a Facebook person, and prefers Twitter. This social media tool is the one that “resonates” for her.
Her advice for other MOMeos is to “be really honest about why you are starting a blog,” and be consistent. If you start out posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday but tire of it and begin posting less and less frequently, you will lose your readers.
“It’s impossible to gain them back once you lose them,” she says.
“Most moms are not going to make money unless they have a ton of traffic. They have to find alternative ways of earning money.
“They can use their blogs to showcase their other talents,” she says.
Conventions are a great place for bloggers to bring the online community offline, says James. Events like these often lead to other ideas, even new opportunities.
“There is a lot of freedom in this new era of the digital world,” says James.
This flexibility allows her the freedom to home school her two daughters, all while managing the club, a personal blog, and other consulting work.
She admits some days juggling it all gets crazy, but her family always comes first.
“But it’s everything I’m completely committed to.”