Stacie is a Canadian blogger who founded in SimplyStacie.net in 2008 to cultivate reviews and giveeways online. Since that time, her blog has grown to be one of the most influential blogs of that type, turning into a business and an accessible resource for both readers and fellow bloggers.
She works from home as a problogger and mother of two- being able to draw upon her business skills to develop her blog for influence and profit while still being able to make her work fit her life priorities.
ABOUT: What is your business & what inspired you to start it?
My business is my site, Simply Stacie. It’s my full-time job and I couldn’t be happier! Long before I was a blogger, I was an accountant working in public practice. I was miserable. In 2007, I quit my job because of chronic pain and I kind of just fell into blogging in 2008. It wasn’t something that I decided like “I think I will become a blogger”. It just sort of happened!
I did it for fun for the first year and then in 2009 after I separated from my husband, I decided to really get serious about it and put in efforts to grow and improve my site.
I remember my dad saying to me as a child to find a job that you love to do or you will go in to work everyday and be unhappy. As a child I didn’t really comprehend what he meant and figured it was just one of his “talks”. However, now I know he was right.
CHALLENGES: What were the circumstances of your business early on or what were the early challenges? How did you you overcome it?
When I first started, I didn’t really network much at all. I didn’t know other bloggers and I stayed in the comfort of my own “blogging bubble”. I remember the day I decided to step out of my comfort zone and approach a blogger I didn’t know. I ended up making a new friend! I’m normally shy so that was hard for me to do. Now, I participate in a lots of different blogging groups and have made some wonderful friends as a result.
WHAT: What is your average day like? How do you manage everything and stay organized?
I try to keep to a schedule and have a routine I follow. I respond to all my emails in the morning. I like to keep the number of emails in my inbox low so I don’t get overwhelmed and after I’m done with one, I file it in a folder. Afternoon is usually when I will work on my own posts. If I keep chitchat on Facebook to a minimum I can usually get everything I need to finished by 4 pm and can take the night off!
BENEFITS: What do you absolutely love about your work? Has it enabled you to achieve your goals and if so, how?
I love being my own boss and in charge of my own destiny. I decide how much I want to work and don’t have to ask permission to take a day off if I need to. I also decide who I work with. I remember at my old job there was a lady at my workplace that was not a very nice person and I dreaded having to see her everyday. Now, I just don’t work with that type of person. Back then I didn’t have a choice, but now I do.
My goal was to be financially independent as well. I wanted to make my own money and not have to depend on anyone else.
HOW: How has your business evolved over time and what have you learned in the process about it?
I started really small with just me and I honestly didn’t know what the heck I was doing! I learned as I went along. Now, I have a team who I work with on a daily basis and they have been great and a big help. My advice is to never stop learning. Things change constantly so it’s important to stay on top of the current trends in your industry. What worked for you before may not work for you in the future.
ADVICE: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to do what you do?
Be prepared to work hard and put in a lot of hours. It can take years to build your site. Don’t go into it just to make money. Do it because its something you love and are genuinely interested in.
RESOURCES: What has been especially helpful to you? (either thoughts to keep in mind or actual sites, books, etc.)
First and foremost, my bloggy friends (Jen at Makobi Scribe, Yolanda at Sassy Mama in LA, Crissy at Dear Crissy, Cindi at Little Yayas) – they have been so helpful to me in giving me advice and just being a friend when I need one. I also love all my friends in my blogging groups on Facebook.
In terms of books, I recommend 31 Days to Build A Better Blog by Problogger. He gives you 31 tasks to complete and I’m still coming back to what I learned in that book and I read it over a year ago!
Right now, I’m doing Content Brew by Momcomm which is a course to help you plan and create new content for your site. It’s an awesome course and I’m amazed at how much I’m learning. If you are a blogger, you will learn so much by subscribing to Momcomm.
I’ve also taken up photography! My parents bought me a DSLR camera for Christmas and I’ve been working at improving the quality of pictures I include in my posts. Currently, I’m taking Shooting in Manual from Bella Pop. It’s been so fun and I like how she explains everything in laymen’s terms so I can understand. I finally feel like I’m starting to get it! No more “training wheels” for me! A couple days ago I signed up for another Bella Pop course, Creative Composition and Design.
LONG TERM: Do you have any goals for your business in the long term? What do you hope working for yourself will enable you to do that a different job might not?
My goals for the future are to continue to improve myself as a blogger, my site and to keep learning and evolving. My daughter is 14 and will be going away to school in a few years. I would love to be able to pay for her to go without her having to get a loan.
Also, my fiance will be releasing from the military in the next few months and won’t have an income. I need to be able to support us and we are talking of having him work for me too! I guess we will see where that goes! I’m the type of person who takes things day by day since change can happen so fast. You always need to be ready for whatever life throws at you.