The One On How To Actually Blog

We are fortunate enough to work with the best parents and we want to help you by sharing their secrets. Each Monday, we will launch a new blog series, sharing our interview with our most admiral mommas. We accept questions from you, ask them personally and share their best, most anticipated tips + tricks. 

Jenn Hallak is a wife, a daughter, a kind voice and a sweet soul. She is a skinny-mini, blonde beauty who glows from the inside out. She has had her own ups + downs and shares them with her entire following selflessly so they, too, can share a smile or shed a tear. Jenn is a hard-working, full-time mommy-blogger. Above all else, she is a mom of "two"; Ava Sue + Baxter Bane. (*Air-quotes necessary because Baxter is her puppy!) If you follow Jenn, otherwise known as The Overwhelmed Mommy, I'm confident you've seen her ad-worthy photos. Many of these posts; however, are actually ads! Jenn tells us her secrets on how she turned her blog into a full-time career in hopes to inspire + help others who want to follow in her path: 

1. When did you start blogging? 
I started blogging in 2013 - The Overwhelmed Bride. I was between jobs and didn't want to be board so thought, "Hey, I'll write about wedding, the one thing I'm an expert at. (I was a wedding planner at the time.) It caught on and boom, I denied my job offers and took it on full time. Once Ava was born in March 2016, I started The Overwhelmed Mommy and here I am!
 
2. Is blogging your "full-time job" besides being a mom?
Yes, it sure is! It's my sole income and brings in a full-time living for me. It didn't come easy, but I made it and continue to grow!
 
3. How do you get paid for ads?
This is definitely a loaded question because before you can get paid, you need to build up a following, build a blog (unless you're focusing solely on social media, which I wouldn't recommend) but as you grow, companies will reach out or you can sign up for influencer networks for campaigns! Companies will pay for an Instagram story, a video, a blog post or an Instagram post or all of the above, and depending on the campaign and the company, the amount you're paid will vary. The one thing I focus on is making sure my time is worth it, because time is money too! So, there is a certain number I will not accept below and that's okay! That just means that there are campaigns for influencers and bloggers of all sizes!
 
4. Can someone pay you NOT to say it's an ad? 

Legally, no. I know a lot of bloggers do it, but I never would because that's just lying to my followers, the people who are my biggest support! Any time an advertisement is paid for, it MUST have the words "sponsored" or "ad" on it. That goes for social media posts, too. 

5. Walk a through a paid promotion:
A company contacts me, I give them my rates depending on what they're wanting out of the promotion, we agree on a price and they send the product my way. Then, I take photos (or have my amazing photographer Briana Lindsey Photography shoot for us, depending on the ad), I send a draft and images/video to the company, they approve or make changes, we set a date and it goes live! Some companies ask for stats on how the campaign went after the fact but that varies from company to company.  
 
6. Do you ever turn a company away?
Yes, actually all the time. A lot of people come to me with products I don't think are a fit for us or for our followers. If I don't think something will resonate with all of my following and/or I don't personally love a product, I say no. That's one thing that makes me stand out from a lot of bloggers out there who will accept any ad for anything. Not to say it's a bad thing if that's their style, but I love being super authentic and actually showing how products are used in my real life, not just in a single photo.
  
7. Do you negotiate? What is your best advice on negotiating?

Absolutely! Most often than none I get low balled because of course, every company wants the best price and I get that! But I also need it to be worth my time and I, too, am running a business here. So I negotiate by giving my lowest offer if it’s a product I really really want (and most of the time at going to purchase anyways) or I explain why my prices are the way they are. Giving stats, success rates and knowing your worth and why you’re worth it is key!

  
8. If someone wants to start blogging today, do you think they can still be successful or is it "too late in the game"?

It’s never too late! New bloggers are popping up all of the time. If you are authentic, have a voice and stick to it, post every day, connect with others and really treat it as a full time job, you will get there. I promise it won’t be easy, even when you’ve got more followers than you ever imagined getting. It’ll be hard but it’s amazing when you get to speak your voice to the world and be creative and of course, be at home with your babies at the same time. But authenticity is key!

 

9. From one mommy blogger to another, what is your best advice on dealing with a healthy balance?

Set a schedule. I get so behind when I don’t stick to a schedule and if I randomly pull my computer out in the middle of the day and don’t have a plan, I find my self clicking around for literally hours. And it’s useless! I might as well have spent that time with my computer closed. Set a schedule, set to do lists and stick to them!

 

*MOM-LIFE HACK: Jenn works throughout the days while she watches Ava, but she always tries to take off weekends! The balance is key and learning to be present: When you're at work, be at work and when you're at home with the family, be at home with the family.
 

 

10. What is your biggest success and your biggest failure?

Success - Being able to grow my own full time business from the ground up. Never in a million years had I imagined doing this and even as the months go by I’m like, Wow! A month ago I said I’d never get here!

Failure - Doubting myself. Since blogging isn’t a steady income and some weeks I’ll book 10 campaigns and other weeks I’ll book 1, it’s hard keeping your head up through the lows and because it’s part of what supports my family along with my husbands income, it’s a lot of pressure! There have been so many times when I’ve said I wanted to give up and said I’d never get there but if I don’t have a goal and don’t have a goal I KNOW I can achieve, I’ll never get there.

 

 

To concluded this interview, we wanted to say if you're on the fence, we think you should give your blog a try, if you're willing to put in consistent work. Jenn told us that she is in a group of about 15 other bloggers and they all help each other out! Confident, secure people will lend you a hand and share with you more tricks of the trade. And, if you have a blog and have yet to see success, keep trying, as nothing worth having comes easy! For more of Jenn's picture-perfect life (literally), follow her on Instagram at @theoverwhelemedmommy. You can also check out her newest blog post by clicking here!

 

Please leave comments below + share your best blogging tips! Let us know what you thought!


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