18 July 2007

Beyond Bizlex: Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase's flagship blog is aptly called Motherhood Uncensored. She's not shy about sharing what's on her mind. Don't click on the link if you're uncomfortable reading a rated-R blog; try her rated-G Mom Trap instead.

And yet companies line up to work with her, and slap their brands right next to the condom box on her blog. Kristen has assembled an impressive network of media properties that emphasize the strength of the community she's built and her own online street cred. People read her blogs and listen to her radio show because she's smart, funny, and authentic, and she talks about the things that moms care about most. Companies that can handle the huge picture of the condom box quickly learn the value of working with properties like Parent Bloggers Network (I have) or simply paying attention to how she leads - no, creates - discussions her Blog Exchange. I honestly think the media network that signs her up (I think it has to be something in sattelite radio, online or cable) won't be sorry. Here's what Kristen had to say to me for my Business Lexington column:

Why do you blog?

I initially started blogging to connect with other people through my stories about motherhood. Being a new mom stuck in a house with a really cranky baby left me desperate to interact with anyone who didn't find motherhood to be a glamourous, soul-saving endeavor. The community of blogging has embraced a side of me I never knew existed until someone handed me a baby (oh if it were only that easy) and a

When did you discover you could make money doing it?

I really stumbled upon the actual ad revenue of blogging thanks to a fellow well-connected blogger who took me under her wing. With her guidance, I ended up signing up for an ad network and suddenly I was getting a check at the end of each month. As far as writing-for-hire, I was very fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. I applied for a blogging position at Clubmom, and through both that blog as well as my personal blog, I've been afforded opportunities that have turned into paid columns and other freelance writing gigs.

Separately, I saw a niche for a shopping blog with savvy writing and cool products, many of which were made by moms who had decided to give up their busy careers for life at home with their kids. What started as a way to connect mom-trepreneurs with an audience turned into another way to provide an income source for my household.

How has the Internet helped you build relationships and global businesses?

The internet makes the world incredibly small and accessible. It seems that in this world, particularly blogging, everyone knows everybody else somehow, thus allowing for countless connections with people I would have never known had I not been blogging. Plus, anyone who's anyone is blogging these days.

Is this something you'd like to do long-term?

I imagine I'd like to see where the blogging platform can take me. Spending my days tied to the computer has become a bit tiresome, but when I feel as though all my energy is drained, I can step back, take a break, and return refreshed and renewed. The ability to make money working from home and doing something that I enjoy seems incredibly wrong. But also, amazingly satisfying. But that's not to say I wouldn't be open to trying other things.

What advice would you give moms who are starting out?

Write from your heart and tell your stories. And read blogs. Persistence and good writing will take you far. And your children will thank you later in your life (at least you hope they will and not be terribly embarrassed).

Next up: Liz Gumbinner, and then Elisa Camahort.

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