“Isn’t blogging just writing in an online journal everyday?” – Clueless me over 3 years ago before becoming a full-time stepmom blogger
I had no idea you could make a living from running a blog—a blog that will help others—but here I am, a full year after quitting my job!
I love what I get to do everyday, and many of you have asked me what it’s like being a stepmom blogger. Spoiler Alert: it is a ton of fun and extremely rewarding, but it has its disadvantages.
I get to change lives every single day.
It’s truly unbelievable the messages I receive every single day. Stepmoms reach out all of the time to thank me for this resource and to share that it’s comforting to know they’re not alone and they feel better equipped in their stepmom roles.
I didn’t author all of the life-changing posts. I don’t run this platform alone. But I do get to lead the movement, and it is far more fulfilling than any corporate position I’ve ever held.
I have to share my insecurities and fears with the entire world.
Although immensely fulfilling, being a stepmom blogger is also extremely vulnerable.
All of my doubts, concerns, insecurities, and fears, are on the internet for the entire world to read.
And when I say the entire world, that includes my husband, his ex-wife, her new husband, her family, my stepdaughter, my husband’s family, my family, and strangers I don’t even know.
I have to be cognizant of others’ feelings.
There are two sides to every story, and the way that I perceive a story is certainly not the same perspective as my husband, his ex, or my stepdaughter, and I have to be hyper-aware of that.
When I write a blog post, I try to write with everyone else’s stories and feelings in mind.
I also try not to write someone else’s story—only my own. In the rare instances that I do write about someone else’s story (for example, when I wrote about how my stepdaughter told me she wishes her mom and dad were still together), I run the story by the other party to confirm it doesn’t misrepresent their perspective.
There’s a fine line to walk when you share your experiences and feelings about sharing custody, especially when you’re in the midst of it all.
Strangers compare us and judge me.
Just like I get positive comments and emails regularly, I also get disparaging comments regularly.
Often, it’s someone from a fake account who wants to tell me I’m an awful stepmom, my stepdaughter deserves better, or I need to just shut up and let my stepdaughter’s mom be the mom.
Even though I know I have my stepdaughter’s mom’s blessing on this blog (we ran it together!), it can still hurt to have someone attack me like that.
Beyond those nonsensical comments, I also have some that really hit my insecurities. One time, a photo of my stepdaughter and both sides of her family that I had posted on Instagram was reposted by another account.
Someone commented on the repost “Mom upgraded and Dad downgraded” with zero knowledge of our situation or what I bring to the table.
My stepdaughter’s mom is a very petite and beautiful woman. I am 5’5″ and have struggled with my weight my entire life. I’ll never look the way she does; it’s that simple.
I don’t believe my husband “downgraded” just because I don’t look the same way, but sometimes those second wife insecurities will really eat at me, and those comments get me down a little more on those days.
I already made comparisons on my own, but as a stepmom blogger, other people do it for you.
I have found some incredible friends.
When you join a stepmom support group, and especially when you run one alongside incredible staff and volunteers, you will find people who get it.
I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had from our stepmom support group, Stepmomming Ain’t Easy, and it has transformed my stepmom outlook.
I’ve also done some fun collaborations, from attending a conference with The Inclusive Stepmom to awesome podcast interviews with GradyBird Blog and many others. Other incredible collaborations include the Successful Stepmom’s Toolbelt with stepmom experts like Jenna Korf and Stepmom Magazine and the distinct honor of being featured on a segment for the TODAY show with Naja Hall, Kendall Rose, and others!
The stepmom blogger community contains some of the most supportive, genuinely kind people I’ve ever met.
Work/life balance is difficult as a blogger.
When your work is all online, it can be really difficult to step away from your phone and computer.
There are all of the daily tasks like writing an Instagram caption, replying to emails requesting advice, approving comments on the blog, and coaching stepmoms.
Then, there are all of the weekly tasks like writing a blog post, optimizing posts for Search Engine Optimization, sharing a personal post in our private Facebook group for stepmoms, and writing the newsletter to the email club.
On top of those tasks, I’m working on collaborations, new products and resources, networking with others in the stepfamily space, and taking every training I can get my hands on to be sure I’m serving my audience the very best I can.
In fact, one day, I wrote out my entire to-do list for my husband so he could see how many balls I truly had up in the air on any given day, and he was astounded. It’s not as simple as just writing a blog post.
It’s not a hobby; it’s a business.
As much as I’d love to spend all of my time creating resources for stepmoms and give it all away for free, it’s simply not an option. I wholeheartedly believe in this mission, and I believe that helping stepmoms is the greatest career in the world.
My expenses for this business last year were nearly $40,000. It costs a LOT of money to keep a web-based business online. From the domain and hosting to email providers and other software necessary to run the business, add in staff, training resources, and other miscellaneous items (like office supplies), and it adds up very quickly.
I often receive feedback that I am taking advantage of stepmoms by charging for some of my products, but the truth is, 99% of my content is free. There are more than 300 blog posts available with advice and insight on this site, I’ve done many podcast interviews and Facebook Live videos, I have dozens of freebies available here on the site.
But I also have to pay my bills and support my family if I’m going to spend 40-60 hours per week creating these resources.
So, there you have it! In a nutshell, that’s what it’s like being a stepmom blogger. It’s a ton of fun and extremely rewarding, but it takes a lot of courage, time, and money, too.
Have any questions I didn’t address? Ask in the comments below, and I’ll make sure to answer!
P.S. Curious what I mean about vulnerability? This was one of my most vulnerable posts: The Day I Realized I was not Best Friends with Bio Mom Anymore.