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18 Feb

Why Blog? It’s a Great Pathway to Getting a Job

Many of us think of blogging as the answer to earning an at home income. Ask any blogger who's been at it for a while and they will tell you that creating the blog is the easy part, making money from it is a whole other ball game. Yes, there are many successful bloggers out there who are earning a living just from running their sites. But many of these successful bloggers are also marketers who understand how to build audiences and how to work with brands to accomplish marketing goals.

For instance, Andrea Fellman of SavvySassyMoms has worked tirelessly to build online content that resonates with readers. She has a tremendous following both online and in social media. With more than 55,000 twitter followers, 7,000 Pinterest Followers and 8,000 Facebook fans Andrea is able to to reach a lot of Moms and for that advertisers will pay. In fact Andrea has done so well as a blogger that she and her family moved to Costa Rica last year.  This is an amazing example of why it pays to blog. Congrats Andrea!

But don't let the money be your motivation. Blogging develops skills. To be a blogger you must learn to write and write well. You will learn to manage WordPress, which is a highly sought-after skill set these days. You will also have to learn how to properly utilize social media to promote your blog. Hootsuite, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will become your best friends. You may even become a video producer and learn iMovie or other editing software and become familiar with posting to Vimeo and You Tube. If you look up job descriptions for Social Media Managers online they all list these skills and tools in the job description. But you can't just know how to use the tools, you have to have shown proven success with building audiences and developing messaging with social media.

In a recent article on BlogHer, CB Harmon writes "With great trepidation, I sat down to write my resume last summer, after a 13-year (yes I'm old) hiatus from corporate America. It was only then, when I sat down to reflect on what I'd been doing since I began blogging in 2009, that I realized the vast number of skills I've acquired, skills that employers want."  Those skills included understanding of SEO, an ability to write keyword rich content, writing and editing skills, expertise in producing and delivering effective email campaigns, social media expertise and video recording and editing experience. WOW! That's exactly what most Digital Media Manager jobs ask for in the skill set. 

Also, blogging is a way to stay sharp, to keep your head in the game and give you some time out of Mommydom and "kids speak" all day. It's also a way to build your business network. I have met so many companies, decision makers and business professionals because of my blogging. It also gives me something else to chat about at cocktail parties and the Dads I am chatting with don't instantly walk away when I tell them I am a stay at home Mom. (Working Dads often find that having one stay at home Mom - their wife - to chat with is often all they can handle at a cocktail party.)

So start blogging ladies!  All it takes is one simple topic. Pick something you know, something you are passionate about writing about and just start writing.  Here are some examples of Moms who took their passions or their kids passions and turned them into a blog.

SkateMamas tagline is "Move over soccer Moms." Eva G and Bernadette R are moms of boys who love to skateboard. They hold court at the skate park, but they will always make room for one more. Just be sure that you have enough snacks for all of them. The ice cream man joins them at around four each day, and he never has any change. Just sayin.

My blog, MomAngeles, is a curated online resource for busy LA Moms. I started by gathering info on the places we were hosting playdates and it just grew from there. My passion for everything LA is what fuels my site. 

My friend Susanna blogs at NotJune and she and my other friend "Pauline" both blog about their divorces at DivorcedMomsthe leading resource and community for divorced moms to connect, communicate, express their passion and thoughts, share experiences and find expert information and advice.

There's also a gazillion food bloggers out there. But son't let that stop you. You have a voice. Figure out your niche and go for it. But we also recommend checking out this list of Top Food Bloggers because it might give you some ideas. 

How do you get started? I recommend just picking a free WordPress template to get started. Why spend any money until you know for sure what you are doing? And don't let a clever name or web address hang you up. MomAngeleswas originally called LA Toddler Fun. You can always come up with a cute name and port all of your content to a new WordPress site later. Just buy a web address on Go Daddy and set-up a WordPress hosting account. They walk you through the whole process. Don't buy any extra bells or whistles. Remember - you are just starting out.

Ready to hire someone? I wish I had a list of inexpensive WordPress designers. But I don't. Hopefully as our Directory grows more and more  web designers will add themselves to our listings. And as I find them I will add them to this post too.

Also - see these great tips from The Mommyhood Project. Great content advice! We borrowed our pic from her too. Thanks Mommyhood!

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11 Feb

JVS WoMentoring Program Helps Women with Work

JVS’ WoMentoring program has helped hundreds of women in crisis or transition realize their career goals and dreams through one-on-one mentoring partnerships, demonstrating the power of women helping women.

Founded twelve years ago, the program supports women seeking a new career direction while emerging from a personal or professional crisis.

Paired with a mentor who has an established career in the participant’s chosen field, each mentee works closely with her mentor and the JVS career counseling staff to reach a career milestone. Graduates have gone on to jobs in banking, government, non-profit, retail and other industries. Several have started their own businesses and have returned to become mentors themselves.WoMentoring is funded in part by Terri and Jerry Kohl, Debbie and Rick Powell, Union Bank, Wells Fargo and the WoMentoring Leadership Network.

To apply to be a Mentee, click here. To apply to be a Mentor, click here.

The WoMentoring Leadership Network (WLN) is a donor support group, committed to sustaining and enhancing JVS' WoMentoring initiative, click here to learn more. If you would like to make your WLN membership donation online, please click here.

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