When I started the Rustic Wedding Chic blog back in 2009 I never believed it would turn into the blog that it is today. I am so proud of the dedicated readership we have, the amount of talented wedding vendors we showcase and of course, we are so grateful for the supportive fans we have. My email inbox is always full of wedding submissions, ask Maggie questions and believe it or not, tons of emails filled with questions about blogging as a business, how I got started and what my day to day life is like. I thought I might take a few moments to share with you some of the questions I get asked most frequency both in person and by email. Want to learn even more about Rustic Wedding Chic as a company? Check out the press kit!
How Did You Get Started Blogging? I started blogging back in January of 2009 when I was engaged to be married and was planning a rustic chic wedding at my family’s summer home. I started to look for rustic wedding inspiration and ideas and was underwhelmed with what I found. I set out to create a blog dedicated to the brides planning a rustic, vintage, country wedding but who also wanted their day to be chic and elegant. From day one my goal was to provide brides with the inspiration they needed and the planning tools to build their day. I am so proud of what the RWC blog has developed in to and of course was over the moon when I published my first book in August 2012. The Rustic Wedding Chic book will be followed up with a new book, Barn Weddings coming out in the fall of 2013.
How Did You Build Rustic Wedding Chic Into A Brand? Simply, with lots of hard work. My main goal was to create not just a blog but a community of like-minded brides and provide them with resources, ideas and inspiration. In order to keep moving forward I work really hard everyday and am constantly looking at new opportunities to build the brand. For example we have a brand new project coming to the blog later this year which I could not be more excited about (more on that announcement soon). We have a set blog post schedule of 2 features a day Monday – Thursday and 1 post on both Friday and Saturday. I work everyday to make sure that we have the best features for our readers and we are scheduled about a month a head of time if not more. Just to give you an idea, what I was working on tonight you will read in early December. In addition to the blogging, I write for several other wedding magazines both in print and online and then I do tons of media appearances I do usually two to three TV shows a month reporting on wedding trends, offer planning advice & tips and more. Now, I understand it is not easy to just start a blog and the start showing up on TV shows as a wedding expert. I decided to invest in a great publicity team which helps to put all of these media relations in place. You can also read about how I turned my passion into a business in this article.
What Is Your Day To Day Life Like? My day to day life is probably no different than most peoples. It is crazy, and I spend most of the time trying to balancing work and motherhood. I can’t believe so many of the RWC readers are so curious about my day to day life, it seems so funny to me but I guess I can understand since I am always interested in the people behind the blogs that I love. Since becoming a mother back in February of 2011 my day to day life changes day to day.
At the moment I wake up around 6 when my husband leaves for work, I sit in bed with my phone until about 6:45 checking my email, getting updated on the blog traffic stats from the day before, scheduling press & interview request and just trying to see what the day holds for me. From 7am to 9am it is the usual morning shuffle and all about my son. Coffee, breakfast, diaper changes, showering and getting ready for the day. Close to 8 I sneak in the first social media (FB, Twitter, Pinterest) updates for the morning post on the blog.
With the help of a babysitter and my mother who lives close by I am able to sneak in some work (blog post), phone calls, publishing deadlines, emails, meetings and the occasional TV show taping. To be honest my day to day life changes depending on what needs my attention. I am lucky enough to be able to be available to take my son to fun classes, walks in town and play dates but the downside of being a working mother (with a flexible work schedule) it means working late in the evenings, every weekend and ANY time the baby naps.
As the Rustic Wedding Chic brand has grown I have had to figure out how to get all the work done without having to skimp on my family responsibilities. The best advice I have is advice a fellow blogger gave me which is always stop working to make a hot meal for your family. I am very proud of the fact that every night my husband, my son and I sit down to dinner together. After dinner it is clean up, Jack bath time, books, and then putting the little man to bed… and then I start working again. My husband, who also writes usually is working right next to me!
Any Tips For Turning A Blog Into A Business? There is no magic formula for making a blog into a business but I will say it takes dedication and like any other business, it takes a start-up investment. It does not cost much to set up a blog online but it does take some money to turn it into a business. I took the business of blogging very seriously which included trademarking the Rustic Wedding Chic name and logo, creating a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), Rustic Wedding Chic LLC and paying for top online site hosting and tech support. My advice is talk to a good attorney, work with a small business accountant and spend your money in the places that really count.
How & When Did You Get A Book Deal? I officially got the book deal to turn Rustic Wedding Chic into a book in October 2011. I have been so lucky to work with an amazing publishing company, Gibbs Smith Publishing on both my first and second book (a new 3rd book!). I had the idea to turn the blog inspiration into a book for awhile I just needed a good publisher to help me make it happen. I was introduced to one of the editors at Gibbs Smith back in September 2011 who encouraged me to submit my book proposal to her boss. I did and 10 months later the book was in the stores! See more about Rustic Wedding Chic the book and my new book, Barn Weddings.
What Other Wedding Outlets Do You Write For? I am so lucky to be able to have Rustic Wedding Chic as my full time job but I also write for a few other wedding outlets including DIY Weddings, Eco- Beautiful Magazine along with online outlets such as The Huffington Post. You can also see me on several TV shows reporting on wedding trends and offering planning advice, read more about that here.
Did You Go To School For Writing Or Technology?
Well, I think with the higher education system we have today, writing and technology is an important part of any field of study. I attended the University of Connecticut and majored in History along with a minor in Women’s Studies. After I graduated I went on to receive a Master’s Degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Yes, that is me to the left receiving my undergrad degree and starting out as a teacher.
Are You Married? I always find this question a funny one because you don’t have to be married to offer wedding advice but I guess there is something about actually going through the wedding planning process yourself. Yes, I am married! I got married in August of 2009 to a wonderful man who I had dated for 4 years (count ’em, yes 4) before tying the knot! My husband, Jon who is from NH and I am from CT decided to get married not in either one of our “home states” but in the very small Midwest town where my family has had a summer home for close to 62 years! The wedding was of course a very rustic chic affair filled with family, friends all lakeside.
Here are a few more FAQ’s I get:
How Old Are You? 31
Where Do You Live? Connecticut, about 50 minutes from NYC.
Do You Work From Home: Yes, the majority of my work is done from home since I have a two year old son, Jack but I do often like to work other places so I can get out of the house. I sometimes will work at a coffee shop or the library or even just in my backyard so I can get fresh air.
What Was Your Original Start Up Cost In Rustic Wedding Chic: To be honest it was very little. My mother helped by giving me $1850 to have a one of a kind hand drawn logo made and my brother who is the President of a technology company helped by setting up my wordpress theme and showing me how to get my blog up and running. There are cost that go along with running a blog since it pays to invest in good hosting and good backup systems so don’t think just because your company is online there is no overhead – there is.
Do You Have A Staff: I can’t really say that we have a staff in the traditional terms of having several people report to work every day but yes, RWC is lucky enough to have grown to have a staff. Our staff includes talented writers, photographers, tech smarties and more. In addition to myself we have, M Carson who does blogging for us and Susan, who oversees the Rustic Wedding Guide and we have Charlie, who does graphics and layouts and then a few contributing writers as well.
How Do You Decide What To Post On The Blog? Our readers love real weddings so we try to feature at least one a day. After the real weddings we fill in with other inspiration for a rustic wedding, everything from invitations to wedding gowns to bridesmaid dresses to ask Maggie advice. I preview every submission myself (last check I had over 100 submission in my email inbox just from the past two days) so it takes time but I honestly feel that the images speak for themselves. If the wedding is a beautiful and creative one I know our readers will want to see it.
Advice For Working Mothers? No, only sympathy. It is not easy to be both a mother and have a career. And it seems almost impossible to do both jobs well, so for me its about taking it one day at a time.
What Part Of Your Business Are You Most Proud Of? No question, I am above all the most proud of the fact that I am a female entrepreneur and owner of a technology company.
Where Do You See Your Company Going? I guess the sky is really the limit since I never dreamed RWC would be what it is today. I always had hope that the blog would be a success but like any other entrepreneur I struggled with how to get moving and how to standout from among the millions of blogs out there. We are very proud to have added the Rustic Wedding Guide to our family of sites since we knew all you rustic country brides were looking for the best rustic wedding venues and vendors I love the book series that I currently have going with Rustic Wedding Chic and Barn Weddings and I just started working on a third book with my good friend, photographer, Maggie Carson Romano (more on that project coming soon). I think in the digital age we live in it is so important to still have beautiful books filled with good information and resources. I really love doing the live TV segments and the radio appearances so if I had to guess where I would like to see the company going, I guess it would be in that direction. I would love to turn the Ask Maggie idea into a radio show on something like XM radio.