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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Blogging as a career

Over the years, many readers have asked about my career and blogging. So, I figured I'd write a post answering the most frequently asked questions (including moving to New York, boyfriends and break-ups)...

Why did you first move to New York?
I moved from Michigan to New York almost eleven years ago. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I stayed in Ann Arbor for six months and worked three jobs to save up enough money to move to New York. My first gig here was a full-time unpaid internship with Cosmopolitan Magazine for three months, to help get my foot in the door. I also tutored every day after work and on weekends to make money. I was super broke and had butterflies in my stomach, but was thrilled to finally be in the city.

How broke?
I was almost literally pinching pennies. Every day I'd order a $1.50 bagel with cream cheese for lunch, and I always really wanted to add tomatoes, but for an extra sixty cents, I simply couldn't afford it. Every night I would walk home from work, since I didn't want to splurge on the $2 bus fare. My first apartment was a small one-bedroom sublet in midtown which I shared with a guy friend, and he slept in the bedroom and I slept with a blanket on the old sofa in the living room. Now and again we had cockroaches and, even on the hottest days, we never turned on the air conditioner because we couldn't pay extra on the utility bill. I cannot begin to tell you how much spaghetti I ate for dinner that year, just because it was the cheapest dish I could think of! Now whenever we have spaghetti, it takes me right back.

It was a drag to be so broke, but at the same time, it was exciting. I felt like I was paying my dues. If you ask pretty much anyone who lives in New York, they'll regale you with terrible apartment stories, crazy roommate sagas, a history of scrimping and saving when they first arrived. It's a rite of passage.

What was your first job?
Growing up I had a million jobs at restaurants, coffee shops, babysitting, shoveling snowy driveways, etc....but after my first few months in New York, I landed a full-time real job as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster (book publishing) for a year.

And then I decided to go to law school.

Law school?
Law school was a big departure. But back when I was graduating from college, I randomly took the LSAT, and when I did well on it, I figured I'd just apply to schools, and when I got in, I figured I might as well send in the deposit. One thing came after another, and it was a bit of a snowball effect. I figured I'd try it for a year. So I applied for student loans and started at NYU School of Law in 2002.

How did it go?
That year was really miserable. Part of it was personal—my college boyfriend and I had broken up, and I was pretty devastated; I lived in a tiny ground-floor dorm that looked out onto crowded Broadway, so I had to keep the blinds closed all day, and there was a hot-dog stand right outside my window, so the whole place smelled like boiled meat. Part of it was law school, itself—I missed working in books and magazines. I felt like I didn't fit in with the other students and felt lame. I called my mom like 50 times a day. I sobbed on my dad's shoulder when I went home for Thanksgiving. After finishing the first year, I decided to leave law school. That was actually an easy decision, despite knowing I'd have to somehow repay all the loans (a whopping $54,000 for just one year, zoinks!)

How did you pay back the loans?
As soon as I left law school, I felt flooded with relief. I knew I had made the right decision, even though it was a much, much less secure career path. To help repay the loans, I tutored and taught the LSAT for Kaplan on evenings and weekends, which was actually an awesome job. I made friends with some of the students, since many were my age. During the day, I got a full-time job with a small editorial/advertising firm. It was GREAT to work for a small company because I got a ton of work thrown at me and was just expected to figure it out. The atmosphere was intense, but I loved being trusted to get the work done, and the job gave me confidence that I could do anything. I rose up the ranks quickly (as you can in a small company), and also learned a lot about business, since the owner of the company was an incredible negotiator; I watched her approach big, intimidating brands and basically say, "We are worth this huge price; you should sign with us right away and you will never look back," and people basically did. She showed me by example that you can ask for the moon and, if you really believe in yourself, actually get it.

What did you do at the company?
My position was an editor, and, over the four years I was there, we worked on some amazing projects. My favorite was launching a magazine called Bene, which was about how to live like an Italian (think: mozzarella, thick sweaters, mama's boys). It was a dream project and I was asked to take the helm. I worked like a million hours a day, and my boyfriend at the time thought I was the biggest type-A stress case (which I was), but overall I loved it.

When did you start your blog?
Five years ago, I broke up with that same boyfriend and needed a distraction from feeling sad (read: eating potato chips and watching TV). (Funny that now that I'm writing this bio, breakups seem to be at the crux of all my positive life decisions! When a door closes, a window opens, right?) To distract myself, I decided to start a blog. None of my friends had one, and I only read a few—Design*Sponge mostly. Blogging as a career didn't really exist; never did I imagine Cup of Jo would be anything more than a fun hobby. So I worked on it at night and on weekends. I got really into it and would stay up til 2am working on it. (Here's my first post!:)

When did your blog start making money?
As I said here, shifting from blogging-as-a-hobby to blogging-as-a-career was a very slow transition and one that I had never anticipated. After a year or so, I started featuring a few ads on my blog to earn some pocket money. And after a couple years, I quit my job to focus on freelance magazine writing (Glamour, New York Magazine) and grow my blog, so it became about half my income. But only about a year ago did I finally realize that my blog had officially become my full-time job—both financially and time-wise. And I was happy and surprised. (Also here's my work/life balance post, if you'd like to know more.)

What are your favorite parts of blogging?
* Having a close relationship with my beloved readers. Starting the Motherhood Mondays column took the relationship to a new level (do you agree?:), because we started discussing marriage, breastfeeding, depression, infertility, everything. Having these conversations has been an incredible, eye-opening, heartwarming experience.
* I LOVE LOVE LOVE when readers stop us in the street because it's so awesome to meet readers in person. Blogging can feel isolating sometimes, since you work on a laptop at home, so it's amazing to meet people. (And everyone is always so nice and cute!:)
* Writing about a bunch of different topics. If we do a bedroom makeover or I read a fascinating parenting book or I'm itching to write a guide to NYC, I can just do it. That's great, since when you work for a magazine, your "beat" tends to be much more limited. And the great thing is, if I start feeling in a rut, I can just shake things up. It's a real gift to have editorial control.
* Working with photographers, designers and illustrators. Now and again, I've worked with super talented people, like Jamie Beck, Jenny Komenda and Gemma Correll. It's been such a pleasure and honor. I'd love to do more collaborations in the future.
* Alex being awesome. Alex helps a lot with my blog, not so much in the nitty gritty, but just overarching conversations about ideas, worries, etc. He jokes that I'm the CEO, but he's the chief strategist, director of communications, personal chef, mailroom guy, and psychotherapist for Cup of Jo. :) And he's written a couple posts, including 8 confessions of a new dad and his side of the birth story.

What are your least favorite parts of blogging?
Obviously, I feel super lucky to have the job I do, and any negative aspects are absolutely worth it. But I think it's important sometimes to talk about negative parts of your job, so that other people don't assume your job is perfect and thus feel bad about their jobs. (It's like when you're secretly psyched to read that food critics often get food poisoning:) So here are a few things that can be a drag...

* Negative comments. You know that punched-in-the-gut feeling you get when someone criticizes you? Well, if you have a big blog, you get negative comments pretty much every day, so you have that feeling at some point every day. Sometimes the comments are just from someone cranky (and then this mantra applies), but often they're from smart readers and thus are really constructive and helpful for growth. I take negative comments seriously and try to learn from them. Criticism helps you grow, as both a blogger and person, and of course I welcome honest comments from my readers. Like I said, though, negative comments can be very tough to read. I've always been sensitive to criticism, and I'll admit, I've called my mom in tears more than once. It can feel very personal when you're writing about yourself and your life.
* Feeling isolated. While working from home, it's easy to feel lonely without co-workers, especially when you're working on the laptop on your bed, ha! It's often fun and social to have a team around you...and sometimes I just want to gossip about The Bachelor the next morning! It's also tough to never have a sounding board—even just a co-worker to ask, is this idea good or totally crazy?
* Working on vacations/Christmas/weekends/etc. Since I started Cup of Jo five years ago, I don't think I’ve ever taken a vacation where I didn't spend some time working—including our honeymoon. Blogging never stops, and running your own business never stops. Since I don't have anyone else working with me who can take over in my absence, I always have to take time to check in (to upload guest posts, to answer timely advertising questions, etc.). After all, my advertisers are depending on being able to communicate with me, and I owe it to them to have my traffic stay the same even when we're out of town. I don't really mind it, though, since I feel lucky to be blogging overall.

Has Toby changed your work approach?
Having a baby forces you (in a good way) to take time off. Whereas I used to take on a million side projects, I don’t anymore. And I love that we have hours built in every evening to go to the playground, sing, play the bongos, make jokes, ride bikes. Apparently the average toddler laughs 400 times a day, and those throaty giggles are totally contagious. Alex is also really laid-back and talented at relaxing (ha), so that has been good for me. He has taught me to stop more often and smell the roses.

Any advice for growing a blog?
People will like reading your blog—and you'll enjoy writing it—if you're true to yourself and your posts come from the heart. When you write a post, imagine your mom or best friend reading it. Does it sound like your voice? Does the topic fascinate or inspire you? Is the post clear, enticing and visual? Do you have a point of view that's different from other bloggers? Write about what you love. I think everyone has an amazing blog inside them, or a story to tell, and I really encourage people to go for it. If you're starting out, best of luck!

Do you have any tips about starting a magazine career?
I did an interview about my magazine work which might answer some questions. I also love the websites Media Bistro and Ed2010. They have great advice about pitching stories and interviewing; plus, they have job and internship listings. There are obviously many different paths to success, and I would recommend staying very open to opportunities (even low-paying or no-paying ones, at first) and doing all you can to get your foot in the door. Good luck!

What is the biggest misconception about bloggers?
When it’s done right, blogging should look easy—just how magazine articles and books should look easy and fun. But it doesn’t mean that it is easy. I wrote about the behind-the-scenes of running a bigger blog in this interview. There's so much back-end work, including negotiating with advertisers, redesigning your site, working closely with lawyers when developing contracts, hiring contributors and graphic designers, building a presence on social media, answering hundreds and hundreds of reader emails every day, doing guest posts and interviews, the list goes on. Funnily enough, after a while, the actual writing-of-the-posts feels like only a small part of your daily work (even though that's obviously the best part!:).

How do you earn money and handle advertising?
For the past six years, I've sold most of the ads myself. I've worked primarily with small brands, such as etsy shops and jewelry designers. I love working with small business owners and supporting female entrepreneurs.

Now I've also decided to work with an ad network that handles banner ads for bloggers. It's a big step, but I'm excited to free up more time to focus on editorial posts. Starting now, I'll also be doing a few sponsored posts per month, which I typically sell directly to brands myself. For years, I didn't accept sponsored posts, but now I've seen that they work really well with brands you actually love (such as Pinhole Press and The Honest Company). And I'll mark them very clearly with text at the top or bottom of the post. So, it will be very clear when something is sponsored; I hope you guys will enjoy the posts, which will help keep Cup of Jo running smoothly.

What do you think about the future of blogging?
I always tell Alex that I'm riding the wave. Blogs probably won't be around forever (although of course I hope they will!) and you never know how quickly the industry will change. After all, when I started five years ago, I never thought blogging could be a job, and now it is, and maybe it won't be in the future. There's definitely not much job security. But I'm grateful to be doing it now, and hope to keep blogging for as long as possible.

If you have read this far, bravo, haha! Thank you so much, and I hope this answered most of your questions (and probably way more:) If you have any others, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I want to reiterate how much I love blogging and how much I love my readers. Thank you again (so much) for everything. Love, Joanna

492 comments:

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karli said...

The comment about asking for the moon and getting it - was that from Mad Men? There was an episode where Conrad Hilton leaves Sterling Cooper in a Huff because Don didn't include the moon in his ad campaign.

P.S. Your pinterest is great; maybe you should start a tumblr as well :]

Amy Lauree said...

My husband and I visited New York last year (without the baby, yay!) and I was dying to see two people: Yourself and Tina Fey (ha!). Anyway, maybe one day when we make the trip back :)
I have thoroughly enjoyed following your blog for the past couple of years since I had my first daughter and was at home on maternity leave. Your blog is so positive, lovely and inspiring and it's helped me to try to find the fun things to do in life, get out there and try new restaurants, or whatever my city has to offer, not to mention you have introduced me to so many wonderful products, ideas and hair tutorials :)
I'm glad you do what you do. And if working with another company for ads and doing sponsored ads is what keeps you going, it's small price to pay for the reader to see it on your page if it means you can continue this blog! Thank you!
Amy

Laura said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and process! It is so encouraging :)

Kate said...

TOtally wish I could be so lucky. I love writing, I love my blog, and I adore editing. Sigh. Alas, it's not meant to be. Happily, I can devour your blog and a few others while on my little breaks. Thanks for everything!

May said...

What I'm going to say has already been said before me but I just read every word of this post and I loved everything. This is so relevant to me as I am a college student figuring out what I want to do in my career. Your story shows that you never know where you're going to end up, but ultimately you'll be where you're supposed to be. Also that there will be rough patches and when you are just starting out, nothing is below you and any experience is a good one. You are an amazing woman to look up to! Thank you for this wonderful post - it is so honest and real.

xo.

Mabs Cheong said...

Hi Jo, i have been your anonymous reader for some time now. But today i decided to put in a comment to show you that your effort in writing amazing posts are not wasted. =)

And! The "mantra" is cute! Mind if i borrow it when in time of need. LOL. ;)

Keep up the great work!

mabs

Walker said...

Love this insight into the blogging world. I've been in-and-out blogging for the last six years, but can't seem to find my voice (other than pictures of my daughter, which are really just for my mom). I keep thinking I'll sit down one day and write something worth reading, but lightening is yet to strike. I enjoy hearing how you've evolved into full-time blogging. Thanks!

Kristy said...

Joanna,
Thank you for sharing all of this insight and background. It's wonderful. I've had many of these questions in my head, but have never actually asked you. I really enjoy reading your blog every day.
Kristy

Kim said...

Such a good post. With writing as one of my greatest passions, I have been blogging on and off for a few years now, and just recently I have started anew. It's funny: putting your life out there in the open for all to read, then one day wanting to pull the plug and hide from everything you've ever shared. But you are right; to have readers (whether it be 3 or 3 million) is such an honor and even though I only blog to get things off of my chest while I live alone, talking to my dog and eating spaghetti, its nice to know that maybe someone out there is doing the same thing and can relate.

holtkamp said...

thanks for the post! we love you too! :)

marie_mee said...

This was incredible. Thank you for sharing. Will check back often. Keep on!

Best Wishes,
The Quirky Antiqurian xx

Allie Shultz said...

Thank you so much for writing this post Joanna! I have absolutely loved reading your blog for years now and it was a major part of what inspired me to start my own blog. After blogging for less than a month I had so many questions, so this post was timed perfectly. I love your blog and read it every day. It continues to be something I aspire to for my own little blog!

Katelyn said...

I've been kidding aroun d for years that you're the woman I want to be when I grow up (now I'm 22), and this post solidified that for me for real. I'm a recent transplant to NYC from the Midwest having just finished my bachelors degree. I currently intern and work night hours at a gym to try to get by while I get my life together. Like you, I call my mom daily on the verge of tears and spend my days wishing I was back in Milwaukee drinking beers and living the cheap life.

But seeing you write about where you started and where you've ended up was incredibly inspirational. I have printed out this post and hung it by my bed as a constant reminder that "this too shall pass."

You truly are the raddest person I've never met and I look up to you in a real major way.

Thank you SO much for this post.

Johanna said...

thank you for sharing joanna! i love everything you post, but i love your personal stuff the best :-) i live in toronto but sometimes i wish i lived in NYC so i could bump into you on the street! you truly feel like a friend :-)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this. Your story and your outlook on life are so inspiring, and the way you write about it is so relatable! Thanks for keeping us entertained :)

Jennifer Bridges said...

I love your blog! I don't know how I stumbled upon it but now I check it everyday and I started my own blog. it's so fun! Thanks for the inspiration. These are the things I like most about yr blog
1. The posts are brief, don't usually have time to get too much reading in (especially online reading)
2. They are always positive, even if they are emotional, they aren't depressing
3. The links and guest blogs you source
4. Your cute little family!

Miss Mel said...

Love this post!It was really inspiring!

missmelandmissheather@blogspot.com

Caitlin said...

I really enjoyed reading this, and reminded me why I enjoy your site. You seem to be a very honest, open person, which is welcoming.

These are also great tips about blogging in general. I hope to put the to good use.

Can't wait to see the redesign! I bet it will be very snazzy.

Keli said...

I felt a wave of nostalgia reading this post and your interview about a career in magazines. I wrote passionately for my high school and college newspapers so much so that friends used to joke that one day they'd be buying my magazine at the grocery store. I don't know what happened but have ended as far from writing as I ever thought (I, too, dabbled in the law school thing). Anyways, in reliving those memories while reading this post, I realized that I never took the plunge to move to New York and try my hand at a career in writing, which leads me to this question: Is it necessary to move to NYC to ignite a successful career in magazine writing/editing? Thank you for an inspiring post!

Mad Max and Family said...

Great, honest post. Thank you! I wish more bloggers could be up front with honesty. I had a similiar situation to you (moving to NYC, breakups that inspired new opportunities .. worked in advertising, etc).

I'm glad you are enjoying blogging. I'm enjoying it too and working on a creative venture that will hopefully stem from blogging first.

-Tara
http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com
http://blog.chron.com/madabouttown/

Mariah said...

Thanks for taking the time to write this! I am just getting into the field of blogging and I find it can be very overwhelming at first! I have been impressed by so many of the women bloggers that I've seen who are an inspiration. I'm excited to become a part of this community!
www.thebarefootbeat.com

melly said...

You are AWESOME!

Julie Blake said...

I just read your entire post just eager for more! Thank you so much for sharing your story {and about living in NYC, moving there in October for an internship}! I started blogging almost 3 years ago and I love it, although my blog is more of a personal journal and inspirational pictures. Anyway, I've read yours for a few years now and it's one that I check daily! Keep up the great work and hopefully I'll run in to you and the family one day in NYC!

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring post.

Thank you so much for taking the time to fill us all in! Was a really interesting read :)

You're doing such an amazing job. I haven't visited your blog often but you've certainly caught my attention.

Have a wonderful week

Shal xo

Emmy said...

What a gem of a post! Applause for taking the time and effort to write something so heartfelt, personal, and fascinating.

Thanks also for always providing links to past posts of yours- I absolutely loved Alex's posts on both Toby's birth and his dad 'confessions'. Really enjoyable reads.

I love your blog so much!

Jennifer said...

I truly think this is one of the best little spots on the internet! so glad your hard work is being compensated!

maybe you'll get a kick out of this: one of my friends tweeted about Alex's recent story on the NYT, and when I saw it, my first reaction was, "hey I know his wife!"

Lauren said...

Thanks for posting this. I feel like I've learned so much more about you. I think it's great you changed paths when it wasn't working out for you. So many times we tell ourselves to stick with something, we don't want to quit or "fail", which can of course be good. But sometimes we also need to know when to throw in the towel and say this isn't right for me. Imagine how different your life would be as a lawyer. I'm so glad you aren't. I love reading your words. :) thanks for being so transparent here!

Julie Spen said...

Well, this post couldn't have come at a better time! After much debate (and nervousness) I finally took the plunge with a new blog today (as I was in need of a creative outlet). Thanks so much for sharing!

Julie
http://rippedtightsandpinstripes.blogspot.com/

Jessica Flett said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this post together. It was a terrific read. I have admired your blog for a long time. Congratulations! Jx

amandar_001 said...

Thanks so much for all the info in this post.
I must say, I really REALLY love reading your blog. You truly have a gift for writing in a way that feels like talking to a good friend, you share, rather than talk at people, which I admire so much. And all your posts are always a perfect blend of honesty, humour, and substance.
Bravo, you really are a great inspiration to all us girls out there!

M! said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG SO MUCH.
Its my morning ritual: I go make a cup of jo(!) with a little milk, get back into bed, pull my laptop into bed with me again, rearrange the pillows and go straight in to your blog. I live in Norway, so usually you will have posted while I'm asleep.

My boyfriend will usually hang out at sports or politics-pages, but when I log onto your blog - ever so often he will lean over and read with me.

So... I guess we both have kinda huge crushes on you. :)

Keep up the good work!

Vicki ShoppeGirls said...

Thank you for sharing your story about how you became the wonderful blogger you are. I am in awe of all you have achieved. Congratulations and well done.
Vicki

www.shoppegirls.blogspot.com

Caroline said...

Like some other people commented above I am also worried about your blog becoming more commercial. For example, in the text at the bottom right of your page you write you would only feature sponsored posts a couple of times per year but as you stated in the interview you will now do this every month... I already find it now 'borderline' wrt the number of giveaway posts and other commercial texts.

Anonymous said...

love you for calling your mum in tears reading negative comments!!! i tend to keep these offenses to myself and probably it's wrong...it really hurts. <3<3

Franzi said...

Hey Joanna! I really liked this post - it gave a perfect insight and was helpfull in many aspects. I especially liked your statements about what you like about blogging and what not so much. Thank you :)
One small question I still have: You said that you started featuring a few ads on your blog after a year of blogging. How did you proceed back then? Did you get into contact with the brands or did the ask you first?
Have a nice day! Franzi

Kate Wyver said...

This is such a wonderful, sweet, heartfelt post. Since I started blogging A Cup of Jo has been one of my all time favourite blogs, and has given me so much inspiration. I love that you are always so honest and seem to really love your readers.
Thank you for everything you've done on this blog!

Lynn said...

I think it's hard for those of us who work in "the industry" to read this and find it 100% genuine. While I'm not opposed to people making money doing something that provides other people value (your readers get a tremendous amount of value, obviously), I like transparency. I don't think you've ever mentioned your relationship with Say Media and how that may have influenced your "The Best XYZ You'll Ever Have" posts since Smitten Kitchen, Food 52, Mom Filter, etc are also members of that blog network. The "dear friend" who redecorated your bedroom is part of Say Media. While it's not advertising, it feels inauthentic to feature recipes to drive traffic when you don't cook.

I almost wish I didn't know about the industry so I could just comment "OMG, I LOVE blueberry muffins too!" and go on with my day. I envy those readers who can have that more "innocent" experience because your blog content really is engaging and special. I hope that the FM relationship doesn't tarnish that.

Martha said...

Thanks for being so open! I work at home also and it can be very lonely...except for all the blog reading.

ardena rose said...

Thank you so much for writing this and telling us all about your career and goals. One of the hardest things to do in blogging is opening up about personal stories and life, so I appreciate your courage and sharing for the sake of your readers.
I am a relatively new blogger myself, and a recent graduate looking to get into the magazine/editorial industry, so everything about this post and all your advice was incredibly helpful for me! Thanks so much :)

xo
ardena rose
lavieenardenarose.blogspot.com

Val said...

Hi Joanna,
I love your blog and have been following you ever since your days at Smitten. You have incredible taste and I'm always recommending things I've seen on your blog to friends as "Oh you know Cup of Jo likes these" like you're one of our friends.

As long as everything's transparent, I have no issue as a reader with a different way of handling ads.

Thank you for your blog. It's something I like forward to every day.

Val

June Lemon said...

I really, really, really enjoyed reading this post. Your blog is so interesting and you are so inspiring, Joanna. I am in my twenties, writing a small blog (junelemon.com) too that fulfills me and amkes me very happy and it's been a while that I've been wondering what the next step will be. Your story has been a true source of inspiration! :)
Thank you so much for sharing, for you honesty and for being so sensitive and natural.
I would just like to add that... Please, please, please don't loose your touch. I've seen so many blogs becoming too sponsored and forgetting about true interesting, personal and spontaneous posts. And it's very dissapointing and sad because you used to love them and all of a sudden they loose credibility and aren't as appealing as they were.

Keep your blog as beautiful and natural and faithfull to yourself and it's been till now, please.

Thank you so so much for sharing everyday.

One of you faithful readers :)

xoxox

June

Marie said...

Jo this is so great. My favorite post thus far I think.

Carla said...

I love this post. I can completely relate because I love the whole writing industry, but delayed entering it because I went to law school. I left after three years. Now I'm trying to pursue my passion by starting a blog and trying to write for magazines. It's tough, but it makes me hungrier for the career that I envision for myself. It's nice to see someone who has made it. It's very inspiring. Thank you :)

Rose said...

I just wanted to say thank you for starting your blog and that I love it :)

Krista said...

Thank you for sharing! This post was both helpful and inspiring.
Have a lovely week!
- Krista

angie said...

You are such an inspirational person! I really loved reading this post, and love all your personal tips!

Anonymous said...

Basically, I never leave comments. Can't really say way. I guess, mostly it's because I don't see a point, BUT after reading this post I finally realized how important it is for you to hear opinions from another side of the monitor :) Thus, I want to let you know that I find your blog being diverse and meaningful. I especially like "Have a xx weekend!" series, because they are full of unexpected internet finds. Even though I do not have my own children yet, I read all the motherhood/children/family related posts, which help me to prepare for taking that big step. And! I'll be definitely using your "Guide to NYC", since me and my friends are going on vacation to NYC + California in a month.

Joanna, you are doing a great job, which is much much appreciated!

Justina, Lithuania

Beth-Ann said...

thank you for taking the time to write this post and sharing your blogging wisdom. not sure where my new blog is going, but a successful one would be exciting. you are an inspiration. keep it up :) xo, beth-ann

http://greenwhaleblog.blogspot.com/

Natali Shpak said...

I love your blog! incredible, fascinating and inspiring story))) Thank you for sharing of experiences)) Inspiring you and good luck!

lessthanperfectmama said...

Informative post. Thank you! And very encouraging, too!

Sarah said...

Thank you for all of this advice! I lost my job at our city newspaper and decided to go to nursing school. Lots of jobs for nurses, right? Just like you, I quickly that I was entering the wrong field. Now I'm trying to grow my blog and worrying that I will never make money at this. Though at least I enjoy it!

Jessie said...

wow, thanks for this. you're very lucky but also very talented so that is why you're able to do what you do.

i started blogging 6 years ago but it's always been just for fun and for me to write. i'm not in it for the money or followers but have the utmost respect for all these female bloggers making a living out of it.

Lisa said...

This was SO interesting to read!! I'm about the same age as you, and have also put in my time being really broke in a big city. (You haven't lived until you've hiked your ass home for several miles because the bus fare was a splurge you couldn't afford :)).

It seems to me that you in many ways broke the traditional career "rules" (e.g. go to college, go to grad school, get a job in the thing you studied, take time off to have kids, go back to work in your forties) to forge a new and unusual career path. ...I love that! Our generation has inherited a pretty crap economy, but that really makes room for innovative and creative career ideas -- not to mention creative ways to approach the balance of work and having children. Your story is really inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Carla said...

I already made a comment earlier, but I just have to say this: Joanna, you are so my life peg :)

Anonymous said...

Typically I never leave comments, but this post compelled me to do so. I am a relatively new reader (having found you through babyccino) and have been watching the recycled posts with interest. Personally, I find it incredibly jarring that you can write an post like this and sound so real and honest and genuine (qualities that make me interested in you and your opinions) and then turn around and blithely post another day from years ago without any type of mention that you are doing so. It feels incredibly dishonest (to me at least) that you wouldn't put some sort of disclaimer that you are reusing content. I honestly don't care if you need a few days off or if you want to repost some of your favorite old posts (it is YOUR blog after all). Since you have written professionally, and especially since you mention completing a year of law school, I cannot imagine you wouldn't be aware of how important credibility is to a journalist. I say this not because I want to snark on you, only to point out how it can come across. It is a big turn off. And will ultimately drive me away from your blog. Since it is your full time job, I thought it is something you would like to be aware of.

Chrissy

Joanna Goddard said...

baylee, i especially love reading swissmiss and kottke these days; they have such great finds. so many great blogs out there!! :)

Krysta, go blue!!!!

Anonymous said...

such a great and enlightening post! i didn't think i could respect and admire you anymore than i already did but i do!

Joanna Goddard said...

casey, good point!! nowadays the job market in almost any field is uncertain. good luck to you!!! xoxoxo

tania, what a lovely note. thank you for all these sweet comments. :)

Cara said...

Wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing your views and insights with us. I love the bit about "does it sound like you to your mom or best friend?" Something for me to work on definitely!

Joanna Goddard said...

Meagan, you are so sweet! and clare, that's awesome:):) beatrix, congratulations on your baby news:) elsa, your note was so sweet, i'm blushing:) ginny, that is so cute taht you splurged on pepperoni. it all sounds crazy now, but it's true: when you're first moving to a big city, you need every dime, nickle and penny you can get!

Joanna Goddard said...

@The Zhush -- haha, "big apple dues," i love that:)

Joanna Goddard said...

KJ, good question! you asked if i could step away from the blog from time to time -- i absolutely could if it were a personal blog that wasn't my job. then, obviously, you can do whatever you'd like! but now that it's my job, i owe it to advertisers to keep it going even when i'm on vacation, etc., since they're paying for the traffic to stay up and people to keep coming everyday. so i have to keep going everyday. also, i have a secret fear that if i stop for a week or something, people will forget about my site! i know that's lame, but the internet just keeps going, and i feel like i have to be consistent everyday to keep the ball rolling:) thanks for the question!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh my gosh, ypatsy!!! yes, that class was awesome!!! what was his name....it started with an R, i think....he was the coolest. did you ever go to his office? the walls are covered with photos from his students, and he STILL remembers everyone's names!

Joanna Goddard said...

Megan, absolutely! i wrote into the contract to say that i only had to do two sponsored posts a month, because i definitely want to keep the blog feeling editorial and not overly sponsored. i'll keep that front of mind moving forward for sure! thank you so much xoxo

Joanna Goddard said...

lisamarie, yes the loans were TOUGH! i paid them off with a mix of my full-time job's salary and LSAT classes; i lived way below my means for years (my law school year was 10 years ago at this point) so that i could put every extra penny into my loans. sometimes i'd pay more each month and sometimes i'd pay less. i'm happy to say that i finally paid them in full off last year! it took a long time, but it feels so great not to have any student loans anymore. xoxo

Samantha Green said...

you are the first blog i ever read and remain my absolute favourite. i definitely hope cup of jo is around for years to come :) xx

britni @ Antika Moda said...

Very interesting! I'm also from Michigan and go to downtown Ann Arbor often :) Thanks for sharing!!

FYI I'm giving away a hand knit hair bow on my blog! Come and enter :) http://antikamoda.blogspot.com/2012/08/giveaway-hand-knit-bow.html

Kim said...

At the risk of sounding redundant -- THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this post, Joanna! I've been a longtime reader, and have enjoyed watched you and your blog evolve over the years. Thank you for sharing some of your life's most important milestones with us!

mindykay said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I especially appreciated your words of wisdom to us new bloggers out here. When I started my blog the one thing I wanted to stay true to was myself- writing it from the heart. I appreciate that encouragement coming from such a seasoned blogger. I love reading your blog- you are an inspiration.

Poet Whale said...

Excellent post!

Your fortitude and determination are inspiring.

Joanna Goddard said...

Amy Lauree, haha, what a sweet comment, thank you!!!!!

Jennifer that is awesome!!! I love it :)

M! you are the sweetest. Waving to Norway!

I can’t tell you how much all these comments mean to me.

Hlazare said...

I loved reading this, Jo! As always, you are so honest and inspiring. Love your blog!

Joanna Goddard said...

Lynn, you mentioned SAY media -- i did the windows phone campaign with them as a trial relationship to figure out if i wanted to sign with them. in the end, i chose instead to sign with federated.

my best food series is completely editorial, and i just choose to feature food bloggers who i love, many of whom i'm good friends with (we have dinner, set up playdates with our kids, etc.) and some of whom i just admire. it's a way to feature their blogs and great recipes and support them by introducing their blogs to my readers and driving lots of traffic to their blogs. it's not connected to advertising or ad networks in anyway. it's just a series of guest posts that everyone's happy to be part of (and i love featuring them!) the series was started because i'm a terrible cook and wanted to learn how to make basic recipes well:)

thanks so much! hope that helps clarify.

Joanna Goddard said...

Chrissy, thank you for your note! yes, I did recycle some older content for a post a couple weeks ago (with only small changes) and addressed it in the comments many times as a misstep. i regretted it, as i mentioned profusely, and i should have just written something fresh and new, which would have been just as easy. But every day I write multiple posts with new original content, and i'm looking forward to many new posts and series in the future!

katie [the bright life] said...

Thanks for the great post, Joanna! I so admire all of your work as a trailblazer (can I call you that?) in the blog world. You speak from the heart in such a genuine way, which makes checking your blog every morning so so refreshing. Xo, Katie

Joanna Goddard said...

Franzi, thanks for your note! when i started featuring ads after a year of blogging, here's how i went about it: i put a post on my blog saying that i was accepting ads and asked people to email for details. then i would email them with information about my blog, readers, traffic and rates. that way, i could work with small businesses who already read my blog, it was a great fit! :) good luck!!!

Joanna Goddard said...

Caroline, thank you so much for your note – will definitely keep this in mind and make every effort to keep cup of jo feeling personal and real and not overally commercial. Thank you so much for weighing in, and I definitely appreciate your comment!

Joanna Goddard said...

Keli, yes! I definitely think you can work for magazines and be a writer/editor without moving to NYC. Many of the biggest magazines are based here, but tons of great magazines are based elsewhere—chicago, LA, etc. and of course there are local magazines and newspapers in pretty much every city/town. I’m sure you can find an amazing place for yourself. Good luck!

Joanna Goddard said...

Steph, a professional marathon runner, holy smokes!! That is awesome.

Kathleen062709 said...

Thanks Joanna! This post was amazing :) Reading your blog at work is the highlight of my day!

Kristen said...

I really appreciate this post!! I enjoyed reading your journey, especially since I am a recent (unemployed) graduate from a masters program. I have been such a fan for awhile - my day is incomplete without you : ) You are a wonderful inspiration and I truly appreciate your work. I also discuss your posts with others like we are friends!!

Thanks for being you !
Kristen

Joanna Goddard said...

Anonymous from Berlin, thanks for your note about privacy! i actually was JUST talking to a friend about this. personally, i'm a very open book myself, so when i write about myself, i'm very comfortable with that. and then anything i write about toby and alex are general things about husbands and babies that everyone goes through (first day of school, etc.)--nothing too personal to them specifically. i would never write about anything that feels sensitive or private to them, and a lot of just everyday stuff is off the record:) thanks for asking!

Joanna Goddard said...

michelle, thanks for your questions!

When did you notice your blog readership increasing and becoming a ritual for your readers?
* It was slow and steady growth over the past 5.5 years. I did notice some jumps in readership whenever we posted about a big personal life change--like when we got engaged, got married and had a baby. But overall, it was just slow and steady.

Do you ever reread old posts? Do you ever look at posts of clothes and notice that your style changed?
* Totally! It's fun to read old posts because I've often forgotten them, so it's like reading someone else's blog, which is a trip. My style has changed a bit--less with clothes (since I have a pretty basic/simple style anyway) and more with design (I remember looking back at a post and being like, wow, i really don't like that bedframe!:)

* Where did you meet Alex? When did you first post about him?
We met at a friends' house; they had invited people over to watch the Oscars and immediately I thought Alex was the hunkiest:) Ha, i can't remember the very first post about Alex, but here are a couple posts about our first date and when he moved in with me:

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2011/03/our-first-date.html

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-new-roommate.html

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2008/08/new-jersey-snapshots.html

thanks for your note!! xoxoxo joanna

Joanna Goddard said...

Meganbstock, thanks for your question! joy wrote a book called Blog Inc that interviews bigger bloggers about how they started, built their blogs, etc. That would be really helpful, I'm sure! :)

Céline said...

Thanxxxxx a LOT for this open-hearted post, cheers me up with so much honesty. I really enjoy reading your blog (almost every day) from the other side of the pond and YES, YES, I fully agree with your overall analysis - it could not be more true. It's so good to know as I am about to launch my own editing freelance business too. And my conclusions meet yours :). Cheers !

Joanna Goddard said...

karli, how funny! i don't remember the moon episode from mad men, i want to go back and watch that episode! no, i just said that comment myself, ha. but maybe i was subconsciously inspired!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Joanna; thanks so much for sharing all the trials and tribulations which have brought you to this point.
Completely admirable - and very balanced!

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for this post!! My younger sister just graduated college and is frustrated that finding work is so hard and feels like a failure because she's not some super successful person at 22! I've been telling her it's not easy for anyone and that everyone's career takes time to form and I sent this to her because here is proof! Everyone struggles to get to a happy career place! Thanks again!

MOG said...

As one of your senior readers (over 60) I really enjoy this site. Loved your start in NYC, sounds like my early years, and really love the posts about you and your family. One note - I word for an association, a great job but haven't had an email free vacation in 9 years, so I can sympathize. Keep it up!

Trina said...

I always enjoy your "how my blogging career came to be" stories (whether here or for other sites). It's funny how you talk about meeting readers in person on the street being such a joy; I still sorta feel like, "Hey! I've been reading Joanna's work since back in the day on Smitten!" It's been such a treat to follow along with you these past few years. I think your work has always felt wonderfully personal, and I admire your bravery in putting so much of your life out there for readers.

Michelle * Viva Revival said...

Really great post! I'm somewhat new to your blog, so I learned so much I didn't know about you. I like how you just enjoy blogging and didn't start it as a money making opportunity. I think that's quite refreshing.

Le Smurf said...

You look so like Wonder Woman with those glasses Jo! They are so pretty on you.

Hawt!

Sandy said...

Your success is so well deserved! Thanks for sharing your story :)

Emilou said...

this was such a thoughtful and interesting post! You are a great writer...i'm sure it's a lot of work but you should do more long posts!

Jo said...

Thank you so so so much for this amazing post, Joanna! It is so inspiring and honest! What a wonderful read! I absolutely love your blog and all your work. More power to you!

Alina said...

Loved this post, Joanna! You're so inspiring! I just started blogging casually but I have a full time job so I don't think it will ever be anything more than a hobby, but I LOVE it. I'm blogging every day in August :)

About said...

Thank you for sharing this fantastic story.

I was secretly praying to bump into you when you were in chicago. well, next time!

Keep blogging!
-pam

nic said...

Thanks for sharing all of this! I appreciate your generosity to share your experiences with your readers...as a fellow blogger who's thinking of trying to grow her blog, I really appreciate it. And all the work you do here:)

Tricia said...

Joanna,
Your links to both yours and Alex's versions of your birth stories as well as his Eight Confessions of New Dad have been immensely helpful to my husband and I, who are expecting our first child (a baby boy) any day now.
THANK YOU!!!

Sarah Jane said...

Brava to you for taking the time to write such a genuine post on your blog. i'm always looking up to you, your blog and your success, it is so inspiring and motivating. You're pretty much my blog guru so thanks for this little article! I actually read the whole thing! Have a wonderful Thursday Joanna!!!

Krystal Knight said...

Thank you for posting this! It's been so inspiring, and you've really put in a lot of effort to connect with your readers. We all appreciate that!

Monica said...

Loved this! So inspiring as always Joanna :)

Lauren said...

Joanna,

Thank you so much for this insightful post. I made it all the way to the bottom! ;) I just recently started a blog myself and absolutely love it. It's exciting to think that maybe someday I could do it as a job and not a hobby...although it's a pretty fun hobby! Thanks again!

XOXO,

Lauren
www.elliehickey.com

Anonymous said...

Love this! I just really hope you don't sell yourself short, and that people will continue to hear your smart, feminist, liberal voice undernealth the ads for Cool Whip. :(

Kendall said...

Such an honest wonderful post. You are so inspiring, thanks so much for sharing!
xo K
www.lilieslattesandlace.com

amber said...

thank you so much for this, Joanna. My best friend and I are in the midst of launching our blog and you touched on a lot things we are struggling with/anticipating struggling with. keep on inspiring!

Rachel B.C. said...

You're the best, Joanna! This was great to read -- it felt like a secret peek behind-the-scenes. I really appreciate that, learning about the back stage.

Hilary said...

Really interesting post, loved it!

Esperanza B said...

I always joke with my husband about if there is the dream job, your blog is the answer to that if possible, maybe it was not easy but I get a path. I hope one day to find mine and get away from the office, my boss and these terrible times. Thank you very much for your honesty!

Carrie said...

Joanna, you rock! I was in NYC last weekend and so secretly hoping that I'd see you on the streets, haha. Here's to a long life for the blogging industry (or A Cup of Jo, at least) :)

Becky said...

I LOVE this - I work in digital media, and often buy for our advertising clients with Federated - they are awesome, and to see my clients ads on amazing blogs like this make me feel like we are doing something right :-) Keep up the amazing work - you are such an inspiration to so many people, myself (obviously)included

xo
Becky

http://www.cuphalffull-sf.blogspot.com/

Bridget McNulty said...

Fascinating to see how far you've come in the blogging and writing world in a relatively short time - thank you!

Catherine said...

Thanks so much. That was super interesting and helpful.

Catherine
FEST

Hena Tayeb said...

A fantastic read. I have had a blog for a few years but only recently have I really gotten into the groove of things, have a regular readership, though small but it's a readership nonetheless. And it is great to hear how the people we look up to stared out..and that they in fact did start out struggling just like us. thank you

shilpi said...

Excellent post! I also taught for Kaplan -- GRE/GMAT -- for ten (!) years as I was building up my journalism resume until I found myself in a stable journalism job. Kaplan is a pretty awesome part-time gig and I kind of want to write a book about all the ways working at Kaplan helped me survive and taught me both random (grammar!) and invaluable (be careful what you say when you know someone is listening) skills.

Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet said...

This post has been incredibly inspiring for me. As a fairly new blogger (I started last November), it can be daunting to see what others have accomplished and what I want to accomplish. Posts like these from bloggers I really respect (and you are at the top of that list!) is so great for me.

Thank you!

Paige Geiger said...

Thanks for posting all this info! As a non-professional blogger, I appreciate the insight. I would love to someday 'write' for a living, and blogging allows me to practice my skills and keep the dream alive. Thanks for sharing your story!

Jenna said...

Thank you so so so much for writing that all. I had no idea you went to law school! As someone who doesn't know what career they essentially want to do - it's reassuring to read about your background. Amazing post!

jennygen said...

You're so great! This post really made me want to share tomatoes with you.

nazli said...

This post is very inspiring, thank you so much for being truely honest!

Kristin Donahue said...

I work from home too and really love how other women spend their day, especially mothers. Working from home can be isolating and figuring out the work/motherhood role challenging. It sounds like you've found a great balance. Still working on that part myself.

thebeautyphilosopher.com said...

This is really lovely to read. Like others have said I'm picky about blogs but have read this one for a long time. How did you grow your readership?
Elisha

Melanie Marshall said...

:)

Jo said...

This post is so timely. Thank you for sharing this part of your work. I am currently working on a project that revolves around this same topic - what do you do and why? (http://jolizie.blogspot.com/search/label/Career). So often we can romanticize what other's do so I appreciate that you call out that what you do is hard work. This is all very insightful.

Diana Zeng said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this. I just started a blog this summer and I am beyond in love with it. As a college student and finance intern, it's my outlet but I haven't quite figured out if I just want to post about hunting for fashion bargains or expand or what! I've been a fan of yours since I first read your articles for Glamour and will always be a fan. You's absolutely wonderful.

Diana of eohs

Amanda said...

How funny that you posted this today! I have recently been developing an art blog for toddlers/preschoolers and thought "man this is hard, I wonder how she does it at A Cup of Jo!?"
Thanks for your hard work!

The Meaning of Me said...

Really loved this post - thank you. Just started blogging this summer with no "plan" except that I felt it was the right thing to do right now for me personally. This was really good reading right now. :)

Natalie Miklos said...

being from the other side of the globe and always wanting to live in NYC it is a "cup of fresh air" following your blog Jo so thank you for sharing your story and always keeping up to date with what is the latest and greatest in NYC and your travel around. Not to mention the motherhood mondays!
loved loved loved reading your story!
Nat xoxoxo
sydney Australia

Anonymous said...

This was a really interesting reading - thanks. One of the things I do love about your Blog and I have been reading it now for about 3 years - is that you have not changed. Your blog has stayed true. Even though you now do make money from it you haven't changed your style, or integrity. I kind of get annoyed by Bloggers that change due to their success - I can understand it but it takes away the joy you had in reading it in the first place. A Cup o Jo is a lovely daily read and thank you so much for all your hard work, humour, great taste, warmth, generosity, and honesty. India x

Gemma said...

This is such a great post Joanna - so good to read about all of the things you tried out before finding your way doing what you're doing.

I worked in publishing in Edinburgh and London and am now back in Edinburgh and trying to publish books in my spare time. It's sometimes hard to want to keep working after a full day in an office so reading things like this reminds me why I want to find my own way.

We were actually in NY in June and I saw you and Toby in Washington Square Park but didn't want to bother you - wish I had said hi now! It was actually the day before we went to City Hall to get married (http://dressingfordinner.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/4-weeks-ago.html) - it was the middle of a heatwave but it was incredible!

Alex Musetti said...

Great post, really useful information, as I'm quite new in the blogosphere.
Thank you for sharing!

Cat said...

I've been blogging as a hobby about my life in Spain for the past five years, and recently quit my job as a school teacher to focus on making it profitable. Excellent advice for someone who kinda knows what she's doing and needed a little kick in the pants to get it done!
http://sunshinesandsiestas.com

M-J Obsessions said...

This is such an awesome story, thank you for sharing (its such a big deal for someone to share their story with the world)!! This is why I will always be your fan!!

Bryna Faye Shields said...

Thanks for this! I have read your blog for a long time now and really admire your honesty and fearlessness in choosing to write about some of the tougher topics... Yours was one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own! I'm still working on finding my voice, but it's been a fun journey. Keep up the amazing work you do, it really does inspire others!

melissa said...

your career so far sounds like every small town girl's dream come true! at least mine, anyway!

my life hasn't turned out like that AT ALL, but it's good too.

the one problem with your philosophy about writing like you're writing to your best friend is that we all think we're your best friends! but it's nice to know that if i ever saw you you wouldn't be embarrassed if i wanted to say hi (which i totally would).

Linda Davidson said...

Thanks for your post about making blogging as a career. I have been blogging for 9 months and I appreciated your honesty about blogging. I am amazed at your 33,000 followers. Love the variety of content on your blog.

Linda Davidson
www.sharingthanks.blogspot.com

PS: Wish I was at BlogHer this weekend.

Carried Away said...

You are very brave and i admire the fact that you made blogging a career. Good luck!

Katie said...

This was a really nice post - great insights into how you made the transition - thanks for sharing.

by BUN said...

wow! thank you so much for sharing so much insight. for someone is who is trying to grow their own blog, this was incredibly inspiring! thank-you!!!

xoxo
http://bybun.com/

DjDipo said...

Truly inspiring for me who just started blogging. I know I can't get reach by blogging but at least I have something to do in spare time.

Allison said...

Since I don't live on the East Coast anymore, I probably won't be bumping into you on the street anytime soon. I just wanted to say what I would if I did, I adore you, I adore your voice and I want to be your friend!

Aimee Godett said...

Thank you for this post! Your blog is a daily read of mine and I've learned a lot from it since I began reading. I hope you know how inspiring you are!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my god, this is the most amazing revelation! It is so interesting to hear you history and see how you have progressed and struggled and went through so many bleak, yet courageous, changes (and break-ups). I love your blog and admire you so much. Well-done! I didn't even know you had done a year in law school. You are amazing. Thank-you for sharing this. It is so encouraging that you you, too, had a hard time and yet made it!

sarahk said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this amazing story! As a girl who hopes to have a career much like yours, it was truly inspiring to read.

Wendy said...

Well done, Joanna!

I've been following you for four of those five years and you always serve as a source of inspiration. Thank you for that. :)

annamaria said...

Such an interesting read!Thank you for sharing all this;)

pve design said...

You so deserve a raise. Remember to give yourself one.
love your blog and have and always will.
pve

Katie said...

Love this! I started laughing at the part about NYU law--my husband went there, was never quite sure why, but ended up doing the full three years! And is not a lawyer now. Alas, the allure of the law school path for liberal arts majors can be strong...

Anonymous said...

Great post! And re: people stopping you on the street - I work for BHLDN and I remember you came down for an event one time and I saw you walk past and I was like, OMGITSJOANNAHOLYCRAP!!!! It was like spotting a celebrity ;)

Dee said...

Thanks for this post, J. I've been reading since 2008 and have been so curious about many of the questions you answered here. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm Maria and I from to Spain, Sevilla and Vigo.
I want to say that you are wonderful!
I have to children, 20 and four month and This is the best things of the world.
I was living in NYC the last september and I love it but is very hard too. It is An awkward If you do no have money.
When you travel to Spain?

Un saludo,
Maria.

Katie said...

I recently started my own blog and I was so nervous. Then I read your post about writing to my mom and my best friend and it really resonated. Your blog has always been one of my very favorite, and was one of my inspirations to start mine.

krisel keeper said...

Joanna,
Every time I sit and blog Ive wondered how you manage it all. It's nice to hear a well rounded account of what it really takes. So happy for your progress with career, love and family! You deserve all the best! You bring so much happiness to so many people!

krisel keeper said...

Joanna,
Every time I sit and blog Ive wondered how you manage it all. It's nice to hear a well rounded account of what it really takes. So happy for your progress with career, love and family! You deserve all the best! You bring so much happiness to so many people!

claire said...

Great post. Your posts are always relevant to what is going on in my life and I am thrilled that you can blog for a living. Good luck to you!

Ashley said...

I hope the future of blogging remains the same for the most part.
But everything has to change eventually.
I would really miss yours posts if blogging become obsolete........ :(

Such a fan, ashley

sarah nadine said...

i, as well, daily look forward to reading your posts. your comment about writing from the heart is probably the biggest reason why i anticipate what you have to share. this post again exploits that ...

thanks for being a "friend" ... we all are grateful for your blogging voice!


xo


http://sarah-nadine.blogspot.com

joule said...

Reading about your past experiences and seeing what you've done in those five years is amazing! It gives a hope, even for me, the beginning blogger, that one day I can have similar career! Thank you a lot!

Vero said...

Hi Joanna, what a wonderfully post and blog! I am enjoying since a little while now your amazing stories and post... I am now living in Irvine, CA and miss the "city-life"; everyday your posts are a refreshing break in my routine and I fell like the "city spirit" is just a few click away!! Great blog, and I wish you a long blogging life ahead!! Vero.

Vero said...

Hi Joanna, what a wonderfully post and blog! I am enjoying since a little while now your amazing stories and post... I am now living in Irvine, CA and miss the "city-life"; everyday your posts are a refreshing break in my routine and I fell like the "city spirit" is just a few click away!! Great blog, and I wish you a long blogging life ahead!! Vero.

Vero said...

Hi Joanna, what a wonderfully post and blog! I am enjoying since a little while now your amazing stories and post... I am now living in Irvine, CA and miss the "city-life"; everyday your posts are a refreshing break in my routine and I fell like the "city spirit" is just a few click away!! Great blog, and I wish you a long blogging life ahead!! Vero.

erin nicole said...

Question: Do you have any tips for getting into editing, like your job at Simon and Schuster? I have this feeling like I would be really, really good at editorial work for a publishing company, since I have almost an unerring eye for grammar and syntax. Simon and Schuster is also my dream publishing house-- if I were ever to write a book, it would be my first choice. How does one become a book editor?

life without sauce said...

Thanks for sharing! You are truly inspiring :)

Tracy Iglesias said...

Great Post! I can certainly relate (especially to the NYC apartment stories!)

Question: If you sign up for Federated can you still sell your own ads?

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
www.ascendingbutterfly.com <-only including so hopefully you can email me the answer!

Rose said...

thanks so much for sharing- you've had a great career- I often think about law but I think I might be like you- I think I need space and law would be very conformist- though I do admire lawyers who work with families or for justice. I would love to blog full time but I think it's only a few who can. I always love reading your blog and I guess that's the reason you're so successful!

Kate said...

I loved reading this post! I was surprised by how much I didn't know about you after having read your blog for so long, you have such a cool story! Thanks for sharing, Joanna :)

Juliane Glasco said...

I rarely ever leave comments. But I just had to on this particular post. I even read some of the comments from your readers:). What comments I read rang very true, from your genuiness, your excellent ideas, your kindness..to your true appreciation for what it is that you do is very heartwarming and commendable! I look forwarded to reading your blog every day and I feel like you bring a special light to your readers:). You have a lot to teach and I hope that you can continue to shed light for many years to come!

Juliane

Vivian said...

Love, love, love this post! This post really hits home for me. I'm 24 and I've just hit a crossroad in my life. I have just decided that I am DONE with my job. I decided to take the leap of faith and quit to finally finish school and take a HUGE pay cut to go into business with my dad and really help make it grow. The only problem I have us this self doubt I have. I feel like a big crybaby for not sticking it out at work. Like so what if I hate my job, most people do but they deal with it and get a long with their lives but I just can't. After reading this you've helped me realize I'd rather have to eat spaghetti every day and be happy with my life than make money and stay miserable. Thank you, thank you a million times THANK YOU!

byelyse said...

While scrolling down to leave this post I saw countless others comment in a way almost exactly similar to how I planned to comment. You are touching so many people through your blog, and inspiring countless others. Certainly me. I have "favorite-ed" this post as I've thought about how to handle advertisements for my blog someday in the future, if it ever got there. [my blog is two months old so there's a ways to go before that becomes something that warrants serious thought!] I would be honored and so appreciative if you could comment once more about ads, specifically on how they began for you. Were you approached about the possibility? Did you seek advertisers out? If you were able to comment about this to me personally I would so appreciate it - if not then perhaps you can save the question for a future FYI session. I provided a link to my blog below if you are able to answer my questions. Thanks for the helpful words and inspiration.

http://elysereagan.blogspot.com

Michelle Glauser said...

I really love it when you open up like this. I'm at the penny-pinching stage in San Francisco, and with a recovering broken foot, limping for miles instead of taking the bus is quite the challenge, but there are just so many advantages to the city that I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm glad things have worked out for you because I can see that someone else has survived.

Michelle said...

Amazing post! I'd always wondered how blogging as a career was possible! Congrats on all your hard work!

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Reaching Robyn said...

Hi Jo

What a fascinating read! I've recently started my blog up again as a way to document a journey - my husband and I are embarking on an adventure across Europe, and the road tripping across America!

I love clicking on your travel links and have definitely noted some of your travel tips.

www.decadentdelight.blogspot.com

Thanks so much!

Freja said...

Wow. What a read. And what a timely read - I've been thinking about changing my employement, my direction, this week. Maybe it's time to just do it.

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.miss jay. said...

Thank you so much for sharing your life experience with blogging. I'm relatively new to the whole blogging thing and it's so hard to find successful bloggers who will share their real life blogging experience (and all that wonderful 'behind the scene's stuff), so thank you!

domonique @ a bowl full of simple said...

thank you for taking the time to write this post. i am very new to blogging, but am loving it. the behind the scenes is so much more than i thought it would be. i love hearing your advice. thank you.

Elizabeth Cumming said...

Wow, Jo, I read through your a few of your earliest posts and there was a lot of spam and "thank you, this was useful information" comments. I've had next to no comments so far, and hope to keep it that way if I were to choose between weird spam and that! I'm glad things picked up the way they did!

Lillie Avalos said...

i know you get this a lot but i absolutely love how honest you really are!! i know being honest online can be controversial and not to mention nerve wrecking but the way you deliver your ideas is not pushy at all! i love it. and i love that you truly consider the types of people reading your blog and have that honesty that things don't always go well. anyways thanks for the post. i just love to hear what you say!!! and good luck! hope blogging sticks around for some time!!

Randy orton said...

These articles and blogs are truly enough for me for a day.
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Brock lesnar said...

This stuff is down t earth, hats off buds out there.
a knockout post

Brock lesnar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

two weeks ago i and my boyfriend had a conflict, so with that he broke up with me saying he no longer wanted to associate with me anymore, i never knew he was interested in working out his marriage with another girl, i was helpless because i loved him so much morethan myself, after begging and pleading with him I realized it was out of my hands, he really was leaving me, i could not stay without him, i tried to figure things out with him but he is not listening me, he told me that he is no longer interested that i should look for someone else, i tried all my best but things were not working out, so i had no choice than to look around for help, i went into search of spell caster to help me bring him back to me with the help of spell and after searching i actually finalize to work with prophetharry@ymail.com in regards of my lover. after 3 days as he told that my lover will return. my lover returned in surprising way, i was chocked and was so happy I can't say how much I'm grateful, My lover not only came back to me, but has left his other girl and now has engaged me, we are getting married next month, I don't know what I would have done without this spell caster.

::The Beetle Shack:: said...

You are truly inspiring Joanna. Thank you for your honesty, humility and awesomeness.

xo em

thelittleredhorse.co said...

Thank You for writing this post - there is a lot of info here to digest and I am sure I will be back to read again, and possibly ask questions :)

Just wanted to write and let you know it is awesome that you will take the time to help us bloggers that are just getting started!

I hope we can be blog friends!

Lindsay

valerie olivia said...

this post is truly amazing! i had no idea about your beginnings in NYC and it's super humbling to hear that you had the same challenges that i am still facing these days. i have to add that i'm one of those readers that stopped you on the street! stone street about 1.5 years ago. keep on keeping on...and for as long as you do, we'll all be here for the ride! xox, val

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Jeff Funk said...

Jo,
Thanks so much for poignant and honest answers. Always so refreshing to see someone really answer from the heart. Question. Was it easy for you right out of the gate to be completely open about who you are (name, family members, what city you live in etc) as well as with your daily happenings? So many blogs out there who rely on pseudo names or just first names in their "About Me" sections. And what are your thoughts on that somewhat discreet approach?

Thank you again for the wonderful posts. I'm inspired!

Jeff Funk

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Danie at Pasadya said...

Joanna, I LOVE this post! It's always so refreshing to read about how people started out before becoming successful, and your story is wonderful. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this! You are an inspiration, for sure.

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