Review: The Digital Mom Handbook and What Being One Means to Me

digitalmomshandbookI just finished reading The Digital Mom Handbook by Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla, both of whom I have met through the blogosphere.  I have to admit, I read it rather quickly but only because I was so intrigued.  I was curious what these two mompreneurs had to say about making a living off blogging.  On the back of the book, it says that they’ve “literally skyped, blogged, vlogged, tweeted and Facebooke their way to the top” and indeed, they have.  I also wanted to read their words of wisdom about balance, something I’m constantly striving for as a working mom and blogger.

I have met many, many bloggers – some of whom do make a living from blogging, others who’s careers as writers, authors, marketing consultants have taken off as a result.  But it’s rare that they tell you how they’ve done it.

Like me, Audrey and Colleen were both home with the kids and started blogging, not knowing where it was going to lead them, with no future mapped out.  It was early days in the blogging world when they both started, and they didn’t even know there were other women out there doing the same thing.

I did not have definitive goals of my own when I started blogging.  I was in a funk, to be honest.  I was trying to figure out what to do with my life career-wise.  I had just lost my job and was home with the kids for the first time in about five years.  I was never good at being home full time and I needed a creative outlet.  I didn’t know what to blog about and I stressed about it for months.  I was scared to even start as I felt that I did not have the technical skills.  After much stalling, I just leaped in and The Culture Mom was born.  First I used the Blogger platform, and six months later, I moved to Word Press.  I kept it simple and wrote about the places I took the kids to and whatever interested me.  I didn’t think many people would ever read what I wrote.  I also wrote for a site called NYC Moms, which was a part of Silicon Valley Moms.  On that site, I wrote about more personal topics and developed an instant community of friends and bloggers who were so much like me.  They wanted more than being a mom, and they were on a path to find it.

Audrey and Colleen also kept in simple, they blogged in their spare time.  They both had significant careers beforehand and put their skills to use to build their businesses.  Within a short amount of time for each, they each started making money.  They started to meet other women like themselves, who were also making a go of blogging as a career. Major companies took sight of what they were doing and started to employ them as ambassadors, as writers, as experts.  Both of them took their passion and turned into a career.  Now Audrey’s husband has joined her and they are running her business together.  They both love what they do, so they’ve joined forces to inspire other women who are blogging to do the same, and they’ve graciously shared all their love of what they do and inspiration in this guide book.  It’s a very personal, inside look at what they do and how to manage your own blogging career.  I really love the profiles and tips by many of the bloggers I know that are included in the book, many women I truly admire and feel privileged to have met.

Like the two writers, blogging has changed my life.  It has opened up my world entirely.  I have plugged myself back into skills that were lost after having kids.  I have adapted a whole new community of like-minded women who I can share ideas with.  It has also led to a new slate of skills that I’ve incorporated into my career, and I now am able to use social media to help market my company and I get to spend all my time talking to people around the world virtually with common interests, many of whom have become real friends.

And I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

That’s the message that Audrey and Colleen project in this book, and this is how I feel when I meet fellow bloggers.  If you work hard at something, like blogging, you can make stars fall from the sky.  Blogging has made me believe that I can do almost anything.  This blog you are reading has brought amazing opportunities to work with companies and brands I am so fond of.  Most importantly, I am no longer depressed and I am pursuing my passion.

I have recently started a business with someone called Mama Drama NY, which combines my love of social media and theatre.  You’ll be reading much more about it in the upcoming months  I would never have started it without this blog.

Blogging served as a force that would change my life’s direction.  Obviously, after reading this book, I realize that I’m not the only one.

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book for this review for free, but no opinion was asked of me and all opinions expressed are my own.