Become a Better Blogger: How We've Adapted To Change

Published: Mon, 09/22/14

As I shared last week (click here if you missed it), 5 Minutes for Mom started in 2006 with a very different business model and business goals than it has today. 

We made many of those changes in response to "good stuff" but there was also a whole lotta "bad stuff" that forced us to adapt.

We all know how important it is to adapt to change. We've likely all heard the following quote which was supposed to have been said by Darwin, but apparently is a misquote. Regardless, the message is still true...

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."

Our business has gone through many changes...

The Bad

1. Google. 

Need I say more? LOL 

Well, yes, actually I do. Google gave us our e-commerce business. We loved Google and Google loved us. We had two niche toy stores and we had top ranking keywords until Penguins and Pandas started invading the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Our stores were small niches so we weren't making millions, but the sales clicked in every day. 

But in 2011, gradually our traffic from Google slowed. 

2. Amazon, WalMart etc

When we started our stores in 2005, "drop shipping" niche products was a great business model. We didn't carry any inventory and could offer a wide range of product options to our customers. When a customer placed an order, we sent the order to the wholesaler, who shipped it directly to the customer. 

But gradually, Amazon, WalMart and other such stores started offering more and more of these types of niche or "boutique" style products at very, very low prices. 

As a customer, just like everyone else I shop at Amazon and WalMart and I love getting a low price. But the flip side of these big stores is they kill off the little guys. So the same way small towns lose all their small businesses whenever a WalMart comes to town, the Internet started losing the small online stores.

Both of these changes came on reasonably slowly and we began adapting early. By the time we finally closed our stores in 2012, we were ready to leave them behind.

While's value had originally been to pass Page Rank and traffic to our stores, we recognized quickly that it would outlast those sites and bring in it's own revenue.

The Good

Thankfully life wasn't all doom and gloom. Back in 2007 and 2008, Mom Blogging (or "Mommy Blogging" as the phrase unfortunately began) was lighting up the Internet. By 2009 and 2010, Social Media became the go-to strategy for brands and PR companies.

We started monetizing gradually starting with Sidebar Ads, then Sponsored posts, Giveaways, and other compensated campaigns. 

Over the years the strategies continue to change and our rates increase.

The Changes Continue

As you know all too well, the world of Social Media never stays still. Sites that seem like they'll last forever such as Digg fall out of favor while new ones like Pinterest take over. All the while big players like Facebook make it tougher to get free traffic.

We wish we'd jumped faster on Pinterest when it quietly came to town in 2010. But like many bloggers, we felt overwhelmed and didn't want to invest time in a new social network. 

Once we tasted it's power in 2011, we realized our mistake in not being an early adopter! Hindsight. LOL 

(These days Pinterest brings us more traffic than Twitter, Facebook and Google+ combined!!!)

The world of "Mom Blogging" is completely different today than it was when we started in 2006. But we never let ourselves lament for long. 

This business is called "NEW Media" for a reason. It's always growing and changing. Those who adapt well will flourish.

So stay with us on this journey and I'll go into more detail next week as I explain how we monetize and structure our business. 

Until next week,

Susan (and Janice)
5 Minutes for Mom