Today I am very pleased to introduce you to two amazing Female Internet Entrepreneur that runs the blog network, 5 Minutes. Their names are Janice and Susan and they are both twin work at home mothers.
In this interview they cover how they where able to start earning online and offer some solid advice for other entrepreneurs trying to make it online.
Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Janice & Susan?
Susan and I own e-commerce stores, PedalCarsandRetro and A-Rocking-Horse-To-Love, as well as our parenting blog 5MinutesForMom.
We are earn our income primarily from the stores, which are managed by our mother and business partner, Joan Winter. We have two part time contract staff who also help the running of the stores.
However, due to the turn in the economy, this year has been very rough for our stores and so we are also concentrating now on earning more income from 5 Minutes for Mom.com and building our 5 Minutes for Mom brand.
I understand you run a successful blog for mothers, how did the website come about and what is the biggest lesson you have learnt from blogging?
As online store owners and work at home moms, we wanted to create a site that recognized and promoted the online mom community. We were so grateful for the success we had with our stores, PedalCarsandRetro and A-Rocking-Horse-To-Love, that we wanted to help other mom store and site owners build their businesses.
As well, my background was in writing and I was driven to the expression and creativity of blogging. We originally planned that I would run 5 Minutes for Mom and Susan would continue primarily working on our stores, but we soon realized that 5 Minutes for Mom required both of us and more to run!
The biggest lesson we have learnt from blogging is how relationships and community can transform businesses and lives. The online mom community is supportive, fun and powerful. We are honored to be a part of it!
Creating great content is key to have a successful blog, what’s your top tips for creating great new blog posts, day after day?
Have children. They are a wealth of material. 😉
You often hear people saying to never work with family or friends. How do you find working together being identical twins?
It is an incredible blessing to have each other. We could never do what we do as well without one another!
And while at times it can be challenging to work and live so closely to each other, we are very grateful. We know that no matter how rough the hard times get, we are completely committed to each other. We never have to worry about our business relationship dissolving or destructing. There is nothing like being together since conception to make a bond that is unbreakable.
You have launched a variety of other related blogs called “5 Minutes” – Do you think it’s a good idea to build other related blogs? What’s your top tip for building a blog network?
While we have a ton of blogs that we want to start in our network, we decided to move forward slowly, ensuring that the sites we have are healthy and strong before expanding.
Working from home is ideal for new moms, how would you recommend new mothers start earning money from the Internet?
This is a huge question. Earning money from home is not easy!
If a mom can find a job that pays them an hourly wage, that is a fantastic way to go so that she can start earning right away and budget on a predictable wage.
If a mom is starting her own business, whether through owning her own ecommerce store, a website or blog, or if she is starting a business through direct sales such as network marketing, it takes time to earn an income. And most often the income is not comparable to a typical salaried career.
It also requires very hard work to earn an income online – incredibly hard work and total determination.
Moms need to be realistic about their time and their family’s needs. What are their income and budget needs? How long can they go without earning an income? Can they realistically achieve those goals? (To this day, Susan and I still don’t pay ourselves regularly. Almost all the money goes back into the business or into paying staff. We have a long term plan, not a short term plan.)
We talk more about this topic in these two video interviews about working from home.
Running an Internet Business gives you choices and freedom to do what you want, when you want. What would you say the Internet Lifestyle is for you?
The Internet Lifestyle is perfect for us. We love to work around our kids’ schedules – things like driving them to school, nursing our babies until they are toddlers, and being available for school field trips are worth the crazy work hours.
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
We couldn’t run our stores or 5 Minutes for Mom without functioning as a team. Susan, our mother and I work as a unit, helping each other and never worrying that one might be getting “more” than the others. We give and don’t focus on getting back. It all works out in the end.
This is how we approach working with our writers, managing editors, our online friendships, etc. Networking and helping each other is critical to online success. We believe the key to relationships is to give and not focus on what you are getting back. Most often, it will all work out in the end. And you will be a lot happier in the process!
Now, that doesn’t mean that we have no boundaries and we don’t treat our business as a business. It just means that if you apply the golden rule, you will have a more successful, enjoyable life and business!
Thanks very much for the interview, Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
Because we believe so strongly in the power of relationships to build your business and enhance your life, we are just about to launch a new project called, Say it Face to Face – a site for Intelligent Video Conversation.
Say it Face to Face is a social networking site that is built on threaded video conversation, anyone can start a conversation, anyone can reply to a conversation.
With the personal aspect of face to face communication, we believe users will be able to form strong, meaningful friendships and networking relationships while sharing their expertise, opinions and personality with one another.