What I love about the social space is that it is what you make of it. There is no distinct career path or measure of success. Every other week, I’ll be profiling a blogger who has gone beyond the blogging space and gives insight as to how her career is evolving. If you missed any of the “What’s Your Social Dialect” profiles for bloggers and brands, I encourage you to take a look.
This week, I’m thrilled to bring you a personal friend that I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside. Kelly Whalen (@centsiblelife) is smart, savvy, and the founder of The Centsible Life, a blog where motherhood and money meet. Her goal is to help readers live well on less. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. You can often find her on twitter and Facebook talking money and motherhood.
Social Dialect: How long have you been blogging and what got you started?
Kelly: I started blogging in January 2009. You can read more about how I started and why here, but in summary I started blogging because I like to share information and thought a blog would be a perfect way to share what I was learning as my family and I tried to dig our way out of debt $1 at a time.
SD: How did your LBB (life before blogging) lend to what you are doing now?
Kelly: As a child and teen my mom worked from home, and set her own hours (though she worked for Avon). Much of what she did focused on teaching women to run their own small businesses and market themselves so a lot of my knowledge base comes from her work (which I helped out with as an assistant at times). I have always had a love of books and the written word, so writing has always been an outlet for me. After having kids (which totally taught me how to juggle multiple projects) I spent a lot of time volunteering as a community moderator or manager. all those experiences help me with different facets of what I do today, but I think the thing that helps me the most is my thirst for new knowledge and experiences. Without that I wouldn’t be up to date on the latest trends and tools or know how to adapt.
SD: Do you consider yourself fully sustained by your social media career (understanding that “sustained” is an individual level of satisfaction)?
Kelly: Yes and no. Career-wise it is completely fulfilling though at times overwhelming. The saying is true that when it rains, it pours. Life-wise I find that it is one facet of leading a satisfying and rewarding life.
SD: How have you grown your presence in social media and where would you like it to take you?
Kelly: I’ve grown my presence over time. I focus on quality relationships and building my audience naturally versus tools, tricks, and gimmicks. Questions about where I would like to be in the future are tough since I feel like the space, and my goals shift depending on so many factors. I’m always adapting and changing to meet people where they are.
SD: What would be your dream company to work with for totally personal and selfish reason?
Kelly: This is a great question, and one that is tough to answer. I have worked with and currently work with some amazing brands including Acura, Home Depot, UPromise, Udi’s Gluten Free, and Lowe’s Creative Ideas.
Some of the brands and products I love and use daily are the ones I would be most thrilled to work with. The list includes brands like Apple, Target, Method, Starbucks, Electrolux, Wegman’s, Trader Joe’s, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and Home Goods. They are all brands that I use literally every day.
I’d also love to partner with more causes, and non profits because there are so many causes that are close to my heart. Currently I’m working to raise funds for a local robotics team whose school board first denied and then stated they needed to raise funds to attend a World Championship. Some causes that I care deeply about are hunger in America and all over the world, encouraging STEM skills, financial literacy, and women’s and children’s issues.
Have a question for Kelly? Leave a comment here. Otherwise, check out all the amazing things she’s doing through her blog, The Centsible Life.