Meet Marybeth from Baby Savers
Blog Name: Baby Savers
You blog about freebies, coupons, babies, giveaways and more. How’d you get started and why cover so many topics?
I started blogging in 2008. I had been reading “deal blogs” and deal forums for a long time, and I had just had my first baby. I’m naturally a bargain-shopper, so saving as much money as possible on baby stuff was really important to me. I realized how much it bothered me to hear other people say, “babies are so expensive.” I didn’t agree. At the same time, I was finding tons of baby deals online, on my own. No one else was writing about them, so I thought I could do my little part to explain why I didn’t believe babies were expensive and share all the baby deals I could find.
About covering so many topics: That’s a funny question, because I usually think the opposite! I used to struggle a lot because I felt confined into a space of only writing about baby deals and shopping. I wanted to talk more about families and parenting. There were recipes and crafts I wanted to share. When I wrote about anything other than babies I felt like I was in the wrong place. I rebranded my site (from BabyGoodBuys.com to babysavers.com) in 2012. When I realized that a lot of goals in my own life centered around saving time and saving money, I decided that the “savers” part could encompass more than just helping readers save money. It was a very freeing decision!
What do you love most about blogging?
In general, it’s in my nature to seek out opportunities to help people. It’s why I started my blog, and it’s so rewarding to know that the content on my site is assisting others in saving time and saving money in order to help them direct those resources towards their families.
What’s the worst part about blogging?
The total responsibility. It’s a double-edged sword. I didn’t start my blog to make money, but it’s evolved into a business over time. While it feels good to know my little creation is contributing to my family’s finances, it puts weight on my shoulders to always have fresh articles and a well-functioning site. There are also things I never really planned on needing to know, like business structure, planning and taxes. At the same time, that total responsibility means that babysavers.com and everything related to it is mine. That’s something I’m very proud of!
Why do you blog?
I blog to help other people, especially parents. I also blog because I’ve found the perfect job for myself: I get to write a lot, shop for deals, connect with others and continuously learn about code and how the internet works. My friends and my husband like to tell me that “luck has nothing to do with it,” but I feel so very lucky to have found my place online.
You’ve attended a number of blogger events. What’s it like meeting other bloggers in person?
Meeting other bloggers in person is an amazing experience. The first time was nerve-wracking. I spent a long weekend in New Orleans with 24 other bloggers who participated in the momdot.com blogging forum. It was a perfect introduction to other bloggers because it wasn’t an overwhelming number of people. No one got lost in the crowd, and everyone had interacted with at least a few other participants online.
The best part of that trip was definitely the connections I made with the other bloggers. The next few blogging-related trips and conferences I participated in included at least one other person who was on that New Orleans trip. Knowing someone when going into a new experience makes a huge difference, so it definitely helped my level of comfort and gave me the confidence to jump into new blogging experiences with both feet!
You’re not just a blogger, you’re an eBook author! How’d the Potty Training book come about?
My ebook, How I Potty-Trained My 18-Month-Old in 1 Week has been an amazing, shocking success. I try not to check too often, but there have only been a few times in the past 5 months when it hasn’t been on Amazon’s Top 5 bestsellers in the narrow “Toilet Training” category.
I had written a blog series with the same title as my ebook a few years ago. The posts were extremely detailed, sharing exactly what I did to potty-train my daughter when she was just a year and a half. Both articles were well-received when I wrote them, but over a year ago, the articles started going viral on Pinterest. My inbox was exploding with potty training questions. One day, a few months after the traffic had spiked on both the blog posts, I checked my Pinterest stats and found that the posts had been pinned 90,000 times and it was still going strong!
So I started talking to a few blogging friends about it, and someone told me, “You need to write an ebook before someone else writes a book with the same title.” I wasn’t sure how right she was about that, but it planted the seed that these 2 extra-long blog posts were jam-packed with information and I could reach a new audience by turning it into an ebook. I’m very up front about the fact that a lot of the information in the ebook can be found for free on my blog, but there’s definitely additional details that complement the content and add value to the ebook. Plus, the book is of a practical nature. I also understand some readers just work better off of a book format rather than scrolling through pages on a computer screen.
Do you get offended by the term “mommy blogger”?
I’m not offended, but I have mixed thoughts on it. My blog exists because I became a mom. I’m a blogger. The term applies to me. On the other hand, I don’t like how the term grossly categorizes nearly all female bloggers. One of my best friends is has a website and she writes content similar to mine. We live in the same city. We attend many of the same events and we’re both frequently called “mommy bloggers.” Yet she doesn’t have children, and she’s not planning on having any.
While I’m not insulted by the words “mommy blogger,” I have a small problem with the assumption that most female bloggers are mothers. I also take a bit of an issue with the presumption that it’s ok to call a woman without children “mommy.” It seems short-sighted and the term leaves out a huge variety of qualities that truly define who a blogger is and what sort of things she’s capable of writing about.
What’s the secret to your great smile?
Oh, thanks, Andrew! The secret is my Grandma! For as long as I can remember, her advice has been, “always smile!” and I’ve always listened to her. It’s so simple, but I’ve had a lot of practice since she still tells me this every time I see her!
And be sure to tell Marybeth that Andrew from Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy sent ya!