As a digital publisher, Valerie Deneen has seen great success. She shares her expertise on a variety of subjects pertaining to family, not only through her online outlets, but through offline media channels too. As a wife and mother of two she provides firsthand knowledge and advice on invaluable topics.
For over 8 years, via her website, InnerChildFun.com, Valerie has been giving ideas on creative play to educational activities to all things fun. She has amassed an impressive list of skills through her journey and has gained understanding on ways to best provide entertaining and beneficial information. I’m looking forward to hearing her speak at NEPA BlogCon 2016 and sharing her thoughts on how she did it, so we can too. Enjoy!
Valerie Deneen, Inner Child Fun Media, LLC
1) Since 2008 you have been sharing ideas on how families, teachers, caregivers, etc. can best enjoy and positively affect the lives of children while having fun. You have created an extraordinary source for parents (and others) to take advantage of. What do you enjoy about being able to provide this type of information?
Thank you! My favorite part with blogging about fun activities is getting almost instant feedback from my readers. On practically a daily basis, they send emails with photos of their versions of our projects, and that makes me smile! Since my blog’s topic is very visual, we receive feedback from around the world. This has opened up lots of discussions with my own kids when I can tell them that an art class in Turkey did our project, or a little boy in Israel did one of our activities. I have brought out maps to show the kids where countries are located, and many times we embark on our own little research projects to learn more. My family has had so many opportunities for learning that we would not otherwise have had if it were not for my blog.
2) What do you feel are some of the most vital elements to making a blog a successful business. What do you feel helped you build an engaging audience who enjoys keep coming back to learn more?
Some important elements to making a blog a successful business are:
— Don’t let perfectionism hold you back. Just start and learn as you go along.
— Develop several income streams. In addition to blogging for other sites, consider affiliate networks, ad networks, selling ebooks and online courses.
— Solve problems for readers. An engaging audience is built on solving problems, starting discussions, and responding to comments in a timely manner.
3) You have a beautiful family, and it is awesome that your website incorporates subjects and activities that involves them. May I ask what they think of your work and are they having fun being a part of so much that you share?
Many times I refer to it as “our blog” instead of “my blog” because it is very much a team effort. My husband helps edit posts and maintains WordPress and the web server. He has always been super supportive! I think the kids very much enjoy being such an essential part of the blog too. My daughters have plans to take on more active roles by submitting their own guest posts, and my oldest is now contributing videos to my YouTube channel on a regular basis. At the end of October, we are all attending a social media conference so the kids can learn more skills as our blog evolves. I am so excited for what is ahead!
4) What do you think is the best benefit of blogging? How has InnerChildFun changed your life? When you first started, did you imagine it as becoming what it is today?
The biggest benefit is that I can earn money while I am sleeping. My blog never “closes” or “turns off”, so it is making money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also love that I can blog from just about any location and at any time of the day or night. Blogging offers a tremendous amount of flexibility! Another benefit (that I did not anticipate) is the amount of wonderful opportunities that have come our way. Our family was invited to Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, toured NYC for various press events, reviewed countless toys and books before they were available in stores, previewed movies, appeared on television, and so much more — all because of our blog!
5) If you were to offer advice to someone struggling with making a website into a fun and profitable business, what might it be?
My biggest piece of advice is to spend as much time and effort sharing/promoting your content as you do creating it. Content is crucial and there is no doubt about that, but do not expect readers to magically show up to your blog. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various social media networks to find what works best for your audience. Reach out to other bloggers, and if possible collaborate! Collaboration can be a powerful and effective way to get readers to your blog, and in turn, create a profitable business!
Your answers demonstrate you know about blogging and having fun, Valerie! Thank you for taking the time to share your journey with us. You inspire by combining family, work, doing the things you love, and sharing it all with others.
We are so glad you are going be part of NEPA BlogCon 2016 and I can’t wait to learn more!