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If You’re Not Failing You’re Not Trying Hard Enough

Even though Holly Hanna of The Work at Home Woman didn't build her WordPress site herself, she did build a work-at-home empire, so there's no way I'm leaving her out of the Women to Watch series! Holly has built a WordPress site that gets 170,000 visitors monthly by expertly and consistently crafting quality content tailored to her niche – and WordPress has been invaluable to those efforts.

When did you start your business, and why did you create it?

I officially launched my business in March of 2009. After the birth of my daughter, I quit my full-time nursing gig and became a full-time stay at home mom. But after 9 months of play-dates, mommy mush brain, and a dwindling bank account — I decided to look for ways to make extra money.

I knew that I wanted to be at home with my daughter, but had no clue what jobs would let me do that. So I started my search. Unfortunately, I encountered more scams than legit opportunities at the time. I knew that other women were working from home — I just had to figure to how to do it for myself.

This is when I had my light bulb moment for my blog, The Work at Home Woman. I created the website so that other women could easily find work at home jobs, business ideas, and legit information.

What do you feel makes your audience/readers special?

What makes TWAHW’s audience so special is the fact that these women want more. They’re standing up to societal norms and demanding flexibility and careers that place value on families first — and that is very powerful.

Has anything surprised you about starting a website?

It is more fun than I could have ever imagined. I absolutely love what I do and I never dread Monday mornings. Every day is a little different and you never know what opportunities are going to land in your inbox.

Did you do your site yourself website? Do you use WordPress?

Yes, I use WordPress. My web programmer helped me with my decision when I started out. I was totally clueless, luckily she lead me in the right direction. I hired a graphic designer to create a custom theme for me. She also uploaded WordPress to my host and did all of the technical stuff that I had no idea how to do. 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?

Don’t let fear hold you back and don’t settle for just okay. Before I started working from home, I was constantly searching for a job that made me happy. I’d daydream about launching my own business, but never thought it was a realistic goal, plus I had no idea what kind of business I’d be able to start. It wasn’t until I had my daughter and with the support of my spouse, that I felt brave enough to try out an idea. I’ve never been happier in my life.

If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Any mistakes I’ve made along the way have helped me learn and grow as an entrepreneur. As they say, “If you're not failing you're not trying hard enough”.

How fast did your audience grow? How many visitors/subscribers do you have?

My site did well from the beginning; or perhaps I should say it met my goals and criteria for success. I only wanted to work part-time when I first started out, because my daughter was still at home with me. But once she started school full-time, I was able to focus more time on the site and it has continued to grow steadily. I currently get about 170,000 visitors a month and my long-term goal is a million visitors a month.

Is this your only job? Did you launch your business while working another job?

Besides publishing The Work at Home Woman, I also work part time from home as a Social Media Manager for AWAI. I’ve been working with them since December 2007 and what I do for them, complements what I do on my site.

Do you have an email list? If so, did you start it when you launched?

Yes, I do have an email list. I started it when I launched the site back in 2009. However, I didn’t have good opt in placement and I didn’t send it out consistently. Again, all part of the learning process.

How do you promote your site?

The majority of my traffic comes from Google. I try and focus on creating the best content possible; content that my readers really want. I also use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus to send traffic to my site. As well as email marketing, PR opportunities, and guest blogging. It takes a lot of consistent work to build your traffic.

Do you earn money from your site, and if so, how? Affiliate marketing, ads, products, etc.? Did you intend to earn from it when you launched?

Yes, my blog is monetized. I knew from the very start that I wanted to make money from my blog, so I learned everything I could about monetization and getting traffic. I currently monetize with direct ad sales, affiliate marketing, ad networks, as well as corporate sponsorships.

Who are your favorite bloggers right now? 

There are so many that I visit on a daily basis … but I always seems to find great information on these.

Holly didn't let not having a skill or not knowing how to do something hold her back. She knew what she wanted, dug in and learned, and created a successful WordPress site in the process. You can find Holly and get some ideas for your own business at: