Never, in her wildest dreams, did a St. Michael mother who was simply looking to provide a bit of advice and inspiration for other aspiring moms think her message would take her here.
And for Rachel Martin, here, now, is everywhere.
In the past six months, Martin has jet-set to both coasts, hit conferences in Kansas City and Georgia, dealt with the never-ending winter in Minnesota, and returned home to celebrate the holidays with her kids.
Oh, and she’s also thrown together an e-book and networked with fellow writers across the country.
“When something you do resonates with people, it can be really powerful. I did my first ‘Dear Mom’ letter, really on a whim. But it’s something that a lot of people could relate to. And things just took off from there,” Martin said.
As someone who has “always enjoyed writing,” Martin took to blogging, not wanting to necessarily falling into that “Mommy Blogger” stereotype but also knowing that there was a certain sort of power behind that brand.
“Look if you can overcome the stigma, there’s a very cool side to that corner of the Internet,” she said. “People want to help people out.”
Her first writings were about going gluten free, something that wasn’t mainstream then, but certainly has become a health issue today. She also talked about handling seven (yes, seven) children as just one mom, and other topics that resonated with her new audience.
The “Dear Mom” blog introduced her to the power of social media. Once she had her blog posted, it was shared, and then shared again, and then taken to the point where it went viral, on a small scale, and was seen by thousands of friends and strangers throughout the region.
Another “Dear Mom” letter went viral, and suddenly Martin was an inspirational voice for women, not just mothers. And she established her own brand, dubbed “Finding Joy.”
And while that has led to some success – some 60,000 pageviews daily on some blogs and television and Internet appearances both nationally and locally – it’s her latest endeavor with friend and social media guru Dan Morris.
Blogging Concentrated is their answer to hundreds of questions pitched by literally thousands of bloggers – starting with “How do I make my blog go BIG.'”
“I kind of worked with Dan after a conference I went to, and we both had a vision for bloggers who want to take it beyond that sort of hobby and become their own entrepreneur,” she said. “I never could have imagined this.”
This is a schedule of travel that had her home for just two weeks in February (Martin leans on two teen-age daughters, family and friends for help when she’s traveling). She’s pounding social media, with accounts on Facebook and Instagram garnering the most intimate looks at her life, as she travels from Syracuse to New York City and then back to the West Coast, speaking with people who love to write as much as she does.
“It’s a challenge. But we all have this different voice. And we create this community online, but it’s so much fun to meet these people in person and share the things that bring us together,” she said.
Martin and Morris have also put together an online community, webinars, a store front, a calendar of events, and an incredible blogging resource called BC Prime, which brings the Blogging Concentrated aspect to the web, as well.
Blogging Concentrated, featuring St. Michael’s Rachel Martin and partner Dan Morris, returns to the Twin Cities later this month. You can find out more about that via Blogging Concentrated’s Facebook page, which is just fine for now.
As for Martin’s writings, check out FindingJoy, which includes the download of the “Dear Mom Letters” e-Book and, now, and inspirational calendar.