With the word “blog” in both of our company names, it was destiny that we would eventually cross paths with Blog Society! Although the business is based in Australia, we had the opportunity to chat with founder Jaclyn Carlson and get a glimpse into her super fab life. Read on to get to know about Blog Society and how everything came into play!
Brag a little! Tell us about yourself and how Blog Society got started!
Well I’m a Boston girl at heart who after 8 years in Sydney, is finally developing a strange Aussie/American accent! I’ve always been a natural connector of people and combined with my professional background in Marketing & PR, the blogging/event planning world came really naturally to me. I instantly fell in love! It wasn’t until I found myself in a new country that I really turned to blogging to connect. Since I couldn’t find a creative community here in Sydney that felt ‘right’ to me, I decided to create one of my own – and thus Blog Society was born.
What made you want to go from a blogger to a business entrepreneur?
The transition felt really natural to me and despite having never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, I realized quickly that I had a love for business. As a blogger, I loved the connections I was making but felt a desire to go deeper. I wanted to strengthen and expand those relationships, and face-to-face events was a natural next step. We started hosting workshops and events and from there, we just grew and grew.
I changed my mindset about Blog Society from hobby to business and that subtle shift changed everything.
What was the hardest part about starting a company and how did you overcome it?
Balance. As someone still working full time and being an ideas person, I really struggled (and still do) with making sure I stay focused on what projects are priority. Often we can get lost working in the business rather than on it so I have to be really disciplined with my time and energy to squeeze the most out of the hours I have and focus on growth and the big picture. For me, strategic planning and staying organized has helped keep my sanity!
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting Blog Society?
Just start – that is the BEST piece of advice I can give you and the biggest lesson I’ve learned. You’ll never feel ready, there will never be enough time, money, resources, skills – you just have to start, as scary as that can be.
How did you grow your following at the beginning & what do you do now to ensure your followers keep following you?
I launched my business on social media before I even had a website so at the very heart of Blog Society lies the power of connection. I have built my business around the need of belonging and our inherent desire to reach and meet others with shared beliefs. In the very beginning, it was all about the hustle – I worked for it, engaged with my audience, gave freely and openly and I think this transparency and honesty helped establish a trust with my tribe that has lasted to this day. I also made collaborations an integral part of my business from day one which immediately opened my eyes to new audiences. That has been my winning combo – collaboration and consistent honesty.
Who was your target audience when you first started out? Has your audience changed throughout the years?
The mix of Blog Society tribe members continues to expand and growth. At our core, we offer a voice and platform to a global and growing blogging and creative business community – I connect directly with women just starting out or early on in their blogging or business journeys. Through our blog, we educate and inspire through fresh, free content and our suite of creative events (thus far, Australian based but we are looking to expand into the US this year) and bring these experiences to life and embrace the value of face-to-face connection.
Outside of this,our most popular product is our flagship digital marketing e-course called Digital Bravery. Designed especially for bloggers or for creative entrepreneurs just starting their journey, we offer a self-paced, 6-week online course to build confidence and gain clarity around the worlds of digital marketing and social media. The tribe has always remained a creative one since the beginning and I don’t see that changing – it’s who I am and who I love to connect with.
How have you grown as a person since starting Blog Society?
It’s been an absolutely transformative journey for me. I’ve challenged myself more than I ever thought possible, sought out partnerships and projects that called for confidence and guts I didn’t know existed, welcomed success on a level I didn’t dare dream, faced failure at every corner and still find the energy and passion to push through. It’s been the most challenging and rewarding adventure!
When it comes to hiring employees, what traits do you look for?
As of right now, I run Blog Society solo but have a small team of incredible interns that lend their hands and heart to helping us get stuff done. When hiring, I have to go with a gut feel for energy and personality firstly and then ensure there is a solid skill set that matches what I’m looking for. I also think it’s really important to make sure your new hire has an eye for brand alignment because they need to understand your core values and mission as a brand or it will never work.
Describe your life as an entrepreneur in 3 words.
Always an adventure…
Any advice for people wanting to turn their hobby into a full-on business?
Make sure you have your own definition of success. It will vary for everyone and not everyone’s view of a full-time or “successful” business will be the same. Before you dive in and starting working on endless projects, take the time to get really focused and strategic about what you need to do in order to chase (and reach) those big goals.