Hey guys! Welcome to the very first blog post on SheMonster Media! We’re about to start an epic journey together, lifting one another up and supporting our fellow creative entrepreneurs through this site! And one of the ways I plan to do that is by giving a very real and honest behind-the-scenes peak at the steps I take to grow my business through increased traffic, subscribers and income.
But first, a little bit of background information on me, Cole Nemeth, the lady behind the biz.
Cole’s Blogging Background
You should know that this isn’t my first blog. It’s not even my second, third or fourth! I’ve started a lot of blogs; most of them failed. In fact, I started my first blog mid-2012 on Blogger. Having used LiveJournal years before, I was under the impression blogging was much like an online journal, so that was how I treated it. I talked a lot about my experience being a teen mom, my different art projects, and my new journey towards gratitude and self-love. It was all over the place, but I quickly made online friends and got the hang of things.
Although that blog was kind of successful for what it was, I decided to switch over to a self-hosted WordPress blog at the end of 2013 while I was in college studying journalism. That blog went under a few transformations, but has now settled into what it is today at colenemeth.com.
On top of blogging for myself I’ve worked as a freelance writer since 2013 and have written for more than a dozen different blogs.
I started SheMonster Media as a legit business to take my freelance writing to the next level! I have a journalism diploma and am currently working towards a bachelor of public relations degree. And what better way to share my knowledge and help out my fellow creative entrepreneurs than to also write a blog!
Brainstorming the Idea Behind SheMonster Media
After I decided to take my freelance writing more seriously by registering a business name, I decided it was also necessary that I took the time to create a legit business plan. Well, kind of legit. Mostly it was a lot of journaling and scribbling ideas down on pieces of paper.
I had to figure out what I wanted from this business… Was it just going to be freelance writing? Or was it going to be something more? I mean, sure I was already a freelance writer, but I was in school studying public relations and knew there were a lot more services I could eventually offer my clients.
So here’s what I did.
Mind-Mapping, Lists and Vision Boards
Everyone should know by now what a mind-map is, but in case none of your teachers ever made you do one in your life, it’s simply a way to brainstorm ideas by writing down an idea and then branching off into more related ideas and so on and so on. Like this:
I used mind-maps to get a general idea of the kinds of services I could offer, and types of products and blog posts I could create for my audience.
I also love creating vision boards for basically everything in life, including different projects. SheMonster Media was no different! Vision boards help me create a visual picture of my thoughts, making them easier to understand.
I also wrote a ton of lists! Lists for everything! Lists that eventually went into my project management plan.
Project Management Plan
I actually wrote a very detailed project management plan to get my new business off the ground. I’ll probably write more about that later, but for now, here is a simple sticky note board I created from my lists. Each sticky note has a task written down on it. Once that task is completed, I take it off the board. It should also be noted that I saw this planning method on the Netflix series GIRLBOSS as I was creating my own! How cool is that?!
To go with this board, I have a project charter, project scope statement and a work breakdown structure. These documents go into more detail about each task that needs to be done, along with their deadlines. To keep the deadlines for each task readily available, I included them on my big desk calendar!
I learned how to do this in my project management class 😉
Business Activity Journal
When Nick was a production supervisor he had a journal where he wrote down all of the things he did at work that day, among other things. I loved that idea, so I took it!
Beside my laptop on my desk I keep my “business activity journal” where I can jot down anything I accomplished, as well as any ideas I have for later. It helps me stay on top of things.
Getting SheMonster Media Off the Ground
Choosing a Business Name
Although I have been freelance writing for the last few years under my first and last name just fine, I wanted to register a business name for a while but could never think of one I loved enough to use. But, since I decided 2017 was going to be my best year yet, I knew it was time to get it all figured out!
I sat down and brainstormed for what felt like forever, and finally, it dawned of me. SheMonster is actually from a horror movie from the 50s. Back in 2012 when I tried out for a roller derby team I was going to use SheMonster as my derby name. Sad to say, I didn’t end up joining (even though I was invited to) because of the time commitment required. But, it worked out that it is the perfect business name for me!
And why is it perfect? Because, I’m a bad-ass, feminist AF and totally fierce lady, and I love horror movies, punk music and alternative fashion. So what better word to describe me than SheMonster? And since I am basically my exact target audience, it works. Then, as I tried to think of a word to make the name more complete, I chose to go with media. Media is used to describe tAnd it sounds good, y’know: SheMonster Media.
Setting Up My Business Website
Since I’m already familiar with WordPress, I decided to stick with that. It’s a really awesome platform that’s easy to use and it’s always been reliable for me. And, before I even registered my business name, I made sure to see if it was available as a URL, AND IT WAS!
For hosting I chose to stay with Bluehost* since I’ve used them for a long time now and they have never let me down!
Once I set that up, I knew I had to get an idea of what I wanted my website to look like. So, I created a mood-board on Pinterest, an idea I got from an ecourse I completed through A Beautiful Mess back in the day.
I knew I wanted my blog to feel super punk-rock, with artsy elements and nature vibes. So I gathered images from around the web and on Pinterest that spoke to that. From there I chose three colours (purple, navy blue and yellow) that I loved and started creating various graphics.
Once I made my brand mood board on Pinterest, I took it a step further and created a template on Photoshop.
Although I could have selected a free WordPress template (and have in the past) I knew I wanted something very specific and so I went looking for that. And eventually I found the perfect one! Station Seven sells digital products such as blog themes and photo templates, and I ended up purchasing their Monstera theme (fitting!), and the Monstera blog pack that goes with it.
Believe it or not, I am soooo not tech-savvy when it comes to designing and building a website! This theme is super easy to customize and Station Seven has a really awesome help center on their website for each individual product they offer. If it wasn’t for their step-by-step setup guide I’d have been completely lost!
Once I understood my brand and chose a theme, I decided to create several pages that I figured would be the most beneficial to me and my audience including: about, resources, free library (for subscribers only), hire me, contact, blog, and shop.
Setting Up Social Media
Since I had lucked out on my business name being available as a URL, I made sure to check if it was available on social media. Lucky for me it was available every where and I setup all of my accounts right away, before I even registered the name. If SheMonster Media turned out to not be available as a business name, it would have been easy enough to rename those social media accounts, but not so easy if someone took them while I waited.
At first I didn’t know if I wanted to use my existing @colenemeth handle that I have everywhere, or keep it entirely separate. Of course I eventually decided to keep my personal and business accounts separate because that just makes more sense. I really want to grow SheMonster Media and it helps to have my business name out there on each social media platform.
You can follow SheMonster Media on:
Setting Up My Blog
I knew that the SheMonster Media blog was going to be a big part of this website and business. Blogging is one of the best (and most fun!) ways to connect with an audience. So, the blog had to be pretty darn good.
To get started, I wrote down a few different categories I wanted to focus on that would most benefit my audience, such as blogging tips, business advice, photography and social media. I also decided to blog once a week, every Monday. Maybe in the future I’ll do more, but between work, school and this business, I knew I had to keep it realistic.
Then I created a file on Google Docs to keep track of all my blog post ideas, like this:
As you can see, the blog post idea listed is this very one! It includes a possible title, details for the post, resources of blog posts that inspired it, where I’ll be posting it (since I have more than one blog) and the date it will be posted.
My blog post ideas chart currently has more than 50 blog post ideas for SheMonster Media alone!
But before I even launched my website, I made sure I had an entire month’s worth of blog posts completely done and scheduled, which turned out to be five for the month of June. That way I could start creating in-depth, valuable blog posts for July well in advance and not worry about running out of time.
And there you have it! The few (or many?) things I did to make SheMonster Media a reality!
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog or online business, here is a checklist you can use.
Also, make sure to check back on my regular updates on the progress of my new business, SheMonster Media! I’ll share detailed tutorials on any of the processes, resources and tools I use to grow my traffic, subscribers and income, so you can use them, too!