Women of Strength- Building a Community with Britni Miltner
We are resuming Women of Strength with some incredible tips from Britni Miltner. She is what I call a Master in Chief when it comes to blogging. In this month's Women of Strength feature, Britni shares the ups and downs of building a community and maintaining a blog! Her tips and experience with starting a blog while working full time will give you that little push to get writing. Enjoy!
What is MilSpouse Resource? How does it differ from other blogs/website with resources for military spouses.
MilSpouse Resource is a website where military spouses can find information on how to become an entrepreneur or create a portable career. It is a place to share stories, to learn, to grow.
MilSpouse Resource focuses on both entrepreneurship as well as portable careers, and shares resources that are available to military spouses. MilSpouse Resource doesn’t offer any programs, but it will share other resources – it acts as a positive “hub” of resources available. I also like to focus on the importance of networking and military spouse friendships – we have such an inspiring network of military spouses at our fingertips! We need to take advantage of this incredible network! Nowhere else will you find a network that such a wide variety of professions and talents. MilSpouse Resource’s motto is “Let’s Support and Inspire Each Other.” We should be leaning on each other for support and looking to each other for inspiration.
How do you find balance between your responsibilities at home and growing Milspouse Resource?
I work full time in addition to running MilSpouse Resource, being a mom, and being a military spouse. At first, I used to worry about getting posts done in a timely manner, which would leave me stressed. I created this site to help others, not to cause stress in my life! This blog is meant to be inspirational and share stories. Luckily, military spouses are the most forgiving group of folks – they, more than anyone, understand that “life” gets in the way and causes other responsibilities to be temporarily pushed aside.
If I can’t get a blog post done (which is often), I share posts from other blogs or feature guest bloggers.
What do you think are the primary reasons bloggers give up within six months of writing their first piece?
It’s tough. It really is. Having a blog is not an instant moneymaker, and any companies that pay well, look at numbers – if you don’t have the numbers, they most likely won’t work with you.
You must have patience and be willing to change and learn as you go. It’s not something that is going to blow up overnight unless you have unlimited time and resources to make that happen (which I don’t). It took a good year for me to finally figure out what I was doing right and what my audience likes and doesn’t like, and I’m STILL learning.
Also, it’s scary. When you’re pouring your heart out into a blog post, you’re sensitive about how your audience is going to react.
It’s easy to give up and difficult to move forward. I had to overcome some big fears of mine to push forward. I learned that I am worth having my voice heard. My opinion has value, even if not everyone agrees. I have a fear of being vulnerable, and MilSpouse Resource is helping me get over that fear. Today, I still have several unpublished blog posts just waiting to go live – maybe one day they will.
What would you say to those interested in starting, maintaining and growing a blog?
Just Start! Network. Learn. Even if you’re afraid, do it anyway. One day I woke up and decided that I wanted to start a relatable blog for fellow milspouses about having a portable career and/or become an entrepreneur. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging, and am continuing to learn as I go.
I think that it’s crucial to find a networking group to lean on. There are several available online as well as in person. Once I joined a few networking groups, I realized that all successful people started as beginners, just like me. It seems obvious, but we need that reminder that success does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and determination.
It’s important to understand that you will get better as you go, and that you will make mistakes. There’s no way around that. There are several free (and paid) courses that you can take to help you as you go – take advantage of those.
I know this sounds cliché, but stay true to yourself.
At first, I thought I needed to be an excellent writer, and would often feel intimidated by other bloggers with impressive vocabulary and credentials. I realized that people like it when you’re real; when you’re relatable. I know that I’m not the best writer by any means, but I’m able to create legible sentences that people can comprehend and hopefully get something from. I began to understand that people like MilSpouse Resource because not only do they like the blog itself, but because they like me – my positivity, my attitude, and what I stand for.
For MilSpouse Resource, I began with a simple and free blog on Blogger, and it grew from there as I learned new tricks from my fellow bloggers in my growing network. I began to share from other blogs, and guest blog to create awareness of my own blog.
Keep going, because you never know where it is going to lead you. I am passionate about military spouse employment, and have participated in several studies and surveys. I have been introduced to some of the most inspirational, hard working professionals and entrepreneurs I have ever met – and they are all in our very own military spouse network. Without MilSpouse Resource, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with these fine individuals.
Creating and working on MilSpouse Resource continues to challenge me and has helped me overcome some of my biggest fears. Because of this, I recently began working on another project, which will be launching sometime later in 2017 – stay tuned!
You can connect with Britni and MilSpouse Resource by visiting the following links.