I always love meeting (at least by cyber means) successful, entrepreneurial women. A while back, I started reading The Inspired Room blog by Melissa Michaels. It rocks! I emailed her privately (cold turkey) and told her I loved her blog, and had she considered writing a book? Well, ta da! She has. It’s called Not a DYI Diva. I had the privilege of reading it this weekend. Here’s my endorsement: “Not a DYI Diva is not simply about decorating authentically, it’s about freedom and joy. Melissa Michaels has that rare gift of helping you see that the words decorating and contentment can hang out together. Inspiring, refreshing, and a fun read.”
I asked Melissa a few questions about her new book and her passion to set folks free to create the kinds of homes they long for. Scroll down to the bottom to learn how you can get a free copy. (I’m giving away three). Simply answer the question below.
And now to our interview. Melissa, how can a busy women realistically create a haven-like home?
I think it all comes down to our attitude! When we are busy and feeling the pressures or limitations of life (as most of us women are!) it is easy to reflect that in our attitude about our home. We can get easily discouraged and decide we don’t have time or talent or the perfect circumstances to create the home we wanted. Then our attitudes go sour or we give up trying!
If we can get a hold of our attitude and remember to see the blessings we have right in front of us, we are better equipped to move forward in creating that haven we all desire. We need to get past the desire for perfect and our need to impress ourselves or our neighbors or our followers online and work more on cultivating a warm nurturing atmosphere at home.
How has God surprised you in your business?
This whole journey has been full of surprises. I felt God impressing on my heart that He had something big for me to do at least a year before He ever gave me a clue as to what it was. My youngest was going to full day kindergarten and I was without a child at home all day for the first time in probably 17 years. I wasn’t sure where to invest my time any more.
I would call my husband at work in tears, literally, because I felt I needed to do something and yet I felt I was really without talent or real gifts to offer the world. My husband would sweetly tell me I could go meet friends for coffee to clean a closet or whatever. He didn’t really understand what I was saying. I knew I had something MORE that God wanted of me but I just didn’t know what it was.
After a year of praying and offering my time to God in whatever way He wanted my service, He began to reveal the mystery of what I was supposed to do. He answered my prayers for a new purpose in serving Him. I knew I needed to start a decorating business. Then start a blog. And from there, it has been non-stop surprises ever since. God is amazing like that! I wrote a little bit about my story over at (in)courage recently.
What is your advice for other bloggers who want to make a living at blogging?
This is a big question with lots of answers, but I’ll give a few of my thoughts. First and foremost, follow your passion! I know it is said a lot but that is because it really is the foundation of success. In spite of not feeling like I didn’t have a talent, I did have a passion. I just didn’t realize it would be of value to anyone else. Once you tap into that unique set of gifts and passion, run with it! You are already the expert at YOUR passion. You WILL find people who need to hear your message.
In order to make a living at blogging, you need to zero in on YOUR unique experience and expertise and share it until you think you have run out of things to say. Don’t try to be a carbon copy of someone else or another blog, be yourself! Then repackage your words and expand your audience and share the message again. Keep doing that every chance you get!
You may grow tired of hearing the words in your head, but as long as you have a fresh perspective on a subject and a unique way of communicating it, you need to keep sharing until you are an authority in your own niche.
Here is where the money comes in….you will know you are an authority or have a strong voice in your niche when GREAT opportunities come your way. Then your new job becomes deciding WHICH opportunities will grow your reach and which might bring you money but lessen your influence. It can be a tricky balance, but it is exciting all the opportunities we have online! There are so many ways to make money, but first you need to have established your own voice and value to your niche. It is like any other job, you have to climb the ladder and prove yourself as a reliable source!
A great way to earn money as a blogger is through affiliate sales. I promote quite a few ebooks and it is a great way to add a little cash to the budget. You can sign up here to be an affiliate of NOT a DIY Diva!
What’s your best piece of practical decorating advice you’ve learned in the past year?
I had some curtains I loved back in the 1990s. I moved and left those curtains behind, but I saved the leftover fabric for years and years because I loved it so much.
This year I pulled out the fabric to make new curtains for my dining room. Much to everyone’s surprise, the fabric was right in style today. I realized that as you decorate with what you love, trends will come and go. Don’t chase them! Sometimes you are in, sometimes you are just a couple of decades ahead of the trends. 🙂 Be a trend setter, not a trend follower.
To win one of 3 e-copies of Melissa’s book, answer this question:
What is your biggest decorating foul-up?