“Really? You’re going to live in a condo with a young child?”
It was comments like that which inspired 38-year-old Kelly Connor to start her lifestyle blog, “City Mom.” The popular blog chronicles the adventures of raising a family in downtown London.
In 2009, Connor and her husband moved from Toronto to London with their two-year-old daughter. Although she grew up here, moving back with her own family gave Connor a new perspective.They settled down in the suburbs, yet it didn’t take long to realize they missed the city life. When the family traded in their home for a condo a year and a half later, the decision was criticized by friends.
Connor proved the naysayers wrong by blogging about the positives of living downtown. The name “City Mom” came to her right away. “I’ve always really liked writing so I decided to start a blog about our adventures,” she said.
In October 2011, the popularity of “City Mom” soared when Connor used her platform to comment on local politics. Suddenly “City Mom” gained recognition around the London Twitterverse.
Nowadays, the website chalks up 5,000 to 7,000 unique visitors a month and the Twitter account has over 3,500 followers.
Although Connor began writing just about London life, the blog has grown to include recipes, travel advice, product reviews and more.
In exchange for writing a review, Connor will sometimes be compensated with products or services. She notes compensation for reviews at the bottom of posts, adding that all opinions are her own.
Despite her love of writing, Connor never imagined it as a career. She studied internet technologies at Fanshawe and works full-time at TD Bank in London as a quality assurance analyst.
But outside the office, it’s a different story.
Once Connor arrives home, she swings into mom mode. She cooks and plays with her daughter before tucking the eight-year-old into bed. Then the writing begins.
Connor admits it’s difficult to juggle two jobs.
“Thankfully, writing is something I can do with a coffee, sitting next to my husband while he’s watching a game,” she said.
The blogger’s Fanshawe education certainly helps when it comes to the technical side of “City Mom.” Connor’s knowledge of things like HTML means she doesn’t have to hire a web designer.
As much as she enjoys the supportive blogging community, she admits it can be an unforgiving job. To make money, you need to be constantly working.
“If you want to take a hiatus, you almost have to start from scratch again to get your numbers back up.”
Numbers are crucial to bloggers. Connor says that if you want to market yourself to a company, they look at website traffic statistics.
She even knows people who have earned enough money blogging to match their salaries. Full-time bloggers can make $30,000 to $40,000 a year, she says.
For part-timers, Connor estimates the salary is $10,000.
Melissa Ublansky, an executive area manager and Arbonne independent consultant, has been a fan of “City Mom” since it hit the web five years ago.
“She’s got a good spread going on, which is why I like it. Do-it-yourself things, kids’ stuff to cooking stuff, to just interesting articles,” the London mom said.
She’s seen Connor’s blog gain popularity in the lifestyle blogosphere.
“It’s very impressive,” Ublansky said. “In London, she’s a name that everyone knows in that community.”
For Connor, her blog is just the beginning.
“What I want to do is combine my love of blogging and social media and create an overall business, like a social media management business,” she said. “And while I do that, continue blogging with ‘City Mom.’”