How I Started My Blog-Food Storage Moms

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I’m going to share my thoughts on how I started my blog-Food Storage Moms. Here’s the deal, it was about six years ago and I was teaching classes in my home so my neighbors would learn how to be prepared for the unexpected. I shared food storage samples in my home, asked speakers to come, showed people how to bake bread outside and so much more. I did this every Wednesday for about a year from 5:30 to 6:30 P.M. I started each Wednesday on time and ended on time. Some weeks I had two people, some weeks I had over 20 people. I did this FREE of charge because I wanted to make a team of people in the neighborhood that could work together if we had a disaster. I really appreciated those that came, but I had a passion for teaching more people about food storage and emergency preparedness.

This is how I started my blog called Food Storage Moms, one person at a time. I need to tell you a little about me, I hope you don’t mind me spilling my guts today. When my youngest child was in second grade, I was bored. My house was clean, organized more than I care to admit. I wish now I had been more laid back when my girls were growing up. I wasn’t and I own it. So, Mark and I thought maybe I should get a part-time job. Well, I lived in a small town with very few job options but I applied to be a teller at a bank. Well, long story short, I was hired for a full-time job. When Mark came home, I announced, “I start Monday and it’s a full-time job”! I still giggle thinking about that moment because I had always been a stay at home mom.

Before I knew it, I was promoted to the new accounts desk and the bank was purchased by another bank. I was lucky because the new bank kept me working. I was very grateful. The next thing I know, I got a call from another bank asking me to be a manager of a grocery store branch. I was grateful for this new adventure. Within a year, I was asked to work in private banking at the same bank. I loved it! I was asked to cover two branches. I learned how to do car loans, boat loans, and second mortgage home loans.

Then I decided I wanted to do REAL mortgages, you know the Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA and VA government loans. I had NO idea how to do them. I went to work for a company and worked there for three months and decided to withdraw some of my retirement money and I opened my own mortgage company. I hired an underwriter and almost all of my family members worked at the company over the next 15 years. Believe it or not, I did not know how to send or receive any emails when I opened my company, this was in 1997. Thankfully, I did a loan for someone who taught me over the phone how to email. I will be forever thankful to him. After five years, I decided to get my real estate license. Now, I could sell homes and do mortgages. I worked 60-80 hours a week, seven days a week. I was a machine, I have always been driven to do the best wherever I worked.

After 10 years in real estate and 15 years of owning my own mortgage company, I decided to retire. Well, within a year, I was bored yet again. That’s when I decided to teach the world about food storage and emergency preparedness. It was a natural passion for me because I had lived this way my entire life. So, here I am today. I am very grateful that you let me into your homes to teach you. I must say, I learn from you as well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog.

My Blog:

Just so you know, when I started my blog, I had to learn to cut and paste stuff. Yep, I own it. I had to learn how to use WORD and make pdfs. I started my website with blogger, but I wanted more. So, then I started looking at other blogs. I HAD to have a WordPress website. I interviewed three web designers and I knew instantly I wanted Jenny at a website company right here in St. George, Utah. We clicked from the get go. She had someone that worked with her by the name of Chad. We clicked instantly as well. I always said, just design it, you both are experts. I don’t need choices, just do it. I want purple, and they took the ball and ran with it by designing my first website.

While they designed my website, I was setting up a business checking account, my LLC, and getting a business license. My sister, Carol helped me with printables and was patient beyond words with me. Remember, I had to learn to cut and paste and work on a real website. Yikes, am I crazy? I had NEVER used WORD! I was still using Word Perfect. Keep in mind, I’m 67 years old today. This was all new to me. I was setting up plugins, and I said to myself, what is a plugin? I remember shaking as Jenny taught me to use a WordPress website. What? I need to pay for hosting, well of course I do. Gotcha, Jenny, I have a self-hosted website. Before I knew it, I was into the website and training for about $5,000.00.

If you know how to do stuff yourself, it’s free or very cheap. I was clueless. Let’s just say, I have learned a lot over the last five years. I was paying for a life coach to help me stay focused. Lyn Christian, from Soul Salt Inc. rocks! I was paying for classes to learn how to use Google+. What the heck is Google+, I asked. I had never used it. I paid Jenny Melrose to coach me how to use Google+. I had to learn how to use Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Now I use Instagram. I swear I kept thinking I can’t LEARN anything new.

About six months after I started my blog, my friend, Lisa Blair called me and said, “How come you only have three boards and 30 followers on Pinterest?” I said, “What is a board?” The rest is history, thank you, my awesome friend, Lisa for teaching me about Pinterest.

What the heck is Rafflecopter, you ask? You use it for giveaways. Then I learned how to use Co-Schedule and Buffer. Oh my gosh, I hope I don’t need to learn anything else. When I was invited to be in a Southern Utah blogger group five years ago I had the opportunity to learn from some really awesome bloggers. We met monthly for dinner for maybe two years, as I remember, to share tips and ideas. I learned about blogging conferences, SEO (search engine optimizer) and so much more from them. Thankfully, I went to many conferences that were in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I could stay for FREE with my daughter and attend them. I met some really awesome bloggers at each conference. I learned a ton from my Southern Utah blogger group and the conferences. The one thing I remember most about my Southern Utah group was the fact that if you want to be a successful blogger you have to work really hard for two years in order to make money to support the expenses of running a WordPress website.

I was ready for that, I worked 10-14 hours a day seven days a week for four years. Remember, this was all so new to me. I was still in my pajamas at noon. Wow, I look back now and laugh. I was still in my jammies for lunch!!!! I had to learn Amazon. I had never used Amazon before I started my website. I have Amazon ads on my website and I had to learn to put them on my WordPress website. Oh my gosh, can I REALLY do this?  I wish I was more techie, but I’m not.

Three years after the first website was designed, the old developer stopped supporting my “theme”. IT WAS BROKEN! “what do you mean it’s broken,” I asked. “It will no longer work,” Chad said. I had to pay for another website (same name and content). Now, I need to hire someone to design another “theme”. $$$$$ here we go again.

This is getting very expensive now. Dang, I wanted a Genesis “theme” the second time but Chad my web designer decided on a different theme. He designed the website I have today along with his brother, Dallan. My website was hacked about six times the first year, which means someone is breaking into your website and it goes down, as in no website for a few hours or days. In December my website was down seven days. I get so mad just thinking about that week. Breathe, Linda, breathe.

I was hacked at least four times the second year. Dang, now I need to learn how to use a security system with my website and with a backup. Sucuri.net is now my best friend. They keep my website from being hacked, or at least between that company and my new hosting company, Liquid Web, I’m pretty secure. My website is very expensive to run each month. It started out as a hobby but became a business before I knew what was happening. I was going to shut my blog down in March (my second hosting company was not adequate) and two people besides my wonderful husband sent me emails to keep going. One was Todd Sepulveda from “Prepper Website” and the other was Jasper from LiquidWeb. If you need an awesome hosting company, contact Jasper at jhopkins@liquidweb.com. HE and Todd are the two people that made me realize, I NEED to keep going, as in writing. I thank both of them from the bottom of my heart. I truly love my readers as well, what can I say.

Okay, back to my blog, then came sponsors. What, you want to pay to advertise on my website? I was so grateful and honored to get paid to put their, “banners” on my website. This would help big time with my expenses. What, you want to give me “stuff” to review. I was overjoyed to be able to show the world with pictures how to use emergency preparedness stuff. I received boxes weekly with samples to taste and promote. I was beyond thankful. I could tell my readers how I felt about certain products. I have only sent back one item I was asked to review, an emergency radio. To have so few questionable items to review is a wonder to me. That’s one in five years, I just couldn’t recommend it.

I started my blog and asked a friend, Kendra, to help in the beginning. After six months of blogging, the New York Times sent us an email about doing an interview. WHAT? We were both interviewed, via the telephone. You know how interviews go, the article said Kendra started the blog with a friend. WHAT? LOL! Anyway, after about six months or so, Kendra decided to continue doing her own blog and a new little baby was on the way. New York Times Interview with Food Storage Moms I can still feel my heart beating so fast just thinking about being interviewed by the New York Times. At the time, I only had 4,000 followers a month.

The next thing, I know, I get an email about writing a book. Well, I never wanted to write a book, but I agreed to the interview via phone. I had no idea what a BIG deal this was, at least for me. It’s really hard to get a publisher to agree to publish the book you want to write. A lot of writers have written books and had them self-published. Both Melissa Richarson and Randal Chase, who had written books, and who I knew I could trust, looked over the contract I was being asked to sign. Melissa has since written one more book: Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast: Recipes for Whole Grain Health It’s very HARD to write a book, at least it was for me. Several times, I thought, I can’t do this. I swear, I can’t do this. Mark kept pushing me, yes you can. YES, YOU CAN. My kids and grandkids kept telling me, YES YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!!

A couple years later, I received an email asking if Ted Koppel who wrote “Lights Out”, could interview me and keep the interview quiet because he was writing a book about emergency preparedness. They taped my interview, I wasn’t in the book, but as you know, I highly recommend it: Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

My Blog Tips:

  1. Choose the name you want for your blog, make sure you can get the exact name on EVERY social media channel known to man.
  2. Check to see if that name is available to purchase from a website company or a company like GoDaddy.
  3. If you are the techie type, you will save a lot of money because you can set it up yourself.
  4. Setup an LLC if you are serious about making money. This means you need an EIN number.
  5. It’s time to get a business license if your state and or county requires it.
  6. You need a good CPA to help you with taxes.
  7. Yep, this means you need a business checking account.
  8. You need a Privacy Policy, yep you have a business now. Sponsors won’t talk to you without a Privacy Policy in place. Trust me, they will look for one.
  9. Setup MailChimp or something similar to send out emails when your posts are published. Just so you know, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) may be looking over your shoulder, so please don’t put a phony address on the emails you send out, big fines may apply if you are caught.
  10. If you want to sell something, you need a sales tax # for your state, if it applies.
  11. You need statements on your website that comply with the FTC. We must state that we MAY make money if someone clicks on links within our website.
  12. Make sure you have the dates of your blog at the very bottom showing it’s copyrighted material. January 1st of every year, change the date in the settings to confirm the new year if your “theme” doesn’t do it automatically.
  13. Make sure you have a backup of your blog, if your hosting company goes down, you may too.
  14. Set-up a security system besides the one your hosting company has, you can never be too safe.
  15. Set-up Rafflecopter if you want to do giveaways. It’s honest and there shouldn’t be any cheating when Rafflecopter chooses the winners.
  16. Hire a virtual assistant once you can afford to pay one. I did for about six months. Katie Clark was awesome from ClarksCondensed (com).
  17. Set up as many automatic schedulers that you feel appropriate for your budget. This means apps will do the scheduling for you. Yes, they cost money, but time is money. Remember, it’s a business. In order to make money, you must spend money. I’m starting to sound greedy, and I don’t want it to come across as that. I recommend, ViralTag, Co-Schedule, Buffer to start with.
  18. Choose a really good hosting company. They can make or break you, literally.
  19. Find bloggers you can trust and share ideas with. I will forever be thankful for Mary Ellen Seavey and Jazmin Rode for coming into my life through blogging. They have taught me more than any conference I have attended.
  20. Get a good camera, and buy photo stock pictures as well.

Thanks for letting me blab about my life and my blog today. Together we can teach our neighbors to bake bread, start a fire, make tortillas, a batch of beans, use a Sun Oven or boil water in a Dutch Oven. We can wash our clothes, make a portable toilet and washing machine. Please remember to get clothespins, these are my favorite ones: Kevin’s Quality Clothespins Set of 50.

May God bless you and your neighborhoods, we are prepared for the unexpected.

 

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10 thoughts on “How I Started My Blog-Food Storage Moms

  • April 29, 2017 at 8:28 am
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    Well, Linda, if this post came out on the correct day, it IS your Birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    As for your article about your accomplishments, I must admit that you are one driven Lady!
    I thought I was driven but your drive to stay busy would drive me crazy! But not in a bad way, I assure you.
    I suppose having been a thrill seeker in my younger days (I’m pushing 60 but the old body feels like 200 while my brain tells me I’m only 20. Go figure) set me up early in life to do things most folks would see as far too dangerous for them and that’s fine if it works for them. As for me, I have a ton of cool stories to tell while sitting around the campfire nursing my ouchies. Most of them seem to start with “Hold my beer and watch this!” Those that don’t go out and do, well, I suppose their campfire stories might begin with “This one time I got a flat and it took AAA an ENTIRE 45 minutes to arrive and replace my tire! Can you believe that?!? I mean, my Frappuccino was almost room temperature by then!” (BTW, the preceding is NOT meant as a dig on you but on some of my “contemporaries” who see me as a wild-eyed Neanderthal knuckle dragged who is broken down and hurting while they play Dress Up for afternoon tea.
    I just feel I had a FAR more fulfilling lifestyle and adventures and tons of interesting stories to tell to anyone wanting to listen.
    So you see, the Brainiac side of the equation as you have chosen could never be my cup of tea, but I’m thankful for those that choose that path. It must be an adrenaline fix thing for me as opposed to a cerebral connection. That’s all cool, though, because without the logistics side of the house, the doing cannot thrive either. Both sides of the equation complement the other.
    Now back to your post, I had NO concept or understanding as to all the background necessities to pull off such a successful site and blog as you have and I’ll be forever grateful for you and other folks like you who have the wherewithal to wade those treacherous backwater channels to bring the seemingly endless fountains of knowledge for so many people to enjoy, practice and add to their bag of tricks and which could, one day, actually save their life if they should get caught up in some kind of emergency and dig deep to remember the information morsels you presented.
    For passing along that knowledge for people to learn from, you are to be commended!
    Congratulations!!!
    I hope you have as many more years of continuing success as you desire. As for me, I’m going to re-read some of your previous articles, see if there is a subject I am not very familiar with then experiment with the subject to better train MY self should the SHTF and I need it.
    Just because I’ve been doing all this fun “prepper” or “survivalist” stuff for over 50 years does NOT mean I know it all. I really dont.
    I’ve found that I’ve learned what I need to survive in many, MANY, different and unique situations but having multiple options to accomplishing a particular objective can never be a bad idea.
    It’s all about working smarter, not harder.
    After all, knowledge weighs nothing and for the most part is free for the reading if you know where to look for competent information.
    Places precisely like this site.
    Thank you and have a Blessed Birthday!

    Reply
    • April 29, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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      Hi Huggy, oh how I LOVE your comment. I didn’t take anything as a dig. I wanted to tell the world what it is like to write a blog without sounding egotistical. Because I am not that, for sure. I love being able to teach the world next to my new puppy, Bentley. If I’m in my jammies until noon, so be it. He is a five-month-old ShihTzu and I have a few scars on my toes, hands, and arms to prove I have a new puppy. I forgot how hard it is to train a puppy. LOL! I’m so glad you have been doing all this prepper and survivalist stuff for 50 years. I was just asked today to speak in August to a group that has zero prepping desire. Interesting…..I think the possibility of a war may be hitting them in the face. Yep, we all need some water, food storage, etc. Thanks again for your awesome comment! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • April 29, 2017 at 8:40 am
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    Linda, I had no idea it was so difficult: you make everything seem easy & doable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for hanging in there to help strangers like me!

    Reply
    • April 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm
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      Hi Roxanne, this is why readers like YOU keep me going. If I didn’t hear from readers like you I couldn’t keep doing this. I research and teach from my heart but I also learn from my readers such as you! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • April 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm
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    Linda you have done an AMAZING job! I’m so proud of you! You worked so hard for something and have achieved so much! (I didn’t realize that New York Times article said that about me! Oh my heck, I’m so sorry. I don’t even remember really talking to them, you talked more then I did, maybe they got our names mixed up??? Crazy! Sorry.) One day when I’m your age maybe I will have time to run a more professional blog again! I was doing well and starting to make great money and them BOOM life hit me and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had to slow down. I know it was the right thing to do, but it was hard to give it up. But with raising 5 kids and homeschooling, I just couldn’t keep up! There is a time and season for everthing. I’m grateful for what I learned and the money I did make cuz it helped, but I guess right now it my time to focus on my babies, but it kind of makes me sad! One day I will be in my 60’s and will be as famous as you 😉 You are an inspiration!

    Reply
    • April 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm
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      Kendra, LOL! I think you were too busy raising those awesome kids to read the New York Times article! I do not know how any young mother could write a blog, it’s way too much work. You and I started it as a hobby, and boom, life took us two different ways! Love you to the moon and back! You are an amazing mom! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • April 29, 2017 at 5:07 pm
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    Happy Birthday, Linda!! I do love your Blog. I, too, did not realize all that went into doing all you do for us out here. What you say resonates with me. Your book is awesome. Ted Koppel’s book is awesome, too. I feel good on the food stuff + extra items to have. BUT the water is where I am lacking. SOOOOON! Again, Happy Birth Day! Love and Hugs, Joanne

    Reply
    • April 29, 2017 at 5:33 pm
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      Hi Joanne, you are so nice!!!! I look at prepping this way….whatever we have stored today is awesome. Whatever we do each day is better than yesterday. If we add one case of bottled water this week and a water barrel next month, that works. As long as we do one can at a time or one gallon of water at a time, life is good. Love and hugs to you girlfriend, Linda

      Reply
  • April 30, 2017 at 5:06 am
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    Dear Linda~
    I am so glad you shared your story that paints us a picture of who you are and how you have grown thru the years into this person we love and welcomed into our hearts. Even though we have never met face to face I do feel like you are my friend and sister on life’s journey. Sending you many blessings and wishes for health, happiness and prosperity as you travel around the sun one more time. Many more fun and exciting trips!
    Hugs,
    Violet

    Reply
    • April 30, 2017 at 8:40 am
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      Oh, sweet Violet you made me cry today in a good way. You warm my heart with love vibes coming through the air. I too feel like the people I write with are my friends, sisters, and brothers. One thing I forgot to put in that post was the fact that I needed a little extra money for about a year. I said a little prayer and asked God, “is there a way I could make a little money, I don’t need a lot, I’m very frugal?”. Two weeks later I got the email to write my book, it was truly a blessing. I’m choked up writing this statement, miracles do happen. I am deeply humbled I was given the chance to learn to teach the world. Love and hugs, Linda

      Reply

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