The house is clean, the chores are finished, and the little one is tucked in for a nap. For most mothers, this would be the ideal time to take a break, catch up on a show or have some quiet time. For Katie Clark, however, the moment her son falls asleep, she goes to work. Fortunately work only takes her to the next room, where she begins typing away on her computer.
Clark graduated from BYU in print journalism. She took her passion for writing and turned it into a profession while remaining at home with her family.
“I would definitely say getting my degree in print journalism helped me shape my writing and networking skills,” she said.
Katie and her husband receive their income from the two blogs they run, Clarks Condensed and The Blog Help. Their success enables them to remain at home with their son.
“Having a job that allows her to rest and be at home has been a blessing,” said her husband and business partner, Forrest Clark.
The family-focused nature of her blog allows Katie Clark to include her son in her work as well. She often blogs about family activities and parenting experiences.
Although Katie Clark writes most of the posts, her husband helps behind the scenes with web design and many of the household duties. According to Katie’s mother, Babzanne Barker, this experience has given them the opportunity to show appreciation, encourage each other and share responsibilities.
Barker also attributes Katie Clark’s success to her work ethic and determination.
“She is very self-disciplined, and when she decides to do something she will stick to it,” Barker said.
Katie Clark started blogging in 2008 with her sisters as a way to document their family experiences. She was about to leave for college and wanted to stay in touch. She continued blogging throughout college as well.
When the Clarks were expecting their first child, she read articles online about pregnancy and motherhood. She found herself struggling with the flood of negative information.
“I felt like I saw everywhere … how having kids ruins your life and marriage,” she said. “The stuff I stumbled upon really bothered me.”
Katie Clark wanted to find a way to help get positive content on the Internet. She started Clarks Condensed with posts about families, parenting and pregnancy.
“I felt very strongly that I needed to promote positive messages about those topics,” she said.
She further explained that she did not feel the need to sugarcoat everything but wanted to show the benefits of being parent.
“I hoped to spread the idea that even though having a family can be hard, it is so, so worth it in the end,” she said.
Katie Clark blogged as a hobby until 2013, when she realized she could turn it into a profession. Although she studied journalism in college, she always planned on being a stay-at-home mom. She searched for ways she could still write and possibly make some money while raising a family at the same time. After attending the Online Blog Conference, she knew blogging professionally was something she should pursue.
“At that point, I really just threw myself into it,” she said. “I started reading everything I possibly could about blogging and just jumped into it.”
After much hard work, she was able to start earning a full-time income after a year of blogging professionally through display advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate links.
“There are so many ways to make money blogging,” she said. “But those are the top ones.”
Katie Clark’s other website, The Blog Help, was created as a one-stop shop for bloggers with tech support, web design services, mentoring and more.
“I think she is wonderful at encouraging others,” said Hilary Erickson, a fellow blogger. “(Her site) makes it so easy to ask her questions.”
Despite her success, Katie Clark has faced the difficulty of negative feedback from readers.
“As a blogger, you open up a little bit of your life to people, and it opens you up to a lot of criticism,” she said.
She continued to explain the difference between constructive criticism and brutal comments, saying that some people are just looking for a fight.
“People see the Internet as an anonymous shield and sometimes don’t realize how much words can hurt,” she said.
Another difficulty she faced is the stigma from other bloggers that if someone wants to make money from blogging, he or she is a sell-out. Katie Clark said people should not feel guilty about making money from something they’re passionate about as long as they remain true to themselves.
“The way Katie has done it, while also being true to herself and her beliefs, has been inspiring,” Erickson said.
Although Katie Clark works from home, she still struggles to balance family time and work time. She said her top priority will always be her husband and son.
“Making sure I don’t neglect them for my blog or clients can be a balancing act,” she said.
Her solutions include setting aside time for work, primarily when her son is asleep, and often leaving her phone, and the constant stream of emails and messages, at home when going out with her husband.
“I just have to get my priorities straight and realize that I can’t do everything all the time,” she said.
Her advice to aspiring bloggers is to stay true to oneself and work hard. She said if people are passionate about something, they can be successful.
“There are millions of blogs (out there), and I always think there is room for more,” she said.