Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Piersall.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Wendy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
12 years ago, I wanted to start an online business, and I’d heard that having something called a ‘blog’ was good for search engine optimization. I quickly found that my business was going nowhere, but my blog was taking off. At the time it was dedicated to providing resources for work at home parents, and one of my articles went crazy viral: a list of kids activities ideas. I decided to spin off a new blog dedicated to kids activities and it was both successful and profitable immediately.
Since 2008, the Woo! Jr. Kids Activities blog has seen nearly 50 million visitors from all over the world and has led to features on the Today Show, Huffington Post, and several local news channels. It also led to several book deals, including Mom Blogging for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, 2011) and 6 adult coloring books, including Nielsen Bookscan bestseller Coloring Flower Mandalas (Ulysses Press, 2015). In 2016, I started my own publishing company to produce books that complimented our web content. We’ve published 8 titles so far and have an aggressive goal of publishing 10 more in 2018.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been easy. A Google interface change nearly put me out of business in 2013, and we are constantly battling content theft in a highly competitive field. Being self-employed can produce high levels of burnout as well. I was fortunate to get a small windfall with my adult coloring books, and I poured every cent of that windfall back into the business. I now have a group of talented contributors that allows me to focus on what I do best: develop amazing content and bring great ideas to life.
We never fully recovered our Google traffic, but by diversifying our income, and working closely with our advertisers, 2017 was our best year ever. The business has now officially outgrown my home office. I’m moving into office space in a few weeks, and hiring a production assistant to keep up with it all!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Woo! Jr. Kids Activities – what should we know?
Woo! Jr. Kids Activities provides free worksheets, kids crafts, recipes and activity ideas for teachers, parents, and homeschoolers. Our printables (activity pages, coloring pages, paper crafts and worksheets) are by far our most popular content, with millions of pins on Pinterest.
Our activity books have been extremely popular, with our latest title “The Drawing Book for Kids: 365 Daily Things to Draw, Step by Step” reaching the top 200 best selling books on Amazon during the holiday shopping season. I think the reason our content resonates so well with our readers is because we are just SO passionate about creating it. We love what we do, and it shows!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I’ve always said that my creativity is my biggest asset. But over the years, I’d have to say that creativity on its own isn’t what has made me successful. Being able to switch between the left and right sides of the brain – being able to go from doing illustration work to pouring over spreadsheets – that’s what has turned my creativity into a 12-year publishing career.
As the business grows, I don’t get to do as much of the creative work as I used to, and that was a difficult adjustment to make. But I finally decided that my business isn’t about personal satisfaction – it’s about making a difference. Once I made that decision, it was easier to give up the creative work knowing that we’re touching a lot more lives with our content.
- Website: www.woojr.com, www.amazon.com/author/woojrkids
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WooJr/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/woojrkids