Anne Bogel blogs at ModernMrsDarcy.com and is the author of How She Does It: An everywoman's guide to breaking old rules, getting creative, and making time for work in your actual, everyday life.
Anne writes about the best in the world of books as well as what it looks like to be an accomplished woman in our modern world. Her readers are a smart, kind, compassionate, and loyal bunch!
Learn why she believes she was able to grow such a meaningful following, along with the process of getting her book into the Kindle store. Of course, Anne recommends a slew of great business books for you!
On the podcast:
- What is Anne is coming to terms with?
- How she does it
- Plans for another book?
- Her blogging philosophy
- The new blogger on the block with as much spunk as Lizzie Bennet!
The beginning of Modern Mrs. Darcy
Anne and her husband were having a New Year’s conversation to discuss the big picture for their next year. They were talking about a post her husband had done for someone else’s blog.
Anne's husband said, “You know who should have a blog?!”
Anne replied with, “No who?!”
She shrugged it off at first, but a few minutes later she was convinced. The blog didn’t go live for a couple of months but she started the planning and prep that very night. This was 3.5 years ago.
Anne's Encouraging Words
“Everybody starts at zero; there's nowhere to go but up.” Click to Tweet!
The Blog Posts that Make an Impact
- Summer Reading Guides
- Twitterature: Anne's link-up to bite-sized book summaries via Twitter has a small but fierce following of smart women who LOVE this feature. Anne has been duly warned that she mustn't dare get rid of it.
- Work-Life Balance Posts: People love to talk about this topic, and Anne's blog provides a safe place where all opinions are welcome, and readers are encouraged to think about issues in new ways.
- In case no one ever told you, Cardigans are Controversial, and controversy sells.
How She Does It
Work-life balance is not Anne's favorite phrase. (Ours either!) How about working towards doing the things you love the most in life?
Anne says that there aren't really typical days at her house, but there are seasons that follow a pattern such as the school year versus summer.
They use a nanny a couple of time a week, and she helps with some of the homeschooling. The kids are also out of the house one day per week so Anne can do things like chat with us for a Podcast. (Hooray for an empty house!)
The kids have rest-time every day, and Anne is very deliberate about how she uses that time.
Sometimes the schedule goes out the window, for example, when they moved this Spring.
Anne relates to the moms who are struggling with the decision to bring on help for their day to day.
“It feels like a really big step. It’s hard to find babysitters, so even doing that just one day a week can be tough.”
Coming to Terms…
Anne has had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she’s a blogger.
She takes her writing seriously and treats it like a job. When she’s among a literary crowd and mingling with people who are writing a memoir or the next Great American Novel, she can feel so low-brow. She may come home from what should have been a really inspiring gathering and think, “I have a blog.” She’s had to work through that a little bit.
The Unique Ability of Bloggers
“Bloggers have the ability to start and facilitate conversations that writers just putting their words out there and sending into books don’t.”
Plans for another book?
Good ideas tend to come fast from unexpected places, so maybe inspiration will strike. Unfortunately there are no plans for a second book at the moment. (I know. We were grieving too. Although if Anne needs some ideas… I've got about 100 per day! Let's chat, Anne!)
Her first book sprung from a conversation with a friend who was struggling to make everything work within her marriage and as a mom with all of the hats she was juggling.
Anne told her husband, “I think I’m going to write a blog post about that”
He said, “Forget that, you could write 20,000 words on that!”
Authentic Blogging = Authentic Community
Anne is really proud of the community that she’s created at Modern Mrs. Darcy. It’s not just her, but she got the ball rolling on it.
“I’m continually impressed day by day at the smart, savvy, thoughtful, kind, sincere community of women (and 3% men!) who show up every day.”
Thoughts on growing a loyal following
Anne thinks she got a little bit lucky.
In addition to that, she read early on that as the blogger you’re the host in your living room, and you need to set the tone
She tries to be very warm, welcoming, and open. She writes about possibility, exploring new things, other options, and looking at life from a different angle. That general tone tends to facilitate respect and openness to other people and their ideas
“My blog has a Jane Austen theme so it tends to attract people who are smart, and thoughtful, and interesting, and that doesn’t hurt!” says Anne.
She feels like she’s in some sort of virtuous cycle, and she’s really grateful for it.
Are the lack of giveaways, link parties, and sponsored posts intentional?
Anne doesn’t do a lot of link parties or sponsored posts.
She’s a maximizer by nature, so she doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time. If she doesn’t want to read it on her site or elsewhere, then she doesn’t want to put it on her blog.
If it’s not worth reading, she’s not going to post it.
Revenue Streams for Modern Mrs. Darcy
- Anne is on a bookish ad network – RiotAds One division is food and one division is books.
- Affiliate sales work out well for Anne since she recommends books that she has personally read and loved. Her readers are generally avid consumers of books as well.
- Anne does the occasional sponsored post every 6-8 weeks.
- The sponsors are reaching out to her, which gives her a little more control in terms of setting the tone and the terms when they ask her. It’s nice to have that luxury.
- Anne participates a little bit in the PR agencies that connect bloggers and brands. She said they always look like a good idea, but when she signs up for something and sees the list of requirements, hashtags, disclosures, etc. it makes her doubt whether her readers would be interested in seeing the content. If they won't like it, then Anne won't write it.
Favorite Online Tool or App
Google Calendar: helps her to keep track of which blog posts are coming down the line.
Anne usually has 100 post ideas and about 10 in her short-term horizon, so she’ll put them into Google calendar and move them around so that she doesn’t have too many book posts in a row or fashion posts in a row, etc.
How Anne Avoids the Facebook Rabbit Hole
Coschedule for Social Media. You can schedule out your social from WordPress itself. It’s faster because you don’t have to wait for pages to load to do tweets or facebook. It also keeps you off those social media platforms so you don't get sucked down the rabbit hole of social media!
Best way to Grow her Blog
“When I fist started blogging I had no idea that half of it was writing and half of it was community.
That’s what makes it fun and interesting, and it also helps you to grow.”
- Don’t be unfunny
- Don’t be uninspired
- Don’t be unreadable
Quite literally, Content Marketing Itself
Anne has been lucky in that the posts she’s gotten a lot of buzz about are also the same things that people who l would want to stick around for a while would like. Readers may be drawn in by the summer reading guide but then find very similar content and related content that makes them stay.
Her summer reading guides are shared widely all over Pinterest and other forms of social media. They also get a lot of buzz from other bloggers.
“If you like the summer reading guide, then you’ll probably feel like you’ve found a happy place with ModernMrsDarcy so it works really well in terms of not just great content but great advertising for the blog.”
The summer reading guide was her husband’s idea – no surprise there!
There are just so many (books), Anne. How do you do it?
Anne is a slow runner but a fast reader. Maybe it all balances out this way?
She has made it her job, in a way, but never want reading to feel like something she has to do, but rather something she gets to do and chooses to do. She is very conscious of that.
Anne is a natural introvert, so reading is a good way for her to recharge or wind down at the end of the night.
She tries to sit down with a book for 20 minutes during rest time with a coffee cup and just “be” so that she can take on the rest of the day.
Reading is built into the rhythm of her day which helps her to get through more books.
How did you get your Book in the Kindle Store for Amazon?
Anne's husband did it for her. He’s since told numerous people that it’s very easy to do.
Amazon has directions for how to format your book for Kindle. He said that it was very tedious to make the changes in the file, but it wasn’t difficult. Once he made all of the required changes he just uploaded the book file to the store, and then Amazon notifies you when it’s ready.
The process usually takes a couple of days.
Favorite Business Books
There is no way the Lady of Pemberley could have picked just one – so Anne lists several for us! Listen to the podcast starting at 21:21 to get Anne's take on all of these thoughtful recommendations.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
(The Confidence Code is on her stack right now.)
So who is this new, up and coming blogger?
You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out, but this is what Anne has to say about her:
“She’s a machine; she’s got the entrepreneurial spirit for sure.”
Connect with Anne Bogel
What are your takeaways from this interview? Will you take your e-book and get it into the Kindle store, work to create posts that resonate with your readers, or just get started on your very first blog? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!
~ Beth Anne
P.S. If you can't read as fast as Anne can try listening to books while you do the dishes, fold laundry or eat lunch. Try Audible and get a free book to get you started. I get through a lot more books in a year thanks to Audible!