327 How to Grow a Successful Blog with Raving Fans – with Jamerrill Stewart

By Leslie Samuel | Blogging

Mar 21

Do you want to build a loyal audience of raving fans around your blog?

Well, then you’re in the right place.

Jamerrill Stewart shows exactly how she was able to do this using her blog and YouTube channel.

Listen to This Episode

Who is Jamerrill Stewart?

Jamerrill Stewart is the creator of Large Family Table – where mega motherhood and real life meet.

As a mom of 8, she has full days of homeschooling, toddler chasing, and overworking her slow cooker until it begs for mercy.

Jamerill Stewart LFT

Jamerill Stewart, owner of largefamilytable.com

She doesn’t claim to have all the mega motherhood answers figured out.

But she does share her journey to inspire other mothers who are on similar journeys.

What does she share?

  • Tips on homeschooling
  • Her large family life
  • Other tips and tricks on practical strategies for feeding a “herd” (of kids, that is).
  • Much more…

Jamerrill’s Story

Jamerrill started a blog back in 2011. It was a simple hobby blog where she shared pics of family travel with her family members.

Jamerill kids

Jamerill with some of her kids.

It was more of a creative outlet than anything else.

At that time, she also started curating content for a homeschool Facebook page.

During that process, she found herself reading a bunch of other homeschool blogs.

That's when a thought hit her – I could do this!

She knew she wanted to write a book on the topic. But to sell this book, she needed to have an audience.

So she started a blog called Holy Spirit-lead Homeschooling.

By the summer of that year, she had 10K people who liked her page and her blog got over 3K page views/day.

How did she do it?

She understood her audience. 

She was homeschooling her kids, so had a good idea of what homeschooling mothers dealt with.

audience content

Understand your audience and create lots of content with them in mind.

As a result, she focused on providing encouragement for those mothers.

She published LOTS of great content.

To keep providing value to her audience, she published a few times per week.

While her schedule wasn't consistent, she showed up often.

She leverage guest posting.

She knew that posting on other homeschooling sites could get her more traffic, so that's what she did.

Jamerrill started contributing to A LOT of homeschooling sites. And she leveraged those post by linking back to relevant resources on her blog.

She focused on LEARNING.

Learning

Focus on learning

Because she wanted to grow her audience, she consumed content about blogging.

Using sites like Amy Lynn Andrews and Problogger, she learned as much as she could.

And then she followed that up with taking action.

She worked HARD!

work hard

Work hard

It's the thing so many people don't like to hear. Blogging takes work.

And even though Jamerrill had a busy homeschooling life, she worked a lot (and HARD).

At some points on her journey, she spent as many as 50 hours on her blog.

How? She worked in the morning before the kids got up, during nap times and after they went to bed.

Turning the Blog into a Business

At the end of 2011, she attended a blogging conference called Relevant.

She was also able to attend a mini-weekend mastermind retreat. There was one mom who made $10K selling a planner she created.

For the first time, she was seeing other bloggers actually making money.

She left those events inspired and determined to turn her blog into an actual business.

Blog into a business

Turn blog into a business

By that time, she was already spending 15 – 20 hours/week on her blog.

She came back home and prayed that God would show her how to make $3-400/month on her blog.

She woke up the next morning with a business plan.

She had decided start a new site to refer people to Kindle books about homeschooling.

She called that site Kindle Homeschool (Now Free Homeschool Deals).

By recommending Kindle books as an affiliate, she started making money.

In her first month, Jamerrill made as much as her house payment.

By her 3rd month, the site's income equaled her husband's salary.

By month 6, it brought in twice as much as her husband's salary.

How? A combination of affiliate deals, recommending freebies and Adsense.

Free Homeschool Deals

Free Homeschool Deals, another one of Jamerill's websites.

It took a lot of work, but by June 2013, her husband came home full-time.

Large Family Table

By the summer of 2015, she started to slow down (but not by choice).

As a result of working so hard at a desk for so long, she suffered a neck injury.

Jamerrill went from working 50 hours to 25 – 30 hours/week.

There was a lot to do, but Jamerrill hired help and trained people to work on the site.

By that time, she felt like she was missing her voice and knew she had to do something about it.

That's when Large Family Table was born. Today, this is her main focus.

LFT

Large Family Table website

Growing a Loyal Audience of Raving Fans

I brought Jamerrill on the podcast because of how much her audience loves her.

As bloggers, we want our readers to come to know, like and trust us. When that happens, we are able to help them more and are able to build solid businesses.

Her audience started with her on her first adventure into homeschool blogging. They then moved with her to Free Homeschool Deals and continued on with Large Family Table.

They consume her content like it's going out of style and are hyper-engaged.

Here are Jamerrill's simple tips for growing a loyal audience of Raving Fans…

Get real with your audience.

Get real

Get real with your audience

There are so many bloggers out there who try to make themselves look perfect.

In a world of contrived perfection, Jamerrill prefers to get real.

When you do well, be real.

When you make mistakes, be real.

One mistake Jamerrill made was naming her site Kindle Homeschool. Now obviously Amazon owns the Kindle trademark and what she did was illegal.

Did she know it at the time? No. It was a mistake. Did she hide that from her audience?

No, she did the opposite. She wrote an article and titled it “I have egg on my face, but God gets the glory”.

Share your journey.

People don't connect with brands, people connect with people.

Your goal isn't only to get people to buy. It's to get them to connect with you. That's how they become loyal fans.

How will they connect with you? By seeing themselves in you.

How do they see themselves in you? When you share your journey.

Chances are your audience experience similar things to you. Chances are, they have similar struggles.

Share those stories. Share those struggles.

One of the first vlogs she ever did was “Mommy, who broke your neck“.

journey share

“Mommy Who Broke Your Neck?” – one of Jamerill's blog showcasing one of her jouneys.

Was it all pretty? Nope. But it was her journey.

Expect a slow and steady long game.

Slow and steady

Expect a slow and steady long game.

Loyalty doesn't come overnight. It's the result of providing value and connecting with your audience over a long period of time.

But if you're real with your audience, share your journey and provide value to the right niche, you'll win.

That's contrary to what a lot of internet marketers teach, but it's the core of what I stand for.

And I'm glad that Jamerrill was able to come on the show and share a little bit of her journey with you.

The Blogger Dream Team

Jamerrill is a part of the Blogger Dream Team. This is a mastermind group that I launched recently for top-performing bloggers.

We do have slots available right now and I'd love to have a conversation with you to see if we're a right fit.

If you are a top-performing blogger that would like to take things to the next level, I want to invite you to apply here.

Resources Mentioned

Infographic

raving fans blog

Infographic: How to Grow a Successful Blog with Raving Fans

  • Rébecca says:

    Hello, so I really enjoyed this podcast. I was wondering, though, how old Jamerill’s kids were when she was working 50h/week on building freehomeschooldeals.com I went over to largefamilytable.com and was shocked to see that she had a baby in 2013 and another one in 2014… How did she manage pregnancies (fatigue, morning sickness, etc.) and new babies (sleepless nights and busy days…) during this very intense time building a business ?

    • Great question. I’ll see if she can chime in on that Rebecca.

    • Hey there, Rebecca! Yes, the first year and a half WAS a wild ride (as I said like drinking out of a fire hydrant) and not the exact structure I’d recommend. By February 2013 when I had baby #6 my business had grown so much that my husband was able to take off 3-months with the Family Medical Leave Act. And by December 2014 when I had baby #7 my husband was home full-time helping me with all of real life. 🙂

      As far as how I got in 50+ hours a week early on, things suddenly took off where I went from hobby hours to overnight full-time business in April 2012. At that point, our children were ages 11, 8, 5, 3, and about 18-months. We homeschool, so that was very helpful. No way I could’ve done outside school schedules with standard pick up/drop off times, etc. So in Spring 2012 when my hobby exploded I worked several hours each morning (example 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. at my farmhouse kitchen table), then from about 9 to 1 the kids and I got morning school done, got outside a bit, and we’d move some laundry and throw dinner in the slow cooker. Then in the afternoons while the 3-year-old and 18-month old would nap from about 1 to 3 or 4, I worked at the kitchen table again. During this time my 5 year old would play with dolls at my feet or craft and my 11 and 8-year-olds could continue with their homeschool assignments during the afternoon and then have some free time. After the little boy’s nap time I’d stop working from about 4 until 7 or 8 pm. We’d have dinner, move the laundry again, do any other family things (walk in the field, read stories, etc). During this time my husband worked on the night shift. He had to sleep all day and work all night. After he’d have dinner with us and leave for work, I’d get our littlest boys to bed around 7 or 8. The 3 older kids could do a few evening chores and have free time while I worked again from about 7 or 8 to 11 or 12. Adding up all those work hours that’s 10 hours a day I was able to get in of work. *Of course* I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I was only sleeping 4-6 hours a night for this brief time. If I did this 5-6 day a week that would be about 50 to 60 hours a week. This was a total “survival mode” schedule and not how we wanted to live long-term, but this is the reality of how I made it work during that season. This is why by June 2013 my husband came home full-time and you can read more here https://largefamilytable.com/how-my-blogging-brought-my-husband-home-full-time/ , and how I provide for my family online https://largefamilytable.com/make-a-full-time-income-online/. Lastly, here is a variety of working homeschool mom schedules my husband and I have used over these years https://largefamilytable.com/7-working-homeschool-mom-schedules-routines/. We still change up my work schedule to make it work for our family. I work heavy part-time and have done so for the last 5 years (nothing like those early years, lol!). Usually, I work one dedicated work day a week (a 12 hour day) and pepper out a few hours in the early morning as I’m able. I average about 20-hours or so a week now.

    • Rébecca says:

      Thanks Jamerill for taking the time to answer. I was specifically interested on how you were able to work so much and sleep so little during pregnancy ? You must be super tough !

    • Oh, gotcha! Well, it was HARD during my pregnancy with Amelia (baby #6) but I was full of drive and determination since this creation was SUCH a huge blessing to my family. Many moms have to keep working hard both inside and outside of the home during pregnancy. My husband was able to go on FMLA towards the end of that pregnancy and was home a few months after her birth. Her and I both were completely healthy and had a great birth experience. Then he went back to work for one month and it was so awful with him gone (we missed him!) we prayerfully decided for him to come home full-time. He was home during my last two pregnancies. For those, I took a lot of naps 🙂

  • Thank you Leslie for this podcast interview with Jamerrill. Even though we live in the same area, I have not yet met her in person. However, this podcast makes me just want to sit down and have a cup of tea with her! I appreciate your questions and hearing her journey, as a mom and a blogger/digital influencer, as well as a woman of faith. This is probably one my favorite Become a Blogger podcasts, much appreciated!

  • I REALLY enjoyed this podcast. I’ve worked from home for more than one year, but I wanted to switch my income this year from freelancing into blogging. I kept thinking I was at a disadvantage because I am a stay-home/working mom, but hearing her story made me hopeful that my work ethic and commitment can make it work. Thanks for this amazing podcast, you asked great questions, and the two of you really brought out great nuggets for us listeners.

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