Looking For a Place To Sell Your Product Online? Meet Holly Hurd

Today, we got the chance to speak with a mom entrepreneur, Holly Hurd – Founder of VentureMom.com.  Holly has built a successful online business by highlighting a different Venture Mom on her site and giving people an opportunity to learn about them and their products and drive traffic. She has now created an additional feature and platform for women to be able to sell, advertise and grow their business on her website.

Learn more about Holly and what she has created.

Note: I am NOT an affiliate and do not get paid for publishing this. Please do your research and make your own decision. Holly would be happy to answer your questions.

What was your motivation to work from home or start your business? 

I’ve always worked for myself and I met these fabulous women who had started their own businesses too.  I first started to write a book to share their stories and then figured out that through the web I could share faster.

So I started VentureMom.com and began to cover a new mom each week.

Taking it one step further is my mission to support these moms and their businesses; I just launched the VentureMom Shop where I showcase the mom products and services.

When did you actually launch your business online? 

The VentureMom.com site and newsletter went live in March of 2010 and the shop opened up this year.  The shop allows moms to enter their products or services themselves and track their sales.

Around how much money did you need to launch your business? 

To set up a site with my VentureMom.com logo was under $300.   Another mom taught me how to post and use WordPress so I could manage my site myself.

There have been other expenses trade-marking my name and setting up the shop but sales have been reinvested.

How much time were you working on your business in the beginning phases and how much time would you say you dedicate to it now? 

This is my passion so I love to do it.  In the beginning, with the newsletter, it was probably 3 hours a week and now it’s probably 3-4 hours a day.  But I love it so much, it’s not like work.

I feel like I’m so close to going large that I can’t stop now.  The VentureMom Shop has been a huge investment of time so I really want to make it go – large.

I know a big question I always get is ‘how do I get the “right” traffic to my site?”  What would you say to that and what methods have worked for you?

I didn’t know how to cut and paste a photo when I started and now I post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and it’s so easy once you get started.  I think these kinds of social media are the best ways to get your message to the masses.

I also think knowing who your target audience is makes a huge difference in what you post.

Speak to that audience.

You can’t be selling all the time, you have to offer value and information and then say, by the way, I have this great product or service.

Monetizing Your Business:  One of the challenges with an online business is to figure out what monetizing strategy to use that is best for your business. 

How does your business make money right now and what advice do you have for anyone just starting out? 

For the first two years, this was my passion and hobby and I wasn’t sure how to monetize but I didn’t care – I loved doing it.  Now I have several things in place to monetize.  With the shop (profit sharing model), speaking engagements, and future ad sales – the income streams are there.

Email Subscribers:

You have around 6000 subscribers and it sounds like you built that up in only two years.  That’s fantastic.  How did you go about building that base?

In the beginning I didn’t think anyone would care but the feedback was so great, I thrived on it and wanted to share with others.

Social media has been huge, speaking at local women’s groups and entrepreneurial groups helps, getting press on other blogs and local media helps, and telling everyone I know what I’m doing.

I have plans for Facebook promotions to bring in subscribers but haven’t implemented them yet.

Getting your information out on the web is the best way to get followers, so reach out to every blogger and site in your target market.

What are your go-to tools to stay organized and productive? 

I’m a paper gal still.

So I keep everything in labeled folders either in paper or on my desktop and I categorizing things.

When I get overwhelmed, I re-organize and re-focus on the little things.

When I post a story, I make sure it’s posted everywhere on that day.

With WordPress and Constant Contact you can set things up to go out at a future date.  That makes it easy to do things ahead of time.

I always go back to what my mission is.  Through VentureMom.com I want to help mom ventures grow and thrive.  So whenever I get off track, I re-focus on my mission and it gets me back on track.

What is your current business challenge? 

Getting help.

I’m working with a local innovation center to find interns and tech assistance with the new shop.  I found a college student who wants to build her resume, to work with me on the shop.

My goal right now is to let VentureMoms know I can help them grow by having them in our shop.

The software of the shop allows moms to run their own business through the shop. A VentureMom Vendor will have the ability to download their products themselves and track sales on their own dashboard in the shop.

What are some key pieces of advice you can offer other freelance women and moms who want to create a family-friendly career lifestyle? 

Compartmentalize.  When your with your family, be with them, when you work, work.  Don’t try to do both at the same time – this will only be frustrating for everyone.

Take Action:

If you are interested in reaching out to Holly to sell your product(s) on her site, Go to VentureMom.com and fill out the form.  She reviews the submissions and lets you know how to get started as a vendor.  Through her new features, What Would VentureMom Wear and VentureMom @ Home and VentureMom Baby and Child, she pulls things from the shop to share with her audience to drive sales your way.

Reach out to Holly at [email protected]   Holly can also be found on facebook.

FreelanceMom.com would like to give a big Thank You to Holly for sharing this information.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.