One of the most rewarding things about having a blog is you! You make Bargainista the community that it is today.
When I first started blogging, three years ago this month, I wondered if anyone would care what I had to say. Then some friends started reading Bargainista and leaving comments. It was the motivation I needed to keep going. Soon people I hadn’t met in real life started leaving comments, subscribing to the feed or the email updates. The community started to grow.
Now almost 700 posts and three years later, we’ve had several guest blog posts and a regular column – baby bargainista – written primarily by Jenny and Rebecca, who have been doing an awesome job.
One community member in particular made herself known to me. She first came on my radar when she started leaving comments and won a giveaway soon after. We started emailing a bit and her warm, enthusiastic personality came through.
Contrary to what many people think about bloggers and their communities, many of us do meet in real life. Last June at the ChickAdvisor Recessionista Shop Crawl, we met in person. Sumaya was as sweet in real life as she was online. We introduced ourselves to each other and she gave me a warm hug.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was spending more time responding to emails from companies or people representing their clients than I was actually researching and writing new posts. From speaking with some of you in person, I knew many of you were wondering what happened to the volume and type of posts you used to read here. Ideas of enhancements were swirling in my head but with a full-time job and family, there was only so much time I could spend on the blog. Something had to change.
Perhaps a virtual assistant would be the answer. Only problem was, how could I justify paying an assistant when I’m not earning money from Bargainista? Even if I decided to try incorporating advertising or sponsorship to try and pay for a virtual assistant, it would take time – time that I didn’t have.
Fortunately, about a week later, Sumaya emailed me and told me she was pursuing a career in public relations – I had no idea – and she asked if I would introduce her to the principals of her favourite PR agency. I did. And then the wheels started turning.
Wouldn’t it make the most sense to create a position for a member of the community? Would she be interested in working together to create an internship/editorial assistant role whereby in exchange, she’d receive mentoring from me and the occasional product sent Bargainista’s way? So I asked her and she said “yes”!
I’m thrilled that Sumaya has agreed to join the team. Already she has done a great job of organizing Bargainista’s inbox. She’ll be helping me respond to some of the email requests I receive, post local event notices and perhaps some product reviews as a guest blogger.
Please help me welcome Sumaya to the team and stay tuned for my interview with her in an upcoming post.