Lisa Marie Fletcher is a fellow homeschool mom blogger whom I’ve met only online but would love to sit down to coffee with. She’s a wealth of advice about both blogging and homeschooling. Here, she shares how she started blogging and what she’s learned while doing it.
TKM: First, tell us a bit about Lisa Marie Fletcher.
Lisa Marie: Hi! I’m Lisa Marie Fletcher. I’m a Christian mom of 5 ranging from toddler to teen. The four oldest are boys and my youngest is a girl (my mini-me, actually!). My husband works in the golf industry which means we get to enjoy having him home for a few months over the winter. I homeschool and I blog. I live in Ontario, Canada and typically spend my “free-time” watching superhero TV shows or playing video games.
TKM: When and why did you start blogging?
Lisa Marie: I’ve been blogging for far too long. I first started blogging as a family journal, then as an extension of my Tupperware business, then as a homeschool support blog.
When I started homeschooling my oldest son, I first used a boxed curriculum from the US. My already-homeschooling sister-in-laws highly recommended it to us, so we gave it a try. It was a great curriculum, but I realized it wasn’t a good fit for us. First and foremost, I wanted something Canadian.
That sent me on a search for Canadian resources. As I searched, I thought that others might be on the look as well. So I decided to put it on a blog to share what I found and The Canadian Homeschooler began. That was in 2010.
TKM: How did you come up with your blog name?
Lisa Marie: I wanted a blog name that would be easy to recognize for the people looking for Canadian homeschooling content. The Canadian Homeschooler seemed to be a good fit!
TKM: Do you have a blog schedule or do you post when you feel like it?
Lisa Marie: I try to blog at least once a week. I try to plan as much as I can ahead of time—but you know…. life. I make sure I’m flexible enough to take everything in stride.
TKM: What is your favourite part of blogging? Your least favourite part?
Lisa Marie: I have a few favourite things about blogging.
1. I’ve met and become friends with so many awesome people. It’s allowed me to network with other bloggers and also with homeschoolers from all over the country who I am happy to be able to call some of my best friends.
2. Knowing I’m making a difference. I started this blog to help other people and sometimes it’s too easy to get distracted and discouraged about all the work and numbers and lose my purpose. Then I get an email from someone who thanks me for helping them with their homeschooling journey and I get my eyes focused back on the path.
My least favourite part? The time commitment it takes. Blogging and building an online business takes a lot of work and effort. All those sites that tell you how easy it is to start a successful blog don’t usually give you the heads up that it’s going to take a lot of your time and energy. I sometimes wish I could just be focused on my family full-time instead.
TKM: What advice would you offer other bloggers?
Lisa Marie: My first word of advice is don’t be obsessed with numbers. Numbers don’t validate you or your efforts. Find a different measure of success.
My second is not to compromise. Even if all the other bloggers around you are doing something specific, if it doesn’t sit right with you and your morals or preference – don’t do it. You will regret it and start to resent your blog. Stay true to yourself.
TKM: What is your favourite social media platform and why?
Lisa Marie: Facebook. Hands-down. Why? Because it allows me to have real-time conversations with people. We can have a community and can relate to each other personally. It’s not just about me promoting myself or my stuff but about all of us together.
Lisa Marie Fletcher is also the mastermind behind the Canadian Online Homeschool Conference, a great bunch of resources by Canadian homeschoolers for Canadian homeschoolers. You can still pick up last year’s conference to listen to at your leisure.