It was probably December. A message from Olka: “What time’s the coffee?! – what do you think about it?”
I thought: she wants us to start a cafe. Great idea! Where I would get the money from?! With my maternity benefit?!?! Then I started thinking how to explain my worries to Olka… It’s just impossible! When she decides on something, there’s no way you can knock it out of her head! Fortunately, she quickly explained what she had in mind – it was a blog’s name. A blog??? What for? What was I supposed to write about and who would read it?! I had never been a fan of bloggers myself.
Fortunately, she managed to convince me and I don’t regret it! However, although we are both proud today of the way we have so far worked together, we admit that it has been a kind of a bumpy road… Today, a few months after the premiere of oktorejkawa.com, it turns out that we have quite a different view on what was planned and what we have accomplished 🙂 But let’s go back to the beginning…
We must be the most unprofessional bloggers, at the same time we are real risk takers: in fact, when we started we didn’t have any plan. We only knew that we wanted to write about friendship, motherhood and house keeping. We had no idea about IT, ‘hosting’ and ‘domain’ were words we completely didn’t understand.
But we wanted to write. We were also subconsciously hoping that it would pay off and let us earn. Back then we thought it would be easy. We now know that focusing only on making money is a fundamental mistake many bloggers commit. The reader is the subject and it should be focused on him.
When we started, we had the first few entries ready. Just for the beginning, so that readers could get to know us better. When we launched the site, for the first month we showed up on peoplel’s facebook wall every day with links to new entries. They probably have had enough of us sometimes. However, we thought ot was a big boom for us! We wanted to write as much as we could and get as many visits to the site as possible. We kept thinking about numbers. During the first week we had 1000 visits a day, and we expected dozens of them. These numbers motivated us to spread wings and we wrote a lot.
Then there were moments of doubt – there were days when not more than 50 people visited us. We were beginning to wonder what we were doing wrong, our self-esteem was at times falling heavily. Fortunately for me, these were only moments, because I was usually proud, even if there weren’t 1000 entries a day. I believe it is worth writing even for one reader.
The most difficult thing for me was to define my main goal. I’d known for a long time that I wanted to have my blog (because I always have a lot to say what my loved ones know very well), but It was hard for me to decide what about.
If, at the beginning, I had clearly defined my goal, it would have certainly been much easier for us both to organize our work. The blog itself as a goal was accomplished relatively quickly, and yet it was just the beginning of our adventure. So I told myself that we would design i (blog), write a few texts and then see what happens. And it was undoubtedly a mistake, because the first texts were about everything and nothing at the same time, which made it difficult for us to identify the recipients, and thus we couldn’t plan the promotion well. As a result, we lost a lot of potential readers and we had to face the first big drop in the number of visits to our website in just a few weeks after the start!
FIGHTING FEAR, COLLISION WITH THE OPINION OF OTHERS
I think I have prepared myself well for judgments. The opinion of other people is important to me only if it is the opinion of my loved ones, and if it is constructive and I need it. In all the other cases the opinions of others regarding my business don’t matter to me.
Why? Because no one knows better than me what I need, nobody else walks my way or wears my shoes. If I fail, I have to face it myself, and if I win, it is my success. Why, then, should I take into account what others say. If they knew better than me, they would deal with similar activities themselves. Taking other people’s opinions seriously would have made us give up at the very beginning. Because no one except for us and a few supporters believed in what we were doing. Good for us – it motivated us even more!
The only dilemma was how much of our private life we could uncover. Therefore, at the beginning, we set the limits, taking into account the welfare of our loved ones and ourselves. Sometimes we let ourselves be carried away by emotions, especially in entries about relationships with our husbands. Then, fortunately, we had each other and together we decided about what was within the boundaries we set before.
Every text that has finally been made public is fully accepted by us, also in retrospect. It does not mean that it has always been easy. Sometimes we wanted to describe interesting family stories, which our husbands and children didn’t agree to make public, and although it was difficult to refrain from sharing it with the readers we had to be respectful to our families.
Some, however, criticized us for being too open, but at the same time they were eager to read what we “revealed” 😃. For us it didn’t matter, because it was the idea of showing other women like us that they are not alone in their everyday struggles. And if we received feedback and cordial words of thanks, no critic could discourage us. Sometimes we feel that we are writing in someone’s name, although we write about our own experiences. And then we know that it is worth to go against the wind 😉
“What will they think of me?” In the end, all readers will come to my house, meet my children, my husband, our relationship…
Many people have tried to discourage us from this idea. We heard rumors that some of our acquaintances preferred to avoid meeting us for fear of “being gossiped about on the blog.” 😂 It seemed very unfair, but we didn’t bother thinking about it because we had a clear conscience in this matter. I didn’t care about what others think about me. Of course, I respected their opinions, but I did my job. We live in a small town, we are not anonymous here. However, privacy is something that I have a lot of respect for in my life, so both “before the blog” and now I clearly set the limits. It’s me who decides what I describe, that’s why I protect the realms that I consider intimate from the world. I think it’s quite good for me, I don’t feel remorse. I don’t do anything against myself or my closest, the purpose of our texts is never to offend anyone.
LOGO, PAGE, PHOTOS
We have heard many times: “you can’t” – so we learned. We heard: “you aren’t …” – so we decided to ‘be’. We heard: “you don’t have” – so we saved money to get eguipment 😃.
We knew we had to learn everything by ourselves. We didn’t have financial sources to start and if we couldn’t hire professionals, we did their job ourselves. We learned about techniques, principles, methods, etc., for hours, days and nights … We made a lot of mistakes, for some we pay today. And we’re still learning.
We designed the logo of our blog “O której kawa?! for weeks! At the beginning, we only had this slogan. Then we looked for most apropriate color among dozens of similar colors. Then the font – we wondered between modest and simple, and elegant and complicated. We chose the simple, unpretentious letters on a white background. The logo was supposed to have a fashionable color, but one that we like and associate well, and one that will be practical for our products. Everything seemed to be ready, we learned to use the program, our friend, an IT specialist helped us a little with specific digital features of the logo. However, it is still not enough to be able to face the ruthless market, so we still have a lot of work to do.
Now, however, it is much easier for us because we already know how much we can do with the strength of our duo, sometimes we only need more time 😉
We also created the original website oktorejkawa.com by ourselves. We are not computer programmers, we have no idea about computer graphics, so creating a website was a real challenge. We worked at nights, and the anger of our families gave us a hard time in the final stages of creating the site. Here, again, mistakes couldn’t be avoided, which is why we had to transfer the entire content of the blog to a new content management system (WordPress). Fortunately, my dear brother and our friendly computer scientist dealt with the matter of hosting and domain, so at least everything works here.
We also entrusted the starter photos to the blog to professionals who managed to create our profile image and photos that welcome our guests in the HOME page.
Every time when I’m down because of low popularity of an entry, or subsequent technical turbulence, I recall how many problems we have managed to solve so far and this motivates me to move forward. It’s a bit like a domino effect, in a positive sense
TEXTS ARE FOR FREE, MUGS ARE FOR SALE 😉
Shortly after the premiere of the blog we decided to create a gadget that would be directly associated with us. We designed coffee mugs. We wondered whether to focus on price or quality. We chose the second one. And while the mugs don’t sell well, we are sure that we give our readers a solid product that will serve them for years. At the same time we build trust in our personal brand “O której kawa?!”.
So far, we haven’t released other products yet, it is still too early, although we have many ideas. Everything is ahead of us, we try to be well prepared, we don’t want to suffer further losses at this stage, that’s why we keep getting experience, analyze information that we get from sour readers and follower and try to plan carefully. “Mug discomfiture” taught us a lot, haha 😂
The introduction of our blog product has been our biggest financial defeat so far! 😭 We focused on quality and it costs. We should have considered Polish reality: loans, household maintenance, children, these are big costs. Few people are willing to buy products from beginner bloggers. Olka assumed: “if we try hard, we will sell it all”. But we have launched the coffe mugs completely without preparation. We didn’t even do market research! It in fact didn’t matter that the mugs were made of solid high quality material – still few people were interested in such a purchase. We had to make a couple of big promotions so that the sales would start. It’s still not doing very well, so we will have arrange more promotions, which will generate more costs for us😉.
So my good advice to everybody who ‘s planning to introduce a product for sale is: do good businesslike market research!!!
FITNESS WAS NOT PLANNED
Ewka and Olka
At the beginning, we didn’t plan to devote so much attention to physical exercises. We were supposed to focus on motherhood and friendship. However, we quickly discovered that our perseverance in daily fitness is very much in tune with the fact that we still want to develop. We noticed how much sport affects our mood, well-being and consistency in pursuing goals. We just couldn’t ignore it. “O której kawa?!” is in large part fitness that accompanies us every day, it supports our care of ourselves, is a driving force for our healthy lifestyle. And this in turn perfectly harmonizes with the content of our entries, treating mostly about “healthy and conscious motherhood” 😃
Our bodies have changed, we feel much better and we look better. The effects of our training can be seen with the naked eye. We know that we infected other moms with passion for exercise and it fills us with great pride! It also makes us see the sense of our business, even when our husbands are sarcastic reminding us that our business isn’t the best way to earn money! 😂😂😂
“O której kawa?!” (“What time’s the coffee”) has is still a long way to go. We know more and more about the interests and needs of our readers and try to meet their expectations. This has become our goal, hence we have taken over the page rebuilding, and we are carefully analyzing the topics that appear on the blog. Above all, however, we are still here to make it easier for other women like us!
The blog has changed me, it allowed me to look differently at people and the reality around me. Maybe it’s generalities, but I’m a different person today. At the beginning I wasn’t confident, I didn’t even talk about what I was creating with Olka. Today I talk about the blog with pride! ☺
And I am proud to sign what Ewka wrote with my both hands!
We are proud to present you a totally new website, we’ve worked on it for weeks. We hope you like it!