Mommy Blogger

Mommy BloggerLike many stay-at-home moms, Edmond resident Amy Bellgardt
found herself seeking a sense of community after the birth of her second son.
The year was 2008 and it seemed a small step in the search when Bellgardt
started a blog for fellow mothers.

Now, with thousands of followers online, it is perhaps safe
to say that Bellgardt not only found community, she created it. “I guess I was
sort of looking for a way to still have a social life being at home,” Bellgardt
laughs when she talks about the beginnings of her blog, MomSpark.net.

She explains that, at the time of its creation, blogging had
really started gaining in popularity, as had social networking options such as
Facebook and Twitter. “I started reading mom blogs and realized there was a
whole community of moms around the country that were supporting each other,
helping each other. I thought it might be fun if I could create a blog myself.”

Initially, Bellgardt would post a random selection of
content, such as a recipe based on something she was cooking for her family
that day. Now, her blog contains a wide range of topics from food and home
décor to fashion, and even blogging advice, all relatable to women. “I never
wanted it to be a personal journal necessarily, I just wanted it to be a place
where I could post some ideas or maybe some tips I use at home, really
anything,” Bellgardt says and adds, “I never meant for it to really grow. I
just thought it might be something fun to do and give me an outlet since I’m
home full time.” But grow, it definitely did. Today, Mom Spark’s Twitter
followers number over 37,000 with over 15,000 fans on Facebook.

It has become a full-time job for Bellgardt who, though she
still works from home, now has help from contributing writers. She also has
regular advertising involvement working with companies to review their products
or cover events for her readers.

Bellgardt regularly attends conferences pertaining to
blogging and media. This environment is where she started to see firsthand, how
much her blog was gaining a reader base. “When I started going to blogging
conferences, people recognized me and knew who I was when I introduced myself.
They would say ‘I already know who you are. I read your blog.’ That was kind of
eye opening,” she says. It helped Bellgardt see how her work was connecting to
others.

“It’s kind of a surreal experience because when you’re at
home, you don’t realize the extent of people who are reading. When I went to a
place like that, that’s when I realized, ‘Oh, well I guess people actually read
my words or listen to what I say.‘” She laughs, adding, “It’s kind of strange
but really really cool at the same time.”

Another effect of Mom Spark on Bellgardt’s life is the
experience of travel that comes with some of her work. “Since I’ve been given
the opportunities to travel with this job (I wasn’t a big traveler before), I
have found that I love to travel and our family has taken more trips because
I’m more comfortable with it,” she says. The travel section on Mom Spark
highlights some of these trips with tips on family-friendly travel to places
like San Diego and Orlando. It also showcases some of the Oklahoma destinations
Bellgardt visits.

In addition to the travel section, there is an entire
collection of inspiration like uplifting quotes and holiday decorations, as
well as an eye feast for fashion. Bellgardt explains that the variety of the
different posts is intentional. “Moms aren’t just one dimensional. We don’t
just cook and clean—we also like to look good; we like to decorate our home.
Over all, I want to inspire other moms, to help and just make them feel like
they’re welcome to hang out and give their feedback.”

Growing from helping others is the mission of Bellgardt’s
“blogging help and advice” page. That mission is also the guiding
principle of her company, Mom Spark Media, which focuses on social media
marketing.

As Mom Spark grows, Bellgardt is optimistic about the future
but she’s happy in the present. “As much as I try to plan where I’d like to see
the blog go, things come and throw me off course, usually for the better. So
it’s hard to plan what’s going to happen but I’d just like to continue to keep
doing what I’m doing. Every day that I can keep doing this is perfectly fine
with me.”

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