Avon Woman Shines Online as Lifestyle Blogger
AVON -- Stay-at-home mother of three Melissa Woods has always had a love of art, writing and crafting.
Now, with a quarter of a million Facebook followers and partnerships with home design companies, the Avon woman has turned her passion into a thriving business.
Honestly, it was half dumb luck and half serious consistency, Woods laughs.
In 2014, at the encouragement of her husband, Woods began documenting her crafts, furniture restoration projects and home remodeling efforts on her website, "Welcome To the Woods."
Woods' projects run the gamut from creating small crafts like planters and dried flower wreathes to resurfacing kitchen counter tops and sanding and painting antique furniture.
Woods says she focuses on remaining budget-friendly, and finds many of her materials and furniture items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
The site gradually became popular with other do-it-yourself fanatics, and by the end of 2018, Facebook reached out to Woods with a rare sponsorship offer as part of a by-invitation-only content Facebook Creator program.
She's still not exactly sure how it happened, but she has some ideas.
I don't think Facebook would have picked me up if I wasn't regularly making content. I was really sticking with it and putting up a video every week.
The social media giant paid her on a per-project basis for 6 months to create videos of her crafts, home remodeling and art projects. Facebook also offered Woods direct access to a Facebook employee mentor to help her navigate the social media platform and create popular content.
These days, videos are highly valued on Facebook, and Woods focuses on creating them. An average live video of Woods working on a project will garner her between 8-10,000 views overall.
Woods says her audience is international, with many followers from Australia, Canada and Texas, and she spends about an hour each day reading and replying to their comments and questions. She says she tries not to be on her computer or phone in front of her kids, choosing to work when they're napping or after they've gone to bed.
It's crazy - in the blogging world, so many people have no work-life-balance. Your followers want to see behind the scenes of your life, and it's hard to turn it off.
Currently, Woods is at the end of a complete kitchen remodeling effort, underwritten by several sponsors. She plans to switch to seasonal crafts soon, a category she calls her "sweet spot."
For aspiring lifestyle bloggers, Woods has a simple piece of advice.
Pick something you truly feel you could endlessly talk about. You'll be successful, because people will see that. That's why people follow me. They can see that authenticity. They know I care and put a lot of effort into what I make and do for my house.