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Episode 085: Full-Time Blogging As A Husband-Wife Team With Brian Johnson

Blog Title: Happy Mothering

Social Media:

Happy-Mothering on Instagram

Happy-Mothering on Facebook

About: Brian and Chrystal have their main blog at Happy-Mothering which is a blog designed to help moms navigate natural living in the modern world. Happy-Mothering has focuses in 5 areas; Recipes, Beauty, Crafts/DIY, Homemaking and Family Life.

This busy couple who has two kids also are working on some future projects – Our Family Crushes (which follows their personal lives), PLR Content Hub (a great resource for bloggers), Keto Diet Mom (recipes, keto tips), Spiritual Wonderland (a great place for spiritual people to go spend some time), Crazy Dad Speaks, which is Brian’s newest blog focusing on the business of blogging and blogging for business. They have a couple other blogs they are planning to launch in 2020.

Notes from Episode #085: Full-Time Blogging as a Husband-Wife Team

  • Fun fact: Brian is a professional snowboard coach. They live a mile away from a local place called Big Bear. He also snowboards himself 100+ days a year. 

  • Brian was blogging before he met his wife. He was a dating coach and blogged. Then he met his wife and he quit his blogging career. They were both working in a corporate world when they welcomed their first child. They both wanted to leave the corporate life behind to figure out what they wanted from life so they decide to move to Uruguay. They started their 1st blog together in ‘09 called Exploring Uruguay.

    • Brian and Chrystal learned how to work together, putting their egos aside and figuring out how to blog. They took a course on how to blog to help jump start their career. 

    • Brian and Chrystal wanted to move to a different area and enjoy learning more about the country they moved to but they got pregnant again. While in Uruguay, they made a cookbook together about being ex-pats. 

    • Meanwhile, Chrystal started a second blog. She got started on it to have a creative outlet as a new mom who was living apart from her family in the US. January 2012 the blog took off so when they moved to Southern California, Chrystal continued her blog, and she was making an income for their family. 

    • Crystal got sick and went through emergency surgery. Because Brian was able to quit his own gig from her blog doing so well, Brian actually ended up taking over the blog for his wife so she could focus on getting better in October 2017.

    • Once Brian took over, he took over the job of checking old content. He began to delete thin content. They went from 3500 posts down to 900 posts. Brian reorganized the categories and improved the writing in the old content. Then they shot video and added new recipes to help improve the site overall. 

  • When a spouse decides to join a blog business, Brian recommends that every person should learn some basic marketing and sales skills. 

    • Brian recommends Facebook Blueprint (marketing course) to everyone. 

    • Youtube and Google are going to be your best friends for affiliate marketing. 

    • Pinterest has a free course too – Pinterest Academy.

    • Saying you don’t want anything to do with sales and marketing and only focusing on content creation will really limit you right off the bat. 

  • Challenges you face when working with a spouse:

    • You must be willing to humble yourself to work with your spouse. It can be a hard transition because it can easily feel like one spouse is the boss and the other just works for them. It’s important to find a balance of respect for each others role. 

    • Video creation – Brian feels every post needs video and Chrystal didn’t share that view. Getting on the same page is important before working together. 

    • Reorganization of blogs – Brian had a lot of ideas on how to improve Chrystal’s blog, what needed to go where and that they needed to do some deletion. Because he took over for her while she was recuperating, he was able to make some of those decisions but normally you should work through this together. 

    • An important question to ask yourselves as a couple: do you want your spouse working with you or do you just need a VA to come on board? If you just have grunt work and can’t find a good fit for the spouse, maybe working together on the blog isn’t the best fit. 

    • It’s important to respect the spouse that gave up their personal power in another job to join your business.

  • Brian recommends creating a business plan for 12 mos and create a 3 year high level plan so you can say what needs to be accomplished and figure out where a spouse can fit in. Then you can see if it’s something that your spouse would like to do. Maybe the game plan won’t work for a spouse but it’s better to decide that up front. 

    • A business plan will help you and your spouse to see your goals and see a direct plan to achieve them. When you deliver this to your spouse, print out a hard copy and give your spouse some assurances that you have thought this through and how it’ll play out. Assure them there will be income and finances won’t be shoved to the side but actually flourish once they are on board (in this best version of the plan).

    • Allow the spouse to review the plan, think about it and share their perspective. A plan gives power to your spouse to join the blogging business. 

  • If you’re not passionate about blogging together, don’t do it. Find your own passionate project and don’t stay stuck in a job you don’t love but don’t force yourself into another business you don’t care about. 

  • Brian and Chrystal haven’t always agreed or worked well together, there have been challenges. However, the good times FAR outweigh the bad times with working together.

  • Brian and his wife are also busy homeschooling their daughters.

To connect with Brian, check out his blog at Happy Mothering and on Facebook at Crazy Dad Speaks.

Helpful references from the episode:

  • Facebook Blueprint. This is a 100% Free course by Facebook… Take this 1st before taking any other course. It will give you a solid foundation on marketing for everything else:

Facebook Blueprint
  • Now go take every applicable course through Skillshop… they’re all free.
  • Now go do Pinterest Academy, their free course and it gives you a great foundation on Pinterest ads:
  • After reading the Starter Guide, people should have and refer to the most recent copy of Google’s Search Engine Evaluator Guidelines
  • Every blogger should also enroll in and take Pinterest Academy, which is free from Pinterest


Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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