Featured Blogger: Amber Ortega – ThriftyNinja.com
Our Featured Latina Mom Blogger, Amber Ortega is the Founder and Editor of Thrifty Ninja. A New Mexico mami of three, she enjoys sharing her broad interests with her readers. Amber not only stays busy managing her blog and three children, but she is also committed to giving back to her community. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with her on a variety of Latina Mom Bloggers campaigns. You can follow Amber on Twitter @ThriftyNinja, or by “Liking” her Facebook page Thrifty Ninja.
Here is our interview with her:
○ When did you start blogging? I began blogging as a guest blogger for other blogs in 2006, and launched Thrifty Ninja in 2010.
○ How did you start blogging? After my youngest child was born, I decided that I wanted to stay home to care for my children. However, I still needed to contribute to the family financially so I found a job working from home for a search engine company. I loved the work and stayed on for over a year until the jobs were cut and outsourced. Fortunately by meeting so many amazing people, I was given the opportunity to become a writer for several large blogging companies. I loved writing and decided it was something I wanted to do for myself. I had always been good at finding deals and wanted to start a blog to help others save money. I started as a coupon-only blog and soon realized that I had a lot more I wanted to write about. Now I focus on a variety of subjects, from crafts to food to fashion and everything in between!
○ What do you believe helps differentiate your blog from others? Me — I am what makes my blog different! I write about what I care about, what is happening in my life or things that I find interesting. I love sharing my thoughts, ideas, joys and frustrations with my readers.
○ Tell us about your audience and what kind of content and information are they are looking for. Most of my readers are mothers from a variety of different backgrounds. My readers seem to enjoy posts about my family, but the most popular are the product reviews and giveaways. My readers love giveaways and I always get a lot of engagement for those types of posts.
○ How do brands work with you to reach your audience? I work with several brands on a variety of campaigns including sponsored posts, ambassador programs, and giveaways.
○ Do you ever refuse to review products you don’t use or believe in? Yes. If I feel that a product doesn’t fit with my site, beliefs, values or if it’s a product I just don’t believe in I don’t accept the opportunity. I want my readers to trust the content that I develop and believe in what I share. I won’t provide a good review or endorse a brand that I won’t use for my family or myself.
○ Do you support any particular non-profit organization or cause through your blog? Yes. I have written about several non-profits and causes, although there aren’t any that I support exclusively. I do work with a local non-profit here in New Mexico, so I do develop posts about different events that we host. I put a lot of my time into Dream BIG and believe in the organization. I love being able to share something that I’m so passionate about with my readers.
○ Do you have news about any recent or upcoming campaign news that you would like to share? I recently spoke at Hispanicize 2012 on the “How to Stumbleupon + Pinterest Traffic to Your Blog or Website” panel. I was also recently selected to be a member of the Britax Latina Advisory Board along with several other influential Latina mom bloggers. It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to work with a respectable brand like Britax.
○ What advice would you have for a Latina who is thinking about starting a blog but may not know where/how to begin? What can you tell them about maintaining balance between home and work? Blogging is something that works best when you really think about your passions before you start. What do you want from your blog? What is it going to do for you? Are you starting a blog as a place to share your stories, to help others or to vent? There are so many options, but make sure that you find a reason to blog that you are passionate about.
It can also be hard to find a balance between home and work. If blogging is your full-time job (as it is for many), you may need to spend some evening time writing or a weekend at an event. This goes back to the passion. If you enjoy what you are doing, you make it work and you find time for everything. If you are just writing as a “job”, you may find it more difficult to make time for your blog.
○ Do you have Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other social media contact information you would like to share?
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/thriftyninja
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/thriftyninja
- Pinterest: http://pinterst.com/amberortega
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/111656282670617160153/
- StumbleUpon: http://stumbleupon.com/stumbler/thriftyninja
○ If you weren’t a full time blogger, what other field can you see yourself working in? Well, blogging is my full time job, but I also work on a number of other things! I’m an event coordinator for a local non-profit (Dream BIG) and am on the Board of Directors for the ABQWest Chamber of Commerce. I think if I weren’t blogging, I’d probably just divide my time up between those two. Between the three, I stay pretty busy!
○ What is the best book you’ve recently read and why?
Honestly, I’ve never been much of a reader. I did recently get Hunger Games for my TouchPad, and have been hooked ever since. I saw the movie and was told the books were better. I must admit that I love the books now.
○ What is your favorite life or business quote?
”Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
— Benjamin Franklin, Inventor
○ Can you share what is the most important business habit you have?
I would have to say it is my organization. If you aren’t organized things can get lost or forgotten. There was a time where I was allowing things to slip through the cracks so to speak because I wasn’t being an organized as I should be. I soon realized that doing that was hurting myself and I needed to get in gear. I have spreadsheets for everything and lists of what I need to do, when they are due or when I am expecting payments. It really helps my sanity because otherwise I am running around last minute trying to get things done.