Listen to today’s podcast:
Subscribe to my podcast:
My name is Christina Dennis and I’ve been a DIY decor content creator since 2009. What started as a passion for transforming drab spaces into vibrant havens has now turned into something bigger, something life changing. I’m supporting our entire family with the income from the DIY Mommy blog, YouTube channel, and social media platforms. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took countless hours of brainstorming, creating and sharing content about what I love the most budget friendly DIY décor and home improvement projects.
Now I’m ready to share all of my secrets, tips and strategies that help me turn my passion for DIY décor into a full time career, supporting my family along the way. Are you ready to transform your hobby into a successful career? Welcome to The Six Figure Creator podcast.
Welcome to my podcast reboot!
Hello, hello, and welcome back to my podcast, formerly Dear DIY Mommy.
You might see the name change now wherever you find your podcasts: The Six Figure Creator podcast. I wasn’t seeing a lot of growth sharing my DIY decor ideas on the podcast, which makes sense to me because I feel like those things are more visual. People want to see how these things are created, hence the reason why I started my YouTube channel and the social channels sharing videos for the DIYs in the first place.
So, after looking at all the analytics, thinking over things and hearing from you, I thought that I would do a pivot with this podcast and transform it into something that shares more behind the scenes of what it’s actually like to do what I do.
I think a lot of you are curious to know what a day to day looks like for me. Maybe you want to do it yourself or you’re just interested in how it all works, how my husband Sean works with me at home, how we manage the kids, how I even started making money with this business. I know a lot of you are interested in creating a side hustle!
A lot of us are feeling the pressure of how high things have been costing lately, and we all want a way to perhaps make more of an income and be able to support our families to pay for these extra costs. Plus, I know a lot of you are really passionate about making things, about decorating and DIYing. A really fun way that you can turn that into a side hustle is having a content creation business or becoming an influencer
I like the term content creator much better than influencer, but essentially they are one and the same. So that being said, I want to officially welcome you to this new podcast! If you were here solely for the DIY decorating tips, I hope you’ll stay just out of curiosity to hear what life is like. If you don’t want to, that’s totally fine.
I’m still sharing all of my DIY decorating budget friendly ideas on my blog, thediymommy.com, YouTube channel Instagram, Facebook andTiktok @TheDIYMommy. I do have a new website for this podcast here: TheSixFigureCreator.com. I’ll be sharing all of the show notes here. Plus I have some free resources for you if you’re considering getting into the content creation business.
I hope this is helpful for you, I hope it inspires you, and I hope it encourages you as you consider how you can create more of an income from home.
Where to listen
How I became a content creator: Early career life
I thought I would kick off this new podcast with a back story on how I got into this business. It was by accident.
When I was growing up in the 80s,there was no such thing as content creation. There was no such thing as the Internet! So, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would become a YouTuber, blogger, etc.. When I was little, I was hoping to at one point be a teacher, at another point to be a graphic designer, at another point be a famous singer… lots of different things!
My very first job was when I was 14 years old. I taught piano lessons, and so I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I have always loved the idea of having my own business; I really love marketing and creating logos. I even created my logo for my piano lessons and my voice lessons!
My mom was a really good example to me of someone that was staying home and looking after her kids, but then she also had a re upholstery business. She was really leaning into her creative side as well. I started at 14 teaching music class and and loved that.
I started with a singing career
That was a great side gig for me as a student. And then when I graduated high school, I was either going to go into music, into singing, or I was going to go into graphic design. I chose music. I went to a college, which is now a university here in Edmonton called Grant MacEwan, and I did their two year music performance diploma.
I’ve always loved singing. I have always enjoyed performing, which is kind of funny because I am a huge introvert. Alone time is one of my favourite things. I love people, but I need to have that break from people. It’s strange because when I get on stage I really enjoy that for some reason. I loved the singing thing – I gigged around a little bit with a jazz trio and a wedding band, then realized that I didn’t really want to sell everything and move to Nashville or live in a van or go to L.A. That just wasn’t really the lifestyle that I wanted.
Then I moved on to graphic & web design
I did want a family. And being a “famous singer” wasn’t going to line up with that. So then after I did that, I went back to school, back to college, and I did a graphic design diploma. So after I did that, which was my other passion with music, I had my own website and graphic design business.
During that I met my husband, Sean. He was unlike any other boy that I dated! All the other boys were musicians. He was in the trades, an electrician and amazing, stable, handsome… all those things. We fell in love. We got married. I had my own graphic design and website company, and then my first daughter came along. At that point I realized that owning my own graphic website company was too stressful with having a newborn baby.
Starting my blog
I sold that company and then when my daughter was six months old, I started a blog. At that point blogs were just new. They’d only been around for maybe three years at that point. It was June 2009 that I started the blog and I thought: Hey, this could be a fun way to share what I love to do… which is making things!
I wanted to focus it on making baby items specifically. So sewing bibs and, making handmade baby wipes and all that stuff. That’s why I chose The DIY Mommy, because I wanted to blog about mom stuff and DIYs. So, the blog was born and it was a really fun way to be creative with a baby at home.
I could use my graphic design skills, I could sew and I could take take photos. I’ve always loved photography, editing my photos and sharing, and I’ve always loved writing. So I blogged once a week or once a month. And then I realized… you could actually monetize a blog by putting ads on it!
I did have a couple Google ads on the blog and made a few cents a week. I hoped in the back of my mind that maybe I would eventually turn this into some sort of part time gig and wouldn’t have to go back into graphic design.
Getting blog sponsors
We built our current home ourselves in 2012. Prior to this, we lived in a garage house on our property. I share the pictures of this and everything on my blog, TheDIYMommy.com. In 2012 we finally had enough money to build a house. We were expecting our third baby at this point, so we definitely needed something larger.
At that point I thought: Hey, I’m starting to see fellow bloggers reach out to brands to work with them. They’re getting free material from them or maybe even getting paid from them. So why don’t I put together a media kit for my blog. I’m going to reach out to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Home Hardware, etc., and see if they want to sponsor me with free material for our new build. Because that would really help us because… we’re broke!
That was my driving force behind starting to reach out to brands. I put together a media kit. I think I was at about 30,000 views per month on my blog at this point, so doing quite well with the content that I was already sharing. And then to my delight and surprise, all of the brands wrote me back.
I chose my favorite one, which at that time was Lowe’s. They gave us all of the flooring, all the tile, and all the paint for our house. It was a huge blessing! I was over-the-moon excited to be working with them and getting this free stuff. At that point I said: You know what? I bet I could create a part time job out of this blog and not have to go back to graphic design because I love this. I love making stuff, I love sharing it, I love editing photos and all of this. So that was really the pivot point for my whole blog. That’s when I realized I could make an income off of it.
Monetizing the blog with sponsors
I started asking for not only free products but for payment. Because when you get free product, long story short, you’ve got to pay taxes on it. And of course, those are the things you have to pay for. You can’t pay your mortgage with a free product. So then I started asking for payments from brands and that started going well.
Then in 2015, I got my first big sponsor which was the Brick. They’re a home furnishing store in Canada. I won a home design contest and that was how I connected with them. They sponsored a few blog posts a month and a video, and I signed a contract with them for a couple of years.
That was my first big break. Thank you toThe Brick! That was amazing, and that was really the beginning of my steady income in 2015. It was the point where I started making a decent part-time income.
Creating a full time income with the blog & social channels
From then until now, I have been able to grow that income. Now, I am the sole income provider for our whole family of five.
My husband is a general contractor; he was doing that while I was growing the blog. He still does that now. He has all of his licenses and insurance so that we can work together on things and have all the proper paperwork when working for other home owners on their renovations.
Sean helps me a lot and I’ll probably do a podcast with him later on in the season, chatting about exactly how we work together on the blog, YouTube channel, etc.. Also in 2015 was when I started the YouTube channel. I never really wanted to see myself on video, but people were wanting to see how things were made on video; I understand that. I started the YouTube channel and then that truly accelerated the growth of my brand. From there, I grew on other social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
So, that’s how it happened! I never thought this would be my career, but it is! I’ve been making multiple six figures for a while now. Next year is the 15th anniversary of when my blog was born, so that was one of the things that made me think: You know what, I really need to chat more about the behind the scenes of all of this!
You can do this too!
There are so many questions & I know a lot of you would love to be doing this as a career as well. I’m here to help you. I’m an open book. I don’t want to get keep the things that I know about the industry, and I’ve always felt that way. I feel like there are enough pieces of the pie for all of us, and there still is!
Even with the amount of people doing social media right now, it’s still a lucrative career. I think that there’s enough room for you if you feel like you want to get into this business. With a lot of experience in this business my goal for this podcast and the website, The Six Figure Creator, is to help you.
I want to help you.
I want to inspire you online and give you all the tools that you need to either grow your current content creation business or start one from scratch. So with all of that being said, I want to hear from you! What do you want to hear on this podcast? I’m hoping to share everything from how to create a website to how to grow your Instagram, to how to price sponsorships… everything.
I’m also hoping to have some fellow creators on this podcast so I can chat with them and share insights from them with you as well. So, go to my contact page, send me all of your questions! I want to answer them here and I would love to hear from you.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast. I hope you’re excited about this reboot. I certainly am! I’m going to be on here every Tuesday morning, so make sure to tune in on your favorite podcast network, whether that is Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.