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Meet Michelle Platt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Platt.

Hi Michelle, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In 2016, I started my first website, a blog, as a writing portfolio to find work as a freelance writer or as an in-house content creator. My daughter was about to enter kindergarten and I had been home with my kids for a few years. My husband worked long hours in Manhattan, we didn’t have much child care, and I couldn’t wait for both kids to be in school. I had done some consultant work, curriculum writing, and other odd gigs here and there, but I wanted to work more steadily. In my previous work life, I was an attorney and then a New York City middle school English teacher. Writing had always been my passion and now with a fresh start, I was ready to enter workforce full-time, doing anything I could to make my writing dreams happen.

I decided to call my writing portfolio, aka, my website MyPurseStrings.com and share some ways I saved money in non-traditional ways. I was not big into coupons but I had some interesting ways to save money. My brother had the Peloton bike (this was back in 2016) when no one really knew of the company. I discovered the Peloton app, free at the time, and bought all the necessary add-ons to mimic the Peloton experience. My tagline became “I do the research so you don’t have to.” I wrote three articles, two about Peloton, and one about giving up cable, which was also unusual at the time. After months of teaching myself WordPress, blogging, and how to monetize my site, I finally went live in late March 2016. I still searched job listings every day and had some interviews. However, within a few months of launching my site, my Peloton post went viral and I started making money. A few months later, I was a full-time writer on my own site. I continued to learn, and still do, best practices, SEO, and all the tasks I needed to do to make my site thrive.

Six years later, my website is going strong although I have shifted more towards health and wellness. I still do some savings articles but it’s mostly focused on Peloton tips, wellness, and product reviews. I have an active weekly newsletter with my Friday Favorites (new blog posts, deals, and generally things I’m loving that week).

The biggest way I monetize is through affiliate marketing (although I do sell some of my own products on my site) and in late 2021, I started doing Livestreams on Amazon. It’s a really fun platform and I get to share some of my favorite products in an interactive forum. You can find me there at www.amazon.com/mypursestrings.

This May, I launched my second site (thereviewtank.com). It’s a Shark Tank product review site and recap of the show. I’m excited to see where this second site will take me.

I’ve reinvented myself in so many ways over the years. First I was an attorney, then a teacher, then a mom, and now as a content creator. I am my own boss and in so many ways, it’s my dream job. I write about topics that interest me and my readers. I joke that I just want to write, but now I’m a marketer, writer, editor, social media planner, strategist, YouTuber, Livestreamer, brand coordinator. There’s a lot of hustling and I work all the time but I’m doing what I love.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being a one-woman show is a big struggle for me. Many successful content creators have an entire team. Besides taking some of the workload off of me, I also don’t have anyone to strategize with or bounce ideas off of. I find that if a friend asks me about my work, I share way too much, happy to just have someone to talk to about it. I believe you can’t do all things well. I know I’m better at some things like writing than others, like social media. It can feel overwhelming at times with the pressure I put on myself.

Also, with a traditional job, you get paid a set salary. So much of what I do is based upon the traffic my site receives. Occasionally, Google will have an algorithm change and for reasons unknown to me, a top blog post that used to sit on page one of Google drops to page two or three. And with that, comes a loss of income.

Finally, for a long time when someone asked if I worked or stayed home with the kids, I answered the latter. It was my husband who said, you should tell people that you do work, and work hard. If I ever use the word “blog,” people’s heads go to mommy blogs and me documenting my every move. So now, I use the word website or I say I’m a content creator. I still have friends who have no idea how much work goes into what I do and think I don’t have a job.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
What sets me apart from others is my authenticity. Although I write about health and wellness, I’m not a licensed trainer, nutritionist, or dietician. I write from the perspective of a suburban mom on my own health and wellness journey. I do think because it’s my job, I keep myself accountable and try to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. But I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not. I don’t have a six-pack and it’s OK if I skip a workout or eat ice cream for dinner. I think my readers relate to my realness.

I also think that my lawyer and teaching background mesh well into what I do. I love to research products and content ideas, way more than the average person, and then I can take that information and share it in a teachable way with my readers. Some of my more successful blog posts are “how to” articles.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
As much as people bash social media, the members of various Facebook groups I have joined over the years have helped me so much. I can ask a question and get real answers from people with experience. I can read through others’ posts who have had the same struggles. Working at home with no co-workers can be a lonely place so having an online community has made me feel connected. This has also translated into some real off-line friendships.

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