Fat Mum Slim blogger gets big hits from Tweed home
A TWEED blogger who started an online diary devoted to losing her post-baby weight has birthed a lucrative digital brand, which today boasts 100,000 followers and big sponsorship.
Chantelle Ellem's success snowballed in 2008, just after the 36-year-old started a blog sharing snippets of her family life after the birth of her daughter, Lacey, now aged nine years.
The trials and tribulations of parenting, from sleep deprivation to nappy changing, peppered with jokes and honesty, earned the 'mummy blogger' a worldwide following.
"It was actually about being a mum. I was craving something for myself and I'd always been a creative person, and I used it just for that, as a place to just write my thoughts every day,” Mrs Ellem said.
"I thought no one would find it, but slowly, from all around the world, people started to read it and it took off really quickly and it suddenly became a career.”
That year, the mother-of-two, who also has Luella, 3, was getting more than 90,000 hits a month on her blog, doing newspaper and magazine interviews, and had taken to freelance writing as a profession.
She was then hired as a social community editor at popular website, Kidspot.
"When I started with Kidspot, they said Facebook wouldn't take off, I grew their community to 60,000 which was the biggest growth in any news site (at that time),” Mrs Ellem said.
It's no surprise Mrs Ellem scored an invitation to Kirribilli House in 2012 as one of the country's top 25 most successful mummy bloggers, for an audience with then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Mrs Ellem developed a photo app in 2014 which debuted at number one in Australia in the App Store, and launched a Photo A Day challenge to promote it, attracting a post from singer Pink!
"A Photo A Day wasn't about making money, it was about making something fun for everyone to do,” Mrs Ellem said.
"Money has never been my strategy, I just want to live a life that I love.
"It's kind of been a blessing like that, when you do something you love and it works.”
Today the busy online marketer is working with major corporations.
Mrs Ellem's latest creative project is in partnership with Maggi, and includes compiling lists of easy two-minute noodle recipes, to help parents save time to feed fussy eaters.
"(Online media industry) is ever-changing and evolves and that's what I like about it,” Mrs Ellem said.
"I am working with brands like Maggi, helping them to create recipes because that's the most useful type of content that my readers love.
"I just did three recipes using two-minute noodles, trying to bribe my daughter to eat.
"When you're doing something you love, and it's coming from the heart, it shows, and working with brands is just the icing on the cake.”
Crunchy noodle recipe:
1. Combine 2-cups shredded cabbage, 4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted, 3 spring onions sliced, 1 carrot grated, 1 cup BBQ chicken shredded and 1 x MAGGI 2 minute Wholegrain Chicken noodles into a serving dish.
2. In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and 3/4 cup boiling water and stir until dissolved.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir and pour over salad. Serve immediately.