As you may know, I have been looking for an editor to work alongside me, and I’ve found her! I’d love to introduce Caroline. She was a book editor at Penguin before jumping ship to come to Cup of Jo, and I’m thrilled to have her here.
Here’s the backstory, if you’re interested…
Why I wanted to hire an editor: As I’ve mentioned, this past fall, I was feeling pretty burned out. Part of that was postpartum depression (similar to what happened after Toby was born—it was grim!—and I’m so grateful to have come out the other side). But part of it was that I was so bogged down by day-to-day work and upkeep that I didn’t have enough time to write as many longer, more thoughtful posts or produce the types of original series I wanted to. I felt like I was on a treadmill. And after years of working on my bed, I really craved a separate workspace (a room of one’s own) and a collaborator to chat with about things like post ideas, ad negotiations and, of course, celebrity crushes.
Why blogging takes so long: Honestly, sometimes I look at my blog and think how does it take so long?! Ha! But it just does! As I’ve mentioned before, blogging should look easy—just how magazine articles and books should look easy and fun. But it doesn’t mean that it is easy. Writing the posts is the fun part (I love that part so much), but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve found that the bigger your blog gets—and the more you focus on it as a full-time money-making career as well as a creative endeavor—the more work it is. I wrote about the behind-the-scenes of running a blog here and here, if you’d like to read more.
On the hiring process: When I posted the job listing in December, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but more than 500 resumes poured in! I couldn’t believe the caliber of applicants—magazine editors and writers, book editors, up-and-coming bloggers with strong voices, novelists, you name it. After painstakingly narrowing down the list, I called 16 people in for interviews. We chatted about their experiences, goals and aspirations, and I asked them some formal questions (“How would your current boss describe you?” and “Why are you applying for this position?”) and some fun ones that Swissmiss had recommended (such as, “Describe yourself in three words” and “What’s something you’re bad at that you wish you were good at?”). I loved meeting all these smart and wonderful women! Then I chose a handful of finalists and gave them an edit test with various blogging assignments–such as “generate five ideas for how-tos” or “interview anyone about anything, but make it super tight and compelling.”
In the end, everyone was amazing, but Caroline really stood out. She’s a funny, energetic person with lots of ideas and opinions (when I was interviewing her, I kept thinking the word, “firecracker!”), and we had a good working dynamic, which is important since we’ll be spending so much time together. So I offered her the job and was thrilled when she accepted! We rented two desks, side by side, at Studiomates in Brooklyn, along with other friendly freelancers.
The future of the site: Right now, Caroline is getting trained and settled in, and she’s also working on larger series and interviews which are coming up. Looking ahead, we would love to make Cup of Jo a more full-service lifestyle site with more in-depth series—like another round of Motherhood Around the World and more Motherhood Monday essays—as well as new series, which we’re already rolling out, such as beauty uniforms, house tours, illustrated questions…and many more coming up. As we move forward, and experiment with things, I’d love to hear your thoughts, since it’s so important to me that you love the site. And, with Caroline on board, I’m also excited to get my work/life balance back on track this summer, since it’s been so off since Anton was born!
Anyway, Caroline is the best, and please welcome her to Cup of Jo. She lives in Brooklyn, has an adorable puppy and loves loves loves lipsticks (she wears different colors every day). I hope you enjoy getting to know her as time goes on!
Thank you so much for reading this, and lots of love, as always. xoxo
(The required footwear for the job.)
(Thanks to Jen Mussari for snapping some photos yesterday)