Blog Your Way to a Traditional Book Deal: Interview with Erin Odom

Many people dream of turning their blog into a traditional book deal. Are you one of them?

Blog Your Way to a Traditional Book Deal: Interview with Erin Odom

Our guest today has made this dream her reality. Erin Odom is a blogger and author of two books. She’s been sharing her story with me via email for the last year. It was compelling, and I’m excited to share it with you today on The Portfolio Life.

Not long ago, Erin and her family were in poverty. Today, she has a successful writing business reaching countless people with her work that was 7 years in the making.

In January of 2011, she had a 2-year old and a newborn. Her family was barely making ends meet. Erin’s husband was teaching high school Spanish, she was working several jobs, and they were dangerously close to foreclosing on an out-of-state home.

None of her jobs were bringing in the income they needed to thrive and allow her to be a stay-at-home mom. So when her newspaper editor and her best friend both separately approached Erin about starting a mom blog- she was open to the idea.

For the first six months, she secretly wrote and published posts, repurposing the newspaper articles she had been writing. Then Erin decided to go for it and see if she could make it work. Within a year she had replaced her husband’s salary. Within two years she was making a very good income for her family.

In January 2014 she got an email from a literary agent which led to a two-book deal and much more. She’ll share all of those details as well as:

  • Why you shouldn’t take rejection personally
  • How she approached me in a polite yet persistent way about being a guest on this show

Join me and Erin Odom to hear her inspiring and insightful story on this episode of The Portfolio Life.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Erin and I explore:

  • When did she start to think this was for real?
  • Why did she think an email from a literary agent was a joke?
  • Why it took two years to write her first book proposal.
  • What she learned from writing about her family’s lean financial times.
  • Why she joined numerous book launch teams and how it helped her.

Be authentic with all. Be transparent with some. Be vulnerable with few.

Erin Odom

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On growth moments with her blog

  • How long did it take for her to replace her husband’s teaching salary?
  • What encouraged her to keep going when things were tough in the early stages?
  • How an online mom blogger mastermind helped her write her first book.
  • Why being authentic with your life can resonate with your audience.
  • Why readers need to know you are not perfect.

Keep on showing up for the work every day.

Erin Odom

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The importance of outside support

  • Why you have to put yourself out there and find your tribe.
  • Where can you find people who are on the same path as you?
  • Why did her husband take a “wait and see” approach with her initial plans to become a blogger?
  • What’s the difference between criticism and feedback?
  • How to know who has and who hasn’t earned the right to speak into your life.


What did you learn today to help you make your dream of writing a book become your reality? Let us know in the comments.