Courtesy of Erin Hiemstra.
Making A Commitment
While Hiemstra couldn't make much of a financial commitment at the beginning, her passion for the project pushed her forward. "In my 20s with a mortgage to pay, I definitely didn't have any resources to invest in Apt34. I didn't invest in actual site design until 2012 or 2013. I was on Blogger for years," shares Hiemstra. "Now, you really can't compete without doing some upfront investment in both your brand and your backend, but it was more like the Wild West in those days. But what I did dedicate was my time. I was really committed to my daily posts."

"Making the leap from hobby to business was certainly nerve wracking," she continues. "I didn't know if I could hack it on my own. Blogging was growing so quickly into full editorial production - almost mini-magazine like," she says. "That pace was very daunting. Slowly but surely I just started trying things. I also started adding to my team. Building talent around me really helped take Apt34 to the next level."