Blogging Trailblazer: Female Entrepreneur Builds Agency, Buys Home Before 30

Ana - From Chicago Blogger to Home Owner

Ana Cvetkovic’s journey as a female entrepreneur has been nothing short of remarkable. Who wouldn’t be interested in this incredible accomplishment? In this blog post, we will explore how a young blogger has been able to build her own business and buy her first house – in a city no less, before she turned 30. We’ll look at the steps she took to achieve this milestone as well as determine some of the unique qualities that enabled her to succeed that can be applied to other entrepreneurs. Let’s dig into the story of how she did it and discover how we can apply this lesson to our own personal journey.

I recently reconnected with her when I was looking for social media help for a new client.One of our mutual friends connected us, and  I was impressed by her business website. We got on a video call and the rest is history. I will say it can be intimidating to reach out to people you haven’t spoken with in years, and re-engage with your network, but I encourage everyone to go through some of your contacts and slowly reconnect. You never know how you can help each other, refer business, or simply enjoy each other’s company from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. As I was telling her about my dating life and Starbucks days writing SEO copy for grocery stores next to all of these law students studying for the bar, she laughed with me. I was like they are trying to understand the law and I’m over here trying to come up with an inventive description for 2 for 1 jars of pasta sauce. The struggle is real.

What makes Ana’s story so inspiring is that she built her business from the ground up. She started small, learned along the way, and is continuing to build her business.

Entrepreneurial Journey:

Ana’s entrepreneurial journey began when she moved to Chicago. At first, Ana struggled to find work in her field of digital marketing. Even though she had dozens of  internships in DC, and a track record of success, she felt she had to start all over again and take an internship at a political PR company.  After being promised a full-time position that didn’t pan out, she landed a part-time job as a social media manager at the Shedd Aquarium. She loved working there and it gave her enough time to explore the city and meet new people.

Ana posing with the belugas at Shedd Aquarium on Museum Selfie Day

Chicago Blogging and Networking:

She started her blog, Better Than Ramen and learned SEO through the WordPress tool Yoast. Her dedication paid off when she became the number one search result on Google for “Better Than Ramen,” surpassing high-authority websites like the Washington Post and Zagat. 

As she expanded her blog’s reach and met Chicago bloggers (like me!), there was one person who stood out to her, Maddy Osman, founder of The Blogsmith, who showed Ana that Chicago was a city of endless opportunities and encouraged her to collaborate with others in the industry. She felt comforted that there was genuine collaboration in this space instead of sheer competition. Maddy helped Ana realize that she had learned valuable digital marketing skills by blogging. Soon after a networking lunch with Maddy, Ana started pitching digital marketing services to small businesses at Randolph Street Market in the West Loop.

Ana (far right) with Maddy Osman (far left) at a Chicago blogger event. Bloggers also include: Once Upon a Dollhouse.

From One Client to Launching a Digital Marketing Company: 

It was at the Randolph Street Market where Ana found her calling. She pitched her digital marketing services to small businesses, and soon enough, she landed her first client. 

When Ana moved to Boston for love, she had a choice: start all over in a new city or maintain her freelance business. She chose the latter. With several clients under her belt, Ana was determined to build up her roster and perfect her skills. She started her own digital marketing company, BLOOM Digital Marketing. While Ana began the business with a focus on serving hospitality clients, six years in she has expanded to include restaurant, retail, and ecommerce tech companies like Shopify and TouchBistro.

“Reviewing restaurants for my blog, Better Than Ramen, showed me that many restaurants needed help with their online presence. Blogging helped me identify a need for my services and build the digital marketing skills – SEO, social media marketing, storytelling, etc. – that I’d eventually use with my clients. When BLOOM Digital Marketing took off I realized I could make more of an impact by helping restaurants directly, rather than  by reviewing them for my blog.”

Notable Projects – The Smithsonian:

Ana’s drive and expertise have allowed her to work on a variety of exciting projects throughout her career. One of her most notable projects was working with the Smithsonian Institution, where she was responsible for creating a video campaign that would spark millennial interest.

Ana’s 13 one-minute videos proved to be a massive success, garnering over 100,000 views. Her fast editing skills, keen eye for digital storytelling, and ability to connect with staff members from curators to scientists, from directors to interns, made her an invaluable asset to the team.

Erika Ferrin, the Brand Marketing Manager for the Smithsonian Institution, praises Ana’s producing and editing expertise, which helped bring their marketing videos to a higher level of quality, making them snappy, fun, and engaging. She notes that Ana’s work has helped the Smithsonian reach younger audiences, and the entire office enjoyed working with her.

Single Female Entrepreneur Buys a House in Her 20s:

Her passion for storytelling and her dedication to her craft make her a true inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and content creators.

Ana’s accomplishments are not limited to her professional life. She recently purchased her first home in her hometown of Philadelphia before her 30th birthday. She lives in a beautiful four bedroom house with her sister.

Ana Cvetkovic standing in front of her house on closing day

“Buying a house was so satisfying and made me feel like an adult! I’ve lived in my house for four months now, and I still can’t believe I’m a homeowner. The house feels like a physical manifestation of what I’ve built in my business. Throughout the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I experienced imposter syndrome. I was worried people wouldn’t think my business was legitimate. I thought people would think I have a husband or parents who are paying my bills while I make cute Instagram posts. While I’ve overcome this imposter syndrome, buying a house felt so validating for me because it’s the house that my business bought me. I did it all by myself (with love, emotional support, and advice from family, friends, and mentors, of course)!” Ana shared.

Ana currently enjoys exploring the Philadelphia food scene, traveling around the world, and decorating her new home. 

Ana Cvetkovic exploring Amsterdam last summer (2022)

Ana’s journey as a single female entrepreneur who bought her own house before 30 is a true inspiration!  Her journey has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile, and she hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams with the same determination and passion that she has. Learn more about her business, Bloom Digital Marketing here. 

“Instead of looking only for ‘glamorous’ clients (which for me are restaurants) – go where the money is. I added tech companies that served the restaurant industry to my client roster because that allowed me to support and write about an industry I love, while giving me steady, well-paying work,” Ana shared.

Inspired by this story of success? Share this blog post with a friend and leave a comment to share your own entrepreneurial journey! Follow @windycitycosmo on Instagram.

Amanda Whitfield
Amanda Whitfield

Amanda Whitfield is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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