The Baby Sleep Site

Nicole Johnson, Founder

Westerville, OH
Dad with sleeping baby on shoulder. Sleeping baby.
Baby sleeping.
A bedtime success story

17 years ago, new mother Nicole Johnson found herself combing the internet in the early hours of the morning trying to find any advice on how to help her infant son sleep soundly through the night. Surprised by the judgmental and often conflicting resources for new parents, Nicole thought there should be a better resource. She forged ahead, solving her baby's sleep problems and then compiling her extensive knowledge into a blog, aptly named The Baby Sleep Site, as a way to help other parents in her position. The website focuses on holistic, gentle, and personalized sleep solutions.

Nicole juggled a full-time job while sharing content with her followers when she could. As it picked up traction, Nicole was surprised to learn that parents were eager to connect with her one-on-one as well. "In the beginning it was just a blog," says Nicole. "Then parents wanted to talk to me directly about their individual situations." Nicole saw an opportunity and started a service where she charged interested readers $20 for email consults. But as her readership grew, the demand for her services became too much to handle.

Baby sleeping on mom's shoulder.
Sleepless nights paid off

With traffic flowing in, Nicole wasn't sure how to transition her passion project into a business. "Many times, I thought this should just be a non-profit and even looked into what it would entail," she says. And while she had always considered using ads, she initially resisted. "We resisted putting ads on our site for a long time, but as we got bigger it seemed like the right thing to do," says Nicole. She chose an ad-supported model to stay true to her goals. "It was and still is imperative that I have free content," she says. "For one, the space has become very competitive. But more importantly, it allowed us to help families who couldn't afford a service package. Ads allow us to focus more on helping families whether through the blog or one-on-one services."

As the company grew, ads quickly became an integral part of the business and a way to help her keep growing. Nicole partnered with SHE Media, a Google Certified Publishing Partner who specialized in working with women-owned and minority-owned publishers to manage ad placements and monetization. "They reached out 3 years ago and the rest is history," says Nicole. "Ads saved my business, the revenue has surpassed 6 figures now in the last 3 years." SHE Media runs the day-to-day ad operations for The Baby Sleep Site ensuring ad revenue continues to flow from the business, and Nicole can channel her time into content creation and helping families.

This incremental income allowed Johnson to spend more of her time and resources on growing the site and community. The Baby Sleep Site saw over 8.6 million sessions in 2022 helping parents improve their children's sleep with articles on topics like sleep regressions and sleep schedules for newborns. Nicole gets tons of feedback from parents who come to her site - including those who write in saying that she's saved their marriage now that they can sleep again and skeptics turned believers writing in to get her perspective. "I recently had someone write to me 10 years later about how I changed their life," she says. "Knowing that I've had that type of impact to be remembered years later means so much!"

“It was and still is imperative that I have free content... It allows us to help families who can't afford a service package.”
A dream come true

With a thriving business and loyal audience, she's been able to bring on team members including a sleep consultant and a client relationship manager. Nicole has also been able to outsource technical jobs to improve the site and ensure she's offering the best digital experience. To collaborate with her team and keep the site growing, Nicole leverages tools from Google. "We've used Google tools since 2008," she says. "Analytics helps us understand popular content and conversion rates, Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights help me check my core web vitals, search queries, and stay on top of traffic levels. It's all incredibly helpful."

Through it all, Nicole is focused on improving the lives of those who trust her for help. "In my line of work, being non-judgmental is very important to helping mothers increase their confidence in themselves and their mothering abilities," she says. "I love supporting moms who might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure. Once we help their child sleep better, we nurture their confidence as a mom. There is honestly no better feeling out there."

About the Publisher

Nicole Johnson is the founder, owner, and lead sleep consultant of The Baby Sleep Site, founded in 2008. Nicole has been helping families solve their sleep problems holistically for over 10 years. Nicole is married and lives with her husband and two sons in Columbus, OH.
Nicole Johnson.