‘Do It Because You Love It’: Woodbury Influencer Rana Monet Shares Secrets of Successful Blogging

by | Jan 2020

Woodbury blogger Rana Monet


Woodbury lifestyle blogger and social media influencer Rana Browning launched her blog, Rana Monet, a year and a half ago.

Rana Browning is a Woodbury lifestyle blogger and social media influencer who launched what she calls her “passion project” about a year and a half ago—and it helped her out of a dark time. “As my kids were growing, now 15 and 12, I found they were becoming more independent and, as a divorced mother, I had extra time on my hands,” she says. “The new idle time only led to loneliness and a feeling of worthlessness. After some discussion with friends and family, I decided to start pursuing my hobbies outside of motherhood and my career.”

Browning’s blog, Rana Monet, offers inspiration for homes and lifestyles in each new season—recipes, interior design, fashion, photography and more.

“I hope my readers leave feeling like they just flipped through a favorite magazine,” Browning explains. She’s also started incorporating travel inspiration into the blog, especially focused on Minnesota day trips.

Rana Monet on a canoe.
Photo courtesy of Rana Monet

And Browning says her audience is close to her heart. “I picture the mom who hasn’t bought herself something nice because her kids come first…She can go to my site and find a look that inspires her and purchase it right there, or use the idea to find her own unique look.”

Outside of Rana Monet, Browning continues her career as a dietitian at Woodwinds Hospital, where she’s been for 16 years. She uses her food expertise in her blog, too. “I do love a good balance of science and the arts,” Browning says. “By combining my career with my blog, I now have the best of both worlds—a creative outlet that gives me joy and a place to help others with food as medicine.”

Browning moved to Woodbury in 2003 when she was pregnant with her first son. “I adore Woodbury,” she says. “It has the best of everything. Friends often joke that I never leave my bubble of Woodbury. Honestly, most of the time I don’t have to, because everything is so convenient here,” she adds with a laugh. “While Woodbury is a suburban environment, we are within minutes of amazing hiking trails in Lake Elmo or amazing walking trails throughout the community.”

She runs Rana Monet mostly by herself—all of the marketing, content, photography and networking. Her fiancé has been her “photography sidekick,” she says. “He takes the photos I need to be in. He is extremely supportive and encouraging of this venture…I’m not sure if I would be able to take it all on without him.” Her kids help, too—at least with the fun parts, like taste-testing recipes. Occasionally Browning’s daughter shares one of her own baking projects on the blog.

A baking project from Rana Monet.
Photo courtesy of Rana Monet

We asked Browning about Minnesota’s blog culture—in fact, there are a high number of successful lifestyle bloggers and social media mavens in the metro, including in Woodbury (some of them have appeared in past issues of Woodbury Magazine)—something that might seem counterintuitive to folks who assume lifestyle blogging, especially the photo-heavy kind, requires the glitz and gloss of New York or L.A. “Oddly, Minnesota is a highly populated area for bloggers. Maybe it’s our long winters,” says Browning. “It also provides a great community of other bloggers to meet and learn from. I personally find Woodbury to be great because we have beautiful lakes, fields [and] buildings for photography, and a lot of businesses for collaborating with.” She also notes that Minnesota’s four seasons are a boon for photographers. “I will say the winters can be challenging,” she adds. “There is a good chance you will see me one day freezing, in a dress, for a shot.”

What’s Browning’s advice for aspiring lifestyle writers and photographers? “Do it because you love it,” she says. “It’s a lot of work—and I mean a lot. It can truly be a roller coaster of emotions, putting yourself and your creative efforts on display …I would also suggest to drop the perfectionist attitude. In order to have a successful social media account, you have to be a little different in some way—and the only way to be different is to push the limits. The creative process should always be evolving.”

Rana Monet walks through a field
Photo courtesy of Rana Monet

Rana Monet
Instagram: @rana.monet


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