My life seems normal to many. I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom with three young children. I live in a small house in a small Houston area neighborhood. We go to church on Sundays, say Grace before each meal, and, on most days, you’ll hear KSBJ playing in the kitchen. Then you see a snapshot of what I look at every day:
I do this thing that most people don’t understand. Blogging. I was asked, by someone, the other day, “What is blogging? How do I get started? How do I do what YOU do?”
The first thing I say to them is:
How Do I Get Started?
I’ll start by telling you how I started. I was over 800 miles away from friends and family in North Carolina. My husband traveled 2-3 weeks out of the month, leaving me, alone, with three children under the age five. My mini-van worked on occasion. I felt isolated, sometimes lost, scared, and confused.
I got online and googled How do you know it’s time for a divorce? It was time for a change. I needed emotional support with my marriage and with motherhood. I found a blog post talking about the struggles she has gone through and how God saved her marriage. It was powerful and encouraging. That night I created my own blog. My first post EVER was on December 13, 2007, entitled: Look Into My Heart. It was raw. It was real. It was all of me.
This is where I’d tell you Think before you create your own blog. Think about what you want to write about, what direction you’ll go, what the name and url will be, etc. I did it on a whim. I blogged about how I struggled in parenting and marriage, but it turned into a sweet, happy canvas for my life in general with pictures, stories, videos. It then transformed into a path of learning about marketing, campaigns, brands, and the power of social media in today’s society.
So, you want to start your own blog. There are a few different platforms you can use that are either free or low cost.
I purchased my own domain and simply directed it to blogger. You don’t have to do that, but know you’ll have either .blogspot or .wordpress at the end of your chosen url name. For example mine was: www.mommafindings.blogspot.com before I purchased the domain. You can also self host, which I have, yet, to dive into.
Is It Worth It?
Within months of being a Mom Blogger, I started receiving emails from companies and PR agencies asking me if I wanted to try their newest laundry detergent, kids toys, clothes, etc. I still remember my very first pitch. It was from Kumon asking me to review their workbooks (they are STILL our favorite educational workbook for our children).
This is where most bloggers will tell you not to “sell out” or get “sucked in”. Hold on to your reasons for blogging to begin with. I would agree, however, I found a passion for consumer blogging. I enjoy reviews, campaigns, and learning more about marketing and national brands. It’s not all the “free stuff” or the “cool trips” (believe me I don’t have a lot of cool trips under my belt) that have me sucked in, but the passion I have for letting other parents know about the newest products that might just let them keep their sanity throughout parenthood. I’ll also be transparent, that this is a job for me now. I add to our income with blogging, advertising, consulting, and freelance gigs I’d NEVER have been able to do before.
That being said, it’s not for everyone. Most hate reviews. Most hate giveaways. Most hate the overwhelming pitches. Most hate the struggle of balancing a blogging “career” and their family life. Yes, it’s an adjustment and sometimes I lose myself in it. I forget about the other things that make me smile.
Going on a long run. Just me and my iPod.
Playing a game of memory with my babies in the middle of the day.
Curling up on the couch with a quilt and a good book.
Devotions. Morning devotion and prayer.
Watching movies late at night with my husband.
Laughing with friends at Starbucks.
Taking a family walk after dinner.
Oh, cooking dinner!
So, is it worth it? Would I start blogging all over again if I had the chance?
Yes, Yes, and Yes. Momma Findings has brought me amazing friendships with people all across the country. It’s given me opportunities to travel and meet with HUGE companies that I admire. During job changes and pay decreases, it’s given my children things I’d NEVER have the money to buy for them.
It’s given me knowledge beyond blogging, into social media marketing, consulting, and a pathway to an expertise inside of me that I didn’t even know existed. Some days I’m stressed. Other days I’m overwhelmed with appreciation for the job I’ve stumbled on to, but I can say, with complete confidence, good day, or bad, great Alexa rating, or not.. I find myself at my laptop with a story to tell, a movement to continue, and an inspiration I hope to never lose.
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