This is the first part of our three part series on How to Start a Mom Blog. Thank you to Lisa from Milehimama for taking the time to share her expertise and contribute to this series, as it will help new bloggers and Moms, not only in the Houston area, but throughout the country.
Starting a mommy blog isn’t difficult, but it does take some thought and planning. First, examine your motives. A blog is interactive. Do you have the time and temperament to foster a community and deal with negative comments? Do you just want to make money online? If you don’t want to deal with readers, and/or pure profit is your motivation, a blog probably isn’t the best choice. Start a niche website, instead.Remember: The heart and soul of blogging are your readers and your community.
Making money from blogging is possible, but it’s not always easy. Yes, you can do it from home. Yes, you can do it with your children around you. Yes, it doesn’t cost much to get started. But you definitely won’t earn a living without a lot of hard work, and only diligent bloggers willing to learn their new craft and put the time in to grow their sites will be rewarded with a steady income. Remember: You don’t get something for nothing.
OK, so you’ve decided you have the drive and discipline to really work at this blogging thing. What next? Choose your topic. This is often referred to as a “niche”. What kind of blog do you want to have? What will you write about? Will your blog be a humorous look at motherhood, a resource for women battling an
illness, encouragement to adopt a certain lifestyle, a cooking blog? The possibilities are endless. Follow your passion. What do you love? What are you an amateur expert at? When you are at get togethers and you start chatting, what topic do you get carried away talking about? Remember: Choose a topic or niche that you love. You’ll be working on it daily.
There are probably many other blogs already in your niche. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t think that everything has already been said or that you can’t add insight to topic, or that it’s hopeless to try to get people to read your blog when there are so many other sites to compete with. You readers want to experience your world through your eyes. You are what will make your blog stand out. Remember: Readers follow bloggers, not blogs. YOU are why they read.
Before you blog, think carefully about your privacy. Is your family okay with you posting about them online? Will you use your children’s real names or give them “blog names”? Will you post pictures of your children and family? Remember: Anything posted on the internet cannot be taken back. The internet is forever.
Now take some time to look around at other blogs. Bookmark, Pin, or make a note of blogs that stand out, whether they are in your niche or not. Do you love the way their site looks? Does their content make you come back for more? Do you feel like they are family, and you’d recognize their kids anywhere? Analyze those sites, and make a list of things they do right. Remember: Take inspiration from other sites but always be yourself.
How are you going to make money off your site (This is called monetization)? There are many ways to earn an income from blogging, including selling ad space, posting affiliate links, or using ads from Adsense. Some women build a strong community on their blog and then companies and brands ask to sponsor posts or giveaways. Sometimes bloggers use their blog as a platform to sell something, such as ebooks, meal plans, training courses, or other products. And a few bloggers go on to earn a living as speakers and educators in their niche. You don’t have to make a detailed business plan with charts and graphs, but having a ballpark idea of your monetization strategy can help you steer your blog into profitable waters. You are not a sell out for ethically receiving money for work done. Just remember to always disclose monetary relationships, and blog with integrity. Remember: Bloggers should absolutely be paid for their work as writers and entertainers.
For more information on starting a blog, check out ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging by Darren Rowse, which covers these topics in much greater detail. He also wrote a book, Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and he has a website, ProBlogger.net, that is packed with free information for bloggers.
Lisa Stauber has blogged for five years at Milehimama.com and created a support network for bloggers, Houston Blogging Chicks. She also writes at TXBloggers.com and hosts a weekly Twitter chat about improving blogging skills, #txbloggers. She loves to hear from readers and you can contact Lisa here or follow her on Twitter, @milehimama. Blogging with integrity: this post contains affiliate links.
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