Mom blogs are an amazing resource full of frugal tips, life hacks, interesting trends and a great belly laugh or good cry.
They continue to succeed for one important reason: connection. Jumping into this market seems overwhelming, but you can successfully start up your own mom blog. In the next few posts, we’ll take a look at how you can set up your blog for long-term success. Here are four tips to get started.
1. Before Starting Your Mom Blog
Get On Social Media
Set up your social media for success first. You must find your tribe on social media. Engage with Twitter and on Facebook, sharing content, your views on parenting, following those with similar interests and joining in events.
You'll also want to join online clubs that speak to your parenting passions – raising kids in the city, natural parenting, or kids with special needs. For example, I am in Facebook groups with green bloggers who follow issues that complement my niche and I have built strong relationships over the years.
Create a Theme to Find Your Niche
Now it's time to reflect: What is the burning passion you have to share as a parent? Frugal tips? Beauty trends? Parenting difficult children? This should be something you are either an expert at or have learned from error what not to do! Your blog will center around this theme. Read more about how you can fine tune this into a niche for your blog.
Whitney Pomeroy Wingerd, Mommies With Style –
“I always tell people that the [key] to success in blogging is to be blogging and writing about something you love. There isn't much money to be made in the beginning so it's so important to be passionate about your blog and your topic. (i.e. Don't blog about food if you hate to cook!) For me, the key was loving what I was doing before the success came – once that came, it was easy to keep going.”
Brainstorm Your Uniqueness
Research high traffic blogs in your niche, including those that inspired you to start your own. Delve into them to answer these questions: What do you like best? What keeps you coming back? What do you wish they did differently or better? Study at least five blogs – too many may overwhelm you and too few will not give you enough information.
Start brainstorming content that speaks to your theme and addresses what you thought those blogs missed:
- Resource lists
Don't worry about long term goals unless they will negatively impact your blog. For example, when I started working with brands, I made sure there was no profanity on my blog.
LaDonna Maxwell Dennis, Mom Blog Society –
“Don’t follow the crowd. Think outside the box. Do it different. And do it your way. Following the crowd keeps you in limbo really. Doing it your way provides a greater chance of success. And when you think of your blog as a business, you’ll find that successful career you’re dreaming of.”
2. Finding Balance: Family & Work
Balancing your private life and your blog is tricky. Everything you put online about your children can is findable, so protect your family by setting boundaries now.
- You may want leave their real names off your blog and use nicknames.
- You don’t want to share anything embarrassing or that can start a fight with your significant other.
- If you are addressing sensitive issues, such as raising a child who wets the bed, consider addressing possible reader questions in general, rather than posting your child’s issues online.
Next, figure out how much free time you have to create a good post and promote it. I recommend finding a regular time and place to blog in private for at least half an hour daily – after the kids are in bed, during school, before everyone wakes up – whatever works for you creatively. Be sure to work effectively by incorporating tools that boost your productivity.
Colleen Kennedy, Souffle Bombay –
“As a former 9 – 5 Corporate America darling, one of the best things about having my blog turn into more than I expected is the fact that I can work when I want, around the needs of my family. It is a blessing to have my website turn into a business and …my favorite part of this has been how much my kids and husband are involved in it. My 10 year old writes her own posts and has become quite the passionate little cook. My son is into cooking and helps me with lighting and photography. And my husband is my taster extraordinaire, one of the benefits of having a wife who is a food blogger!”
3. Find Your Ideal Visitor
You must research your ideal audience – “moms” is not good enough. You must consider:
- Location (city? farm?)
- Ages/sexes of kids
- How many kids
- Parenting style (natural, urban)
- Income level
- Working vs. stay at home
You also need to understand how they approach raising children. As you zoom in on that target audience, remember that niching too finely may leave you without an audience so make sure your topic has some broad appeal.
A successful blog has a focused mission, combining your passion with your niche, that is specifically tailored for your ideal visitor.
You may want to write out a mission statement and tweak it over time. For example, my blog's mission is to provide tips, hacks and general care for parents of special kids on special diets to improve their lives. Once you have your mission in place, fine tune your social media efforts. Become an active participant by supporting the top bloggers of your ideal visitor's communities. Do NOT go into this with an agenda of “using” a blogger to get page views. Instead, build real relationships with people that have common interests. This will happen naturally as you follow and comment on topics that resonate for you.
Reesa Lewdowski, Momma Lew –
“Be yourself! Focus on the things you love to do in your everyday life and things that matter to you. Chances are there are other moms that will relate to you and will feel a connection to you because of your candidness and honesty.”
4. What to Write About
Now, return to those successful blogs in your niche to research what topics have gone viral that appeal to your ideal visitor and your mission. For example, celebrity posts are always a hit but if your blog is about natural parenting, you can only write about celebrities when both topics intersect. You should also:
- Consider those ideal readers first! What do they need? What do they love? Is the focus on you or on how your perspective and experience can help them live better? It doesn’t matter what your niche is; readers always come first – good can come from this later on. Since blogging about special diets, I shared brands I consider safe for my children. This eventually helped me land a long-term influencer campaign for a major brand.
- Research all news, current events, trending topics and general buzz that fits into your niche. For example, April is autism awareness month, so I naturally produce content that fits that topic on my blog.
- Consider adding controversy to attract readers but remember it will also attract haters. Decide how much you are comfortable with, if any, and how to frame it for your audience: Do you want a blog that promotes activism or do you want it to be a comfortable place for visitors to be relaxed or entertained?
Jo-Lynne Shane (formerly Musings of a Housewife) –
“My best advice is to just start writing. Don't get caught up in making money or having strategy. Just start writing, write daily, and focus on developing your voice and a community. Respond to comments, and serve your community. THEN once you've built a product, you can look into monetizing.”
These tips should get you started in building a sound foundation. In Part 2 of this series on how to start a mom blog, I’ll discuss blog promotion and marketing your mom blog and how to start monetization.