As blogging has grown, there are a lot of stay at home/work at home mamas who’ve started blogs in hopes of turning them into sources of full-time income. I’m one of those mamas, and if you’re reading, this, then my guess is that you are too!
In this endeavor, many moms have discovered that this is actually a little (or a lot) more challenging than it sounds, especially with the unpredictability of having small children in the home…and even more so if you have a hubby with a full-time job and very little help.
I understand these demands completely. That’s why today, I want to give some tips for building your mom blog with small children at home. If you haven’t started your blog yet, go here. Once you sign up to get hosted, come back to this post!
This advice is a combination of my own experience coupled with valuable insights I’ve learned from other bloggers along the way. Enjoy!
Spend time learning
If you’re just starting to build your blog with your babies at home, you know that you won’t be able to just jump right into the big stuff-you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time learning, even if you’re a tech-savvy mama. You won’t be able to skip this if you want to build a profitable blog!
I spent a LOT of time learning at the front end of building my blog. That’s what took a majority of my time. Now, while I still invest time in extending my blogging education, I spend a lot more time at this point brainstorming, creating, and marketing content.
There may be some days you spend more time learning than incorporating. That’s ok! I encourage you not to feel like you’re not doing enough. If you do something for your blog everyday, whether big or small, you’re taking a step forward in the right direction.
Tip: Listen to podcasts and teachings while you’re doing things like housecleaning, driving, taking stroller walks, etc. Purchase inexpensive notes (like these!) from other seasoned bloggers and read them a little at a time. Become an email subscriber to bigger bloggers and read their tips every week (if you want to know who I subscribe to, contact me!). Your investment in your learning will get you where you want to be!
Embrace the building stage
As you learn, you’ll be building…and this may take longer than you might think.
When I first started learning about blogging and the potential for earning from my blog, I was thrilled. To work from home? To be able to contribute to our family income? If other moms could do it, why couldn’t I?
So I jumped in, hoping that in the next couple months I’d be earning a few thousand dollars.
I came face to face with the reality that along with much learning, it was gonna take a lot more time to build my blog than I originally thought. Even though I was highly inspired by other bloggers, I didn’t realize how long I’d spend building.
You want visitors that happen upon your site to be able to sink their teeth into something. You surely don’t want to have, like, two posts on your blog, no images, and an About page that needs help. That’s why you need to spend time learning and building. Before you start marketing.
My personal rule of thumb was always to try to get 3-5 posts in each category before I started marketing and trying to bring traffic to my blog.
I encourage you not to get frustrated if the building stage takes longer than you thought. You want to build a quality blog that is genuinely helpful to others, but with littles at home, your building stage may take a little longer. Keep at it, and before you know it, everyone can enjoy the fruits of what you’ve built! 🙂
Tip: Build consistently. Do something for your blog everyday. Once you’ve spent time building and tweaking your content/blog appearance/products, you’ll spend more time in the marketing stage.
Set realistic goals based on where you’re at
I encourage you to set measurable goals based on where you’re at. If you’ve just started your blog, then you’ll need to focus on creating good content. You’ll also need to practice editing images, establishing your brand, and “prettying” up your blog how you want it.
In other words, if you’re just starting and you have, like, 3-4 hours a day to work on your blog (or less), then to have a goal of making $1,000 by your second month of blogging would be a little unrealistic.
I’ve actually heard seasoned bloggers say that you need to spend a good six months in building before you should expect to start earning income.
Tip: Give yourself small, accomplishable tasks everyday. Then, as you find yourself completing these goals, it will encourage you to take on more tasks.
Tweak your goals continuously
As you’re setting both short-term and long-term goals, you may realize that you’re not achieving them as quickly as you like…or, you may also discover that you’re knocking them out! Either way, your goals may need to be tweaked continuously, and it’s ok!
There have been times in my blogging journey that I’ve set huge goals-goals that were way too unrealistic for where I was situationally at the time. When I realized that, I adjusted them.
I personally feel like it’s important to do this to keep yourself from feeling unnecessarily burdened. After all, nobody is over your shoulder telling you when to get stuff done-you’re your own boss. Be gracious to yourself, Mom, even as you hustle. Don’t set yourself up for extra stress or frustration!
Tip: Keep a list of your goals in an editable task-management site like Asana (it’s free). Refer to them often, and adjust as needed.
Be realistic with your time
I used to read other blogs where bloggers would be making $1000 by the second month of blogging. And I would think…here I am, already a year in, and I’m only making a few dollars off Amazon affiliates! What am I doing wrong??
But after doing a little digging, I realized something… almost all these bloggers had. no. kids. And as we know, mamas, this makes a huge difference…especially when it comes to being able to focus!
Many bloggers will encourage you to see blogging as a business and treat it like a business. But what if you want to do that, but you’re a mama who also has to juggle the demands of homeschooling, home managing, and motherhood in general, and without a lot of outside help?
That’s where being realistic with your time comes in.
Are you only able to devote one or two hours a day to your blog? Then that’s what you have. Don’t drive yourself nuts with unrealistic expectations, and don’t get discouraged by what other bloggers are able to do if you can’t.
Tip: If you find that the amount of time you’d like to dedicate to your blog is not realistic for your responsibilities, cut back. Consider dividing your time in sections-a little in the morning, a little during nap time, a little at night. You need to find what works best for you!
Family comes first, even if you’re building your blog for business
I know this sounds obvious, but I feel like I have to throw it out there. Family comes first.
Because honestly, the thought of being able to earn six-figures from your blog is exciting. To earn that kind of money working only a few hours a day and being able to be present with your kids? To be able to travel and not have to be tied down to a job? To earn money while you’re not even working?
Um, yes please!
In having this large of a goal, however, it can be very easy to get tunnel-vision and forget what’s most important.
You’re always a mama first, and your kids need grace just as much as you do. They still need you to play with them and invest in their lives and not miss out for a whole year while you’re blogging.
Otherwise, you may find yourself getting frustrated that your kids just can’t seem to find the right time to be inconvenient. 🙂
Tip: Make routines for yourself, especially if you’re a homeschooling mom or a mom who stays home with littles all day. Routines help your day run smoothly from one event to another, but not so stringently that you feel like you’re in bondage.
Write for at least 30 minutes everyday
The perception of good content brings people to your blog, but good quality content actually keeps them there, keeps them coming back, and compels them to share!
Even if you’re a great writer, practice makes perfect in regard to honing your writing skills (which will inevitably change over time). Writing for 30 minutes everyday helps keep your blog moving and helps build more content on your blog.
As I’ve gone back and tweaked blog posts I wrote last year, I’ve been surprised at the chopped up grammar and lack of flow and clarity. Continuously writing has helped sharpen my skills and make my blog posts more informative and helpful, and therefore more valuable.
Tip: Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes, and don’t allow yourself to do anything else during that time except write. You may just be amazed at how much content you can create during this time!
Keep track of ideas on your phone
You’ll get ideas for blog posts, products, etc. at the most random times. You won’t always be able to sit down at that moment and work on them, so I recommend keeping your phone handy so you can track ideas there.
Don’t depend on your ability to remember things later. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a great idea spring to mind and then I’ve totally forgotten either the idea or surrounding details even a few hours later! Unless you’re in a place where this just isn’t possible to do, keep a running list of your ideas on hand.
Create a content calendar
A content calendar is basically a calendar that keeps track of the content you want to publish on your blog.
After your categories are created, it’s really helpful to brainstorm a list of posts and products that you want to create within those categories, and when you want them published (again, grace if you can’t get them done on time!)
Then, when you sit down to write, you can focus because you’ve already defined your work ahead of time.
I’ve found that this keeps my blog moving, and I think it’ll do the same for you 🙂
Tip: Again, whatever knowledge you have that you want to share on your blog, make sure you keep a list of those things. You don’t want to forget the awesomeness your brain comes up with!
Market, market, market!
Once you’ve built a bit of content on your blog, focus on marketing. Study the platform you choose (whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and focus on marketing your content.
Marketing is what brings traffic to your blog and helps you grow it. And as your blog starts to grow, it’s easier to balance the demands of motherhood and blogging because you won’t have to focus so heavily on having something built.
Tip: Spend time studying a couple different platforms. Once you’ve built a sufficient amount of content, you can work a lot on getting traffic to your blog, growing your blog, and working toward your financial goals. 🙂