Starting a blog is an increasingly popular way for mums to make money while they stay at home with their kids. But do you know how to start a mum blog? It’s easier than you think if you follow these simple steps.
Last week I wrote a post with ideas for creative mums to make money at home. And you guys loved it! I got messages from mamas saying they wanted to become a VA (that’s virtual assistant for the uninitiated) or start a blog of their own. And I got 3 times as many subscribers for blogging tips compared to homeschool news this week!
So I am back with another post to help you make your dreams a reality and start your journey towards making money from home.
Now I said last week that I would go into more detail on how to make money blogging but then I thought it makes more sense to start at the beginning. The monetisation post is coming (it’s already in the draft stage) but for this week let’s get started right at the beginning.
Today I’m going to tell you how to start a mum blog.
Before I start I’m going to confess something to you. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started this blog. A lot. I think
most all bloggers do. And that’s ok. It’s how we learn. But you don’t need to make the same mistakes I did.
Don’t try to jump ahead a few steps or think something is really not that important. If it’s in this list it is because I truly think it needs to be there if you are going to be successful in this biz.
Learn from the missteps I took and you’ll already be starting ahead <3
START A MUM BLOG: Step by Step
There is a difference between starting a blog as a hobby and starting a blog with a view to turning it in to an income. If you are reading this post I am assuming you are in the second camp, wanting to make money with your blog.
STEP 1: DECIDE ON YOUR TOPIC
When you start a mum blog, the very first thing you need to do is decide what you want to write about. Now you could blog about anything and everything, but that’s not likely to get you far. What you want to do is choose a niche.
Now you will hear the word niche A LOT when you start reading about blogging. Basically a niche is just a specific blog topic that you dedicate your site to. If someone says they are ‘niching down’ they are really saying they are getting even more specific. Parenting blogs, fashion blogs, lifestyle blogs; these are all different niches. Autism parenting blogs and post-partum fashion blogs are more specific niches.
Choose a topic that you are passionate about or know a lot about. Is it something other people are interested in too? Some niches are more profitable than others too so do a little research and see if it’s an area people are really making money in.
It’s ok (and probably a good idea) to start with a broader niche. Find out what you like writing about and what your new audience likes reading about and you can naturally niche down later on.
Passion + Profitability = your ideal niche
STEP 2: PICK A NAME
Choosing a name is fun! It can also be surprisingly difficult. So many of the good domain names are taken. But here are a few tips:
- keep your blog name simple to spell and relatively short
- don’t make it too specific in case you change direction later on
- you can use your name but it is normally better if you don’t (e.g. if you want to sell your blog later on it’s easier if it’s not your actual name. Plus it doesn’t help you rank in Google)
- before you get too excited make sure your chosen domain name is available. You may need to try a few from your list before you find one that’s not already taken
- make sure your name is available as a social media handle on all of the platforms you want to use
You can buy your domain at the same time as you sign up for hosting to make life easy
STEP 3: SIGN UP
Eek! Now things are getting real. This is the first place you are going to spend some money. Not a lot, but this still felt like a big deal to me so I’m guessing it probably does to many other mums too.
Yes, you can start a blog for free with Blogger or wordpress dot com but if you want to monetise your blog I would advise against it. You are restricted with choices you can make, tools you can use and you can’t make money with ads. Been there, done that. OUCH!
What you really want to do is get web hosting and then build your site on wordpress dot org. Which sounds hard but it’s really not. Basically your webhost is your landlord, wordpress dot org is your house and your domain is your street address. Got it!
I have tried a few webhosts and by far the one I recommend is Siteground. That’s who I’m with now and I can’t ever imagine changing. There are lots of technical reasons they are great but the number one reason I use them is for their customer service. If you get stuck, ask them for help and a real person will help you the same day.
So you go to Siteground, choose a plan, fill out the info and away you go. Now here’s a big tip for those of you who are not ‘tech-y’. You can click on the LIVE CHAT icon at the top of Siteground‘s page and ask someone to set you up. They can get you up and running then email your wordpress login details to you that day. So easy.
Squarespace is another popular choice if you don’t want to build a blog on wordpress but they don’t give you as much control as wordpress do
STEP 4: BUILD YOUR BLOG
If you were
cheeky smart, Siteground has done half of this for you already. If you decided you could do it yourself the steps after signing up for Siteground are: Click on my Acccounts, click on Go to cPanel, click WordPress Installer, hover over the WordPress icon then click Install. A form will pop up for you to fill out. Done. T
hey will email you your wordpress login details but again, if you get stuck ask Siteground for help. This is why I recommend them.
Once you have your wordpress login details you can get started. You will need to choose a theme. Your theme is what makes your website looks the way it does and if you buy a paid theme you can unlock some pretty cool customisation features.
Every theme is different. You can absolutely start with a free theme and upgrade later on if you don’t know what you want or it’s not in your budget yet. I use a theme from Angie Makes because I like the customisation features and I think it’s pretty. It cost me $70US as a one off cost and I think it was worth it.
Don’t put off getting your first piece of content out there because you are spending all your time customising your site. You can come back and do that any time
STEP 5: WRITE YOUR FIRST CONTENT
This is the fun part. Writing your first piece.
Once you’re in your wordpress dashboard look at the menu on the right. Click on Posts then add new. Now start typing.
The first post is usually the toughest. You have to treat it like ripping off a bandaid and just do it. Trust me when I say, even the best bloggers wrote some truly terrible posts when they first started. I wrote my fair share. But you can only get better with practice.
Your first post can be a way to introduce yourself and your blog topic. Try writing a round-up of the favourite posts you have read in your niche or maybe a list of resources mums in your niche need. Just get something out there!
A couple of things to remember. Don’t plagiarise. Don’t try to sound like someone else. Don’t pretend you know something you don’t. It’s ok to blog as someone on a journey rather than as an expert so write what you know.
The more you write the easier it will become. Practice makes progress!
STEP 6: SHARE ON PINTEREST
OK. You hit PUBLISH on that first post and then…nothing. It’s crickets. No one is just going to rock up and read your blog. You need to work hard to put it out there.
The number one place for mamas to focus on gaining traffic (that’s eyes on your blog) is with Pinterest. Which gives you two main jobs to do; join Pinterest and create pins for your posts.
Joining Pinterest is easy. You probably already have an account you pin random recipes to, right? What you want now though is a business account.
Pinterest for mum bloggers is a truly huge topic. There is no way I can tell you everything you need to know in this post. What I will say is that it is essential that you have a Pinterest business account and that you learn how to use it. Pinterest is my number one source of traffic for this blog which is why I am putting it so high up on your to-do list.
You can make professional looking pins using Canva for free
STEP 7: SHARE EVERYWHERE ELSE
Once you’ve shared your post to Pinterest (and put learning all the Pinterest things on your to-do list), you can share your blog everywhere you can think of. Send it to your mum. Link to it on Facebook.
Think about which social media platforms you want to use as a blogger. You should be wherever your potential readers are hanging out. I have a Facebook page, Instagram account and Pinterest (although technically Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media site!). Facebook groups can be great for sharing too.
It takes time to build traffic. Don’t let this put you off. Use it as motivation to keep learning and working
STEP 8: GET A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESS
This may seem like a weird one to put here but trust me, it makes a difference. You look a lot more professional when your email is yourname@yoursite than you do with a generic gmail account. If you went with Siteground this is included. Or you can choose to go with GSuite (gmail for pros).
Put your email address on your website, your Pinterest account and all your social media channels so people can contact you. It is the address you will want to use when you send out emails to your list as well.
To be treated like a professional blogger you need to look and act like one
STEP 9: START AN EMAIL LIST
When you start a mum blog you need to start collecting subscriber emails straight away. I can not stress enough how important this is.
Facebook and Instagram are actively killing page reach because they want creators to pay to use their sites for promotion. This means fewer people are seeing what we share on these big social media sites. I don’t say this to put you off. I say this to make you realise how important it is to focus on growing your email list from day one.
I didn’t and I wish I did. I am madly playing catch up with this now. Live and learn :/
I use MailerLite for collecting subscriber email addresses and sending out emails. It is free for your first 1000 subscribers and super easy to use. Sign up, put a subscribe button on every page and at the end of every post you write AT A BARE MINIMUM.
The only followers you truly own are the ones that have subscribed to your email list. Make growing and nurturing your list a top priority from day one
STEP 10: MONETISE YOUR BLOG
The bit you have been waiting for. How to make money…
I have already promised you a future post on different ways to monetise your blog but to get you started, sign up with an affiliate program like Amazon and start adding in relevant links in your blog posts. Once you have had your site for 6 months, sign up for AdSense (I only just got around to that this week. What a wasted opportunity!). AdSense may not pay as much as other sites but something is better than nothing and good standing with AdSense is one of the eligibility criteria for some of the other ad networks you may want to look at later.
Get used to your readers seeing ads early on so there isn’t a backlash when you decide later on you need to monetise that way
STEP 11: MAKE MUM BLOGGER FRIENDS
Now, go and join some Facebook groups for mum bloggers. Go on. Having friends you can ask for advice and who understand the ups and downs of blogging is absolutely vital.
You may be a one woman show, but even you can’t do this on your own.
STEP 12: KEEP GOING
Honestly, this is the hardest part of being a blogger. Especially in the days before you are making
much any money and hardly anyone is reading your posts. It can be so easy to get discouraged and give up. Please don’t. You have something unique to offer the world.
Remember the reasons you decided to start a mum blog. Write them down and leave your list somewhere you will see it. Spend time with your cheerleaders.
This is why Step 11: Make Friends is so important.
Channel Dory and just keep swimming
STEP 13: INVEST IN PD
This is where I am up to now; investing in personal development. If you are blogging to make money it is your job. Like any job it is important to keep learning and to invest in yourself. I’m pretty sure I have taken every free course out there and I’ve learnt a lot through trial and error.
I’m at the point now where I want to invest in Pinterest training to increase my page views further and continue to grow my blog and my income. I’m looking at a few courses and will update you when I have tried one out.
Invest in yourself. You are worth it!
STEP 14: HONE YOUR CRAFT
I felt like it would be unlucky to stop at step 13 haha. So here’s a bonus tip. Write A LOT so that you get better at it. Install the YOAST SEO plug in to help you out. It will remind you to cover all the basics that will help your page rank on Google. Use Grammarly if grammar isn’t your strong suite. Make lots and lots of pins so that you get better at it. Basically, practice everything so that you are always improving. Makes sense, right.
Now I’m going to tell you something you may not want to hear.
Ready for it?
It is easy to start a mum blog. Persevering long enough to make money can be hard. Hang in there!
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. But it can be a lot of fun and a great way to make friends online. And if you work hard, stick it out and keep growing as a creator, it can be a great way to earn an income while you stay home with your kids.