Mom Blogging 101: Contributors needed + how to start your own blog!
posted by: Amber Johnson
We have been thrilled with the response we’ve received regarding our call-to-action to recruit mom bloggers for Mile High Mamas grow! I appeared on 9News this morning talking about the opportunities that come with blogging.
We’re also invested in helping our Denver mom blogging community grow. I have been blogging for more than 10 years and am a grandma in the blogosphere. So much has changed–from my earliest platform using MSN Spaces (now extinct; the true sign I’m an old-timer) to the inception of Twitter and Facebook, which were game-changers. Some bloggers have become celebrities, making six-figure salaries. Most aren’t. If you’re in it for the money, there are a lot easier ways to do it. If you’d like to share your story or expertise, connect with other moms and get some fun kick-backs, maybe blogging is for you.
Here are some considerations before starting your own blog.
1. Write about what you know and love
Do your research to ascertain what you like and dislike about other blogs. Mary-Frances from Denver Parent advises you to consider how long you’ll be interested in that topic (a blog about babies may only be interesting until your kids are toddlers). Follow your bliss, otherwise burnout is likely and no one likes to read bloggers who aren’t passionate about that their topic. Start brainstorming content that speaks to your theme such as printables, tutorials, recipes, pictures, personal essays, resource lists, etc. The most compelling blogs not only have great content but also plenty of visuals. Decide early about privacy. Do you want to use your kids’ real names? Show pictures?
2. Choose a compelling brand
Make sure your blog’s name is brandable, and ensure the domain name is available (search here), Get on social media. If your blog name is Cool Denver Mom, make sure your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. match. If you are interested in monetizing, look for under-served markets. Brands are always looking for niche blogs. I.e. There are plenty of great adoption blogs but local blogger Lori of Lavender Luz opted to makes her about her experiences with “Open Adoption.” She is now a nationally-recognized expert on the topic, speaks frequently at conferences and has written a book.
3. Choose a platform
WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Typepad are the most popular blog platforms. If you want additional options, google “blog hosts” and there are legions of other options. For business blogs, my husband, a top-notch web developer and SEO expert, advises his clients to use Concrete 5. If you’d like to self-host your blog, head over to GoDaddy.come and start your search. One advantage of doing this is it allows you more control of how you use your content (monetization, added functionality etc.) but there may be more of a learning curve. Once you decide upon your platform, it will take you less than 30 minutes to start your blog as you choose your name, template and features. If you want to go beyond the basics, there’s usually plenty of free options hiding under a “Customize” section. If you’d like a complex design, there are online tutorials or designers for hire. Most importantly, make your blog a reflection of you!
4. Start Writing
I still remember how I agonized over my first blog post. What would I write? Who would read it? When I hit “publish” for the first time, it was like a runner’s high as I entered the big, bad blogging world (I’ve also hit the wall many, many times). I went from hosting my personal blog “Crazy Bloggin’ Canuck” at MSN Spaces to Blogger and then rebranded as “The Mile High Mama” on WordPress (reminder: choose your name and brand wisely from the beginning). It’s pretty funny to read back on those early entries and I’m so grateful to have a record of my family.
5. Be Patient and Supportive
Blogs aren’t built in a day and you won’t have legions of captivated followers hanging onto your every word in the beginning. Lori advises you to find your tribe–people like similar interests and build a solid network. She also recommends that you are generous. “If you want readers and comments, plan to spend time reading and commenting on the blogs of others. This ties in with finding a tribe, and it’s a good way to make connections in Blogland. Connections are a large part of why I enjoy blogging so much — I got tribes!”