Why even start a mom blog?
If you’re reading this line right now, then you’re at least curious about blogging. You’ve heard about the crazy blogging success stories and even read some blog income reports, but you’re not sure if it’s for you.
frazzled busy moms everywhere know that even getting dinner on the table every night can be a challenge, so why on earth would you want to add to the crazy by starting a mom blog?!
When I first started blogging after my first son was born, it wasn’t a warm and fuzzy “I started it for fun & it just started making money” story like you so often read about.
Nope. I had a very practical and pressing reason for starting a blog: I needed to make money from home.
My husband and I were previously both working full-time jobs, but now that I’d be staying home with the baby (something I’d always wanted), money was tight. And we knew we wanted to grow our family even more.
Since I had previously worked in online marketing for my sister’s small tech start-up company, I knew making money online was a real thing and not just some scammy trick.
I mean, it can be a scammy trick (we’ve all seen the “make $1k overnight with this revolutionary new system!” ads), but for many, many people today, blogging and online marketing is a completely legitimate way to make a living.
But here’s a secret I learned the hard way after several mediocre blogs and years into my blogging & entrepreneurial journey: it has to be about more than just the money.
If your sole purpose for blogging is to make money (like mine was at first), then you’ll tire of it, get frustrated with it, and give up when things get hard (or when the baby kept you up all night, or when Netflix is calling, etc.).
On the other hand, if you start a blog about something you’re actually interested in, then you can spend your “blog time” working on something you’re truly proud of, setting a good example for your children, and making money at the same time.
Believe me, this is a much better alternative and much more sustainable for long-term income.
But what the heck do you even blog about?
Choosing a Blog Topic: Share Your Goodness
So much advice out there tells you to “just be yourself” when starting a blog and you’ll be able to make it blogging online.
And while that’s not bad advice per se, it can be misleading when you’re just starting out.
I see so many moms start a blog and just start writing about whatever strikes their fancy.
They write about what they wear, like, hate, do, cook, and believe, rather than taking the time to organize their ideas and consider what their readers might actually want to hear about.
Recommended Free Download: The Blog Structure Blueprint (a simple template for an organized blog)
Don’t get me wrong here; it’s your blog and should absolutely reflect your interests, personality, and perspective. In fact, it’s this uniqueness that will eventually attract your ideal readers to your blog.
But if you dive in without organizing your thoughts and framing them in a way that helps your readers, not only will you be doing your readers a disservice, but you’ll be making it a lot harder on yourself to actually make money down the line.
In fact, one of the most valuable nuggets of advice I learned from Elite Blog Academy is that your blog is not about YOU.
Your readers will be much more engaged (and inspired to act & buy) if you’re sharing your goodness in an organized way that helps them solve a problem or reach a goal.
Take the time now to choose a blog topic that you’re interested in and that has the potential to attract readers and make money.
Here’s how to do it in just 2 steps:
Step #1: Make 4 Lists
Write down your skills, knowledge/experience, interests, and curiosities (things you’re interested in learning about/mastering).
Create a 4-column table (like the example below), set a timer for 20 minutes, and just start filling in the table with anything and everything that comes to your mind.
- Playing guitar
- Finance degree
- Parenting toddlers
- Lost 40 pounds
- Thriving after Postpartum Depression
- DIY home projects
- Swim mom!
- Ireland/Traveling abroad
- How to make money from home
- How to use habits and systems to create a life of ease
- How to get more organized
- How to become a better parent
- How to lose weight
- How to learn Spanish
Some columns will naturally fill up more easily for you, and that’s okay. Don’t edit yourself at this point – nothing is too crazy. Just let your mind wander and write every little thing that you can think of. Duplicates, silly things, things you think are too hard or crazy… everything.
Ready? (I’ll wait). Go!
Okay! Now that you have all of the ideas out of your head, choose just three from the list that excite you the most and move on to the next step.
Step #2: Validate Your Idea in 3 minutes
When I first started blogging, I racked my brain and Googled for days to try and come up with ideas that no one else was writing about. Little did I know that I was shooting myself in the foot.
The real truth is this: if there are several other big and successful blogs about your topic, you’re on the right track. In fact, this is actually a quick and easy shortcut to validating your blog idea for potential profitability (aka. to see if it can actually make money)!
Once you have your top 3 topics (from Step #1 above), do a separate Google search for each with the words “your topic + blog” (and similar phrases) to see what comes up. If there are several established blogs about your topic, you’ve got a winner 🙂
If not, try one of your other top 3. If more than 1 of your top 3 ideas are good, then go with the one that excites you the most.
Now that you have your blog topic down, you’re ready to move on to the next step: setting up your blog.
Blog Set-Up Guide: Step-By-Step
Since you’ve taken the time to thoughtfully come up with a blog topic that’s both interesting to you AND has profit potential, you’re ready to take the plunge and set up your own blog!
And even though this is the most intimidating part for a lot of people, it’s actually the easiest thing you’ll do on your blogging journey. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have your new blog set up in less than 20 minutes.
Step #1: Choose your blog name
Your blog name will be your domain name (like www.myblogname.com).
Choosing a blog name often trips up new bloggers, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are a few dos & don’ts for choosing a blog name:
- DO: Use a name that describes your blog topic or audience. This helps make it crystal clear what your blog is all about. Here are a few blogs that use this method:LivingWellSpendingLess.com, KidsActivitiesBlog.com, andSmartMomBlogger.com (<– that’s me!).
- DO: Use your own name. This is a great choice if you want to establish a personal voice and brand for your blog. Here are a few blogs that use this method: RebekahRadice.com, MarieForleo.com, and MelyssaGriffin.com
- DON’T: Use numbers, dashes, or alternate spellings in your blog domain name. This makes it hard for people to remember or type your domain name (or even get it right in the first place).
- DON’T: Be too clever or cutesy. Even though you may “get it”, someone else might not. It’s too confusing and can make people feel like they’re not “part of the club”.
Step #2: Set up a self-hosted blog
Alright – here we go! In this step, we’ll be setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t let that last sentence scare you away! It’s a lot easier than it sounds & I’ll walk you through it all, step-by-step.
Every blog or website requires hosting in order to be “live” on the internet. Don’t worry too much about the technical details – just follow along with the screenshots and instructions below and you’ll be on your way!
Quick side note: There are “free” blogging platforms available, like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.com, but these are primarily for blogging for fun/hobby. If you’re serious about making money with your blog, then you’ll need to get your own hosting. There are no profit limitations or restrictions like the free blogging platforms have, and you’ll have complete control over the growth and profit of your blog.
Set up blog hosting
Click here to get set up blog hosting from Siteground. While you can use whichever hosting provider you choose (there are hundreds available), I use and recommend Siteground because they’re super affordable, reliable, and have excellent customer service. You can get start your own blog for just $3.95 per month.
Select the StartUp plan
It’s the cheapest and will work great for a new blog. You can upgrade later if needed as your blog grows and you start making money, but for now, the StartUp plan is perfect.
Choose or transfer blog domain name
Enter your blog name (from Step #1) right here! If you already have a domain name that you purchased somewhere else already (like GoDaddy), just click the “I already have a Domain” option and SiteGround will transfer it to your account for free (another reason why I love them!).
Enter account info and payment details
Next, you’ll need to enter your account details and credit card information. Be sure to pay attention to the options at the bottom and check/uncheck the upgrades as desired.
Unlike many other hosting providers, SiteGround discounts apply to any of the initial periods chosen during the sign-up process, which is a great bonus (most other hosting providers only apply the discounts to the longest sign-up periods, costing you unnecessary extra upfront expenses).
Step #3: Install WordPress on your blog
Once you’ve created your hosting account, it’s time to actually install your blog. In this step, you’ll install WordPress on your new hosting account. The really cool part about this is that SiteGround does it for you for free! It’s yet another reason I use and recommend them.
Just contact SiteGround via chat after you set up your hosting account and let them know you’d like their free WordPress blog installation service on your new hosting account. They’ll be happy to do it for you and you can save yourself the time.
If you want to do it yourself instead, you can just select the “WordPress” option from your cPanel once you log in to your new account (will look like the screenshot below), and follow the on-screen prompts.
Once you get word from SiteGround that your site has been installed, that means your new blog is LIVE mama!
You’ve just started your blog! Can I just pause for a second to say something? I’m seriously so proud of you. Most people won’t do what you’ve just done. They’ll think about it, then decide it’s too much work or that they can’t possibly do it. But you know better. You’ve taken the most important first step, and you’re now ready to make an impact!
There’s much still to learn, but you’re in the right place 🙂 Be sure to also join the free Elite Blog Academy waitlist to be among the first to know when the program opens. It’s the top-rated and most popular blogging program available – but it’s only open once a year, so your best chance at getting in is to join the free waitlist (you’ll also get some free blogging goodies when you sign up).