I’m so happy to be featuring two amazing bloggers, Holly and Nicole.
Holly is a parenting blogger with tips on travel, motherhood and meal planning. And Nicole is a brand spanking new mom blogger with a witty attitude! I love it!
Below are their tips for not falling into the typical new blogger overwhelm.
Moms make great bloggers. From the very beginning of motherhood, we create life-changing hacks out of pure necessity. And combine these ideas with our innate desire to help people, it’s only natural that those powerful parenting tips and tricks can easily be turned into blog posts to help the masses.
The world of blogging can be overwhelming though. You have all these ideas and you just want to help people, but it’s hard to know where to start. So here are my top 7 tips for parenting bloggers who want to share amazing content with moms (and dads) who really need it.
1. Commit to following through and set goals.
Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It takes time to build up content, attract traffic, and find your audience. It takes even more time to develop a profitable monetization plan. Commit to your new adventure by writing down realistic goals for the short and long term.
Do a little research before you set goals. What metrics should you be measuring to determine success? What’s a realistic growth rate in your niche? A quick Google search will usually give you some insight. Avoid including vanity metrics (like Pinterest impressions) in your goals. These metrics are not gaining you traffic, followers or income.
2. Avoid shiny object syndrome and stick to a plan.
There are a million and one people selling their “Make 6 figures in 6 Months” blogging products. Don’t get distracted by all the people selling their strategy. It’s easy for bloggers to get repeatedly side-tracked by promises of more traffic and increased profits. Don’t fall into that trap! You’ll end up frustrated and spinning your wheels.
Instead, create a plan and stick to it. (Shameless plug: I used Suzi’s totally-done-for-you Blog by Number course. It’s thorough, actionable, and easy to implement.)
3. Define your purpose and review it every day.
Keep your focus by actually writing out purpose. Who are you going to help? How are you going to do it? Create a mission statement or mantra and post it somewhere you’ll read it each and every day.
Pro-tip: Your purpose should serve your customer, not yourself. The best bloggers (and most profitable bloggers) are ones who provide ridiculously valuable content.
4. Focus on mastering one aspect at a time.
There are so many aspects to blogging. Blog posts, printables, products, SEO, Pinterest, guest posting, list building, lead magnets, micro-offers, course sales, resource libraries, advertising… the list goes on forever. Try not to be overwhelmed by all the “things”.
Instead, master one at a time. Build up your content first and refine your blog posting process. Define each step, create a checklist. Keep repeating this process until it flows seamlessly. You’ll get quicker. It will be easy to maintain consistency (which is super important, by the way). Once you know how to churn out blog posts like clockwork, pick another skill to develop.
5. You need blogger friends. Find your people.
There are communities of bloggers everywhere. If you join a group of like-minded bloggers you will benefit greatly. You’ll have people to bounce ideas around. You’ll learn tips and tricks that work for your specific niche. You’ll find ways to grow together.
Facebook is a great place to start looking. You can also just Google topics in your niche and reach out to other bloggers to find out if they belong to any industry groups. Some may be your competitors, but most of them are happy to at least point you in the right direction.
Caution: Blogger Facebook groups are awesome, but they can easily become a distraction… especially if you’re a procrastinator (like me). So set a limit for yourself!
6. Accept that you’re never “done”.
Your blog posts will never be perfect. Your site will always need tweaking. This was a struggle for me at first. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things “done.” Eventually I realized that no matter how quickly I checked items off my list, there were always more items to add.
My advice is to first decide your pace. Are you going to work 3 hours a day or 3 hours a week? Decide what’s realistic for you. There’s no right answer here. Then create a list of things you want to do weekly (i.e., write one post, or create 5 Pinterest pins), and then also a list of ongoing one-time items (i.e., add a freebie to last week’s post, or signup for Google Search Console). Then, use your allotted work time to check off your weekly items, followed by your one-time tasks.
7. Hone your writing skills.
Spoiler: Your first blog posts are going to be your worst ones. And that’s totally ok (see item #6). You can (and should) go back and update posts periodically, so you’ll eventually correct any mistakes you make.
You don’t have to be an awesome writer to be an awesome blogger. I’m definitely not. Even Suzi mentions that English is her second language and the actually writing part of blogging can be challenging for her. And she’s given me the most valuable content yet as a blogger.
You will get better naturally with practice, but you should also spend a little bit of your work time learning more about writing. I spend a couple hours a week doing professional development tasks. Learning effective writing techniques is often on my list. There are lots of YouTube videos, blogs, and books that can help you.
If you’re a mom with ideas to share, a parenting blog right hobby (or side hustle) for you. And you can do it! Keep your eye on the prize and get started today. If there’s anything I can do to help, you can reach out to me here. I love helping other moms achieve their goals, so drop me a note.
I launched my new parenting blog, Coffee and Carpool, literally last month. I jumped in with 2 feet and never looked back. No slow progression to get comfortable. I just cannon balled into it.
And now, I’m kind of treading water. Because there is a gigantic learning curve when you start something new like a mom blog.
It is overwhelming to realize just how much you don’t know.
It is overwhelming to list out how much you have to do just to get started, while still doing everything you are responsible for in real life.
See, I’ve been a stay at home mom for ten years and an elementary school teacher for 7 years before that. I’ve been writing and editing to bring in a side income. These are the things that I’m really good at.
So naturally, I thought, I should start a business that allows me to just write. I should start a blog.
But now that I’m doing it, I realized I only actually write about 20% of the time I work on my blog.
What I’ve really had to become is a marketer, a salesperson, a coder, a graphic designer, a photographer, a networker, and a social media strategist.
All skills way out of my comfort zone and wheelhouse.
So I’m learning as I go, trying to be a sponge in the blogging world. Trying to keep my head above water.
And I always considered myself pretty smart. But the list of words and terms I never knew I never knew is astounding: SEO, juicy posts, sticky posts, Tailwind tribes, shadowbanned, lead magnets, evergreen, avatar, crosspost, funneling… the list literally goes on and on.
Quick Tip from Suzi: If you’re overwhelmed and need help starting your blog, enroll in the step by step Blog by Number course for moms!
Truth be told, I still don’t know what half of them really mean.
All of this can lead new bloggers to stop before we really ever begin. The overwhelming feelings can be all consuming. The fear of screwing up or missing something vital can be paralyzing. Some days, it can feel like it’s easier to do nothing.
But I started my mom blog for a reason. And so did you.
So there are 5 tricks to keep moving forward when you get that crazy nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach that maybe, just maybe you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing as a new business owner.
#1 – Ask for Help
The only thing I hate more than not knowing something is when other people know that I don’t know something.
I’ve always hated asking other people for help. I thought it was a sign of weakness.
But asking for help actually shows strength. You will be confident and secure in the fact that you can and will get better at blogging if you ask the right people the right questions.
Keep a running list of questions that you want the answers to and when the opportunity appears, ask away.
Reach out in Facebook blogger groups. Ask questions when bloggers go live or when they post about the topic you’re interested in.
It’s okay to not know the answers. It’s okay to need help.
#2 – Progress Over Perfection
This is straight from the two people I ask the most help from. And they’re right on.
It is always better to do something, anything—even if it’s not perfect—than to wait longer than you need.
I dragged my feet on my first newsletter. I had a whopping 8 subscribers, but I had promised a newsletter with a sneak peek to my next blog post. Since I wanted to publish my blog post the next day, I was on a tight countdown to get my newsletter written, edited, and sent.
It was not my best work to say the least, and I’m sure I’ll look back on it in a year’s time and cringe.
But for now, I had to get it out. I had to progress. The newsletter wasn’t perfect, but it was done. And that was exactly what I needed to do.
Quick Tip from Suzi: If you need help building your email list, here are my best tips and videos on how to build your email list for beginners.
#3 – Research In Your “Down Time” and Learn at Least One New Thing a Day
Look up words or terms you are unfamiliar with when you have a few spare minutes and soak up some new knowledge. Want to know about rich pins or plugins or widgets? Yeah, me too. I turn to Pinterest.
There are a million and one pins about everything you need to know. Create a secret Pinterest board and pin all the great blogging tips you want to read later.
Browse it all, then take it with a grain of salt. Not everyone knows what they’re talking about. Not everyone has your best interests at heart. Follow people like Suzi who are really here to help you succeed.
Quick Tip from Suzi: Aww, thank you Nicole!! Here is my Pinterest board full of helpful ideas!
#4 – Get Organized
To keep all my notes organized, I bought a 50 cent spiral notebook. Title each page a major topic that you want more information on. “Plugins” has its own page. So does “Blog Post Titles,” “SEO Tips,” and “Affiliate Programs I Want to Join.”
As you learn more and realize how much more you actually need to still learn, you’ll keep adding pages. I have literally filled up one entire notebook and I’m on my second one.
Because, as I read blog posts or get information from Facebook groups, newsletters, or courses, I add to the notebook. And when I need the answer, I go check the notebook.
No more little scraps of paper all over my desk. No more notes getting lost in the shuffle.If I have my notebook with me, I can work anywhere.Quick Tip from Suzi: It will help you organize your thoughts if you know what type of blog you’re starting. Use the Blog Strategy Seeker to find out what type of blog works best for you!
#5 – Break Down Your To Do List
When you start realizing everything that goes into creating a website and starting a blog, the to do lists can get pretty daunting. But if you break down the to do list into categories, it will seem more manageable.
My to do list usually has five sections, depending on what I’m focusing on:
- Write- posts I need to write, edit, and format
- Create-newsletters, lead magnets, graphics, photos taken
- Social Media-posting, joining FB groups, Pinterest groups, posts I want to boost
- Website- widgets and plugins, things I want to change or add
- Money- signing up for affiliates, sponsored posts, ads
And then when you finish it, cross it off your list. There’s nothing more cathartic than finishing an action item and putting a big line through it.
Quick Tip from Suzi: When I just started blogging I needed to see everything visually. It really helped me plan my blog and build it into a success quickly. Here is my Blog Vision Board that helped organize my thoughts, plan my posts and fill me with inspiration!
Listen, there are hundreds of blog posts and pins about how easy it is to start a blog in less than 15 minutes. And I suppose you could be up and running in that time.
But if you’re starting a business, if you want to reach a wide audience, if your goal is to add value to your followers, it’s going to take a heck of a lot longer than 15 minutes to get started.
The trick is just doing the next thing you need to do. And then the next.
You’ve got this.
And you have a ton of fellow mom bloggers cheering you on.
Nicole is a recovering elementary school teacher, turned stay at home mom to three loud, busy, and surprisingly determined kids. She spends most of her days living out of her car driving to and from kids’ activities and schools; and while she wouldn’t trade it for the world, some days she just, for the love of everything, needs a break after running around town. For her, that usually involves coffee. Or let’s be honest, a cocktail. She writes at her blog Coffee and Carpool and touches on Mom Hacks, School Success Tips, Support for Parents, Special Needs Moms, and Food Allergy Moms. Her latest mom hack is how to organize the insanely large stacks of papers that come home from school. To get her free guide so you can take back your kitchen countertops.