Hello friends! My goal of startamomblog.com is to inspire other moms that they can create professional blogs, make money from home, and achieve their dreams. This site is not only about me and the methods I use to run a successful blog. It’s about you, and other successful mom bloggers, like Ana below. She is a homeschooling mom of three, wife, pastor and Certified Health Coach turned into a passionate momtreprenuer and blogger.
She loves to encourage, inspire and empower moms to live life to the fullness and be everything they were created to be. She does that over at www.theycallmeblessed.org and a lot more behind the scenes in her Facebook groups.
I wanted to feature her on my blog because she has a unique way of building a network and making money with her blog throug blog parties. And I love learning about new methods and processes, so I asked Ana to share a few of her secrets. I hope you enjoy her answers below!
From Drowning in Work, Guilt and Stress to Successful Blogger
After years of playing superwoman working 40-60 hours a week as a full-time pastor while homeschooling my children and growing a profitable online business as a health coach, I burned out completely ending up in and out of the hospital for months with my last hospital stay being in critical care! I was literally neglecting and killing myself while helping hundreds of people have a healthier and better life. I was a successful workaholic who had never even taken maternity leave after having my 3 babies but felt tremendously guilty for not being home with my children.
So when my doctor told me I had to step back completely from my job and forsake my online business to get rid of all stress triggers. Being the high achiever I am, I became depressed and miserable. Physically I was so ill I had days I couldn’t stand on my feet or hold a glass of water. All due to the high stress I was living with for years.
My only goal became focusing on rest, healing, and restoration and that included my relationship with my kids and my marriage as well. The always absent mom had to learn how to be with her kids 24/7 and that was huge! I knew I had to reevaluate my life, set my priorities right and come up with a new strategy for better living and rebuild my life from ground zero.
The more I felt restored and the better I healed, the more I began to have a tremendous desire to save other moms from the pit I had fell. I knew I wasn’t alone! There are millions of mom out there feeling completely exhausted and overwhelmed and I wanted to help them go from burned out and stressed to a joyful and blessed state in their lives. And that has been my mission and that’s why I began to blog.
I want moms to know that they can be home with their children, focusing on their education, teaching them, inspiring them with their own example and still pursue their dreams and fulfill their callings and destiny! They can succeed and be all they were created to be without burning out and being miserable.
How to Test if Your Niche will be Successful
When I launched the blog I had two major niches in mind: healthy living and Christian faith, but because homeschooling was such a big part of my life now as a stay-at-home mom, it quickly took over the blog especially after I launched my very first blog party: 31 Reasons We Love Homeschooling where I invited 30 other bloggers to blog with me in my brand new blog for a whole month! During the blog party we also had a Facebook event page where we interacted with each other’s readers, I did daily live broadcasting on Periscope, my blog traffic grew 8x and so did my email list subscribers and numbers of social media followers. Then I knew homeschooling was it, not healthy living and faith although I still write about those too.
Many people say blogging is oversaturated. But I don’t believe in a saturated market. I believe we are all unique and each of us have a message to share. There are thousands and thousands of people out there waiting for your unique message. I also believe that being very close and personal with your readers makes a whole world of difference. My readers know they can count on me when they need me for prayer, encouragement, guidance, opinion, etc.
Making $500 in Her Second Month of Blogging
Also during the buzz of my first blog party on my second month blogging, a company contacted me to sponsor my blog. So in less than 60 days after I launched the blog I was already making my first $500.
There are several ways I monetize and you can see all the services I offer on my Work With Me page.
I have two Work With Me Packages:
- Full Monthly Sponsorship (My VIP Package!)
- Product Review & Promotion Package
Plus individual services like:
- Sponsored Posts
- Ad Space
- Sponsored Social Shares
- Product Reviews
- Live Stream Reviews
- Partner Giveaway’s
An Example Weekly Schedule for Busy Blogging Moms
Homeschooling 3 children (a kindergartener, a second grader and a third grader) and blogging is very challenging! I have to be absolutely focused and organized with my time allowing plenty of margins to work with because life 24/7 with 3 children could be unpredictable.
My best secret weapon is creating my ideal week schedule, something I learned to craft from Michael Hyatt and I have been using it for years. It looked way different and crowded when I was still working outside the house. This is what it looks like now.
Notice that I have self-care, homeschool, housework, meals, blogging and family time all scheduled. I try to stick to it as much as I can, remember, this is my IDEAL WEEK schedule, not necessarily how my week goes every week. The themes keep me focused on what I am supposed to be doing and when and I have plenty of white space (margins) on my evenings and weekends so I can rest, read, connect with my husband, meet with friends, etc.
6 Practical Time Management Tips
- Put yourself first – always! A rested mom is a happier and better mom. Care for yourself so you can care for others.
- Keep yourself encouraged and motivated. Here are a few ideas how.
- Turn off all notifications on your smartphone and delete your social media apps and email from it. You won’t believe how much time you will have after breaking from your social media addiction.
- Simplify as much as you can. Here are 8 practical tips to minimalism for moms.
- Learn to say NO! This will save you a lot of time and help you focus on your priorities. Not every opportunity is your assignment! Cut extra things out of your schedule if you are overwhelmed. My kids have not taken any extra lessons in over a year now and life is so much better for us as a family!
- When you cook, double your recipe and freeze half. I share a few of my time-saving ideas for healthy eating here.
5 Tips for New Mom Bloggers to Be Successful
- Nail your niche, avatar and mission statement as soon as you can.
- Start using affiliate links and AdSense to monetize since day 1. [Here are 4 other ways to monetize your blog too.]
- Build your email list!
- I wish I did not waste so much time with details and perfectionism, fixing and changing things a thousand times on my sidebar, etc.
- I wish I had created my own products right away! Selling your own products is the way to see your income growing substantially overnight and keep receiving passive income. [I completely agree with this! Blog by Number is my best income avenue.]
How to Increase Your Blog Traffic by 800%
Oh I love my blog parties!! First I want to clarify that a blog party is not a linky party. I see a lot of people confusing both.
Let me help you understand what a blog party it by helping you to visualize it:
Imagine inviting 30 bloggers to focus on a specific theme and keywords for a whole month in your blog. Something your readers really need and have been asking for, like in my case: homeschool organization. So let’s say that for 31 days, 31 bloggers will share one blog post each per day on homeschool organization, for example. During that period of time all 31 bloggers are promoting and inviting their readers to your party. Every single of one them are sharing their readers with each other and every single one of them is promoting one another. How does it sound like? An explosion on blog traffic and readers exchange, right?
Wait! There is more! During your blog party you are having a massive giveaway, an awesome Facebook event page interacting with your readers and new readers every day while creating polls and asking valuable questions to help you create even better content in your blog, companies are sponsoring your blog and you are now in only 31 days not only growing your traffic 5x, 8x, 10x but you are also tripling your email list, monetizing with affiliate links, selling a product related to the blog party and much more!
In the content side, you now have gold content focused on specific keywords your niche searches for and you are solving your readers’ problems.
That sounds amazing, doesn’t it?? A bloggers dream! I achieved that in my second month blogging with 25K page views and monetizing!
Now, let me tell you that the logistics behind a blog party is massive!! When I first created my blog party I was working all day like a maniac and sleeping only 4-5 hours a night, forget about spending time with my family! I couldn’t blink and I had to hire a VA for the first time to help me. Mind that this was only my second-month blogging.
A blog party requires a lot of work – no, really, A LOT!!! You need to edit, read, proof and set up graphics and SEO for every single blog post. You promote your blog posts, sponsors and giveaway nonstop. Reply to comments, keep track of bloggers, posts, sponsors, etc. In one of my blog parties’ giveaway we had 35 big sponsors and over $1400 in prizes! That was a lot of work to put together but it totally rocked!!
During my blog parties, I have documented step by step all I did to achieve the best results. I also have done blog parties in different lengths and formats as well to see what works best. I have create my own system including blueprints, timelines, spreadsheets and templates to make it so much easier so I decided to create an e-course to teach other bloggers (newbies or not) my whole system step-by-step including all the templates and printables they will need to host a successful blog party and grow their blogs in only 30 days! But this is not all they will learn in the course. On the e-course I teach basic SEO, how to invite bloggers to your blog party, how pitch to giveaway and blog sponsors and so much more! Registration will reopen in March but you can sign up for the waiting list for the ecourse here! (aff link)
I love how inventive Ana is and how quickly she made blogging super personal. She didn’t wait years to network, she jumped right in and in her second month she was seen as a powerful player in her niche! I am fascinated by her strategy of hosting blog parties and think it’s a fantastic way to build friendships, get loyal readers and grow your blog.
Thank you, Ana for the amazing advice!