I have ALMOST a year under my belt as a Mom Blogger. And I have learned a LOT. I started it for fun, thinking if I could make a little extra money, great… but mostly, I like to write and it’s a fun way to chronicle my days as a mom to other moms. In the process, I’ve followed a lot of other blogs and have even made some blogosphere pals. So, here are my tips if you want to start a mom blog.
Getting set up: How to start a mom blog
1. The basics: setting up a blog. If you are techy, use WordPress. WordPress.com is free, but you can’t put advertising on it. WordPress.org is free – but you have to pay a third party for hosting. I host my WordPress blog through Bluehost.com and have had a few confusing moments… I had to know a little bit of programming and there were many instant chat communications with them trying to figure out how to do something. I also have a very tech-saavy friend in the web marketing industry that has guided me through many situations as well!! SO, if you want a frustration-free start, I suggest using Blogger – it’s Google product, customizable, and easy to use.
2. Details, details. What’s your blog about? It actually took me awhile to get to the point where I figured out what I wanted Freshmom to be – a guide for other new moms. Come up with a theme, and then write a few posts that fit that theme. Are you talking about your life? Is it an online journal? Take a few pictures of your day, post them, and tell the WWW about your day. Is it about fashion? Home design? Just start writing.
3. Follow other blogs. I love reading other blogs. My favorites tend to be design blogs like Pepper Design Blog and Pawleys Island Posh. I also love reading funny mom blogs like Scary Mommy. She makes me laugh every time.
4. Comment on other blogs, and in forums, and join other networks of bloggers. It’s fun, you’ll find great mom bloggers, and you’ll also get your questions answered. I’ve always gotten great responses from CafeMom when I post questions in the forums (some are helpful, and some… make me feel better about myself as a parent.) Mom Bloggers Club, Social Moms, and SITS are great blogger communities. BabyCenter is also my go-to resource for all things baby, and I set up my RSS feed in my profile, and have actually gotten a few referrals from it.
5. Be social. Get on twitter. If only for entertainment purposes. I follow lots of mom bloggers, and they post very interesting things. Also, one time, two of them got in a squabble which was fun/odd to read. Facebook does it every time. I do have a Freshmom fan page… but I also post links on my personal page and that always sends a lot of referrals.
6. TRACK. Make sure you keep track of your visitors. I think Blogger does this automatically. Sign up for Google Analytics. It will give you a ton of information – including how many people have visited your site, and how many times they have visited.
OK… now that you’ve set yourself up to have a lot of people you don’t know follow you, what’s the deal?
How do you make money with a mom blog??
1. Affiliate programs. What is the number 1, numero uno, reason something sells? Because everyone wants it. And how do companies force that? Getting bloggers to endorse their product. Why did I spend $15 on a toy that just has a bunch of colored balls and some elastic?? Because I read it on my friend’s blog that it was her daughter’s favorite toy. THREE years before I had Thomas. I saw it on a website, and bought it. Turns out, he loved it. Companies have figured this out – and have an easy way to reward bloggers: affiliate programs. Companies allow you to sign up for their affiliate programs, allowing moms to make a commission off of anything they sell. It’s all trackable. Some of the affiliate programs I use:
- CJ.com for Boden USA
- Google Affiliate Network for Barnes & Noble, Petit Bateau, and Target
- Linkshare.com for iTunes, DoDo Case, Hannah Anderson, Picaboo and Giggle
- Shareasale.com for Land of Nod and Layla Grayce
- Amazon.com … by, far, the very best. Because they sell everything (and I buy everything they sell.)