The Top 10 Benefits of Working From Home with Kids
Being a stay at home mom opens up all sorts of opportunities. While your child naps, or goes to school, or one naps and the other is in school, you get to choose what you want to do with the extra time.
And, no, I don’t mean simply what you want to cook or should be cleaning. I’m talking about following your passions, or earning extra money – without even leaving the comfort of your own home!
Wouldn’t that be amazing!? To work from home, from your computer or your phone?
Choose your own hours, set your own schedule; all while doing what you want, when you want!
Care for your little ones and make a little extra money, or a lot extra, with doing something you actually love!
It may seem too good to be true, huh? Well, with the right resources and some hard work, you could make it happen!
I know, I know, it’s not always that easy.
My 2 year old is trying to give up her naps, too. And, I get up at 3am every morning to write or work on my blog in some way; but it’s totally worth it, even though I’m not really making much money, yet! But, there’s always the possibility of making money, and you don’t even need a blog to do so; it takes awhile to make money blogging, unlike other work at home opportunities. I just love having my own website and writing!
And, let me tell ya why you should!!!
Be Your Own Boss
Sure, with being a stay at home mom you don’t necessarily have a boss. Like, it might feel like your kids may try to boss you around, but they’re just trying to tell you their needs. Eventually, they will grow up; probably sooner than you’d like!
And, when that time comes, you may feel the pressure to start making some money yourself. Whether it’s internal pressure, or a little pressure from your spouse. Even if it’s just so you’re not always alone all day, to give you something purposeful to do, or to help you feel more accomplished and productive during your day.
Believe me, you are meant for more than just changing diapers, cooking, and cleaning. And, you don’t need a boss to tell you what to do either! You can be your own boss when you work from the comfort of your own home!
Or, who knows, you may grow a large work at home business and be the boss of others, even before your kids start school!
Follow Your Passions
Being a full time mom, whether we work or stay at home (I’ve done both after having children); we tend to lose ourselves a little, and that includes losing some of our passions in life. With long days, and longer nights with babies; it can be hard to think of anything else. Anything for ourselves just goes right out the window.
This can come from not having time or from mom-guilt. We no longer feel like what we want to do, or what we’re passionate about is important enough to pursue.
Choosing to work from home, and online, can help you follow your passions in life, and give you a reason to focus on what you want, again! This will depend a little bit on what your passions are, but there are almost limitless possibilities when it comes from working from home!
If you love to write, you can freelance write, or create a blog and write what you want. Or, write that book you’ve always dreamed of writing.
Are you good with photoshop or taking pictures? Other people online will actually pay you to use those skills! Amazing, isn’t it?
And, if you’re only able to work 2 hours a day, or 3 hours every other day; you can still make it work!
It can be hard to believe that you can do something you love and get paid for it. But, guess what, other people are already doing it! And, there’s plenty of room for more!
It Will Make You Feel More Important
Let’s face it, being a stay at home mom isn’t that glamorous. And, may not feel like you’re doing important work.
Hard work; yes.
Feels important; not that much.
But, it truly is important what you’re doing!
You are raising the next generation. That generation, however, needs to nap during the day when little, to not be miserable! If they refuse their nap, they still need more sleep than you do, so you can take advantage of that!
What better to do during naps than make yourself feel important, and feel like you’re contributing to the household income, or contribute to bettering the world in some way. There’s a reason they say no one can be an island! And, it’s not that you’re not already doing enough and need to do more. But personally, as a millennial mom, I feel like I need to do it all to make what I’m doing feel important enough to me! Are you the same way?
Connect with Other Adults
I’ve only been a stay at home mom for a little over a year now, my girls are 2 and 5 years old. And, if I don’t work on my blog and connect with others on a regular basis, then I start to lose it a little.
It gets lonely sometimes when the only company you have most days are too young to even go to school, or have a full conversation!
Working from home will help even the most introverted of people make connections with other adults to stay sane. Bonus points for connecting with other work at home mom’s who have the same struggles as you!
Gives You a Reason to Get Dressed in the Morning (other than taking kids to school)
I don’t know about you, but when I became a stay at home, I thought of it as an awesome excuse to stay in pj’s all day long!
We associate pj’s with sleep, being in bed, or relaxing. That is the exact opposite of what you need when you stay home with kids. They have a ton of energy, and being too relaxed will not give you the energy you need to keep up with them.
Ever since I started taking working from home seriously, and actually getting dressed in the morning; I haven’t only been able to get more work done everyday, but I’ve also been able to keep the house clean with more ease, and I’ve been less stressed!!!
Wearing real clothes is like magic for staying productive during the day, which brings me to my next point!
Sometimes we just don’t want to do anything, like when we stay in our pj’s all day. This is not healthy, for our minds or our bodies.
Starting a work from home career, or even working a few hours each week, will help you get your butt moving again and be productive.
And, it feels soo much better to be productive than to be lazy! It’s just like if you’re used to lounging around all day, and then start working out everyday; you start to feel better, amazing even, and then you start to crave the exercise everyday!
Same concept with being productive and challenging your brain!
It Will Force You to Keep Learning and Using that Beautiful Brain of Yours
If anyone has ever told you that you can work from home and you don’t need to learn anything new; don’t believe them.
And, don’t let this scare you away either! There is so much that I have learned in the past two years while blogging, it’s astounding. I didn’t even know there was so much to know about blogging, or social media, or even just writing!
Learning new skills and theories will help keep your brain stay young and functioning longer. So, challenge yourself and keep learning all your life; you deserve to!
Working from home can help you do this, whether it’s investing in a new course to learn something new, or reading more books, or watching youtube videos to learn a technical skill online!
Make a Difference in Other’s Lives
The amazing thing about working from home is that you can actually make a difference in someone else’s life; maybe even more so than working outside the home. I guess it depends on where you would work, or what you would do.
When I write on my blog; I write to help out other moms who may be struggling through the same things I am, or things I once struggled with. Wouldn’t it be awesome to know that what you do online could help others, or actually matter!?!
Make Use of What You Already Know (You have to use it so you don’t lose it!)
If you’re like me, and have a fancy college degree (that you’ve never used before), this could be your chance to prove it’s use!
Or, even if you don’t have a college degree, you have a life full of experiences, and you have children! The experiences you go through in life are enough to help others. Whether it’s helping others do what you have done, to make life easier or better; or, by helping them avoid the mistakes you’ve made.
You have knowledge inside of you, and it’s trying to get out! Help it and help others by sharing it with them!
It Will Force You and Your Children to stick to a Daily Schedule
This is a good thing! Daily schedules help us and our children thrive. And, with all the hard work you’ll need to do when working from home, you’ll need specific times to get it all done!
A daily schedule is something I’ve personally been working on all year to perfect. But, guess what, it doesn’t need to be perfect. (I should be telling myself this!) As long as you know what you do and when, and you get to most of the tasks on your to do list; you’ll be set!
So, why not give working from home and earning extra income, and staying sane by connecting with other adults, a more serious thought. Get the bundle and start learning more about the how to’s, and not just the why.
How to Create Beautiful Pins for Pinterest on Canva!
Ever go on Pinterest and look at some of the pins and are like wow, that’s so beautiful, I HAVE to Save that! And then wonder how they made it because your pins look like a 5 year old designed them?
(I’m not dissing on 5 year olds here, my daughter could absolutely design a beautiful pin….it just may end up a little chaotic with too many unneeded elements and A LOT of pink.)
And, guess what, my pins used to suck! (Compare the pins below; which one would you more likely want to save?)
It looked like I had never took graphic design in high school (and taught others in my class how to use photoshop). Or took a single art class in college. (And, I did take one art class in college, it was 2-dimensional design and oh so expensive for the supplies.)
It was like my brain couldn’t wrap around the concept of making a pin. It was something new, and my brain was like I don’t know how to do this because it’s new and I’m just going to throw everything you know about design out the window.
But, a few months ago everything just clicked and my brain welcomed all the old, and new, knowledge about design and creating pins to come together.
And, I was sooo excited when it finally clicked! That’s why I’m creating this tutorial on how to create beautiful pins; hopefully this will help it ‘click’ for you, too!
Before you even open up Canva, know what your post is about and take a picture, or find a picture that relates to it….REALLY WELL.
Pinterest is a visual search engine, it’s not exactly social media or google, it’s kind of a cross between the two. It DOES take into consideration your pin, board, and profile descriptions; but, it will group your pin with other ‘like’ pins. It kind of ‘reads’ the photo. For example, if you use a photo of furniture in your pin then it will most likely group it with other home decor pins. So, if you’re post isn’t about home décor, and let’s say it’s about moving; maybe try to find a picture that looks more like moving. (Such as boxes, moving supplies, ect.)
The photo is going to be the base of what helps people choose to save your pin rather than someone else’s. So you’ll want to be intentional with the objects in the photo, the lighting, or finding a great stock photo for your pin.
Sign up for Canva, or Log in
Once you’ve chosen a photo, or a few photos to try out, for your pin; sign up for a free canva account, if you don’t already have one. If you’re already signed up, log in and go to the next step!
If you’re new to canva, you’ll see what’s in the screenshot above; simply choose the one that makes the most sense for you. I chose ‘Small Business’ when I signed up, because I use it for my blog.
You do not need anything more than the free version of canva to create beautiful pins.
Choose the Pin Size
The exact size of your pin doesn’t matter too much, however, it does need to be a 2:3 ratio. You can use the ‘Pinterest Graphic’ size that canva recommends, which is just about a 2:3 ratio, or any other size you’d like, with a 2:3 ratio. Some bloggers use 600 x 900 px. I use 1000 x 1500 px.
‘Pinterest Graphic’ is at the top Left. Click on ‘Use custom dimensions’ to choose your own size. (Make sure you use px.)If you chose the ‘Pinterest Graphic’ you will have a lot of pre-designed layouts to choose from and edit to your liking. I did this when I first started blogging, but I don’t use those anymore.
If you chose to use custom dimensions, you’ll still get to choose the layout of the pin. I like to have one photo in the first pin I design for every post; just choose the appropriate layout.
Then you’ll want to upload your photo(s). Either click the ‘Upload your own images’ button, or simply drag and drop from where you save your photo(s).
Once it’s done uploading, drag the photo from your upload section to the digital canvas. With the layout in place, the photo should take up the whole digital canvas.
If the photo you chose has ‘white space’ then move onto adding your title. For example, the yellow uploaded image above has ‘white space’ (it’s all the yellow).
If the photo you use does not have ‘white space’ you will have to create some, or have an overlay for the title. I prefer to make it. Do this by zooming in on your photo or adjusting it side to side, or up or down. If you use stock photos, a lot of them should already have some ‘white space’….some photos may have too much ‘white space’, which may not be ideal. You can also solve this issue by zooming in, like in the picture below.
Once you have the photo how you like it, move onto adding text!
Add Text to your Pins for Pinterest
Use your brands’ fonts, or, if you don’t have brand fonts yet, use legible fonts and make them big enough so people can read them on the tiny pin images on their phones.
I use a very legible font, a bubble font, and a script font (I know that may not be what they are really called, but the font ‘aleo’ is very legible, my second font reminds me of making bubble letters in elementary school, and my third font is actually considered a script font.)
Canva has plenty of fonts to choose from, have fun with choosing your fonts, just make sure they are legible; you don’t want people to have to work to figure out what it says!
You’ll also need to choose which colors to use for your fonts. Use your brand colors if you already chose those. Try to stick with black or white and one additional color; it helps it look less chaotic. (Unless, of course, if you’re aiming for chaos, go right ahead and use as many colors as you’d like!)
For the one colored font, it should either match the main color in the photo, or contrast it. For some photos the color of the font won’t matter as much, which may be really good depending on your brand fonts.
Canva even has some pre-designed sets of fonts to choose from if you’re not sure which fonts will look good together.
And, just in case you need a quick refresher of contrasting colors:
yellow and purple
orange and blue
red and green
Basically any colors opposite of each other on a color wheel are contrasting colors.
Once you like the way the fonts and color of text looks with the photo, move on.
Add a Filter (Optional)
If you’re struggling getting your fonts to show up on your photo, try adding a filter to the photo or adjusting the light in it. It may help to either darken or lighten up the photo. My favorite filters to use are cali, epic, festive, or summer. However, the pin below does not need a filter.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add to the picture, go ahead and add it. But, less = more, so do so sparingly.
Maybe a line or two, or something else. Canva has a lot to choose from; between lines, shapes, and even icons. You can even use the search bar at the top to find what you want to see they have have the element you’re looking for. It can be easy to go overboard with this while having fun and trying things out. Don’t let this overboard-ness show up in your final design. (Again, unless that’s what your going for in the pin and post; then, go right ahead.)
Add your URL
This may not be so important for having a beautiful pin, but with the amount of pin theives on pinterest this past year you’ll want to make sure you add this. Either add your URL or your logo; that way other savvy pinners, like you and me, can double check to make sure we are only sharing your pins if they are going to lead us to your site.
I personally had to report several pins I designed this past year to pinterest because they were stolen from me and directed users to someone else’s site. I also contact other bloggers when I see that their pins were stolen to let them know so they can let Pinterest know.
This has been an issue that pinterest is working on correcting, and I haven’t seen as many stolen pins lately. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry and brand my pins with my URL.
On a side note, I choose my URL to put on my pins instead of my logo. My logo may change in the future, but my URL won’t. I also believe that the url looks a little bit more professional.
Once you like the way your pin looks, go ahead and download it! (I recommend either PNG or JPG, I usually use PNG, but it’s a preference thing.)
(Now you get to create your pin description and seo for the pin and save it to your boards, group boards, tailwind tribes, add to your posts for readers to save, or anywhere else you put it to have it saved and shared!)
It may take some time, at first, to come up with your unique way of making beautiful pins. Simply use this tutorial as a base and go from there.
Once you have a few unique, and beautiful, pin designs created; you should be able to create a pin or two for each post in 10 or so minutes!
Just remember that creating pins can be fun; you just need to get the design element down first. (And, your brain needs to let you soak in all of the information you’re feeding it.)
Go create those beautiful pins and share this post with others who are struggling with pin design or using canva! Us bloggers are here to help others, so share the pin below to help another blogger out!
Be sure to sign up for your FREE trial of Tailwind here so you can schedule out your pins and not spend ALL DAY on Pinterest to promote your beautiful Pins!!
Blogging for Beginners; when you don’t even know the blogging terms.
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at blogging but unsure about the technical side of things? Or, even unsure of how to set up a blog to begin with?
Well, it’s really not that hard. Just follow my 8 step guide that will get you from not knowing a thing about blogging to starting to write your first blog post!
Don’t worry, there’s pictures, and everything is laid out in plain English in case techie stuff isn’t your forte!
Step One: Choose a Niche or Create an Avatar
Before paying for hosting, or even choosing your blogs name, you’ll want to consider a few things; such as, what you’re going to be writing about, or who you are going to be writing for.
If you want your blog to be successful and resonate with others, you can’t just write about everything and anything under the sun; you have to narrow down and focus on a single topic, or niche, to write about.
Or, you could focus on writing to a specific type of person, and avatar, and write about things they may find useful. For example, I write for stay at home moms of young children who may want to better their health or their children’s health, and want to stay sane through out the day. So, there may be more I can write about, but it’s written to appeal to a specific type of person.
Before moving onto the next step, answer one of the questions below:
What niche do you want to write in and what will you write about? (Maybe come up with some categories for future blog posts and title ideas.)
Who is your avatar? (Be as specific as possible….a lot more specific than my example above. I want you knowing this person better than you know yourself.)
Step Two: Choose your Domain Name
Alright, don’t run away because you don’t know what a domain name is; it’s simply the website address. My domain name is stresslessbehealthy.com
That was not always my domain name, though. The first domain name I had was thatscalledlife.com, I wasn’t sure what niche I wanted to blog in, or who my avatar was, so I chose a general domain name that I regretted within a year of getting it. So, if you haven’t finished the first step of choosing a niche or knowing who your avatar is, go back and do it. NOW!!
A rebrand and change of domain name is possible, and could be fun, but getting it right the first time would have been much better! (Less stress, less wasted time.) You can always have the fun of a rebranding, change of site design, graphics and style of site, without changing your domain name. There’s too much tech work, or possible costs, that go into changing your domain name after getting a few months in.
If you simply want to start a blog NOW and unsure what you’ll be blogging about, you could always use your name as your domain name. I’ve never spoken with a person who has regretted doing that.
But, if you don’t want to use your name, try to come up with a domain name (that’s available) that makes sense for your niche or avatar. It doesn’t have to be super specific, but don’t make it too general either. Your readers should know what you blog is about between reading your domain name and tagline (if you choose to have a tagline). I’m not going to go over taglines in this post, if you’d like an example of a tagline mine is “Living Life; One Tantrum and Green Smoothie at a Time”.
At first, I’d also recommend to come up with a few domain names, just in case the one you want is already in use.
The way I came up with my domain name; I took the problems I wanted to solve for my readers and came up with a clever name. I’m a health nut and write about eating well, and I’m a mom who studied psychology who wants to help other moms stress less. So, stresslessbehealthy.com seemed like a good fit. It’s broad enough that I can keep writing on it my entire life and not come to a halt and change my domain name when I’m no longer a mom of young kids; I’ll simply rebrand when needed. But, it’s also not so broad that I can write about anything and everything. For example, I can’t turn it into a fashion blog; the closest I can get to that is a post about decluttering your closet or something about stressing less with choosing clothes to wear.
Now, once you have chosen an available domain name, you can check if it’s available at https://www.name.com/, or check through a hosting company like SiteGround; then you’ll want to check all of the social media channels to see if the same name is available.
At the very least you’ll need to check Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Those seem to be the big 4 social media channels used by bloggers to market, or promote, content. (You may want to check Google+, too. I heard having Google+ and having your posts on that platform is good for google seo, but I don’t remember where I heard that. Rather be safe than sorry.)
Checklist for Step Two:
choose domain name
check if it’s available (if not, choose a different one)
check if same name is available for social media channels
claim social media handles
claim domain name (or claim during next step)
If the domain name you want isn’t available, then you’ll have to find something else. As for the social media handles, you’ll want to get those as close to your domain name as possible. They may not be the exact same, but they should be very close so people can search for you on them. (For example, Twitter only allows a certain number of characters, therefore my twiter handle is @stresslessbh)
Step Three: Purchase Hosting
Now, you may be wondering if purchasing hosting is right for you, or if you should simply choose free hosting like wordpress.com. And, it kind of depends on what your goal is for blogging and how much control over your site you would like to have.
If you want a fairly small amount of control over your site and use it to simply write to your hearts desire and not expect anything in return for all your hard work; then go ahead and opt for the free hosting.
However, if you would like to have your site how you want it to be, and possibly, eventually, make some type of income from your blog, then you need to pay for purchasing. It’s one of the only investments you’ll be making at the beginning. In fact, it very well could be the only investment you make in the beginning, or until you have 1000 email subscribers.
If you’re unsure what hosting is, or why you need it; it’s basically paying for your share of the internet.
I have used two hosting companies since I started blogging and would highly recommend SiteGround, which is my current hosting company. I DO NOT recommend Bluehost, which was the first hosting company I had. And, sure, you may see a lot of other bloggers recommending you to get Bluehost, and how they are cheap and simple to use….but, that’s only because Bluehost pays well for their commissions. (Meaning those bloggers make money when others purchase hosting through their links.)
Now, I’m not going to lie, I am an affiliate for SiteGround, but it’s only because they have impressed me as a hosting company. Their customer service is outstanding! They are knowledgeable and will go out of their way to help their customers. Plus, they have a hosting plan specifically for the back end of the website that I recommend; wordpress.org.
And, to tell you the truth, SiteGround is just as affordable as Bluehost. When I was a year into blogging and had to choose between staying with Bluehost for another year or switching hosting companies (because I was having issues with Bluehost taking money out of my bank account without my authorization). I checked the price of both; Bluehost wanted over $200 to renew for one more year, and I ended up paying less than $100 for my first year with SiteGround. It was a really simple choice at that point. (For all fairness, the first year with Bluehost was less than $200; it was around $140 after all the extra fees…)
SiteGround makes choosing the hosting plan super simple, too! Check out the screenshots below to walk you through setting up hosting through SiteGround.
First, choose the right hosting plan for you. I’m currently on their StartUp plan, but am planning on upgrading very soon to their GrowBig plan as the traffic to my site increases!
Then, choose your domain name, or if you bought it on name.com, you can transfer it to SiteGround for free. I simply started with checking my domain name through SiteGround, just check the ‘Register a New Domain’ button. If you purchase your domain name through another company, simply check the ‘I already have a Domain’ button; there’s no fee to transfer a domain.
And, review how long you want to pay for hosting, review, and pay. I would not recommend choosing anything less than one year of hosting when starting out. Blogging takes a lot of time and patience, and you’re not going to want to have to remember to renew hosting every few months.
Luckily, with SiteGround, you get the discounted price no matter how long you choose to pay for. (When I had Bluehost and chose 1 year instead of 3 years, they jacked the price up so I wasn’t getting as much of a discount as if I was committing to 3 years up front; I’m so thankful I DID NOT commit to 3 years with them.)
Once you have your hosting set up, go on to the next step.
Step Four: Set up WordPress
Don’t worry, no additional charge to use wordpress.org, which is what you should be using for the back end of your blog.
SiteGround makes setting up WordPress super simple. You basically push a button to install it. The website walks you right through it!
To set this up, click on the ‘go to cPanel’ button. (Take note that all of this happens under ‘My Account’.)
Then hit proceed on the pop-up.
Scroll down to where you see ‘Mail’ and click on Email Accounts.
Choose what you want your email and password to be. Then click ‘create account’.
To access your email click ‘cPanel Home’, scroll back down to the ‘Mail’ section and click ‘Webmail’
Click ‘Log In to Webmail’
Choose a webmail app, any one, it really doesn’t matter which one you choose.
If you really want to know, I chose roundcube, but I have all my emails forwarded to my gmail account.
If you never want to have to use that type of email application, because it’s ancient and no one wants to read their emails in an application like that. Go back to the cPanel home, scroll down to ‘Mail’ and click on ‘Forwarders’, then click on ‘Add Forwarder’.
Choose your new email at your new domain name as the address to forward, and then type in the address you want to receive your emails at. Click ‘Add Forwarder’, again, and you’re done.
Then you’ll want to make sure you can send, or reply to emails with your new email through your website. If you have gmail, it’s not that difficult to set up.
Go into settings → accounts and import → send mail as: click on ‘add another email address’.
Then go through the guided set up. When you have that set up, you’ll want to make sure the button ‘Reply from the same address the message was sent to’ is checked.
That may seem like a lot of information, and screenshots, for simply setting up your new email, but I have been in a lot of groups of new bloggers. Setting up a new email address seems to frustrate a lot of them and they seem to get stuck at that point. And, I don’t want you to have to go through the same frustration as they did, or feel stuck.
Once you feel comfortable with your new email, and maybe send yourself an email to your new blog email address from your personal email, and can reply to your old email with your new email address; you’re ready to go onto the next step!
Step Six: Set up your Email Service Provider
This is how you will get that magical email list that other bloggers speak so highly of!
Ever see an opt in where you have to enter your email to get a freebie or receive a Newsletter? The email service provider is where all of those emails are held and how the blogger is able to make sure the freebie is automatically sent to you, without them having to be on their email to send it to you. It’s also how those weekly, or monthly, newsletters are sent out to everyone on the email list.
When I first started blogging, my brother, who went to school for IT, told me to use mailchimp…..do yourself a favor, don’t use mailchimp.
There are two wonderful options that I have personally used as email service providers, and they both work pretty much the same way. The only real difference is price and the feel. Both have different types of opt in forms you can use, will automatically send emails if someone subscribes, or provides an email address, send welcome series emails (or email funnels/automations), and allow you to send one time emails to all subscribers or a segmented list of subscribers. There are more features as well, but that list was getting pretty long.
Convertkit is a little fancier, and every once in awhile they have free trainings and masterclasses. In Spring 2017, I went through their Product Creation Masterclass, which was pretty awesome; they had speakers every week teaching on different parts of the process, and assignments to complete sent through email. They’re a great company to have for email service.
However, they are the ones that cost every month, and like most email service providers; the price is dependent on how many subscribers you have. To start off, it’s $29/month. But, they usually have a 14 day trial so you can check it out before committing to it and paying. It is absolutely worth the money if you have the money to pay for it.
Mailerlite, on the other hand, is free to start off, and is free until you have 1,000 subscribers on your email list. So, if you’re pressed for money, or don’t think you’ll have many subscribers for a few months; you may want to consider starting with Mailerlite.
It’s better to start off free with Mailerlite to build your email list, than to not build an email list at all and wait til you can pay for Convertkit.
Once you choose an email service provider, simply set up your account with them, and leave it til you write a post and publish it on your new blog; at that point, you’ll want to create an opt in form and place it in your post or other locations on your blog. But, we won’t get into that here.
Step Seven: Choose a Theme
A theme is the core design of your website. It’s basically just how it looks; where the menu(s) are, how the top of the site looks, things like that. A lot of the design can be edited with plugins, as well. (Plugins allow you to do more, or have more, on your site than what your theme offers, along with helping with other useful things.) So, to start off, and until you get comfortable using WordPress; you may want to just use a free theme.
If you don’t know how to get to your WordPress admin page, which is where you edit your site, add posts, and basically live while working on your blog; simply head to SiteGround → My accounts, then click ‘Go to Admin Panel’.
This will bring you to wordpress.org.
You’ll be sent to the Dashboard; to choose a theme, go to ‘appearance’, then ‘themes’.
There should be a few themes already installed, possibly the twenty seventeen and twenty sixteen themes. The twenty seventeen theme really isn’t that bad, I used it for the first 10 months I was blogging. You can also search for themes at the top of the page; just know that not all the themes are free.
I may be a bit cheap when it comes to paying for a theme; my current theme was a bonus to The Genius Bloggers Toolkit I bought in Fall 2017. Which, if you ever get the chance to buy The Genius Bloggers Toolkit bundle from Ultimate Bundles, I highly recommend that you do; it is completely worth it with all the blogging resources it includes!
Unfortunately, it’s not on sale right now. If you sign up for my email list, I’ll let you know when it becomes available!
Move onto the next step once you choose a theme; don’t worry, you can change your theme whenever you’d like, just choose something for now.
Step Eight: Create an Editorial Calendar and WRITE!!
You did all that hard work, and all you want to do is write….don’t worry, most of your tech work is done, and most of what you’ll be doing for the next little while with blogging should be writing and finding your voice.
I highly recommend creating an editorial calendar. This is basically just coming up with blog post ideas and scheduling in a calendar, or word doc, when you want to have the posts published by. One important thing for bloggers to remember in the beginning is to be consistent!
Do what you can, but schedule out your posts so that they are being published on the same day, or days, of the week. If you can only manage 1 post every two weeks, do that, but on the same day of the week every two weeks. If you can manage a few posts a week, do that, but on the same days every week. I currently publish posts on Sunday’s, Tuesday’s, and Thursday’s. (I like to write, what can I say!)
To help you stay consistent, download the plugin ‘Editorial Calendar’. First click on plugins, on the left side menu on wordpress, and click ‘add new’, at the top.
Then search ‘editorial calendar’, the first one should be ‘editorial calendar’. Click the install now button (in the picture below the button will be where the faded ‘active’ button is, since I already have the plugin). Once it’s installed, click activate.
Once activated, ‘calendar’ will now show up under ‘posts’. When you click on it you will get your editorial calendar, where you can add new posts and schedule them to publish in the future. You’ll have access to all of your posts here in an organized fashioned and showing on the date they were published, or will be published.
After you have a few blog post ideas and know what day(s) you want to publish your posts on each week; go ahead and start writing your posts!!
Don’t forget to have fun and remember why you started this blogging journey!
Not Too Hard to Start a Blog
See, that wasn’t too hard, was it?
Alright, so at the beginning, there is this huge learning curve. But, after the initial setup, you won’t have to deal with too much technical stuff, unless you want to. In all honesty, I hadn’t signed into SiteGround since setting up my email for my blog, until I wrote this post. So, that just goes to show you how often you’ll have to deal with hosting, unless of course you went with Bluehost and have issues with your site being offline (which happens on Bluehost, I never once had an issue with SiteGround doing this).
And, it will take some time to get traffic to your new blog, and a lot of promotion. But, there’s so much info that goes into getting traffic, I couldn’t possibly fit even all the basics into one post. So, once you’re done with the steps above, simply focus on writing your posts and helping others.
It could take some time for you to find your voice and for it to resonate with others.
When you’re ready, feel free to share your posts with friends and family, on Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media channels.
And, now that you know how to start a blog, what’s your first post going to be about? Share in the comments.
Starting your own blog, or website, can be terrifying and incredibly exciting at the same time. There’s so many options for how to get started. Some people will suggest one tool or service to use, whereas others will tell you something completely different.
It’s hard, at first, to know what it is that you will truly need, and what to spend money on. If I could, I would honestly do everything for free. But, you can’t make money without spending a little bit of money. So, I’ll let you in on what you actually need, and the cheapest way to go about it!
Whether you’re new to blogging, have been blogging , or just thinking about starting a blog; the choices for everything you need, to have a successful blog can sometimes be overwhelming.
I have done a lot of research into services and tools for blogging over the past year and a half; along with trying quite a few tools and services out for myself. And, I have come up with a list of 5 things that are must haves and that I would personally recommend; even to a brand new blogger who is not tech savvy, at all.
I know it can be technologically frustrating in the beginning when starting a blog. Even with all of the advice you can get, all the books or ebooks you read, and all of the posts you read; it will feel like you have barely scraped the surface of all there is to learn.
I get it, I’ve been there, and for some things I am still there. I am still learning, every single day. More so on the days my children actually nap. I’m here to help guide you in a direction that will help you. And, to help you choose the right (easy for non tech savvy people) services and tools. And also, so you don’t waste your money trying out tools that are not necessary, or difficult to figure out.
To have a website and your own url; you must have some type of hosting and a domain name. (If you don’t know what a domain name is, it’s simply the website address; mine is http://www.stresslessbehealthy.com.)
Your host company should also provide you with a professional email address, it should be email@example.com. This will be very useful when you start your email list and send out emails to people on your list. Also when you start reaching out to brands or simply trying to look more professional.
Now, the first host I had was Bluehost. A lot of bloggers may recommend them to you, turns out that Bluehost has one of the better paying affiliate programs. (Meaning that Bluehost pays a commission to the blogger who referred you to them.) As far as I know, most host companies have an affiliate program; so it’s not a bad thing. But, I personally would not recommend Bluehost…I had some issues with them and their customer service. (And, almost every time I see a post in a Facebook group about which host to go with; there are always plenty of comments saying the same thing about Bluehost, so I’m not alone in not wanting to recommend them.)
Bluehost is one of the cheaper hosts, as well. So, now you’re probably which host company I do recommend, and who has a comparable price to Bluehosts plans.
Well, I love my current host; SiteGround! Their prices are extremely similar to Bluehosts (I’m hesitant to say exact because there’s usually promos going on for new users.) The customer service is amazing! Before I was even a paying customer they took the time to research how I was supposed to do something for my site (that I had asked Bluehost for help with and was given nonsense as an answer). In fact, the representative from SiteGround provided me with an article from Bluehost to help with the situation I was in (the representative from Bluehost did not such thing…).
They also have clear hosting plans depending on your needs, check them out here! One of which, is a specific hosting plan for those using wordpress.org for their blogs; which is the next must have.
WordPress is wonderful, easy to use, and there are so many resources to learn how to use it. Other bloggers have written full posts, have tutorials, and have made videos on how to use it. (I’m starting to get good enough now to do this!)
If you choose Siteground as your host, it comes free; installing wordpress from SiteGround is super simple, especially if you choose a wordpress plan. Plus, wordpress.org is free with hosting. DO NOT use wordpress.com if you ever want to start making money from your blog!
WordPress.org is how I was able to easily set up my website, choose my theme (how my website looks), and customize it. With wordpress you can also have plugins and widgets. Plugins make life simple when you’re trying to do something complicated on a website, for us non tech savvy people. Like connecting google analytics or your amazon affiliate account, or another outside site, to your site.
WordPress is also where you write and publish all of the material that goes on your website. It’s where you organize the material into different sections on your site.
This is where you will spend most of your time working on your website. It’s like the kitchen to your website, whereas what other people see is the final product or meal.
3. Email Service Provider
I used convertkit last year for about 3 months and absolutely loved it; thanks to Suzi from Start a Mom Blog who pointed me in their direction with a co-hosted webinar. It is life changing, well, at least when it comes to email marketing; or sending out automated emails in an organized fashion. It’s actually simple to group together certain subscribers depending on what they subscribed to and to make sure they get what they signed up for. In short, it doesn’t give me a headache trying to figure it all out.
I was using mailchimp before I switched to convertkit (my brother suggested mailchimp because he had heard it was good). I was struggling with mailchimp trying to get anything to work. It was horrible, I felt so lost and frustrated. I knew exactly what I wanted mailchimp to do, but couldn’t find the option to do it. Even when I found something close to it, it wanted me to upgrade my membership. And I wasn’t about to upgrade my membership to feel more frustrated and confused.
Convertkit is super simple to use, even for true beginners.
They actually walk you through setting up your opt in form and first email sequence. There are plenty of videos showing you exactly how to do something, and their employees are super helpful, as well. You’ll receive emails to help you get started, and you can always email them back if you have questions or need help. They even wrote an ebook called The Complete Guide to Email Marketing; they have so many different resources to help their customers succeed. If you want to succeed in email marketing, I highly recommend you check them out!
If I haven’t convinced you to check them out yet, they teach free courses once in a while, as well. Such as their Product Creation Master Class, along with useful webinars!
I currently use mailerlite for my email service; they are quite similar to converkit, but aren’t as fancy. If you have no money to put towards your email service provider, and have under 1000 people on your email list, then go with mailerlite; they are free up to 1000 subscribers. I have no intention of even thinking about switching from mailerlite until I have to start paying. And even then, I may stick with them because they get the job done and are easy to use!
Canva is amazing and I recommend it to everyone, whether you have a blog or not!
I have used quite a few different tools trying to edit photos and add text. With many editing tools, it’s hard to resize pictures and edit them to be exactly how you want them for the platform you’re going to be using them on. Canva has done all the work for us, especially when it comes to pictures for social media. You can choose different layouts, and already completed(beautiful) pictures, to use on pinterest, facebook, twitter and instagram. You can even create your facebook cover or twitter head on here and not have to worry about the size because it’s premade for you!
It takes all of the hard tech work out of creating beautiful social media posts and pictures (and printables, most of my printables were made with canva). You can even create wedding invitations and announcements for just about anything on this site. It’s pretty awesome!
You can gain access to my printables by subscribing!
5. Social Media Accounts
Alright, so we are in the age of social media; so, it’s quite obvious you will need to be apart of it to get your stuff out there.
What I would recommend to do first, as soon as you grab your domain name; grab all of the social media handles with that same name, or as similar as possible, just in case you need it in the future.
Next, figure out where your audience hangs out and make those accounts look nice.
Then you’ll want to automate all the ones you’re going to be using, except for one. The one you don’t automate will be the first one you obsess over til you have it giving you good traffic (the amount of traffic will vary depending on a lot).
Don’t get overwhelmed with social media, though. It can be extremely overwhelming, especially starting out. Make sure you focus on your writing and your site design and presentation before trying to get traffic from social media platforms. You may get disappointed with your traffic if you don’t. Think of it this way, you can’t expect people to want to come back to your site if you haven’t found your voice yet, have barely anything on your site, or if your site looks like it’s from the 90’s.
*Hint- most blogger get the majority of their traffic from Pinterest, including myself, so I’d recommend starting there. Pinterest can be very time consuming, mostly because it’s just so much fun to be on once you understand how it works. I personally use Tailwind and spend about 5 hours once a month scheduling ALL my pins for the month, that way I don’t have to worry about losing traffic if I forget to pin for a day. Get a FREE Trial here!
A Few More Things You’ll Need…
As my site keeps growing and I keep learning, more will be added to this list! So, if this page looks different the next time you come visit; it just means that I have broadened my horizons. Like I said before, I am learning every single day. I want to keep this page as updated as possible to help you out. To give you an honest look at what I personally use and would recommend. And the 5 must have things in this list now I don’t see going anywhere, ever. They are all amazing and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! (And, all of them are free to start off with, except for hosting; unless you go with a fancy email service provider.)
If you’re still thinking about starting a blog, PIN THE IMAGE BELOW! That way you’ll have an easier time finding this list in the future.
Let me know what you think of these if you have tried them before or currently use them. Or, if you have a difference of opinion, go ahead and share that below in the comments.
Being a mommy blogger isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially in the beginning stages! Honestly, it’s a struggle…in more ways than just one. I know we get enticed into doing this with the promise of making money and providing an income for our family while being able to stay home with the kids and keep the home up, as well.
Well, guess what? It’s not as glamorous as it sounds or as what others make it out to be. Those mommy bloggers that are making money and living the good life worked harder than anyone else they knew, to get to that point.
It takes persistence, determination, and a passion for writing and helping others to make all the effort made actually worth it. Especially when you spend months trying to figure out how this whole blogging thing works…I’m still in the beginning phase, almost a year and a half in.
So, for an example of some of the struggles us mommy bloggers go through, I’ll share some of my own every daystruggles!
When I start My Day
I start my day by waking at 3am to write or work. Yes. You saw that right; 3am!
By waking up this early I know I have between 30 to 60 minutes before anyone else wakes up. It may be a small amount of time to myself, but I’m finding it completely worth it!
Coffee is my friend in the morning!
Some days something amazing will happen, where I’ll have a solid 3 hours of time in the morning to work before anyone else is up! Shhhh…don’t jinx me! I get so much done in that time. But, I do sometimes miss sleeping in.
Oh, the sacrifices that must be made when I have an extremely high work ethic and love what I do!
Other Work Time…Maybe
If you couldn’t already tell, it’s hard to find time to work as a mommy blogger, for the fact that we’re full time mommies, first and foremost!
When I don’t get enough time to work in the morning (and let’s face it, happens more often than not), I take advantage of meal times.
My youngest still eats in her highchair…most of the time. So, I take advantage of the fact that my girls are busy eating, and aren’t able to talk as much with food in their mouths. This tends to give me another half hour per meal to get some work in (if I’m lucky).
If I for some odd reason don’t work during this time, I’ll attempt to work out, or shower.
Now, the only reason I’m able to work, or do other things, during meal times is because I prepare most of our food ahead of time; I batch cook, or bake. I spend a little extra time doubling or tripling a recipe and cooking one day of the week, so I have more time during the rest of the week to get things done. Big win here! This helps me not struggle as much!
I honestly don’t know how I’d find all the time I do to work, if I didn’t meal prep for most of our meals for the week!
Some Parts of the Day are Really Hard
Ok, let’s face it, there’s hard parts in everyday as a SAHM. There’s little fights about everything and anything you can imagine; my kids don’t want to eat what I made, they want to wear a different shirt, their sock somehow got twisted and they can’t seem to fix it, so they get frustrated and don’t use their words to tell me what’s wrong.
Sometimes I don’t even get to shower til my husband gets home at night. It’s rough sometimes. I’ve pretty much learned my lesson to not shower when my girls aren’t sleeping, or when my husband isn’t home to help watch them.
Some days I feel like I just can’t get anything done, then again, I track the time I work and I realize I’ve somehow managed to get 2-3 hours of work done that day. And I’m not even sure how that was! Especially since lately my youngest has been refusing her naps during the day, meaning I get no break. Not that I actually got a break anyways because my 5 year old doesn’t nap. It’s just easier to have only one child awake than two. Which brings me to another struggle in my day..
Bedtime depends on a couple things that occur through out the day, such as whether or not my 2 year old takes a nap. I tell my older daughter that bedtime is 7:30pm. And, when my younger daughter refuses to nap during the day, it usually is; my two year old will be asleep by 7pm or soon after, which gives me a chance to tuck in my 5 year and cuddle her a little before she falls asleep!
However, if my 2 year does nap, then I can pretty much forget about bedtime and not expect to go to bed til 9pm, at the earliest! (Did you see above what time I get up in the morning?)
I’ll tell ya it’s a Struggle, but…
I absolutely love it! I can’t imagine not writing to try to help or inspire others (even if what I write doesn’t get read by many people). Simply making one other mom feel a little better, or more understood is completely worth all the struggles I encounter in the day!
I’m the type of person who thrives when working hard on something; on something that actually matters. Not a 9-5 job where I’m easily replaceable. And, as hard as simply being a stay at home mom is, I needed more in my life, to help deal with the stress in a productive way, and to maybe even help a few fellow moms out along the way!
Everyone wants to know how blogger’s get things done during the day, or at least how those of us with young children we need to take care of day in and day get things done. I know this because I look this up all the time. How do I work at home while being a stay at home mom? I search that question often, and some work at home moms are pretty good at answering it. And, although I search for help on how to work at home with little ones, I’m asked the same question by others.
See, the thing about other work at home moms is that they actually make money and have help during the day. Either that, or they are able to get their kids to play quietly, or color, while they work.
My house and my day is pretty chaotic…no matter how hard I try to instill a daily schedule. And, my kids are loud, I can’t work unless they are sleeping or eating.
Since I get asked this question so often I’m going to let you into my day and show you how I’m able to get any work done at all….while my husband is at work for about 12 hours a day. It may not be what you expected! But, let’s start with how I wish my day would go…
My Perfectly Planned Day
3am-7am: Wake up, grab some water/ a piece of fruit/ a cup of coffee, and work in silence for 3 beautiful morning hours (only stopping for a minute at 4 am to make sure my husband wakes up for work)
7am-8am: Get girls up, dressed, and eating breakfast
8am-10: playtime for girls, while I do dishes and clean up
10am-12pm: snack time at 10 + coloring for girls and crafts for girls til noon(while I work for another hour to hour and a half)
12pm-1pm: lunch (I quickly eat and then work out + shower) and a show for the girls while I shower
1pm-3pm: nap time for my youngest + quality time with my oldest
3pm-5pm: snack time and playtime
5pm: clean up and get dinner ready
6pm: eat dinner once my husband comes home
7pm: get youngest to sleep
7:30pm: tuck oldest into bed
7:30pm-8:30pm: work for another hour, or watch a show or spend time with my husband
Between 8:30pm and 9pm: go to bed
That schedule sounds so nice to me; it also shows me how much time is in the day and how much could actually be accomplished if everything could just go as planned!
Now, onto reality….cause we all know that the plan above is only seen on TV or in dreams! (I’m not even asking for all that much in my day, just a little organization and cooperation.)
3am-4am: Wake up, get coffee, work (and hope my kids don’t wake up)
4am: Wake husband up to get ready for his job (and hope my kids don’t wake up so I can continue to work) half the time my youngest wakes up and I spend til 6:30am to get her back to sleep
5am: Husband leaves for work
5:10am: my youngest wakes up (if she’s not already up)
6:30am- 7:30am or 8am: Work a little more, if my youngest was awake, I usually can get her back to sleep by 6:30 (if I can’t get her back to sleep, we usually get have some cuddle time on the couch)
8am: both my girls are awake by now, so breakfast happens at this time
9am-10am: girls play loudly and messes up their playroom even more than it already is, I try to clean up from breakfast, maybe get to doing dishes (but not always)
10am- snack and chaos tends to occur here
Between 11am and 1pm: lunch (and I try to squeeze a shower in, I sometimes have to wait til my husband gets home)
1pm-3pm: try to get my youngest to nap, and am usually unsuccessful (if she does nap, then I work and I let my older daughter draw on my whiteboard or watch a show on her tablet sitting next to me)
3pm: snack time, and the girls play again til dinner. This is also the time where I make a greater effort at cleaning up our home and get things done that didn’t get done earlier (like the dishes)
5pm: attempt to get the girls to clean up their playroom, and then get ready for dinner
6pm-6:30pm: husband comes home, we eat dinner
7pm: brush everyone’s teeth before bed and attempt to get youngest to sleep
Between 7:30pm and 9pm: tuck older one into bed (time depends on when youngest goes to sleep- she still nurses to sleep, so I’m a bit stuck til she’s out)
Between 8:30pm and 9pm: husband and I go to bed
No two days are ever identical, so if that seems a little confusing it’s because I tried to average out what happens everyday.
Is that what you expected?
As you can see, my days are not perfect! I’ve attempted to plan out each day before; but they never seem to go as planned. And, I’m not even making any money working from home, yet, but I still work hard everyday; getting up at 3 in the morning, hoping my youngest doesn’t wake up with me, not knowing if she’ll take a nap during the day or not.
Believe me, attempting to work during the day is no easy feat. Honestly, finding the time to work (or have any time to myself) is harder than the actual work itself. And, that’s because I actually enjoy what I do! I love writing and helping others! Ever since I was a young teenager, that is what I have loved to do. That’s why I do what I do, and I need the creative outlet to stay sane during the day as a SAHM!
I hope you’re able to understand now that finding the time to blog while being a stay at home mom to little ones is not always easy. Life is chaotic and unexpected things happen during the day. These challenges we face will only help us grow and force us to work smarter and not harder. If you know someone who is struggling trying to work at home or to find the time to get stuff done while little ones around; please share this with them to let them know they are not alone!
Don’t forget to subscribe to receive fun weekly emails from me, including a weekly challenge so we can improve our lives together!
Whether you want to put in a ton of hard work to make a side income, grow it to become your full time job, or just have a creative outlet and a place to feel like you are connecting with other adults. Starting a blog would be the thing you would want to do, especially as a stay at home mom! Am I right?! (We need some more adults to connect with after only being around little kids all day long!)
Having a blog is also fun, challenging, and you get to be creative! Who wouldn’t want that?!
My blog is the one place I can go to and feel at peace. It helps remind me of who I was before I was a mom and how I used to love to write; and work my butt off in college. It was nice to find a little bit of my old self, again. I couldn’t imagine having to give up blogging, it would be like giving up the last little strand of myself from before I had kids. I enjoy writing, figuring out technical things, and staying on a schedule; I honestly enjoy working my butt off and trying to make a difference in the world! I know not everyone likes working hard, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment!
Enough about why I love writing and why I started my blog. Let me give you a few reasons why you should start a blog!! (These reasons are not in any particular order.)
1. The Sooner the Better
You can always try to convince yourself that you’ll start a blog someday, or when you have extra time or when you’re ready. But, guess what, if you don’t start now, then you probably never will; just like that diet you’ve been saying you’ll start tomorrow. Same thing goes with starting a blog.
Yes, it can be scary, at first. Writing and allowing others, possibly thousands or millions, read what you have to write. It can be nerve wracking at first. You may feel that your life is too boring and you have nothing to write about, or you suck at writing (even though you love it!). But, guess what else, you’ll get over the nervousness about posting what you write online, and as far as your writing goes; the only way to get better is to write more!
(Don’t worry, when you first start off you won’t get too many eyes on your blog; it takes time and effort to get a lot of eyeballs on your blog, and that’s a good thing! By the time you hit 1,000 page views in a month, you’ll be getting the hang out this blogging thing!)
2. Community and Support
If you’re not apart of this blogging world; you are missing out! Seriously, you are. You need to subscribe to some blogs right now that you’re interested in. Go ahead, do it now. This post will be here when you’re done. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
In fact, you should subscribe to mine!
Wanna know how I know this? Because that is how I got started with wanting to start my own blog. I subscribed to other blogger’s sites, and they were so positive and inspirational. I’ve never received so many emails from such inspiring people before.
Bloggers, in general and including myself, will completely support you as much as we can! We will be your cheerleaders when you’re starting out and help you out along the way with your blogging journey and just life. Yes, it’s a journey and not a destination. I don’t think I’ll ever want to stop blogging; it’s mine and it gives me a creative outlet and a place to connect with adults (this may not be the last time I bring this up, it gets a little lonely being a stay at home mom).
As for the HUGE learning curve that comes along with learning anything brand new; there are quite a few exceptional bloggers who have figured this whole blogging thing out, and whom share their knowledge about it. Their reason for sharing so much is to help you succeed! For the past year I have been taking free courses, receiving free printables, workbooks and videos. I’ve been wanting to buy some of the better courses and such, like EBA (Elite Blog Academy), but they can be a bit pricey.
(Update: I enrolled in EBA on March 5th, 2018!! I’m loving it so far….on unit 2 of 12, but worth the price just from what I’ve already learned and the overly supportive community!!! It only opens up once a year though, and only for one week. I’m not an affiliate for the course, but if you subscribe to get my emails, I’ll certainly let you know when it opens up next year!!)
3. Reduce Stress
You read that right! You can actually reduce stress in your life by writing on your blog! That is, if you enjoy writing. Writing is very therapeutic! It’s the way us introverts vent and speak to the world (without actually having to speak). And, venting is a great way to relieve stress, whether it’s writing or venting to some one in person.
Blogging helps me refocus on what’s important in life; my kids, healthy food, not having my head explode from the chaos around me all day as a SAHM! (Like when my two little girls worked together to paint the younger of the two green, like a baby hulk!!)
This is important stuff! Everyone needs a way to let out some steam once in awhile. For me, it’s writing, or blogging; being creative and being challenged. (Yep, having a challenge, whether technical or something else helps reduce my stress, along with coffee! Had to improvise today though, we ran out of creamer; I mixed in hot cocoa mix, instead! Delicious!)
If you are looking for some other ways to ease the chaos around you as a stay at home mom, check out:
Having a blog and putting yourself out there, especially as an introvert like me, will also help you grow as a person (which can reduce future stress)! For example, I was apart of an online virtual mom summit in early April this year. And by ‘being a part of’, I mean actually presenting! This was a huge step in my personal growth that I would not have had an opportunity for otherwise!
4. Be Heard
If you’re not an introvert like myself, then maybe you want to be heard loud and clear! You have a message to say and you can’t wait another minute! If this is the case then head over to SiteGround NOW (this is the host I use) and sign up for some hosting for your new site and your domain name (website address). Or, start a youtube channel, or a podcast; whatever it is that you feel is right for you!
Or, if you are like me and like keeping to yourself but you still want to be heard, on your own terms of course; blogging can be a safe way for you to keep your distance and be heard when you would like to. It’s your website; you call the shots! If someone reads what you have to say and leaves a mean comment, you can delete it (or not even approve it in the first place). This is your space, you own it, and it’s something that you can use to share whatever message or information you would like to share!
5. Monetize Sooner
If you have heard of blogging before, maybe as a way to make some quick cash, then I’m sorry to burst your bubble! It can take a lot of time and effort to build a profitable blog. And, unless you don’t work and don’t have kids, it’ll probably take you more than a few months to build a blog with enough posts and views to make money off of it.
Update: In complete transparency, I have made a total of $35.32 (and $8.52 I can’t touch until I reach a certain dollar amount to have it sent to my paypal). And, I’ve been blogging for about 15 months now. So, it’s not as easy to monetize as everyone says it is. Especially when you’re doing it by yourself and guessing in the dark for what works and what doesn’t!
If you do ever want to start making money with a blog, though, you’ll need to pay to host your blog. Unfortunately, you can’t really monetize a free website. It takes money to make money. Like I said before, I use SiteGround for my hosting. Their customer service is exceptional, I’ve had no issues with them whatsoever. Their customer service representatives seem to actually care about their customers, or possible future customers!. And, setting up wordpress (this is the behind the scenes dashboard of a blog) was a breeze.
If you continue to wait to set up a blog, that’s more time you’ll have to wait until you’ll actually start making any money from it. From my extensive research into blogging, research that I started about 2 years ago, before I even started my first blog; I learned that many of the very successful bloggers took anywhere from a year to 5 years blogging, to be like the successful bloggers today who make more than a grand a month. I don’t know about you, but I can only be so patient when it comes to making money. (This is why you also need to have a strong why to blog, that isn’t just to make money!)
6. Inspire Others
One of the best things about blogging is having the opportunity to inspire others! Whether you have an amazing recipe to share, or a story about how you were able to overcome some type of obstacle! Blogging is how you can share that story, or recipe, with others and have them keep reading what you have to write!
There is no better feeling than to inspire others! So many other bloggers have inspired me to do my best in every aspect of my life; healthy eating, parenting, organizing, and so on. I feel like I need to give back and inspire others. Keep the inspiration and positivity going!
At my last job before becoming a stay at home mom, my supervisor was all about having everyone stay positive. I’m not sure if she read blog posts or subscribed to bloggers email lists. But, she was all about being positive and trying to inspire us to stay positive. Blogging and having blogger mentors is kinda the same. Except, being the person, the blogger, who shares inspiration with others, is about a 10,000 times more fulfilling! To know that you wrote something that will change someones life for the better, or help them with whatever it is that they are struggling with; that is what blogging is all about!
7. Have More Purpose in Your Life
This goes along with the last reason. Except, if you’re a stay at home parent, having a blog may mean more to you than others. At least, that’s how it is for me. It can be challenging to be home all day with no adult interaction. It gets lonely, and you start to think that you put all that effort into earning your college degree for nothing. (Luckily, I went to school for psychology; super useful for caring for little ones at different developmental stages!)
But, having a blog gives you a voice; a voice that you may never have had before. It can give you a sense of hope and a way to connect with other adults. A way to use your college degree to actually help others (didn’t I say your blog is yours and you can do with it what you want). It can help you from losing your mind by helping others do the same (if you want). Sharing real life experiences with others to know and let other stay at home parents know; they are not alone, and that their kids are not the only ones who does what they do. Kids can do some pretty strange things, so it’s nice to know that your kids aren’t the only ones!
8. Do More of What You Want and Be Successful
Having a blog can also give you a platform for much bigger things!
Want to write a book? Create a blog! Use your blog as a platform to promote it on.
(My favorite cookbook (that I own a physical copy of) is The Oh She Glows Cookbook. The author of the cookbook started off as a blogger! She also has the only recipe for tofu that I’ve ever been able to get to work for me that I’ve actually liked!)
Want to get into speaking at conferences? Blogging can be the doorway to that, as well!
Creating online courses to teach your unique skills? Same for that!
When it comes to blogging, there’s an infinite amount of ways to go with it and grow your blogging career into something you could have never imagined otherwise! It can be amazing what opportunities can pop up for you, you simply have to put yourself out there! (Or, you can take little baby steps if you feel more comfortable with that. That’s the great thing about blogging; you get to go at your own pace! The first step being: starting on a self-hosted site, all your own!) You’re the boss! You call the shots!
Deciding on whether you want to start a blog or not can be a hard decision. It doesn’t have to be, though. If you’re in it purely for the money, as a get rich quick kind of thing; then I’ll have to tell you to not go for it.
Having a successful blog requires a lot of work, a lot of writing and technical work, graphic design, organization, and many other skills. It’s like running your own business. You should spend at least 5 to 10 hours a week working on aspects of your blog to stand a chance at turning it into something you’ll be proud of. (For example, I get up at 3am every morning to work on my blog, and hope that my girls don’t wake up til at least 5am, just so I can get a decent chunk of work done! My two year old is an early riser…)
If you have the time and love to write, and maybe need a way to escape the chaos in your life, then I would highly recommend you start a blog and keep at it. It can be so rewarding, whether you make money with it or not. It’ll be worth all the time and effort!!
If you want to subscribe to my blog, just hit the subscribe button below; I send out a weekly challenge every Friday to encourage you to be a little healthier, more organized, or to stay a littler saner through out the week with your kids!
Go ahead and share in the comments why you started your blog if you already have one set up!! Or, share what is holding you back from starting one!
And, feel free to contact me if you need any help getting a blog set up!