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Today I want to share with you how I showed my friend how to start a mom blog on WordPress.
So the other day my best friend Kaylee told me she wanted to start a mom blog. I must have given her a scrunched-brow look because she quickly added “…I know it’ll be hard, with work and the kids and all, but I think I can do it…”.
She’s right. She can do it, even with only a few hours a week that don’t involve taking care of others. Yep, It’ll be hard but she can do it.
And I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend. Because you know what?
It’s super easy to do.
I gotta say, now is the perfect time for her to start a mom blog because she only has a few hours to spare. She can start out small, work her way into it, not be pressured to become the next mom-blog superstar.
And because so many of you want to do the same, I thought I’d dedicate this post to you.
I can’t just let you all go off half cocked, though. It’s a big world full of mom blogs out there with the majority of them being on the free blogging platform WordPress. That’s one of the tools you’ll be using. The other one is In Motion Hosting and they both are really easy to get a grasp of.
If you really want to start a mom blog on WordPress then I hope you keep reading and realize it IS possible to do. I’ll go through all the things I told Kaylee before she started her blog, like how to come up with a blog subject, the tools to use, and how to get set up.
Let’s do this !
Why Moms Should Start A Mom Blog
I started out talking about my friend Kaylee. She starts her day rounding up her three kids, making sure they get off to school, then spends the next 6 hours helping out in a lawyer’s office. After work, it’s kid time. And dinner time. And let’s not forget homework and housework.
I think she’s superwoman. Just like all other moms I know…working or not.
Moms have real life experience and can simultaneously display many talents. They are super multi-taskers, have strong disciplinary skills, and are masters in delegation and dedication. Moms are naturals at arranging daily schedules and utilizing time efficiently.
That’s why I think moms would make great bloggers.
Can You Make It Work?
Even though moms can see around every corner, that doesn’t mean she can make blogging work. I know some moms who say they’re afraid they’ll be too lonely. Others tell me they’re not sure they are creative enough. So, to see if you have the chops…
- Carve out part of your day to commit to blogging?
Can you really find time to write blog posts? When do you have time to spare? 30 minutes in the morning? After bath time? During your lunch break ?
- Accept failure ?
At the risk of pulling out every cliche 🙂 Can you pick up the pieces and start over ? Brush yourself off when you fall down ? Do you have a thick skin ? You have to accept failure because it is part of blogging.
- Continue to churn out ideas and concepts ?
Can you generate new concepts ? Are you full of ideas ? Can you transfer them into blogging content ?
Yes ? Awesome ! You’re half way there.
A Few Bits Of Advice
If you don’t mind, I want to share a few pieces of wisdom. A few things I picked up along the way that just might make blogging a little easier for you.
Work Comes Before Blog
This is for all the working moms who want to start a blog. Your boss might get a little pissed-off if you do any of your blogging stuff at work. Save it for home. Unless you like the risk of losing your paycheck.
Be Honest With Yourself
From the start, tell yourself what you really want. What are your ultimate blogging goals? Obviously, to share what you know. But do you also want to make money ? The more time you can spend blogging the more money making potential you have. Yep, a perpetual blogging circle.
When I first started blogging, I thought I could get away with writing an article here and there. I knew I wanted to make money with my blog and I told myself I would be happy with a few hundred dollars a month. But my first $500.00 dollar month wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I had to do more than just write an article once in a while. I had to get my butt in gear, think creatively, and get serious about blogging.
Still with me? Great !
How To Start A Mom Blog On WordPress
Now you’re ready to jump in and get things rolling. Starting a mom blog on WordPress requires a bit more thinking, so I’ll tell you what I told my friend Kaylee. First, though, I want to tell you this: plan on spending around $100.00 a year to get your mom blog up and running. This is the cost of the blog name and hosting plan. There’s really no way around it – at least no way that gives you 100% control and ownership. I’ll explain more about these things later on. But if you’re serious, this is a super small price to pay.
And I gotta tell ya, if you 100% want to start a mom blog on WordPress, let’s put on those thinking caps.
Ok, let’s go.
What Kind Of Mom Blog Do You Want To Start?
Having an exact subject can sometimes be a little challenging. What you plan to write about now might change later. But that’s a natural part of blogging. Honing your niche pinpoints your passion and keeps you blogging about something you love. I know, this is one of those sayings that’s overused, but it’s true: If you don’t like what you blog about you’ll soon quit.”
Is your idea popular enough?
This goes hand-in-hand with the point I made above. How do you know if your mom blog idea is popular enough to stay alive? Well, to be honest, I think every idea has an audience. That’s the wonder of the internet – everyone is on it. But the farther out there your blog is, the less interest there is.
Let’s Narrow Down Some Ideas
Like I said earlier, there are a ton of mom blogs out there so having a new spin on the whole niche will give you a better chance of growing your blog. And we know that a busy blog means more money potential.
Here are a few Ideas Kaylee and I came up with:
- Newborn learning lessons
- Toddler learning lessons
- Kids crafts
- Teaching Manners
- Healthy eating for toddlers
- Kid fashion
- Single parenting
- Lunch kits
- Mom fashion
- Life as a working mom
- Raising a family on a farm
- Kids and their sports
- Family meal planning
- How to be a healthy mom (yoga, healthy eating)
- Organizing tips
- Makeup for moms
- Kid’s room décor
- Dating as a single mom
Wondering how you’re supposed to devote an entire blog to some of these topics, like lunch kits ? Like I told Kaylee, the idea is the main subject of your blog, with mini-subjects worked in. Using the lunch kits idea: you can blog about some of the lunches you pack, how you pack them, how nutritious they are, your kid’s “review” of the lunches. And you can throw in a story about how to get out those blueberry stains. Mix up the ideas a little bit.
Here are some cool, inspirational blogs to check out:
MomTrends, by Nicole Feliciano. She writes about all things mommy including fashion, travel and hobbies.
5dollardinners, by Erin Chase. She loves to share budget friendly recipes and help people spend less money on groceries.
momtomomnutrition is a fantastic blog covering nutritional advice from registered dietitian Katie Serbinski.
TheMogulMom, by Melissa Bolton. This is a great blog that shows moms they too can run a business and a mommy life.
Now For The Easy Stuff: The Tools
So hopefully you have an idea of what kind of a mom blog you want to start. Now let’s focus on how to get the blog up and running. I’m not going to write about the ton of options you have, because that might take all day. I’ll just show you how I helped Kaylee get her blog off the ground. Which is actually easier than you may have heard because a lot of the work is done automatically and seamlessly.
The two tools you’ll be using are:
- WordPress, for the actual blog. This is the platform where your blog will be designed and where you will write your blog posts. It’s free, easy to use, and offers a lot of options to make a nice looking blog. You don’t have to be a programmer or web designer. Pretty much just click and go.
- In Motion Hosting to “host” your blog data on the internet. This is a necessary tool and works seamlessly with WordPress. Remember, though, this will cost you around $100.00. There are other host options out there that might be cheaper, like Blue Host Hosting, but I like In Motion. I personally use them and I have NEVER had any problems. Plus, they will automatically set up the beginnings of your WordPress blog (which is a hard to do otherwise).
Here’s How To Do It, In 3 Easy Steps:
Step #1 You need a name
Some call it a domain name, some call it a blog name, I just call it a name. And it will have the “.com” suffix. Like this: The Wary Worker (name) = thewaryworker.com. Go ahead and be creative. But – if I can be a little bossy here – don’t make it too long. That makes it harder to remember. And harder to type into the internet. Spend some time brainstorming and come up with several names you like. I say several because when you get to the middle of step 2 you’ll probably have to try a few of your names.
Got your names written down? Ok, now you’re good to go to step 2.
Step #2 You need a Host, aka a place to store your blog.
This is known as a host account and this is the bulk of your $100.00 annual expense.
This is what you want to do:
Go to In Motion Hosting . On the main menu, hover on Web Hosting and then select WordPress Hosting (or click the WordPress Hosting section as I have shown here).
Because this is your first blog, I suggest buying the cheapest plan. As of today, it is $6.99 a month for two years. For newbies, this is a perfect plan. You can always upgrade later. Anyway, click the order now button, and then the 2-year option. Yes, you can click the 1 year option but let’s be positive here. You’ll be blogging for 2 years 🙂
Next, You’ll want to select which data center to use. Don’t worry about wanting to know too much about this, just select the East or West coast button, depending on if you life closer to the East or West coast of the USA.
This is important: in the Content Management System Auto Installer section, select the Install WordPress option. This will automatically set up WordPress so you can create and work on your blog.
Then hit the Continue button.
The next screen will look like this:
Remember the names you thought about in the first step? Enter the one you like best here and hit the search button. In Motion will automatically check to see if it’s available. If it is, great. If not, try your next favorite name. Add your name to the cart and hit the Continue button.
A little side bar here: You have to initially buy a name, then renew it every year. Your name costs anywhere from a few dollars to $15.00 a year and when you first buy it, it will be included in the total price charged by In Motion. Don’t worry, you’re not missing out or spending more doing it this way. You’re actually saving a few steps in this automation.
Like all other blog hosting companies, In Motion does a little up-selling. You can ignore all the little add ons because you don’t need them.
Almost there ! You just need to enter some login information and billing info..
When all done and paid for, In Motion will send you a few emails: A receipt for your purchase and a “welcome” email showing you the technical details. In this welcome email, you want to pay close attention to the WordPress Details portion. It shows how to get to your blog via WordPress. Because remember, WordPress.org is the platform you’ll use to write your blog.
Step #3 Go To WordPress
So now you’re all set up and ready to go. See, told you it was easy. Now go to your blog via the link included in the In Motion email you just got. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard where you will make a few changes
This is what your dashboard will look like (image courtesy of wordpress.org):
Take a look around. See what all those links on the left do. Don’t worry, you won’t break anything. Now’s the time to get busy and make your changes.
Ready ? Here we go…
Change #1 The Details
On the left side of your dashboard, you want to click the Settings option, then click General Settings. This is where you enter your site title and tagline. In the case of TheWaryWorker.com, the site title is The Wary Worker and tagline is Skeptics Guide To Working From Home. Fortunately, all the other important stuff is already inserted, thanks to In Motion Hosting.
Change #2 The Beautiful Theme
This is the final step before you start writing your blog. And the most fun. I love browsing through the themes because new ones are added every day. The theme you pick is the overall look and feel of your blog so you might want to browse through the large selection. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance, Themes, then click the Add New button. You can preview any theme before you install it, or just quickly install one and start working with it. To preview, hover over a theme image and click the Details and Preview button. If you like what you see, click the Install button. Done !
Change #3 Customize
Now that you have a theme installed, you want to customize it. Depending on what the theme creator allows, and has built into the theme, you have several things you can change: color scheme, layout, font, menu location. Go to Appearance, then Customize. This is where all the customization options are displayed. Play around with your choices. Pick new colors. See what the different layouts look like. Have fun.
Change #4 Start a New Post
Ok, so this isn’t really a change. It’s a start. In the left-hand column of links, click on Posts and then Add New. You guessed it, this is where you start writing your first mom blog post. Just click your curser in the Title box and type in a title for your first blog post. Plop your curser in the big white box under the Title section and start typing your post.
This is what a blank Post screen looks like:
Change #5 You Need Some Plugins
The definition of a Plugin, according to WPBeginner is ” A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites…” That pretty much says it all. There are plugins that let you add floating social share buttons, slide shows, and backup functionality.
The plugin I recommend, right off the bat, is Yoast SEO. This will install little hints about your newly written post so you can improve your blog’s optimization.
To get the Yoast SEO plugin (or any other plugin, for that matter), do this:
In the left-hand sidebar, hover on Plugins, click Add New. Then, in the search box located on the right, type the words Yoast SEO. Look for the Yoast SEO plugin that comes up, click the install button, then activate the button. Done.
This is what the screen looks like:
There you have it. I bet the whole process took less than 30 minutes. And if you have any issues with the installation of WordPress, you can contact In Motion Hosting, 24/7. They’ve been very helpful to me.
And, because Kaylee wanted to know about some extra functions WordPress has, I told her about my favorite WordPress learning blog. So much stuff to soak up.
The Ugly Part Of Starting A Blog
Sorry to tell you this but I wouldn’t be a great teacher if I didn’t: There are some negatives that come with blogging. Don’t worry though, they can be overcome.
Ready to hear them?
- It will take a long time – like maybe a year or more – before your blog really starts rolling.
- You won’t make much money – if any – for a while. Just give it time.
- You have to keep at it. A stagnant blog won’t interest people. You don’t have to write a blog post every day but you do have to add new content to it every once in a while.
Taa Daa ! You Now Have A Mom Blog On WordPress
How cool is that ? You are officially the newest member of the mom blogging world. I wish you all the best in this endeavor and hope for great success. Please feel free to let me know how you’re getting on with your new blog.
And most importantly: have fun!