Congratulations! Among potty training, keeping the Tower of Laundry from toppling over and sweeping Cheerios up off the kitchen floor, you’ve carved out a few hours a week to start a blog. As self-gratifying as a blog can be for a mom, it can actually bring in extra cash.
You can monetize your blog with resources such as ads, affiliate links or donation buttons. First your blog has to be ready to move to that next level. Invest in your blog’s profitable future by doing the following.
Find Your Niche
A blog with a distinctive personality will stand out among the crowd. Moms blog about a mixed bag of topics — everything from product reviews to product recalls. Whether you’re the friendly mommy next door or the penny-pinching mom who can squeeze a buck so tightly the eagle screams, know your niche before you start shopping for banner ads.
Choose a niche topic that is broad enough to appeal to a wide audience but narrow enough to let you specialize as an expert. Google’s guidelines for bloggers can help you get started. Create a subject you love, because you’ll be spending a lot of time on it, and choose something with plenty of related products and services to attract advertisers. Possibilities might include taking family vacations, saving money on groceries, feeding kids healthy meals, and getting the whole house organized.
Master Your Domain
Subdomains are for amateurs. Literally. If you’re going to be a professional blogger, you need your own domain. Getting your first domain can be a little scary.
Here are some of the basics:
- Can I host my website on my home computer?
Maybe, but it’s not a good idea. Your contract with your Internet service provider may not let you host a website, and trying to host your own site can make your personal information vulnerable to hackers. Web hosting services have never been more affordable, and your host can be a valuable source of information when you have questions about how your website works.
- How much bandwidth do I need?
Most hosting packages offer 200 GB to 6,000 GB of bandwidth. Hosting solution providers such as these hosting companies offer an unlimited bandwidth option so you won’t have to boost your bandwidth as your blog grows in popularity.
- Do I have to learn programming languages?
No. Many web hosts offer easy-to-use website design software that that runs programs behind the scenes. The software automates routine tasks like publishing and editing ads.
Keep It Current
Improve your blog’s ranking in Google search results by including information-rich features and publishing fresh content regularly. Frequency matters, but so does quality. Publishing one worthwhile blog post a week is better than publishing five low-quality posts.
The world waits for your words, images and videos, but be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to consistent blogging. Many bloggers produce multiple entries in one sitting so they have posts scheduled to be published, even when a sick child keeps them away from the computer. With consistent posts comes consistent traffic.
Moms don’t have to be reminded to maintain their social connections. A study conducted by Scarborough Research showed that nearly 90 percent of all mom bloggers have visited at least one social networking website in the past 30 days.
Maintaining social buttons on your blog is only the beginning. Cross-marketing on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and tomorrow’s flavor of the week is an essential part of your blog marketing plan, and one that demands time and attention. Social media management services such as Hootsuite, SocialOomph and TweetCaster can help automate the process. Hootsuite and Tweetcaster offer a free app for your Android, iPhone or iPad, and SocialOomph has a free web-based offering.
Edit, Tweak, Repeat
You may have heard Internet entrepreneurs refer to blogging as “passive income,” but there’s nothing passive about it. Successful bloggers actively manage their sites. Optimizing search engine results is an ongoing process that can help your blog generate revenue. There is no secret sauce called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that you can pour on your blog. SEO includes quality content, relevant images, easy navigation and website promotion. Google’s SEO Starter Guide can help you optimize your blog.
Author Bio: Randi Cork is a mom and grade school teacher who blogs about parenting, the environment and green living.