Inside: Everything you need to know to start a mom blog in 2018 to make money working at home.
EDIT: Today, 22nd February 2018, you can start a blog for as low as $2.95 per month for 12 months. affiliate link (That’s only $35.40 for the entire year!) Hurry, this deal ends SOON. PS – you also get a free domain name ($15 value) when you sign up for a year’s hosting with Bluehost!
How to Start a Mom Blog in 2018
I started my blog in January 2015 — and even in those three short years, I’ve seen the industry grow and change in so many ways!
The core information in those posts is still spot-on — the same basic principals to start a blog have not changed.
However, there are quite a few things about the industry itself that are different, so I decided to expand on my earlier posts and get a little more specific for how to start a mom blog in 2018.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- The first step to start a mom blog in 2018
- Choosing a host and setting up your WordPress blog
- How to set your mom blog apart from all the others
- What’s changed for bloggers in 2018
Start here first:
If you haven’t read any of my earlier posts, I highly recommend that you start with this one about how to create a blog from the ground up, and next read the 5 things I wish I’d known before I started my own blog.
Then meet me back here and I’ll update you on what’s new in the blogging industry for 2018!
Note: I’ve included ad and affiliate links for products/services that I use and love and that might be helpful for you too; read my disclosure policy here.
The Very First Step to Start a Mom Blog in 2018
The first step? Claim your very own place on the web!
By this I mean that you need to choose and secure a domain name (your URL or website address) and hosting (who will store your website data and serve it to your visitors).
While there are a few places you can start a blog for free, I recommend that you skip the free platforms and start right away with your own self-hosted website.
I talk about this in almost all of my blogging posts because I started on a free site and had to switch a few months later to a paid host. It was a bit of a hassle and I had to pay someone to make the switch because I didn’t want to risk losing any of my information or messing up.
Because I want to save you the time, extra costs, and trouble that I went through, I’ll briefly go over again why I encourage new bloggers to start out on their own self hosted website (instead of a free platform).
Why I recommend a self-hosted WordPress blog (WordPress.org that is)
- WordPress.com and many other free blogging sites place strict limits on monetization, so if your goal is to make money then this is not the option for you.
- On a free blogging service, your website URL will be long and cumbersome. Example: www.yourblognamehere.wordpress.com — yikes! Not only does it look less professional, but it will be harder for readers to remember.
- A self-hosted blog gives you control over your content, and you don’t risk losing everything if that platform closes or decides to shut down your site for any reason (rare, but it does happen). Essentially, with a free blogging site, you don’t totally own your own website and that is NOT ideal.
- If you start with self-hosted, you won’t need to pay to switch over later or try to figure out how to do it on your own. Because real talk, if you’re serious about blogging as a career, you will need to be on a self-hosted website. So much easier to just do it from the start!
Note: If you already are on a self-hosted website, feel free to skip down a few sections to “What’s Changed in 2018.”
If you haven’t started your blog yet, or are still on a free blogging platform then you definitely want to keep reading! The next couple sections cover choosing a host and setting up your blog.
There are SO many blog hosting options – how do you choose?
When I made the switch to a self-hosted blog, I looked at 3 factors to choose my hosting service:
- Price – I wanted to keep expenses as low as possible since I wasn’t making a profit yet.
- Service – I had a small amount of prior coding knowledge, but I wanted to make sure that I could call my host anytime if I had questions.
- Recommendations – I asked around! What host did other bloggers choose? Why? I even asked my tech-savvy friends in the computer programming industry who they thought would be best for me. One name kept coming up, and it really steered me in the right direction.
After all my research, the choice for me was clear: Bluehost.
They came highly recommended. Lots of other bloggers that I knew and trusted were also hosted by Bluehost. Plus, my close friend who’s been in the computer programming industry for decades highly recommended Bluehost.
They offer 24/7 service. That’s right, I could literally call anytime of day or night (and I did!!) to get help with my blog. This was invaluable when I noticed an attack on my website at 1:00am (bloggers sometimes work late) and they were able to get it stopped within minutes.
The price is right. To be honest, this was the deciding factor for me. As a new blogger, I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into expenses before I started making any money back! The good thing with Bluehost is that they offer starter plans as low as $2.95 (a special price just for my readers) and a FREE domain name (when you sign up for 1 year hosting plan).
Bluehost is trusted by over 2 million websites, their service is available 24/7, and the monthly fee for a starter plan is less than a cup of premium coffee — it was a no-brainer for me!
If you’ve researched hosting at all, you’ll probably see a few other companies recommended too. Understandable, as I’m sure there are other companies that offer good service too (though it would be hard to match Bluehost’s prices!)
I also want to address negative reviews you might see – a few negative reviews are a given for just about any business out there. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
What I can say to the negative reviews is that my experience with Bluehost was 100% positive. They provided my site with dependable service even when my traffic hit 200,000 page views a month or more (which is serious traffic)! When The Soccer Mom Blog hit 1/2 million monthly page views, I moved to a specialized host, but I still start new pages on Bluehost because the value is impossible to beat!
I feel confident recommending Bluehost because I used them to grow my site from a few thousand hits a month to hundreds of thousands of page views. I was able to quickly get through to customer service anytime (super important because I’ve seen bloggers get hacked and not be able to get in touch with their host for half a day!) Oh, and did I mention the price is pretty much the best in the industry?!
Click here to sign up with Bluehost through my link and you’ll pay LESS than their regularly-listed plans PLUS get a free domain name!
Still have questions? Find out more about why I chose Bluehost hosting here!
How to Set Up Your WordPress Blog
Once you have your host and your name settled, you’ve got to get your site set up. I walk you through this process in my Step by Step Guide to Set Up a WordPress Blog here.
You might also want to check out which blogging tools I use and recommend (and which you can skip).
Next, it’s time to nail down the vision and mission for your site.
How to Set Your Mom Blog Apart from All the Others
“Mom Blog” is a pretty broad website topic, but it is also one of the most profitable blogging niches! (Moms have a lot of buying power, and brands recognize that).
The key is to set yourself apart from all the other mom blogs out there – what makes your mom blog unique? What perspective do you offer that is different from other bloggers? How can you connect to readers in a way that no one else can?
I created this handy brainstorming guide for bloggers that will help steer you in the right direction – click here to check it out!
When creating a blog post, the 5 W’s are a helpful place to start:
- Who – Who are you writing for; what is your target audience?
- What – What is the topic of the post; your subject?
- Why – Why are you writing this post; what is your purpose?
- When – When will this post be relevant; evergreen content without an “expiration date” will benefit your readers and bring traffic to your website for years to come!
- Where – Where do you think this post will get the most engagement; is it a recipe that does well on Pinterest, a relatable parenting post that would get shares on Facebook, a step-by-step guide that’s searchable on Google?
- How – How will your post help your readers; what problem are you solving?
New bloggers (myself included in those early days) have a tendency to write “diary style” posts – along the lines of “what I did today.” While your close family and friends may enjoy keeping up with your life, it won’t be as relevant to total strangers.
Instead, weave personal experiences into your post to make it more relatable – but don’t make the entire focus of your post all about you.
Read more about writing your first blog post in this article from Sara, healthy lifestyle blogger at My Think Big Life.
Now let’s talk about what’s new THIS year – here’s what you need to know to start a mom blog in 2018…
What’s Changed for Bloggers in 2018
Now that we’ve covered the logistics of starting a blog (which don’t change much), let’s talk about what has changed in the past year!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- The growing blogging industry – is it still possible to join in now and make a successful business with your blog?
- Social media changes for bloggers – what you need to know with changing algorithms.
- The ONE thing you can do to make it in a changing industry.
1. A Growing Blogging Industry
It’s a fact, each years thousands and thousands of new blogs are created. You might know friends and family who have started their own blogs too.
So is there room for you?
The good news about a growing blogging industry is that brands are taking notice. More and more business are getting savvy to working with bloggers and influencers, so there are actually more opportunities now that even when I started blogging. Plus, brands are seeing the real value that professional bloggers can provide and they’re paying accordingly.
It’s not a pipe dream to want to make a legitimate part-time or even full-time income with a blog! It is possible!
I support my family with my blog, and I personally know dozens of other bloggers who do the same. I also know hundreds of bloggers who contribute significantly to their family’s monthly income, while doing work they LOVE.
Don’t be intimidated by the number of blogs out there. If you’re willing to put in the time and work, then there is room for you in the blogging world!
Most importantly, the world hasn’t heard your voice yet – and you have something new to offer that perhaps no one else has yet!
2. Social Media Changes You Need to Know About
When I first started blogging, Facebook had already switched to a “pay for play” model, with Facebook ads becoming a necessity for business page owners.
Some bloggers moaned about the “good old days” where ALL of their posts would get seen by ALL of their Facebook fans. However, the smart ones adapted and figured out how to get their posts seen by as many of their fans as possible.
I’ve seen bloggers grow a Facebook page from 0 to 100,000 fans in one year. I even know one gal personally who grew her page to over 700,000 fans last year!
So don’t listen to nay-sayers who tell you that Facebook is dead. It might be a little tougher than it was a few years ago, but real growth and traffic is still possible.
When I started blogging, Pinterest was a GOLD mine for traffic. All of my new pins were shared by hundreds of other pinners as soon as I posted them!
Then the algorithm changed….
Real talk: Pinterest is still a gold mine for traffic. (It’s my highest source of visitors by far!)
However, you’ve got to work a bit at it – your pins need to stand out from MILLIONS of others!
I’ve studied pins for the past two years and I’ve created a simple system that worked to triple my Pinterest followers in the first three months alone! It’s also kept my traffic growing even as algorithms make it tougher for bloggers to get noticed.
I compiled everything I learned into an easy to follow, self-paced course called Pins that Produce. Here I share ALL of my secrets for designing Pinterest images that stand out from the crowd and GET CLICKS.
3. The ONE Thing You Need to Do in 2018 to be a Successful Blogger
You might be surprised by this one…
The one thing you can do to start a mom blog in 2018 that can beat the odds:
CREATE QUALITY CONTENT
If you provide your audience with quality content, it will get seen.
The algorithm changes are not meant to hurt bloggers or make it hard on us. (At least I hope not!) The purpose is to make the experience better for the user.
Think about it – if you’re on Facebook and all you see is spam, then you’re probably going to log off. And Facebook wants us on there as much as possible!
So Facebook is going to make it harder for that lame stuff and junk posts to get seen. However, if you create and share content that your readers also love and share, then those posts will get seen.
The same goes for Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram…you name it!
So if you hear about algorithm changes, don’t panic!
Instead, keep learning, keep writing, and keep improving your craft.
Watch for what your readers respond to, and give them more of that type of content. If you give your readers what they want, they’ll keep coming back for more! (And they’ll tell their friends by sharing too!)
Read this Next: 10 Things that Keep People from Visiting Your Blog
What did you find helpful about this post? Are there any blogging topics you’d like me to cover in my next post?
Let me know in the comments below!
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Last updated on February 18th, 2018 at 05:30 pm
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