Being a parent and a blogger has its challenges, the main one being time. We don’t have much time. We have our families, our kids to take care of, and that’s ok. However we have dreams and hopes and we want to be bloggers. Is it impossible? Absolutely not 🙂 it is very much possible and in this blog post I will give you some pointers and hopefully I can help you get started.
Here are some advice that I want to share with you, in no particular order.
- Choose a topic but not worry too much: Before you start blogging, think about what you want to blog . Consider your interests and passions, and write down a few topics you find interesting. Is your passion food? Is it make-up? Is it home cleaning? Is it family finances? Is it lifestyle? I encourage you to start writing, just creating content, even on a free WordPress.com site. I know, it goes against everything I say online about going on a self hosted WordPress installation, but hear me out. I was listening to a talk by Vanesa Lau. She is extremely talented and a very successful Youtuber. She said she wanted to be a content creator and she was passionate about make-up. However, when she started creating videos about make-up she realized that she didn’t enjoy making content about it. The point of this story is to not worry about discovering your passion before you start your blog. Just start creating your content, about what you think you are passionate about, to actually see if it is something that brings you joy, and if not, experiment with other topics. You can listen to her talk here.
- Choose a blogging platform: This once goes hand in hand with point 1, but if you already know what you want to write about then you need to decide which blogging platform you want to use for the long run. Popular options include WordPress.com, WordPress.org (or self hosted), Squarespace, Wix, and more. As you might have guessed, I personally recommend WordPress.org but if you just starting out, hear me out, go with WordPress.com to start writing. Once you have established your writing a bit, you can move to wordpress.org. It’s actually very easy to transfer your content over there. Please note, this is not something I know first hand, but I have heard it from other WordPress developer colleagues of mine that I trust. When it comes to Wix, if you choose to go with them and at some point you want to move to a different platform, the process is not smooth. They don’t have a way to export images so only that is a deal breaker for me. Unless you want to stick with Wix forever, which if it satisfies your needs, then by all means go ahead. But I do recommend WordPress (org) because it is scalable and very flexible.
- Write your first blog post: Once you have chosen a platform, you are ready to start writing your first blog post. Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. But don’t overthink it. Just start writing and consider again point 1.
- Find readers: This is also very important but don’t worry too much. It’s very important to build an audience of course, but it takes time. As with everything, if you want to build an audience for your blog, you will need to promote it. Consider joining blogging networks, using social media, and reaching out to other bloggers in your niche. Twitter and Facebook groups are great for advice, support and engagement. I’m a member of a few Facebook groups that are supportive and helpful.
- Engage with your readers: Once you have an audience, it is important to engage with them. Reply to comments, ask questions, and encourage feedback to keep readers interested. A newsletter, which I haven’t done yet here, is a great idea.
Let’s talk about time management
Ok, great, enough with the technical blogging tips you might say. What about time management, or “how do I to find time to blog?”
I will tell you what works for me and hopefully it can help you too.
Well, I do get tired, so I’m not going to sugar coat anything. It’s hard work. But the majority of my blogging happens when my son is asleep. This is when I find a couple of hours to focus on my website and on my posts. Since it’s not my day job, I can’t dedicate 8 hours to my blog, but still, I schedule a few days, like for instance Mondays or Wednesdays, to sit down and create some future blog posts. Or when I have some days that are less busy than others, I might be able to be more productive and compose 2-3 blog posts, first the outlines, so let’s say I create the outlines on Monday, then on a different day, I compose the article, like I did with this one, and then I publish it, or schedule it. If I manage to create 2-3 blog posts then I schedule them to be published once per week.
I’m not always as consistent but I try and I have it as a goal this year to publish at least 2 blog posts a month. Why 2 and not 4? Well, if I manage to write 4 then that’s amazing, but I’m setting my realistic goal. Which is another important point for your blogging career and that is:
Set realistic blogging goals
Be real and honest with yourself. You don’t have to write every day. I know, we get excited when we start a new project so you might end up writing 10 articles at the very beginning, but after a while you might slow down your pace and that’s ok. So set a realistic goal. Can you do one per week? Awesome. Can you do one per month? Fantastic.
Setting a realistic goal is very important as it is the key to your success. Because if you set unrealistic goals, then your blogging might end up making you feel stressed, negative feelings, which might lead you to quit. However, if you have a consistent, realistic content schedule, then you definitely have more chances maintaining your blog and succeeding.
I hope what I say makes sense. If it does let me know in the comments and also tell me what are your realistic blogging goals?