How to Start a Mom Blog & Make Money Blogging
Hey momma! If you’re anything like me, you’ve wanted to start a mom blog for a while now. Maybe you’ve even gotten a bit of a start. Whatever your story so far, you still need that secret sauce to learn how to get your blog running and start making money.
The good news is that learning how to start a mom blog and make money blogging isn’t complicated. It’s hard work, and you should be ready to buckle down and really push yourself, but you can do this!
Here are the steps I used to start a mom blog and make money almost immediately!
Even if you’ve already completed some of these tasks, I highly recommend going through them from start to finish. You may find a trick you haven’t used yet.
- Start a Mom Blog and Get Hosting
- Make It Visually Appealing
- Create Your Mailing List
- Install These Must Have Plugins
- Create and Organize Your Content
- Checklist and Mistakes to Avoid
- Make Money Blogging
Note: this page does contain affiliate links. I only recommend resources and services that I truly believe in, and any money earned from your signing up helps me keep this information free. Thanks so much for your support!
Start a Mom Blog
The first step is to dive in and create your blog!Those who always look before they leap seldom make the jump. #mompreneur #momblogger
Now, I’m not going to go into the logistics of setting everything up start to finish here because I want to focus on giving you the tips you haven’t already heard.
The skinny version is sign up for an annual plan using this link so you can get my special low price, then use their 1-click WordPress install, and you’re golden. Hosting your own website like this (at only about $3 per month!) rather than using a free blogging platform allows you to actually own your blog and monetize it. Bluehost even includes a free domain with your purchase!
BUT just in case you need it…
I have a full breakdown of how to start your blog with Bluehost (with screenshots) here.
Another host I recommend specifically for WordPress is WPengine! I’ve personally used it for 3 traffic (and plugin) heavy websites and love the speed it offers, not to mention the amazing customer support.
Make It Visually Appealing
A visually appealing blog is important, so the theme you choose is essential. For one, people like looking at beautiful things. Two, your blog’s style and appearance are part of your brand and helps your readers connect with you.
Think of the feelings you get when you visit different blogs and websites?What type of feeling do you want your readers to have? #branding #momblogger
To find a theme from within WordPress, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New. These themes are completely free (some have a paid option PRO version), and they are vetted by Automattic, the creators of WordPress. If they’re in this area, you know they are good quality and coded well. Installation and activation is as simple as clicking ‘Install’ and ‘Activate.’ Then you’re all set to start customizing the theme.
Remember that simplicity sells. The less crowded your website is with fancy widgets and flying social share bars, the more successful your blog will be. Trust me on this!
If you have the ability to spend a little and invest in your blog (and I suggest you definitely do so), check out Restored 316 for beautiful premium WordPress themes that are perfect for mompreneurs and mom bloggers.
One of the perks of going with a premium theme is that premium support accompanies them, so you’ll have access to a full breakdown of how to completely configure your theme along with a real person to go to if you have any questions along the way.
I’d suggest taking a look at Restored 316’s Refined Theme and then enrolling in their FREE workshop to walk through all of the theme’s features and setup. Note: the website says the workshop was in April, but you can still watch the replay.
Create Your Mailing List
A mailing list or email list outside of your website is absolutely essential to make money blogging. An email list allows you access to your subscribers’ inboxes (a powerful place to be) so you can take advantage of multiple revenue streams.
Think of it this way:
If you only use a native subscription built in with WordPress plugins like Jetpack, you have to write a blog post to get that information delivered to your subscribers. However, if you use an external email marketing service, you can format post notification emails that match your blog’s brand and send emails notifying your subscribers about additional opportunities that create revenue for you, even if those opportunities might not make a good blog post. This could be a product from an affiliate network, your new email course, or an ebook you just published.
There are two email marketing services I recommend for different reasons.
This is the one I personally use. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers, which is great to help you minimize costs as you get started, and their premade templates and drag and drop interface make setting up your blog post notifications fast and easy. Plus, if you ever decide to move to a different service, exporting all of your subscriber data takes just a few minutes.
Now, while I haven’t personally used ConvertKit, it comes highly recommended by almost every blogger I know, many of whom I admire and have even taken learning courses from. ConvertKit does come with a small monthly cost, but it is minimal, and I consider it an investment into your business.
After You’ve Chosen…
Whichever service you go with, create a welcome email that is delivered to your subscribers as soon as they sign up. This welcomes them to your list and establishes the personal relationship that will allow you to effectively monetize your blog later.
Finally, create an RSS driven campaign to send your blog posts to them as they’re published on your blog. This type of campaign is useful for keeping your subscribers engaged and allows you to automate the process. There is nothing worse than having to spend hours creating a blog post and more time mirroring it in an email to your subscribers.
Install These Must Have Plugins
Plugins are a way to add just about any feature imaginable to your WordPress website. But be careful! Too many plugins can really slow down your site on the backend and completely clog up your website on the front end. This turns away readers.
In the beginning, Google Analytics just isn’t necessary in my opinion. Once you start getting the hang of blogging and monetization techniques, then feel free to install the Google Analytics plugin. Until then, Jetpack can track your traffic stats and provide insight about what pages on your website are the most popular and what websites are sending traffic your way.
Jetpack also comes with the ability to help filter spam comments and malicious login attempts. This helps keep your website safe and spam-free!
Send Image to RSS
I talked earlier about creating a mailing list and an email campaign to deliver blog posts to your subscribers, so it’s important that the Featured Image set for each blog post be included in that email. The RSS feed is what your email marketing service pulls that blog post information from, and this plugin makes sure the image gets added to your RSS feed.
Social Warfare and Social Warfare PRO This plugin is a true must-have for every serious blogger, and if you really want to start a mom blog that is successful, you need to invest just $29 per year in this plugin. Not only does is come fully packed with features, but it loads quickly and can increase the amount of social shares on your blog 3x!
Due to multiple issues over the last year and a massive zero-day attack, I no longer recommend using Social Warfare or Social Warfare PRO.
I’ve made the switch to Social Pug and was able to easily migrate all my social proof and saved post settings from Social Warfare to Social Pug within just a few minutes. I also enjoy the same features, customization options, and power with Social Pug PRO as I did with Social Warfare.
Once you’ve installed
Social Warfare (free) and Social Warfare PRO, configure your settings accordingly. I recommend only enabling a few share options like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Stumbleupon Mix to prevent readers from seeing too many options and then selecting none.
You also want to enable share counts to be displayed as social proof that readers love your content, but set the threshold minimum to be around 20 or so. This means that it won’t display your total share count until the post is proven popular.
Arguably the best SEO plugin around for WordPress, Yoast SEO is a completely free way to start a mom blog off in the best way possible. This plugin provides SEO and Readability scores in real time. Below your content, it also displays an area where you can customize how SEO friendly your post is.
Create Compelling Content
As soon as you start a mom blog, the impulse is to write one post and start promoting your blog. STOP right there! By giving in to your excitement, you could spend hours promoting your blog only to lose the readers you worked so hard to attract.
That’s because people love options! They want to be able to walk into a shoe store and browse through all the different types of shoes just as they want to visit a blog with an established library of content.
Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to start big. Writing up about 20-25 posts is a great starting point. Here are some ideas for content when you start a mom blog:
- 5 Things I Did Not Expect When My Baby Was Born
- My C-section Was Not Taking the Easy Way Out
- Ways to Calm a Colicky Baby Without Losing Your Sanity
- The One Thing I Wished I’d Packed in My Hospital Bag
- How to Throw a Baby Sprinkle
- Why I Decided to Finally Start a Mom Blog
- Meal Planning Ideas on a Budget
- 10 Homemade Baby Food Recipes
Notice how each title is crafted to draw the reader in. When a title promises to reveal the mystery of what item you forgot to pack as you rushed out the door to have a baby, people want to discover that mystery. Lists of absolutely anything are also reader favorites.
Checklist and Mistakes to Avoid
- Have I checked that my site loads well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices?
- Is my content well written and unique in some way?
- Am I giving people something they need?
- Have I tested my blog and experienced what my readers will experience?
- Is it easy to find information about my blog, disclosure, and contact method?
- Can my readers easily share my content?
- Is my subscription box easy for readers to find?
Avoid these blog killers:
- Do NOT require users to sign in to comment on your posts! Make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to engage with you. Use spam filtering tools instead.
- Do NOT require users to complete a captcha to leave a comment on your posts. Again, the burden of preventing spam should be on you and not your readers, so use spam filtering tools instead.
- Do NOT ignore your subscribers. You don’t have to reply to every comment, but make a point to respond to the majority of comments on your blog and social channels.
- Do NOT load your posts with tons of photos. Yes, your subscribers want beautiful visual content but not at the expense of slow page load speeds. I prefer a feature image at the top of the post and no more than 1-3 photos in the content itself.
- Do NOT make share buttons hard to find or use.
- Do NOT bombard your readers with popups. Use one popup for your newsletter and that’s it! Make sure it’s also mobile friendly.
Make Money Blogging
If blogging was a list of steps, “how to start a mom blog” would be step one and “how to make money blogging” would be dead last. That’s because creating a blog isn’t about you. Reciprocity is the societal norm that says if I give you something, you give me something back, and blogging should follow this norm.
When you start a mom blog, first think about how you can help other moms. If you start with that mindset, you’re focusing on building a relationship with loyal readers, and making money from your blog will happen faster.
For the most part, I recommend utilizing affiliate marketing as a good way to monetize your blog from the start. Later, you can look into sponsorships and banner advertising, but with a small number of readers and pageviews, affiliate marketing is going to be the most lucrative.
I could go on for days about the best ways to begin earning money through affiliate marketing, but let’s just hit the basic do’s and don’ts for now.
- DO join affiliate networks like Shareasale.
- DO place affiliate links within relevant content and as naturally as possible.
- DO create content that works well with the merchants you’re promoting.
- DO work with quality merchants with good online reputations.
- DO promote products that your audience really cares about.
- DON’T overload your blog with affiliate banner ads and products everywhere.
- DON’T create blog articles for the sole purpose of promoting affiliate products.
- DON’T spam your newsletter subscribers.
- DON’T forget to read the terms of each merchant you work with.
- DON’t promote products or services that you’re not familiar with.
A Quick Recap
So, now that you’re well versed in how to start a mom blog and making money doing it, let’s do a quick recap, also known as your current to do list. #momboss
- Sign up for Bluehost hosting and snag your free domain.
- Install WordPress and choose a beautiful theme like this one.
- Create a mailing list and set up a campaign to email blog posts to readers.
- Install the recommended plugins, like Jetpack and Social Warfare.
- Write 20-25 blog posts and include share worthy images in each.
- Double check the blogging checklist above.
- Become an affiliate at networks like shareasale.com.
- Optimize your old and new content with strategic affiliate links.
- Start engaging with other moms in the blogging community and build your audience!
Remember, boss lady, you got this!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’m totally in your corner!