I’m so pleased to have Daria here today!!! Not only is she a local blogger and I like her, she and I just fit! It’s like we have been friends forever. She has some AH-MAZING tips for you today!!! I’ve learned a lot and hope you will too…
I’ve always been interested in websites and using websites as a means of sharing family stories and photos. In fact, I took a website development class from a local community college 12 years ago just for fun. I was lucky enough to have my company pay for it and I didn’t have kids, so often took classes that interested me.
I did a few things with my new found web knowledge:
- Put together a web site for my company,
- Developed a website for my stepsons’ school, and
- Created a personal website where I shared pictures and news about my boyfriend and his two adorable boys with friends and family.
At the time, there wasn’t such a thing as blogging and there certainly weren’t plug-ins and affiliate programs and twitter parties. Heck, there wasn’t even Facebook! But ultimately that’s what my first website was – a blog.
Ultimately, I let the website go because it made my stepsons’ mom upset that I was posting about her kids, plus I got
distracted with other things pregnant and didn’t have the free time to play around with it any more. But, the bug was still there in the back of my mind.
Fast forward 12 years…
Last summer, my husband started a remodeling business and I started looking into developing a website for it. All of a sudden, there were all of these How to Start a Blog articles popping up in my browser.
Once I had purchased a domain name and hosting for Simply Stunning (the business), I realized that the hosting was the same price regardless of how many sites I had. I had just had a conversation with a colleague that I really respected about her interest in writing a blog, plus had some work and family things I really wanted to get off my chest, and thought – what the heck!? Why not have a blog too?
So, I played around with various names and came up with some really cute ones. But they were ALL taken. Yep, not the first person to have thought up those fabulous blog names. Ultimately I ended up with two names – Everyday Woman Stuff and Mom in Management (MIM).
Originally, MIM was just going to be my “practice” page where I figured out how to set things up, the ins and outs of blogging, and played around figuring out if I even liked this whole blogging thing. I always thought I’d abandon it and come up with my real blog name once I figured out what I wanted to do with it.
**I never did anything with EWS because I had intended it to be a multi-author site, but never found others that wanted to contribute, so I let the name lapse.
Blogging Lesson #1 – Getting Started:
Don’t be so afraid of doing things right that you don’t ever make the plunge at all. If you want to start blogging, then do it! Just get out there, start writing, start building your network and your skill set. Learn as you go.
Blogging Lesson #2 – Blog Name:
There are definite negatives to changing the name of your blog (not insurmountable, but if you can avoid it by getting the right name first then you should). Try to come up with a name that you will be happy with and that has keywords in it that are important to what you are going to write about. If you want to get sponsored by brands someday then having Mom or some variation thereof in the title is likely a good idea. Using Nameboy to find out variations of names or names with the keywords you like in it is helpful.
Blog Lesson #3 – Making Money:
Even if you have no idea what you want to do with your blog, I’m sure you won’t turn down the opportunity to earn some extra pocket money. With that in mind, it is never too early to start monetizing your site. What does that mean? It means having ads on the sidebars or in your posts that link to affiliates.
Basically if someone clicks on a link from your site and signs up for something, you earn a few dollars. Don’t expect to make anything worthwhile at first, but don’t be afraid to design your site with a few ads built in so that people get used to the look from the beginning. Some sites that I’ve really liked include:
- Google Adsense
- Logical Media – they used to pay $25 just for signing up!
- My Savings Media
- Escalate Media Affiliate Network
You can also get paid for writing sponsored posts for people and doing reviews of products. Usually you need to wait until you get some traffic built up prior to being able to qualify for these opportunities. But once you have a few 1,000 pageviews a month (btw install StatCounter and Google Analytics to your site right away to track these) then you can apply to various opportunities like this.
Some organizations that provide these opportunities include:
- Mom Spark Media
- Clever Girls Collective
- Mom Central
- Business 2 Blogger
- Collective Bias
- Global Influence
Blog Lesson #4 – Network:
It took me awhile to realize that networking is just as important as a blogger as it is in any other profession. The old adage of “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” holds true in social media too. Make sure you get tied in with some local blogger groups, go to blogging conferences that come to your area, and get active on twitter.
- Support others in their endeavors.
- Work from an attitude of abundance (there is enough opportunity for everyone).
- Celebrate others’ successes.
- Work on being a good friend, adequate writer, and a great sharer.
- Share opportunities.
- Share praise.
- Share your contacts – introduce people to other people.
- Share your knowledge.
- Share your support. Trust me – it will take you much further than being territorial and excluding others.
There are tons of things I’ve learned in the past year and a half. Only a few of which are mentioned here. I wrote a few more blogging tips on my blog, but if you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to email me or tweet at me. I’ll answer if I can or point you to someone else that may know.
Daria is a working mom of 3 in Colorado. She blogs about finding balance between work and home at Mom in Managementand about saving money and building wealth on Saving to be Rich. You can also follow her on twitter ~ MominManagement.
So the list is really getting long, so please visit the new page I’ve added at the top titled “Blogging Tips” for ALL the past guest posters in this series. Exceptionally high caliber bloggers have so graciously contributed to this series and I’m so grateful!!
© 2011, Tara. All rights reserved.