I started blogging 10 years ago as a way to share, communicate and connect with other moms online. William was 2, Alex was 1 and I was about to give birth to Benjamin. As you can imagine, I was extremely interested in connecting with other moms in the “thick of it” as I was at that time. As crazy as this sounds, 10 years ago social media was just at the beginning. People weren’t on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. Blogging was – for all intents and purposes – all social media rolled into one. Comments were like liquid gold back then, comments were like Facebook comments. Thousands of women would tune into blogs every single day conversing and connecting and just being real. It was amazing and I just fell in love – head over heels in love – with this idea of sharing stories online.
I’m going to fast forward here, but as you know… social media started to change the world and how we receive and share information. Twitter became my next best friend, then Facebook, then YouTube and then Instagram and Pinterest. Call me crazy, but I still can’t get into SnapChat. I’ve tried it. I like it, but I just feel that my readers, they’re just not there. It’s fun to snap photos and see what my nieces are up to, but that’s about it!
Blogging changed my life. There’s really no other way to put it. When I started blogging, I never thought that brands and companies would start looking for moms to connect with and work with on digital campaigns. In fact, at the very beginning of my blogging time, I reached out to brands trying to explain to them what I could do with them on my blog. I distinctly remember reaching out to T.J.Maxx and pitching a “Mom Makeover” campaign, which they accepted and I did do! That for me was a big game changer because it was a tangible way for me to show other brands what they could do with a digital voice online. It was really around that time that I began to see the untapped potential in the social media waters.
Blogging has always been the base of what I do, it’s always been my foundation. Every other social channel I see as an extension of my blog. Not all readers are the same, each one comes to the “table” with their own interests (some love videos, some don’t… some love Instagram, some don’t, etc.) and social media loves. I have tried throughout the years to adapt and roll whatever is new on the social media front into what I do. When I partnered up with fellow blogger Vera Sweeney (and my bestie!), my world changed. There is power in numbers and we took different ideas as to how to connect bloggers and brands and started to create events – online and offline. Today we run AudreyandVera.com and have a bunch of different digital properties together. We’ve always seen the world of social media as a digital playground, always having fun creating fun and new content – either separately or together.
Recently, I’ve been getting a bunch of moms requesting information about blogging – how to start, what to do, where to begin?? I love these requests because blogging to me is everything. It’s a passion and it’s something that I feel is open and there for everyone to try out. I’m also honored to say that blogging and all that has come from it has supported my entire family for the last 5 years. That’s something that I’m extremely proud to share… so if you’re looking to potentially start a blog and turn it into a revenue stream (there are multiple ways to do this), yes – it’s possible.
Blogging for Beginners: Where to Start?
• 7 Tips:
- Find something you are passionate to blog about – what do you love? what won’t be difficult for you to wake up (every day or weekly) and write about?
- Think of a name for your blog that means something to you – don’t make it too quirky, make it something that is easy to write/spell and also easy to say.
- Buy your domain name – I have about 100+ domains bought, but this is the next step after you think of a name – make sure it’s available.
- Find a hosting for your blog – there are tons of hosting companies out there. I suggest researching and then settling on one. I remember calling different hosting companies and asking questions b/c I’m not tech savvy in that way. I need total help on the tech side, so I wanted to make sure they could fulfill that need. Also – you need to ask about prices and know what you don’t mind investing each month. Don’t worry – you won’t break the bank, the fees are small – but you want to make sure you know what your options are.
- Install WordPress – I HIGHLY suggest WordPress, it’s the easiest to navigate and it’s the most popular among blogs.
- After installing WordPress, find a theme. You can actually search “Free WordPress Themes” on Google and see what pops up!
- Create your blog from the theme layout OR hire someone to help you out. If you don’t know how to do it by yourself – ask on Facebook, ask friends – believe me, someone will be able to help you! I use a fabulous tech girl, so I can always suggest someone, too!
Blogging for Beginners: Now WHAT?
• 5 Tips:
- Editorial Calendar – Start laying out different ideas for blogs you would like to write. I still do this, even today! I always have a running list of blog post ideas.
- Start reading other blogs – This is a BIG tip because it allows you to start connecting with other bloggers. Want to know a great tip – LEAVE COMMENTS! I can assure you, they will be read!
- Stay consistent – This is probably the most important when you’re starting out. Don’t commit to every single day yet, start with 2 or 3 posts a week. That’s doable. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself too quickly at first Ease in.
- SHARE YOUR CONTENT – Start immediately. Email friends. Email family. Post your links on FB and let people know you’re starting out. This is a great way to start getting readers!
- Social Channels – If you’re not on other social channels, go get them! Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube… whatever you want, go get them and start incorporating them.
Blogging for Beginners: How Do You Get People To Keep Coming Back?
• 5 Tips:
- Be YOU.
- Be original and don’t be afraid to share what it is you want to say. Don’t shy away from what you want to put out there.
- Start looking into SEO Tips – how to name blogs posts, how to tag blog posts, etc. This is important. To be honest, I wish I did this when I started!
- Share GREAT photos! When I started out, my photos were HORRIFIC! The only excuse I can give myself is that the phones weren’t what they are today! I literally needed to take photos on a (God forbid!) camera and download them! Photos count!
- Just keep giving people a reason to come back. If you’re funny – be funny. If you’re sharing serious content, keep it coming. Whatever it is you’re writing about… make people come back. You’re inviting them in each day/week, so keep them coming!
OK! This is to start you off!
I will keep crafting post like this for bloggers looking to make money, grow and keep moving!
If you have any questions, ask below or email me: Audrey 523 @ mac.com