I decided to start my parenting blog when my son was fighting for his life in the NICU. Max and his twin sister Mathilda were born 10 weeks earlier than expected and it was the hardest time of our lives. We had battled through several hard years of infertility treatment and now our newborn babies were lying in intensive care. It was at that moment that I decided to start a blog to help parents through infertility and coping with premature babies.
I’ve learned so many lessons in my first 4 months as a blogger and what I have learned will help you to get your blog off the ground. In a very short amount of time, I have been featured on television, radio, written for newspapers and guest posted for a lot of other blogs.
Here are 13 valuable tips for new parenting bloggers.
1. Be Unique
Thousands of new parenting blogs are created every day. When I started blogging I knew that my story was unique and worth telling. Our journey through IVF and then having premature babies is not something that men write about. As Max lay in intensive care with a collapsed lung I decided to share our story. Being unique has made me stand out, driven a lot of traffic to my site and got me featured on TV and radio.
2. Have a Why
My reason for blogging is that I want to have more time with my children. When I saw them in the hospital I realized what is important for me, and that is being with my children. I still work full time but the goal is to blog full time. My “why” is that I want to create an income that is independent of time and I can work on my own schedule. It is an audacious plan but it drives me to write every day.
3. Be consistent
This is the hardest part. Blogging is a thankless job at the beginning. I have made some money from sponsorship, affiliate sales and Adsense but you have to play the long game to turn it into something lucrative. You have to write every day or at least 5 days per week to start getting found in search engines. I try to publish between 2-3 posts per week. If you have the money then you can also pay writers to write for you.
4. Be vulnerable and honest
Being open and honest and putting yourself in a position of vulnerability is not easy, especially for a man. You open yourself up to ridicule and public humiliation. I will never forget the day I clicked publish on my first post and shared it on Facebook. My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty. “What will people think of me being infertile?”, I thought. From the get go it got a lot of attention, and I have received mostly positive feedback for being so vulnerable and honest.
5. Write down your blogging goal
This might sound ridiculous but my goal is to have the best parenting blog on the internet within 2 years. Having big goals like this will excite you and help you to get out of bed in the morning. Refer to it every morning when you get up and when you go to bed each night. This will help to keep you motivated.
6. Write helpful and useful content
Make your content as useful and helpful as possible. Writing about yourself is okay on occasion but it is not what people are searching for. Write about topics that will genuinely help people and based on what people are searching for on google. This will help you to write SEO friendly content and help you to be discovered at zero moment of truth.
7. Don’t care what anyone else thinks
When you are writing you should write posts that help other people. If you are writing posts that are helpful for people then you should not care what anyone else thinks. Putting yourself in the public eye means that you will encounter criticism. Don’t listen to the critics. It is a waste of time. Focus on why you are blogging and the people you are helping.
8. Keep a blogging calendar/schedule
You should keep a blogging calendar. This is for your internal use only. If you schedule days that you should be doing particular tasks then you will be more productive. Here is a brief overview of my blogging and social media calendar.
Mondays – Blog Post – Preemie Series – (will change) – Instagram, Twitter 5 tweets, Facebook post, back-linking,
Tuesdays – Guest Post – Twitter, Facebook, Back-linking
Wednesdays – Product review, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Back-linking
Thursdays – Parenting, Back-linking, Twitter, Facebook, Friday – List – Instagram, Twitter 5-1, Facebook, back-linking
Fridays – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Back-linking
Saturdays – Twitter 5-1, Facebook, Back-linking
Sundays – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, back-linking, Review the week and plan for next week
9. Be Disciplined
This goes hand in hand with tip 3, be consistent. Writing a truly good blog requires discipline and hard work. I write before work, on my lunch break and when my babies go to sleep. I try to write for at least an hour every day. Some days, I do not get to write at all and some days I write for 5 hours. Having a schedule and blocking time will help you with discipline.
10. Prioritize and reward yourself
Content is king. If you’re writing your own content then you have to prioritize writing before everything else, excluding family and work. If you love to work out in the morning then you should only allow yourself to work out after you have written for an hour.
11. Go to bed early and get up early
Going to bed early and getting up early will help you to find those extra hours to write. Try to get to bed by 10.30 and read for half an hour. Lights go out at 11 and you can wake up between 6 and 7 without an alarm. If you want to have a successful blog then you will need enough sleep. Early to bed early to rise makes a man/woman healthy, wealthy, and wise.
12. Use Social Media every day
Social media is a huge driver for any blog. You have to carve out time to post on social media every day. As you can see in my blogging calendar I use social media every day. Pick the channels that you want to focus on and consistently post on them.
13. Learn about SEO
Getting backlinks is like another full-time job. You can read more about back-linking in the link below. There are many tried and tested ways of generating back links. At the moment, I am focusing on guest posting. I am aware that guest posting is not necessarily the most efficient way of building links as it involves so much time. A quick google search will bring up the many ways to build back links. If you are building back links then make sure everything that you do is white hat.
Starting a parenting blog is something that you have to love. To increase your chances of success in this crowded arena, you have to follow the blueprint of those successful bloggers that have gone before you.
In most cases it takes at least 6 months, and maybe even a year or more, before you can make any money from blogging. To get to this point you have to be consistently churning out useful content. It is a long and difficult road but if it works out then it can be very lucrative.