What exactly is a blog and what are they used for?

What exactly is a blog and what are they used for - mom blog from home

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a blog?

When I decided I wanted to start a blog it was hard picking what I wanted to blog topic or niche to be.

Even after coming up with ideas I still didn’t know how to blog so I would research and research trying to learn and absorb as much as I could.

During all of this, I realized how much I enjoyed learning about blogging and also how hard it is to learn everything when you are starting from the very beginning.

I realized that teaching other moms how to blog was my passion. I am a mom that so badly just wanted someone to walk me through it all. Instead, I had to read blog post after blog post, ebook after ebook, and take course after course.

I am no expert but I know way more than I used too!

I feel like every new piece of information was just a new piece to a giant puzzle. I didn’t even know sometimes where the puzzle piece went but I knew I needed it.

I finally came across a course that was more on my level and answered many questions I had.

I recommend it to any new blogger!

It got me finally started after many failed attempts but I still had questions.

This is again where my passion to help others cam in. Some people just get it and some people, like myself, need a little more help and guidance.

I have always been that way. In school, the teacher would give an assignment and some students had it done in 15 minutes when I was still trying to figure out exactly what the assignment was.

It’s because I over analyze and over think everything. It’s a blessed and a curse.

The lady who I follow that taught me so much in her course did a great job but she didn’t break down the little steps that I still needed help with.

I had no idea about WordPress or how to use it, what a plug-in was, how to make a blog post or any of those simple steps.

So, I told myself I can’t be along and that if I am going to help teach others how to start a blog, I would start super small and walk through all the little steps. I would try and leave no stone unturned for my readers.

I use my mom as an example. In the blogging world, I am a newbie blogger. But, in the real world with my friends and family, I am a pro! I know way more than they do! So, when I talk blog talk they are all confused. But, that’s how I started! That’s how most people start! Again, some people pick things up much faster than others but starting from scratch is where I want to help my readers.

WHAT IS A BLOG?

When Googled this is the definition:

noun
  1. 1.
    a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
verb
  1. 1.
    add new material to or regularly update a blog.
    “it’s about a week since I last blogged”

What that means is it is a platform for people to share their knowledge, advice, experiences, etc. with others.

I always thought it was just an online journal for stay at home moms.

In reality, it is a way to present to the world whatever you want! You want to share your weight loss journey, share how to pay off debt, teach people how to sew, you name it!

It is a website that you get to personalize and make it whatever you want.

People can come and learn from you, comment on your posts, and decide to keep coming back to follow you on your blog!

Blogging has grown to become a huge thing! Pinterest is all blogs…I mean some pins may not be to a blog but most are.

People don’t realize that. You go to Pinterest and search for a recipe and all these different pins pop up to different blog posts on how to make that recipe.

Think about all those pins and all those different blogs out there.

Most blogs are narrowed down to a specific niche or topic to stand out from the crowd.

If you write about recipes you are one in a million but if you write about gluten-free recipes you are in a much smaller pool. If you write about only gluten-free dessert recipes you are in an even smaller pool.

You may be thinking “Okay, but who is searching for that, not many people.” When in reality that is a good thing! Wouldn’t you want less competition and to take care of your unique customers instead of trying to fight the crowd and stand out in all the noise with no unique customers?

I was given this example years ago. You are not Walmart and you don’t want to compete with Walmart. Narrow down your niche and take care of those specific customers. Those people will be your loyal returning customers.

So now that you have an understanding of what a blog is and how to narrow down what to blog about, you may still be wondering why people blog.

Like I mentioned before, people use blogs to share their knowledge with the world. Some literally do it just for that purpose alone. Others do it as a source of income.

The income varies from a few dollars a month to $100,000+ a month. Naturally, there are more people making closer to the lower amounts than the higher amounts but I personally know several bloggers that thousands of dollars a month blogging.

That sounds pretty awesome to me!

Here are some examples for you!

  1. Victoria at A Modern Homestead

Victoria - a modern homestead - mom blog from home

She makes over $5,000 a month blogging about frugal living on their homestead!

Victoria has great money saving tips on her blog and wonderful recipes as well!

2. McKinzie Bean at Moms Make Cents

McKinzie Bean - Moms make cents - mom blog from home

I couldn’t find an updated income report for McKinzie but I found one that was from 2016 where she was making over $2,000 a month so I can guarantee you that it is way more than that now.

McKinzie helps teach blogging tips but more importantly, she teaches bloggers how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their blogs!

She offers a free Pinterest course called Pinterest Primer. I took this course and it helped me gain over 5,000 page views last month!

3. Michelle Schroeder – Gardner at Making Sense of Cents

making sense of cents - mom blog from home

Michelle teaches everyone how to be smart with their money. She teaches you how to earn more, save more, and live more. She does it very successfully too! As you can see she made over 1.5 Million dollars with her blog last year!

Those are just a few examples of bloggers making awesome money with their blogs and in different niches as well!

Now that we have discussed what a blog is and what it can be used for you may still be asking yourself if blogging is right for you?

I wrote a post for that exact question right here!

I go over exactly what it entails to be a blogger for you to see if blogging is right for you!

Happy blogging!

Vanessa

 

 

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How I Landed an Interview with a Bigger Blogger (with Little to No Traffic)

How I Landed an Interview with a Bigger Blogger – with little to no traffic

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How I landed an interview with a bigger blogger - mom blog from home

 

When you first start out as a new blogger you can’t wait to land your first guest post whether that is someone guest posting on your blog or you on theirs.

It just feels like you are official if you can land a guest post.

Well, I feel pretty official to have been able to interview a bigger blogger for my blog! It’s not quite the same as a guest post. She didn’t write the post for me but I did get to ask her whatever questions I wanted and now I get to share those answers with you!

How I got to this point

I had come across a free Pinterest course and decided I could definitely learn more about how Pinterest can help drive traffic to my blog and not just teach me how to decorate my living room so I took it.

I learned so much from this course and had a few follow up questions so I reached out to this blogger.

I didn’t know that she was a bigger blogger really, I just knew I had questions. She was wonderful and answered them all right away!

She has an even better paid Pinterest Course that I knew I wanted to be able to offer to my readers so I asked about that.

She once again was wonderful and helped me out with all of that as well.

Now that we had emailed each other back and forth I decided to do some more research on her and realized she had a huge following and was helping all kinds of bloggers learn how to use Pinterest to leverage their blog traffic!

Her name is McKinzie Bean with Moms Make Cents!

Here is a quick look at McKinzie’s Pinterest following:

McKinzie's following - mom blog from home

She has over 6,800 followers!

I did like she stated and made my Pinterest business account separate from my personal so I only have 31 followers so far! So help a sista out and follow me on Pinterest!

Mom blog from home Pinterest

The Interview

Now that I realized who she was I reached back out to her to see about a possible guest post or different ways I could share her product with my readers to benefit them as well.

That’s when she suggested doing an interview!

I loved that idea!

I got to pick the questions and share her answers with my readers!

Here is what she had to say to my questions…

  • How long have you been blogging?

I started my first blog in June 2012, so five and a half years now! My current blog, Moms Make Cents, I started in June 2016.

  • What is your favorite part about blogging?

I absolutely love the community. I’ve been able to connect and collaborate with women from all over the world. Blogging has brought some of my best friends into my life and I’m forever grateful for that. I also love that through sharing my passion and creativity I am able to make money from home. It has been a huge blessing for our family and has allowed me to stay home with my little boy.

  • What advice do you have to new bloggers?

Be a sponge and then go and do! I feel like sometimes new bloggers get super overwhelmed with all of the information that is out there and it can result in analysis paralysis. I would recommend taking a month or so to learn everything that you can. Read blog posts, books, take a course, etc. and then go and implement everything. I am a huge advocate for learning but sometimes it can actually get in the way of producing content, creating systems and networking in your business.

My second bit of advice would be to focus on 1-2 social platforms. If you try to be present on every single platform, creating different social media posts, graphics and engaging with your audience you are going to burn out. It is more effective to really kick butt on 1-2 platforms. I personally recommend Pinterest (this has been by far the most effective use of my time) and then either Facebook or Instagram depending on your niche.

  • What is one quick tip for those new to Pinterest?

Make sure to have strong pin descriptions right off the bat! Pinterest is really more of a search engine than social media and we need to treat it that way. It is much easier to do it right the first time on Pinterest vs. going back through all of your pins and making edits. You can check out how I recommend optimizing your pins for Pinterest SEO here.

  • What are some results people have had from your Pin for Profits course?

I’ve had hundreds of students go through my Pinterest courses and have had amazing results, here are a couple of examples. Jessica – Shades of Blue Design – Within 48 hours of changing up my Pinterest strategy I had a sale and traffic to my shop increased by 80-90%!

Jennifer – Women Winning Online – “Using McKinzie’s BoardBooster strategy I doubled my Pinterest traffic and increased my blog income. ”

Angela – Natural Born Mommy – “Within a month, I gained almost 200 email subscribers and earned my first few dollars by applying the affiliate strategies outlined in the course.”

Amanda – Mommy Imagines – My first month following McKinzie’s Pinterest advice I boosted my impressions by 1630%!

  • How can someone sign up for your Pinterest courses?

I know that everyone’s knowledge and experience with Pinterest is going to be on a different level, so I’ve broken my signature course into five smaller courses that you can purchase individually based on what you want to learn more about.

The five courses are:

Pin to Profits: Foundations

Pin to Profits: Automation

Pin to Profits: Affiliate Marketing

Pin to Profits: List Building & Sales Funnels

Pin to Profits: Promoted Pins

Or you can choose to purchase all five courses here in a bundle and get access to the private students only Facebook group.

My results

McKinzie has been an amazing help for me and growing my blog traffic! I have done like she says and I have become a sponge and listened to other bloggers and their advice on Pinterest as well.

Pinterest Primer is a perfect free course to start with, it walks you through how to set up your Pinterest business account for success.

I didn’t realize all the important details that make a huge difference in ranking high on Pinterest.

The biggest walk away I can say is signing up for tailwind has made a dramatic difference for my blog.

You have to have all the pieces of the puzzle put together for the best results. Great Pinterest business account set up, great pin images, and tailwind.

Again, Pinterest Primer will get you set up for success but implementing Tailwind strategies has blown up my blog traffic compared to what I was getting before.

You can sign up for a FREE month with Tailwind right here. They have training videos on there to show you how to use it. It is very user-friendly!

By using Tailwind my blog traffic went from 300 views for the month of December to over 2,000 views already for January and the month is only half over!

I hadn’t focused on blog traffic yet, I was more worried about getting my blog all ready and functioning. Then after the Holidays, I focused on traffic using Tailwind to drive it from Pinterest and I was shocked!

What You Should Do

If you are looking for ways to grow your blog traffic then I highly suggest using Tailwind and Pinterest! If you already use Pinterest and you don’t feel like you are getting any traffic then you definitely need to take McKinzie’s course to get your Pinterest account set up correctly.

If you are completely new and don’t have Pinterest then again I would recommend taking Pinterest Primer and taking McKinzie’s advice on setting your business account up correctly and using Tailwind to drive traffic to your blog!

Now that I know what to do I am so excited to keep moving forward and implementing what I have learned to skyrocket my blog traffic!

I hope you do too!

Vanessa

P.S. Haven’t started a blog yet? No big deal! Start with my 30-Day Challenge Workbook to Start a Blog!

How to Make $2,000 a Month as a Stay at Home Mom with a Small Blog

How to Make $2,000 a Month as a Stay at Home Mom with a Small Blog

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I just love meeting new bloggers with stories like Victoria’s! There are so many amazing mommies out there making money from home and they are more than willing to help share with you how they are doing it!

I came across Victoria’s eBook Make Money Blogging at Any Level as part of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit Ultimate Bundle I had purchased. They run a huge special every year and this year I purchased $5,800+ worth of eBooks and courses for a whopping $97 bucks!

It was my birthday present to myself! And side note, it was in October so be on the lookout around October 2018 because I myself will definitely be purchasing the next bundle!

Back to Victoria, her eBook caught my eye because since I am not a huge blog I wanted to know how to make money blogging at any level. I have made some money so far but any additional information is always a plus!

Her eBook talks a lot about ads and ad placement. She does talk about affiliate marketing but I was already using that. I wasn’t, however, using ads. 

How to make $2,000 a month as a stay at home mom with a small blog - mom blog from home

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She breaks it down for you as to switch companies you should use based on your traffic. I love that part! I need to know who will take smaller blogs and who won’t! Also, I love that it tells you when and who to switch to once you have reached that traffic amount to get the most money from your ads.

Since I don’t have a huge amount of traffic just yet I played it safe and went with Google Adsense. Once you read her eBook you may be thinking well she has a different opinion about Google Adsense, well I am just getting my feet wet and then I will switch like she says later.

Ad Placement

Victoria talks about the placement of your ads and where you should put them to get the most out of them. Luckily Google Adsense does this for you but it is great to know for future reference!

Products

Like other bloggers, she also suggests to create your own products and breaks down where she advertises on her blog her own products. She talks about how much that increased her income.

Resources

I feel like Victoria’s eBook was filled with great knowledge and walks you through the basics but when I learn about new resources, that’s when it really counts for me!

I am all for learning new resources and sharing those with my readers!

Resources make everyone’s life so much easier! No searching and hoping you are getting the right company to work with. When blogger’s share which companies they work with, that just saves so much headache and heartache for others!

Victoria’s eBook is filled with great resources!

Learn how to make money blogging even if you only have 1,000 monthly page views! Get real actionable tips to start earning an income blogging, and learn how to make a living as a blogger!

A Modern Homestead

Victoria blogs at A Modern Homestead where she teaches her readers all about frugal living and living off of the land. She is a stay at home mom and makes over $2,000 a month with her small blog!

That is amazing!

Everyone has their own blogging income goals and I would think it is safe to say that $2,000 a month is a great feat! I have been blogging for under 6 months myself and I would love to make $2,000 a month with my small blog!

That is why I took what she had to say to heart and I started implementing what she had taught me about ads.

I added ads to my blog and I have already started making money! Wahoo!

You can check out my ads on my home page Mom Blog From Home.

Overall I can’t say enough good things about Victoria’s eBook Make Money Blogging at Any Level! It is a must read for new bloggers! Shoot any blogger!

I would love to hear what you thought about her eBook or if you have any other great reads you would like to share!

 

Happy blogging!

Vanessa

Haven’t started a blog?

No problem!

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How to Connect Your Domain and Hosting

How to Connect Your Domain and Your Hosting

 

How to connect your domain name and your hosting - mom blog from home

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Now this for many may seem like a very easy step but when I first started and knew nothing about blogging it was obviously a step I didn’t know.

So, if I didn’t know that means others out there won’t know either! Again, many of you may see this as an easy step.

But if you are completely new and need help here ya go!

I created a video to walk you through how to purchase your domain name, your hosting and then how to connect them.

I am no expert and I don’t pretend to be either! What I am is a mom who wanted to start a blog and I felt completely lost and didn’t know where to start.

I read blog post after blog post trying to learn everything I needed to know. I was told it would be super easy and it pretty much happens overnight.

Then I was told it takes years of blogging and hard working.

The one thing I do know FOR SURE is that if you don’t try you will never know.

I also know that if you have someone help walk you through the steps that makes a big difference too! So that is what I decided to do.

I want to walk moms (and maybe dads) through the steps of starting and running a blog.

There is more to it than just starting but that is half the battle!

So here is a short video that shows you where I purchased my domain name and hosting from and then how to get them to connect to each other!

Here is a quick recap!

Maybe you don’t like watching videos or maybe you still need a little help after watching the video. Either way here is a quick recap!

Domain Name

First, you have to get your domain and if you haven’t already. If you use a free hosting like blogger.com they may provide you with a domain name but you don’t own that name or your contents.

Just a heads up.

Also on places like that, you can’t always put affiliate links or ads to make money on your blog.

Second, you want to check and see if your hosting provider (not the free hosting) will provide you with a domain name.

Sometimes they will give you a special and you get a free domain name when you purchase your hosting through them.

Third, check out RetailMeNot.com and see if there is a coupon available for your domain name. Who doesn’t like a discount!?

Fourth, go to NameCheap and purchase your domain name! There are very inexpensive!

Don’t forget you want your domain name to be something easy to remember and relevant to your blog.

Hosting

Now that you have your domain name you need to purchase your hosting.

Again, you want to purchase hosting so you own your blog content and you can then make an income off your blog.

I use and prefer SiteGround. Hosting is also very inexpensive. Your domain name and hosting are your two main expenses for starting a blog.

Choose which plan fits you best and follow the steps to complete your hosting purchase.

Connect Your Domain and Your Hosting

To connect them you need to log into your SiteGround account, click on account, cpanel, then on the left side, you will see two nameserver numbers.

It will be a series of letters and numbers, not just numbers.

In another tab, you will want to log into your NameCheap account. Make sure you are in the domain section and you can see your domain name.

Now click on manage over on the right side of your domain name.

If you scroll down you will see where you can enter those two nameserver numbers from your hosting account.

Click the drop-down menu and choose Custom DNS and copy and paste each of the nameserver numbers in.

Save all changes and now you just wait for them to connect!

It is that easy!

It may take up to 24-48 hours for them to connect but usually, it’s not that long!

Again, I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy blogging!

Vanessa

 

P.S.
If you are interested in learning about other resources as a new blogger then check out my post about the best investments for a new blogger and you can also find some great free resources on my resource page!

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Which Hosting Should You Use?

Which Hosting Should You Use?

Which Hosting Should You Use - mom blog from home

It can be hard deciding which hosting to use when you are first starting. If you don’t know what hosting is then in my nutshell explanation – It’s when you “own” your blog and its content.

If you use a free hosting site then it’s like you are “renting” space from them. Those types of sites would be like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.

So, if they one day decide they don’t like your blog they own that space and can delete it all if they want. Clearly, it is worth the few bucks a month to use a hosting company like SiteGround, HostGator, or BlueHost.

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using that link.

But which one do you pick?

I personally use SiteGround and I have tried the other two but I prefer SiteGround.

To know which is best for you, you just need to do a little research on each and compare them. I know that Blue Host used to be the most highly recommended but lately it has been SiteGround. I have heard many complaints of down time with BlueHost and more people recommending SiteGround.

Here is why I chose them:

1. The top 3 Bloggers I follow recommend SiteGround

I started following Dave Risely at https://www.blogmarketingacademy.com a little over a year ago and he was the first person to convince me to switch to SiteGround. He has been a blogger for many years and I trusted his recommendation.

Then I came across Suzi Whitford and she too recommends SiteGround. I took her course on how to start a blog and it was amazing! I recommend that course to anyone looking to get started blogging! And with a price you can’t beat either! For more information visit https://www.momblogfromhome.com/suzi

Lastly, is Amy Porterfield. I took one of her courses on email marketing and in the course, she suggests SiteGround. Her course is a bit more pricey but I still feel like it was worth the investment!

2. Amazing customer service

I love the live chat option. I don’t like reading all these forums trying to sort out if someone else’s situation is the same as mine and how to fix it. I don’t like calling and talking to people. I am a text me kind of girl. I want to order pizza online. I don’t want to talk to you on the phone. In person, that’s fine! On the phone, nope. So I say again I love the live chat option!

I have had to use it a couple different times and they are very quick and help me right away!

3. I can host multiple websites

I have big visions of what I want to do online and I knew that I wanted to have multiple different websites and I didn’t want to have a different hosting account for each so I like this option.

4. I got a free domain with my hosting plan

When I signed up I got a free domain with my plan. I don’t remember that being in the details so it was a nice surprise when I logged in and it told me to register my free domain. I don’t know if that was a special that they were running at the time or what so watch out for that to be an option. Again, I don’t see anything about it anywhere now so maybe it was a special they had at the time. But it is nice to know they run fun specials like that!

5. No down time

I have been with them for over a year and I haven’t had any down time. There was one time my site was messed up but it was because of my theme and SiteGround was great helping me figure out that was the problem! I then had to go to my theme provider and they fixed it.

I have read many times from other bloggers too that they have not experienced any down time. That is a big deal when your blog is your income!

6. This one is a bonus I learned after signing up – they have an awesome affiliate program!

The affiliate program that SiteGround has is awesome! It is a tier system so the more people that sign up the bigger the percentage they pay you. I don’t know all the legal stuff so I don’t want to go too into it but I think it’s a great system!

Like I said, I have been with them for over a year now (yes even though I haven’t had this blog for that long, I had another one.) and they have been great this whole time!

If you are ready to start a blog but not to this point yet then take a look at either of these, depending on where you are, then come back!

If you are ready for hosting then here is how to sign up:

First go to https://momblogfromhome.com/siteground

siteground home - mom blog from home

Click on see plans

siteground see plans - mom blog from home

Choose your plan that fits your needs. I picked the Grow Big plan because I want to grow big! I knew I wanted to hosting multiple websites so I chose that plan.

Click get started

If you already have a domain name then you can enter that here. If you don’t you can register one with SiteGround.

As I said I have multiple domains and I use Name Cheap to get them they are like their name and are cheaper. So, take a look there for a better price on your domain. And an added bonus if you look on RetailMeNot.com then they had a 10% off coupon for Name Cheap and I got my domain all said and done for $9 for the year!

Again just to be clear, I had said that I got a free domain with my hosting through SiteGround and that may have been a special they were running at the time. I don’t see anything about it currently but watch out around holidays when they might have a special going!

Siteground review & complete - mom blog from home

Then you just review and complete!

Congrats! You now have your very own hosting for your blog!

If you purchased your domain name elsewhere then make sure to connect it to your new hosting. That was something I didn’t realize when I very first started. I was getting so confused on why it wasn’t working. I did what they said. I got a domain name and then I got hosting. Why isn’t it working?

You have to connect them. Especially if you got them with different companies. Seems silly that I didn’t know that know but if anyone else is like me then there ya go! Don’t forget to do that!

Happy blogging!

Vanessa

4 Easy Ways to Find Time to Blog

4 Easy Ways to Find Time to Blog

 

4 easy ways to find time to blog - mom blog from home

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How to find time to blog…that is a question I hear all the time. I myself struggle with it. First off, as a mother, we put everything before ourselves. Even if you are treating your blog like a business you can still end up putting it at the bottom of the to-do list.

For me, I feel a bit guilty when I am working on my blog and there is a pile of laundry that needs done or the floors need swept (oh the dog hair never ends!).

Mom Duties

I am a stay at home mom and so I feel like those are my duties. My job that I get paid zero dollars for but wouldn’t trade it for anything is to take care of the house and everyone in it.

That is a lot to take care of! I’m not complaining I am stating the truth! As stay at home/work from home moms we wear many hats.

We are in charge of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, kid’s activities, vet and doctor appointments, paying the bills, meal planning, laundry, did I say cleaning? Because it should be listed twice because it is never ending…..(again oh the dang dog hair!).

Two Full-Time Jobs

That alone is more than a full-time job. Then what if you really do have a full-time job! If you have to leave your house and go to a full-time job plus do all of that then you are amazing! I have been there and it is extremely hard! Especially when you have to drive an hour to and from work.

What I have learned from working outside of the home is to plan and to be as prepared as much as possible to make the week go by smoother. Now that I am a stay at home mom I still try and plan everything out as much as I can.

The hard part about being a work from home mom, for me anyways, is that my boss is pretty chill…she let’s me do what ever I want (that’s because it’s me). Even worse is my husband is completely fine with it to!

I don’t like when things don’t get done so when I am falling behind he always tells me “It’s fine! Just relax and watch T.V.”. Not because he is going to help so he doesn’t quite understand that just makes more work for me later.

Again, I do take my mommy duties very serious and so therefore I put them all before my blog.

I tell myself all day “okay, after I finish this I am going to work on my blog” and then you know how it works in the middle of that project you see something else that has to be done.

Priorities

So I decided that I needed to move my blog higher up on the priority list. When I worked outside of the house unfortunately work came first. I had to go to work. I had to be there dressed and on time. So I needed to treat my blog that way if I wanted it to be a success.

My husband is hopeful for my blog but he definitely thinks it is a hobby and so when I stress and say “I have to work on my blog” he says “well you don’t HAVE to”…because he pays the bills so it’s not like we can’t survive without it…but that’s not the point right?

We aren’t doing this because we HAVE to….well maybe you are…but most I would say we are doing it because we WANT to!

We want to have something that is ours! We want to still be important and add value and be more than just someone’s mom or wife.

I want to prove that I can and honestly I want to make more than my husband because in this world the husbands usually make more than the wives so I think that would be pretty cool! #goals

I have focused on making more time for my blog and I want to share with you how I have done it.

 

flowers and planner on desk - mom blog from home

#1 IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN…..PLAN TO FAIL

(Or as my very dear friend calls it….get your poop in a group…haha!)

I know you have heard it before but it is so very true! I grew up with a wing it kind of attitude. My mom is very carefree and is definitely not known for her promptness or preparedness. I think it is because of that my older sister and I tend to be more proactive and try to be on time and prepared.

Now since we weren’t raised that way we have had to find our own path to become that way. I say that because we are by no means perfect at it.

Sometimes it feels like it is more work but it makes the week go by so much smoother.

Example #1

This weekend I planned out our meals for the whole month. As I planned it out I added my groceries to my Wal-Mart grocery pickup order online. The next day I went and picked up my groceries and then prepped our meals for the rest of the week. I prepped lunches for my daughter at school and all dinners.

We will have enough food for left overs for lunch and no one is a big breakfast eater.

We all just grab a protein bar or something. Now I don’t have to spend 30-45 mins trying to figure out what to make for supper each night and finally deciding to just order pizza.

That is a fairly obvious time saver that many SAHM’s probably already do. It did take up a big portion of my weekend but now I have saved a bunch of time and stress over meals all week. Also when I added up home much we would save by not eating out so much I was shocked!

Saving dough and dough (pizza dough and dollar bills!)

I didn’t think we were spending that much eating out because there are only three of us…but yep we will save a bunch!

My plan is to regroup each weekend and see what all I still have left and what I still need to get and then preorder it and pick it up!

If you are not a War-Mart fan then I know other stores offer this feature as well! It saves me the hassle of waiting in line and dealing with all the peoples (especially now during the holidays) and it also keeps me from over spending too!

 

Example #2 

Just like planning out food it helps so much if you plan out outfits too. My daughter is NOT a morning person so we don’t have too much of an argument when it comes to getting dressed because she is usually half asleep when I’m helping her get ready haha! But it makes it even more smooth sailing if we pick them out together Sunday evening.

We know which days she has P.E. and needs to wear tennis shoes and so on. This also ensures that we don’t miss any fun activites at school like pajama day or crazy sock day. We are already ready for the week!

So you can see how planning in life then frees up time to work on your blog…so what do you think you should do with your blog? That’s right! Plan! If you can get your blog more organized then when you find the time you won’t spent 30 minutes of it trying to remember what you were doing before when you were working on your blog.

Also another great thing that will help with that is to stay consistent. Then there won’t be gaps in between working on it and you will be less likely to feel so lost when you try and pick it back up!

 

 

success go get it - mom blog from home

#2 MOTIVATION

Some people are born motivated and just go go and you can’t get them to slow down….*coughs: my husband!* He literally jumps out of bed around 5 am and does not stop until he is forced to slow down at night and then when he stops moving for more than 10 seconds he is asleep.

He has been that way since I met him. Most of our friends call him a robot because he requires very little sleep…some times zero. I have seen him go strong and hard for almost 48 hours. Running on maybe a 30 minute cat nap.

I however hibernate every night and I wish that I had his motivation. Just like my daughter I am not a morning person myself. I want to be!

I get up sometimes around 5 and go run and will accomplish so much that day but then it takes days for me to recoup.

 

What motivates you?

If you are like me and you need to find something to help push you through the day then find what motivates you! That will make a huge difference! Are you goal oriented? Do you like a lot of coffee? Do you like to check things off your to do list? Do you like to workout? Do you have an accountability partner?

Find something that will drive you to make time for you and your business! What has helped me tremendously is Spark. It is a vitamin “energy drink” that gives me mental focus. It’s sugar free so guilt free and it has helped me so much! I started drinking it in 2012 and I have rarely gone a day without it!

Spark at Disney

We recently went to Disney World for my daughters birthday then came home and celebrated Thanksgiving. I drank the rest of my Spark while at Disney but I wanted to wait to order more until Cyber Monday when AdvoCare always has a sale (even though I already get a hefty discount).

While I was waiting to order I just decided to go back to drinking coffee with my husband. I didn’t put two and two together until I found a Spark in the cabinet a couple days later and drank it. On the coffee I was awake and alert but I had zero motivation.

Literally not thinking anything about it I drank my found Spark and within 30 minutes I was ready to take on anything! Then it hit me! I hadn’t realized how much it helped me be motivated and stay focused! I won’t let myself run out again!

Get your blood flowing!

Maybe you like to workout and you could go for a run in the mornings? That always helps get the blood flow going and helps me not feel so sluggish.

Also, as I said before some people require more sleep than others. There is no replacement for sleep!

Find your purpose, your passion, and remember why you are doing this to begin with. Write that on your mirror so you can read it every morning. Remind yourself why it is important for you to move your blogging business to the top of the to do list.

If you had a normal 9-5 job then you would have to put work first and everything else second so make sure you do that now! Ya know, except for taking care of the kids! Or maybe you currently do have a 9-5 job and you are looking for time to work on your blog…again stay motivated to find time.

Find 30 mintues

Get up 30 mintues earlier than normal and work on it. Work on it over your lunch. If you have a packed schedule you will have to really look at your day and see where you can squeeze in time but having that motivation makes a huge difference. If you don’t then it’s easy to come up with excuses.

For me I am pretty lucky my daughter goes to school all day so I do have most of the day to myself to work. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t see everything that needs done around the house and end up doing that instead plus I have to run errands for my husband a lot as well that takes up time.

Oddly enough for some reason when people know you stay at home they assume your free to do whatever so I get asked to help let the neighbors dogs out and stuff that doesn’t take long but still takes up precious time.

My sister lives down the street and is a work from home mom to four children that she home schools….yes, that’s right we live different lives her and I!

What works for her with 4 kids

She said the best way for her to get time to work on her online business is to get up with her husband at 4:45-5am and help get him off to work and then she works on her business until the kids wake up. She said at first she woke them up around 7:30 and they did school but it didn’t seem to work for their family.

She now let’s them wake up on their own which is later in the morning but it works better for them. This new schedule gives her a few hours to work before the kids wake up. It also means the kids are more rested and alert during their school time.

 

planner and computer on desk - mom blog from home

 

 

#3 MAP OUT YOUR DAY 

Mapping out your daily routine will help you find time you didn’t know you had. I did this and it shows I have all kinds of time but yet I was like “where is it all going?” and turns out that life happens and yes things come up (like watching the neighbors dogs) that you have to do but you can’t let that take away from your business.

By mapping out your daily routine you can see where you can make things more efficient. Maybe you like to get up and drink a cup of coffee and watch the news to wake up but then you are struggling to find time to work on your blog.

Well, maybe you have to give up that coffee and news time and try and switch it to coffee and blog time. Then you will see progress on your blog! Or maybe you watch TV at night after you put the kids to bed that you could cut out and make time for your blog.

 

No T.V.

I have met people that completely cut TV off in their homes because it is a distraction to their goals. I would have to agree it most certainly is a distraction for me.

I don’t have it on at all during the day so I can focus and work on my blog and then I may reward myself with a little Big Bang Theory at night. If I was looking for more time then I would cut it out as well.

If your schedule is overwhelmed with cleaning (did I meantion I have a dog that shreds?) then I would break it up into daily tasks so then you get a little done each day instead of feeling like you have to clean the whole house everyday.

Or maybe if someone would buy me this vacuum for Christmas that would help! haha!

 

Delegate tasks out to save you some time

As soon as I feel I have made enough money with my blog to be comfortable with it I plan on hiring someone to come clean my house for me. I am not a tax expert but I believe it would be a write off for my business (I am all about getting the most bang out of my buck) and my sanity would be worth it alone!

I always feel silly telling people I have one child and she is at school all day and I am short on time…but My husband is gone way more than he is here and when he is here is makes and mess and leaves again. Also he works very hard at his job and then runs a lawn care company on the side.

I am in charge of invoices, scheduling, running errands, paying bills, all of that stuff on top of my many mommy hats I have to wear. Oh, ya and I am trying to build my own online business. So even with one child we are short on time.

I feel like God knew that was what was best for us. We have tried for 7 years for another and after MANY surgeries, dr appts, blood draws, etc later we found out we can’t. So there is a little bit of our story.

Anyways, I think you will be very surprised how much time you can find by mapping out your daily routine!

 

planner on desk - mom blog from home

#4 ASK FOR HELP

No one said you have to do this alone. If your husband is on board and is home more than mine (lol!) then ask him to watch the kids so you can work on your business. If your sister, mother, or friend would help watch the kiddos so you can work then ask them!

It takes a village to raise children and so there is no reason you can’t ask for help watching the kids so you can have some time for you and your business!

Or if you are to that point that you need help with your business because it is growing so fast then hiring a Virtual Assistant to help you!

Another great option is if you don’t already then get an accountability partner to help keep you on track or my favorite that I just came up with for myself is an accountibilty calendar!

There is always so much to do and so little time to do it that the days just go by and the next thing you know its supper, bath and bed time! Even worse yet now it’s been a week or more and you haven’t even logged into your blog!

That is not being consistent and not helping grow your business. It seems like I just worked on it and then I realize it has been days or even weeks….I know it’s horrible!

So I have decided to make an accountibility calendar to keep myself in check. You can make one for yourself that meets your needs or you can get a copy of mine below!

 

accountability calendar - mom blog from home

 

 

On this calendar the main goal is to help you work daily on your blog. Whether that is 30 mintues a day or more that is up to you but again the main goal is to make sure you are doing something daily. That right there alone I feel will make a huge difference.

Then when you are frusterated with your blogging business and you look back at your calendar and realize that you haven’t touched it in two weeks well then you will know why.

This calendar will also hold you accountable for not wasting your blog time. This will help to show you what you are accomplishing on your blog. If you are like most normal people that get sucked into emails and facebook then you will see where your struggle is.

I hope this calendar helps you move forward with your online blogging business! I look forward to how much it is going to help me so I can’t wait to hear if it helps you!

Or maybe you’re still not sure if blogging is even right for you?

If you aren’t sure then I encourage you to read my post How to Tell If Blogging is Right For You and find out before stressing out too much!

My favorite saying that I have writen on my fridge is “Massive action solves all problems”. I think about that when I get stuck or feel a little lost.

I will over think and analyse and realize that I have wasted 15 mintues stressing over what I should do next that I could have accomplished something if I would have just done it!

If I feel like the house is a wreck, I need to do invoices for the lawn care, I need to write a blog post, where to I start? I just start!

The more I can get done in a day whether it was in the right order or not if going to be more than I would have gotten down stressing about it and wasting time.

 

So for today I leave you with those two reminders:

1. If you fail to plan…..plan to fail

2. Massive action solves all problems

 

I have just heard those over the years and I don’t know who was the first person to say them or I would give them credit but they were both smart people I can tell you that!

 

Don’t forget to get your copy of my calendar if you haven’t already!

 

accountability calendar example image - mom blog from home

 

 

Happy blogging!

 

 

 

Vanessa