6 months of blogging – my journey + top 3 tips for starting a blog

Alice | Letters to my DaughterBlog, Personal2 Comments

The journey

Letters to my Daughter was 6 months old yesterday. Happy half birthday to my blog!
The time really has flown since I stayed up that night at the beginning of September until 5am, building my site and writing my first post. It was all a bit of a whim if I’m really honest, so I’m very proud that I’m still going strong (if a little more tired) 6 months later.
That evening I had some particularly big thoughts and things to say to the world, and that’s what gave me the push I needed to start a blog, rather than just talking about it.
 
I would love to say that I was drawn to blogging through my love of writing and for some thoughtful, altruistic purpose, but that would be a fib. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m blogging to generate an income.
Dave and I are planning to home educate our daughter, Dee, and part of our grand plan is to take her travelling around the world. To make that feasible, we need to be able to generate an income on the road, and I’ve seen so many inspiring bloggers who do just that, and do it well.
She’s just turned 3 so would be starting school next year if she was going, and I knew that to generate an income would take some time so the sooner the better. It’s great motivator when I start to lose my blogging mojo, and I really think those visions of us driving around new, exciting places in a camper van are what has kept me going. It’s amazing what tangible goals can do for your energy levels!
 
I DO love writing, and always have, and I DO want to do good things through my blog. I want to help empower mums to raise amazing, resilient, happy, and badass daughters (and sons) who grow up expecting and demanding equality. I’m not in it to aimlessly review or promote any brand or product that comes my way – but I won’t turn down things that I think are relevant to you, my audience. I want to provide you with some value so you stick with me despite Facebook algorithm changes and the ebb and flow of life, and give you a safe space to come when you have a parenting wobble, and hopefully hand you some tools to get yourself back on track.
“You never know which way of saying something is going to connect with a mum just at the right moment and give her a boost or the validation she needs to keep on swimming.”
I also know I’m not the only parenting blogger out there, but I’m a firm believer that the world is big enough for all of us, and if something is worth saying, it’s worth saying more than once and in countless different ways. You never know which way of saying something is going to connect with a mum just at the right moment and give her a boost or the validation she needs to keep on swimming.

Blogging is weird

..right?!! I know before I knew much about it, I thought it was just like keeping an online journal, and for some it is… But, when you start a blog with the intention of it becoming a business, it becomes so much more than that.
Blogging, for me, is:
  • A creative outlet
  • A platform to share my thoughts and beliefs
  • A way to connect with people
  • A way to figure out what I really think and who I really am
  • An opportunity to learn new skills & hone existing ones
  • A passion
  • A bore (sometimes!)
  • A challenge
  • A motivator
  • A lifeline
  • A commitment
  • A way to realise our dreams
  • A way to spread kindness and compassion
  • A reason to consider issues in a balanced way
  • A space and driver to reflect on my own parenting
I’m only 6 months in, and I know I have a long way to go before my blog becomes our means to travel – especially as I also have a great day job, and young family to fit it in around – but I’m enjoying it a lot so that’s a good start!
For those that are curious, I haven’t made any money yet (though I have received £100+ of products in exchange for reviews and promotion which isn’t bad). I set myself a goal of making at least £100 in my first year to cover the cost of starting the site, and I’m pretty confident I can do that now that Letters to my Daughter is more established. I feel that I can now legitimately request payment for campaigns and posts, when I’d have felt a bit of a fraud before with my new-blog stats. I’ll let you know how I got on with that goal in my 1 year anniversary post – stick around!

Are you considering starting a blog? Here are my top 3 tips…

I won’t pretend to be a blogging expert, and I won’t give you a step by step guide because that’s not my niche and plenty of people have done it better than I ever have! (Check out the Mamapreneur Revolution for some great advice and inspiration)
But, if you’re considering starting a blog – and a lot of people are, I know, you’ve asked me about it! – Then I will offer some simple advice before you start…

Know why you’re doing it

Whether it’s to get your ideas into the world, to help other people, to generate an income for x/y/z, to create a portfolio of your work… Whatever it is, your reason is just as valid as anyone else’s, you just need to know what it is because it’s that that will keep you going.

Understand the commitment

If you want people to see your blog – beyond just your family and friends- then it’s going to take some work on your part beyond just writing the posts. Self promotion is a big part of blogging, and for many it can feel unnatural at first, but if you’ve got a great post that could really help someone then you owe it to them to promote it so they get the chance to read it!
The Google gods, I’m told, also like consistency, so set a schedule that suits you and your other commitments – can you post once a week or 5 times a week? Maybe you have so much to say you can post 3 times a day. Whatever your schedule is, do your best to be consistent and don’t commit yourself to more than you can manage.
I started trying to post 3 times a week, but it was totally unsustainable so I dropped down to once a week pretty swiftly. Now I aim to do 2 a week, on Wednesday and Saturday, but don’t beat myself up if I miss the odd Saturday.

Figure out your niche

‘Try and write for everyone and you’ll reach no one’ … or something like that. I know some successful bloggers who cover 2 or 3 topics on their blogs (and mine are parenting and feminism with a stronger focus on the parenting), but it can be a hindrance to have any more than that. Think about the websites and blogs you visit. You don’t go on Etsy to find mortgage advice, or on Scary Mommy for a guide to changing a headlight bulb. And if Halfords started trying to give you advice on baby weaning, you’d be a bit dubious. Focusing on one or two of your passions and combining them in someway gives you a target audience who are more likely to want to read more of your posts.
Having said that though, if you’re not sure just yet, start anyway. Start writing, and you’ll figure out which subjects come most naturally and give you the most pleasure to write. You don’t have to have all the answers at the beginning – you might never start otherwise. Just take the plunge, but keep these questions in your head and when you’re ready to narrow it down, it will be for the right reasons.
Good luck!

Thank you

Finally, a huge, massive, slobbery kiss (sorry, I know you’ve probably had enough of those from you child today) and THANK YOU to you, my wonderful readers. Without you, I’d have thrown in the towel long ago!
Thank you for reading, thank you for your comments, thank you for your support, thank you for getting involved. You don’t realise just how much I appreciate it. 💙
Rhyming with Wine

 

Mission Mindfulness

2 Comments on “6 months of blogging – my journey + top 3 tips for starting a blog”

  1. I am shocked it’s only been since months! Bravo to you and your goals. I would love to generate income, but for now, I like the catharsis blogging provides, the friendships, the fun. I hope the income will come too. Happy Half, and keep on keeping one! #blogcrush xox

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