MIH054:How I went from stay at home mom to full time blogger

Are you a mom who has been thinking about becoming a full time blogger?

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Today’s blog post (and podcast) are for you to get encouragement as a stay at home mom as you consider becoming a full time blogger.

When I first began blogging in 2005 I did it for fun, and not to be a full time blogger. Two years later, I blogged because I’d just had a baby and I wanted to share a few sneak peeks into my world as a new mom. I loved writing and this was a great outlet for me.

I was already working at home as a web design and social media consultant back then, so I naturally saw how great blogging would be for small businesses. I made sure to include blogging in my clients’ strategies- always. Blogging worked so well back then that websites with an accompanying blog attached always ranked higher in Google.

But for me? I just blogged for fun initially. I wasn’t even thinking about using it in any other way except for my first few podcasts (I share about that here if you want to find out more about me.)

Then it hit me: if this blogging strategy stuff really works for my clients, why not apply it to my own business? How about taking this blogging game up a notch and see if I can make this a full -time income with it?

If my clients could see their websites top ranking in Google for keywords all because of blogging and the marketing strategy we were developing together, why wasn’t I applying this to my own strategy?

That’s when I started taking blogging even more seriously.

Sure, I’d just had a baby and just started homeschooling my oldest- so my life was beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. (Just a little bit!) But I could do this.

I knew I could do it. I had already begun writing for local magazines around town and had started pitching bigger magazines, so I was serious about writing. Why not blog?

It took a few years and a cross-country move to California before I finally settled into my new home and a new blog and podcast all about homeschooling.

It took me an entire year to get my first 1,000 email subscribers, but at the end of that first year of blogging I’d also gotten my first 500 YouTube subs, and I was happy with my 800 pageviews. This was in 2012.

It may not seem like much compared to other bloggers who make it to 100,000 pageviews within a year, but I was happy with those numbers because:

  1. I was homeschooling, and that took a lot of my energy reserves. I gave myself a lot of grace during that season.
  2. I had a toddler-turned-preschooler. I chased her around constantly and watched her chase butterflies. This was my life and sometimes that meant shutting down the computer rather than blogging.
  3. I valued flexibility more than a devoted blogging schedule and routine at the time. After my second move within 6 months, and then a third move 3 years later, I learned quickly how to maintain a life of flexibility. This meant, blogging oftentimes took a back seat.

I am so nostalgic about those days and I am glad I did things the way I felt best at the time. I got the best of both worlds: blogging part-time while raising my beautiful girls.

Today, seven years later, I have worked myself into a full time blogger role as my children are able to handle a lot more responsibilities on their own.

I no longer have to worry so much about how to get things done: I have more help. My teen and tween daughters chip in with chores around the house and we have at-home systems that work for us while we homeschool, and I work. So far, it is working out well for us.

If you are a stay at home mom and thinking of becoming a full time blogger, here are some key things to keep in mind when it comes to balance and getting it all done.

Work around schedules and naps.

If you are a mom of littles, being a full time blogger will require that you schedule your writing times around your baby’s schedule.

I remember those days- how life centers around baby. Usually when baby naps, you nap, or when baby is hungry, you eat together.

But as a full time blogger, you’ll need to think about how to fit your blogging times into your day. This means when baby naps, that might be a great time to write your blog posts.

When their nap times change and they become toddlers, you’ll start chasing them around and everything else will change along with it! This includes your blogging routines.

My best advice is to take it one stage at a time with your little ones, observe their routines, and fit your blogging around this.

Work on time blocks.

Time blocks are so important. As I mentioned earlier, when baby sleeps, you can blog.

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog tells how that she gets up earlier than the rest of her family, doing whatever it takes, to take her blogging seriously. Today she makes a 6-figure income from her blogs, all while raising three kids as a stay at home mom.

Choose a nice block of time and be as generous with yourself as possible. (If you know it will take you two hours to write a quality blog post, count on taking a two-hour, uninterrupted time block.)

This might mean that you have to wake up earlier or go to bed later.  When your family is asleep, maybe you can spare a few hours in the early AM to get in an extra two hours of writing. Or maybe you go to be a little later than everyone else.

Perhaps you cut back on Netflix binging (that’s me!) 🙋‍♀️

Being productive means you have to give up something in order to gain something. Rearranging your schedule will be part of the business of finding success with becoming a full time blogger.

Have an immediate plan of action.

Okay, here’s a tip that really helped me with getting things done faster:

👉🏿Do all of your thinking and strategizing before you sit down at the computer.

This way, when you sit down to actually write your posts, the outlines and general research have already been accomplished. Do you see how easy this makes things for you?

I used to write for several companies as a freelance writer a few years ago, and this is one of the key strategies I used to write up to five, well-researched, 1000-word articles per day.

I knew that writing this much content would  require some type of time management strategy, and this was the best way to manage it: research first, write last.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

You won’t get it all done by yourself. This has been the hardest lesson for me. I have been blogging for 14 years, and I have done nearly all the work on my own, until recently.

When I say all the work, I mean everything: from my blogging and writing work, podcasting and audio, video editing, graphics, email list, SEO, and social media management.

Did it keep my costs down by doing everything myself? Sure it did. I saved tons of money. I was super frugal and I kept my costs low to run my business.

Did I save time? Absolutely not. This is why it has taken me so long to grow my blogs. Without help you just grow really, really slowly. If you’re not in a hurry, then it’s okay. But if you want to see quicker or more immediate growth, you will need to get help.

Check out places like Fiverr for reasonably-priced helps, hire a VA on a project basis, and don’t get caught up in the tech if that’s just not your thing. Let someone help you past the blocks that keep you from moving forward to enjoy the parts of blogging you love.

Hopefully you do enjoy writing, though!🤣

Accept and enjoy your journey.

The main lesson I’ve learned in becoming a full time blogger is to enjoy my journey. I won’t always be a mom of littles. Today, I am a mom of a teen and a tween. I have a driver-in-training and a tween who is shockingly as tall as I am. No more littles for me. This means my blogging life has changed drastically.

What I couldn’t do seven years ago, suddenly becomes a cinch. I took my kids with me everywhere years ago. Today, I can walk out of the house to run an errand and not bat an eye as I know my kids are able to hold down their responsibilities at home. This means I have more free time to work on my blog that I didn’t have before.

Okay…maybe not “free” time. I am, after all, still responsible for their education which is a hefty job (as all homeschool moms can attest to.) But my season of life is different today than it was during the years I needed to keep one eye open at night listening out for my daughter’s cries.

Those were sweet years and I appreciate them, but they are over and I am in a different season. I have learned to embrace each season with all of its difficulties.

Today’s season is difficult in its own way- raising teen daughters with values in today’s society– but with each stage and season, as I accept it I appreciate it and I can deal with whatever is in front of me for that day.

So be encouraged, mama! You can do this. You can be a full time blogger and a stay at home mom. It’s a lot of work, but with the proper strategies in place, one step at a time, you can make an income with your blog while enjoying your kids.

Has this post and podcast been helpful to you? Check out the following posts to help you with your blogging:

Mentioned on the podcast

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