Here at Mompreneurs in Heels, I talk blogging. I love blogging, therefore I teach blogging. However, if you have absolutely no clue what a blog is or why you would even consider starting one, I decided I should write an entire post just to inform. I realize that blogging isn’t on everyone’s radar, but if you’re passing through and the thought of blogging has peaked your curiosity, then hopefully I’ll be able to shed some light on what this whole blogging business is all about.
First off, definitions.
What is blogging?
There are a host of answers for this question, so I’ll take from a few ideas I found around the interwebs in hopes that a variety of answers will do a better job explaining than if I were just to try to explain in my own words.
A blog is a shortened version of the word “weblog” and was originally created around the idea of a diary-style discussion or informational website in which posts are often displayed in reverse, chronological order. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
When I first started blogging in the early 2000’s many folks were using the blog as a way to express their personal opinions and beliefs or to share their daily thoughts and personal lives. Today, businesses, educational institutions, non-profits, ministries, and entrepreneurs have given a hefty nod of approval to the value of a blog as there are so many benefits connected to blogging.
A blog allows the writer to connect directly to her reader and to receive a direct and personal response in the comments section of posts. This personalized communication online is so important because the blog writer has a unique position of earning the trust and loyalty of readers.
There are so many reasons for creating a blog- from big brands wanting to personalize their customers’ experience, to solopreneurs wanting to build a full time income, and the hobby bloggers in between.
Why do soloproneurs start blogs?
The main reasons entrepreneurs (and in the case of this blog, mompreneurs) often start blogs is for the sole purpose of making money. We want to create our products and services, build a network and audience, develop meaningful relationships online, then provide what our customers need. So, what is blogging for soloproneurs? Bottom line: we make money.
There are other reasons (besides making money) for starting blogs, too.
- Many non-profit organizations blog in order to share about and bring awareness to their mission.
- Ministries bring awareness to and spread their spiritual beliefs.
- Hobbyists find it fun or even therapeutic to share about their hobbies and passions.
Additionally, organizations might just start a blog for any of the following reasons:
- make a difference
- express your ideas
- share your products and services
- stand out from the crowd
- build your network
- find a community or tribe
- refine your skills
What are the steps to blogging?
I go through the steps to blogging in more detail on this podcast episode. In a nutshell, here are four essential elements to starting a successful blog (business blog, more specifically):
- Set up your blog on the right platform. (I suggest WordPress.) I also highly recommend that if you’re interested in setting up for success, you check out my essentials toolkit for blogging. It’s free!
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- Set up your mailing list. You absolutely need to stay in touch with your subscribers.
- Narrow down your niche market. You have to know who are serving and why.
- Develop a money-making mindset. Unless you’re a hobby blogger, this is a crucial aspect of blogging.
Is it worth the time to blog?
Good question. Again, it all depends on your goals. Are you blogging for therapy- to share your life, connect with others, and form online community? Is your blog for the sole purpose of family and friends to read? Are you happy blogging during your spare time and for the benefit of helping others and perhaps simply enjoying the process of writing?
So, then, maybe it is worth your time. You can be a part time hobby blogger, find a free spot online to park your blog and enjoy the process of blogging without being committed to the business of it.
But what if you are more money-driven and want to know the ROI before you invest time and money into building a blogging business? This is a good dilemma to have as well because it means that you are about to consider the potential that your blog has monetarily. I have a few favorite resources I use.
Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about how much you will absolutely make in your first month of blogging. There are no promises anyone can give you about how your investment in domain names and hosting purchases will pay off for you in the long run. I made no money my first month blogging and it took me months and years to begin seeing a true return on my investment. It may be a quicker turnaround for you because everyone’s life situation is different. I had a lot of setbacks and hiccups along the way, but if you charge into blogging armed with knowledge about what you’re doing, why, and how you will pull it off, you will succeed more quickly.
It’s all about learning how blogging works first and then figuring out if you want to invest your time and energy to build a sustainable blogging business, because, yes…it takes time and energy. (I get up at 5 a.m. some mornings to start blogging before I hit the day running with my kids). It is an investment and you will have to count the costs for yourself and your family.