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Mom blogging is a huge billion-dollar industry that has made Jill Smokler and Jen Mann household names. The idea of blogging in between changing diapers and trips to the grocery store can feel tempting especially when you consider that it can bring in some extra cash. But how do you do you actually make money?
I’ve been blogging under the name Housewife Plus since 2013, when I joined my local newspaper blog network. Although I started as a total nobody with shoddy writing skills, I quickly figured out the game and grew my social media and readership following to more than 95,000 and growing strong. I did it by honing in on a few key strategies that anyone can use. The best part? My advice is free and doesn’t require you to sign up for a workshop.
Know your niche
Before you start blogging, it is worth figuring out exactly what niche you want to exist in. Are you an expert at getting your kids to eat organic vegan entrees? Maybe you should be a food blogger. Are you a hilarious mom who can write snarky articles about the trials of motherhood? There is a niche for that too. The sage advice to write what you know will serve you well and make you stand out as a blogger, so give this step some time to figure out.
Create your tribe
Blogging, as individual as it may seem, is actually a group effort, I don’t care what anyone else will tell you. Find yourself a group of other bloggers who are willing to read your work, give you constructive feedback, help you brainstorm ideas, share your content online, and give you connections to other writers, editors, and advertisers. You’ll find that this core group of people will be like your online family and if you stick together, you can root for each other and watch each other succeed in ways that you simply cannot do on your own.
Make your voice strong
Once you’ve started blogging, really iron out your writing style until it feels distinctive. Use online editing apps like Grammarly to kill those typos and grammar mistakes (which happen to the best of us, all the time). Use copyright free images from sites like Unsplash or Pixabay to make your sharable blog posts look polished and fresh. And get used to the idea that headline and excerpt writing is possibly the hardest part of blogging but you can practice those here.
Make your first pitch
As you get better at writing and matching images with text and as your online tribe helps you share your work with their audiences on Facebook and Twitter, it might be time to start pitching editors for pay. To do this, find a publisher you really love and want to work with. Make sure your idea hasn’t already been written about by searching their site. Then, if you think you have a great idea, make your pitch! Contact the editor and quickly (think elevator speech) spell out your idea for a blog post, then give a couple of links to examples of your writing (these are called clips).
Get used to rejection
Editors reject stories all the time. For every ten stories I pitch, half of those will be rejected and no one can ever really know why an editor declines a story. It could be the tone is off, there isn’t a budget for it, it might be a great idea but doesn’t match the theme on their editorial calendar, or they already ran a similar story, for example. Just save that pitch to shop around to other editors or to retool and pitch again.
Many bloggers will sell blog posts to online publications for money. Some sell memes or jokes as well. Other bloggers will sell ads on their blogs or social media platforms. The best way to tap into selling ads is to talk to your blog friends who already do this to get the lowdown on which advertisers you can approach or ask your friend for an introduction.
Blogging probably won’t make you a six-figure income unless you have serious hustle and can devote many hours a day to it. But is can make you a pretty sweet little passive income that would be enough to save for a family vacation, pay the light bill, or buy groceries.
For more information about blogging practices that you can bring to your blog game, check out Beyond Your Blog.