July 27, 2011

Mom Blogging 101

Lately, I've been getting a lot of blogging related questions from you guys. I'm a little reluctant to offer much advice on the subject for a couple of reasons: 1) As you will quickly see, I don't follow my own advice a lot of the time 2) Most of what I have to say about blogging directly contradicts a lot of stuff that you'll read on the Internet.

So take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.

Q: I want to start a blog. Any advice?

A: This depends on the kind of you want. If you are writing for just your friends and family, then do whatever you want! If you aim for a larger readership, then I would think about specializing.

A lot of mom blogs out there remind me of crock pots, and not necessairily in a bad way: their content is made up of a bunch of different things (personal stories, recipes, photography tips, craft tutorials, product reviews, etc.). Some of these blogs are really, really successful, but many struggle, I think, because they try to do too much. I admire bloggers who can do it all, but I am a one trick pony. People don't come to my blog to see pretty pictures, to find out about the latest fashions, or to find a new recipe (at least I sure hope not). I have strong feelings about Casey Anthony, the national debt crisis, and Duke basketball, but no one comes to my blog to read about them. People come I hope/I think to read a funny story about a kid that is mine, but could be theirs. And that's it. Almost every time I wander outside of my genre, bad things happen.


Q: I'm worried that if I specialize, I'll run out of things to say.

A: If I wrote a craft/cooking/home decorating/party planning/photography blog, I would be able to produce exactly 1 entry worth reading. Maybe less, if the topic is home decorating. I admire all of these talents, but unfortunately, don't have any of them. Other than write, there isn't much that I can do. Or like to do for that matter. In short, embrace what you are good at and run with it. When you accept the fact that you don't have to be everything to everyone, blogging doesn't seem so scary.


Q: How do you find time to blog?


A: We don't have cable.

Q: How much money do you make blogging?

A: This might be the #1 question that I am asked. Some people ask out of sheer curiosity, but most ask because they want to know if writing a mom blog can take the place of a part-time job.

Maybe I'm way off, but I sort of feel like blogging is to our generation what Tupperware parties and vitamin supplements were to our mothers'. In all these ventures, the financial success of few give the mistaken impression that quick and easy money is available to all. If you want to start a blog, then absolutely go for it! Just don't quit your day job. I haven't :)


Q: Do you ever run out of material?

A: Sometimes there's a slow day. But since I write funny stories about my kids, the best way to ensure a steady stream of content is to spent lots and lots of time with them. :)


Q: How do you attract readers to your blog?

A: My blog readership grew almost exclusively through word-of-mouth advertising (muchas gracias to all of you who have told your girlfriend/mother/sister about my blog and/or forwarded a link). I know that people are way into Facebook and Twitter and Kirtsy but I'm still easing my way into the 21st century.

You guys are the bestest.

24 comments

Jill said...

What an informative post. I love reading your blog. It always cracks me up!
www.exceedinglyblessedblog.blogspot.com

The Bus Driver said...

kids are an endless source of writing. :D

Julie said...

Sage advice!
Also, I don't even have kids but I still read your blog all the time :)

If you love writing, I strongly urge you to check out this guy (but only if you don't mind a bit, ok, A LOT of profanity). His blog is super funny and has some crazy-good advice for writers.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/

Mal said...

What's Kirsty?

Mom of 12 said...

Thanks for the info! My biggest fear about blogging is that I will burn out/run out of things to say. That never seems to be a problem for you and I for one am extremely happy about that! I look for your blog every night so that I can giggle on my way up to bed.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

mom24orsinis said...

I agree with you about the focusing...I have a few blogs (yours at the top of that list) that I read daily, and they are ALL focused on a topic...the one's I follow that are not focused, I find I don't really read as often because, like you, I"m pretty simple: I like to laugh (The Meanest Mom blog) and I love to bake (How Sweet is the BEST blog that combines serious laughter with unbeliveable baked goods...must check it out...)

So, all your advice was great, but I just have to back you up on the focused bit! Thanks Jana!!

BeckyB.West said...

I LOVE your blog! You make me feel like my 'mommy craziness' normal, and that's exactly what I need! Thanks for blogging!

Christine said...

Ha ha...I have a "mom" blog thats the crockpot, friends and family variety. Not a lot of readers but it's more for me and the grandparents that are across the country. My reward is printing it out at the end of the year and having a photo journal but I've got comments from people that they enjoy it too even though it's really geared for myself.

I come hear for a laugh for sure and always enjoy it. (My 15 year old son always has to check in on what's new too ;)

Catherine Dabels said...

Speaking of facebook, I friended you like a hundred years ago. Nothing. I'm starting to take it personally.

Kidding. Sort of......

Mrs G said...

I alwasy worry that I run out of things to say. Luckily, mines is 95% about the kids with my running and other randomness that happens daily.

http://illtake2ofeverything.blogspot.com/

Renee said...

I just blog about whatever is on my mind on that particular day at that particular time. Sometimes it's deep sentimental stuff and sometimes it's about The Baby.

I love reading your blog. I found you through An Irish Italian Blessing. I have so many moments at home where I find myself calling myself a mean mommy and think of you. :)

Mike said...

Jana -- Not all your readers are of the female gender.

Beth Hatch said...
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Beth Hatch said...
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Beth Hatch said...

Beth Hatch said...
Actually, word of mouth is your greatest advertiser. You are one of my top three mom bloggers and I featured you in this month's issue of my library's magazine...

READ HERE!

Miranda said...

Oh keep writing girl...you are a dose of laughter everyday for me.

Chrissy Jo said...

I have introduced you to soooo many people, and I can't even remember how I found you. Thanks for giving me a good chuckle almost every day. :-)

Karen said...

I heard about your blog on the news in Greensboro, NC...been a faithful reader since! I also must say I love to read the comments when I have time too...you have some witty comment-ers. LOL

Nicki said...

You got 3600+ followers by word of mouth? I am doing something wrong because I am stuck at 68!

nodramamomma37 said...

Thanks for the tips! I often wonder how to find readers. Some days I have over 100 (which makes me proud, since I just started) but most days is a big 0.

Feedback appreciated!

WhisperingWriter said...

Great post.

I'm amazed you don't have cable. I'd go nuts without it.

Melanie said...

I have two blogs. One is my "mommy" blog. The other is...well, it's hard to explain. I write about my emotional and spiritual well being. My struggles with OCD, depression, self-esteem, life, liberty...the pursuit of happiness. That kinda thing.

Love your advise. Love your blog.

Liz said...

i have enjoyed reading through your blog! As a firt time mom to be, i am in search of parenting and mommyhood tips and tricks, and your blog has made it not seem such a scary thing!
Keep up the good work!

www.mommytummy.blogspot.com

Tara said...

I just came across this and since I just started blogging, I found this incredibly helpful. I mostly blog because it gives me a way to vent and since I am in transition from a working mom to a SAHM, I thought it would give me something to do and hopefully keep me connected to other people. Thanks for answering those questions... many were ones I had not thought of yet, but I am sure would have thought of in the future.