Top 10 Blogging Questions
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was always asked a lot of questions by friends and family about parenting, marriage, and recipes. I felt like I wanted a place to write everything down and I could share with many people.
My biggest passion is sharing about Jesus and all He has done for me and my family. I wanted to encourage people in their daily lives and their walks with Jesus. I like writing about many other topics as well. My prayer is that the other stuff brings people in, and they get drawn into the more spiritual posts while they are here.
Blogs have encouraged me a lot in my journey of motherhood, and my hope is to do the same while sharing some great products/services along the way.
2. How did I learn about blogging and make it so successful?
I researched like a crazy person. I put in the time. I literally would spend hours and hours looking up and reading article after article on how to make this a business and make a full time income doing it. I reached out to people blogging that were doing an amazing job, and asked them questions. I had a few different women really take the time to help me and guide me through the process. This blogging world was foreign to me so I am so grateful for those who took the time to teach and walk with me on my way up.
3. How do I balance blogging, kids, and hubby?
I don’t. LOL! Seriously though, no one is balancing all of these roles perfectly no matter what job they have. I really try to prioritize each day by putting God first, my family, and then the blog. Some days that is majorly out of wack, and some days it feels like I’m “killing” it all.
Time blocking and scheduling my day the best I can really makes a difference. Every morning, I make a list of things needing to be done for the family and for the blog before anyone gets up. This helps me stay organized through the day, and productive.
I think the balance comes in realizing when to let go of blogging/social media and take a break or a night off when your family or if your husband needs more of that time. I also schedule weekly time out with my girlfriends which helps me not feel like I’m drowning in my kids needs and blogging all the time. Also, I’ve been taking off more time on the weekends other than shooting photos for the week ahead.
As a full-time blogger, I put in a good amount of hours every day. I was also doing this before the money started rolling in. It’s just now paying off.
4. What does my schedule look like as a work at home mom?
I typically do 1 hour early in the morning before the morning chaos starts. Then, it’s all about my kids until nap time where I work for another 2 hours. Depending on what we have going on, I will do 1 more hour sometime in the late afternoon or early evening when my husband is home, and the kids are playing, but this time is usually multitasking home & work life. After my kids bedtime is my prime time. I work about 2-3 hours every night starting around 8pm.
Some of these times get cut depending on the day, and what we have going on. However, I put in about 6 hours a day.
As I mentioned above, I am flexible when my kids need more of me or my husband does. I will then cut that time in half or take a day/night off.
I am a stay-at-home mom and a work-at-home mom. I try to make sure both of those roles stay equally balanced from the time and energy I put into them.
5. Do I have any tips on taking photos of myself & kids?
For kids…bribery work like a charm. My toddler was seriously made for this. 90 percent of the time he gets mad if anyone takes a picture without him. He loves to smile and pose for the camera. This has made my life a lot easier. Some days he doesn’t feel like it, so I bribe him if he takes a few pictures for mama, he can get a lollipop or something like that. Surprisingly, my older 2 really don’t mind as long as it doesn’t take long. So, I usually set everything up quickly and make it quick & easy for them.
I truly do not like taking solo pics of myself. I honestly just studied other accounts I loved for various poses, and ways to stand and that helped me feel a little more comfortable. However, people can tell when you copy. I try to make my photos not look “too perfect”, but normal and real too with some personality.
Do your own thing, even when no one else agrees that is how it should be done. If you are proud of your work, that is all that matters.
6. Where do I get most of my readers, and how do I increase my page views?
Pinterest is my number one source. Pinterest is a search engine, so I put in time and took courses to learn how to make better pins, and get my pins seen more often. Tons of people read my articles every day through Pinterest. After that, Facebook and Instagram are about tied and finally, Twitter.
7. How much money do I need to start a blog?
You can start for free with WordPress. If you would like a “.com” address, you will have to invest in that. It is inexpensive, but you will need to switch over and buy a domain when you start to monetize. Also, you will need hosting. I use Bluehost, but there is GoDaddy, Siteground and more. You will pay a yearly fee for that. After about a year, I also invested in a more professional site design as well, but used YouTube tutorials to learn to set it up myself. You can save a lot of money by using YouTube and just teaching yourself how to do stuff, rather than hiring out for it.
8. How Do I Make Money Blogging?
Answers will differ a little bit depending on the niche of a blogger, but these are the main ways I monetize my blog, making it a business in addition to a hobby.
Sponsored Posts are the main source of my income. I work with various companies each month, and I am paid to mention their service or product in my post. There is typically a disclosure of some type at the top of my sponsored posts. I only work with companies when I truly love their product or service. It makes it easy to weave into the content I already want to share with my followers.
I am typically hired to create content that includes a blog post, and is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Due to Instagram being my largest following, I am commonly hired to just post on Instagram.
I pitch directly to companies every month, have companies public relations firms reach out to me, or I apply to different campaigns a company is running within networks I have been accepted to based on my stats.
Affiliate Income is another source of my income. I make a commission if someone purchases through my links when I link outfits to various stores (mainly on Instagram) or if they make a purchase through something I share that is on Amazon. Those tend to be my main sources of affiliate income, but there are tons of programs you can enroll and you make a percentage of the sales.
Ads is the final way I make income. If someone clicks on the few ads I have placed on my site, I will receive a small commission from that as well.
I do now make a full-time income blogging. It took me about a year and a half to get to that point, Lots of hours, Lots of late nights.
Nothing comes without hard work.
9. How do I determine my rates to give brands?
Rates are typically determined by the number of page views you get to your blog each month, and how many followers you have on various social media networks. Brands pay for your reach. Social Blue Book is a great place to start, but as I have grown I factor in a lot of things with determining my rates. My rates have increased as my experience has increased. My page views and followers on each network have also helped determine my rates.
The typical rule of thumb is that you can charge a brand 10% of your following on that network so for 10,000 followers, I could charge $100.
If you don’t value your time and what you bring to the table, you can’t expect another company to either.
10. Best advice for starting a blog?
Start with writing some high quality content. Stuff you love to talk about that is going to be helpful to someone that would read it. Just put out as much content as you can. Wait to go live after you have at least 5+ articles on your site so people can get a feel for your voice. Do that for 6 months, and then look into monetizing. Always write at least 1 blog post a week to be consistent and reliable to your readers.
If you want to make it a business, you have to be willing to put in the work. Nothing is FREE in this business or comes easy. If you are willing to put in the time and energy, you can do anything you put your mind to.
I hope that this helps you whether you are considering starting a blog or just need some encouragement on your journey of becoming an entrepreneur.
*For more on blogging, check out: “How I had success in my first year of blogging .”