I’ve been talking to a bunch of mamas lately about where they’re at in terms of getting their blog to the biz level. And the feedback I got back showed one of their biggest struggles was they did not know where to even begin.
Here’s my own story to hopefully offer a glimpse into what I would have done differently today knowing what I know now.
You know – with this massive blogging brain of mine I’ve cultivated over the years.
I started blogging when my daughter almost a year and a half and she’s ten and a half now. And at the time I started blogging for the sake of participating in some online knit-a-longs.
I went with the easiest cheapest, freest option available at the time, which was Blogger. So I had a Blogspot account only very briefly because I realized, shortly after I started this practice, I was hooked.
I wanted to keep doing it so I promptly switched over to Typepad, which was a little bit of an investment at the time, but it was really easy to design a very user friendly experience for me (who is very not tech savvy).
And then when I decided I wanted to offer services and e-courses, that was the time I made the bigger investment of a web designer and I have been blissfully blogging on what she came up with ever since.
What I would say to someone who is just starting out in terms of how to decide what to invest in is…
1. Decide if you can see yourself blogging a year from now.
If so, even if just for hobby/fun, I would do at least a little bit of investment at least into a WordPress.org site – NOT WordPress.com. I know, confusing.
To do this you will also need to choose a web host provider and purchase a domain name – something like www.blissbeyondnaptime.com. But not that one. Taken.
2. Choose a Mail Service Provider That Will Grow With You and Your Blog
The next investment I would look into is some sort of e-mail list subscriber service, such as Mailchimp, which is what I began with many moons ago. But I finally had to make the switch over to Aweber, mostly because of the way my e-courses are delivered through email. And I have since finally settled with Convertkit and have been super happy with them ever since (so much so that this here is an affiliate link).
That one was a little bit of a painful switch for me. I had to ask nicely for all my subscribers at the time to say, “Hey follow me over here.” It was doable, but again if I was to start from the beginning I probably would’ve switched over to Convertkit from the get go had it been available back in the stone ages when I started.
3. Get Professional Techy Help (so you can focus on the blog and biz bit)!
So whenever you feel like you need assistance on the techy front, some of you mamas may have helpful husbands on that front, I highly recommend getting professional help.
Consider hooking up with a virtual assistant even if only for a couple of hours a month.
And this is a great declaration to the Universe and yourself when you start investing money into your blog that you are in it, at least as a very passion hobby if not a business in the end.
4. A Graphic Designer Can Be A Great Starter Investment for Your Branding
I often look back on my blog as being a long term career coach. It has been a great place to put down on screen what my passions are, how I wish the world to be, and has eventually lead me to what I am doing today.
So if a web designer or a VA is out of your price range right now, I hire a graphic designer to help you out a bit with your website. At least the header – which can be the big statement piece for your online presence and then a great jumping off point to inspire any other graphics you are going to include in your website.
Consistency is a really great way to build your brand from the very beginning. So do this is when you feel like you want to make a real go at this.
I honestly believe it’s important to set something up that feels like it resonates with you to your core.
That’s the great thing about working with a graphic designer or web designer. They ask these really amazing questions that can really birth out of you a visual of you represented there as an image.
For instance, the header that you see up there right now if you are looking at this on blissbeyondnaptime.com that was a prompt from my web designer:
“What’s your favorite item in your home?”
And it’s my wall (sounds crazy, hey?). What you see up there in my header today is a close up of my favourite wall at our last place. A beautiful Lazure painted wall. And it brings me a lot of peace and calm when I stare at it, and that’s what I want to bring to you (that’s why I am talking in such a peaceful tone – it goes with my branding).
As soon as you are ready to invest in this what might be a hobby for you, or what might lead to a stay at home business idea (which is really a possible way to do it given the magical powers of the internet), then by all means invest in one of these avenues for a really professional and efficient site that works for you and will inspire you to sit down and make a post at least once a week, and collects those email addresses from the people who also resonate with what you have to say and how you express that.