Posted: Apr 14, 2013 7:00 AM
 
Need a way to express your creative side in between folding the laundry and soccer drop-off? Blogging might be just what you need. From crafts to cooking and everything in between, blogs allow you to showcase your talents, connect with other moms and possibly make money.

People start blogs for many different reasons. Some quit after just a few months and others learn they love the online world and blog for years, often making a career out of it. However, to successfully grow a blog it takes some commitments that many people aren't aware of when they start. To help you be successful with your efforts from the beginning, here are a few blogging tips to keep in mind.

Time commitment

You really need to visit and comment on other blogs if you want people to read yours.

When I asked some bloggers what one thing they wish they had known before starting a blog, the majority answered how much time it would take. Writing and editing blog posts, taking and editing pictures and sharing online is just part of the time involved in blogging. Greta Funk, blogger at G*Funk*ified, wishes she had known "that you really need to visit and comment on other blogs if you want people to read yours." Many mom bloggers spend a lot of time working on growing their blog early in the morning, during naptime and after the kids go to bed.

Costs of a blog

Woman putting money in bankThere are free options for bloggers just starting out including Blogger and WordPress.com. However, if you are serious about turning your blog into something more than a hobby it is best to start with a self-hosted WordPress blog. The costs involved with a self-hosted blog include purchasing a domain, web hosting and blog design. Domain names can be purchased on various sites, including Go Daddy and Network Solutions, for around the same price as a t-shirt at Target. For your blog to show up on the Internet, it needs to be hosted somewhere. Bluehost and DreamHost are good options for WordPress blogs and the annual hosting costs are equivalent to a new pair of pumps at Nordstrom. In the beginning your blog doesn't need a fancy design but as you progress online you might want to give it a professional look. Blog designers range in price from a pair of designer jeans to a complete wardrobe makeover, it all depends on whom you use and what you are looking for. Here are a few blog designers that won't break the bank: NW Designs, Booyah Creative and Kimberly Muro Designs.

Setting goals for your blog

Will it be a place where you can connect with other moms? Will it be a place where you can share your latest dinner recipe or crafting project? Are you going to use the blog to improve your photography?

Before committing your time and money to a blog, it is important to think about your blogging goals. What do you want to get out of your blog? Will it be a place where you can connect with other moms? Will it be a place where you can share your latest dinner recipe or crafting project? Are you going to use the blog to improve your photography? Knowing your blogging goals before you start can help with the name, look and direction of the blog. Alison Lee, blogger at Writing, Wishing, said she would have liked to have "known more about what my vision for blogging was going to be like. Then I would have thought harder about my blog name (which I've had to change)."

Creating blog content

Some bloggers post on their blog multiple times a day whereas others post a couple times a month. Either way, your blog needs content. Some days blog ideas flow like water and other times the well is dry. When inspiration hits, write down the blog ideas, even if it is just the title of the post or a line or two. Make sure it is enough that you can later on complete the blog post. It's also helpful to create a blogging schedule to follow so there is consistency on the days you post about certain topics. This gives your readers an idea of what to expect and helps you with creating blog content. An example blogging schedule would be showcasing photography on Mondays, product reviews on Wednesdays and a fun craft project for kids on Fridays.

No matter what your reason for starting a blog, it's important to keep these factors in mind before jumping in with both feet. The blogging world is full of great people and wonderful content. Have fun with your online venture and don't forget to be yourself.

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My favorite mom blogs

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