How to make money with mommy blogs
Houston power moms share blogging secrets
Houston mom Amy Gross told Local 2 the best way she can think of describing mom blogging is as an old fashioned quilting bee -- a place where women gathered to work on pieces of a quilt together.
Picture the Internet as the quilt and each of their blogs as a square. However, none of those squares produces thousands of dollars in income a month and are not seen by thousands of people daily.
That is the just case for some mom bloggers who have found a way to harness their words and turn them into a profit.
Four mom bloggers, Amy Gross with Mom's Toolbox, Moms Travel Tales and Vine Sleuth, Crystal Reagan with Simply Being Mommy, Sara Patterson with Momma Findings, and Jessica Benton with That Tech Chick, share their secrets.
1. Get focused, find a topic
"It's got to be something you love because you can't write about something you don't love for more than five posts. If you want to have a successful site, you have got to write about it over and over and over and over and in several different ways," said Gross.
The moms told Local 2 the topic doesn't have to be be mommy-related. Jessica Benton turned her blog about saving money at home into a tech blog that focuses on all sorts of gadget.
"I have always been the 'tech' person at heart. People have always come to me with, 'My phone is not working' or, 'My Internet is not working.' 'What should I buy or what is your recommendation?' When a reader came up to me and said, 'Your tech articles help me,' that was my turning point," said Benton, a Beaumont mom blogger.
2. Get a name
"If you are a newbie and want to start blogging, get a plan -- especially with the name of the blog. I didn't plan mine, it was just a thought one night, "mommafingdings." I didn't pick good name, but I'm stuck with it," said Sara Patterson, a Baytown mom blogger.
Most of the moms didn't plan on having a professional blog, so some said it is just luck the names worked out. Their advice? Think long and hard about the name you are going to use.
"Start a BlogSpot.com blog. It is free. Work on it three to six months. If you find it is something you really enjoy doing and you think you can make it work, then it is time to invest in your own domain name. If you don't make it through that first six months, you are not going to make it," said Reagan.
4. Register your brand
"Get your domain name and then get your Facebook page and your Twitter handle," said Gross.
The bloggers said adding the word "mom" to the name when registering the domain might make it easier for companies looking for partners to find the blog..
Benton told Local 2 it pays to take the extra step of getting a personal domain name.
"When I was ready, instead of simplybeingmommy.blogspot.com, I went with simplybeingmommy.com. I think that does mean a lot to the brand name companies," said Reagan.
5. Start writing
"The good mom bloggers are writing and posting once a day and sometimes 10 times a day. They are writing good content that other people are interested in reading," said Gross.
Benton told Local 2 bloggers should write from the heart. Google search traffic and the people on Twitter will eventually find the blog.
6. Review your own life
"I would write about things that I had and things that I liked and things that I used," said Benton.
All of the women agreed the best way to attract brand name companies looking for mom bloggers to review their products is to show them you review products and place them on your blog.
"I just started reviewing stuff I had at home. The companies started seeing I was writing some kind of review and they started sending me stuff to review," Patterson.
7. Hit the Internet and go surfing
"What you need to do is find other websites out there that you connect with and then you leave comments on their site. Don't leave comments saying, 'Come and check out my site,' but write genuine comments about things you are interested in. Basically, you will start to develop relationships with other bloggers and they will then follow you and expose their readers to your website," said Gross.
When leaving comments, be sure to include a link or the web address to your own website.
The big don't
The big no-no in the mommy blog world is strangers asking for favors.
"If you come right out and ask a blogger, 'Hey, I see you reviewed this, can I have the contact to review that?' They are not going to give it you. If you build relationships with other bloggers, they will share information with you or share contacts with you," said Benton.