Welcome to my Mom Boss Series. The first step to becoming a MOM BOSS! When I was searching for information on how to start a blog I kept finding promising posts that would ultimately just give some short info on how easy it is to start a blog and then proceeded trying to sell some course. Well as a stay at home mom we really didn’t have the extra income to spend on all these classes that all just gave such basic information. I’m trying to find a way to make money not just spend it.
I knew once I was at a successful point in my career I really wanted to create a FREE Mom Boss post series filled with everything I learned and used to create my website, FashionAveMom. I’m sharing my personal experience and everything I’ve learned along the way. Trust me I made a bunch of mistakes but I’m hoping that through my experiences you learn how to avoid all the unnecessary steps I took! My ultimate goal of being a Stay at Home Mom Boss is to be able to stay home with the kids and still be able to have a creative outlet that helped produce some extra money for my family.
With blogging you really have the opportunity to bring in a great monthly income. No it’s not an overnight thing at all! It really does take a lot of time and dedication but once you hit it the rewards are so wonderful! This is Part One of my 3 part Mom Boss series. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to follow along and be notified when the new two parts go live! In Part 1 you will learn all about setting up a blog and all the first steps to take along with my favorite products, what NOT to do, and about some of my favorite money-making affiliates. Enjoy! Check out Part 2 which goes into more details about setting up a LLC, marketing your blog and growing your traffic and Part 3 which is all about making your blog profitable. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Welcome to Part One of my Stay at Home Mom Boss Series!
If your like most moms then once you become a mom all you want to do is spend as much time as possible with your little bundle of joy! Unfortunately, sometimes this is too hard to do if your family depends on having both incomes. One way you can have the best of both worlds is to start your own business. Who doesn’t want to be a Mom Boss? Starting a Blog is a wonderful way to let that creative side out while making some great extra money for your family.
I know so many moms (including myself) that blog full-time and have a ton of success. Like all successful jobs it takes time and dedication to get it going but the benefits are so wonderful. I get to stay home with my daughter and that is very important to me. I got to be there for every step, every giggle, and every cuddle. Being your own boss allows you to make your own hours and control what needs to get done. It does take a lot of discipline to be your own boss but if you can master that then your all set!
Here is my story!
I stared my blog when I was pregnant with my daughter. It all started with an idea. I had just left my job in the fashion industry and was searching for the best way to still be creative while being my own boss. I was about to start a new chapter in my life as a wife, mother and living in a foreign country. I always had the entrepreneur spirit so I knew that I had to look into starting my own business and blogging was the perfect way for this. Since we were prepping for our big move to Europe I needed something that I could do from anywhere we traveled. Whether I’m back in NYC or off in Paris I needed to make sure I could work and still make a profit. Now I just have the freedom to be with my family and travel all we want!
I spent over a year really learning everything I could about how to create a successful blog. I spent a countless amount of hours on YouTube learning everything I possible could! I really wanted to do it right. I will admit I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way trying to figure it all out but with each mistake it has only made me more successful. It’s all about learning. Here are my absolute Best Tips I’ve learned along the way and I’ve also included a list of the Do Not Dos to help speed up your path to a successful blog! I’m also including a list of my Go To Products that have really helped make my business a success and I couldn’t have done without. If your serious about blogging then I highly suggest getting my MomBoss Blogger Kit including Media Kits, Free Blog planner, a bunch of great Cheat Sheets and so much more! To celebrate the launch of this series and the kit for a limited time I’m offering 20% off to anyone that signs up for the FashionAveMom newsletter! The kit will be launching by mid December. I have been working extensively to make sure this kit includes everything a blogger needs to get that head start and stay organized on your way to Mom Blogging Success!
The first step! Congrats on taking the first big step! Remember You Got This!!!
1. Find your Niche! Ask yourself these big questions!
*What are you passionate about? Blogging takes a lot of time and dedication. Make sure your topic is something you really love and won’t get bored with.
*What do you enjoy?
*What do you enjoy writing about?
*What advice can your best provide for your target audience?
* Is your niche profitable?
2. Choose a Name, Logo, and Theme! Some people leave this step for a little later on but I think it takes the most time so I feel it’s important to do early on. That way you know the direction you are taking your new blog in. I truly feel that you need to give this step a lot of time and not rush it. It’s so important in building a successful brand.
The name: What name do you feel will explain your site/brand best? It should be catchy. It should be fun and something you will love for years to come. The name FashionAveMom came from my life living on 7th avenue in NYC otherwise known as FashionAve. That is where I went to school (at FIT) and spent most of my years from a very young age in the fashion field. The fashion district is all located on FashionAve. It is also where my mother spent her school years and career as well as my grandmother that immigrated to this country. She worked in the factories on 7th avenue for most of her life. I thought FashionAveMom was a perfect way to honor all of that.
My best suggestion with this big step is to make a list of some of your favorite mom blog names. Then make a list of all the names you are thinking about. Lists are so helpful! Be prepared because you never know when inspiration will hit! Mine was in the shower!! The most important tip (and sometimes most frustrating) when picking a name is to make sure your name is available as a domain name! You can check that out here. I suggest getting a .com over any other option.
Logo: This is another important step. We are a very visual society and we relate a logo to how we feel about a product. Think of the most successful products out there. We can see a logo and immediately taste the product or know the smell. A logo is so important in building a successful brand. You want it to be simple and yet stand out. Search for logos on places likeCreative Marketand Etsy. See what you love and save an image of it. Save pictures of all your favorite logos. See what you love about them. Is it the color or the font that made you notice it? Take all of this into consideration when creating your logo. You also want something that will be easy to use for marketing materials. Does it have too many tiny details on it or a lot of colors? This will add up when condersiddering getting your logo printed on different promotional materials in the future. It’s best to always think long-term because you are working on creating a successful brand and business.
Theme: The right blog theme can make or break a site. Is it clean and easy to navigate? Does it provide everything you are looking for such as a shop if your planning to have a store on your blog? Does it allow you to customize details like colors and fonts? Make sure you love the layout of the theme. I always say to pick three themes you love. My favorite resource for themes is creative market. This is where I found my theme and I was so impressed with the huge selections they had. It took a few hours to find three I loved most because there really were so many great options. I’ve used another site for a previous theme I had and I wasn’t thrilled with them or the extra support charges they would sneak in so I won’t bother to recommend them! My current theme is my 2nd theme I’ve had. I rushed to get the last theme up. Not the best thing to do. I was over it within a few months. That is why I highly suggest taking your time choosing a theme.
Now for Name, Logo, and Theme you want to do this next step! Spend a week to 2 weeks looking at each option every day and multiple times a day. You want to make sure it’s something you love and don’t get sick of since you will be staring at it for a very long time. Send your options to close friends and ask for their opinions. See what they like best. This step is so important in helping you decide the right name, logo and theme.
3. Blogging platform! I run my site on wordpress so I suggest wordpress.org to all my friends and moms that ask me about a blogging platform. It’s not what I went with at first. When I started I was overly ambitions and wanted to create my own site from scratch as well as the coding. With wordpress you really don’t have to do that. It was ultimately a waste of time for me. Same thing goes for sites like Wix and Blogger. Why spend all that time when you will just end up switching to WordPress in the future anyway. Save your self the time and aggravation now. Just go with WordPress.org trust me you will be happy!
4. Hosting and Domain name! Now is the time to get this thing going!! Many hosting plans now offer a free domain so that is such a great win. I’ve used two that I’ve liked. Bluehost and Siteground. I recently made the switch to Siteground and I’m very happy with that choice. I saw so many people absolutely loved siteground and it’s easy to see why. They have wonderful customer service and I’ve been happy with how my site runs on it. To sign up with plans as low as $3.95 a month go here! I truly can’t say enough about how great they have been. It’s easy to see why so many bloggers love them so much. The customer service is like almost way too nice but I’ll take it! They are so quick to resolve any issues or questions you may have. They even transferred my site over to their hosting for free. I love these guys and I’m so happy I made the switch. When I was debating making the move I contacted both Bluehost and Siteground on their online chat and asked about a million questions to both. Siteground’s team was amazing and so helpful while Bluehost was trying to upsell me on renewing my hosting with no care for any of my questions or concerns I had. I will admit I am no tech expert but I truly appreciate the patience and guidance Siteground has shown me. It makes all this tech stuff a lot easier to tackle!
Once you get the site up and running you are ready to get going! Before going live I suggest having at least 5 blog posts ready to go. This will help your blog look more professional. It always looks cheesy to me when I go to a blog with one post. These 5 blog posts will be the ones you will start promoting and it will give you a little head start. Try to promote a post a week. The best way to promote a new post is on social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. I go more into details on this later. Take your time to design the theme the way you want it with color and layout options. Sometimes all you get is one shot at making the perfect first impression to your future readers. Make sure your site is working properly before going live. Also take this time to really get to know WordPress and their Dashboard. Play around with the dashboard. Get comfortable with all of the sections. It was a little intimidating at first but once you get it you will be a pro!
What Not To DO!!!
Here are some great tips of things to avoid when starting a successful blog!
*If your serious about starting a profitable blog I highly suggest avoiding free website blog services. Anything from wordpress.com to wix. It’s just better to invest in setting up a self hosted blog especially one hosted by Siteground (here). This will save you so much time in the future when you would have to switch over your site to a self hosted site. One of the benefits is that you can add your own ads to a self hosted site which is a great way to bring in some extra money each month. You also appear more professional having a site name like www. name. com and not something that has .blogspace .com attacked to it. You will find that having a self hosted blog is one of the main requirements companies and brands will look for when choosing bloggers to work with for paid and gifted sponsored posts.
*Don’t ignore the power of social media! Yes you want to blog and that’s great but you need to promote your blog and the best way to do that is on social media. I personally feel that instagram, facebook and pinterest are my absolute favorites for promoting my site. Instagram drives the least amount of views to my site but it’s also one of the best places to connect with brands and receive sponsored posts. You want to focus on growing your following on there. Once I hit 10,000 followers I started to get a ton of requests from great companies. That has only increased as my numbers have increased. Facebook is a wonderful way to network with other bloggers in your field and to promote your blog posts. Share them with your family and friends. Use your Facebook blog page to build your community on there. It’s so easy for people to share posts on Facebook and that will get your blog a lot of great exposure and views. Pinterest is the absolute best for driving traffic to your site and is an absolute must to build your blog views. I will go into more details on this later.
*Don’t over complicate this whole process. Remember to make it fun! Once you add stress to this process it takes the fun out of it. I was in such a rush to get things going that it almost killed the experience for me. There are no deadlines to getting the blog you want. You are your own boss. Enjoy the process and take your time especially on the creative side and it will come across in your blog. Also if there is an easy way to do it then do it! I tried to be such an overachiever my first attempt at bringing FashionAveMom alive and I wasted a good year doing so. I’m stubborn I will admit it. Yes knowing how to code is awesome and makes you appreciate the work that coders do but with sites like WordPress and the amazing plugins theres truly no reason to waste time learning it especially at this stage. My first attempt with wordpress I jumped on a theme and really put a ton of pressure to get my site going. Want to know what happened? Well I paid a lot of money for a theme I thought I loved but grew sick of very quickly! Within months I was over the theme and wanted a new look. That’s why I highly suggest taking a week or 2 to really take your time to pick a theme you love and appreciate. That’s what I did with my current theme and I was so thankful I did!.
My Go To Products
Canva– This free site is wonderful for creating blog post covers and pinterest covers for your blog. Having a great cover is the first step to gaining the traffic to your blog on pinterest. This site makes it super easy to do. No big design or art skills needed.
Polyvore– I love this site for creating collages that I use in my must have posts or gift guides. It is so easy to get images of products and to create a style board which I then upload to my posts. It’s easy to use and easy to create some wonderful style boards your readers will love.
Pinterest– One of the best platforms for driving traffic to my blog is pinterest. Sign up as soon as possible and get your page started.
Tailwind– One of the best sources of traffic to your blog is from Pinterest. My site wouldn’t be as successful as it is without Pinterest. Tailwind is really loved and suggested by so many and it’s clear to see why. It makes life so much easier. One of the keys to success with pinterest is to pin multiple pins a day. Tailwind does all the hard work for you. It even gives you a schedule of the optimal times to pin. All I do is schedule a bunch of pins for the week. It takes me about 20 mins to do. Tailwind isn’t a free service but it’s not expensive either especially for all that it does. It’s such a crucial part to a blogs success that it really is a must have for me. To sign up for your trial click here.
ConvertKit– Like so many other bloggers at first I didn’t pay much attention to gaining subscribers for my blog. I didn’t realize all the benefits that having a great list of subscribers could offer my site. I at first was using mail chimp and I think that had a lot to do with why I didn’t get into it. Mail chimp was just super confusing to me and I always seemed to have issues with it working properly. I finally ended up switching to ConvertKit after hearing so many great successful stories about bloggers using it! Wow what a difference that made. It was easy to use and set up on my blog. Once I started gaining subscribers I loved how easy it was to create email lists. ConvertKit really made it so easy for me. Now I’m trying to grow my subscribers more and actually enjoy doing it. I try to send out an email twice a month. I also love sharing with my subscribers awesome deals on products for moms and baby! Check out ConvertKit here and see why all the top bloggers love them!
Namecheap– This place offered the cheapest I’ve seen for purchasing a domain name. It’s also my go to site to check if a domain is available. To check if your name is available or to get their super great deals for domain names then just go here.
Shotbox– This is a product I discovered as a go fund type project. I instantly feel in love with it! I ordered one right away and I was so impressed by it. If you take a lot of product pictured or still photos and you want them to look amazing then this product is a must. My home office is small so I’m really short on space. This product is so compact! It even has a great carrying case to store everything so easily. There are so many different options like backgrounds to use. I have been so happy with this purchase and it has helped me elevate my photography game! Get more information on this awesome photography must have here.
Sony A6000– A great camera is really important when you are trying to create a successful blog. People are visual and your images on your blog are so very important. When I started I was going to jump right in and buy a dslr. The one thing that always held me back was the size. As a mom I already carry everything in my bag but the thought of carrying another bag just for my camera was just too much. I knew I’d skip out of taking pictures and capturing a special moment because I wouldn’t want to deal with the hassle of getting the big bulky camera out. That’s when I discovered the Sony 6000 mirrorless camera. Talk about a total win! This camera produces Amazing photos that I surprise my self all the time! The size is amazing as well! I can easily fit it in my diaper bag, talk about a win! It’s so easy to quickly take out and capture the winning photo. I’ve absolutely love having and using this camera. I also love the wifi function where I can quickly upload the pics to my phone to edit and post right away. SO easy! Get yours here!
Color Story– This is my favorite app to use to edit photos. They have a ton of great filters and options to make the photo perfect. I also love photoshop but I find it too much of a hassle to edit quick photos on my computer and it’s just so much easier to edit them on my phone and upload them to instagram. Head to the Apple App store to get this app on your phone.
Creative Market– This site is amazing for everything creative! They have a ton of website templets and design elements that I couldn’t do without. This was the place I found my website theme. It’s the best place to go and explore when looking for a website templet and logo designs. Check it out here for their great weekly freebies!
Hungry JPG – This is my go to for getting all my favorite design images for my site. I like to think of myself as a big crafter and this website is a total crafter’s dream. I’m crazy about their monthly bundles like thisChristmas Crafter Font Bundlethey currently have going on. This is by far the best place to find great fonts and clip art.
MomBoss Blogger Kit- Staying organized is so very important! Blogging can get really overwhelming really quickly. I was having such a hard time keeping up with home life and blogging until I finally sat down to create a MomBoss Blogger Kit that really helped transform my blogging experience. Staying organized really is a big key factor to blogging success. I highly suggest getting my MomBoss Blogger Kit including Media Kits, Free Blog Planner, Social Media Planner, and Cheat Sheets! It has made such a big difference for me and I’m hoping it will help other Mom bosses out as well! For a limited time I’m offering 20% off when you sign up for our newsletter to use when we launch the MomBoss Blogger Kit this month! It will help you get that head start and stay organized on your way to Mom Blogging Success!
$$ Now Let’s Talk Money!!! $$
Affiliate programs is a sure way to bring in that extra income. Here are a few of my favorites!
Amazon Associates– Everyone loves Amazon. This is my most profitable affiliate program. There are so many products available that you can find anything on here
Share a Sale – This is definite my second favorite affiliate program. They have the best stores to work with such as Wayfair and a lot of great children clothing companies! A lot of bloggers find this program to be very profitable for them. The site is very easy to use and it’s also very easy to apply to all the big companies to become an affiliate. To sign up for ShareASale go here.
Awin– Now I’m a big fan of this affiliate program because they include Etsy! They are pretty similar to Share A Sale. I know my readers love shopping on Etsy so this was a big must for me to join. To sign up for Awin go here.
Many companies have their own affiliate program you can join. Are there specific stores you absolutely love and shop from all the time? Check to see if they have an affiliate program. You will be most successful with selling products that you love. I’ve included a list of my favorite companies with great Affiliate Programs which I added as a bonus with The MomBoss Blogger Kit.
Hope this post has inspired you to take the first big steps towards being a Mom Boss! It has been a wonderful ride so far. Yes blogging takes a lot of time and dedication but the benefits are wonderful! Be sure to sign up for our email list to get an update when Part 2 and Part 3 go live along with the limited time offer of 20% off on our special MomBoss Blogger Kit!
Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get 20% off my FashionAveMom MomBoss Blogger Kit and to be notified when Parts 2 and 3 go live! I have been working extensively to make sure this kit includes everything a blogger needs to get that head start and stay organized on your way to Mom Blogging Success!