I took the decision to launch my blog a few months after my daughter was born, because it was a suitable option that provided me with more time to spend at my convenience (something that was not totally possible in the corporate world).
However, what few people know is that it took me a while to start my blog, as I really wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing. It was important for me to know that once the blog went live, I wouldn’t shut it down a couple of weeks later down the road.
For a little background on myself, I’m a marketing hotelier, which means that I’ve worked in the commercial department of hotel chains for a very long time. While I enjoyed my job and the team that I worked with, being away from my daughter for over 11 hours every day was not how I envisioned my approach to parenting.
So, I started considering other options that would be more suitable for me, and the blog was an evident solution.
But, instead of just diving into the blogging world, which was pretty new to me, I took the time to explore what blogging was about. Today, I can’t help but appreciate this phase of my life, as it prepared me for the following one.
Having said that, here are 5 reasons why I think it’s important to take the time to be ready prior to launching a blog.
I needed to understand what blogging was about
Before becoming a mom, I never considered blogging. As a matter of fact, the word was so foreign to me that I didn’t even know what a blog was or who its readers were.
In other words, I had a lot of research to do to understand what blogging was about.
The beauty about blogging is that we own the blog entirely. We get to choose what to talk about, how often to talk about it, whom to talk to, how to talk to other people, etc. Coming from a solid corporate background, this sounded like a very liberating world. I was the one and only master of my blog, and didn’t have to go back to any guidelines to set the rules of the game.
The blog was going to be MY game.
Once I figured out this part, I was ready to move on to the next stage: finding a topic that would be suitable for me, one that I would be passionate about and that would be interesting to have enough content to write about.
I needed to find the topic of my blog
The more I researched blogging, the more it became evident to me that I would be blogging about motherhood. After all, this was the main reason that pushed me into the blogging universe, so why not talk about it?
That’s when I started signing up on all the parenting and motherhood websites and blogs that I found, so that I could get familiar with the topics that they discussed. Needless to say, there are tons of parenting blogs out there.
While this could sound like a worrying point to some, I liked having the chance to be exposed to so many other mom bloggers (sometimes dads too), as I was able to compare the different styles, topics, approaches, and tones of voice. The same topic could be approached in dozens of different ways by different authors. Take toddler tantrums, for example: some write personal stories, others discuss the pain that comes from dealing with tantrums, and others approach tantrums with humor.
Being exposed to all of these different styles was a great way for me to find my topics: in the motherhood world, I was going to write about being a new mom, which meant writing about pregnancy, newborns, babies and toddlers. All moms of young kids would recognize themselves in these topics and would either appreciate what I wrote about, or hate it.
I needed to understand how to promote the blog and its content
This was a tougher point, probably one of the most common challenges that new bloggers face.
Before launching my blog, I did a lot of research to understand what it took to expose my writing to a wider audience, and today, I can say that this is still a learning curve for me. Promoting a blog to the right audience, at the right time and on the right platform takes many trials.
However, the good part is that I had a starting point. I knew that building my own database was important for the success of my blog, so I made sure to have a proper way of collecting this data. I also wrote several guest posts that generated some traffic to my blog and to my accounts on various social networks.
While most of the research was done before launching my blog, testing the different promotional tools was done after the launch, and it took me some time to find the right direction. Today, I look back at these phases and feel confident about the work I’m doing, because I tried and tested what worked well, and what didn’t.
I wanted to find out what other bloggers were doing
When you enter a new industry or a new market, it’s important to understand what others are doing in order to determine how you’ll be implementing your strategy. In addition to following other bloggers in my niche, I was also reading and following the bloggers in other niches to get a wide perspective of blogging and to learn from their success stories (or failures).
I also found great tips and recommendations from bloggers who were dedicated to blog marketing. These tips and recommendations can be easily found on Pinterest, a platform that I personally cherish, as it drives waves of traffic to my blog. The best part is that those writers have specific marketing knowledge that they focus on, which means that they are great at providing the right tools in implementing the recipes to success.
One thing I’ve learned through my blogging experience is that this is another continuous learning curve. The more I read, the more I discover and the more I test new things to find out if I could implement a better strategy.
I wanted to make sure that I’d have enough content to keep the blog up and running
This was a crucial point for me. After understanding how a blog worked, what others were doing, what I would be blogging about, and how I would be promoting my posts, I had to make sure that I was ready to launch the blog.
For a writer, this meant that I needed to have enough posts to write about my selected topic. Of course, the early phase of writing about my life with a baby/toddler was not an easy task, especially since I am not usually open to sharing so much information about myself.
However, after writing a couple of posts, I found it to be much easier than I had anticipated. Storytelling is not the same as sharing your life publicly, as you get to select a thought or an incident that happened and write about it.
After feeling frustrated from dealing with the constant demands of my toddler, I wrote 7 magical steps for handling toddler tantrums, which is different from the illuminating moments I had when my daughter had a royal tantrum, leading me to write the post, I survived a royal tantrum and lived to tell the tale, or even when I found a method to communicate with her without losing my mind (which led me to writing the post, My secret tool to parenting toddlers without losing it).
These are three posts that cover the same topic, but lead to different stories.
After writing a few posts, I knew that I would have enough stories to share, so I drafted about 12 of them before launching. This way, when I did launch my blog, I could focus on other stuff, while knowing that I would have enough content for the next 3 months.
I like to take things slowly to make sure that I am ready for the new adventures I’ll be taking. That’s why I did all of this background work that took me from being a total foreigner in the universe of blogging to someone who knows what her blog is about and how to make it work.
Blogging requires patience and time, and involves many trials and changes, or else the blog won’t evolve. Anyone who is willing to go through this can successfully launch their own blog.
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