Creating a public space to share my insights and find an outlet for my stay-at-home-mom restlessness seemed like a natural move. I like writing and had kept a family-only blog for over 5 years. I had just returned home from a super short stint in the out-of-the-home workforce and missed the deadlines, learning, and challenge to bring my best to the public sphere. So, on February 22, 2017, MiddayMornings.com was born. To celebrate my 6-month mark of blogging, I’d like to share what I’ve learned thus far.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned so much in the last 6 months – about writing, marketing, and myself. On this 6-month blogiversary, I’d like to share some of my lessons learned with you. Maybe this will inspire you to set up your own digital space; at the very least, I hope this will give you a glimpse into the potential, excitement, and work of a blog.
What I’ve Learned About Writing
Writing isn’t just about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (Though it definitely is about that too.) It’s about communicating an idea or experience in a way that relates, moves, and inspires others. Maintaining a consistent blog requires that you consistently write. It’s hard to write consistently and not see some improvement over time.
I’ve learned that to write my best posts, I needed to live my best life. I couldn’t stay hunkered down in a room all day every day (one, because I have kids but also) because I wouldn’t have anything to write about! I was grocery shopping, then mothering when the thought for my post “Gratitude for the Quirkiness” came. I slowly worked my way through Let God Love You and was finally able to share my thoughts on it. I spent a summer home with a tween and a toddler and jotted down my thoughts on mom guilt and the near-constant pressure to perform. My non-writing activities created the experiences that I could write about.
If you’re wanting to blog, focus on living and not (just) blogging.
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What I’ve Learned About Marketing
I worked with Google Analytics, Canva, PicMonkey, and other marketing tools via jobs I’d held. However, I was by no means a marketing expert when I started blogging. When I wasn’t living or writing, I was reading reading reading all about marketing tools, business strategies, affiliate marketing, automation tools, and everything else related to running a monetized and successful blog.
Marketing a blog takes so much more time than actually writing! But if you don’t market your blog, who will know it’s there?
My Marketing Workflow
Here’s my workflow for a single post. Notice steps 3 through 7 don’t really have much to do with writing the post itself.
- Brainstorm the post.
- Draft it.
- Add a category, appropriate tags, and meta description.
- Revise the post body (I use Grammarly and Yoast SEO to help me) and link up any relevant posts.
- Create a featured image, at least 2 quote images, and 1-3 Pinterest-friendly images on Canva.
- Add the images I created to the post and write keyword-rich alt text (this is what shows up when you pin an image).
- Add the quote images to my Buffer queue for my Instagram followers.
- Schedule the post.
Once the post publishes I promote it in various Facebook groups (and have to reciprocate for others), schedule the pins on Tailwind and add them to Tailwind Tribes, and try to actually remember to post my Buffered images on Instagram. Then there’s the follow up to blog comments, fixing any typos I missed that others may point out, and auditing past posts to link up any relevant posts.
And then there’s writing the weekly newsletter. Even though it’s one more thing to do, I still like to personally curate the perfect newsletter for my readers each week.
After trying both MailChimp and Mailerlite for my newsletters, I stuck with Mailerlite. It’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers and so easy to work with. Check out Mailerlite here.
Marketing – more than writing – is the biggest time-consuming activity with a blog.
What I’ve Learned About Myself
As I share in my About page, I started this blog as a means to connect. I wanted to connect with others and I wanted other mothers to connect with each other via the MiddayMornings space. I wanted to create content that started dialogues about what motherhood is and isn’t. I wanted to explore the topics near and dear to my own motherhood journey: infertility, managing ADHD symptoms in my daughter, and my LDS faith.
This blogging path has helped me to grow in ways I hadn’t anticipated. MiddayMornings has allowed me a public space to share a part of me that often only my close friends get to experience. I like asking questions and finding out the answers. I like considering what makes myself and others tick. When I learn something that helps me in my motherhood, I want to share that insight or resource with others.
What have I learned about myself in the last 6 months?
- I can do hard things.
- I’m not the only one with certain questions.
- Sharing my experiences lessens the loneliness I can sometimes feel.
- Tomorrow is another day to try.
Want to learn more about yourself and others? Start blogging.
Not sure where to start? I’ve had a positive experience with my self-hosted WordPress blog via Bluehost. Click here to try them out for less than $5 a month.
MiddayMornings Road Map
Thinking about the future intimidates me somewhat. How big do I want to dream? How hard do I want to work for that dream? So many possibilities and things to consider.
Here’s what I do know: I want to keep up this blog. I’d love to continue posting at least once a week. I’m still passionate about motherhood and all that entails.
I love connecting with you, my lovely readers, and appreciate your support on this journey.