1. To Stay Current in Your Field, Niche or Industry
My online teaching job was great but it wasn’t full-time. The tenured professors at my university were the only ones that received a full-time salary. I only taught one or two classes a semester. I was worried because I knew that eventually I would go back to work full time. My goal was always to become a computer science professor. However, professor jobs are really hard to come by mainly because there are a limited number of professors in each department. In addition, if a professor is granted tenure he or she can stay at that university until they retire. So you can imagine that the competition for professor jobs is fierce. Moreover, offers for tenured professor jobs normally go to those individuals that are making a big impact in their area of research. Eventually, I wanted a job as a professor but honestly didn’t know if it could become a reality. At that time, I didn’t realize how blogging could benefit me. But I was about to find out.
Since I was home with my children, I felt that there wasn’t much I could do to stay current in the field of technology. I felt out of the loop because I wasn’t working day in and day out in my industry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was happy and blessed to stay at home with my babies. I was also fortunate to be able to work out of my house. However, I knew that once I started job-hunting, my resume would not be as strong as someone who worked full-time at a tech company or a university. I needed a way to stay current. I needed an edge. Then one day it came to me.
One day, I was watching an entertainment show and they were talking about fashion week in New York City. During fashion week, the media is always focused on the celebs sitting in front rows of fashion shows. But this show focused on how fashion bloggers were sitting front row at all the shows and how their blogs were impacting the fashion industry. Right then and there, a light bulb went off in my head. These fashion blogs were started by people who love and have an interest in fashion. But for some reason or another, they were not able to land a coveted job in fashion. Therefore, they started blogging about fashion to give their opinion on new trends, up and coming fashion models and industry gossip. Many of these fashion bloggers gained huge followings and became experts in the fashion industry. Overnight, fashion bloggers had become the hottest fashion stars.
Right then and there, I decided that I too would use blogging as a way to stay current in my industry. And the very next day, this blog, marcellawilson.com was born. But more importantly, I wanted to use blogging as a way to stay current in the technology industry. Even though I was changing diapers and making bottles during most of the day, I needed a way to stay viable in my industry. And in the ever-changing job market, it’s important to stay marketable. As a result, I set out to learn more about how blogging could keep me viable in my industry.
2. Earn Income
But I began to notice something else about these bloggers. I began to notice that bloggers were getting work. Like real paid jobs. I was really interested then. I began to look around and saw that bloggers in all types of fields, niches and industries were everywhere! When I read a magazine, bloggers were writing the editorials. I saw bloggers in commercials and advertisements promoting brands. I turned on my favorite news and talk shows only to see them discussing the seasons latest news and trends. I also saw them as judges on reality competition shows. I was like, what! All this from blogging? I thought to myself, how can I be down with this!?!
Because let’s be honest, it’s expensive raising kids, right? Formula, pull-ups, gymnastics and shoes ain’t cheap. Can I get a witness? The harsh reality was that my household was going from 2 full-time incomes to 1 full-time income and some change. My husband was not worried but that was kinda scary to me. So, I really wanted to get this blogging stuff down so I could contribute to the household income. Is that your reason for starting a mom blog?
Now, of course, I had an advantage because my educational background is in computer science and my graduate research focused on online social networks. Thus, I was familiar with the technical aspect of blogging. However, my education did not focus on blogging as a way to build income or grow a business. I had no idea how to do that. So, I set out to learn more about how blogging could build a business and increase my income. As a result, I spend about two years studying online marketing and business. I was really trying to figure out how to build an online business and make money online. Now, I didn’t plan on spending two years learning all of this. I was hoping to start blogging and in a month or so, watch the money pour in. But it just doesn’t happen that way. These past few years have been filled with lots of trial and error, with ups and downs about blogging and business. But I learned a lot, didn’t give up and am ready to share my knowledge with you.
Some bloggers make money selling affiliate products. If you don’t know what affiliate products are, that’s when you sell another company’s product to your audience and you get a cut of the sale. Lots of bloggers sell affiliate products or become affiliates for a company because it’s no work on their part. All they have to do is blog about other people’s products and cash their checks when someone buys it. Some bloggers make their entire living selling affiliate products. One popular financial blogger, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, makes over $50,000 each month in affiliate income. Yes, you read that correctly. Michelle has been blogging for years and her affiliate income has increased over time. So, making five figures a month in affiliate income may not be realistic for you to achieve right now. However, many bloggers start out earning $60 or $70 of affiliate income a month and then grow from there. If you want to learn exactly how Michelle earns $50,000 a month in affiliate income, check out her online course “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing“.
3. Every Business Needs a Blog
You might be thinking, “Well I’ll just start a regular website. I don’t really have to blog, do I?” Yes, you do and here’s why. There are 2 types of websites: dynamic and static web sites. A static web site is one that rarely or never changes. Google.com is a good example of a static web site. It always looks the same, maybe with an image change above the search box, every day. However, a dynamic web site changes or is updated on a regular basis. A blog is a dynamic website. A good example of this is The New York Post online site. It is a blog and it’s dynamic because each day, the New York Post has new stories and images added to it. So, you can either have a website that doesn’t change very often or one that changes all the time.
But you want to have a dynamic website – or a blog – because Google loves blogs. Did you know that Google is the #2 most visited website on the Internet? It’s pretty popular! Lots of folks go to Google to find information and search. So, Google’s job is to quickly find relevant data based on a search query. Google knows that blogs usually have more up to date information than a regular, static website because they are updated more frequently (ie, every day, several times a day or once a week). Therefore, Google is more likely to return a blog higher in search results than a regular website. Google ranks websites higher in their search results that are updated frequently. And that’s why you want to have a blog for your business over a regular website.
Let’s assume that there are 2 businesses selling tennis balls online. One business has a blog and the other business just has a regular web site. If a customer is searching online, looking for tennis balls to buy, the business with the blog will get returned in the search results higher than the business without a blog. That can result in more sales to the business that blogs. And we know that people normally don’t go beyond the first page of search results. So that business without a blog is losing money and customers to a company that blogs. The takeaway here is you need to blog because it makes it easier for your customers to find you on Google.
But why are Google and blogs so important to your business? And what does static and dynamic websites have to do with your business? Ahhh, just read on…
The #1 Reason Why You Should Start a Mom Blog Today
If you don’t have a blog you’re already losing money. Why? A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that over 80% of Americans “look for information online first about a service or product they are thinking of buying.” If you are not online, you cannot be found by these potential customers. Therefore, you are missing out on money that you could be making. Go where your customers are. Since most people start looking for products and services online, then you need to be online. And know that if you don’t have a blog, you are already losing customers and money since Google loves blogs and people go to Google to search for products and services to buy.
Are YOU Ready to Start Your Mom Blog?
I’m going to assume that if you are reading this far into this blog post, that you want to start a mom blog. Great! Let me help you get started. I am here for you and that’s the purpose of this blog – to help mommy bloggers. I can help you start your own blog quickly and cheaply. I have created a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a WordPress blog in about 20 minutes. As I stated previously, for a limited time, you can get web hosting service from Blue Host for as low as $3.95 a month, which is ridiculously cheap. And as an added bonus, you’ll get a free domain name ($15 value) through my Blue Host link if you purchase at least one year of web hosting service.
Just think, right now, you are only 20 minutes away from having a blog. I am excited for you. Leave me a comment and tell me what your blog is gonna be about.
Dr. Marcella Wilson