What to Blog About: Make Money or Follow Your Heart?

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A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about what to blog about.  I gave 3 steps on how to find your niche by really focusing and honing in on a unique topic.  But let me delve into something of equal importance that most people who want to blog struggle with – should they focus on following their passion or go after money?  In this blog post, I’ll take a look at what’s better, blogging about what you love or blogging to get that loot.  Keep reading to find out my take on both sides of this issue.

But before we dive deep into what to blog about, let me ask if you have a blog?  Is it set up?  If not, great!  Let me help you get started.  I am here for you and that’s the purpose of this blog – to help mommy bloggers.  As a result, I have written a tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog in 5 minutes.  Click HERE to get started.  Okay, now back to whether we should blog to make money or follow our passion.

Click here to download your FREE eBook: “Want to Create a Blog? Read this First: A Beginner’s Guide on What to Do Before You Start Blogging”
What to Blog About: Something that Makes Money or Follow your heart?

What to Blog About?  A Topic You’re Passionate About

Are you blogging about something you are interested in?  Or something you are passionate about?  Well, I don’t want to burst your beautiful blogging bubble but I do want to give you a dose of reality.  Blogging in itself is hard and it can be a grind.  You have to be consistent and blog when you don’t know what to write about or don’t feel like blogging.  It is important to love what you do because sometimes that’s the only thing that’s gonna keep your blog going.  So, I suggest you blog about something you like.

What to Blog About? Something That Makes Money

However, we are living in turbulent times. It’s hard out here.  There is no such thing as job security anymore. Unemployment is up to levels we haven’t seen since the Great Depression and no one knows from one day to the next what will happen with the economy. Geoff Williams of the New York Times says, “Sure, you can start your blog as a memoir. But if you have expertise that people pay for, definitely consider blogging about that.” For those reasons, I strongly suggest that you blog about your expertise, skill or experience that can bring in money. I’m not telling you to do something I wouldn’t do. I had to make that hard decision myself. Let me tell you a little more about my story.

My Story

A few years ago, I was getting a lot of media attention from my blog. I was regularly asked to give interviews and if I could come to local news stations to tape news segments. As a result of all that media exposure, I built my blog around being a tech expert. For years, my blog was about my take on the latest tech news and gadgets. But I can honestly say that I did not make a cent off my blog for years. Sure, I spent money making demo reels, getting my blog looking perfect and traveling here and there, but I didn’t make any money.

But an interesting thing was also happening during this time. Many of my friends and friends of friends approached me about creating or redesigning web sites for them. Others were asking me to help them start a blog or design Pinterest pins for their business. I did it and didn’t really think much about it. But you know what? That money was steady and it was good money. I never advertised my skills and all the business I got was by word of mouth.

Life Makes You Shift Gears

During that time, my life and priorities changed. I became a stay-at-home mommy of a toddler and twin babies. I could no longer travel at the drop of a hat or run to a news station with only 2 hours notice because I was the main caregiver for my children. My days were filled with doctor’s appointments, play dates and potty training. I also knew that I wanted to do things for my children that required money that we didn’t have, like gymnastics, ballet class and private schooling.

It finally dawned on me one day to focus more on web design, teaching mommies how to blog and being a Pinterest VA but fall back on the tech expert stuff. I mean, it’s not rocket science, right? I was making money doing web design and being a Pinterest VA without even trying but couldn’t earn a dollar blogging about the latest technology. Even though I was passionate about educating and informing the public about technology, it wasn’t paying the bills. Let’s be honest,  blogging, Pinterest and the Internet are not going away anytime soon – probably ever!  Blogs and social media are here to stay. As a result, the number of sites and the demand to create and maintain sites continues to increase over time. For those reasons, I decided to switch gears and focus my blog on helping moms build profitable blogs, selling web design services, offering Pinterest VA services and  because it fills a need that people have and generates income for my family.

Luckily, all the things I was doing were in my wheelhouse.  I really didn’t have to chose between blogging about my passion versus blogging for money.  So, my suggestion to you is to try to find a combination of both.  In other words, figure out what you love and find out how you can make some money off it.  That is truly what you should blog about.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you want to blog about or what is more important to you – blogging for loot or love.

Toodles,

Dr. Marcella Wilson

Starting a Blog to Make Money or For Fun? I’m Here to Help

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So you’re interested in starting a blog, huh? Wanna learn how it can help you break into the career that you dream about?  Maybe you want to find out how it can build your business? Or you want to become the next great food, style, fitness or DIY blogger? Well, I’m not a genie with a crystal ball so I can’t predict your future. But I can tell you all of the wonderful and amazing things that have happened to me since starting a blog.

When I Started Blogging, Great Things Happened

Like me, I’m sure you are very busy and juggle many things in your professional and personal lives. I have been blogging off and on for about 5 years. When I started blogging, I wasn’t committed to it because I was still in grad school and having babies. Honestly, I really didn’t have time to focus on it. I was kinda doing it just because I thought it was fun. But then I had some life changes which prompted me to start blogging seriously. I began blogging with a purpose about 3 years ago. Once I got serious about blogging, amazing things began happening to me. Here are just a few of the wonderful opportunities I have experienced because of blogging:

Starting a Blog in 2 Quick Steps

If you are reading this blog post, I am going to assume that you are starting a blog for a specific purpose.  Maybe you want to attract more business to your physical store.  Or maybe you want to be a mommy blogger who earns thousands of dollars per month via your blog.  Whatever the case, it is important to know why you want to blog.  But, how to set up your blog and get it started?  Well, that’s a whole different story.  Many folks out there want to start a blog but they don’t know how to set one up or write a blog post.  Well, that’s where I come in.  It is my passion to help people start a blog and use it to build their business.  Starting a blog doesn’t have to be a chore or something to dread.  Let me help you.

Step 1 – Start Your Blog

So first things first, let’s get your blog up and running.  Lucky for you, I have written this tutorial about starting a blog.  It will show you how to get your own blog set up in just 5 minutes!  That’s right, just 5 minutes!  Click HERE to get started.  There is no need to be scared or intimidated about this.  I am here to help you and walk you through the process step by step.

Step 2 – Figure Out What to Blog About

Next, let’s figure out the topic of your blog.  If you already know what topic your blog cover, that’s great.  But if you are not exactly sure what to blog about, below is a list of the most popular blog topics on the Internet.

Now that list is great, but blogging will be hard for you if you write about health or relationships.  The topics in the above list are too broad.  Therefore, you must narrow down your topic and find a niche or aspect of your topic to write about on your blog.  Remember, I’m here to help so I’ve written tutorials to help you find your niche.  Check out “What to Blog About: How to Decide in 3 Easy Steps” and “What to Blog About: Make Money or Follow Your Heart?”

Need More Help?

If you finished steps one and two above, let me congratulate you.  The hardest part of making a decision to start a blog and setting it up is over.  But know that this is just the beginning.  You have a long, wonderful journey ahead of you full of blogging and building a profitable online business.  So, once again let me remind you that I am here to help.  I suggest signing up for my email newsletter.  It’s cool because every week, I send you helpful info on how to build your blog and your business.  I also update you on any blogging courses, webinars and other events I offer.  And you do not want to miss out on those.  Plus I will also send you my FREE eBook on blogging called “Want to Create a Blog? Read this First! A Beginners Guide on What to Do Before You Begin Blogging.”  Click HERE to enter your name and email address and I’ll send it right to your email inbox.

Oh, and don’t forget to leave me a comment letting me know your blog topic and the web address.  I’d love to check it out.

Cheers!

Dr. Marcella Wilson

4 Blogging Tips to Help you Blog Consistently

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As a mommy blogger, you’re always thinking about ways to improve your blog and online business.  I know I am!  We all know that blogging can improve your online business, however some may have issues blogging on a consistent basis. I too struggle with this.  Truth is, it’s hard to come up with relevant topics and post them regularly.  Or you may not like to write. Whatever the case, I have a few blogging tips that will help you blog consistently.

But first things first, do you have a blog?  Is it set up?  If not, great!  Let me help you get started.  I am here for you and that’s the purpose of this blog – to help mommy bloggers.  As a result, I have written a tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog in 5 minutes.  Click HERE to get started.  I am excited for you.  Let’s do this together.  Okay, now back to the tips to help you blog consistently.

 

Download Cheat Sheet of “4 Blogging Tips to Help You Blog Consistently”

Why My Blogging Tips About Consistently are Uber Important

A blog is perceived as current when it has up-to-date blog posts. That sends a signal to readers that this blog has the latest information and is continuously updated. Don’t be fooled into thinking that people will just keep coming back to your blog if you don’t update it or the blog posts are old. A blog that hasn’t been updated sends out a signal to the reader:

    1. You don’t care about this topic
    2. You are not serious about your business
    3. You are not a professional in this industry

Perception is reality and to be perceived in the best light possible, blog consistently.  So here are my 4 most important blogging tips and tricks to help you do just that.

Blogging Tip #1 – Use an Editorial Calendar

I use WordPress for my blogging software. They have a great plug-in called Editorial Calendar that is free to download. This plug-in makes it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can also drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. It’s a must for every blogger.

Blogging Tip #2 – Write at Consistent Times

What I really mean is to write on a schedule, Treat it like a job. Get in the habit of blogging at the same time, on the same days. You may only blog once a week. That’s fine. But do it at the same time on the same day each week. Or you may write notes about your blog on the subway ride to work each morning. Whatever you do, be consistent and intentional about it.

Blogging Tip #3 – Keep a Document or Journal for Future Blog Post Ideas

If you are like me, you are not always going to have ideas of what to blog about when you sit down to write your blog. Inspiration for blog posts may come when you are at the gym, while you are grocery shopping or while you are watching television. You want to capture these ideas by having a central place where you record your future blog post ideas. It could be a word document, a voice memo, or a physical journal. Just have it ready and accessible so you can always refer back to this when you have no idea what to blog about.

Blogging Tip #4 – Don’t Blog All Willy-Nilly!  Have a Purpose

Have blog themes, series and related topics that you will blog about.  A good idea is to map out what you will be blogging about in the next months ahead.  I like to think about what I will blog about 6-8 weeks in advance.  It helps me plan my content better.  Holidays, new seasons and upcoming events are good times to think about and plan upcoming blog posts.  Lots of people also use the beginning of the year as a time to focus and think about the topics their blog will focus on in the coming year.

Download Cheat Sheet of “4 Blogging Tips to Help You Blog Consistently”

What blogging tips do you have that help you blog on a regular basis?  Which one of these 4 blogging tips will you use from now on?  Let me know in the comments below.

Toodles,

Dr. Marcella Wilson

Productivity Tips for Mommy Bloggers

productivity tips for mommy bloggers

Don’t have time to read this post about productivity tips for mommy bloggers?  PIN IT for later!  ** this page contains affiliate links **

Productivity is key in being a successful mommy blogger.  We are business owners and we are busy.  Very busy.  We have significant others, kids, errands to run, things to do around the house and on top of all that, we must work on our business.  Sometimes it can be really difficult to find the time to be productive and complete business tasks.  Even if you don’t work a 9-5 or work out of your home, it still can be tricky getting those hours in.  What’s a girl to do?

But before I dive deep into my tips, do you have a blog yet?  If not, don’t despair.  I am here to help you though the whole process.  In just 5 minutes you can get your blog up and running.  Check out this blog post where I give step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  So get started on your dream today by clicking HERE to start your blog.

Why is so hard to be productive?  Because your sweetie is calling asking you to do this or that.  You volunteered some time at your kid’s school or you meet a client for lunch at 11 am and the next thing you know, it’s 2 o’clock.

Or you spend a few hours in a mastermind group for business.  All of these activities are valid, but it eats away at your productivity and the actual time that you are working on your business.  Next thing you know, its Friday and you haven’t completed any of the things you said you would for your business.  In order to keep that from happening, here are a few of my suggestions on how to make more time for your business.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP #1: WORK AT LEAST 2 HOURS DAILY

I suggest working at least two hours a day.  And when I say two hours a day, I mean every day – seven days a week!  Try to find two hours early in the morning between 5 am and 9am.  Or try to find some time at night between 8 pm to 12 midnight.  Now, some of you might balk at staying up to midnight on a weeknight, but how late did you stay up to watch the Super Bowl?  How much time do you spend watching Netflix daily?  Personally, I watch one or two hours of television with my husband every night.  So, allocating some of that television time for my business is a good thing.  We make time for the things that are important to us.  So make time in your schedule to work on your business.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP #2: GET UP EARLY

Also, don’t rule out the weekends.  I know a lot of us are busy on the weekends.  As a mommy, I am busier on the weekends than I am during the week.  Until your business is up and running and making a profit, I would forgo sleeping in late on the weekends.  Get up early just like you would during the week and use those free hours when the house is quiet to get some business work done.  The early bird gets the worm is just so true.  I find that if I get up early and put a few hours of work in, I can get a lot accomplished.  No one else is up to distract or interrupt me.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP #3: STAY UP LATE

Work when everyone else has gone to bed for the night.  When I was working on my dissertation, nights were the only time I could work for long periods of time uninterrupted.  And so that’s when I got most of my work done.  It was normal for me to be up until 2am or 3am while working on my doctorate.  Right after that, I had my twins.  And since I wasn’t sleeping much during their first year, I was still able to get some business work in.  Now, I’m not saying stay up until 3am daily or stay up all night because you need your rest.  But I am saying use your “night” time wisely and see if you can use down of that couch time for your business.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP #4: SET ONE GOAL DAILY

When you begin to work, have a plan or goal in mind.  I recommend having one task to complete each day.  There are several reasons for this because doing something like writing an email newsletter to your subscribers takes a lot longer to finish than you think.  So, allot your two-hour quote to complete it.  If you complete your task in less than two hours, great!  You can move on to the next task.  Better to feel accomplished and moving towards your business goals, rather than aimless or swamped with too much to do.

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Do you work on your business every day?  What do you do to boost your productivity?  In the comments below, let me know and tell me how you are going to make time to get your work done each day.  Also, check back next week because my blog post will be about how to use the television to get work done.  Yes, I wrote that correctly.  I am going to share with you how to use the television to get work done on your business.  I used this trick all throughout graduate school.  Make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so that you’ll be notified when my new blog posts come out.  Cuz you don’t wanna miss the next one!

Toodles,

Dr. Marcella Wilson

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Start a Mom Blog

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Never in a million years did I think I would be a stay-at-home mom of three amazing girls or run a mom blog.  But here I am doing both and I love it!  I wouldn’t trade my life for the world!  We all know how one becomes a mom (ha ha ha) , but let me share with you my journey of starting a mom blog.  And I’ll also show why YOU should become a mommy blogger.

After finishing up my doctorate (which was a grueling process) and having my first child, my hubby and I wanted to have another baby.  We didn’t see the point in me getting a full-time job. Plus, I wasn’t ready to put my baby in daycare all day.  As fate would have it, I did get pregnant again, with not one but two babies! Yes, we were having twins. Fortunately, I got offered a job teaching graduate courses online. I was ecstatic. I could work and stay at home taking care of my children.  But as I get into more about my personal experience starting a mom blog, I will also give you 3 reasons why you should start a mom blog too.

Start a Mom Blog

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.

Toodles!

Dr. Marcella Wilson

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