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Mommy Blogs

The ins and outs of mom blogging



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It’s a staggering stat: Recent counts estimate that there are nearly 4 million mommy blogs floating around in cyberspace. Four million moms who feel the need — for personal or professional reasons — to document their family lives in a format that goes beyond the glimpses offered by the myriad social media channels available.

Do You Want to Build a Mom Blog?

Interested in starting your own mom blog? A domain can be had for between $10 and $15, while monthly webhosting costs fall into the same range, but URL-maintenance expenses grow along with your site. Here are a few key suggestions to keep in mind as you venture forth and find your digital niche.

  • “Do your homework,” says Auer. “Talk to other bloggers. Be realistic. Will you use your children's names or keep them private? How much do you want to invest?”
  • “Decide what you want your blog to be,” advises Lightner. “If it's just a creative outlet or a place to brain-dump your thoughts, that's one thing. But if you really plan to do this for income, you have to treat it like any other small business. The ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy does not hold true for most bloggers. The lucky ones who have a viral post and gain popularity — that is not the norm.”
  • “Set some clear goals (time, reach, income and profit), because blogging can be all-consuming,” says DeMorrow.
  • “There's a huge learning curve,” warns Kiepert Truong, “but with persistence and lots of support from organizations like Philly Social Media Moms, opportunities, community and friendships are just some of the rewarding results.”
  • “Blogging is a lot of fun,” says Lightner. “It has a lot of perks, but it's also a lot of work.”

To understand why they devote time and energy to their blogs, several of the two dozen area mom bloggers who contribute to MetroKids’ MomSpeak blog told us why they blog and what they get out of the practice.

“Journal their journey”

“I started blogging three years ago when my toddler asked me to draw a ‘helicopter-caterpillar’; I happily obliged, ” says Marion Kase, a Berks County, PA mom of two, who named her blog after this requested “genetic engineering marvel, um, crude stick figure, I was amazed by his outlook on life and tried to hold that thought for a few extra minutes. Fleeting moments like these eventually fade, despite my best efforts to preserve the kids’ phrases and expressions. Writing down happenstance conversations or excursions was my attempt to slow the inevitable forward momentum, like writing about the gap between my son’s dangling feet from the chair and the kitchen floor — a gap that has long since closed and no longer presents a visual opportunity to marvel at his sweet smallness — or capturing my daughter’s suggestion that the local power plant is really a cloud factory, which has since been replaced by hard scientific facts in middle school.

“My blog is an attempt to journal their journey.”

South Jersey mom Lisa Weinstein also began blogging three years ago, though she claims to have written her first “blog” three decades ago, at 13 — “If you can call a short story scribbled into a spiral notebook a blog. I called my short spiral notebook story 'The Mixed Up Brains of Missy Anderson.' When I decided to write my ‘grown-up’ blog, I paid tribute to the story written so long ago by calling my new venture ‘The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein.’

“Like my original short story, a teen named Melissa gives me most of my fodder, although this time instead of a fictional character modeled after me, she is my real life daughter. Thanks to Melissa, my husband Bob, my step-daughter Jessica, extended family and friends, I have created an online outlet to share my life with others. And each time the statistics indicates that someone, somewhere, has viewed the stories of my life, I am greeted with a sense of satisfaction and pride that no other aspect of my world can deliver.

“I don’t blog for money or fame. I blog because I love to write, and my computer allows me to reach a world beyond that spiral notebook. And as long as people continue to read my stories, I’ll continue to write them.”

“I blog because I am a ‘sharer’ — I have an intense urge to share all the great stuff I know with as many people as possible, and blogging made that a reality,” says Hillary Chybinski, a Philly-burbs mom of two. “Blogging brings a fulfillment to my life — when I hit ‘publish’ on a post, I feel as if I have made the world a slightly better place. If I can help one woman restyle a shirt she’s had in her closet for five years, one mom make a new craft with her child, then I’ve accomplished my mission.”

Chybinski began My Scraps as an extension of her scrapbooking hobby. “All the cool scrapbookers were starting blogs; I was tech-savvy, so I did, too. Dear Lord, if you read those early posts. . . . When I got laid off from my last auditing job four years ago, I discovered that people were making money through blogging, that it was a ‘job’ of sorts or could be a stepping stone to something else.”

Next page: The business side of mommy blogs

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MomSpeak Contributors

Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Mara Gorman, The Mother of All Trips
Stephanie Glover, A Grande Life
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Kathryn M. Martin, Mamacado
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Lindsey Schuster, Sisters to Sons
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area parenting blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

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