I recently read somewhere (although I don't recall where) that there are more than 3.9 million moms with blogs. I don't know why, but that number really blows me away. I think the biggest reason I'm in awe of that figure is when I think of how difficult it is to be a full time mom and maintain a successful blog at the same time.
Let's be realistic here. Blogging consumes a lot of time and effort. Unless it's done in the middle of the night, it takes us moms away from our husbands and our children. In fact, as I'm writing this, my husband, being incredibly supportive and understanding, is in another room of our house relaxing without me! My children are sound asleep for the night.
When it comes to blogging, what actually defines Success? How do we make our blog stand out from the other 3.9 million mom blogs? Because, if we don't stand out, if our words aren't touching the hearts of our readers and aren't really striking a chord with them, then why exactly are we spending all this time writing in the first place?
To be successful in blogging, while also being a great mom and wife, is an art. This art form starts in our everyday decisions and reactions. And only you know what's right for your blogging mama journey.
Here's How I've Managed To Be A Successful Blogging Mama
#10 - Have A Plan
When I started blogging, I had a mission in mind. My family and I had been through some really rough times . I felt strongly that God was calling me to share the heart of our story with others, giving Him all the glory through our testimony. I also knew I was on a faith journey to become a better mom, a better wife, and a more devoted child of God.
Inspiring and encouraging other women in their faith walk has become my writing mission. For me, blogging isn't just about sharing my day with you, it's about writing with authenticity, who I really am. Broken. Flawed. Sinful. Yet so loved by God anyway. And it's about sharing my journey to become better. I know you are also on this journey and can relate with my imperfections, as well as the joys of being a woman, wife, and mother.
#9 - Take A Vacation
I watched an episode of the kids show, Arthur, one day with my daughter. Perhaps you've also seen it. One of the female characters had started a blog and she became so wrapped up in blogging that she never left her computer. Eventually, she ran out of things to write about.
Thankfully, as a mom, my parenting responsibilities do pull me away from the computer on a regular basis. But that's not necessarily enough. There is still a need for taking a vacation. There's a need for us women to get out into the world and live life! Some of my greatest writing inspiration comes from spending time with my children, my husband, and my friends. Even in the simplest activities.
#8 - Be Intentional In Spending Time With The Kids
Determined, a go-getter, and extremely focused are really great words used to describe me as a person. However, when it comes to those words mixing with my role in motherhood, guilt is the word that seems most accurate. I can very easily lose myself in my passion for writing and suddenly realize hours have gone by and I've not spent any quality time with my daughters. When, not if, but when this happens, guilt consumes me.
To avoid this trap, I try to be intentional in setting time aside each and every day to spend with my girls. It doesn't matter if that time is spent reading, coloring, or baking something fun together. It just matters that I'm completely tuned into them, and nothing else, in those precious mommy-daughter moments.
#7 - Be Flexible
Every mom knows life doesn't always go as planned when little kids are involved. Sometimes they get sick, other times they are simply temperamental. Regardless of how they're behaving, it's important to remember to be a flexible blogging mama. Maybe it's best to walk away from that twitter chat or the article you're three quarters of the way done writing (and don't want to lose your train of thought on) to snuggle up with your emotional child for a bit.
I've found that often times, a quick hug, kiss, and a few moments for my daughter to crown me princess for the day, is all she's craving before continuing on with her playtime nearby, while I finish up an email or a blog post. My willingness to be flexible prevents many a temper tantrum and shows my child that she is indeed important to me and loved.
#6 - Get Up With The Roosters
None of the success I've had in blogging, motherhood, or juggling the two has come from my own doing. God drives this ship every time I make a parenting choice, sit down to write, socialize, or brainstorm. He inspires my heart and soul with the words that you (and I) need to hear most and His Spirit lights the path for my day.
But none of this happens when my relationship with Him is dry or barren. So to cultivate a deep relationship with my Creator, I get up at 5:30 every single morning and spend time in prayer and His presence. I listen quietly for God's prompting and whispers. Then I immerse myself in His Holy Word. Somehow, someway, by seeking first His Kingdom every day, I'm able to juggle the busyness of life as a blogging mama.
#5 - Find Creative Solutions
Even though my daughters are past the age of sleepless nights, motherhood and all it entails is often still an exhausting feat for me. When I'm feeling weary, my creativity slips away. Before I know it, writers block sets in and I notice an inability to respond to my children with loving, creative solutions.
The obvious answer here is to get more sleep, but that's not always an available option. So I simply try my best to keep an open mind and eye on opportunities as they present themselves. For example, when my daughter is clingy and I desperately need to get something accomplished, I'll turn to my iPhone for a new educational app that she can play with and explore. It's an instant distraction for her and opportunity for me.
Likewise, if I'm feeling a sense of writers block, sometimes just going through my keyword traffic stats (what keyword phrases led someone to click on my site) will give me a great idea for a topic to write about. Here's an example of an article I wrote based on the keyword phrase "I just want to give up."
#4 - A Little Bit Of TV Never Hurt Anyone
You may be stunned and appalled to read this, but I allow my daughter to watch TV while I'm writing or otherwise working on my blogging. She loves to watch movies and is perfectly content to sit on the couch engrossed in one of her favorite flicks while I sit nearby typing away. We're literally in the same room with each other.
Sure there's all the controversy that too much TV isn't good for our children and I would agree to some extent. However, the quality of shows we allow our children to view are educational in nature and not harming them in the least. My children are also extremely active, have wild imaginations, excellent vocabulary for their age, and a insatiable love for reading. So, I don't really think a little bit of TV time will hurt them.
#3 - Connect With Your Audience
Blogging isn't just about writing, it's also about engaging in conversation and relating with my readers. Not only should I be providing quality content for them to read, but I also need to let them know and feel they are appreciated. Remember? There are 3.9 million other blogs out there they can choose to read. They don't have to read or visit my blog. For this very reason, I refuse to respond to reader comments with an automated "thanks for visiting my blog" message. I read and respond to every comment as quickly as possible and I read and respond to every email I receive from a reader.
I don't know about you, but nothing sours my respect for a fellow blogger faster than being ignored by them. Especially if I'm a fan who reads all their posts, comments on their facebook status updates, and tries to show them I appreciate their efforts. My success has come from genuinely connecting with my readers. Each one is important to me. Each one is a friend God has brought into my life.
#2 - Use Effective Time Management
Blogging is time consuming and running a home has its own set of demands. The only way I've managed to juggle it all with any success has been by moving quickly and efficiently. I'm never idle for too long. I try to keep a daily routine for general house cleaning, by doing simple things such as emptying the dishwasher first thing in the morning. Doing at least one load of laundry from start to finish every day. Grocery shopping the same time and day each week. Teaching and expecting my daughters to pick up after themselves, and make their beds each morning. And having one day each week assigned for more deep cleaning tasks around the house.
Likewise, with blogging, I keep a routine. I always write blog content or work on other writing projects at the same times throughout the week. I engage with social media during specific set times in my schedule. I usually read and comment on other blogs, during the afternoon hours, particularly if I'm waiting for the oven to preheat for dinner. Rarely do I do anything writing related after 6pm.
#1 - Embrace Technology
This has been the greatest method for me to juggle it all. I use Microsoft Outlook to keep my core values, my mission, my projects, my appointments, and my daily task lists organized and at my fingertips each day. Additionally, my iPhone has become a wonderful resource for checking and responding to email while on the go, and for doing things like approving comments in WordPress when I can't be at my computer, or catching up on Facebook when I'm standing in line at the grocery store. It has also proved to be a wonderful source of entertainment for my daughters when we are out and about. I wish I would have thought of the use of the iPhone during my recent trip to Home Depot with them!