Are you ready to start a mom blog?
Nowadays, having a blog can be a lucrative business that you can run from your very own home!
But before you dive into making money through blogging, you need to set up a blog first.
Never fear, because this is the ultimate guide to starting a blog.
This may seem like an exhaustive article, so I suggest checking out the table of contents to get an idea of what steps are required to start a mom blog.
We’re going to start from the very beginning with finding out what exactly you want to blog about and what you will name your blog.
I’ll go over the technical aspects of registering a domain, hosting your site and choosing a theme and layout.
Lastly, I’m going to show you how to optimize your about page and write your first article!
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Find Your Niche
Before you get ready to start a mom blog, you need to figure out what your niche is.
Your niche is the topic or category of your blog. It focuses your blog’s information on one audience by addressing specific challenges and offering relevant solutions.
Niches can range for broad to very specific. For example, “motherhood” is a very broad topic and covers a range of categories from breastfeeding to pregnancy to child-rearing to household maintenance. You could write a plethora of articles on this topic.
On the other hand, a blog about raising your children to be vegan is going to focus on a more specific niche – mainly children and veganism. Even though the scope here is a bit narrower, there is potential for many articles related to this subject.
You want to lean your blog more toward the specific niche end. The more specialized your blog’s niche is, the more likely it is you’ll gain a loyal audience.
Why? Because having a niche makes you an authority on your topic. The more you write about specific topics, the more you are going to look like you know what you’re talking about.
Ultimately, niching your blog creates an opportunity to gain traffic and potentially monetize your blog down the road.
For more information, and some mom blog niche ideas, check my article How to Find Your Niche.
2. Choose Your Mom Blog’s Name
When you choose your blog name, it should be something unique that relates to your niche and your content.
When I first started my mom blog, Motherhood+Mayhem, I originally called it Mamantics. It was a sort of play on words of “Mom” and “Antics” since I wanted to focus my blog on the craziness of motherhood. The tagline was: “Motherhood Mayhem Madness”.
After a while I realized that it just seemed too, I don’t know, weird.
I didn’t like the way it rolled off my tongue – so I pulled from the tagline and called it Motherhood+Mayhem instead. I think this communicates the tone of my niche more directly.
The Magic Blog Name Formula
If you’re having difficulty finding a name for your blog, you can always use this magic blog name formula I found at Blogging Wizard:
blog name = [topic or audience group] + [end goal or transformation]
So if you’re blog is going to be focused on single moms, and you want to help them organize their lives, you could call your blog:
Single Moms Assemble
Not only does it indicate that your blog is a community for single moms, but the word “assemble” is a synonym for “organize”.
Use a Thesaurus
Finding synonyms for your core topic is a great way to indicate what your blog is about and come up with a unique name.
I went to Thesaurus.com and typed in “fitness”:
Look at all those yummy and unique words! Maybe “fettle” and “kilter” aren’t widely known words that would describe your blog, but you could steer toward “vigor” and “strength”.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details
Your entire blog name doesn’t have to spell out what your mom blog is about.
Look at this blog, for example. The name “Mama Needs Coffee” doesn’t exactly specify that I deal with blogging and coding – but I do indicate that this blog is for moms.
Just try to include one word to give potential readers an idea of what your blog is about.
Instead of me blah, blah, blah-ing about how to find a blog name, I found this article from Finding Balance about finding a unique name for a mom-related blog.
3. Register Your Domain Name
Now that you have a name figured out for your blog, it’s time to see if a domain name is available.
If you look at the top of your browser, you’ll see a bar that contains the web address of this blog. That is the domain – it’s the name of your blog plus a suffix that tells the browser how to get to your site.
Is it necessary to pay to have a domain for your blog? Well, no, but there are benefits to having one:
- It’s unique. No one else can have your specific domain name.
- It’s professional. You look more credible when you have your own domain.
- It’s flexible. If you decide to switch web hosting providers (which we’ll discuss in the next step), your domain remains the same.
- It strengthens your SEO ranking. Search engines like Google are more attracted to domain names, so you’re more likely to pop up in searches.
Checking Domain Availability
The first step in securing a domain is making sure your blog name is available. Luckily, there are many suffix options for domains – so even if you can’t get a .com, you can choose another option.
(Plus, .coms tend to cost more per year.)
For instance, I didn’t want to pay for a .com, so I opted for a less expensive .online for this blog and Motherhood+Mayhem.
If there are no available domains for your blog name, you may have to get creative or consider changing the name of your blog.
Neil Patel, internet marketing guru, suggests adding your country to the name or even approaching the owner of the domain you want and offering to buy it. You can check some more strategies if your domain isn’t available in his article here.
So to check out if your blog name is available as a domain, you want to go to Domain.com. From there, type in your blog name (all one word, no spaces) and see what pops up:
When you hit search, you’ll be taken to a screen that tells you whether or not your blog name is available as a domain. It will then list all available domains (with different suffixes) and the yearly cost to register.
You’d be surprised by how el-cheapo domain registering actually is. Plus, the more years you register for, the more you save.
You can see by my results below that a .com is actually available (at the time this article was written) and it gives me a price of $9.99 per year to register. However, there are other domain options that cost less, such as .online for $5.99 per year.
You can go ahead and purchase your domain directly from this site by hitting “continue” under the shopping cart. On the next page, you’ll likely be offered a bunch of extra hooey to go with your domain, such as an email address or hosting.
I’ve personally never purchased a hosting plan through Domain.com, so I can’t vouch for it’s quality or ease of use. In the next step, I’m going to explain how to choose and set up hosting for your site.
4. Sign Up for Web Hosting
When you are starting a blog, think of your domain name like a physical address and consider the hosting to be the house. A domain will simple show you where the site is but the hosting is where you will build your actual blog.
When it comes to choosing your hosting platform, you have two options: paid or free.
Free Blogging Platforms
Free web hosts, such as Blogger and WordPress.org, offer subdomains for free to those who want to start a mom blog.
Your website would then include the name of the provider such as yoursite.blogspot.com or yoursite.wordpress.com. You would then have to point your domain to that address.
While having a free site may sound like cupcakes and roses, there are some pitfalls to doing so. Here are some reasons you may want to wary of using free hosting sites:
- The companies offering these free sites have to make money somehow, so they often place ads on users’ site to generate revenue.
- You will have limited disk space and limited bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to how much data is allowed to be uploaded by visitors to your site – the lower the bandwidth, the less traffic you can accommodate.
- Free website hosts don’t offer very many features such as a custom email address including your domain name.
- Customer support may be lacking or non-existent.
- You have limited control over the look and functionality of your site.
- There are virtually no options for placing security measures on your site.
When you’re very new to blogging and simply want to get your feet wet, a free site may be a good starting point. But for those who want to make a serious go at blogging, I highly recommend paying for your web hosting.
Paid Web Hosting
To understand the benefits of paying for web hosting, take all those negatives for free hosting and flip them around.
With paid hosting, you can run a site ad free (unless you want to generate your own revenue), unlimited space, full control over the look of your site and lots and lots of cool features.
All of my sites are hosted by Host Gator, a global provider of web hosting services. They have a really cool mascot named Snappy and they power their services with wind.
I’m going to tout on HostGator for a moment because I absolutely love their services.
The offer a bunch of tools including WordPress and other site building tools, templates and a one-click application installer.
To get started, head to HostGator.com to sign up.
They offer 3 different plans at very low prices.
The first plan is great for beginners who are looking to only have one site. It covers one domain so this means you can’t create subdomains under your main site.
For example, if I had the Hatchling Plan, I could create a subdomain for this site that would look like this: subdomain.mamaneedscoffee.online.
The middle tier, the Baby Plan, is the one I have. You get all the same features of the Hatchling Plan but you can set up unlimited subdomains. Having subdomains can be beneficial if you want to set up multiple sites without paying for multiple domains.
The last plan is the best value, since you can actually purchase your domain in the package. It also offers more business-oriented tools.
Once you have chosen the package you wish to purchase, click on “Buy Now” and follow the instructions!
5. Choose Your Blogging Platform
You have a domain and you have a web host but you haven’t started a blog just yet. Now you just need to choose a blogging platform to start a mom blog!
I can honestly only speak about using WordPress since it is the only blogging platform I have ever used. However, with HostGator, you have 2 options.
The first is GATOR Website Builder. This tool is very beginner friendly and you can create an entire site without touching any of the site’s code.
The second is WordPress and this is the one I am going to walk you through.
Installing WordPress to Your Domain
After you sign up for HostGator and get logged in, you’ll land on your Dashboard. You’ll want to look for a button that says “Launch cPanel”.
A separate tab will open. This is your cPanel (which is just a fancy way of saying “control panel”). Look for an icon labelled “WordPress Installer” and click on it.
You’ll be asked to choose the domain you wish to install WordPress onto. When you click the box, a list will pop up for you to choose from. Choose your domain and hit “next”.
Now you’re on a page asking for install settings. Fill out the information, paying particular attention to the “admin user” field. This will be your login name.
Don’t forget to tick off the “Terms of Service Agreement” box before hitting “install”.
A progress bar will show you the progress of the install. Once it’s done, click “details” to get your admin URL, username and password. You should also receive that information via email.
Logging in to WordPress
Use that admin URL to access your login page. It usually looks like this: http://www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php or http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/.
Enter your username and the password provided to you. Once logged in, you can access your account through the “Users” menu. Click on “All Users”, select your username and scroll down to “Account Management”.
Here you can change your password to something that’s easier to remember.
6. Pick a Theme and Layout
Okay, you’re in! You made it! You have arrived in WordPress and are probably itching to write your first article.
Before you can do that, however, you need to make your site look snazzy. You can do so my uploading a theme to WordPress.
Easier said than done. Now you just have to find a theme that suits the tone and feel of your mom blog while providing a user friendly and functional layout.
I would personally recommend Elara by LyraThemes. It’s a very simple and easily customizable WordPress theme and it’s actually the one I once used for this site (except that I ended up customizing the flibberdibbers out of it).
Installing a Theme
Head to the Elara theme site and click on the “download” button. This will download the theme to your computer as a .zip file, which you can simply upload to WordPress and apply to your site.
Back in WordPress, hover over the “Appearance” link in the left menu then click on “Themes”. Somewhere around the top of this page, you’ll see a button that says “Add New”.
Once you click on this button, you’ll be taken to a page where you can search for themes and templates. For now, we’re going to install Elara, so we need the “Upload Theme” button:
Now you have the option the “Browse” for that .zip file and “Install Now”. You’ll be taken to a new page where some text describes the install process. A small link will appear that allows you to activate the theme. Click on it.
Customizing Your Theme
Elara is a highly versatile theme that allows you to customize your site logo, background colors and images, sidebar positions, widgets, banners and sliders and social media menus all from the “Customize” feature of WordPress.
To get there, hover over “Appearance” again but this time select “Customize”. This will take you to a new page that allows you access to the various aspects of the theme you can, well, customize.
Instead of going into great detail here about how exactly to customize your theme, I’m going to refer you to Elara’s documentation.
It has many useful and easily explained articles that will get you started on making the theme unique to your site and brand!
Going All Out With DIVI
If you really want to pack a punch with your mom blog, I suggest giving DIVI a try!
DIVI is a WordPress theme that allows you to point-and-click to create a stunningly responsive and functional site in mere moments.
It’s user-friendly, so you don’t need to know how to use CSS to customize the look and feel. Almost all of the customization is done on the front-end, so you can easily change things like colors and fonts with the click of your mouse!
It also offers a ton of pre-made templates that you can easily customize to fit your blog’s brand and personality.
Click here to learn more about DIVI’s amazing features! (P.S. It’s the theme I use for this site now!)
7. Write an About Me Page
Before you lay a finger, or mouse pointer, on that “Add New Post” link, there are still a couple of things that need to be done – namely, writing your about page.
An about page helps you build a strong brand and positions you as an expert and go-to person in your niche.
Remember how we talked about how having a niche makes you an authority on that topic? Well, an about me page does so immediately without requiring visitors to read through your articles.
In your about me page, you are basically just introducing yourself and your blog to visitors. It allows readers to put a face to a name and helps to build trust between you and your readership.
Here are the basic elements of an optimized about me page:
- Introduction of yourself and blog.
- Name and image.
- Tell the story of how your blog came about.
- Explain how you want to help your audience.
- Include a bullet list of topics and things you can help your audience with.
You can also add your most popular posts or guides to the end of the page.
Apart from an about me page, you should also include a means in which visitors can contact you. You can use a contact form or simply provide your email address.
8. Add Some Content
Yay! We made it! Now is the time to start adding content to your site.
I’m sure you have a million ideas of what you want to write about but unless you find a way to organize your thoughts, your blog is likely going to fall into chaos.
Organizing Blog Content
The first order of business is to organize your post ideas. You can use pen and paper or a spreadsheet to list your ideas.
I personally use a spreadsheet. I list the topic idea, keyword, category and the date I would like to have it published on. As I publish posts, I highlight the row and change the background color to something light but noticeable.
I like to keep my content planning super simple but if you don’t think this method will work for you, check out these articles about organizing your post ideas:
- Twins Mommy – How to Create an Editorial Calendar to Organize and Plan Blog Posts
- Start a Mom Blog – Blog Plan Schedule Template
- Smart Mom Smart Ideas – How to Easily Plan Blog Post Ideas
- Mom’s Small Victories – The Ultimate Free Blog Planner You Need to Build A Successful Blog
Writing Blog Content
There is more to writing blog content than simply pouring your thoughts into an article. If you want to attract readers and traffic, you have to be mindful about how you write your articles.
Content should be easy to read, informative and straightforward. You need to pay close attention to the length of your paragraphs, section headings, word count and readability.
I go into great detail in my article How to Craft a Readable Blog Post. I suggest you check it out for ideas on how to create content that readers will enjoy and continue to return for.
You have successfully started your very own blog! Now go forth and share your wonderful information with the rest of the world!
If you have any questions, or if any of this information was unclear, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below!