Blog Tip Friday : The Importance of Knowing Why You Blog

Welcome to a new feature on Honest Mom: Blog Tip Friday, where you’ll get writing and tech tips to up your blogging mojo and maximize your blog’s success!

I hope to do this every Friday, and I’d love to hear what YOU want to learn about!

Without further ado … let’s jump in.

Blog Tip #1 : Know Why You Blog

One of the biggest questions I hear from bloggers is this:

How can I grow my blog?

This is a HUGE question and I know you’d love a simple answer.

But, um, sorry … there isn’t one.

However – that’s because there are many strategies you can use to grow your blog: Social media. SEO. Blog design. Writing style. Networking. And much, much more (all which this series will delve into!)

But before we launch into any of those specifics, we need to start at square one:

If you want people to read your blog, you have to write something people want to read.

And in order to do that, you need to know why you are blogging and what you want to get out of it.

It took me four months of blogging at Honest Mom to truly figure this out. And when I did, I came up with a mission statement of sorts:

I want Honest Mom to feature candid writing on raising little girls and dealing with depression, plus a good dose of lighthearted parenting humor. I hope to help other moms realize they are not alone in their struggles and to give them a little giggle once in a while, too.

That’s why I blog. It is both therapeutic and fun for me, yes – but I also blog in large part to help other people, as cheesy as that may sound.

And once I figured all that out – and kept my writing focused on those main topics – the readers started rolling in.

I know people come to my blog to read about managing depression and parenting, and for humor, too. I can tell from the comments and emails, from my blog stats, and from social media.

My stats have all gone up tremendously in the past six months and I’ve got some exciting stuff brewing in the next few months. I’m working with PR firms and getting to do some fun reviews. And I’m actually making some money off my blog (not a main goal for me, but nice, for sure).

So … yeah, things are going in the right direction!

Sure, I have been working the social media angle. I now know my way around WordPress and utilize some awesome plugins and widgets. I network with other bloggers and we support each other. And it helps that in real life, I’m a copywriter – so I know how to write for online reading and I know a good bit about SEO.

But none of those things would matter if I didn’t know why I blogged and if I didn’t write about what I cared about.

So why do you blog? Why would someone read your blog?

You need to know the answers to these questions. And until you do, your blog can’t truly be successful. And it’s not gonna grow. Period.

So let’s hear it: Why do you blog and why would someone read your blog? And don’t forget to tell me what you’d like to see in upcoming Blog Tip Friday posts!

Coming up next time: I’ll talk about finding your unique angle for your blog. And then after that, we’ll get into some of the nitty gritty: the writing on and the for look of your blog, and oodles of tech tips!

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Comments

    • says

      As I was reading your post, I was thinking, “Of course she has a mission … will she realize it?” And naturally, you did. :-)

      I think a common misconception of blogging is that every mom is in it to “get discovered” – but that’s not true. Lots of moms blog for exactly the reason you do – to record memories, good and bad, and to connect with other moms.

  1. says

    Congratulations on starting this useful and great series. I’ll be reading and learning along with many of your readers. Thank you! I love your question and how you found your niche. I find my writing best when I am telling a story that means something to me or that has pulled on my emotional cords. This creative outlet has allowed me to tap into a side of myself that I didn’t even realize existed until I started blogging and writing more and more. I can’t wait to see what’s next in your series.
    Nikki | Days With Us recently posted… CRYING AT NINEMy Profile

  2. says

    This is great. It’s such a simple question to ask, but no so simple to answer. I likey. I started blogging to reach out (while completely isolating) to others regarding my postpartum depression and it has really turned into something I really enjoy doing. It has also introduced me to other imperfectly perfect moms that I would not have met otherwise. I don’t know if it will grow or not, but I’m grateful that I started it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      You’re very welcome! Re: PPD – I hope you feel better now. I still struggle with depression – this round started with PPD over four years ago. But I am in a much better place now! :-)

  3. says

    Thanks! I’m still struggling with PPD and have been since my three year old son was born. I had another baby six months ago and this go round I have been diagnosed with “postpartum exacerbation” which is way more exciting. I’m currently involved in some intense trauma therapy and could easily start up a whole new (much less humorous) blog all about it. #NO FUN :( Your blog has REALLY been helpful and inspirational.

    • says

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that. Oh, that’s just so hard. I am glad, though, that my blog has helped you. That’s why I write about my depression – because I know how isolating it feels and I want other moms to feel like this is a safe space to talk about it. :-)

  4. says

    Great question and as I am just starting out, I think I have an idea of what I want it to be, but am not sure I have nailed it yet. I started blogging about a year ago because I love writing and because I wanted to share the learning experiences our family has together when we use our interests and passions as a guide. Since my personal passions include education, music, nature and travel, the blog has a focus on these things and how they can be used to teach children about the world. Your blog is one of the first blogs by moms I discovered last year and I have learned a lot from your honesty. I am looking forward to the rest of this series and think it will be very helpful as I try to improve my blogging abilities!
    Rose recently posted… Naturally RomanticMy Profile

    • says

      I love the purpose of your blog: “I wanted to share the learning experiences our family has together when we use our interests and passions as a guide. Since my personal passions include education, music, nature and travel, the blog has a focus on these things and how they can be used to teach children about the world.” That’s beautiful and unique!

      PS – I love your latest post!

  5. says

    Awesome. Well said. I actually wrote a blog post over the summer about why I blog because I was feeling confused. I couldn’t narrow down on my focus or my objective. So, I put all my thoughts into a blog post that I now go back to and look at whenever I lose focus.

    Why I blog: to sort through and record my thoughts on my journey towards being a better mother and wife and a more emotionally sound me; to share my experiences and advice with others; to connect with others who may be experiencing similar issues; to make myself (and maybe others) laugh.

    Great series. Thanks for sharing, JD!
    Steph at I’m Still Learning recently posted… Girl powerMy Profile

  6. says

    When I started my blog, I wanted to connect with other moms of kids with RAS, my sons seizure condition. Or maybe offer advice to moms just finding out about it. But it has evolved into a place where I just write about my boys in general, RAS- related or not.
    At first it stressed me out, trying to figure out my exact goal- but then I realized that its not like I’m famous or doing it for money. If my blog is a little of this and a little of that, I think it’s still ok.
    Robin Jingjit recently posted… Welcome to the clubMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Mia! I couldn’t agree more.

      I just read through your “About” on your blog – you’re a co-founder of Aquent? That’s amazing! I am a freelance B2B copywriter and I believe I’ve emailed with recruiters from there a bunch of times in the past. Small world!

      Looking forward to browsing through your blog. Thanks for commenting!

  7. says

    This is awesome to find you’re just starting the series. I just started a blog in January 2013, thought it was about time I joined the conversation. :-) I love the fact that you strive for honesty and transparency, that takes courage. I am enjoying many things about blogging. Why do I blog? I blog as a tool to help me get ‘unstuck’. By back story is told through the process of clearing clutter in our garage and house. I also blog because I have always loved the process of writing but never really had an outlet for writing. Blogging provides that. Through blogging I hope to be an inspiration to others to take that first step in getting unstuck. If I can do it, anybody can. We can do this; unpack one box, organize one drawer, pay one bill, read one poem, say one prayer, practice one meditation, take one day at a time. Getting stuck whether its physically, emotionally, spiritually, and/or financially inhibits our creative abilities and limits our ability to thrive. It is through the process of learning how to clear the clutter of our homes, minds, and/or spirits that we learn how to be the best we are meant to be, living our lives with greater intention and purpose.
    Susie recently posted… The year I got off my butt, cleared out my garage and jump started my life!My Profile

  8. says

    Hi! great post…and very timely for me. I just started blogging last spring but took a 6 month break from writing because of a new job. I kept up on my FB, Pinterest & Twitter accts though. I decided to start blogging because I always feel I have so much to say, and I have a degree in Professional Writing & Editing. Why it took me so long to figure out I would love blogging is beyond me.
    I would love to do this as a career, but I feel like I can only get so far with my comical kid-raising stories, so I am kind of going in a different direction now. Keeping with the mom theme, but I would like to be a little more focused this year.

  9. says

    I blog as a creative outlet and a way to sort things out in my own mind. I also do it to connect with other people. Hopefully people are thinking – omg, that happens to me, too! Also think that parenting is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to me. And who doesn’t like to read a funny story??

    I have to say, though, in the seven or so months since I started, I’ve invariably felt overwhelmed by “growing” my presence online and all of that jazz. Sometimes it stresses me out so much that I stop writing. :(
    Deb recently posted… Sleep-over, Sleep-innerMy Profile

  10. says

    I started blogging because I want to do something creative and to connect with other moms that have similar intrests.

    Love the blog! I’ll be back!

  11. Julie Dennehy says

    I love your style, and your writing is excellent. I love that you try to tackle the big subjects in an honest way, and then ease off the throttle and coast with the fun stuff. I'll keep reading! – Julie D, myshinymonkey.com (PS I published a similar fun post about "Blizzards are Snow Fun" today – check it out!)

  12. says

    Do you think a mission statement can be so broad as to cover three very different subjects? I started blogging (last fall), like most of the above, as a creative outlet and to connect with people, to vent and to share funny stories. But what started as SAHM rants about going crazy stuck at home with two toddlers has expanded to include my painting and my surrogacy…I fear that I should have three different blogs since each subject would have different readers, but that seems like a hassle.
    I love love love your blog and can relate to SO SO much of what you discuss. Thanks for putting it all out there! :)

  13. says

    I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and it was only recently (after I saw The Bloggess at a book signing) that I realized that the one thing (so far) i am good at writing about is my depression and anxiety. I want to share my experiences to help other people realize or remember they’re not alone. I’d like to create a community of people who share their stories and support each other. I want to show people they can be open about their depression.

    I’ve only been blogging for four months, and I’m realizing there’s so much to learn, but there’s also so many resources too. Thank you for doing this Blog Tip Friday series. I look forward to reading the other tips.
    Frankie Lawson recently posted… When a Dead End Is a Good ThingMy Profile

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