When you haven’t got a big budget, there are times you just have to improvise.
As a new mum over 40, I knew that becoming a blogger-in-chief while tending to a newborn baby was certainly not going to be child’s play. While I’d promised myself less screen time and more play-time on maternity leave, I knew it probably wouldn’t happen because I love nothing more than being a multi-tasker extraordinaire. There’s also the fact that we live in a digital age, and as such, I needed to keep up with the world of technology.
While I’d dabbled with WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and many other platforms at the start of my journey, there was much to learn, so I set to work on understanding the basics between baby naps.
Among the stumbling blocks I encountered was the process of actually setting up my blog. I didn’t like any of the free templates on offer and there was a sudden realisation that blogging was going to cost me time, effort and money upfront with very little rewards at the start. I didn’t have much budget to do the basics with, so I needed to put my thinking cap on to sell the idea to better half H, who would be investing his hard-earned cash in my creativity.
Networking and discussing my blog with others at events proved extremely useful
• Identifying my values – positivity
Making the choice to be a new mum over 40 was not made on a whim and once I became one, I had a real need to share my newfound energy and enthusiasm for the world with others. Now being positive all the time is harder than it sounds – especially when it’s the focus of your content strategy. I do have down days, but what I’ve learned from being a new mum is that it’s simply a case of not letting the bad stuff stick!
I set to work on a content strategy for my blog, giving thought to my ideal reader profile (35-45), their interests (parenting, lifestyle and health) and social media habits (FB, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) first.
It was important to me that my blog would inspire, comfort and hopefully heal others with its presence, but also take me on a journey of self-discovery, giving me more freedom of expression and adventure. Ultimately today it gives me emotional resilience. So when my life gets tough, instead of me taking a beating these days, I roll with it and reflect on my writing, so I can bounce back quickly.
• Commission a logo
Working in the creative industry has its benefits and I’m currently working on a purple-based logo with one of my former colleagues that will hopefully be the centrepiece of my branding for years to come. To me, purple is a sensitive and compassionate colour that has undertones of understanding and support. Watch this space for more.
• Making sure others are on board
It’s been really important to take H, friends, work colleagues and brands on my blogging journey with me because I know that it has the ability to affect morale. I’ve canvassed everyone’s views, giving them the chance to contribute, so they feel invested in what I write about.
• Being a storyteller
As a blogger and new mum over 40, I always have to set aside time for storytelling. It is taking a lot of effort to build and maintain my audience, but at the same time it’s hugely beneficial in helping position my blog as an expert in its field to help inspire and empower other mums to overcome their fears and stay strong.
• Finding my niche
I knew through research that my well-heeled competitors had already monopolised many of the mummy blogger channels. So finding a content niche that hadn’t been exploited took a lot of thought. My research took me on a journey of exploration looking at what worked, what didn’t and things I could improve on.
• Pitch to journalists/PRs and keep in with bloggers
Having existing relations with journalists, bloggers and PRs via the day job does have its advantages, along with the fact I’ve already written for many titles before embarking on my career in PR. As such, I try to provide material they can use to create an eye-catching article, whether that be original research or human interest story. It’s worth the hard work.
Posting random pictures of things other people can relate to can help increase engagement on social media channels
• Keeping it consistent
I ensure that every interaction I have with people whether it’s face-to-face or on social media is in tune with my brand values. My goal is to give my readers a positive experience in order to inspire and empower them to overcome their fears. I do this by sharing content from other popular sites that’s relevant to my audience. For me, it’s often via mumsnet or huff post parents. I try to be as active as possible and post three or four times a day. I post random pictures sometimes, such as the contents of my bag, but that actually works. People like a blog that they can relate to. I also share other bloggers’ content from my niche. I also try to comment on other blogs as my page to increase traffic back to my own and include a call to action to follow me or visit my blog.