I read an article on the New York Post from a former mom blogger who claims that having a “mommy blog” ruined her life. I have to say, as someone who thoroughly enjoys blogging for moms, I was at first confused and then rolling my eyes. The way she describes how she blogged had me thinking…
Well, of course you felt miserable and fake. What do you expect when you’re going about blogging the way you did?
There’s this misconception that blogging for moms means playing the sponsor game, that it means showing the world a perfect ideal of motherhood and family. According to this former blogger, if you want to make money blogging, you have to show the world a big, fat smile, staged family fun, and a perfect life every reader dreams of. I suppose if you’re taking social media too seriously or you fall into the trap of selfie culture, that’s what you might think.
But that’s not how it has to be.
Take a look at Mom Goes Mental right here or go bigger and watch some of the videos from Tiffany of Juggling the Jenkins.
If you’re miserable and blogging, it’s because you’re blogging miserably. Plain and simple.
If you’re not making money (and you’re trying to), it’s because you’re not doing something right. Not because you’re not part of enough networking groups or haven’t been to the right blogging conference.
So, if any part of you is miserable blogging or doesn’t understand why you’re not making money, here are my two cents. Here are the reasons you’re not making money or enjoying blogging.
You’re looking for perfection.
My life isn’t perfect, and I don’t claim it is. I’m an overworked mom of 3 going on 4. My husband is an addict, and we’re both bipolar. My life is a circus on the best of days, and I struggle a lot when it comes to motivation, my wellness, and even my marriage.
I’m as candid as I feel comfortable being about all of that, and it resonates with my audience. Because my content speaks to moms who are looking for an authentic look at what life can be like when you have some of the challenges I have, those are the types of moms my blog attracts.
If you’re constantly striving for a perfection that doesn’t exist in your own life, you’re going to attract an audience who wants to see that and who feeds into a cycle that doesn’t make you happy. You don’t have to be perfect to have a successful blog.
You spend more time behind the camera than in front of it.
I share an honest look at my life, and most of the time I’m not taking pictures of it. I like to snap one-off photos of little hands and tiny toes, a video I was already taking anyway of my daughter’s first time swinging, or a box of Huggies on a pile of toys. In actuality, I don’t often take photos of my kids, and I definitely don’t spend hours setting up that perfect shot. There is even a majority of stock photos on my Instagram—gasp!
One of the things the miserable former mom blogger mentioned was that she was spending more time shooting for brands than enjoying the time with her family. I can understand the pressure there—I’ve done brand photoshoots, too—but it really depends on how you approach it.
When I worked with Huggies and Hefty, I spent 30 minutes rolling around on the floor with my daughter snapping candid photos of her playing with boxes. I knew my baby wasn’t going to enjoy sitting still long, and I wanted to spend some time playing with her. Many of the required shots with the brand’s logo didn’t even have her in them.
It’s possible to meet the criteria that brands want without losing yourself to your camera. You just have to get creative.
Your posts are salesy and inauthentic.
I don’t try to be a salesman when I work with brands. Instead, I tell stories. I often work with brands through agencies, and I like that in exchange for charging slightly less than normal, I don’t have to spend any time searching for and pitching to brands. However, I suspect that many of the post requirements are to be written by the sales or ad team. Really, they often sound salesy and inauthentic.
If you take that at face value and build your entire post around that tone, that’s exactly how your message is going to read to your audience. What works in a commercial does not work on a blog.
Instead of trying to play the tone-match game, I tell stories or share helpful advice and how/why it worked for me. Then I connect that to the brand’s desired message. You can see one of my favorite examples of this in my sex-positive postpartum article.
You’re working with the wrong brands.
Not every paid opportunity is going to be worth your time. I’ve turned down several paid partnerships with great brands because I didn’t like the project, the campaign requirements weren’t right for me, or it didn’t fit with the overall message of my blog.
A paid partnership is just that: a partnership. It has to work for both the blogger and the brand. When things don’t match up, someone is bound to end up feeling unsatisfied. For the brand, this means they’re less likely to work with you again. For the blogger, you’re miserable.
Stop applying to every paid campaign there is. Stop accepting every paid post a brand offers you. Start taking control of your blog’s mission and find brands that compliment that. Bonus, when you’re pitching to brands, the chances are much higher that the creative freedom of your post remains completely with you!
You’re putting your energy in the wrong places.
I’m all for networking with other mom bloggers. I think it’s a great way to gain insight into the industry, and there are a lot of veteran moms with a lot of knowledge to share. However, if all of your traffic is coming from networking and engagement, you’re putting your energy in the wrong places.
I often see blogger after blogger spending what has got to be hours promoting their content when their blog is, to put it lightly, a complete mess. The design is rough, there are ads everywhere, posts are formatted incorrectly, SEO is non-existent, and it is clear there is no overall strategy at work here not to mention branding or aesthetic.
Stop wasting your energy promoting a blog that isn’t yet worth promoting. Get your design in line, have viral ready images set for your posts, create a strategy for your content, and develop consistent branding.
Are you struggling with this? I can help! Check out the various services I offer from blog redesign to content strategy and branding. >> LEARN MORE
You share what you think is trending.
Instead of listening to what your audience wants, you’re striving again for a false perfection that just doesn’t exist. If you’re not the mom who lives in an all white house where nary a speck of dust survives for more than a microsecond, stop trying to be that mom. Stop trying to address the audience of that mom. You aren’t that mom. You’re you.
Worry less about what is trending, and share an authentic picture of your life or mission. Don’t share more than you’re comfortable with, and stop looking for a perfection that isn’t real. When you share your authentic self, you’ll attract an audience that appreciates the real you, the mom that doesn’t make blogging feel miserable or soul-sucking.
If you’re guilty of any of these…
For one, know that I’m not judging or shaming you, and you’re free to disagree. For another thing, it’s okay if you’re feeling miserable being a mom blogger. It’s okay if you’ve gone about this the wrong way. Making mistakes or walking down the wrong path for a bit too long doesn’t mean you’re failing. It means that you’re being presented with an opportunity to learn, grow, and do better.
Blogging shouldn’t make you miserable, and it shouldn’t make you feel as though you’re sacrificing your life or privacy or ideals. It is incredibly rewarding to create a community of other moms who get it. Blogging is validating to share a piece of your life with people who understand the struggle and the immense rewards, and it’s fulfilling knowing that something you said could be the thing another mom really needed to hear that day… whether it’s a life-saving word or a recipe for homemade slime.