Write It Sideways

6 Dos and Don’ts for Busy Parents Who Blog

For parents—especially for full-time moms—blogging can be a a lifesaver.

It’s a way of communicating with the adult world when we’re surrounded all day by children. For some, it may be the only form of intellectual stimulation we get during the course of a week.

However, blogging can also be a big commitment if you aim to do it for more than just an emotional outlet.

If you’re a busy mom or dad who blogs, or you’re considering starting one, consider the following six dos and don’ts:

1. DO define your reasons for blogging.

Starting a blog just because you can won’t get you far. Think of how many millions of blogs there are out there—many of them abandoned after just a few posts once the novelty of blogging has worn off.

Why do you want to blog? Is it to promote yourself and your writing through social media? Are you looking to learn more about a specific topic and share your new knowledge with others, or keep up your professional skills by writing about your area of expertise?

If you can’t think of a good reason beyond creating an online diary, why not try something other than blogging? How about joining a support group or a moms-and-tots club, where you can meet other like-minded parents and get a little adult interaction? These options may require less time commitment and effort than blogging.

2. DON’T get yourself in over your head.

Maybe you start out posting twice a week. Soon, you think you’ll get more subscribers by posting three times a week. After you get a couple hundred followers, maybe you decide to start a newsletter. Soon you’re accepting articles from guest posters, doing book reviews, collaborating with other bloggers…and becoming a whole lot busier than you were to begin with.

Take on only the amount of responsibility you can safely commit to. It’s far better to have a blog you can easily take care of than one that eventually leads you to crash and burn.

3. DO focus on quality over quantity.

There’s no need to write long posts all the time. With so many blogs to choose from out there, shorter is often better. Likewise, posting one or two great articles per week is better than posting average ones every day.

Focus on quality. Fill your blog with short-but-powerful articles, and you’ll soon develop a loyal following.

4. DON’T be a no-show blogger.

Commit yourself to a reasonably regular blogging schedule. If you can only manage one post per week, that’s fine as long as you consistently post once per week.

When people subscribe to your articles, they want some sort of predictability. If you post twice a week for a month, and then go missing for a month, your readers may think you’ve given up on your blog and unsubscribe.

5. DO guest post to grow your subscriber list with less effort.

There are many different strategies for growing your subscriber list. Writing great content is the first step, and social media like Twitter and Facebook can help boost your numbers, too.

But one of the best strategies for growing your blog’s audience is guest posting for other blogs. In my first month of blogging, when I had just 23 subscribers to Write It Sideways, I wrote a guest post for Write to Done.

That one guest post more than doubled my subscribers over just a few days, and put me in contact with a published writer who then asked me to guest post on his site, as well. It wasn’t long before that handful of subscribers became hundreds.

For a busy parent, writing just a few guest posts can take your blog further, more quickly, than writing your heart out in your own little corner.

6. DON’T give up during the busiest times.

Life happens, and we all have moments when we’re completely snowed under. During those times, it can be tempting to say, “Right, I’m done with this blogging stuff!”

As a busy mom, myself, one key I’ve found to not giving up is to plan ahead for those times. I always have a long list of article ideas ready and waiting for days I feel uninspired, I ask for guest posts from other bloggers to help with the workload, and I try not to leave writing articles to the last minute, either.

You know you’re going to experience overload at some point, so have an action plan ahead of time to prevent going into give-up mode.

Are you a blogger who has young children to care for? How do you approach blogging so you reap its benefits without overcommitting yourself?