I previously wrote about my dream of becoming a Mummy Blogger. You can catch up here if you missed it!
To achieve this I am going to have to input a whole lot of work and get consistent with my content, branding and posting as well as a whole host of other things I am yet to learn. All of this while being a first-time mum to our four month old son!
So far I’ve been finding it hard, hence the lack of posts.
However, I have been busy doing things in relation to my goal!
How I’m Becoming a Blogger
One of the things I did shortly before Heath was born was to join a Facebook Group hosted by Aby Moore of youbabymemummy.com. This group is a fantastically supportive group for budding and succeeding Mummy Bloggers. This group of women, and a few men, have great ideas and a wealth of experience and knowledge which I have hugely benefited from so far. I hope at some point I can start to contribute my own experience to help others but I am certainly not there yet!
Through this group I learnt that going self-hosted is a better and more flexible option if you want to give blogging a serious go.
So I did it. I took the plunge and invested in a new domain name and a host that would enable me to have more command over my site. TSO host is the site that I have chosen to go with on the recommendation of other people in Aby’s Mamapreneur Revolution group.
I have also learnt about Search Engine Optimisation, SEO. This can be important in how your site is ranked on search engines. It can also affect your Domain Authority which is a metric that you can use to promote yourself to brands.
In order to do this I downloaded the Yoast SEO plugin. I have then gone through all my posts and improved them to give them a good SEO and improve their readability. This involved reloading my images having made their names more SEO friendly. I also added titles and descriptions to each image to improve them. Another thing I had to adjust was the body of the text. I needed to add headlines and subtitles as well as links; both internal and external.
I’m not hot on it just yet but I feel that I am improving how I approach my blogging and thinking about it in a more strategic and consistent way!
Instagram was relatively new to me this time last year. I have come to very much enjoy Instagram and have found that the community out there are great and very supportive. One of the first thing I did was to change my account to a business account which allows me to have access to statistics about my images.
One thing that I am currently navigating is finding my Instagram style. I don’t consider myself too artistic and don’t have access to Photoshop so I’m not going down that route. Currently, I don’t feel ready to share Heath’s face either so I can’t just post any picture of him that I take. Colour is also important to me but as I’ve said I’m not that artistic I can’t quite seem to pull a colour scheme together. I’ve decided to alternate pictures to try and create a more coherent profile.
Something else I have started to do is to vary the hashtags that I use. This has helped me to gain more impressions and exposure of my images. There are also some really well established tags to use in the parenting field which I have found through following my favourite feeds. I’ve even gone so far as to create my own hashtag, #secretlivesoflittes, for the faceless child community. Faceless child sounds a little horror movie-esk when I see it written!
I am really enjoying thinking of imaginative ways to take pictures of my family. It’s also been fun to learn how to edit images to improve them. By far the best part of Instagram for me so far has been the people I have met through it. There are some fabulously supportive, creative and interesting individuals and I look forward to watching their journeys too!
The final thing that I have been working on behind closed doors is YouTube. For a while now it is something I have wanted to venture in to. However, I don’t have video editing software on our laptop nor have I ever edited a video.
Last year for my birthday I bought a Canon bridge camera, the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Explore. This has helped me to improve the photos I take but has also enabled me to film some decent quality footage. At least that’s one thing that will be alright on the videos!
I had a few practice runs, playing with lighting and backdrops. Needless to say they weren’t great and I regularly got upstaged by Nala. However, I have now decided to launch in to it. If it doesn’t go well, at least I tried and if it does go well, who knows. One thing I know at the moment is that I am enjoying challenging myself to do all of the above. I have also gained a lot more of an understanding of how much effort and energy goes in to becoming a successful blogger/vlogger. Right now I have no idea if I will succeed in my ambitions but I am certainly enjoying the process!
Other bits and pieces
There are also a few other bits that I have been doing too. I have a Facebook page and Twitter account for Merin and Co. A friend also designed a fabulous logo for me which I love. I also made sure that all the profile images on each platform are the same to improve my brands consistency.
However, I need to improve my use of both Twitter and Facebook. At the moment I have a grand total of 26 Twitter followers and a magnificent 17 followers on Facebook. If you are one of these people supporting me already, thank you so, so much! If you are yet to click that button please do! I would massively appreciate it! I know, I know a little shameless self-promotion there!
Something else I have done is to sign up to some other collectives and sites. I’ve joined Britmums and signed up to Tots100. Britmums offers more support and Tots100 will allow me to see how I make progress, if and when I do.
So here’s what I’ve done so far:
- Joined a blogging support community (Mamapreneur revolution)
- Bought a domain name and paid for a self-hosting platform (TSO Host)
- Chose a more professional looking theme
- Improved the SEO of my blog
- Renamed pictures
- Added captions to images
- Added headlines and subtitles to posts
- Included links in each posts
- Started a dedicated, business type Instagram page
- Played with the style of Instagram images I post
- Varied the hashtags I use on my images
- Ensured all profile images are consistent across all platforms
- Had a logo designed by a friend
- Started releasing videos on my YouTube Channel
- Edited more videos ready to upload
- Created an introductory jingle and outro
- Opened a Canva account to create Youtube thumbnails
- Started watching more channels to enjoy them and improve my ability as a vlogger
- Signed up to Britmums and Tots100
I’ve been pretty busy. I’m proud of my new look website and feel like I’ve gained a much better understanding of the industry.
Now I need to become more consistent with my YouTube channel, get posting more blogs and see if I continue to enjoy it. I also want to improve the sizes and engagement of my audiences on all the platforms I’m using. If you have any hints, tips and advice please do share!
Most importantly, I’ve done all of the above whilst caring for my newborn son! Looking after him has been the steepest and most amazing learning curve of all!
Anything I manage to achieve in this blogging world will always be a result of the work I can do during his naps!
Tune in next month to see what I manage to do in between then and now!