SAHM who blogs

Stay-at-home recipes, crafts, and mommy memories.

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2016 Top Blog Posts

There may be affiliate links in this post, but they have no impact on my writing. All opinions are my own.

   

2016 is the year I became a mommy blogger! I’ve had lots of positive experiences along the way, so it was a lot of fun to take a look at my stats and see what the TOP POSTS were this year. I enjoy the blogging challenge, and have big dreams for 2017. Thank you for following along and supporting me!


Top Viewed:

2016 Top Blog Posts

Why are parents saying sorry all the time? These are the 7 things parents shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for…ever! …read more HERE


Top Recipe:

2016 Top Blog Posts

You can use shredded chicken in almost any dinner recipe. I share a whole week of shredded chicken recipes, including my favorite BLT Chicken Salad Sandwich…read more HERE


Top Article:

Originally published on Her View From Home.

2016 Top Blog Posts

I didn’t have to explain why my day did not go as planned, or what I wasn’t able to get done…all I had to say was, “I’m not OK today.” …read more HERE


Top DIY:

2016 Top Blog Posts

This is a low-cost and easy DIY Halloween Costume. It’s a Pokeball (Pokemon Ball) girl tutu costume that is adorable for any age! …read more HERE


Top Blogging Tips:

2016 Top Blog Posts

Updating some of your blog post images can help bring more traffic to your blog! Check out the blog post image tips that have worked well for me…read more HERE


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2016 Top Blog Posts

Give Your Blog Post a Picture Lift

There may be affiliate links in this post, but they have no impact on my writing. All opinions are my own.

   

Blog Post Picture Updates

Updating some of your blog post images can help bring more traffic to your blog! I have been focusing on Pinterest lately, and I can say if you don’t use Pinterest in combination with your blog, you should rethink and start using Pinterest! It is a search engine (just like Google) where people go to look for things: recipes, DIY projects, gift guides, articles, almost anything…you name it! Bloggers who use Pinterest (including me) usually see majority of their blog traffic from Pinterest.

Have I convinced you yet? Either way, I came up with some tips to improve blog pictures. You could focus on the image dimensions for other social media platforms as well. I’ll cover ideas for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


I use Canva because it’s free and easy to navigate. It’s available as a phone app, but I prefer to use my laptop because there are more tools and options to work with. You start by picking a dimension under Canva‘s Create a Design:

  1. Facebook –>
    1. Social Media Posts: Facebook App (810px x 450px)
  2. Instagram –>
    1. Social Media Posts: Instagram Post (1080px x 1080px)
  3. Pinterest –>
    1. Social Media Posts: Pinterest Graphic (735px x 1102px)
    2. Blogging & eBooks: Infographic (800px x 2000px)

Blog Post Picture Update

I like using the Facebook App image at the top of my blog post because it makes a great header, and when you share to Facebook it will usually pull this picture.

I may include the Instagram Post image somewhere in my blog post, but sometimes I only post it on Instagram. It depends on how many other pictures I have. For example, I took more than enough pictures for the Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice Burrito recipe I did not need to include the Instagram Post image within the post.

I have been moving towards only using Infographic dimensions for pinnable images because I like the height and they do well getting re-pinned. However, I need at least two high quality photos for this dimension to look good, so if I only have one good photo I will still use the Pinterest Graphic. I have a mix of Infographic and Pinterest Graphic dimensions for recent updates I’ve done on my pinnable images:

Blog Post Picture Update

Another thing you may notice in my image updates is I use consistent fonts and colors. When I first downloaded Canva, I was happy-go-lucky with making pins and didn’t focus on using the same fonts or colors. There are SO many of them, it was hard to keep track! Now that I’ve used Canva for a few months, I am more familiar with what fonts I like and use colors that look good with my blog. Most importantly, I stick to them! I would suggest:

  • Narrow down 5 fonts you like
  • Make sure font options are a mix of skinny, fat, cursive, upper-case, etc
  • Never use more than 2 or 3 fonts per image
  • Keep background and font colors consistent (at least within the same blog post)

I also upped my photo quality with better lighting by using a Photo Light BoxI didn’t realize how dark and shadowy my still-image photos were turning out until I compared before and after images side-by-side. This is was a big turning point!

Blog Post Picture Update


Read Related: DIY Collapsable Photo Light Box


Another image trick I’ve been using lately is hiding the pinnable image in the post. This way it doesn’t show on the post, but if someone shares the post to Pinterest the pinnable image will be an option. I take pride in my pinnable images, so I like to include them in my posts. However, there are instances where I have multiple pinnable images for a post and hide all but one, or I create a new pin image and “keep” the old pin image hidden. I followed these easy hiding image directions: How to Hide an Image in a WordPress Post.

There are many other ways to update your blog post images, but what I shared has worked very well for me recently. My pins are being re-pinned 3x more and my blog traffic has increased 3x!

Blog Post Picture Update

Recommended Products:

Blog Post Picture Update

If I Can Monetize My Blog, You Can Too!

There may be affiliate links in this post, but they have no impact on my writing. All opinions are my own.

   

Are you a mommy blogger interested in monetizing your blog?

If you answered: “heck yes!” or “eventually…” or “I want to learn more,” then you came to the right place!

My answer to this question 6 weeks ago was, “Eventually I’d like to monetize my mommy blog.” I’m a SAHM who blogs recipes, crafts, and mommy memories from my own stay-at-home journey for other moms to enjoy…but if I could make money while blogging to help contribute financially to my household, why not?!

Monetizing my blog was definitely a pie in the sky dream that sounded good, but I had no idea where to start or where to get quality information. Then I would begin to feel overwhelmed. Blogging already takes up a lot of my free time and I was honestly scared to devote more time towards monetizing my blog when the time I have is so limited.

Chrystie Vachon had become my blogging mentor for many reasons. A few of them are:

  1. She has awesome information on her Living for Naptime website geared towards helping mommy bloggers grow their blogs and social media platforms.
  2. I belong to her Facebook support group Naptime Nation.
  3. She has such a positive outlook and passion for what she does that it is contagious! Her blogging success is very admirable.

So, when I looked into Chrystie’s online course, the opportunity to monetize my blog seemed realistic. Deciding to move forward with the Pageviews to Paycheck course has been a perfect fit for me and my blog! Some of the reasons are:

  1. I can complete the course at my own speed! Sometimes my SAHM schedule gets turned upside down, and my progress in the course is not affected by it. I have lifetime access to the content…even when there are updates or add-ons to the course.
  2. The course is easy to follow! The information is very useful, and I find myself thinking, “I didn’t know that” a lot of the time. The blog changes I’ve made since starting the course are all geared towards being able to easily monetize my blog.
  3. Chrystie is available to answer questions and provide feedback! Participating in the course will also open up an invite to the Pageviews to Paycheck Facebook group. This is where I’ve been able to post my course progress, homework completion, questions about the course, and I receive support from Chrystie and others who are taking the course. It’s also encouraging to see where the other bloggers are at in the course and give them my help and support!

The opportunity to monetize my blog has become a reality with the Pageviews to Paycheck course!

I strongly recommend this course for any mommy blogger who is looking to monetize their blog eventually! or right now! 

Click HERE to sign up today!

If I Can Monetize My Blog, You Can Too!

It’s a Marathon, Not a Race

There may be affiliate links in this post, but they have no impact on my writing. All opinions are my own.

   

marathon not a race

This is a phrase that was introduced to me through the blogging support group Naptime Nation, and I recently went through some blogging discouragement that forced me to truly believe it.

Discouragement reared its ugly head as I was trying to switch over to a self-hosted blog. I moved from (free) Blogger to (premium) WordPress, thinking that because I was paying $$ it was considered self-hosting. Silly me.

There are different WordPresses: .com and .org

My premium account is .com (NOT considered self-hosting.)

I am a person who dives into opportunities, so as I am learning how to build my site to eventually monetize, if I’m told I need to self-host I am taking the opportunity asap.

So I threw money at a WordPress premium account. Thinking I would magically be in charge of my own site.

Meanwhile, my daughter is needy. She wants mommy attention, she throws tantrums to be with me! Here I am, a SAHM not bringing in much $$ for household contribution, and all of a sudden throwing money away…simply hoping I will make it back soon.

Next, I checkout Bluehost (from a blog referral) and purchase almost immediately. Combining Bluehost with my new WordPress should = self-hosted, right? Wrong…in the sense that there’s a lot more to it than that.

This is where I started to feel like I was losing control (and it was late Friday night, so it’s not like I was able to call customer support to figure it out.) So, I needed to take a step back, breathe and look at why I’m blogging.

Yes, I’d love to make money as a SAHM, but I can’t lose sight of the fact:

  1. Writing has been reintroduced into my life and.I.love.it.
  2. I want to be home to raise my daughter, not avoid her and focus on my laptop all day.
  3. Blogging is a marathon, not a race.

I may feel ready to earn money and make it a full-time/stay-at-home gig, but I can’t rush it and just throw money at it! So, after finding the air to help me breathe, I needed to let it go for the weekend.

I’m glad I did because Monday morning, I was able to call Bluehost and figure out how to transfer my site over to their servers to be considered self-hosted. I think the frustration on Friday came because it was late at night (after 2 long days of switching from Blogger to WordPress) and I was trying to figure out the Bluehost transfer process by sprinting to the finish line.

I wouldn’t say everything is done and perfect with my site, there is still learning on my end about plugins and how to make it what I want it to be. But, I am happy to say WordPress cancelled and refunded my premium account after they saw my site was transferred to Bluehost.

In the end, I did a lot of work to simply re-do it again. If I could share any tidbits of information with other bloggers who are thinking about switching to self-hosting:

  1. Do your research first and there is no need to sprint!
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers questions about how they did it.
  3. If you are interested in starting a new blog, look into hosting sites that provide self-hosting options and stay away from free-options if you’re looking to someday monetize your blog.

marathon not a race

Mommy Blogger Struggles Revamped

There may be affiliate links in this post, but they have no impact on my writing. All opinions are my own.

   

At the start of my blogging journey, I wrote a post about mommy blogger struggles:

As I sit here looking at my notepad of ideas, I am stumped what to write this week. Nothing is inspiring me, and I am having difficulty finding the time to sit down and write. Charlotte is requiring a lot of mommy attention: she’s teething, crawling, climbing stairs, and grabbing onto anything to help her stand (last night she stood up holding onto her car seat and it ended up rocking and knocking her over.) Needless to say, my baby girl is a little needy lately, by the time she’s napping or down for bed I have other to-do’s that take priority over writing my blog…read more HERE

I chuckle a little bit because time is still an issue today as much as it was for me 2 months ago (with blogging and being a mommy at home) but the struggles are a little different.

blogger struggles

I don’t have trouble sitting down and writing (and I’m getting more confident blogging about myself!) It’s the time required on social media to promote my blog posts that take more time. 2 months ago, I never would have thought that I would have an Instagram account or Pinterest account for my blog in addition to my Facebook page. But, here I am trying to find people through social media who enjoy reading my blog to help drive traffic to my blog posts.

I also discovered mommy blogger support groups through social media. When I started blogging, I had no idea there were groups out there that helped encourage and mentor bloggers, as well as help drive traffic to blogs. This has been huge! It’s been less than a month since I’ve started participating in groups, and my Instagram followers went from very few (less than 50) to 306! I also just started using Pinterest this past week and now have 165 followers (I started around 60). Not to mention, my Facebook page now has 199 likes (I started around 50 before participating in groups.)

Not only do the groups help drive traffic to my blogs, but I am learning something new everyday!  Yes, it has required more time from me but it has been worth it. I have big dreams for my blog, just like everyone else who is participating in these groups, so it is awesome to be surrounded by like-minded people.

(If you’re interested, the groups I’ve joined are Naptime Nation, Growing Social Media for Bloggers, and Blogging on Your Own Terms.)

I mentioned 2 months ago that what my readers enjoy is what inspires me to continue blogging, and this is definitely still true! I also said that “I try to keep the topics versatile” which is something that I am trying to move away from. You could say I have been searching for my niche.

Thankfully, now that I have 40 published posts and an increase in my number of readers, it has been a little easier to narrow-down 1) what I enjoy writing and taking pictures of and 2) what gets a good response from readers.  From what I’m learning, “go niche or go home” is very important, so I am definitely still working on this! But, for now I’m happy to focus on food, crafts, and making memories.

It’s still true that I’m enjoying blogging, so even when I feel these mommy blogger struggles I try to focus on why it is important to me. Trust me, my baby girl is still needy and she deserves my attention when we are home together, so lately it’s been a constant struggle with not having enough time to do everything.  But, I am working everyday on the blogging/life balance to make it possible.

Thanks for reading my blog post! Please remember to follow me so you get the first update on new posts as they are published.

blogger struggles

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