Guest post by Riley Blanton.
People look at me weird when they hear everything I juggle — blogging, working full-time, attending school full-time, and caring for a toddler.
I’ve always been a person who needed to focus on a project here-and-there, but nothing motivated me more than having my sweet baby.
My name is Riley! I run the site PostpartumBrain.com, which educates and encourages new moms in their mental health. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and I’m pursuing a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Although, those degrees were tossed out the door when I had my son in 2019.
After his birth, I learned all too well what birth trauma, postpartum rage, and postpartum anxiety were like. I scoured Google for answers only to find clinical discussions that I couldn’t understand with a sleep-deprived mind and a milk-stained shirt.
I wanted to take the guesswork out of postpartum mental health, so I bought a domain and created the site I needed when my son was a newborn.
Why I Began Blogging
Writing has held steady as a passion of mine since I could remember. I wrote in Word docs, forums, and even started a blog on toddler activities prior to Postpartum Brain. With the kids activity blog, I quickly found myself dreading writing blog posts and gave up a few months in. It wasn’t the niche I was passionate about.
Finding A Niche You’re Excited About
After I sorted out my thoughts in therapy, I dove deep into postpartum mental health. I wanted to know every fact, every mood disorder, and every defining experience of new moms.
I wouldn’t shut up about it.
That’s how I knew this was my niche.
Instantly, I put myself on the other side of the screen. What was I Googling after I screamed at my husband in a fit of postpartum rage? What was I asking myself as my mental health suffered?
Finding a niche you’re passionate about might look like:
- Creating blog posts that answer the questions you’ve Googled before
- Teaching a unique skill people praise you for
- Educating readers on a topic you keep bringing up in conversation
Resources: Niche by Number and Blog by Number
Making Money Online
Helping moms who were going through what I went through is my main motivator, but I’ll admit a full-time income is a close second.
I always knew I wanted to stay home with my future babies, but how in the world could I afford it? Blogging repeatedly presented itself to be the answer.
My growth is slow. (Keep reading why slow growth is the best growth!) As of writing this, it’s looked like:
- Selling my first digital product prior to hitting 100 email subscribers
- Passively adding affiliate links to my most popular posts
- Using SEO to target keywords for the products I want to create
Resource: Printables by Number
Doubling My Email List in One Month
It took me over a year to reach 100 subscribers, and then one month later I hit 200+ on my email list.
I used Suzi’s tips for the 10-Day Email Challenge:
- Create a variety of freebies and see which one converted better
- Link back to my landing pages instead of my home page for some guest posts
- Add value that people feel like they should’ve paid for
My highest converting freebie is a bundle with over 4 symptom trackers, 9 infographics, and how-to videos explaining each printable! I packed it with value, and my audience can tell.
How To Balance School, Work, and Blogging As A Mom
Let’s start by dismissing the idea that moms can balance everything. If anyone could balance it all, it would definitely be moms — but the truth is no one can.
Time management is key, but how in the world do you decide where to spend your time? Here are 4 tips to managing your time as a mom blogger (I swear by #4!).
1. Set your focus on one priority, master it, then move on
There’s an art to staying focused.
Especially as a new blogger, we want to learn everything and implement it all. However, information overload is a very real thing. I watched hours of videos teaching me Facebook ads before I even created my first funnel.
Information overload only leads to wasted time and increased stress.
By setting one focus, we are much more successful at mastering that task in less time. It might take you hours to keyword research your first 20 posts, but by the 21st post you might finish your post outline in just 30 minutes!
What’s worked for me is setting a single goal each month. Then at the end of the month, I’ll evaluate whether I need to keep that goal (because I haven’t mastered it yet) or whether it’s time to set another.
My first focus was increasing traffic. I took the time to learn SEO, then Pinterest. Now my strategies for them are pretty set. I just slightly adapt them when I notice something isn’t working as well as I’d like.
Currently, I’m focused on growing my email list and becoming a person rather than a screen to my audience.
As a reminder during each task I do, I have a Post-it note by my desk that asks:
- Does this increase traffic?
- Does this build my email list?
- Does this connect with my community?
2. Maximize the time you do have
Shifting your mindset to focus on maximizing whatever time you have can be incredibly valuable.
It doesn’t matter how much time you have but rather how you spend the time you do have.
In my blogging journey, this has looked like:
- Using Christmas break to go through Printables by Number
- Staying up late to work on content or projects for the blog
- Saving Saturday nights to work only on the blog instead of schoolwork
- Going through Suzi’s courses on my phone while nursing my son
3. Treat yourself with knowledge
Instead of saving up for your next Target purchase, consider saving up for the eBook or course that will boost your business. View it as a reward — just like a drink from Starbucks!
4. Stick to your values with boundaries
Blogging takes consistent time and effort. It’s only natural to experience burnout once in awhile.
An effective way I avoid burnout is by knowing my values and creating boundaries to protect those values.
My core values include my marriage, time with my son, and resting with God. In order to stick to these values, I take Sundays off from blogging. We spend the entire day as a family, going to church and reconnecting. My husband and I have in-home date nights every Sunday, too.
I also make sure that I’m not on my computer when my son is awake. My full attention during the day is on him.
Advice for Mom Bloggers Trying to Balance It All
Our schedules are always changing as we raise our families and our emotions often dictate our actions. Here’s my practical advice for going through these steps when life (and your feelings) keep getting in the way.
Know that you can’t balance it all
Recognizing that we can’t do it all makes our to-do lists a little less overwhelming.
You can absolutely write that to-do list, but keep it simple and don’t pressure yourself to complete it.
Invest in your learning
Finding affordable products to help you learn something new for your business can save you time in the long run! I never pay outrageous amounts for courses, and I try to only buy one eBook or course at a time to stay focused.
But buying courses and eBooks that taught me the next step in blogging has done wonders for my growth! If my goal for the month was SEO, then I bought an SEO book. If my goal for the month was email list growth, then I bought the Printables by Number course.
I don’t buy something every month, but knowledge is something I do value.
Prioritize your family and yourself
This is my biggest advice. As a mom blogger, I bet you’re building your blog for your family. Whether that’s staying home with the kids, retiring your husband, or adding extra money into saving each month, most of what we do as moms is for our families.
Prioritizing time with your kids and with your husband is more important than maximizing your time spent on the blog. Set aside one day a week where you don’t do anything blogging or work related.
Don’t forget to set aside some time for yourself too! 🙂
Slow Growth Is Good Growth!
Slow growth is GREAT growth because I’m learning as I go. I don’t have to rush to learn more about email marketing because my list grew by 1000 people overnight. Instead, I can play with different strategies and see which ones resonate with my audience now — no matter how small it is in comparison with other bloggers.
Plus, let’s be honest. Some of my oldest blog posts are not that interesting. Having the opportunity to update them as they gain a bit more traffic has been an effective strategy for me! It’s allowed me to notice my weaknesses in creating blog posts, to play with different call-to-actions, and to practice constant learning and believing in myself.
I’m embracing my slow growth and creating a signature project this summer: the Postpartum Support System. I plan to work on my SEO strategy and make a few more printables as I go!
If you want to prepare your mental health for becoming a first time mom, I encourage you to grab the free Postpartum Brain Toolkit! It walks you through the foundation of every postpartum mood and anxiety disorder and how to monitor the symptoms so you can get back to enjoying postpartum as a first time mom.
If you’d rather grab quick snippets of information, PostpartumBrain.com is the perfect place to start!
Guest post by Riley Blanton.