I know that I haven’t been blogging for long; only three months now. But there are definitely some things I learnt along the way as a busy first-time mum that I would love to share. So here are a few things that would help you to survive blogging if you have a baby to take care of or if you have really very little time. These tips could also apply to anyone super busy, mummy back at work etc.
- Get started as soon as you can
I see many people saying that they wish they started their blog earlier. Many reasons stopped them: fear of being judged, not having the time, scared of not being inspired…Part of me agrees with it, even if I don’t think I would have written a good blog before having my baby. After all, Baba is the main inspiration, the star of the Frenchie Mummy blog.
But I say it loud and clear: get started before the baby arrives. Enjoy these amazing moments of freedom when you wonder what to do with yourself. You will have plenty of time to think about your theme, your content and more. Maybe write a few posts that you will publish in the first place. Do it before you have to take care of le bébé, because when he/she is here, say goodbye to a lot of your free time!
- Take any opportunity to develop your social networks
I hate it when I see people stuck on their phone all day long. For example, when I see a couple in a restaurant not talking to each other, typing like mad bees on their phones. I know, it’s none of my business and people do whatever they want, but vraiment?! When you start blogging, it’s very tempting to be glued to your device and not look at the world. I have a 6 months old son and I want to be able to see him growing up. When we go for a walk, I don’t look at my phone; I talk to him and make him discovering things.
Having said that, I take any opportunity to tweet and post photos on the Frenchie Instagram with my phone if I am in a ‘boring moment’. I am off to my blogging persona as soon as I have a free moment where I don’t need to interact with anyone. On a bus, on a train, in the toilet even?! Grab your phone and do it now! Feeding baby (especially at night when bébé is half asleep)? Vite! Grab your device and throw yourself into the social world!
- Don’t worry too much about social networks though
As we say in French, chaque chose en son temps – Everything in its own time. Do you know the French fable The Tortoise and the Hare by La Fontaine? It was originally written by Aesop a Greek philosopher. The moral of its story is simple. Slow and steady wins the race. So no need to rush and create a Facebook page, a Linked In and a Twitter profile within your first week of blogging. I am not saying you should not use as many social networks as possible.
They are indeed useful to help to promote your posts. However, do it at your own pace and choose carefully the right ones for you. I am not on Linked In and it’s no big deal! Pinterest? I started later on as I had never used it before. Instagram? It took me a couple of days to crack on with it.
You will see many bloggers using them all. Don’t compare yourself with their blog. They might be more confident with using new technologies. Or they’ve simply been longer in the blogosphere!
- Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers
It will only get you thinking that maybe you are not good enough for blogging. Absolument pas! Everyone is different. Most importantly, you are blogging for yourself. They are so many people out there. It’s obvious some of them will be more popular or successful than you. Use their knowledge instead! Have a nose at their posts to get inspired. Lots of great bloggers publish fantastic tips on any topic related to blogging. Why not even ask them for help if you feel the need?
The blogging community is very supportive. I, myself asked for help many times. Just because I wasn’t sure and it’s my first time. Nothing to be ashamed of. And the blogger you are asking will be flattered and more than happy to help for sure.
- Bookmark everything you need on your laptop
You will come across so many posts. I reckon I read at least 3 posts a day that I want to look at again later to inform my own practice. The simplest way to do so? Create folders in your bookmarks tab. It’s so easy to refer to it. For example, I have a folder ‘linkies I love’ so that I can grab a linky badge easily when I need to.
- Organise yourself with a calendar or a diary
Whatever works best for you. Some people like to schedule their posts so they feel in control. I am not there yet, but maybe un jour?
Personally, I have two things that I can’t live without since blogging: a notebook and a diary.
I divided my notebook into different parts such as linkies, ideas of posts, things to do, usernames and passwords’ list… It’s all in there so that I can refer to it anytime I want or need.
I also recently purchased a diary, just for my blog. I am a member of different communities like Meetothermums.com and write for them. I also take part in guest posts with other fabulous bloggers.
Therefore, I have different commitments that I need to stick to. I don’t want to let anyone down. So I know exactly what I need to do and when.
And I don’t know about you, but post-it notes are a blogger’s best friend. I would like to say diamonds as Marilyn, but it would be a bit exaggerated 😄.
- Set certain periods in the day to write
I generally do all the linkies in the morning. Starting from 6am after Baba has a biberon gives me some time to do it all before le petit monstre gets up at 8am. Sometimes I am still in my pyjamas by 9.30am. But that’s ok, I am on my own at home and I am not running for Miss England contest! Anyway, I am a natural beauty, fresh as a daisy straight away in the mornings. I want to spend as much time with mon fils in the daytime, so it’s a sacrifice I make. Evenings are for writing and answer emails. I try to get back to people within 24 hours. It could be seen as unprofessional if you take too long to reply to someone.
Regarding writing, I just start a draft as soon as an idea is in my mind. Thanks to my wonderful notebook mentioned earlier, I don’t forget good ideas. I also have 5 or 6 posts on the go in a ‘drafts’ folder. I might not fully write them the same week. But I have something in mind if I have no idea one day.
- Don’t worry too much about housework or the state of your house generally speaking
You will be too hooked with blogging and having fun with les enfants to really care about it. Personally, I believe that my house is made to be lived in, not being spotless. It’s impossible with children, so I don’t want to get worked up about it. If it’s a big issue for you then, maybe get a cleaner to do the boring stuff?
Looking after a baby is a 24/7 job. This is how I am surviving with my blog while facing the joy of being a first-time mum. I hope you will have found these tips useful, even if you don’t have a baby to take care of. I know you are all super mamans and you will rock 🙂!