10 Business Tips for Mommy Bloggers

businesstips-10More and more parents are turning to the freelance community to make a decent living. And a lot of us are less business-minded the we ever thought we’d have to be. Get off our backs. We’re creative types.

If you’re trying to build a business around your talent, Kristen Fischer’s new book, When Talent Isn’t Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined is a great place to start. I’m dying to get my hands on it. But I know you want to get started right now. Kristen Fischer knows how busy you are, so she has obligingly put together 10 business tips for bloggers in particular.

She says, “Blogging can be an extremely fulfilling and fruitful career. Yet with so many blogs out there, how can you help yours stand out? Inject a little business know-how, because that will help you stay efficient, monetize your writing, differentiate yourself from other mommy bloggers—and have time to spend time with your family.”

Here are Kristen’s tips for doing it right.

  • Set Up a Business 1 of 10
    Set Up a Business
    Mommy bloggers do not have to have a full LLC to be a business—you could go with a sole proprietorship—but you should have some idea of the business format you want to use. Even as a one-woman operation, the minute you monetize on your blog you are in business. Don't let a lack of business know-how keep you from running a legitimate biz; just do some homework and make a smart decision on a business model. Still overwhelmed at being a business? Think of it in terms of protecting your family, since some financial risks may be involved.
  • Pay Your Taxes 2 of 10
    Pay Your Taxes
    Whether you think of yourself as a business or not, you have to pay taxes on anything you earn. Having that business model in place helps, then you may want to hire an accountant (at least for the first year or two) to learn what you can deduct and whether or not you will need to pay quarterly taxes.
  • Develop Processes 3 of 10
    Develop Processes
    Sounds super-boring, right? However, when advertisers start flocking to your blog, you should have an efficient means to onboard them so you don't waste time repeating the same information over and over again. This doesn't have to be a super-complicated formula; just think about which steps work to achieve the tasks you have to do, and look for ways to improve the experience for yourself and your client.
  • Take a Lesson in Journalism 4 of 10
    Take a Lesson in Journalism
    Anybody can start a blog nowadays, but when you want to run yours as a profession, you've got to have some professional skills. While you may be a good writer, it is a good idea to brush up on your writing skills and come up with a style guide so your content is standardized. You never know when a media outlet could notice your blog; so you want to show you're just as skilled as other professional writers.
  • Be An Individual 5 of 10
    Be An Individual
    Blogging about your family is important, but devoting the occasional post or two to something about yourself is important. You can dole out advice to other mommies until you're blue in the face, but letting your own interests and personality shine through fosters an even better connection with your audience.
  • Target Your Marketing 6 of 10
    Target Your Marketing
    When an advertiser comes along, most mommy bloggers jump at the chance; and why shouldn't you? Another way to bring in business like an entrepreneur does is to target prospective clients. So get out there and be proactive about your marketing and the clients you choose—because you can choose which clients you work with.
  • Play Nice with Clients and Advertisers 7 of 10
    Play Nice with Clients and Advertisers
    Just because you get to pick and choose who you work with, doesn't mean you can treat a client or advertiser like dirt. Mommy bloggers who are in business need to play by business rules—and that means offering customer service. Your blog is part of your brand, but how you act in the business arena has a huge deal to do with the success of your blog. With that said, it pays to be nice to readers as well!
  • Use a Guest Blog 8 of 10
    Use a Guest Blog
    Being a mom and a blogger is quite demanding, so don't feel like you'll lose the essence of your blog if you do not author all of its content. Accepting a guest blog or recruiting one now and then gives you a break from blogging, and that helps since running a blog goes beyond simply writing a post!
  • Go With Your Flow 9 of 10
    Go With Your Flow
    Think you have to work traditional business hours because you're in business? While it pays to be flexible and available during business hours, it also pays to work with your body. If you are busy with the kids all day and do your best work at night, go with it.
  • Don’t Abuse Your Power 10 of 10
    Don't Abuse Your Power
    Some people get into blogging for all the free perks, and that can especially be great when you are endorsing a particular brand you love. Remember that you do have an influence on a brand, so when you give a critical write-up of a product, there's no need to forget your manners. Most readers will appreciate an objective view the most.

A big thanks to Karen Fischer for these tips! Read her book for more.

Read more of my writing at Babble and on my blog, Every Day I Write the Book.

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