The Mom Blog Life: 5 Lessons Learned

by | Apr 20, 2018 | Blogging, Mom Life |

Photo Cred: Becca Gutierrez from Rusty Metals Photography

“Challenge Yourself, jump off the deep end and learn to swim”

That is exactly what I did, I jumped into the deep end of the blogging pool and still havn’t come up for air three months later! Deciding to start a blog was a relatively unthought out decision made on a whim after a 5 mile run one day.  I had just recently relocated with my husband and 5 month old to the other side of the country and didn’t have any plans to start working (and still don’t).  However, I have always been a fast paced person with very high energy and a strong sense of independence.  So the thought of being a stay at home Mom (SAHM) with no contribution to our family income was making me itch and I was honestly starting to feel a bit trapped.   

Starting a blog was SO MUCH more involved than I could have ever imagined!  It seemed to me like everyone and their sister was doing it so it couldn’t be too difficult, right?   Wrong!  To be a successful blogger you not only have to be a good writer with an engaging voice, but also a website designer, social media marketer, SEO (search engine optimization) expert, photographer, and just all around creative.  I am still in the process of learning some of these and getting better at others but the journey so far has been eye opening and really fulfilling.  

Photo Cred: Becca Gutierrez from Rusty Metals Photography

Photo Cred: Tavey Barrett from 1G3B Photography

“Collaboration divides the task and multiplies the success”

As I dove head first into this Mom Blogging life one thing became extremely clear to me very quickly.  Success in the online world is completely tied to collaborations, in the broad sense of the word. Including collaborating with other mom blogs, brands and businesses, photographers, make-up artists and whoever else is looking for exposure on the internet and in the social media world.  

When the collaborative event for Mom Bloggers and Photographers called Catch Me At Luxe (@catch.me.at.luxe) showed up in my Facebook feed I more or less begged the organizer Bre Geiger (@herhashtaglife) to let me attend!  One of the biggest struggles I was having was keeping my Instagram feed cohesive and I completely lacked any sort of photo library to pull from.  This forced me to post sub-par photos and I was getting incredibly frustrated.  To say I was excited for this event would be a gross understatement and just as I thought, it was also a huge step forward for my fledgling blogging career.  The photographs the photographers produced were exactly what I was hoping and expecting them to be!  In the first three months of my blogging career I have learned so much, these are my top 5 lessions learned.

1. Crawl Before You Run

This is a suggestion I make from experience, because I did not do this, not even close, and I wish I had.  In true Jess-fashion I rushed headlong into the fray and made a few costly mistakes that I probably could have avoided with a few extra days of research and taking things a little slower.  The biggest mistake was misunderstanding the best way to host your blog.  My first attempt was hosting through wordpress.com and using the wordpress publishing platform with free themes.  I soon discovered that this strategy would not be able to support my long term goals and for those reasons I switched my hosting to SiteGround and used the free WordPress.org publishing platform and bought the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes.  This gave me more control over my website design since it 

Photo Cred: Tavey Barrett with 1G3B Photography

is completely customizable.  But I also ended up having to basically start all over.   That was one of many mistakes which could have probably been avoided had I taken more time to prepare.  So I recomend start slow, do your research and launch when your ready.

Photo Cred: LeeAnn Stomyer with LeeAnn K Photography

2. Find a Balance

If your like me, a SAHM with too much energy and the desire to create something for yourself, it is so important for you to find a good balance that works for you and your family.  If you don’t it is so easy to burn yourself out, something I came very close to doing.  During the first few weeks of my blogging adventure I was staying up until 3 am, only getting a few hours of sleep and probably not giving my son enough of my attention.  My brain was firing on all cylinders and I was having a hard time focusing my attention on anything else. Luckily I realized this early on and immediatelyreadjusted.  It’s so easy for us Mom bosses to get wrapped up in our newest project and forgetthat the first word in that job title is also the most important.  I now make it a point to

put down my phone, close my laptop and get on the floor to play with my son.  I now work when he isnapping or after he goes to bed for the night.

3. Don’t Get Discouraged- Remember Why You Started

This is something that is so easy to do! I’ll admit, there have been a few times where I wanted to give up, throw in the towel and binge watch Netflix on the couch.  This was usually after I just couldn’t figure something out, I felt like I would never reach my goals, or I got my fifth “no” of the day from a brand.  It’s times like these that it is important to remember the wins.  Like how I went from 182 to 2,765 followers on Instagram in 3 months!  That is almost 900 new followers a month.  Or how I am currently working with a few really awesome lady bosses, helping each other grow our businesses and brands.  So take the good with the bad, and keep up the hard work.  I am a pretty impatient person, which means I am expecting to be an overnight success.  Unfortunately, that is not how 

Photo Cred: Sarah Hoag from Sarah Hoag Photography

this process works but waiting for things to take their course is almost painful for me. I have to remind myself all the time that it will all pay off! (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Photo Cred: Bre Geiger from @herhashtaglife

4 . Collaboration is Key

Women helping women grow while supporting each other creatively is when the magic happens.  That is why events like the Catch Me At Luxe Mama ShootOut are so amazing.  Bloggers and photographers coming together at an incredible location to grow their portfolios and spread the word about each other is what this event was all about.  If you have events like this taking place near you I would highly recommend getting involved.  And if you don’t, well get to collaborating and set one up!  Reaching out to complete strangers over the internet can be a little daunting sometimes, but I have met some truly inspiring and encouraging women by doing just that.  Sure, you’ll probably get rejected by some but generally it’s not personal, either its just not something they are looking for or you don’t jive with their brand.  Try not to 

take it personally, just move on and keep your head up.  The internet is a very big place and you will eventually find your tribe.  I know this event will not only help me network with new women in a new city but it will also open doors and create opportunies I probably wouldn’t have even known existed!

5. Have Fun!

I know that probably sounds incredibly cliche but that doesn’t make it any less true.  I love sharing my experiences with people and knowing that maybe my story can help out another new Mom. If you write about what you enjoy, it will come accross in you posts and people will connect with them better. This event was so much fun! My little boy is a total ham for the camera so getting to play and giggle with him for a few hours while having it all captured was such a great experience.  If I hadn’t started this blog and entered into this new world I would never have had this opportunity!  So get out there girl, meet new people, laugh at your mistakes and enjoy time with your littles.  Remember, no matter what you do, you will always be super Mom to them!

Photo Cred: Lara Salvo from Vienna Hayden

Every single photo in this post was created at the Catch Me At Luxe Mama ShootOut event and every single one of them is so different.  I find it interesting how differently each photographer shoots and edits and yet they can all create something beautiful.  That is exactly what the blogging world is like, just because multiple people write about the same topic doesn’t mean their posts will come out even romotely the same.  Share your life, do your thing, keep a smile on your face and everything will fall into place as it is meant to.

“Collaboration over Competition”

Photo Cred: Malia with Malia B Photogarphy

Photo Cred: Sarah Hoag with Sarah Hoag Photography

Photo Cred: Kathleen W with Kathleen Elizabeth Photography

Photo Cred: Lara Salvo from Vienna Hayden

Photo Cred: Lauren Iwen with Lauren Iwen Photography