How to Get Started as a Blogger by @workmomlife #tips

On Writer Wednesday we welcome to the blog Patty Moore who writes about balancing it all at Working Mother Life. When she’s not writing articles, you can find her working as a nurse and raising her daughter as a single parent. I love stories like Patty’s because they remind us that meeting our writing goals is a matter of getting started.

In 2017, it seems as though everyone has a blog or is in the process of a starting one. A blog can be a great place to document a personal journey, write about something that is important to you, or earn some extra money. Many blogs have taken off and grown in popularity to the point that their authors can quit their full-time jobs and focus exclusively on blogging. Yet getting to that point can be difficult, particularly when you are just starting out and juggling other responsibilities, such as your job, children and marriage.

Why I Blog
For most bloggers today, the point of a blog is not to simply tell your story, but to generate revenue. As I work on my own blog, my ultimate goal is to build it up to the point where I can stop working entirely so I can dedicate myself to my true passion: writing. If this happens, I would probably be able to pay off my student loans, credit card debt, and more with that income!
Of course, in order to get to that point, I will need to put in a lot of leg work to design and grow my blog first.

Finding Time to Blog
One of the biggest challenges as a new blogger with a full-time job and a child is feeling like you simply do not have enough time to get it all done. It can be overwhelming to look at well-established blogs and see them posting once a day (or even more often!), and know that you couldn’t possibly keep up with that schedule.

I know that most days, it is enough for me to my daughter to school and daycare and myself to work — I definitely can’t manage to dash off and post something witty before the bus arrives. But I have been able to incorporate writing into my schedule so that I can fulfill my responsibilities and still build my blog, bit by bit. For example, when I take my daughter to soccer practice or a swim meet, I’ll bring my laptop.

While I make sure to pay attention to the important parts of my child’s practice or meet, I can sneak in some writing during the downtime — like when they’re doing drills or other kids are racing. That way, I am accomplishing my personal goals instead of twiddling my thumbs or mindlessly scrolling through social media while I sit on the sidelines.

Blogging is “Me Time”
I have also come to look at blogging as my own personal time rather than a job. While I eventually hope to turn it into my career, I already have a full-time job. If I start to view blogging as another chore on my endless list of to-dos, I’ll quickly grow to resent it. But by thinking of it as something I am doing for me, I am more likely to enjoy the process. I have also set realistic goals for myself. I am not going to post every day, but my goal is to post twice a week — something that is doable given my work and family schedule. I have a relatively low number of followers for my blog and on social media, but I am working slowly to increase them as I build my blog. I know that I will get to my ultimate goal over time, with patience and persistence.

Paying for Blogging Expenses
Funding your blog can also be a challenge, particularly when you already are struggling to pay off debt. In addition to paying for the website set-up costs, I have found that reaching my goals for blog and social media followers can be costly. Unfortunately, promoted posts have become standard in the social media world, and there is almost no way around advertising if you want to be successful as a blogger in today’s environment.

I have found it difficult to squeeze in an extra $10 to pay for a promoted post every week, or to pay ongoing fees as part of maintaining my website or for software such as Photoshop. However, as money starts to trickle in from advertising and affiliate links, I am starting to see a bit of a return on my investment, and am hopeful that the money that I am spending on blogging
will soon come back to me — and then some — through a successful blogging career.

Starting a career as a blogger can be difficult, particularly when you have limited time and funds. Staying committed to your goals and setting a realistic schedule and goals can help you achieve your dream. If anyone is interested in blogging and wants to pick my brain about the process, or about finding time to blog, feel free to reach out to me!


How to Write about Your Name

My Name’s Bond

I had the pleasure of talking to undergraduate students about what matters to me as part of a campus series on diversity. Students surprised me by their reactions.

…the event led me to have a couple of questions about what mattered to me. … I should have an idea of what really matters to me…

We read the My Name is Muhana prompt. Students were invited to write about their names.

Is an example of one piece.. Have you ever written about your name?

I could just as easily be a Fatima or a Zaineb. But I’m an Alisha. I have spent many years asking “Why Alisha?” Once for every time someone at school asked me if I had another name. An “Indian” or “Muslim” name. You know, something to compliment my exotic brown skin. “It is an Indian name,” my dad would reply.

After moving to Doha, I’m now more often Aisha. Professors will inadvertently drop the L even after years of classes together. I answer to both. 

My name is the first gift my parents gave me— an empty box to fill with little bits and pieces of myself. A piece of them that I was free to mold into a piece of me.  The name Alisha has roots in Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew and Germanic.  The Sanskrit means “protected by God” and in Germanic “noble.” I prefer to think of my name as something that I define, instead of something that defines me.


No-Nonsense Writing Prompts

Bambi Chicque of BamPu Legacies

Last week I was at the Alif Institute and Old Tampa Bookstore, urging people to write as quickly as they could in 15 minutes to respond to three different writing prompts.

We retold the original version of Rapunzel, Italian, called Petrosinella, or parsley. Before Disney brushed up the story,  in which a mother was hungry for lettuce, rampion, for which the witch demanded a baby as the price.

Rewrite a scene from a fairytale from the villain’s point of view

A few of the participants shared the material they wrote.

Untitled by Claudia
It’s not fair. She disobeyed and I paid.
Under a hood, her curiosity brewed.
Don’t they know? Wolves are misunderstood.
In a pool of red, my body was laid,
a sacrificed lamb.

The Villain by Melissa Jennings
I watched as my rampions were stolen time after time,
Priding myself for my calm; sifting through potential payments owed.
I practiced negotiating, imagining myself a savior
Nurturing and youthful; I should mother the child.

Untitled by Becky Tombleson
I was created especially for this.
I am an ultimate envy.
My maiden’s fairest.
Strength begets weakness begets ultimate strength.
 There were two other activities we did.
Write about Your Name
This prompt was in response to the essay “I am Muhanna” in From Dunes to Dior in which I explore the many ways my own name has shaped my identity.

List 10 potential book, blog or song titles you would like to write
I used the description and naming of The Migrant Report for a little inspiration.

Try these three exercises and send me your samples.