Becoming a parent can be a life-changing event. There is so much you learn from day to day, whether you've just had your first child or already have a growing family. As a parent, you might find yourself wanting to share your stories, your fears and your questions on a regular basis -- and other parents will, too. Why not find a way to connect with other parents in similar situations by starting your own parenting blog?
On the Internet, you will find numerous blogs on every possible topic. Parenting blogs have become one very popular type of blog, and anyone can write one. Blogs are a way to share your thoughts with the parenting community and learn from others. Not only will you be able to voice your own opinion in your blog, but the parents who follow and read your blog can provide feedback, opening up a dialogue and support system that can help during many parenting milestones.
Blogs can be informative, funny, emotional or thought-provoking -- or all of these things at once. There aren't many limits on what you can write or how you should write it. You can write just for yourself, or you can keep a target audience in mind when composing entries [source: Brooks]. So don't be afraid to give blogging a try. You may find that, no matter how many parents you connect with, the outlet of writing about your experience can be rewarding and fun.
After you've decided to give blogging a try, you will need to know how to get started. Even if you aren't a technology expert, starting a blog can be relatively simple. Read on to the next page for information on how to get started.
Creating a Parenting Blog
Once you have decided to write a parenting blog, you will need to know how to get it up and running on the Internet. Although some parenting blogs are run by established online newspapers and magazines, many others are run by everyday parents looking to share their experiences. So you don't need to worry about being a professional -- there are many online tools to help you make your site accessible and fun to read.
There are several options out there for publishing blogs, but you will find these mostly break down into two different groups. There is blog publishing software that will allow you to have your own unique domain name, and other sites that will have your page as one of many identified by a username after their domain name, such as Blogger or LiveJournal. While the latter sites are free and pretty straightforward to set up, many bloggers prefer to have their own domain names, making their site more available to public searches. In this case, you'll need to purchase your own domain name, then use publishing software -- such as the commonly used WordPress -- to publish your site to the Internet [source: HowtoMakeMyBlog]. You can find online tutorials to help walk you through these steps.
Once you have the technical aspects down, you will want to decide what type of parenting blog you want to write. For example, it could be a general blog about day-to-day challenges or the fun of being a parent, or it can address a specific parenting issue such as potty training. Alternatively, you can just share funny stories and experiences. Knowing what type of blog you want to write and what goals you have for your content will help give you the direction you need to write that first post [source: Brooks].
Because you are writing a parenting blog, chances are you already know your target audience -- other parents. Think about this when writing your posts. The best way to increase blog readership is to have posts that other parents want to comment on and will want to share with their friends, family or their own blogging community. For more on connecting with other parents through your blog, read on to the next page.
Connecting With Parents Through Your Blog
When you start writing your blog, you might simply be writing about things that are important and personal to you. Your blog becomes a forum for sharing your thoughts and feelings with the world. But once other people start following your blog, you may find that exciting conversations are sparked by the comments left on your posts. When other people begin to share their opinions or connect others to your blog, you have created a community through which parents can discuss issues and lend support -- a pretty exciting result of just writing about what you feel.
One of the best ways you can encourage others to comment on your blog is by writing posts that invite reader opinions. No matter how well-written your entry is, most blog posts that don't ask questions or invite comments generally will not create as large of a dialogue as posts that do. So when writing about a topic, don't be afraid to ask questions that encourage readers to share their feelings and experiences with you. Your interaction doesn't have to stop at writing the post -- feel free to interact with your readers through comments and other posts.
Another way to develop your blog readership is to connect with other parenting bloggers. This will help bring your blog to a new audience. Posting links to other blogs (and having other blogs post links to your site) helps to extend your network and opens you up to new ideas and voices. Use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to publicize your blog and connect to parenting bloggers and other potential readers.
Once you've been writing for a while, you may need ideas on how to keep your posts fresh and interesting. Read on to the next page for common parenting blog topics.
Topics for Parenting Blogs
The great thing about writing your own blog is that you can choose what topics you write about. You are in complete control of coming up with original content to post. Found a potty-training trick that has saved your sanity? Write a post about it. Terrified that your 15-year-old just got his learner's permit? Put it on your blog. There is almost no limit to the parenting topics you can write about, though you will find many popular topics already addressed in other parenting blogs.
Some parenting blogs focus on just the day-to-day events as they are experienced. The blog posts are often related to the time of year, such as the holidays or the start of school or summer vacation. These posts can discuss the mundane aspects of life as a parent in a fun, accessible way. Your voice and how you approach these topics will help to make them enjoyable to readers.
Other blogs focus on age-specific topics, from infants to toddlers to teens and even beyond. As your kids become more exposed to media, you may want to write about what kinds of role models are appropriate and should be encouraged. Or as kids start becoming more independent, many parents are looking for ways to be supportive, yet maintain a strong presence as a parent. Blog posts such as these abound. Any problem that you might face as a parent can be an appropriate subject for a blog post, because it's possible that other parents who are going through the exact same thing can relate and share their thoughts.
The topics you can write about are endless. You can share recipes, tips for being a green parent, ideas for keeping your marriage strong while raising children, or ways to manage life as a single parent. The most important thing to remember is that you should write about what is important to you, not necessarily what you think will be important to a reader. The more connected you are to the topic you write about, the better your post will be, and the more people will want to read it.
For more tips on what to do and how to make your blog great, read on to the next page.
Tips for Writing a Parenting Blog
The most important thing to remember when writing a blog is to write what you care about and keep things as fresh as possible. As you saw earlier, almost every parenting issue can be a topic for a blog post, so you don't have to limit yourself or feel like you need to write about one thing to please your readers. But if you are looking for tips on how to write a good blog, you won't have to look further than the Internet.
Before you start up your own blog, you may want to consider researching what other bloggers have done in the past. Look to successful parenting blogs and see what you like and what you might do differently. Your reaction to other sites is a great gauge for the type of Web site you should be creating yourself. Many magazines review blogs, so look for ones that are highly rated and go from there [source: Forbes]. Once you have researched other sites and feel inspired, you can begin to work on your own blog. Also, don't hesitate to revisit this step whenever you are lacking inspiration. Just be sure that you are getting ideas from other people's blogs, rather than copying their work.
When you write a parenting blog, the most important things to remember are to have fun and focus on what you care about most -- your kids and being a good parent. Whether you have thousands of readers or just a few, writing about the special times in your children's lives and your learning experience as a parent can be a reward in itself. For more parenting information and inspiration, visit the links on the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Belkin, Lisa. "Motherlode." New York Times. January 8, 2010 (Accessed 1/10/10). http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/
- Blogsessive. "Blog Writing Tips from the World's Most Famous Authors." December 21, 2009 (Accessed 1/10/10).http://blogsessive.com/blogging-tips/blog-writing-tips-from-famous-authors/#more-1429
- Brooks, Larry. "10 Questions you Should Ask and Answer About Your Blog." BloggingTips. January 8, 2010. (Accessed 1/10/10).http://www.bloggingtips.com/2010/01/08/10-questions-you-should-ask-and-answer-about-your-blog/
- Forbes. "Parenting Blogs." 2010 (Accessed 1/10/10). http://www.forbes.com/bow/b2c/category.jhtml?id=303
- How to Make My Blog. "How to Set Up WordPress 2.9 -- Step-by-Step Guide." (Accessed 1/10/10).http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-step-by-step-guide/
- Parenting Blog. 2010 (Accessed 1/10/10).http://www.parenting-blog.net/
- Rowse, Darren. "7 Questions to Ask On Your Blog to Get More Reader Engagement." ProBlogger. December 2 2009 (Accessed 1/10/10).http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/12/02/7-questions-to-ask-on-your-blog-to-get-more-reader-engagement/
- Starr, Rob. "Tips for Getting the Best Exposure." Blogging Tips. January 10, 2010. (Accessed 1/10/10).http://www.bloggingtips.com/2010/01/10/tips-for-getting-the-best-web-exposure/#more-12309
- The Mommy Blog. 2010 (Accessed 1/10/10).http://themommyblog.net/
- The Parenting Post. 2010 (Accessed 1/10/10).http://forums.parenting.com/blogs/parenting-post/posts/