5 Things I Did Differently When I Started My Second Blog

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Okay, so in full-disclosure Moms Make Cents wasn’t my first blog... It was probably more like my 5th. So this post probably should say 5 things I did differently when I started my SIXTH blog, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it 😉 

I’ve been blogging since 2012, but Moms Make Cents is the first blog I went into with some semblance of strategy so in this post we will compare Moms Make Cents which launched in June 2016 and Today Mommy which recently launched in June 2018.

Hopefully, this post will give you some insights on what I’ve learned over the last two years and some important things you can do to launch your blog!

1. More posts -

Moms Make Cents -

When I launched Moms Make Cents I started with five blog posts. Some bloggers start with just one post and then hit publish. However, I knew I wanted at least a few pieces that I could promote - so I started with five. The five posts were roughly in the categories I thought I wanted to cover on my blog.

Today Mommy -

With Today Mommy I started with 10 posts. My goal was actually 20 posts - but then I decided I wanted to launch it on Moms Make Cents’ 2nd birthday so I moved my deadline up. With these 10 posts, I had a few pieces of content in the main categories I would cover on my site.

This was important because then in my related posts at the bottom of each post there was something relevant to link to. This also helped because right off the bat I could interlink between posts.

Many new bloggers have a super high bounce rate because they don’t have enough related content yet.

For new bloggers, I would recommend launching with AT LEAST 5-10 posts. 20 is even better!

2. On Wordpress not Squarespace

Moms Make Cents -

I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but Moms Make Cents is hosted on SquareSpace. (gasp!)

A really popular blogger I was following when I started MMC was singing the praises of SquareSpace so I went along with it against my better judgment.

About six months into running the blog I realized I’d made a huge mistake. There was limited functionality it didn’t integrate with certain tools I wanted to use and the PLUGINS! All I wanted were sweet WordPress plugins.

I’ve looked into having the site moved over to WordPress multiple times, but I’ve chickened out.  I’ve been told it is going to mess with my SEO and I have a post that ranks super high and brings in a ton of revenue for me and I haven’t been willing to risk losing that traffic yet.

Today Mommy -

Yep, you guessed it I am over on WordPress and loving it. I have had other sites on WordPress before so I knew the basics and grabbed the GoGeek plan from SiteGround for web hosting.

For a full tutorial on how to start your blog with SiteGround click here.

I would say set up wise it probably took me one extra day on WordPress compared to SquareSpace to get the site set up how I wanted it but it is definitely worth the customization and scalability for the future.

I opted to go with the Captivating theme from Restored 316 designs. This is a child theme on the Genesis framework.

3. Multiple graphics per post

Moms Make Cents -

When I started I created one Pinterest graphic per post (eventually I worked up to 2-3 graphics) and promoted it like crazy. This worked relatively well, and I ended up with just shy of 5,000 pageviews in my first month of the blog.

However, I could have done much better and had a lot more content to promote right off the bat if I’d created multiple pins per post.

Today Mommy -

With Today Mommy I immediately created three Pinterest graphics per post. With 10 posts when I launched that gave me 30 images I could promote. I’ve also been experimenting with a couple more Pinterest graphic formats and my goal is to have at least five pins per post, eventually.

To speed up my graphics process I created Pinterest graphic templates in Canva. You can follow this tutorial for how to make a Pinterest graphic on Canva.

4. SEO

Moms Make Cents -

I’ll admit it...I’m a Pinterest blogger. For Moms Make Cents I have had the majority of my traffic come from Pinterest. Which is great and has worked really well, but I’ve been leaving pageviews on the table.

I have a few posts that rank pretty well for SEO, but mostly that was by accident 🙈. When I started Moms Make Cents, I was a busy mom with a one-year-old, simultaneously running 2 other businesses and I didn’t have time to learn SEO when I was already confident in Pinterest - so I focused on my strengths.

Today Mommy -

SEO will definitely be a big part of my strategy this go around. Although it is a newer blog and will probably take a few months to see any results from my efforts, I’m setting up a solid foundation now.

I’ve been geeking out doing keyword research and found that it is a ton of fun! I’ll put together a post soon on my favorite free SEO tools for bloggers and how to use them, but here is a couple you can check out now!

5. Had more distinct categories

Moms Make Cents -

When I started Moms Make Cents my original goal was to help empower women to understand their finances and help them earn more and save more so they could stay at home with their babies.

I had started three profitable businesses before this site and I would get tons of questions about how other moms could do that so I thought I would share my tips!

I also have a degree in Financial Planning and wanted to share tips about that too - although that category got pushed to the back burner as I fell increasingly in love with talking about online entrepreneurship.

Overall, I knew what I wanted to cover, but I had trouble tying it all together and making sure I had blog posts relevant to the same audience.

To this day one of my most popular posts is How To Pay For College When You Have No Money - but it doesn’t go with much of the other content on my site so my bounce rate for that post is super high.

Today Mommy -

With Today Mommy I have more direction with my posts and think about how everything with flow together ahead of time.

Right now there are three primary categories,

Pregnancy: Where I cover all things pregnancy like morning sickness remedies and how to sleep while pregnant.

Parenting: Where I cover parenting and baby tips like how to transition from crib to a toddler bed.

Money: This category covers all things money related. Right now I have a few posts about how to save money like this post on how to save money on groceries, but eventually, I want to add in content about making money from home too.

That will be a good opportunity for me to link back to Moms Make Cents since I have lots of posts on that topic.

I will add other relevant content/categories to the site as it develops (like I totally want a section for #momlife), but for now, that is what I am going with.

I honestly forgot how exhilarating it can be to launch a new blog!  It has been so fun over the last couple of weeks to login to Google Analytics and watch my pageviews creep up and get giddy when there are actual human beings reading my blog posts.

What would you go back and do differently if you were re-launching your blog?