4 Moms: finding time/ideas for blogging

4 Moms, 35 KidsThis question has 2 very distinct parts.  Like last week’s topic, I think the first part of this one is more about how we manage our time than about what we do with that time.

In this case, blogging moves up and down my list of priorities.  When it’s near the top, it gets done regularly.  When it gets bumped by more important or urgent aspects of life, it doesn’t.  You can chart its position on my list of priorities pretty accurately by glancing through my archives and counting the posts for each month.  :)

For some people, blogging isn’t and shouldn’t be on the list at all.   I don’t think a blogger should feel guilty or issue apologies to the world at large if her blog sits fallow for a length of time – any time.

For us, our blog serves several important purposes.

  • It is a family journal. We use it to remember (and memorialize) major occurrences in our family.  These may be as varied as the birth of a child, the sale of a house, a family vacation, or a humorous quote that we want to remember.
  • It is a ministry to other Christian wives and mothers. As a mother of 4 teens and 6 7 younger children, I have learned that my own experience can be a significant encouragement to other wives and mothers – especially those younger than me, who may still feel overwhelmed at day-to-day life.  I remember how hard it was, and I am living in the light at the end of the tunnel now.  It does get easier, and I never tire of encouraging weary young mothers to persevere just a little longer.
  • It is my circle of friends. Yes, I have real-world friends that are dear to me, but I have met a number of amazing people through our online connections.  Some of them have gone on to become real-world friends as well, while I have yet to meet others in person.
  • It is a source of income. We earn a modest income from affiliate links and other advertising, and hope to see some profits from our new ebook and future ones, too.  This is a Proverbs 31 enterprise in more than one way.

Because of all these, and because my husband wants me to continue blogging for all the above reasons, it stays somewhere on my list.  It’s not always near the top, but it’s on there.  :)

Once you decide whether blogging belongs on your list of priorities, you might find that it’s easier to make time for it.  That’s where the second part of the question comes in.

If you’re like me, sometimes you have too many ideas for blog posts exactly when you have NO time to do them or even write them down.  Then when you finally sit down to write a post, you don’t know where to start.

Darren Rouse of Problogger has a great article to help you come up with more ideas than you’ll use in a year.  Of course you still  need to write down your ideas and actually act on them, or they won’t do you a bit of good.  I can’t help you much there, but we can be procrastination pals if it makes you feel better.

When I’m looking for a new topic, I often ask myself a series of questions:

  • What is happening in our lives?
  • What have we been talking about in our home?
  • What are people talking about on Facebook?
  • What questions have readers lately asked in the comments?
  • What were some of my most popular/controversial posts in the past?

If you’re a blogging mom, I would love to hear from you. How do you make time?  How important is blogging to you?  How important do you think it should be?  How do you come up with ideas for posts?

Here’s what the other 3 moms say:


Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:

  • April 12 – Tithing and saving for retirement/college on one income
  • April 19 – Q&A
  • April 26 – Homeschooling through chronic illness and pregnancy

Recent topics:

About 4 Moms, including a complete list of all past topics

Comments

  1. Good post. I blog for the same reasons that you mentioned. plus the overall enjoyment I receive from writing and from encouraging other women. Blogging is a great outlet and hobby for me! It is something I enjoy and look at as a ministry, and hope to learn how to develop into a small business that will supplement my husband’s income.

  2. I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years, before it was cool. ;) During almost all of that time, I have found that my biggest challenge is finding the time to blog all the ideas that come to me! I think the more you write, the more you find to write about.

    I find it helpful to keep a notebook with a running list of ideas, so that when I’m away from the computer and thoughts enter my head, I can write them down… nearly planning the post on paper so that my computer time is more efficient. Works for me. Also, if it’s helpful to any of yoru readers, I have a free blogging ebook for moms. No sign up or anything required. It’s here: http://carrielauth.com/100blogtips.pdf

    We’re glad you take the time to blog Kim!

  3. I love reading your blog, which I found from Smockity Frocks. I only have 3 kids, ages 5,3 , 1 but I am inspired by your many.

    I blog just for family to get a better glimpse of what everyday life looks like for us. Also, it is a great way for me to document the everyday wonders of raising children.

  4. Thank you for blogging! You really are an encouragement to me in this six-under-eight season of life. My husband reads too (he found you first actually!) so it’s one of the few blogs I read that actually gives us something fun to talk about.

    I agree that not blogging should never be a source of guilt. Sometimes *blogging* should, probably, but never not blogging. I blog when life allows it and fall off the face of the earth for a while when I have to. During those times, I try to throw a picture up here and there to appease faraway family and friends – that way my monthly post count never looks too dire. Otherwise, I blog when I have something I want to say, and that seems to happpen often enough that it doesn’t feel like a chore to come up with ideas. I blogged a lot more when I had three kids than I do now that I have six, but you tell me it will get easier, right? So I guess I’ll get my head back in the game at some point :)

  5. I too am a blogging mama. Though I am not a mama of many, only one. That does not by any means mean that I magically have more time for blogging. In fact in some ways I have less time!

    I started blogging for the same reasons you listed above as well as a place for sharing gluten free recipes. Blogging is important to me, as sometimes it is my only means for ‘community’! :-)

    Ideas for posts?? Sometimes it is due to a deadline for a gluten free recipe, sometimes it is through questions I am asked, sometimes it is a news story, a holiday or what we are doing as a family (such as my husband’s unemployment at the moment). I try to take a few moments to start a draft post of a topic and work on it when I can. I usually have 25 drafts at any one time. Some do get deleted, some just need a little re-working, some… become posts well before older drafts!
    Blessings, ~Mrs. R

  6. We have book/nap time every afternoon from 12:30 pm – 2:00. The older 5 kids are reading and the younger 3 are napping, so I try to focus my computer time to that period, so my kids don’t always think I’m at the computer when they need me for something!!!

    Yes, my hubby wants me to keep up the blogging too, and it’s good to have your priorities and reasons in mind as you blog!

  7. *raises hand* I’m another young mother who loves what you write!

    • Lisa, Kacie, and Rita,
      Thank you! I hate to sound self-important and I’m afraid it may come across that way when I say my blog is a ministry, but it was never my intention. I’m just constantly amazed at the sweet letters I receive from readers thanking me for writing. If God is pleased to use my foolish blog for His glory, I feel it’s my duty to keep doing the best I can for Him.

  8. “It does get easier, and I never tire of encouraging weary young mothers to persevere just a little longer.”

    YES. I seriously need to hear this from more experienced mothers on a very regular basis!

    As for the topic of blogging in general, my blog is more in a personal finance niche rather than a family journal. I have a separate blog for my family journal (and it sadly is out of date!). I use it as a creative outlet and also an income stream.

    Recently I put some more effort into it, hoping to make some improvements for my readers and myself. In the end, I decided I don’t have the time or interest to make it a business-level blog so I’m scaling it back to hobby level once more. I’m sure my readers will understand :)

  9. For me, blogging started as a way to get free books to review. But the most important aspect of blogging is now the “community”, I experience. To find time, I make time. I try to blog one to two times a week.

  10. I read often, and want to thank you… you ARE an encouragement. I have 7 and my oldest is not quite 10. Compared to a few years ago, I feel like I have ‘olders’, but also feel quite overwhelmed very often. I remind myself of your words frequently. :) I also appreciate your down-to-earth style and honesty – and no apologies for what you’ve decided is ok, regardless of others’ opinions. Gotta work on that one myself…. God Bless.

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