Become a Mom Blogger
Have you ever thought about being a Mom Blogger? Not only are so many Moms going online to tell their story but it is changing their lives.
We sat down with Momma Braga, an accomplished blogger and wonderful Mom of one who has been blogging for a number of years. She shares her personal experience with a sprinkle of top tips for her fans, our audience and all of those aspiring Mom Bloggers out there. Learn more about her fabulous journey and be sure to follow her!
When you entered the working world, what was a dream job for you?
A dream job for me is a diverse job that allows me to bring many of my skills to learn something new each and every day. A dream job is one that offers me the flexibility that I need to make a living and to still be able to take care of my daughter.
I am very fortunate to have two great jobs that have many rewards and challenges. However, if I could solely work on my writing, it would be a dream come true.
Melanie, did you always like writing? If not, when did you take an interest?
I always loved writing; however, I was discouraged from writing twice in my life that almost made me not pursue blogging at all.
The first time was in College. One of my professors took me aside and informed me that I may have a learning disability as my writing was not up to par on the College’s expectations. I remember being heartbroken and started to question if there was something wrong with me. Luckily, my boyfriend (who later became my husband) reminded me how great I am and to do what I did best – prove the doubters wrong! That is exactly what I did the next year and half. I aced every written project and exam. By the end of my two years in the Social Service Worker Program, the same professor told me how wrong he was and that I proved to be a bright student who can do anything that I put my heart and mine to.
The second time was in my fundraising profession years back where I had a VP tell me that my writing was not strong enough to get funding for their programs and I was never given opportunities to even try. That made me very self-conscious of my writing and I didn’t apply myself 100% due to it. However, I took that as my drive to excel outside of the organization. I took my writing fundraising skills to the organizations that I volunteered for and was successful in raising thousands of dollars to those causes.
I guess you can say when I have doubters, it pushes me to want it more. My writing is not perfect but it always comes from passion and from the heart.
How did you get the idea to start Momma Braga?
After making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years, I wanted to do more. I didn’t want to lose my passion and drive to help people. I contemplated of what I could possibly do to inspire and keep my mind active.
I noticed that blogs were a platform that could reach people and figured why not give it a try. Now here I am almost four years later.
Was starting a blog scary?
Anything new is scary and sharing my own experiences was out of my comfort zone. I was also scared on how people would interact or feel about me. Despite all that, I had amazing support from my family and friends who encouraged me to give it a try.
If we don’t try, how would we know if we can do it?!
Was starting a blog expensive?
There are many hosts that let you set up for free and that is how I first started. I got a reliable platform that allowed me to try for free to get my feet wet. Once I started to build my audience and saw the interest from brands, then I felt it was time to invest money into the blog.
The investment allows me to do so much on my site that makes it easier for my readers to access my blog posts and it helps me offer more opportunities to the brands that I work with.
Do you find the market over saturated or was there a place in the parenting world for your voice?
Many will tell you that there are a lot of mom bloggers and that it is over saturated. However, I don’t think it really is as everyone has a unique story and voice.
We all parent and live differently and we can learn so much from each other. Therefore, I whole heartedly believe there was a parenting spot for me. I not only share stories about my life experiences but I also include other stories from parents that have touched my heart which I call, “Inspiring Corner” on my blog.
Of course, I do strive to be different and believe that I bring a unique style to all the articles written. I like to keep the topics diverse and partner with brands that I truly believe in. That is what people can expect from my blog which gives me my own voice in the parenting world of blogging.
What is blogging success to you?
Blogging success to me means reaching people from all over the world and have your words inspire and touch them in a way that words from the heart can. If I could reach just one person and have them feel what I feel then that is all the success that I need.
When you started blogging, what would be your ideal situation?
An ideal situation would be to have blogging being a source of income. But it takes time and many people don’t realize that it takes time.
You have to build your audience, your voice and consistency in order for brands to want to invest in your writing/blog. This is what I have been working hard to achieve. I keep changing the way I do business to ensure that anyone in business with us is represented with care. I haven’t achieved my ideal situation in blogging but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.
I didn’t enter the blogging world thinking solely on money as my goal has always been to make a positive impact.
Describe your first partnership. Who did you work with and how did it all happen?
It is always nice to remember any first that you have in life and the first official partnership for Momma Braga was an affiliation with Mimos Pillow Canada.
We first met at the Baby Show in Toronto and I feel in love with their product and the difference they were making in the lives of babies. I like to get to know products or brands first before partnering. So Mimos Pillow Canada provided us with the product for us to have and try. We then got to review it and share our review with our readers. But of course, we wanted to know more. This is when I interviewed the distributor from Canada to get to the know the brand at a deeper level.
Getting to know the brand got us to talk about a partnership and how we can work together going forward. It worked out beautifully as we have been working with them for almost two years now.
When did you know that your blog was a success?
The love and support that I get from family, friends and readers is what makes me feel successful. It truly means so much. A simple, like or comment on my articles or on social media makes my day and I am so grateful for it all.
There have been many moments that have ensured me that I am doing something right. A few of my articles have touched the hearts of many and have also inspired. I could list so many but one particular moment that stands out for me is when I had a reader email me to tell me that my article on tips on how to introduce your baby to your pet inspired her at the right moment in her life. She was expecting her first child and was getting ready to give her dog a new home as she thought it was impossible to work it out. After reading my article she said it inspired her to try and she said thank you as she loved her dog so much. Three months later, she sent me another email telling me that baby and doggy were the best of friends and the tips helped her see that a family is about growing together.
That is success! A dog continues to have a forever home and a baby gets to experience unconditional love by an animal. That was a win in so many ways.
What was your hardest moment as a blogger and how did you overcome it?
The hardest moments as a blogger is to write about topics that really tug at my own heart strings. To put myself out there is very hard as I don’t know how people are going to react to it. It is very scary!
Just a few examples would be stories about my miscarriage, the loss of my cat, and having my daughter called fat at the age of four. Those were the hardest pieces to write. They are raw and emotional pieces and I don’t hold anything back. Many times, I didn’t want to write them but then I am reminded of why I got into blogging; to help others.
My articles could be painful to write but it might bring comfort to someone else who may be going through the exact same thing. That is what has helped me overcome it.
Did you ever want to quit blogging? If so, how did you overcome this feeling that so many bloggers have?
Yes! When times get tough it seems like it is second nature to us that we just want to give up. Maybe it is my passion of wrestling that reminds me to “Never Give Up” (John Cena reference).
I honestly love what I do and if I felt different then it might be time to hang up my keyboard and step away. However, I feel like I am just scratching the surface.
Blogging isn’t easy but if it is something that you are passionate about then my advice is to keep going. You never know where blogging may lead you. If it is too overwhelming and you have lost your passion then maybe it is time to find something else to can light the fire within you.
What is some key advice you would give to potential bloggers?
Find your voice and it’s ok if your voice changes as you grow. Blogging is hard work and you need to be consistent. If you are not posting a new blog at least once a week then your readership won’t be active too. I find that the more active one is on their blog, the more loyal readers that stay by your side.
I also want to say, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and just be you! If people don’t like it then they can close the screen to your blog. But just imagine people loving what you have to share and you would have never known if you never tried. 😉
Is blogging easy? How easy would it be for someone to achieve their dreams of becoming a successful blogger?
Blogging is not easy and many people assume that it is. It isn’t just about writing a piece and putting it online. There is so much more that goes behind each piece and then the marketing of the article. There is a lot of time, thinking and creativity that is involved.
Depending on the person’s definition of a successful blogger it could vary. If they want to build a loyal audience, inspire people and align themselves with great brands then it can be easy but takes time.
A lot of new bloggers get frustrated and stuck with trying to reach an audience. What is your advice to them?
Network, network and network! It may sound old fashion but it is something that works so well. Branch out to influencers, other bloggers and people with a great reach. Try to build partnerships with them to expand your audience. Just keep in mind that when you are partnering with someone that it should be beneficial for both parties. Once these partnerships are formed, the next step is to treasure and keep them.
I network and build relationships everywhere I go. I always find a way to talk about my blog to anyone I meet. In all honesty, I gave my business cards at a wedding and gained new readers from it. You never know and you have to keep trying.
What was your biggest fear about blogging or vlogging and how did you overcome it?
My biggest fear was my hardest moment which was to write about topics that emotionally challenged me. I overcame them by remembering the comfort it can give someone else.
With vlogging, we slowly started to do more of it. We do have a YouTube channel and the star is my daughter as she is a natural on camera. I am not much of a camera person as I get really nervous but I have slowly started to do more stories on Instagram so make sure to follow me! My fear of being in front of the camera is a working progress so I can’t say that I have overcome it (yet)!
Describe someone who should not get into blogging.
I don’t like discouraging people from doing something that they are passionate about doing. What I can say is that blogging does not work if someone can’t invest time in it and it isn’t great for someone looking at making a quick buck.
A blog needs to be nourished and loved and if there is no time then this might not be the best option.
You also got into sharing videos of both product reviews (#melandnikkireview) and cute videos of your daughter, Nikki. What was the first experience like?
Video sharing is a whole new level of blogging and a very popular trend in the last few years. Nikki has expressed interest in doing the videos and she has been a natural. Brands that we have worked with like Vtech Toys Canada has loved this extra touch that we bring to our reviews with a video like this one. It’s always nice to get the expertise from a child and we find that the best raw way of doing it is by doing a video.
All our videos are done in one take and we don’t edit them. Therefore, they are honest and raw. Our first experience was so much fun and we only do them if Nikki requests them. We never add any pressure for her to create them as we want her to want to do it. It is always her choice.
Tell us what it was like to get your first viral video shared and spoken about by celebrities.
The videos that have gone viral are related to our daughter’s love for WWE wrestling. Our very first viral video was exciting and we are so grateful for the outpour of love that we got. Nikki was just about to turn two and did an amazing impersonation of two wrestlers that were very popular. It reached hundreds of thousands of hits directly on Twitter with many shares, retweets and comments. After a week, I uploaded it to YouTube which has over 7,000 hits on it to date. It is still the highest viewed video on our channel.
It was even more exciting to have the celebrities’ comment on our videos as it truly made it that extra special.
Is blogging a dream job? Why or why not?
It can definitely be a dream job especially if writing is a passion. The only downfall is to make it a good source of income to support your family.
Where do you see your blog in the next five years?
I want to see my blog to continue to grow and expand. I am working on some new partnerships that I hope will truly grow in the next five years but you will have to stay tuned to find out! 😉
If you could give advice to someone whose dream is to write and wants to get into blogging? What is your advice to them?
- Believe in yourself and your voice.
- Be consistent on how many times you post on your blog.
- Figure out what you want to write and write it.
- Don’t worry about the critiques.
- Have fun!