Photo by Amy Hanen
When it comes to running a successful blog, being a mommy, traveling, and keeping up with life’s other responsibilities, Hailey Andresen is the expert! Hailey is the founder of Household Mag., an amazing blog about beauty and fashion, business, food and drink, home and design, motherhood, and more! This mommy blogger really does it all, and she’s here to tell us just how she does it! Read along as Hailey shares her tips on how to build a successful mommy blog while your little one sleeps:
Since the idea of Household Mag. was created during my pregnancy, I’ve watched both my son, Owen, and my business grow side by side. For over a year, I juggled a part time job from home without childcare and built Household Mag. to what it is today.
During that time, I was asked a lot of questions about how exactly I was making it all happen. Each day it seemed like a new email or direct message on Instagram would come through from an aspiring blogger asking me, “Do you sleep?” or “How did you grow your following?” or “How did you get a particular brand to work with you?” All valid questions, and yes, I did in fact sleep at the time, but the true secret was working while my son slept–naps, bedtime, even sometimes waking up before him to get the work done. So, here are my tips and tricks to building your blog while your little one sleeps!
Know what work you can get done while they’re awake.
This might seem overly simple, but as someone who has to work often while Owen is awake and moving around, I’ve quickly learned what tasks are doable when he’s up and which ones aren’t. For example, longer writing projects that need more uninterrupted time are reserved for nap time or bed time. On the other hand, administrative tasks are typically okay to tend to during mealtimes, moments when he’s preoccupied with a toy or task or when he’s watching an episode of Sesame Street. We try to steer clear of large blocks of screen time, but 20 minutes here and there provides a little sanity and keeps the behind the scenes aspects of my projects moving. I’ve also found that phone calls are okay to take while Owen is awake so long as I’m not sitting down at my desk. If we’ve chatted on the phone, chances are I’m also building legos or blocks too!
Mamas, what are your favorite snacks for you and your little ones? Our general rule is that if it's something you could essentially buy from the farmers market it's most likely okay for Owen (and for us as well). It's safe to say we've entered the picky eating phase and I'm always on the hunt for healthier alternatives that Owen will actually eat, so I would love to hear what's popular in your house. He has been obsessed with blueberries, bananas, peanut butter sandwiches and all things @kindsnacks. I have to say their new popped snack bites are pretty tasty! 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻#kindambassador #sponsored 📷: @amyfrancesphoto
Develop a reasonable blogging schedule and stick to it.
When I first started Household Mag., I began with three blog posts each week and at least one social post a day. After Owen was born, this schedule quickly became unmanageable and I had to scale back, but over the last year and a half I’m back to three posts a week.
So, my advice would be to figure out what’s realistic for you and stick to it! I can’t push consistency enough when it comes to content, so take a look at those uninterrupted chunks of time you do have, factor in your other to-do’s and go from there. I always find that when I set my expectations too high, I end up stressed and anxious. The beauty in creating your own business is that you have the control so there’s no need to overdo it!
"Take a look at those uninterrupted chunks of time you do have, factor in your other to-do's and go from there."
Find a photographer and shoot your EVERYDAY life.
I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without Amy Hanen and her photography. While I love sharing a not-so-polished photo I’ve taken from time to time, Amy’s photos are just so much better and capture our true family moments (probably because she’s a professional!). Shoots with Amy are never overly staged, which eliminates a lot of the stress and pressure associated with shooting for brands.
Rather than trying to do everything myself and somehow figuring out the tricks behind the self-timer, I leave that all to Amy, and I have the chance to be in the photos too. When she comes over, it’s never a big production. She’s a close friend, which makes shooting our everyday life ultra easy.
When I was pregnant Zack's mom came to visit us from Phoenix. Once her plane landed and she was on her way from the airport Zack sat in one of our windowsills and waited for her. She might not be the best with directions, but either way it was really cute. 😂 When she got here I told her that if I had a boy (we kept the sex a surprise) that I hoped he would anxiously wait for me to arrive like Zack was. The other day she text me, reminded me of this story and told me she's pretty sure Owen will do just that. ❤| 📷: @amyfrancesphoto
Limit your time on social media.
Sounds contradictory, right? While putting in time on social media is critical to driving traffic to your blog (at least for me), I really try to limit my time spent scrolling. Because this is my business, I plan a lot of content in advance through Planoly and schedule posts at times I know I will be able to hop on my phone and dedicate some time to replying to comments, liking other photos, digging around on the explore feed and so on.
While it can be so tempting to take your phone out more than this, I find it always makes my days with Owen a little rockier if I’m glued to my phone. Hop in when it makes sense for you, share, and engage, but don’t let it take an insane amount of hours out of your day either!
“I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am who I am is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.” – A.S. Byatt | There is so much here that resonated with me when I heard these words. It seems like there are so many mothers who are discouraged from pursuing their creative passions or made to feel guilty for them – that in someway having something to call their own might mean they love their family less. In the almost 18 months of Owen's life I have really learned how taking care of me means I am better suited to take care of our family. So whatever it is that makes your heart sing, I encourage you to make time for it. Just a reminder that you deserve it just as much as anyone else. 📷: @amyfrancesphoto
Before I had my son, it seemed like if I wanted to do something I could just do it–time was pretty much endless and there was rarely the feeling of wanting to create but not having the chance to. However, things are different now, and while I like to say Owen came into our lives not the other way around, having a child does change things and you have to make adjustments to your own schedule.
So how do I still get that creativity out? If I’m having time with Owen and we’re out at the park or playing at home, I keep a notebook close by to jot down ideas. I haven’t always done this, but it has been so helpful.
Who are some of your favorite mommy bloggers? We would love to hear in the comments below! While you’re at it, be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin‘ to keep up with all of our future posts!