9 Benefits Of Personal Blogging

9 Benefits Of Personal Blogging

The benefits of personal blogging are huge.

Do you ever feel like you have something you need to share with the world?   Maybe you have a few hidden talents or interests that you want to talk about.  Or maybe you feel burned out of your career and want a place to proactively vent your frustrations and find helpful solutions.  Either way, you have ideas and they need an outlet!

I totally get that.  I’ve felt the same way for years.

Luckily we are in age where we can express ourselves in many different ways through the interweb.  And the technology just keeps getting better and faster.  There has never been a better or easier time to utilize the internet for sharing valuable ideas.

I am a blogger and proud of it.

I follow many other website creators with whom I share the same interests.  Mainly, other bloggers, nurses and mothers I have a lot in common with and who I feel I can learn from.  Over time I have found so many benefits of personal blogging and I continue to find new ones as time goes by.

Benefits Of Personal Blogging

But first, let me tell you the story of how I discovered blogging. 

After the birth if my first child in 2015 I found that it was increasingly more difficult for me to read books at home, as I was busy caring for a new infant.  In an effort to get myself out of the house and get some exercise into my life, I started taking my daughter for 2 or sometimes 3 hour walks around the neighborhood.  It felt good to be out of the house again.  But I still missed my reading.

It was at that time that I discovered podcasts.  I loved them because I could put on my earphones and get lost in interesting conversations that were occurring among adults.  I was hooked!  Each morning from then on I walked my new baby and listened to 3, 4, 5 or even more podcast episodes.  It felt amazing to have more mental stimulation again and I loved every minute of my long daily walks.

One day I started researching some of my favorite podcasters online.  I found out that almost all of them also had a blog that corresponded closely with their podcasts.  Up until then I didn’t even know that blogging was a “thing.”

Not long after that I caught the blogging bug myself.  I started researching anything and everything I could get my hands on about how to create a successful blog.  And the rest is blog history.

9 Benefits Of Personal Blogging in 2019

Reason #1:  Blogging gives you a voice

When you own a blog you get to say, share and teach anything and everything you want to.  You OWN the platform.

Your job as a blogger is to cultivate and find your inner voice.  You have a unique opportunity to build a tribe of listeners.  If your goal  is to relate to your audience and provide value, then you need to speak honestly and from the heart about topics that you consider yourself very good at.   In other words, your blog NEEDS a voice.

In the beginning you may find that you aren’t sure what you want to say.  So just start writing.  Your first 10 posts might actually suck (don’t let that scare you, everyone’s do!).  But that is how you learn and excel.  Over time, practice really does make perfect!

One of the most beautiful things I have discovered about having a blog is that it has made me a WAY better communicator.  I take my blog writing seriously and I genuinely strive to be a valuable resource.

Find you voice, and you will find your audience.  If you are blogging correctly, you will effectively create a voice for your blog that will exclude most people. This is a good thing!  Because you can’t write for everyone and you shouldn’t try to.  As a result you will create a more loyal following of people with whom you share similar interests.

I write about being a nurse mom.  That is my niche.  My voice is all about the nurse and mom lifestyle.  What will you voice be?

Reason #2:  Blogging helps you organize your thoughts on paper

I mentioned earlier that as a beginning blogger it is quite possible that your first 10 or more blog posts might not be your best work.  But if you keep at it, it won’t stay that way.  You get better with practice.  Swiftly.

Blogging makes you a better writer and a better thinker.  In fact, blogging makes people better conversationalists about the topics they write about.

Writing makes you a more critical thinker.  Because when you write, you have to communicate thoughtfully and articulately.  It forces you to think of several different aspects of a specific topic.  Therefore, you have the opportunity to become an expert and tribe leader within your chosen writing niche.  Most people just don’t put that much thought into a subject when they don’t have to organize it for other people to read on paper.

When you think about it that way, you have the potential to become smarter than the non-blogger.  So start writing!

Reason #3.   Blogging connects you with like-minded people

I have found that there is another world of other nerdy mom and nurse bloggers out there, just like me.  They work all day and then pull their computers out after the kids go to bed.  And like me, they burn the midnight oil and create interesting content by focusing their consciousness on things they are already good at.   In time they become experts within their personal niche.

But, blogging can get lonely when you are sitting alone at your computer for hours.  Which is another reason why it is good to connect with other bloggers within your niche.  Connecting with other bloggers has helped me in so many ways:

  • Sharing helpful content from my blogger peers and vice versa
  • Learning how to blog better and faster
  • Forming relationships with other bloggers

I love it when readers leave me comments on blog posts.  And I love responding even more.  It tells me that I created a dialog that is worth having and that people are actually reading my posts!  Readers also give me new ideas about things I want to write about in the future!

Reason #4.  Blogging opens a world of opportunities

One of my favorite parts of being a blogger is that people and companies reach out to me with opportunities, instead of me reaching out to them!  It has taken me a lot of work and time to get to this point, and I expect the opportunities to continue to grow with time.  I have companies asking if I will guest post on their site or if they can put advertising on my site.  I get emails almost everyday  asking me to promote products.  It is a lot of fun!

(I am learning how to be very selective about who I work with though.  It is important to only do the things that are worth your time and politely decline the rest.  And to be honest, I just don’t have a lot of time to work with many people at this time.)

Here are a few other examples of opportunities blogging has given me in the last year:

  • Guest posting opportunities
  • Guest podcast opportunities
  • Free products
  • Job offers
  • Higher paying affiliate offers

Here is the best part…  You can literally blog from anywhere in the world you want to as long as you have internet access.  Any time of the day or night, you can blog.  It offers the ultimate flexibility.    Talk about incredible opportunity!

Reason #5  Blogging helps others find information

My #1 goal is to provide value to readers.  When people turn to Google to find niche specific information, I want to be the first website they see (as long as it is genuinely answering a question or solving an issue that they are looking for).  There are several ways that bloggers can provide value when discussing a particular topic:

  • Create a “How To” post
  • Make a checklist post.   Lists automatically provide structure to your blog post and de-stress your reader.
  • Write a research based blog post.   As an RN I live in a world where everything needs to be evidenced-based.  If its not, then it may not be relevant or valuable.  I often link back to Pub Med studies to give my posts more credibility.
  • Write an interview post.   People love reading about people’s lives.

Reason #6.  Blogging is a enormous challenge

To say that learning how to blog is a “challenge” would be an understatement.  There are so many moving parts to managing a blog that it sometimes makes my head spin.  But the harder it gets the more I want to learn and grow as a blogger.

Blogging forces you to think in ways you haven’t thought before.  Without challenge, there is no growth.

9 Benefits Of Personal Blogging

Reason #7.  Blogging can become a business

There are bloggers out there who make money.  Lots and lots of money.

As a nurse it seems that we are making less money each year, yet the cost of living continues to grow higher.  For that reason, many nurses I know have a side hustle to supplement their income.  That is one of the many reasons why I started blogging after my first daughter was born.

Blogging can be a hobby, a side hustle, or a full-time family business.  But it takes a ton of effort, research, training and determination to get it started and build momentum.  I always say that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint (especially if you already work and have babies to take care of).

Reason #8.  Blogging is fun

When I’m not blogging, I’m usually thinking about blogging, because I get such immense joy from it.  I actually get frustrated when I have to stop blogging and go to bed so I can get some sleep!

Reason #9.  Blogging gives you freedom

Blogging gives me the freedom to write and share information about anything I desire.  Since I have a self-hosted website, I own my site.  It is mine and I can do with it whatever I please.  When I am frustrated and burned out at work, this knowledge gives me a sense of peace.   It has become an outlet that has ultimately helped me become a better nurse, writer, and thinker.

I also have freedom to create my website however I desire, with my favorite colors and fonts.

Professional bloggers have the freedom to literally work anywhere they want in the world, so long as they have internet access.  I know bloggers who work while on vacation, some even blog about their vacation!

Are you ready to start blogging?  You can find more information about how to get starting on my blogging resource page!

Additional Recommended Reading:


101 Interesting Blog Post Ideas For Nurses

101 Interesting Blog Post Ideas For Nurses

I came up with this list of 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses so that I could prove a point:  there are so many things that nurses can write aboutAnd I barely even scratched the surface with this list!

Nurses, by nature, are lifelong learners.

Nurses generally love learning.  If we didn’t, we would have never made it through nursing school in the first place.

In order to keep our skills up to par and our licenses current, nurses frequently take continuing education courses.  Many of us go a step further and become certified experts in our nursing specialties.  Most importantly though, being a nurse requires learning about changes in the field of medicine and being open to new challenges during each and every shift.  Healthcare is ever-changing, and it is increasingly important for nurses to stay fresh.

Nurses have a unique perspective that we can share with readers.

This is the coolest part about becoming a nurse blogger:  each post about nursing can be written about from a completely different perspective.  There are so many different specialties and diverse patient populations.  And every nurse has different skill sets and experiences within their career that they can share.  Furthermore, some nurses can bring entirely unique backgrounds into the mix, as many become nurses as a second or even third career.

In other words, nurses can bring a lot of life experience into their writing.  We have important information to share.

Becoming a nurse blogger has welcome benefits

First, you’ll become a better writer.  Each time you create a new piece you improve and continue to develop your writing skills.

Second, you’ll become a better thinker.  The blogging process helps you to stop and think deeper.  You will find yourself having stronger opinions about nurse topics that matter.  You will discover thoughts and ideas about nursing that you didn’t even know you had.


Nurse with ideas

I want to see more nurses blogging.

Since I began blogging in 2017, I have read nearly every nurse blog I can find on the internet.  I have seen some pretty creative nurse niches and been inspired by what my fellow nurse peers are writing about.

I especially love reading about the amazing things nurses are doing in the face of adversary.  For example, I recently read about how nurses in Paradise California continued to care for hospitalized patients during the most devastating fire in modern history.  At one point some were outside trying to fight flames.  Now if that isn’t blog-worthy, then nothing is.

(I really, really want to interview more nurses who go on medical missions and help people in need after catastrophic events.  Many nurses care for patients in the face of devastation and their stories should be shared.   In time, I will get there…)

101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses to write about.

I put a lot of effort into thinking of new topics that I would be interested in reading (or writing) about as a nurse.  Don’t be surprised if you see several of these topics on my blog over the next year.

So, without further ado, here it is: 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses.  (If there is anything you thing I should add, please leave a comment and I will add it to my next list!)

  1.  Advice for getting through the first year as a nurse
  2.  Nursing specialty information: what to consider when you need a change
  3.  What happens when nurses go on strike
  4.   Stress relieving tips for nurses
  5.   Safe patient ratios
  6.  Nurses helping patients cope after natural disasters
  7.  How nurses can inspire their patients to take better care of themselves
  8.   Nurse burnout
  9.   Health & fitness for busy nurses
  10.  National nursing certifications
  11.  Helpful nursing products
  12.  15 reasons you need to try travel nursing
  13.  Ways to improve communication between nurses
  14.  Dealing with death as a caregiver
  15.  20 healthy snack alternatives to share in the break room.
  16.  Professional development for nurses
  17.  How to make sure you are saving enough for retirement as a nurse
  18.  Meditation for nurses
  19.  Ways to exercise on you nursing lunch break
  20.  How to budget as a nurse
  21.  The top 20 best nurse bloggers on the internet
  22.  Inspirational nurses to follow on social media
  23.  20 most hilarious nurse memes
  24.  Positive nursing quotes
  25.  Tips for becoming a better nurse writer
  26.  What to consider when looking for the right nursing specialty for you
  27.  How to change your nursing specialty
  28.  How to become a nurse blogger
  29.  Alternative nursing careers
  30.  20 reasons why nursing is a post-apocalyptic survival skill
  31.  How nursing inspired me to become a blogger
  32.  15 helpful ways to survive the night shift
  33.  Personality traits of nurses
  34.  Managing caregiver burden
  35. 30 blog post ideas for nurses who work with children
  36.  A day in the life of a nurse
  37.  Why HIPPA is so important for patients
  38.  9 qualities that all great nurses share
  39.  Dealing with difficult patients
  40.  Violence in healthcare: how nurses can protect themselves
  41.  The best (fill in the blank product) that every nurse needs
  42.  Educational resources for new nurses
  43.  11 ways to be a kick-ass preceptor to a new grad nurse
  44.  How to prepare for 12 hour shifts
  45.  Awesome work-from-home nurse jobs
  46.  Blood sugar stabilizing foods that nurses should eat during 12 hour shifts
  47.  9 great reasons why you should consider an MSN
  48.  Bad habits that nurses can develop
  49.  How LinkedIn a a great career resource for nurses
  50.  9 ways that nursing has changed over the years
  51. Nursing in the year 1950 vs nursing today
  52.  How to give quality CPR
  53.  Why becoming a certified nurse is so important
  54.  What does it take to become a Magnet Hospital
  55.  What being a nurse has taught me about compassion
  56.  Your favorite nursing specialty and why
  57.  Why more men need to join the nursing profession
  58. Interesting facts about famous nurses
  59.  Flight nursing
  60.  Nurse bullying in the workplace
  61.  7 things I wish patients understood about nurses
  62.  How to master IV starts
  63.  The most interesting nurse podcasts you must listen to now
  64.  Career advice from an experienced nurse
  65.  How to promote teamwork on a nursing unit
  66.  Misconceptions people have about new nurses
  67.  How to squeeze in exercise on your lunch break
  68.  Share information about products that were invented by nurses
  69.  Write a list of the funniest patient comments you have ever heard
  70.  Discuss the importance of de-stigmatizing mental health
  71.  Highlight a nurse(s) who volunteered after a natural disaster (such as the California fires)
  72.  Talk about different medical missions
  73.  New innovations in stethoscopes or other nurse products
  74.  What it is like to work as a nurse when you have small children at home
  75.  How nursing teaches me to have more gratitude
  76.  National Preparedness Week from a nurse perspective
  77.  Fun holiday gift ideas for nurses
  78.  The teach-back method for teaching patients about medications
  79.  How nurses can improve health literacy
  80.  Things that nurses can teach patients within their scope of practice.
  81.  Tips on how to have difficult conversations with patients and/or family members
  82.  10 helpful ways to save for maternity leave as a nurse
  83.  Why working on the holidays as a nurse is hard (& how it can also be fun)
  84.  Continuing education programs for nurses
  85.  9 ways my nurse peers inspire the heck out of me
  86.  Nurse leaders that I want to emulate and why
  87.  The pros of moving into nursing administration (or why you’ll never do it)
  88.  10 websites that will pay nurses to write for them
  89.  Why nurses need to be writing more
  90.  Nurse entrepreneurs
  91.  Reasons why nurses should be paid way more than they are
  92.  Dealing with difficult co-workers
  93.  Holistic pain management techniques that nurses can use in practice
  94.  Working with adult patients vs working with pediatric patients
  95.  Diabetes Education
  96.  Tips to prevent high blood pressure that I want my loved ones to know
  97.  How to study more efficiently as a nursing student or grad student
  98.  Why more nurses should consider getting an MSN or Doctorate Degree.
  99.  What to consider before committing to an advanced nursing degree
  100.  Nurse job outlook and career options
  101.  Why nursing really is the most trusted career on the planet


Recommended reading for new nurse bloggers:

Resources for new bloggers:

(You need to know by now – if your goal IS to monetize your blog you must invest in a few courses to help move you forward. Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.)

  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.
  • Pinterest Ninja:  If you want to understand how Pinterest can grow blog traffic you need this Pinterest Ninja Course.  A blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands. I did the course when I was on maternity leave and I was able to increase my blog traffic from 0-1000/day in just over one month. Seriously, read some of her reviews. Her course is invaluable.

Are you an aspiring nurse blogger who needs a little direction?  Drop me a message and I can forward you some of my resources that helped get me started as a nurse blogger!

P.S.  HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE E-BOOK “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” in the sign up box below! (scroll down)

Why Nurses Should Blog & 101 Great Nurse Blog Post Ideas To Write About!

Before You Start A Blog Read This!

Before You Start A Blog Read This!

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read my disclosure policy here.

Starting a blog can be overwhelming, especially when you already work full time, are a parent to small children and have a to-do list that never seems to end.  To make matters worse there is almost too much information on the internet about how to start a blog.

Where do I start?  Who should I trust?  How do I prevent myself from becoming overwhelmed with information?

And most importantly, how do I even find the time to start a blog when my schedule is already crazy busy?

The thing about blogging is that it is a marathon, NOT a sprint. It is also not a get rich fast (or maybe ever) scheme.   It is a TON of work.  So, if you are not considering it as a long term project then quite frankly I would strongly consider whether you want to start a blog in the first place.

But you are still reading this so I’m going to assume you really do want to start a blog .  And I’m so glad.  Because I love blogging and I love talking about blogging even more!

laptop computer for a blogger

Here are a 5 important things to consider BEFORE starting a blog:

1.  Find your niche

For me, this one was easy.  I am very passionate about two things:  nursing and motherhood.  (And, well, my husband & other loved ones too, but for the sake of having a blog, you need to find YOUR specific niche that you can passionately write about).

Someone once told me this:  “Before you start a blog you must find your niche.  Then, take your niche and niche it down even more.”  In essence, you need to get really super specific.

For example, if I just called myself a “nurse blogger” that doesn’t say very much about who I am or what my niche is about (except, of course, that I am one of 2.2 million other nurses in the US).  It also doesn’t tell you anything about how I might be able to add any value to a reader.  It’s just too vague.

Instead I am a “nurse mom lifestyle blogger who helps other nurses take better care of themselves with an emphasis on self-care.”  I like to think of myself as a nurse advocate.  That sounds a little better, doesn’t it?

It seems counter-intuitive that niche-ing down helps bloggers perform better but it really does.  It increases your engagement with a very specific group and you have the opportunity to be an expert in a small area.  You just can’t be everything to everyone, and you can’t be an expert at everything.

2.  What will your name be?

Many bloggers want their name to reflect their niche.  I’ll use myself as an example again:  my blog name is Mother Nurse Love and my niche is nurse moms and self love.  Pretty self explanatory.

But it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t want it to.  Your name can be anything you want it to be (although it might be a little more interesting if you are able to have a little story behind it!).

It is, however, important to put a lot of consideration into your name for the following reasons:

  • Your blog name is going to be with you for a long time.  You will be known for it.
  • It is difficult (but not impossible) to change it later on down the line.
  • Bloggers generally use their blog names for their social media handles as well.  Again, this just makes it harder for you to re-brand in the future (so start with the right name!)

Just make sure your name is not offensive or is sending a message that does not reflect you well.

(In the book The Nurses Guide To Blogging, co-author Kati Klieber, talks about how when she first started out her blogging name was Nurse Eye Roll.  While many RN’s can relate to Nurse Eye Roll as a funny title, when she started getting more popular in the blogging world she became concerned that her blog name was sending the wrong message to brands and followers.  She ultimately had to do a complete re-brand and changed her name to FreshRN.  She is now more popular than ever the nurse blogging community, but I’m sure it was a huge pain in the butt at the time.)

A word of advice:  I strongly suggest that you figure out what your blog name will be BEFORE setting up a WordPress blog with Bluehost.

3.  What is your end goal with your blog?

Do you want a hobby blog?  Or are you trying to start a side hustle/business?  You don’t have to make this decision right away, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you are planning on growing an email list and monetizing your blog at some point.

First things first though.  You need to starting writing blog posts.  A lot of them.  And they need to be good.

By now you have probably heard the phrase “content is king.”  Well, frankly, it is.  And if your end goal is to have a growing, thriving blog, then your writing and your voice need to be honed in nicely.

After you have a functioning website up and running then it might be a good time to start expanding your reach.

If your end goal is lots of website traffic you need to start with Pinterest AND focus on Search Engine Optimization

Pinterest will get you page views faster – but great SEO will rank you higher in Google searches and is great for the long haul.  Right now I focus on both to grow my website traffic.

You may not know this, but Pinterest is NOT a social media platform.  Its a visual search engine.  It has changed tremendously over the last year and continues to have algorithm updates almost weekly (or so it seems!)  Mastering Pinterest takes a lot of work and if you want more traffic sooner then you need to invest in a course.

Here is a great resource for you understand and better utilize Pinterest:  a blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands.  I did the course when I was on maternity leave and have been able to increase my page views from 0 to 500-1000/day within a few months. Seriously, read some of her reviews.

Know this- if your goal IS to monetize your blog you will need to invest in a few courses to help move you forward.  Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.)

4.  How much time will you be able to dedicate?

Most adults have a full time job and/or kids that they need to manage before they can put work time into blogging.  So as much as we intend to dive right into writing 7 posts a week, for many of us that is just not realistic.

I am a mother of 2 very small children, a nurse working 12 hour shifts, a wife and a homemaker.  So, like most other working women bloggers, I’m super freaking busy 99% of the time.  However, through practicing hyper-vigilant time management and forgoing a little shut eye at night I am managing to squeeze 5-10 hours into my blog every week.  And I am still able to produce some decent and valuable content on a fairly consistent basis.

Eventually, my children with be in school and at that time I will be able to dedicate more time to content creation and website management.  But for now I am still making an impact and earning a little money every day.

Try making a tentative blogging schedule for yourself and stick to it.  Like I mentioned before, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint and it takes time to grow.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something.

5.  Are you OK with being vulnerable?

When I first started blogging it took me a week to write my first posts.  The reason it took me so long was that I kept going back and censoring my post from its original content.  Mostly I was afraid of offending someone.  I kept thinking “what if they leave a negative comment on my site?

It took me a few months to stop being so hard on myself.  After all, this is my blog, I own it, and therefore I am allowed to talk about whatever I want.  If someone has something negative to say, so what?  Besides, aren’t I trying to start a dialog for nurse moms?

(A blogging collage once shared some encouraging words:  she said “you’ll know when your really doing well with your blog when you get a nasty comment on your site.  That’s when the trolls start to find you.”  Wise words.)

Vulnerability can be powerful for a new blogger.  Once you decide that you are going to be authentic with your writing you actually gain momentum with your messaging.  You allow your writing to be more creative and natural.  It’s an inspired feeling and your readers will appreciate getting to know you better.

(A few final thoughts to mention before hitting publish:  Are you hurting anyone or belittling a person or community?  Words are powerful so use them to create positivity and to help find solutions to problems.  Create value.  Spread the love.)

Here are a few more posts you may be interested in reading!

Recommended blogging courses and resources for new bloggers:

You need to know by now – if your goal IS to monetize your blog you must invest in a few courses to help move you forward.  Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.

  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.
  • Pinterest Ninja:  If you want to understand how Pinterest can grow blog traffic you need this Pinterest Ninja Course.  A blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands.  I did the course when I was on maternity leave and I was able to increase my blog traffic exponentially in just over one month.    Seriously, read some of her reviews.  Her course is invaluable.
Why Amazon Is A Great Affiliate For New Bloggers

Why Amazon Is A Great Affiliate For New Bloggers

(This post may contain affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

My blog sells something every single day on Amazon.

Just this morning I rolled out of bed to find that I had already made $42 while I was sleeping.  The best part is that it is completely passive income for me. (I am still smiling about it as I write this).

I am only making between about $3 to $45 from Amazon on my (relatively) new blog each day.  Its not much…  yet.  But still, it is passive income and it’s consistent.  Which means that I am making money no matter what I am doing that day.

(Note:  I dabble in several different affiliate marketing programs, but for the purpose of this post I want to focus on how Amazon is a great affiliate for brand new bloggers to start making passive income on their blogs.  Amazon affiliates is how I started with affiliate marketing and I encourage other new bloggers to use it at well because I think its the easiest ones for new bloggers.  Once you get started with Amazon and start making consistent money there are a TON of other great affiliate programs out there as well.)

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people can make money online.   It is a strategy that bloggers can use to earn a commission by promoting other people’s products.  For example, if I find a product or service I like, I can promote it to my readers and earn a small commission for the referral.

Of course, bloggers still need to create killer content and only recommend products or services that they actually like and use themselves.  In order to be successful it’s best to keep it “non-salesy,” genuine and relevant to the purpose of your post.  Otherwise it can be a real turn-off.

Affiliate marketing can be a triple win for the blogger, reader and company selling a product (in this case, Amazon).  Each party benefits from the blogger making a useful suggestion about a product or service because a need is being filled for all three:

  • The seller sells a product, earning a profit
  • A reader gets value by purchasing something they need
  • The blogger earns a small commission for their helpful referral.

From this viewpoint, bloggers have a great opportunity not only to provide great content but to also add additional value to both readers and the companies they work as affiliates for.

Laptop computer with office supplies

Why Amazon is a great affiliate for new bloggers:

Amazon affiliates is one of the largest and easiest affiliate programs to use.

If it exists, you can find it on Amazon.

Just as an example, lets say you have a passion for writing about Madagascar hissing cockroaches and you would like to recommend some to your readers.  Well guess what?  You are in luck because you can buy them on Amazon!  So you insert your Amazon affiliate link and viola!  You just helped your reader find exactly what they were looking for!

You can pretty much find anything and everything on Amazon.  So it makes it really easy for new affiliate marketers to find products easily that fit nicely within their niche.  This is a great reason why Amazon is a great affiliate for new bloggers who are trying to monetize their websites for the first time.

(On another note, the key phrase ‘Madagascar hissing cockroaches for sale’ actually gets 480 searches on Amazon every single month.  So, there actually is a need for this particular niche and a potential to make affiliate money from it.  Just saying).

Amazon affiliate cookies have site-wide coverage, and is not just limited to the product you are promoting.

When you make a referral to Amazon, you only have a 24 hour window to actually make a sale.  But the good news is that you will get the commission from ALL the products the customer purchased from the store.

So say, for example, your reader decided not to purchase your recommended product after all…  But, they did decide to purchase a $2700 Microsoft laptop computer instead.   You get a commission from the sale of the $2700 computer!  (I know someone who had a similar thing happen to them as an Amazon Affiliate, so it does happen!)

Shipping is free for Amazon Prime members

Everyone I know is a member of Amazon Prime and gets to take advantage of the free shipping.  In fact, almost everything I order is from Amazon because I don’t pay an additional fee to have it sent to me.  People are more likely to buy something if they don’t have to pay an additional fee for shipping.

The Amazon return policy is so simple

I feel good about recommending products from Amazon because whenever I need to return something, its so super easy.  That way if one of my readers ends up not liking a product that they ordered I know they can send it back no problem.  I would never want someone to keep a product that I recommended if they didn’t end up liking it, or just regretting the purchase.

Just remember to keep it genuine as an affiliate marketer:

Only promote products related to topics that you already write about in your niche.  And you must actually use and like the product/service yourself.  Otherwise it comes off as inauthentic and disingenuous.

Here is a helpful tip for new bloggers who want to start monetizing their blogs:  If you started using Amazon Affiliates after you started your blog, then go back to your top 20-30 posts and add affiliate links where they fit in.

For more resources visit my Start A Blog resource page!

Additional Recommended Reading: 

How To Find Time To Blog As A Busy Nurse & Mom

How To Find Time To Blog As A Busy Nurse & Mom

(This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read my disclosure page here.)

How to find time to blog as a busy nurse and mom:

My biggest challenge as a busy nurse & mom blogger is simply finding the time to work on my blog.  This post discusses ways that I manage to grow my blog despite having a very busy work and home schedule.

#1.  Schedule time to blog

Treat your blog as a side job.  How much time do you have to invest in it at the moment?  Is it only 5 or 10 hours a week like me?  That is better than nothing!  Its going to take you longer to build a blog and following but it can be done.  Building a blog is a marathon, not a sprint.

A lot of people ask me when I have time to work on blogging.  The truth is, not much.  The only time I have to blog is for up to an hour while my kids are napping and after I put them to sleep at 8pm.  On the days I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse I am only able to blog after I get home and shower, and by then it’s usually 9pm.  And I need to try and get some sleep since I’m either up for work or being woken up by one of my children by 5:30 or 6 in the morning!

The most important thing that busy bloggers must do is to be with the little bit of time that they do have.  You can actually get a lot done in 5 -10 hours a week if you use your time wisely.

#2.   Batch write

Instead of writing 1-2 posts a week, try writing 10 over a period of a several days and then schedule them out far in advance.  This process can help you free up a lot of time!   My process goes something like this:

  • Keyword Research and pick titles for 10 blog posts
  • Write outlines for ten blog posts
  • Do all content creation
  • Optimize all SEO
  • Go back and insert affiliate links and internal/external links for each post
  • Make all graphic designs for each post
  • Schedule posts on WordPress scheduler

This process has saved me so much time and just makes blogging more simple.

#3.  Outline your blog posts first

Is your writing method just to start writing and see where it takes you?  Unfortunately, that may not be the most efficient way to get things done.

When you are trying to inform and create a structured piece, more planning is generally better.  After you do your keyword research and pick your title, try writing down each of the points you want to make.  Then you can use those points as headers for the post to break it up into smaller, more digestible pieces to read.

Think of your outline as the foundation that you can build amazing content around.  Outlining will make your posts easily for you to write, and that will save you time.

#4.  Always have a plan for what you are going to do as soon as you have a free moment for blogging.

If you are going to be a blogger you need excellent time management skills.  The second I put my kids down for a nap I know exactly what I am going to spend that hour doing (usually content creation).

I do chores around the house and all of the cooking while my kids are awake.  That way I can free up some time to work on the blog when my kids are asleep.

blogger typing on a laptop

#5.  Quit doing time wasting activities

Stop using social media.   I know  people who spend hours on Instagram every single day, yet they swear they are so busy that they never have time to get anything done!  I bet if you quit using social media for 1 week you would find that you are suddenly so much more productive.  And probably happier and more in the present to boot!

If you are going to be a blogger you have to get really good at using your time wisely.  Be overprotective about your time.  My time is the most important asset I have and it is important to me.  As a result, I rarely use Instagram or Facebook anymore.  Hopefully one day I will be able to source out a lot of my work (except content creation, of course), but until then I’ve got a lot of work to do.  There is no time to waste.

#6.  Use an editorial calendar

I am almost completely paperless, except for my editorial calendar (which I use as a hard copy for pretty much everything that goes into my blog).  You can find editorial calendars online, but I have found that by using my hard copy of EPIC blog and my scheduler on WordPress that I stay super organized.  I always manage to stay on top of deadlines.

At some point I would love to create my own editorial calendar for bloggers.  Until then, my EPIC blog editorial calendar is super helpful!

 

#7.  Listen to blogging podcasts

When you are starting a project and don’t totally have a grasp one what you are doing, there is only one really good thing to do:  find people who are doing it well and learn from them!

Anytime I take my children for a walk in the stroller or I am on my commute to and from work I listen to blogging podcasts.  Podcasts keep me motivated during the times I am physically unable to blog.  Plus I am able to learn from other bloggers who have had some of the same blogging struggles I do.

#8.  Make time for rest and rejuvenation

You can only burn that candle from both ends for so long.  If you work too hard with no rest then you end up burned out, sick and wondering why you even wanted to be a blogger in the first place.  Giving yourself time to rest can also be great for creativity as well.

Additional Recommended Reading:

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.

9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

Tip #1.  Use WordPress

Admittedly, I did not use WordPress when I was first starting my own blog.

Instead, I started with Squarespace (which is both easy to use and pretty, but not as good with SEO and has no plugin options).  Once I realized how limited I was with Squarespace I moved over to WordPress.  And I have been so much happier since.  It was a huge pain in the rear, it caused me a lot of unnecessary stress and I lost time I will never get back.

Here are a few reasons why WordPress is the way to go:

  • WordPress is beginner friendly:  you do NOT need coding knowledge to create a perfectly functioning website
  • WordPress themes and plugins give you almost unlimited flexibility:  Once you are more advanced with WordPress you are able to customize every aspect of your site as you see fit (or you can be like me and pay someone else to do it, the point being that you CAN customize your site more in the future).
  • WordPress helps you rank higher in search engines:  If your goal is high traffic to your site, then WordPress is the gold standard platform you need to be using.  Not only is WordPress already well-optimized for search engines, but there is an amazing plugin called Yoast SEO that helps me make sure my SEO is on point.
  • Support is available whenever you need it:  There is a WordPress support forum and a ton of online tutorials and courses

If you have not started your blog and want a step-by-step guide to setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost check this out!  (I go into more detail about why you need a WordPress blog and why web-hosting with Bluehost is the best thing you can do as a new blogger.

Tip #2.  Find your niche.

In my very early beginner blogging days I had no focus and wrote about everything:  my favorite roasted pumpkin seed recipe, how limiting social media helps brain function, all aspects of motherhood, how to travel with toddlers, my nursing career, yoga, toddler foods….  you get the point.  I was pretty much all over the place.

Then a blogger friend said to me:  “You must find your niche.  Then, take your niche and niche it down even more.”  In essence, she was telling me to get really super specific about who my audience was going to be.

For example, if I just called myself a “nurse blogger” that doesn’t say very much about who I am or what my niche is about (except, of course, that I am one of 2.2 million other nurses in the US).  Its just too vague.

So, I refer to myself as a “nurse mom lifestyle blogger who helps other nurses take better care of themselves with an emphasis on self-care.”  I like to think of myself as a nurse mom advocate.  That sounds a little better, doesn’t it?

Having a specific niche increases your engagement with a very specific group and gives you the opportunity to be an expert in a small area.  You just cant be everything to everyone, and you cant be an expert at everything.

Tip #3.  Just keep writing

What do you do when you have been blogging for months and you’ve just run into your 20th roadblock?

What ever you do, don’t quit!

Here are a few reasons why you need to just keep writing (even when you feel like giving up):

  • Building something unique takes time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and NO blog is an overnight success.
  • You are learning new (and valuable) skills.  There is a huge learning curve to blogging. As time goes by, you will learn lots more. Your writing will improve and you will start to build relationships with other bloggers.
  • You are closer to making money than you think (it sure is fun for me to see that I am making a little money every single day from something I created all on my own!)

Every single dollar you make through your blog was won entirely by your own efforts. You didn’t have to wait around for someone to employ you: instead, you created something valuable all on your own.

Even if you’re only making a couple of dollars a month, it’s something. And if you’re making nothing at all, it’s just a matter of time.

Tip #4.  Write about what you already know.

Don’t try and write about topics that you know nothing about.  This is one of the best tips for new bloggers who are trying to find their “voice.”

For example, if you are not already an expert in the kitchen, then you probably don’t want to compete with other food bloggers (that is a highly saturated niche already!).

You also don’t want to write a post called “My Top 10 Favorite Dinner Recipes That All Children Will Love!”  It would take you ten times longer to write recipe posts then it would for someone who is awesome at cooking and passionate about sharing recipes.  You will burnout as a blogger.  Fast.

Instead, think of what you are already an expert at and go from there.  What are you passionate about?

9 helpful tips for new bloggers

Tip #5.  Provide value

Quality content is king.  It is the ONE thing that keeps visitors coming back to your blog.

Strive to over-deliver on the value you provide with your blog.  Otherwise, why would anyone want (or need) to continue reading about what you say.

Quality writing is good, but are you giving your readers something that can be used to help them somehow in their daily lives?  Are you helping to answer a question about something they need to know about.  Its all about value.

Think about what phrases your readers would type into Google and then go from there.  Not only will it help you with SEO but it also helps you fill a void for a topic that a reader on the internet need answers to.

Here are a few good delivery methods to easily provide value to readers about a topic you already know a lot about:

  • Make a checklist for your readers
  • Create a resource guide
  • Use bullet points in you posts to easily separate points
  • Write an ebook

Tip #6.  Practice makes perfect

I have a secret that no one told me in my beginning months of blogging…

Your first 5 -10 posts might actually suck.  Really, bad actually.

In fact, I cringe when I look at my first blog posts.   Not only were they full of improperly constructed sentences, they had sneaky grammatical errors that my brain wasn’t used to sniffing out.  And they kept popping out even after 2 or 3 post revisions!

But, alas!  There is great news!  The more you blog, the better you get.  I promise!  Over time not only will your writing improve, but you also won’t spend a week writing and editing a single post.  You’ll get better, faster, more creative, more clever  and more confident each time you push “publish” on a new post.

Sometimes I go back and think what the heck was I thinking when I wrote that?  On a positive note it is great to see how far I have come in the blogging world.  Everybody has to start somewhere.

Tip #7.  Invest in courses

As with any new business, you will need to invest a little money so you can learn the ropes from people who actually know what they are talking about.  When deciding where to invest money, I highly recommend focusing on three things:

  • Invest in courses that will help you understand how to set up a functioning blog
  • Invest in learning that will (eventually) help you make money from your blog
  • Invest in courses that will help you simplify your life and blogging business

I am a blogger who has made friends with many other bloggers who happen to create GREAT courses.  Here are two blogging experts that I can, in good faith, recommend. (If you don’t believe me, look at their recommendations.  They are amazing!).

  • Building A Framework:  Abby Lawson  This was the first blogging course I ever took and it pretty much covers everything you need to know about setting up a blog from scratch.   It is easy to follow and highly actionable.
  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.

Tip #8.  Quit doing other time wasting activities

Life is busy, but there are also a lot of distractions out there.  The number 1 biggest time waster of them all = social media!  I know  people who spend hours on Instagram every single day, yet they swear they are so busy that they never have time to get anything done!  I bet if you quit using social media for 1 week you would find that you are suddenly so much more productive.  And probably happier and living more in the present to boot!

If you are going to be a blogger you have to get really good at using your time wisely.  Be overprotective about your time.  My time is the most important asset I have and it is important to me.  As a result, I rarely use Instagram anymore.  Hopefully one day I will be able to source out a lot of my work (except content creation, of course), but until then I have a lot of work to do.  There is no time to waste.

This is an excellent tip for new bloggers, as well as anyone trying to find more time for more productive activities.

Tip #9.  Have fun.

Blogging is not always all work and no play.  Reach out and make other blogging friends.  Don’t take your writing too seriously.  Remember, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.  You need to be in it for the long game in order to be successful.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

Recommended reading: