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If you’re a teen blogger who is hoping to start a blog, parental approval is incredibly important, especially if you plan on earning money or want to join affiliate programs. Maybe you’ve already asked for a blog, and your parents have said no. Maybe you haven’t asked yet, but you aren’t sure what your parents will think. Either way, this post is for you.
A few years ago, I was in the exact same position you were in. I had asked my parents if I could start my first blog, and the first reaction was “I’ll think about it.” Come on, we all know what that really means. I knew that I wanted to start a blog, and I knew I wanted to connect with other teens like me. How could I convince my parents to agree with that?
I spent hours scouring through the internet, looking for ways to convince my parents to let me have a blog. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably on a similar mission. Luckily, I’m going to take the guesswork out the equation. I’ll be telling you exactly how I convinced my parents to let me start my blog, what not to do, and how to convince your own parents to let you start your first blog.
First, I’m going to assume you already know why you want to blog.
And no, “Blogging seems cool” isn’t the answer I’m looking for. WHY do you thinking blogging is cool? It’s time to sit down and figure out exactly why you think blogging is so cool. Is it to get to know more people? Is it to document your life? What’s your reason?
Exercise: It’s time to sit down and figure out exactly why you want to start a blog. Write down 5 reasons and explain each one.
The reasons listed above are all great reasons. But here’s the secret: These are all personal reasons why you want to blog. You are probably thinking, “Well, of course those are the reasons why I want to blog! That’s what you asked for!” And you would be right. But here’s the secret: those aren’t the reasons you want to tell your parents.
Instead of telling your parents why you want to blog, talk about how blogging would BENEFIT you.
The truth is that most parents want to make sure that their parents are involved in activities that are beneficial and helpful for them. Blogging isn’t like playing a sport or joining an academic club. At first glance, it may be hard for your parents to discern exactly what it means to run a blog, and how it can be helpful. You want to make it as easy as possible for your parents to say yes, and that means telling them why blogging would benefit you.
Here are some examples:
- “Blogging lets me practice my communication and writing skills.”
- “I can use my blog to document my personal journey and observe my growth.”
- “I can earn a little bit of money from my blog, and save it for my college fund.”
- “If I run a blog, I’ll be able to connect with other people who have similar interests as me.”
- “Running a professional blog will be a great extra-curricular addition to my resume or college applications.”
Do you see what I mean? “I can use my blog to document my personal journey and observe my growth” is much better than “I can tell people about my life.”
And remember to address any possible concerns
When someone shuts you down, it’s so easy to get frustrated or upset. I know that’s one of my flaws but when it comes to convincing your parents to let you start a blog, it is something you definitely want to avoid.
If your parents are saying no, there’s probably a reason behind it. Most parents aren’t thinking “Whoo hoo! I crushed my child’s dreams–time to go celebrate!” (that may or may not be an exaggeration). Ideally, you can think of any possible problems or concerns that parents may find BEFORE you actually approach them, and are able to find a solution.
If you approach your parents, though, and they say no, ask why. Try your best to be patient here. Ask them if they have any questions or possible concerns, and then calmly address the concerns. You are a hundred times more likely to get what you want if you take the time to actually address the questions with a realistic and suitable solution instead of getting snappish.
Here are some possible concerns that you might want to think about ahead of time:
- How can you keep your personal information safe?
- Will this mean you spend even more time online?
- Will this take away from your schoolwork and studying?
- Will this be expensive?
- How will we make sure all content is appropriate and you won’t regret it when you’re older?
Those questions make a great starting point. I recommend writing out a serious, helpful answer that you can give your parents if they ask any of those questions (or at least have some sort of idea of what you would want to say).
Figure out exactly how this blogging thing would work.
If you’re reading this article, you are doing your research. You are already a step ahead of the game. Sweet! Hopefully you’ve already figured out how you’d want to run your blog but if not, make sure you are able to tell your parents exactly how the process would work.
- What platform would you use to host your blog?
- How much would it cost to run your blog each year? (And how would you pay for it?)
- How much access would your parents have to your blog?
- How often would you blog, and how much extra time each week would that take?
- What types of content would your blog have? Are there any personal things you agree not to talk about online?
Letting your parents know exactly what they are signing up for helps a lot. Telling your parents that you want to “start a personal finance blog using WordPress and write weekly posts to help other teens manage their budgets” is much better than just saying you want to start a blog. Being specific is key.
When you’re talking to your parents, go in with a plan.
When it comes time to actually sit down and ask your parents about having a blog, you need to have a plan of action. It’s in my nature to overthink and thoroughly plan these things, which isn’t necessary, but you do need to have some sort of plan you want to follow.
Here’s how your conversation plan might look:
- [you enter the room]
- Explain that you want to start a blog, and explain what you would use it for. Gauge their initial reaction.
- Tell your parents how having a blog would benefit you.
- Share how the process would work (how to set up a blog, any costs involved, how much parental supervision you’re looking for, etc).
- Ask if they have any questions, and give clear, helpful answers.
From here, the conversation will usually go one of two ways. In the first scenario, your parents agree. In the second scenario, it’s a flat-out no, or “We’ll see.” Yikes. The last thing you want to do is start arguing, so I recommend asking if they have any particular concerns or areas you could do more research into. Respect and responsibility is SO good to have here.
Exercise: Create a list of all hypothetical scenarios and directions the conversation may go, and come up with a plan of action for each.
I started my first blog a few years ago when I was 12 years old, and the steps above were a huge part of how I convinced my parents to let me start my own blog and how I started to build my online presence. I seriously believe that teens make some of the most incredible, powerful bloggers out there, and I look forward to seeing that number climb soon as you join us.
In the comments section below, let us know about your journey starting your first blog as a teenager. I can’t wait to read all of your stories!