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It was the spring of 2016 in Spain, my first trip to Europe, and David planned everything and told me nothing. When we ended up in Barcelona, I remembered that I had an old friend who had moved there and suggested we meet up with her. We walked around Barcelona and had caught up on everything since we last saw each other. At that point she asked me, “What’s next for you?”
“I want to start a business.”
“I remember you telling me that.”
My heart sank. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years and I hadn’t taken a single step in the direction of my dream.
When we came back from our trip, I started to work with a coach and we looked at my strengths, my values and explored different businesses. I had thought about blogging before. After a period of introspection and gathering courage, I dove in.
I didn’t tell people at first that I was blogging. Only David and my coach knew. The reason for that was I was ashamed of it. I thought to myself, me + blogging ≠ makes sense. It didn’t make sense because I didn’t like writing. In fact, I hated writing when I was in school. But more importantly, I didn’t know how I could provide value to other people. Who am I to give tips and advice to people?
I had a hard time seeing value in myself. Were words valuable? I didn’t know. I really only knew other people were doing it and that there was a wide range of success – and not so success – stories to read.
Out of all the possibilities that my coach and I explored, blogging is what pulled my heartstrings. It didn’t make any sense. As with most things in my life, I listened to my heart and decided to strive forward even though it made no sense.
I started by writing.
In May 2018, I started writing week in and week out. It started with a WordPress blog and a theme that was immemorial and imperfect. Over time, more and more details were etched in. People started visiting my site as I tried various strategies from other bloggers and self-starters. Some even signed up for my newsletter without any fancy opt-ins. I was a complete novice. I couldn’t believe people were interested in what I had to say. At all.
I set goals and I met them – my first goal was one thousand visits. My second was getting some subscribers. I kept adding goals until I was no longer sure if it was the right direction or what the next goal should be.
Since I started, I haven’t stopped blogging except for a one-month long break in December 2018, when I yet again spent time to introspect and see if this was what I still wanted to do. I had been discouraged by my traffic in November and before and expected myself to be farther along five months into it. You hear about other people going viral and all of a sudden having millions of users, but what about when you only have around a thousand traffic per month?
Despite being discouraged, there was more silver in the silver lining than a silver mine. I had started. I had traffic. A year before I had nothing, now there was something. After thinking about where I was, I felt after December that this was what I loved to do and would do it whether it grew as fast as I expected or not.
And today I’m happy that I didn’t give up. It’s now April and I reached over 8k visitors in March of organic traffic to my site! My heart is full and my dream is slowly being realized. I am closer to where I want to be that I’ve ever been, even if the road ahead is long. I am motivated.
Now, I have bigger dreams and goals and I am facing them head on with full force.
Advice to new bloggers (how to get started blogging)
Now that I’ve been blogging for a short bit, here are my views on blogging:
- It depends on you. As with creating a business, blogging highly relies on you and the work you put into it. They both take a lot of effort. The success of a blog depends on whether or not you grow yourself. Growing your blog requires growing yourself and as you do, you will learn and change.
- You have to keep learning. I am constantly learning about improving my blog, my traffic, SEO, social media and content. The one course that has helped me to grow with my blog is Create and Go’s Make Money Blogging for Beginners.
- Accountability is key. Having David and my coach cheering me on has made the biggest difference in the way I blog. Knowing that I have a few key people keeping me in check has helped me become more focused to reach my goals.
- Keep consistent movement. Always be moving one foot in front of the other. It can get overwhelming to see all the things you need to do. There were times when I caught myself feeling paralyzed because I didn’t know which task to do first. The best thing to do is to be intentional with the time you have instead of feeling indecisive with what you need to do. Instead of thinking, “Should I do this first? Should I do that first? Maybe I’ll eat first,” go do the first thing you think of and be done with it.
- Stay true to yourself. Being true to who you are and your message takes precedence over meeting the status quo. My coach helped me get in touch with the voice of my heart instead of writing a post simply to post. Don’t get lost in the noise. Don’t follow the norm. Make a difference by staying true to who you are.
How has it changed me?
Now that I’ve been blogging for a year, it has changed me. I feel more fulfilled than I’ve ever been in my life. Blogging is one step forward toward my dream of having a business. At the moment, it has generated a small amount of passive income however not enough to live off of. But that doesn’t matter to me. Knowing that I’m adding value to other people’s lives gives me the best satisfaction that I’ve had.
Similar to training for a marathon, blogging has instilled values in me that will benefit me in the long run. Those values are growth, encouragement and transparency.
When it comes to growth, I love to learn. Sometimes I get lost in learning and researching. Blogging has deepened my love for personal growth. Doing the book challenge (reading x-number of books per year) has helped me become a better writer. I feel more confident with writing longer posts than when I started.
Encouragement is my favorite part of blogging. I love cheering others on the way other people have cheered me on. I love knowing that others are motivated to do certain things simply because they felt encouraged by a post I wrote.
Issues I’ve had to overcome
Transparency has been a challenge for me because I am a very private person. I don’t like others to know what I’m truly feeling. This area is still a work in progress but I can definitively say that blogging has made me feel more confident to be open and honest about what I think and feel, both online and in person.
Last bit of advice
If you’re thinking of blogging, I say do it! There’s a lot of work that goes along with it, but the journey is fun and exciting. Pick a topic that you love and get a wordpress and stick to it. Learn from other people who have been successful and replicate what they do. It is the way to do it. There isn’t another way. I saw Create and Go‘s success and used their courses to help me get my blog up and going. There’s really only one way to start though.
You start by writing.
I’d love to hear from you
If you’re a new or seasoned blogger, what is your advice to new bloggers? What has made a difference for you?