The other day I was reading some of my older blog posts that I had stumbled across from last year. In one of them, I talked about my goals for my blog. It was a little over a year ago that I wrote that I hoped I’d be able to take my blog full time maybe even within the next year. When I wrote that, I knew it was a lofty goal. I had always thought I would be one of those bloggers who worked a full time job and did blogging “full time” on the side until I was making enough money to justify quitting my job. When we found out I was pregnant, I thought that might also be a good time to make the jump from corporate America to working independently. But then a week or so after I found out I was pregnant, I lost my job.?Knowing I wanted to stay home with our kids when they were little, I decided not to pursue another job because I knew I’d only be there about 9 months and that didn’t feel right to me. So instead of planning a big jump to blogging full time like I expected to, overnight I became a full time blogger.
Over the last year, I’ve learned so many things about blogging full time and working from home. It’s such a different type of career than what has been the norm in our society forever. There are tons of people working an alternative career style these days, but when you go from working in the corporate world to working out of your home, there is quite a bit of adjustment. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past year.
You have to believe in yourself
The funny thing about blogging is it seems like anyone can do it. Truthfully, anyone can start a blog, but it’s super easy to fall into the comparison trap and compare your blog that just started to someone else’s blog that’s been around for years. There is no reason to compare your blog to someone else’s because you are unique and so is your blog! There will never be another blog that’s comparable to yours. If you want to be successful you have to believe in yourself and believe in the future of your blog. Because if you don’t, you’ll easily fall into the trap of focusing on someone else’s blog being better, more successful, whatever.
Money won’t come to you
Until your blog is huge, it’s likely that money won’t just fall into your lap. When you’re starting out, you’ll have to work hard to make money with your blog. There are a lot of ways to make a quick penny through blogging, but often times those quick schemes will only take away from the authenticity of your blog. Sometimes you’ll have to seek out ways to make money with your blog, whether that’s by joining ad networks or reaching out to brands to partner together.
Before I was blogging full time, I got excited at any opportunity to make a little bit of money with my blog. But after it became my full time income, I had to be focused and stay on track when choosing sponsored opportunities. I’ll admit, it took me a while to narrow down what types of sponsored opportunities fit my blog and which don’t. One of my biggest goals for this year is to work towards a brand partnership, but that partnership won’t be with just any brand, it will be with a brand that models the values and goals of this blog.
You have to be diligent
Blogging is hard work. When I first started blogging, it was pretty easy, to be honest. I blogged when I want and how I wanted. But as my blog grew, I continued narrowing in on my blog’s style and theme, which made blogging a little more difficult. It meant I had to plan out my editorial calendar?and be diligent with a posting schedule. There have been many a night where I’ve stayed up late to get a post completed that I had committed to writing. Blogging is an unusual career because unless you’re writing a sponsored post, you won’t have someone knocking on your door asking where the post is. You have to be a self-starter and self-motivator in this industry.
Authentic growth takes time
This is one of the hardest pills to swallow with blogging. It just takes time. You can crank out 10 amazing posts a week, but it will take time for Google to bring people to your blog, for Pintestest referrals to bring in thousands of pageviews a month, for your blog to be featured somewhere. It takes hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight.
People will doubt you
One of the responses I get most often from people when they find out I’m a blogger is “how do you make money doing that?” A lot of people don’t understand the industry, or even recognize that it’s a multi-million dollar industry. I’ve had family members doubt that I even work, when I’ve been able to support our family for 6 months on my blog’s income while my husband finished up school after I lost my job. Whether they mean to or not, people are going to doubt you and the success of your business. Refer back to lesson #1 😉