Today I want to talk with you a little about my blogging journey. I actually started my first blog in 2007. It was something I had heard about vaguely but I didn’t put a lot of stock in it.
My first blog was completely black with white, tiny font and all I wrote about was what I was learning in the books I was reading. I didn’t know anything about the structure of blogs and I certainly NEVER thought it was something you could make money at.
Honestly, MySpace and Xanga were cooler than this “blog” thing!
I didn’t stick with it for more than 6 months and then I moved on to other things. About three years later I re-discovered blogging and this time I realised there was a bit more legitimacy to it. I jumped in full force this time talking to women about kids, struggles and what life was like with three kids under the age of three.
It was hard and I struggled. Pinterest wasn’t around at that point and there was a lot of grunt work to be done on the part of the blogger. I wasn’t brave enough to do anything like WordPress but I learned all there was to learn about blogger. I watched a ton of YouTube tutorials and had a great handle on how to manipulate blogger to look the way I wanted it to.
Still I found myself getting burnt out, grasping at straws for content and struggling through the “waiting” period day in and day out.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed writing about being a mom, but my passion to write about it everyday was lacking. I stayed with the second blog for about six months and then it stopped.
During this little break I really dug into healthy eating, organic foods and scratch cooking. I thought, “Hey I really like this! I could blog about what I make, share my recipes and more!” Thus began my third blogging attempt. This one lasted a little longer. Almost a year. I was still on blogger and still ameture looking. I did develop a small following and even a few people whom I talked with on Facebook.
At the end of the 8-9 month period it died out. Three years would go by before I picked it up again. Looking back now I understand what the problem was. I didn’t understand what people meant when they said, “Blog about what your passion is!” I thought enjoying something was enough to give me all the ammo I needed to create a blog.
I. Was. WRONG.
If you are not passionate about what your blog subject is, you’re eventually gonna give it up. That or you’ll be spinning your wheels producing mediocre content that means nothing. This is what I did for years!
In 2015 I started this blog. I told my husband this was the last time I was going to try. I had to at least give it everything I had. So I went at it full force. I posted every single day, I posted about food, mom stuff, kids, homeschooling, crafts. You name it I talked about it.
Then in January of 2016 our son was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. It really rocked our world and so the blog suffered those first two and a half months of 2016. I shifted my posts to talking more about the struggles I was having and what issues I faced dealing with this new trial.
In March of 2016 I posted this fly-by-night post of a chunky crochet baby blanket I had made. The photos were awful and I honestly was trying to make up for the time I had lost not really posting anything for almost two months.
Then May came and we had our son’s first surgery. Then a second in August. During this time I was posting sporadically making sorry attempts at developing myself as a “voice” in the mommy blog world. Once we were through the surgeries and we had regained what normal was for our family, two months had gone by without me posting a single thing on the blog.
Discouraged about feeling like a blogging failure once again I decided to pull up my dashboard and look at my stats.
I was stunned to see that over my two months of silence I was getting traffic that seemed to be coming out of thin air. I did a little digging and much to my surprise that silly little crochet post I had done back in March had been pinned several 1000 times and people were coming to the blog for that!
People were even commenting!
I remember getting my husband and saying, “Look at this! It’s crazy!” He was shocked too. He suggested I write another crochet post and see what happens. Little did I know within one month I would go from 1,100 page views to just under 10,000!!!
Without even meaning to I had found myself perfectly fitting into a niche in the blog world.
My husband was glad for me because he saw me struggling all these years wishing I could just figure this thing out. He didn’t like to see me stressed trying to figure out what I would share or talk about for the week’s posts.
He knew how much I loved to make things and work on projects. He would often say things like, “When was the last time you were able to crochet?” when I would be stressed out over how to stay relevant in the mommy blog world. I never realized I was setting aside the things that I WAS passionate about to write content for a niche I really didn’t fit in.
From those long, hard lessons I want to encourage you with this. Just because it seems like this niche or that one are popular and the only ones making money…think again!
You can and will be successful with time and diligence when you are blogging about what you ABSOLUTELY LOVE! I don’t mean things you enjoy or like doing. I am talking about 100% day in and day out could do this all the time passion.
When you discover what that is, this is the moment when you will have found your niche in the blogging world!
Now to get ahead and be ready for when this light bulb goes off I strongly recommend setting up your self-hosted site with bluehost. I didn’t do this soon enough. They were awesome when I transferred over from the free WP site to the self-hosted one. They are VERY affordable and their customer service is fabulous! I had some issues in the beginning because I had purchased my domain name with the free site and when transferring things over I needed help knowing how to “free” my domain.
Their monthly fee is $5.95 and I think you will be completely satisfied with them! I do make a small commission when you use my link just to let you know. Click the banner below to be redirected to the bluehost site…
I will not lie and try to sugar coat the reality that blogging is hard work! I will say that when you’re writing about what you absolutely LOVE it makes the beginning part of the journey so much easier. The truth is that you will go a while not making any money. You will be putting in long hours and you won’t see more than 15 people visit your site. Most of which are the family members you’ve told about your blog.
BUT…if you can stick with, stay persistent in your passions. Write about what you love then one day you will realize you have made it over that hump!
I heard a talk given by John Chow. He is one of the biggest affiliate market bloggers online. He said, “the reason why people quit blogging is because they operate with a paycheck mentality. They think to themselves, ‘I’m working all these hours but I’m not making any money.’ so they eventually quit.” When I heard that I said to myself, YES! this was totally me!!!
The only thing I would add in to what he said was the importance of knowing and understanding where you belong. Just because I homeschool doesn’t mean I would be a good homeschool blogger. I tried. I wasn’t that great!
Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I would be a good mommy blogger. I wasn’t. I tried.
Take the necessary time to figure out your niche and once you do run at it with all your might. You will be so glad you learned this before and not after the fact. It will make your blogging experience so much more enjoyable.
Honestly for me, since becoming a crochet/knit/DIY blog…my ideas NEVER run out! There is always post ideas coming to mind. I literally have a small notebook I carry around with me to write the ideas down so I don’t forget. I had never experienced this before!
If you find yourself needing help figuring out your blog niche email me! I’d love to help you out and see if we can’t discover your voice together!
I will be talking every wednesday about what I have learned, what has worked and more when it comes to blogging. I think you will be pleased with the information you receive and I will say I am so grateful to have the opportunity to pass all of this along to others who are wanting to discover their blog voices.
Just so you don’t miss these posts be sure to subscribe!
There are some big projects I am currently working on and I’m so excited to share them with you in the coming weeks. 2017 is going to be an awesome year and I look forward to growing and learning with each of you!
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