It dawned on me recently that it's now been a little over a year since I quit my job to be a full time blogger. WHOA. So much of my life has changed and I wanted to take some time to reflect on that. Doing this full time has honestly been one the best things that has ever happened to me in my life. That might sound a touch dramatic, but it's true! It has let me to try so many different things, meet many different people, and explore opportunities I never thought possible.
September 2nd marked the full year mark, but today, I wanted to tell you some of the biggest lessons I've learned, my recommendations, and thoughts for the future. But, why did I choose this life? The reason is that I think I always wanted this. I've always aspired to work for myself, to have freedom and the opportunity to go, do, and see what I wanted, where I wanted. It took a lot of planning, some very late nights, and some help along the way, but blogging full time seems like the only thing I can do now.
We all need help. I'm the type of person that thinks she can do it all. But when I did reach out for help, take a class, or learn a new skill, it helped my blog tremendously. I really just didn't want to spend the money at first. If I could go back, I would tell myself to go ahead and bite the bullet. Invest in some tools, skills, and classes that would help me grow or help me solve a problem.
Photography is necessary. Now, not everyone needs great photos for their blog. Further still, some people can absolutely use stock photos for their blog. But for me, I need great images. It's what represents my brand, it's what draws people in, and sometimes it's why people click or don't. This past February I took a photography class that changed my life. I really didn't know how to shoot in manual mode, and now I feel like pictures are leaps and bounds to where they used to be.
Get a blogger business bestie(s). I am really fortunate to have Taylor and Sarah in my life. There is pretty much not a day that goes by that I do not talk to them. I talk to Taylor about blogging full time, managing the stress and social media, and well, everything. I talk to Sarah about photography, design, and also everything. I lived in the same city as Sarah for years and we also did lots of blogging stuff together- like taking pictures, attend events, and show up to Taylor's wedding…
You do not need to post everyday. I really really thought that was the key to success. Turns out, quality is WAY way over quantity. I do post a lot on my blog. But I do that because I genuinely just love to write. If I could do anything, it would just be to write all day. With a Bath and Body Works candle burning next to me.
You don't have to follow all the trends. I have yet to jump on the Periscope train. When it first came out everyone told me that I must be on it to be successful. I think I've done just fine without it. I know some people still use it, and that's fine! More power to them! It's just not for me, at all.
The biggest lesson I've taken away from all of this: go for your dreams. Whatever they are, write them down. Make a PLAN for how to do everything you can to try to achieve them. Oh, and go for it now. Start making a plan. Take a class or join a blogging group. It might just make all the difference. You NEVER know until you try.
What You Can Learn from This
Pick a path that works for you. There are a lot of blogging experts out there. Some make me scratch my head because I'm not sure how they are an expert. I want to know the real reason someone gets “blog famous” and I also want to see what kind of background they have. In addition to that, we hear over and over “you must pick a niche!” That's totally fine, but it just doesn't work for everyone (like me!). So, do what works for you.
Plan, plan, plan. Whether that's scheduling your social media, writing down your to-dos in your planner, crafting a business, write down what you want. I failed until I really planned out what I wanted and how to get there. I planned out my entire journey: how I could go from blogging and working 8-5pm (does anyone really work 9-5?) and the exact steps I wanted to get there. Until I really planned this out, I was a bit lost. So create a road map and stick to it.
Sometimes, it takes money to make money. I invested in myself, I took classes and I learned from them. I didn't think I was “worth it” to invest in myself. Honestly, this is still something I still struggle with. I told Michael just the other day… “Hey I'm going to spend some money redesigning my blog.” He was like, “YEAH NEAT, duh.” I sometimes forget that it's okay to spend money on my business.
Anyone can be successful. There is no reason why we all can't carve out our own business online. The world is very different. If you have a blog, chances are you “get it.” We all have our own unique spin on things, knowledge, and passion. When we combine that, with a little help, we can all succeed. I have made more money this past year than ever before with a “real” job. Yes, you're going to work your butt off. But man, is it worth it.
The Future of Blogging
I truly think that blogging is here to stay. Yes, technology will morph over the years, but I think society values hearing what others have to say, with their own unique perspective. Having an outlet is not only valuable to other people, but it helps let us express how we feel, think, and our own view.
I do think video will play a more prominent role in how we connect. We want to be able to relate to one another on level. This does not mean the written word will go away, I just think as far as social media goes, video will have a bigger role.
I also think how we read blogs will change. I think having an email list, while super important now, will be even more important in order to establish relationships and sales online.
All my jewelry is from Onecklace and I am IN LOVE with every piece. Monogrammed bracelet (picture above and similar necklace), Name necklace here. I got this silver engraved initial ring that I haven't taken off (you know if you follow me on Snapchat!). It's all 14 K gold and 9.25% pure silver. And the prices are insane. I will be wearing tons of this stuff. I also got this bracelet (perfect travel bracelet if you ask me).
Let me ask you: are you in your dream job? What lengths would you go to change it?
So many of you said you didn't get a chance to watch my free training, Turbocharge Your Traffic. I usually don't do this, but since I gave you such short notice, you can check it out by signing up below: