ME, A BLOGGER?
It was a number of years ago, and while I cannot remember the exact date, I can specifically remember the online search that led me to the opportunities blogging can create.
It was a Sunday afternoon, the house was quiet with everyone gone, and I was supposed to be studying.
I was working on an assignment for my doctorate degree and already dreading going to work on Monday morning. This was a cycle I had been in for quite some time.
I opened up a search window in Google (justifying it by telling myself this was just a ‘short break’ if I left my assignment research open in another tab), and entered the search words I entered often, “work from home,” “online work,” “online jobs,” “home jobs.”
I read about people that actually found legitimate ‘work from home’ opportunities; however, I never could seem to find something I felt was legitimate. I believed they had to be out there.
This particular day, my search popped up a story about a guy that was laid off from his architecture firm.
In preparing for his own architecture licensing exam, he had taken hundreds of pages of notes and decided to put them online for others to use. When he posted the notes online, he couldn’t believe that he was making money every month without doing anything more while they sold day and night.
He had so much success, this got him to thinking maybe he could do the same with another website, so he joined up with a friend for a friendly competition.
It was just by chance (or maybe not) that Pat Flynn’s story popped onto my computer screen that Sunday.
When I started reading, I quickly forgot about the assignment I was working on and became engrossed in the information.
It was a lot to take in, but rather than allowing myself to feel overwhelmed and convinced this was like all the other disappointments I had found about working online from home, I just kept reading.
Several hours later I was feeling excited, and I believed I really could do this! I wasn’t sure how what I was going to write about, or where to start, but if it worked for others it could work for me too.If blogging worked for others, it could work for me too! And it can work for you!
I had to figure out how to start a blog, and then turn it into a business.
Over the next few weeks, I started reading everything I could about blogging and starting a blog. My biggest question was how people actually made money from having a blog.
After all, my ultimate goal was to be able to leave my job and work from home earning an income that was at least close to replacing the income from my current job.
WHAT IS A BLOG?
How many internet searches do you do each day? Each week? Each month?
Have you ever purchased a product online, either a physical product that was shipped to you or a digital product that was delivered to your email?
Have you ever purchased a ticket online for an event or a concert?
Have you ever been reading an article online and wondered why the item you just looked at on Amazon was all the sudden showing up on other articles you were reading?
Did you ever do a search on YouTube looking for an answer on how to fix a leaking faucet and then ended up purchasing an e-book that had the step by step diagram on how to complete the task?
These are only a few of the multiple ways to earn money online, and almost all of them start with a blog.
As an RVer, or someone planning to travel, have you completed an internet search on how to downsize from house to RV or how to clean your RV awning?
Maybe you did a search for RV park reviews for an area you will be travelling to.
Maybe you have a daughter or grand-daughter getting married and searched for wedding party favor ideas?
Or possibly you have a son or grandson graduating from high school and you did a search looking for college scholarships.
Or have you completed a search to read a review on a vehicle you were considering purchasing or you needed some accessories for your new truck you just purchased?
Or possibly you ran out of space when you were packing your suitcase for a trip and went online looking for organization ideas to create more space in your suitcase!
Most of the answers you found for each situation were found on a blog.
A blog is simply information that someone, a person or business, added to a website, created in a website builder (such as wordpress or wix,) to answer questions or provide information for people when they do an internet search.
WHY START A BLOG?
The information on the internet is endless, and the people searching for answers is also endless.
First and foremost, the purpose of a blog is to help others.
In each of the examples above, you needed an answer and went searching for a person or business that could give you one.
You found your answer on a blog, and learned new information at the same time.
My first online business and website were on college and career planning.
I had been a teacher, school counselor, and administrator for over 20 years at that time.
I had a wealth of information and resources to help parents and high school students seamlessly make the transition between high school and college.
I teamed my online website and digital products with a consulting business, my clients being parents, and their child that needed assistance on scholarships, college selection, early admission decisions, and essentially all post-secondary options.
Because of the ability to communicate via the internet, I was able to build a consulting business nationwide, not just locally. I met with my clients via Skype or other similar programs, and I created personal training videos for them and emailed them when necessary.
I even had several clients from overseas that had children planning to attend school in the United States through a student foreign exchange program.
My blog was the means to share my knowledge and help others ease the anxiety of this transition time, as well as guide them through the process one step at a time so they knew exactly what to do next, how to save money on college, etc.
As the information helped others, the trust was earned, and we moved to the next step where the result was ultimately becoming a client. Sometimes my blog readers did not need my one-on-one services, but instead chose to purchase an online course on steps to completing the financial aid process and how to get the most scholarships, for example.
It was a win-win situation!The opportunities are endless, starting with a blog!
What information and knowledge could you share to help other people when they are looking for an answer to a problem?
You don’t have to create an online business centering on your prior or current work like I did, although if you love what you do that is an excellent option.
What hobbies do you have that you could share?
Maybe you love essential oils and would like to teach others interested in them all you know.
Maybe you are a baseball coach, and you can teach young athletes how to swing a bat appropriately and other baseball techniques, including videos for demonstration and adding them to a YouTube channel.
In the blogging world, helping others is how you help yourself. I appreciate the win-win situation it offers.Help a million, make a million!
As you share information that others need, the multiple ways to earn income through sharing the information creates an income for you.
What if Pat Flynn had decided not to share his online experiences? I wonder what I would be doing today.
In fact, I wonder what many people would be doing today if Pat Flynn and other online entrepreneurs had not been willing to share!
Now, I am super excited to pay it forward and help you!
Working online is not for everyone.
However, over the years I have found there are many people that are not happy in their current job. They feel stifled and stuck.
They want another avenue of income to support their family, yet they do not know where to start to find that opportunity.
I was in that same place when I was searching for work-at-home jobs and then started my first blog.
Now, I am here to help you fast-track your blog by giving you a step-by-step plan to get started and move forward helping others, and then growing it into a business to create income.
HOW TO START A BLOG?
Starting a blog typically raises two types of questions: either the technical side of it or the writing (‘what do I write about’) side.
These are very different aspects of blogging, and both questions must be answered because they are equally important when you start your blog.
This is where the fun starts!
The technical side of blogging is a matter of learning your platform to house your blog contents (I use WordPress) and your website theme (I use Impreza by Upsolution – purchased at Theme Forest.)
Once these are mastered enough to get the blog set up, it is all about writing.
Because this will be the life of your business, it is important to have a plan for not only your content (what you are writing about), but how your content will be laid out so it is easy to follow and find by your readers (called your sitemap).
Without knowing what problem we are going to solve for others (what we write or ‘blog’ about), none of the technical aspects of blogging matter. So that is where we are going to start.
In the blogging world this is called your ‘niche’ – the people you are helping to solve one of their problems.
Once you have pinpointed your niche, you are ready to purchase your domain name, install your website platform, select and install your theme, and create your sitemap for your website!
You just took the hardest step of all – the first step!