I don’t do these kind of posts often, as you know I like to keep my blog mostly about hair or perhaps some of my random ramblings. But I’ve had a few questions from some of you asking how I got started doing what I do and how you can do the same.
Not everyone is interested in blogging about hair, or even blogging in general but if you really are then I can assure you that regardless how crowded you think that the market it, you can always make a success of yourself if you first off have the right mindset and you are determined to succeed.
Now I’m by no means an expert on the subject, nor am I the highest earning blogger there is. It’s considered impolite to talk about your salary so I won’t go too much into details but I will qualify myself by saying that I now make about 10-20 times more as a blogger than I ever did working an average full time job. Take from that what you will.
I started blogging way back in 2008. I had owned a few websites before that but I never got anywhere with them and truth be told their subject matter at the time never did hold my interest so naturally I let them die, that is until I started Blackhairinformation.com.
I’m sure most of you who follow me here on CurlyCurvy know that this is just my personal blog, I don’t really earn much from it but it allows me to indulge in talking about myself, and who doesn’t like that?!
When I first started BHI and actually for a few years later I didn’t make much from it. In actual fact it was barely enough to cover the running costs but at the time I was working as a Co-ordinator so the website was just a hobby that kept me on track with my natural hair. In 2009 I took maternity leave to have my daughter planning to take just a few months off but while I was on leave our entire department got moved abroad so our jobs were all made redundant. I won’t lie and say that I was upset about that, I hated the job anyway! lol
I decided to make a go of blogging full time but after almost 6 months I had only managed to increase my income by a few hundred dollars. Nothing to get excited about.
A year after having my little girl it was decision time. We definitely needed more money so I had to go back to work. Looking at the job market at the time was a dire situation. I won’t complain about the recession because there were definitely still jobs out there, but none of them spoke to me, I simply wasn’t that interested in doing any one of them. Add to that the fact that most of them required shift work where you should be available to work from 7.00am to 9.00pm the idea of finding childcare plus a relative kind enough to help watch my little girl brought me out in a cold sweat. I had to find a better solution.
It was at that time that I came across numerous work from home blogs and online products. I can honestly say that none of those ‘opportunities’ including taking surveys or affiliate marketing seemed like they would hold my interest any more than a 9-5 job. Luckily at the time I came across a film plus a book that basically changed my life.
The film that I watched is called The Secret. I actually watched it on Netflix so you should be able to watch it for free if you have a subscription. It’s got a very unassuming cover which doesn’t really reveal what the DVD is about. I automatically assumed that it was a conspiracy type film so I ignored for months but what I discovered when I finally watched it opened my eyes!
Its weird that even though I knew that wealth building started in the mind seeing as I’d read ‘Think And Grow Rich‘ back in my 20’s the idea that your mind was the ONLY thing that determined how much you earned didn’t hit home until I watched this film. On doing some online searches I came across a book called ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind‘. It was another eye opener that again blew my mind the way The Secret had.
Basically these two books made me realize that as long as I kept on treating my website as a side hobby, it would continue to be just that. Until I got serious with it, wrote my goals down and took massive action to getting them fulfilled, nothing would change.
So I went ahead did just that and within 2 months I had replaced my regular salary and in 6 months I had far exceeded it and now my husband and I work from home both on the website and other projects.
It wasn’t luck or hard work that most contributed to my success, although both can play a role. It was simply a change of mindset.
So without rambling on too much, here are a few tips and resources on how you can start blogging yourself:
➜ Be sure that this is what you actually want to do. Blogging can be a lonely job especially if you enjoy working with people. I am somewhat of an introvert so I don’t mind the alone time.
➜ Only get started on a subject matter that actually interests you. We all know that there is a lot of money in technology but for me the idea of writing about an features and benefits of the newest Android operating system bores me to tears. Hair on the other hand I can talk and write about for hours!
➜ Start a website. You can begin with free solutions like Curlyblogs or blogspot but if you are serious about blogging then your own domain name and paid hosting is the way to go. You can use Godaddy or hostgator to get you started. Their solutions are pretty cheap.
➜ Follow the Ready—Fire—-Aim approach to everything that you do. Don’t wait until your blog is ‘perfect’ before you put it out there. You can always tweak things as you go.
➜ Get yourself an RSS reader and start following blogs and websites like crazy. Follow those that can help you with marketing your content, building traffic and successfully making money online but also follow many many bloggers that write on the same subject that you do. Emulate (but don’t downright copy) those with sites that you admire but do something to differentiate yourself from the noise. For instance we all know how crowded the food blog market is. You can differentiate yourself by being a raw food blogger or a spicy food enthusiast etc.
➜ Write regularly and keep to a schedule. If you decide to put out 1 post per week, keep to that schedule come what may. It will take careful planning especially if you are working full time too but it will be worth it.
➜ When things are not working out, work on yourself more than you work on your blog. Yes again it all starts in your mind. It doesn’t matter how great your idea is, if your mind is in the wrong place you are unlikely to make a success of it. Get your head into gear first.
➜ Don’t limit yourself. Do you really just want to be comfortable or do you want to be a rip roaring success? If you read the book that I suggested above you will know that you get exactly what you ask for. If you ask for comfort, you may only ever earn an extra $500 every month but if it’s success that you want, then simply ask for it.
➜ Diversify your traffic and income sources but ultimately remain responsible for your own success. Don’t rely on the Gods of Google, Facebook or Youtube to make your blog successful. Diversify both where you get your income from and also where your traffic comes from, you don’t want to rely too heavily on one source. But ultimately you want to be responsible for generating your own traffic and revenue. Ever heard the saying that the money is in the list? Its true.
➜ Never complain about anything. And I mean ANYTHING, not your job, your kids, your hair or your car. Complaining puts you an a very negative state and creativity will evade you when you are filled with negativity. Creativity is what you need in order to be successful. Nope, there’s nothing wrong with the economy and there is plenty of money out there to be made. You just have to SEE it your mind first before you can have it in your hand.
➜ Share your success. I came across a quote from Sir Richard Branson that said something like ‘Spread the work, share the wealth‘. In the beginning when I first started blogging, finances made it necessary for me to do everything myself. From writing posts to clumsily coding new functionality for the website (I’m not a coder, I just learned stuff as I went along). But I didn’t see how ridiculous this was once I started having a bit of success and I continued trying to do everything myself with a punishing schedule. It makes more sense to keep majority of the profits yourself right? WRONG! In the beginning while you don’t have a great deal of money to spare it makes sense to reduce overhead but as time goes on and you start being more successful, share the work by giving another blogger the opportunity to get started in the writing game. Or hire a freelancer to help you with something complex that you know will take too much time to do yourself. Your time is valuable so use it wisely!
➜ Google EVERYTHING!! – The web is such an excellent resource. So if you are unsure about something, don’t give up, just google it. Trust me there’s always someone else who has had the same question as you do, and there are plenty of people with answers too.
➜ Be grateful for every little bit of success that you get. I was excited as hell when I first received my first $100 from my website all those years ago and even now, every month I am grateful to be able to do what I do. It’s not often that one finds their passion in life so if you find yours, be grateful.
So I hope that this sufficiently answers your questions on how you can get started on blogging. I know I didn’t really go into the technical aspects of starting a blog and setting up a website and whatnot but that’s what google is for right? I just wanted to pay it forward and I hope that at least one person who comes across this post goes on to make a success of their career, whatever that may be.
All the best of luck!