Why am I blogging?
So I’m pregnant. It’s not really a secret anymore, and even if it was, I’m so sick of it being a secret. In December, my life is gonna change drastically. (Scary!) One of the changes that’s glaring at me is that I won’t be at work.
Sure, I’ll get some maternity leave pay (but not much), and the truth is that we can get by on very little, since we are debt-free and pretty careful with our money in general.
But that doesn’t change the fact that losing my income is an issue that has to be dealt with and if I want the option to stay home with this baby long term (and I think I do) then I need to take action NOW.
(UPDATE: I will not get any maternity leave pay. This blog makes too much money! I never dreamed I would be able to say that when I wrote this post, and that was only 4 months ago! Read my October Blog Income Report here.)
There are lots of reasons I was interested in starting a blog – I wanted to be genuinely helpful to people, I wanted a “hobby” that I just can’t get enough of, I wanted to learn something new & do more with my life. I’ve always loved writing. I wanted to generate an income from home. And I wanted to see if I could do it.
I’ve never been happy in the workforce (yes, I know that’s most of us!) and I never got an education. If I’m honest, I always thought I would have babies and be a stay at home mom LONG before 30, but life doesn’t always go the way we “plan” it. (But for a long time I used that as my excuse to stay in crappy dead end jobs, just biding my time until I started my “real life”.)
In a funny turn of events (cus that’s how things happen), now that I’m pregnant and looking at leaving work, I’m actually at a job that I LOVE for the first time in my life.
Still pregnant though, so still leaving.
For a long time I had been thinking that starting a blog seemed like a pretty good idea. Maybe for a couple years even, I couldn’t tell you exactly when the idea first got planted in my brain. But, problem.
I know almost nothing about computers and even less about the internet. I am perhaps the only person my age who never took a single computer class in high school. (I might as well be 85 years old for the amount of formal education I have regarding computers.)
Please don’t tell anyone, but I still look at my fingers sometimes when I type. I also don’t have any sort of special knowledge about anything in particular. I have (a little) life knowledge, but no special skills.
So who am I to write anything about anything, and put it out there and expect other people to read it?
(Well, it turns out, people do read it. Lots of people actually. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.)
So. I’m about to make a confession here. Something I have never admitted out loud to another soul, not even my husband.
About a year and a half ago I decided I would go for the blogging thing. I did a (tiny, little) bit of “research” and jumped in head first, bought a domain name and paid for hosting. (I think I followed one of those “how to start a blog in 13.6 minutes” tutorials that pinterest is covered in.)
I followed the instructions from my hosting company, had wordpress all set up and picked a free theme. THAT part was easy, yes. Then I stared blankly at the “blog” for a few hours.
And then a few more hours.
I gave it a few days and tried to brainstorm some post ideas (it was going to be a travel blog). I stared at it again for a few hours the next week. I tried (sort of half heatedly), to make wordpress do some things. And then I never looked at it again.
I THREW AWAY (I can’t remember how much, but I think it was in the neighborhood of) 65 DOLLARS FOR NO GOOD REASON.
The problem with blogging
Oh, I had “reasons”. I was stuck on what to write about (my domain name had “travel” in it so I had to follow suit). I couldn’t make wordpress do anything I wanted it to do. All the free themes looked clunky and I didn’t love them, but I wasn’t about to spend any more money.
I had no direction as to what the next step should be after I followed the “how to set up a blog in 8.7 minutes” tutorial. Yup, it was set up, but it sure wasn’t a blog. The problem with blogging was that I had NO idea how to do it.
Soooooo. Have I convinced you that you should be blogging? Haha. Right, THAT’s what this post is called.
But yes, I still think you should be blogging
How can I, in all honesty, say that you should be blogging? (Particularly if you are computer-confused or technology -troubled?)
Because since starting THIS blog, which was far better thought out, significantly more thoroughly researched, and approached from a totally different angle (not the get going in under half an hour to make quick money angle), I can level with you and say it’s shaping up to be one of the best things I have ever done.
I told myself (in March) that if I made 10 dollars by Christmas, I would keep going.
We’ve just gotten into July and I’m approaching $500 – all earned since mid-June, when I started really implementing my monetization and promotion plan. I haven’t even really started to fully monetize this blog, and every single day I am blown away by the way the cents are becoming dollars and the pinterest clickers become “readers”.
I will not tell you that in “15 minutes” your blog will be a blog, just so you’ll click on my links and jump on in.
I will not tell you that it’s “so easy, anyone can do it!” (It’s actually hard sometimes – but I still do think anyone can do it.)
I will not lie to you about what it takes to find the door in the dark.
(I said to my mom at the beginning of this adventure – one of the only people who knew about my “blog project” – “I feel like I’ve been blindfolded and put in a huge room, and I’m supposed to find the exit but I have no idea where I am or what direction to go in.” She said, in all her mom wisdom, “well, I guess you should go to the wall and start feeling your way.”)
BUT. If you are serious about wanting to give it a shot, if you are willing to invest your time (and a little bit of money – but not a lot of money), if you really want this, then I will totally promise you that it is possible for you to create an amazing, successful blog.
So why should you be blogging?
Because it’s an awesome creative outlet, and compared to other creative hobbies like scrapbooking or crafting ect it’s really cheap.
Because it is SO fulfilling to hear from other people in the world who genuinely appreciate what you have to say, and who email just to say “thank you for writing this!”
Because the feeling of accomplishment you get when you watch those stats climb higher and cents become dollars is one that you won’t get many other places. This is success that you have built from the ground up.
Because (and I’m seeing the proof of this everyday) this is a real, legit way to make money and the sky is the limit with monetization options. (Seriously, if you are still doubtful, here’s that October Blog Income Report.)
If you have ever wondered if you should be blogging, the answer is probably (a pretty resounding) YES.
I think that the desire to do it, and to do it well, is the only pre-requisite for doing it.
Check out my tutorial on setting up a self hosted WordPress blog (it has pictures to walk you through everything).
I suggest starting a self hosted blog on Bluehost (the hosting company I use and love). Bluehost has packages starting at $3.95/month, and I would just go for the one year option. And yes, the $3.95/month package is good enough for now. Going through Bluehost also gets you your domain name for free (that’s whatever your www.nameofyourblog.com will be – so mine is www.carlyonpurpose.com) which you would normally pay for separately. I didn’t realize getting it for free was possible, so I totally paid for mine. Boo.
They will walk you through set up (or you can follow along with me in the tutorial!).
You can also get on my blogging email list for the computer confused so you don’t miss out on blogging tips and updates!