How I Created a Full Time Income Blogging
Growth is a mystery and everyone grows uniquely and conditionally. But if you get clear on your desired GOALS, figure out the WHY, determine the action steps necessary to achieve the desired result. Then SUCCESS is inevitable! Success is not an accident it is a result of steadfast and targeted work, which begins in the mind. Blogging can get really overwhelming with all the unrealistic expectations. And can even lead some to a place of depression. This is because most tend to see the glass as half empty instead of half full. A perspective from which I too used to see. But once I changed the angle from which I was seeing, I stopped comparing my page 2 to someone else’s page 10. My view got a lot clearer. I was able to turn things around for myself… And today I will share how I created a full time income blogging.
"Don't compare your page 2 to someone else’s page 10."
How did I do this? I used the internet to make a living by turning my passion into profit. I work for myself from home, where I get to spend most of my time with my awesome little one. However, please keep in mind that creating a full time income blogging is simple but not easy. I've invested a lot of effort and sleepless nights [and still do], before seeing a dime. Blogging full time as a business takes dedication and patience, a lot of hard work and is a struggle at times. Not to mention the legalities that comes with it. I also want you to remember that BLOGGING IS ACTUALLY THE VEHICLE for which you will create income. I will explain later.
It all started January of 2012, when like others I started a blog - Nicole’s Lifestyle Lounge, as an outlet of self-expression. I was already contributing to several publications, so starting a blog of my own was not too far-fetched. Soon after I setup a free blog on Blogger and I was blogging. Before I knew it a whole community was discovered in the internet universe. By July of that same year I was pregnant with my second child and soon found myself on an extended stay, restricted to a hospital bed. Bed-rest they called it.
To pass the time, I immersed myself into this new found digital world. I learned to write good copy, SEO, and how to build an audience. I studied more successful bloggers such as Pat Flynn, to see what made them stand out and how I could use those tips to grow my own blog and market myself by showing off my skills and creativity. Another thing I figured out was, that copying another blogger and expecting to get the same results was not going to work. I had to first figure out what SUCCESS meant to me, then use the principles of blogging together with my own personality and creativity to create that success.
"Everything begins in seed form and grows into an experience". –@ARBernard
Once I figured out MY definition of success, everything changed. I wasn't tracking 20,000 views a month like most but the brands started to take notice. I have since worked with some cool brands and awesome clients including Victorinox Army Swiss, Vera Moore Cosmetics, Macy's, Pinnacle Vodka, Target, Johnson & Johnson; and have sat front and second row events like New York Fashion Week.
What I did to create a full time income blogging
Here's a list of things I do consistently [these are updated from time to time to keep up with the blogisphere], including resource and affiliate links for your reference.
- First I upgraded my blog by moving to self-hosted WordPress and invested in a Themeforest theme, that I personalized and made my own. My site is now Squarespace hosted and the platform I frequently use to create my clients' websites.
- I took the time to identify and understand my target audience, then rebranded to better connect with them.
- I diversify my blog’s exposure by joining online groups and communities with common and related interests that would prove to be great resources.
- I use a blog post planner notepad to keep my blog consistent, well thought out, and my editorial calendar organized. I use these tools to plan, write, edit and schedule out my content.
- I use social media as a micro-blog to network and engage with my target audience, as well as influencers, then bring them back to my OWN real estate on the web.
- I stay consistently connected and in front of my readers by providing value through my growing email list.
- Engage and lure readers with both hot topic and evergreen content that would prove valuable and useful.
- Made my site pinnable by adding “Pint It” buttons and creating pin-worthy images like the one above.
- Optimize my site, posts and images to make them SEO-friendly in order to garner organic traffic and views.
- Market my skills and blog offline by attending and serving at industry related events.
- Nurture strategic partnerships that lead to personal referrals and opportunities.
- Showcase my portfolio and work done for clients, who in turn share with their network of friends and family.
- And last but not least, collaborate with brands who want to get in front of my targeted audience.
All the above are practical strategies coupled with my own unique skills, abilities and personality, that helped me to expose blog. You see, blogging was just the vehicle I used to build credibility and authority which translated into income from brand campaigns, create my products, ad sales, private clients and speaking opportunities. Today as I review my current statistics, most of my traffic is coming through Google referral and direct traffic.