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Ideas and Lessons Learned
Decisive. Empowered. Resilient. is closing in on making it through the first six months since I created my website (official launch was only 4 months ago).
Here are some thoughts I (a success writer, WAHM, athlete) have at this particular time and some lessons learned.
For starters, the creation of my website/blog serves a purpose, it is more than just sharing what’s happening in life with family, friends and the occasional stranger. My website is both a tiny dot in my career timeline as well as a launching board for many avenues I want to wander down career wise.
As a writer working on getting published traditionally, my blog is my way to find, create, and grow my social platform in order to get that attention of agents. Now I’ve worked in a bookstore for 8 years, in every genre in the big store and I really have a solid grasp of what different customers look for, what catch’s their eye and captures their attention. I can easily recommend several similar books/authors for that customer’s tastes.
When I first started receiving feedback from agent’s about needing a social platform, my first initial thoughts were, “Okay. But this really shows that publishers are now getting lazy and making authors do even more work for lower royalties.” (A solid reason why many writers are going with the self-publishing route – if you are the one doing the work you deserve to be wholly paid for it).
But at the same time my entrepreneurial mindset had a dozen lightbulbs go off, coming up with a multitude of various ways to really grow my goals, career path and opportunities. The possibilities for ways to earn income (passive income anyone!), expand and create a personal brand (especially as an author) are endless.
So, I built the right attitude and approach to creating this social platform and jumped in.
Now I am a SAHM who works from home while working 10 hours week outside the home opposite my husband’s job (saving costs of childcare). I also knew about a year before starting the website venture – that I also wanted to create a fitness career as well – to supplement (and use as a backup to) my writing income. So my part time job actually both contributes to our household income and pays for my martial arts training. In other words, starting my website/blog has been done so with almost zero dollars. I have also been building my site, and at the same time writing new books/projects, and at the same time training for my fitness career (which will take off 2016).
If you are wanting to start a blog/website, or improve yours, understand that I approach everything I do with a learner’s mindset, I’m not just out to learn the basics, I’m out to learn as much as I can, in as many ways that I can, so I can turn around and teach what I know to others in new ways (to make it easier for them to learn).
So I also approach my website/blog with crazy intensity, and a huge, huge long term vision. I’ve got one hand working on what is right in front of me, and one hand on the bigger scope learning, adjusting my course and working towards the long term vision. (I learn quickly, implement, adjust, and keep on climbing up). In a short amount of time I’ve learned many things that I see those with 5 years experience in blogging are just learning about, and at the same time, I see daily, bloggers who are also fairly new and they are getting huge followings and immediate income from what they do. I am definitely still in the new stages.
So here are the things I’ve learned, observed and am working on.
And this is applicable to all aspects of life. Approach with the desire and willingness to learn. This means you have to be clear in where you are right now, what is working and what isn’t. Build upon the things that are working, and improve your weakness (or remove them).
In my need to grow quickly, I dived right into whatever learning groups (many on FB) I could find to simply get my feet wet and observe what others are doing and not doing. This is a great starting point, for you can learn so much about blogging, websites, social media etc.
However, in my case, I’ve quickly outgrown many of these groups. Not in website creation technicalities (I’m still very green there), but in realizing that my purpose and vision is much bigger (mindset is bigger). My niche also is quite different from many of the groups I belong to, where most of the blogger’s topics are crafts, homeschooling, recipes etc. (which are great resources to learn about those topics!). One of my challenges with entering the blogging sphere is finding groups that support learning about my niche. I am slowly starting to find the right groups for my niche for me to learn.
What I want you to take away from this – get into groups/learning places that ARE different from your specific niche. You can learn a lot! Particularly if you are in the homeschool, arts and crafts, recipe niche – be sure to find and learn from groups that are about business/finances/monetizing your website.
I am seeing so much potential and opportunities for other bloggers that they are not taking advantage of. Learning how to monetize your blog does take a little time – but once you do figure it out, it takes little time to keep that aspect going and who doesn’t appreciate earning a little money (or a lot for some) while they sleep, play and are folding their laundry?
I started learning how to monetize my blog about two months in, it took about another two months to kind of really understand it and how to do it (again at the same time I’m doing many other things other than just learning how to monetize my blog).
Other tips for monetizing – affiliate programs. Join the big ones – and sadly, one thing I will be removing and no longer doing in the near future – affiliates for other bloggers (one because nobody is buying those products/programs and their ad is space on my blog I can be reutilizing).
This sounds harsh, but growth and success takes trial and error, you’ve got be willing to try new things AND to stop doing them if they don’t work after a decent time frame has passed. Your market simply might not be the right place for those ‘new attempts’ or there is something better out there for you. (It’s not always about the product/program/other site itself).
Your number one focus and priority is YOU! And you need to be doing whatever will help you and your blog continue growing and improving (not just on building up other’s programs).
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