As a new blogger who just surpassed the one year mark (officially), I was ecstatic to be nominated or simply recognized by a fellow blogger. Whether I gain anything from it, or not, isn’t the point. The point is that I was heard and thought of – which makes the world a difference for my faith and hope in my blog.
Thank you, TinyLoveBug Blog, for nominating me with recognition!
Why I started a blog in the first place
Oh boy – here it goes. In summing it up, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted out of life. At a point, I felt kind of lost. Always stuck in this mindset of, “What is my purpose in life? What am I doing?” And in my nearly 12-hour day job, I always left feeling like I just freely gave away another day of my life – unwillingly. It felt entirely wasted – and I had regret.
So, I guess you can say my job eventually made me feel empty, and what I graduated from college with just wasn’t what I thought it would be – nor was a passion of mine anymore. I knew something had to change.
I’m an introvert – with a lot to say (tucked far away in my mind) – so that never did any good for me in the world. And being just downright socially awkward (except around family and friends) took over my ability to believe I was set out to “make a difference” in my life.
For the last 6 years, I dedicated myself to a novel I was inspired to write – rewriting and editing it over, and over, and over. 9 years, and a sequel later, I still haven’t finished or published it. Maybe one day.
But I loved to write – I knew that for sure. I often questioned why I didn’t go into journalism or become a novelist instead of writing code. Because I also love design, and my artistic abilities people raved about in me shouldn’t go untouched.
So how did I start the blog? Honestly, I think I was obsessing over Pinterest one day, saw a pin about “Turn your passion into your career”. And it was a blog about blogging. After months and months of research, a spark was ignited from that point on.
And it did all seem to happen so quickly – spending a summer writing up post drafts, setting up my domain (which was the very first thing to tell me this was my calling), and getting hosting underway. Getting my degree in web design was my boost in understanding all of the logistics to the initial launch portion (it was like a sign, to be honest), and already having knowledge in SEO, imagery, writing and design is what kept me focused! although, since internet trends change all the time, I knew there was still much to learn.
It made me feel whole to find something I’m so consistently and increasingly passionate in doing!
My two truths to blogging today (My advice for other fellow newbie bloggers)
It isn’t all about you. I’m going to get that right out in the open. Especially if you are aiming your blog towards revenue – it most certainly can’t always revolve around you. And that was, and still is, one portion I am trying to unravel in the business aspect of my blog.
It may be the writing you love, the giving of advice, insight or knowledge to others, or the unique and innovative product or service you have to offer – this is true, blogging is about doing and writing about what you love. But once you find that, you then have to make it about your portrayed audience – those who are passionate about the exact same things and ideas as you.
But the truth is, people from the outside world will tell you, “Oh, blogging, that’s a hobby…”, (I still get that – and we will, no matter what) because when you blog only pertaining to you, you’re drastically limiting your reach. And it’s the most difficult to balance the passion of sharing your stories, experiences, and knowledge – while grabbing the attention of others who want to hear, learn and apply from your stories. But there needs to be that balance.
One of the easiest ways I am overcoming this struggle is asking myself everyday, “What does my audience want to know? What do they want answers to? What are they seeking today? What can I do to help, guide or value them?”, before ever asking, “What do I want to write about?”
The money isn’t going to come flowing at the drop of a dime. I laugh as I say this – because no matter WHAT you read, there’s just no real possible way to make $600+ from your blog in the first two months. Can people get lucky? Sure – just like that one person got lucky in getting the right power ball numbers. But I find it hard not to think some blogs are a way of solicitation rather than being geared toward reader insight.
But I want to be completely honest with you. Earning revenue from your blog is a process – one that can’t be rushed and should be taken on delicately. That’s one the main secrets, in months and months of blog research since before the launch of my blog. That secret is visible in plain sight, yet we mask it over with fake, lifeless income reports. Blogging may be one of the “easiest ways to make an income“, but that doesn’t mean it is “easy getting there”. And far too often that truth is being brushed under the rug.
Those blog reports you stumble upon, or rely on – they’re sugar coated to the extreme. And that’s without taxes considered. Most, if not all, revenue I find from those reports are from the selling of that poor blogger’s soul. And that’s the last thing you ever want to make out of your blog – smacking pop up ads in every square inch of your site (which just ultimately slows it down, and you lose the interest and following of readers), and adding every other random word in your post as an affiliate link (People aren’t that ignorant – they know you’re trying to sell them).
And more and more that’s what I am seeing – where is the passion in doing that?
For the first 8 months – I totaled in maybe a whopping $20 in revenue (basically just for a test, and recently having started selling a product). And I was blogging part time then. Now, since April, I’ve been blogging full time – for the long haul – and since then have accumulated over $350 in blog revenue. And not just from ads and affiliates – but through the designing of physical products. And I don’t plan on stopping there.
So rule of thumb: blog first, income last.
My 15 blogger nominees
In the rule of recognition, since I was nominated, I did my part by choosing some well-deserving blogs for recognition. Though there are so many blogs out there – these are many of the blogs I tend to follow and gain inspiration from. And I want to give them each a shout out.
Safira @ tiffinandtea
Simple, light recipes and even gluten, sugar and dairy free. This food blog was started by Safira and her husband when they decided to reclaim their health. I love when blogs are born from inspiration and aspiration. Each of their recipes includes nutritional facts, which benefits those who are looking for a healthy eating lifestyle.
Alexandra @ wifesense
A millennial and Gen X blogger with a dash of humor. And that is a big reason why I follow her blog. She’s a tell-it-to-you-straight blogger on marriage and life’s journey. I’ll never forget her first post I ever saw that hooked me in, “Every Woman’s Guide To The Man Cold” – hilarious, and full of truth.
Briar Rose @ BriarRoseBlog
This gal is unique. Briar is a DIY and home decor blogger unlike the rest! Her style is limitless – in finding treasures, antique hunting, junk picking, decorating, refinishing pieces and adding character to old homes! Her blog is inspiring in the DIY department.
Deja @ dejavuorganics
Deja is a former nurse and labor/delivery nurse (how awesome is that?!), and has dedicated her life and blog into organics. Organic food, health, essential oils, and living. Her passion for helping women transitioned from being a nurse to the blog world – and her story is inspirational!
Cindy @ mystylespot
Cindy has been blogging since 2011, and is well known as a reviewer and contributor! I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to trying new products and styles, but Cindy has really made me inspired through her beauty reviews. She also has a personal stylist service!
Melanie @ lifessweetjourney
The first fellow Central Florida blogger I’ve met! Melanie loves to travel, as her and her husband tell their stories and journeys from their RV.
Ayanna @ flavorsofspendor
Ayanna’s blog features faith, marriage, parenting, friendships, and lifestyle. She offers free resources, printables and advice on making your daily routine a little easier!
Melissa @ browndogvintage
Melissa loves all things vintage, and her fur-baby rescue, Charlie – as it says in the name! Her farmhouse-style home decorating and DIY blog is everything you want to know about ship-lap, tiling, and staying on a budget in home improvement.
Alix @ lettersfromagoodfriend
I met Alix through guest posting on her blog, and have since been following her travels. She and her husband bought and renovated an RV for their (she quotes) fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants life of adventures, as she documents her journeys through her writing – like a letter from a good friend (as in her name).
Maggie & Derek @ millenialmarriage
These newlyweds Maggie and Derek are millennial marriage bloggers, instilling faith and hope in relationships and the aspects that revolve around them.
Leyla @ beyondhercurls
A blog name I can surely relate to – from one fellow naturally curly-head to another! Aside from pursuing her career in public accounting, Leyla aims to inspire women to embrace the life of having curly hair. Her blog is a creative outlet for beauty, style, and lifestyle, and has also been featured in online style magazines!
Jenna @ theurbenlife
Jenna is a newlywed to her high school sweetheart – given the name (her married name) in the blog. Her lifestyle blog shares recipes, healthy living inspiration, wedding planning tips, travel guides and everything in the Urben lifestyle.
Caitylis @ caitylis
Caitlylis, a blogger since 2014, explores life through her Lincolnshire, England photography, lifestyle, self-help and her new found journey of pregnancy.
Leigh @ pinkvintageheart
A lover of all things pink, and vintage. Leigh is a vintage fashion blogger from New York City who loves to share her passion for vintage shops from the city and beyond. She is unlike any fashion blogger I have yet to see – which is why I find her so inspirational and unique.
Shadae @ blissfullywoke
A lifestyle blog focusing on the “day in my life” approach. From beauty, fashion, relationships, creativity and following dreams – Shadae welcomes ladies in their 20’s and 30’s who want to embrace their flaws and the men who want to understand them.
According to the Blogger Recognition Award rules, once you accept the award, there are a few steps to follow:
- Thank the nominating blogger
- Write a post about the award
- Share a story of how and why you started your blog
- Offer at least two pieces of advice for new bloggers
- Pass on the nomination to another 15 bloggers
- Respond to the nominating blogger with a link to this post on their blog