If you are not a blogger it’s possible you may not know what bloggers do exactly. If you are a blogger, that’s equally possible. (Or is that just me?) There’s one thing I’ve noticed that seems to be the common trend amongst my fellow blog people, is that we all want to learn more about this invisible world and very few are where they would like to be but most are passionate about what they do and just about all are very supportive of one another.
Spurred on by a generous helping of my fellow bloggers with a side dish of personal angst I am starting a new series of interviews with other bloggers on what it means to be SUCCESSFUL. Success means a million different things to everyone and in the blogging world one may be tempted to measured by numbers (stats, followers, income). While analysing data in order to strategise your business marketing budget is wise, numbers are not a true measure of your blog’s worth.
It’s a bad idea to draw comparisons and become disheartened by what others seem to have achieved, what’s more important is to determine the reason why you blog, what your goals are for the future and what you need to learn/improve on in order to achieve them.
Some bloggers write simply because they love it or they wish to inspire and encourage others, some are authors who are blogging to showcase their books, others blog as a full time occupation and earn an income from their work. What makes each individual get up every morning and want to write? Every interviewee will be different and as we catch a glimpse of the person behind the image I hope you will be inspired by their stories.
The aim of this series is to help you re-evaluate why you do what you do, teach you some new tips as well as motivate you to focus on your own goals. Because we could all do with a bit of help now and then!
If you’d like to be featured in this series, please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you, don’t be shy! 🙂
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I’d love you to put your hands together and welcome my first guest:
It’s my mission to show women who feel stuck in a rut that it’s not too late to chase the dream. I want to show them that they CAN succeed, no matter how little confidence they may have right now.
Through my helpful guides and motivational posts, my readers will come to see that they DO deserve success, they ARE good enough and they WILL make it
How do you define a ‘successful’ blogger?
For me, a successful blogger is someone who knows what they want from their blogs, and how to get it, whatever it might be. It doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of money or fame – it could be just knowing that one post helped one person.
What were your reasons for setting up a blog?
I’d been toying with the idea for a while. I mainly jumped in because I wanted to develop my writing style and put my words out there because I wanted to write a novel and my writing was rusty to say the least.
Initially, I planned on blogging for a few weeks and then closing it down. Two and a half years later, I’m still blogging and now I just can’t imagine not blogging.
What is the purpose of your blog now?
Although I talk about a wide range of subjects on my blog, my main focus is showing other people that they can live their dream.
For a long time, I wanted to be a writer, and last October, I quit my day job to become a full time writer. It wasn’t until after I was making a good, full time income from writing, that I learned it’s “impossible” to write for a living successfully.
It made me see that nothing is impossible if you’re willing to put the work in, and I want to share that with others. It frustrates me that people are being put off following their dreams because of other people’s negativity.
All of the people you see saying it’s impossible? They haven’t put the work in.
Debbie’s Blogging Journey
I started my blog in March 2015, although it was a fair few months before I got serious about it. I didn’t even have a Twitter account for the first month!
Once I realised how much blogging had grabbed me, I made the decision to go self-hosted and I made the leap in November 2015. Since then, my blog has been re-branded and become more focused.
I still wouldn’t like to label myself as a one category only blog – although many people blog successfully in a really tight niche, it’s not me. I know I would get bored only ever talking about one thing, and if I’m bored, then surely my readers would be too.
The way I see it, my blog’s niche is me, my voice, my take on things, and everyone is their own blog’s niche.
Blogging is a steep learning curve and I’ve made more than a few mistakes along the way:
- I once decided to play with my blog’s CSS code with no idea what I was doing. I lost posts, images and the layout was awful. I hadn’t thought to back up anything, or even take a screen shot of what the code looked like before I changed it. It took me a long time and a lot of curse words to get it back to normal, but those posts where lost forever.
- I once submitted my blog for a review. Amongst other things, the main feedback was “good strong writing but the theming is awful”. Rather than focusing on the good, because the writing is surely what it’s all about, I fixated on the awful theming. I almost shut the blog down, thinking I wasn’t cut out for it. I calmed down and saw that actually, that comment was spot on. My theming at the time had a very cartoonish feel about it and it wasn’t right for the things I was talking about. It turned out to be the best thing anyone could have said to me and I rebranded everything.
- Something I’ve always struggled with, and still do, is that I can’t go “all in” on my blog. I would love to be able to dedicate the thirty plus hours a week it deserves to it, but it’s just not going to happen. I have bills to pay and although I do write for a living, my main income doesn’t come from my blog and I’m not sure I’d ever want it to. I have to prioritise, and writing my novels is always going to come first. I’ve made my peace with that for the most part, but sometimes I still get frustrated about it.
But the good by far outweighs the struggles. Some high points for me have been:
- Hitting one hundred Twitter followers. I don’t think it matters how many followers I have now, or will have in the future, the feeling of hitting that first goal was out of this world.
- The moment I held a physical copy of my first novel in my hands. I’ve now got six books out and each one makes me excited, but again, nothing beats that feeling that came from the very first one.
- Writing controversial posts and just waiting for the backlash, only to find that the vast majority of people commenting either agreed with me, or voiced their different opinions in a civil manner. I’m happy to debate things, I enjoy seeing the other side of arguments, but when it degenerates into name calling and all of that ridiculousness, I just can’t be bothered with it.
I know it sounds cheesy, but blogging has truly changed my life. I can say with 100% certainty, that without starting my blog, I would still be stuck working for someone else in a job I liked but didn’t love.
Instead, because of my blog, I am writing for a living. My blog gave me the confidence to put myself out there with both my own books and as a freelance ghost writer.
I have a definite five-year plan – there are lots of little milestones along the way, but the main goal for me is to be making a good income from my own books to the extent that I can concentrate fully on my own projects and step away from the freelancing.
So there you have it; living your dream is possible – I’m the living proof of that. Work hard, and keep going through the low points and the rejections. It will all be worth it in the end.
Debbie has kindly shared a helpful post on her blog on growing a following on Facebook: Grow Your Facebook Page: 4 Simple Steps to Go from 0-1000 Followers in 4 Weeks.