I realised a very long time ago that the only thing I really wanted to do with my life was to read books and write stories – oh, and maybe to buy quite a lot of shoes and dresses along the way.
There was just one problem: no one in their right mind was ever going to pay me to do that, were they?
I mean, ‘Reading books and writing about your life’ isn’t an actual job description – or, at least, it wasn’t back when I left university, and found myself wondering how on earth I was going to earn a living. My dream job just didn’t exist. The closest I could get to it would be working on a magazine, or newspaper – but although I did manage to blag myself a job in journalism (without having any journalism experience whatsoever…), I soon discovered that it wasn’t quite a dream job, either. Sure, I was being paid to write – and sometimes even to read books, thanks to that handy book-review column the paper launched shortly after I started – but I wasn’t writing the stories I really wanted to write, and I wasn’t even close to being my own boss, either. As for the shoes and dresses, meanwhile: forget it. I didn’t earn nearly enough to buy any, and even if I had, it wasn’t like anyone wanted to pay me to ramble on about them, was it?
No one was going to offer me exactly the job I wanted: so I decided to create my own. And I did it by starting a blog.
As I mentioned in this post , for me, blogging was never really about getting rich – although that would be awesome, don’t get me wrong. No, the main reason I decided to start a blog was the simple fact that I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do for a living – and I knew I didn’t have a hope in hell of persuading anyone to pay me to do it. I had a couple of years of journalism experience, sure, but it was all picked up on the job – I had no formal qualifications, couldn’t do shorthand (although I did learn some eventually), and all of my experience revolved around news writing, when what I really wanted to do was fashion/beauty/lifestyle stuff. I had absolutely no fashion, beauty or lifestyle credentials whatsoever, though: and by that point I was so done with education (I still have nightmares about having to sit exams, to this very day. I had one last night, actually.) that nothing would’ve persuaded me to go back to school and retrain.
There was only one thing for it: if no one was going to give me the job I wanted, I would have to create it for myself – and I’ll forever be grateful that I figured this out right at the time when blogging came along and made it possible to do exactly that. I’ve written at length about exactly how I started my blog and turned it into a business in my ebook, My Blogging Secrets, but I think it mostly comes down to this:
a) Having a really clear idea of what you want to do with your life.
b) Being prepared to work as hard as you can to make that idea a reality.
In my case, what I wanted most of all was the freedom to do something I truly enjoyed and was passionate about – while still making enough money to support myself, and to buy all of the OTHER things I truly enjoyed and was passionate about. (Er, shoes, then. And also holidays. Oh, and wine: never, ever forget the wine.) It took me a good five years or so to work out how to make that happen, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way: I still am, in fact. I can honestly say, though, that it’s been worth every second I’ve spent working on it – which is why I decided to write this ebook and share my “secrets”.
The book is available to buy at Amazon, and if you do decide to buy it (or if you’ve already bought it), and if you enjoy it, I have a huge favour to ask you. The way Amazon works is that the books with the most positive reviews are shown at the top of the search results, allowing more people to actually see them: so if you’re one of the amazing people who’ve bought my book and contacted me to tell me you enjoyed it, I’d really, REALLY appreciate it if you’d take a few moments to go to the Amazon page and leave me a quick review. It should only take you a couple of minutes, but it would mean the world to me, and allow you to feel like you’d done your good deed for the day. Oh, and it’ll also shut me up for another few weeks at least: that has to be worth something, right?
Here’s what you’ll find in the book:
The Only Blogging Secret You’ll Ever Need
The Main Reason My Blog Became Successful
- How I quit my job to start a blog.
How I Created a Blog That Became A Business
- Things I didn’t do before starting a blog, but which you probably should.
- The secret to making money from blogging.
- How I came up with a blog topic I’m still writing about 10 years later.
- The secrets of successful blog design.
How I Manage to Create Fresh Content Almost Every Day.
- How to make people care about your cat.
- Where I get ideas for blog posts.
- The two types of content all successful bloggers write.
- How to write posts that do well in search engines.
- How to write posts that get lots of comments.
- Why I write long posts, even although people tell me not to.
- How I plan my content.
How I Create Images for My Blog
- The importance of images.
- My blog photography secrets.
How I Get People to Read My Blog
- How I use social media to promote my blog
- How I got half a million followers on Pinterest
- How I used Pinterest to rapidly grow my readership.
How I Make Money from My Blog.
How I Grew My Blog to Over 180,000 Pageviews Per Month.