I have always wanted to be a blogger. It seemed such a wonderful creative outlet where you are able to do your own stuff and write about things that you truly loved. Always extremely private about my feelings, I thought a blog was the best way to pour out my feelings. I loved the anonymity provided by the Internet. It was perfect for me. This was in the year 2012. This was when I created my first blog on the Blogger platform.
Well, things didn’t progress much from there.
After the initial enthusiasm, I just couldn’t write. Or rather, I didn’t know what to write about.
I read and followed many popular blogs which revealed a hitherto unknown facet about blogging – making money online.
So, you see, I did not actually start my blogging journey with the intention to make money.
In fact, I didn’t have any idea about monetising a website or affiliate marketing. It was only through my research on blogging that initiated me into the online business.
I read about how people were making millions through blogging. However, despite my honest interest, I simply could not make a head start.
I knew there were avenues to make money by freelancing. I was told I could use my writing skills to create a good income. But that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted my own blog. Whether I make money from it or not, I wanted to create my own blog and build up my own audience.
However, as with most things in life, this enthusiasm was short-lived. Marriage happened, I was stuck with my daily grind of 9-5 office job and then came the kids.
Then Wealthy Affiliate Happened
My blogging ambition remained unfulfilled for many years. It was mainly because I didn’t know which direction to take. I didn’t have any guide. There were many online courses on digital marketing and the likes but I was too cautious to invest in anything online.
Then a friend introduced me to Wealthy Affiliate. And from what he told me about his experience of it, I thought it sounded great and perfect for me. Wealthy Affiliate has two membership types – free Starter Membership and Premium Membership. The free Starter Membership is, unfortunately, banned in India and so if I had to enrol for its membership, it had to be only as a Premium Member.
I signed up for Wealthy Affiliate’s Premium Membership in September 2017. I have heard of other platforms that people say are superior to Wealthy Affiliate but I have been more than happy with the training provided and the 24×7 support from its community members.
Finally, my blogging career took off.
Blogging Keeps Me Pinned on an Interest
Blogging is all about connecting with your audience in a specific area of interest. We call it the ‘niche’.
I love the feeling of being focused on a specific area. It keeps me on my toes all the time.
I’m constantly looking for new ways to communicate with my audience and to provide useful information to them.
Since I have to provide value to my readers, the onus is on me to bring out real valuable information every time I write.
I have to read a lot and do my own research so that I could provide some added value from the thousands of other blog posts on the same topic I was writing about.
Blogging Brings Out My Best Creativity
Take any niche, it’s always crowded and competitive.
In my effort to stand out from the crowd and the noise, I manage to bring my best creativity when I blog.
Whether it’s about finding good writing angles or a new way of conveying information, it’s always challenging.
But honestly, I love the challenge. It makes me see things from different perspectives, which is an important life-skill I have picked up.
In real-life situations, I’m able to assimilate information from different perspectives.
Blogging Brings Out the Entrepreneurial Side in Me
There are hobby bloggers who blog purely out of fun and the love of writing. These people are not interested in making money from their blogging activity. The topics are usually varied and in different niches in hobby blogs.
When I started blogging, it was both as a hobby and as a business. The idea was to build up my own brand first and to learn to monetise my blog. I had to learn that because while blogging is relatively simple (all you have to do is write), the harder part is when you try to make money out of it.
I didn’t know there are many ways to monetise a blog. In that sense, I’m glad that I took up the Premium Membership of Wealthy Affiliate because besides learning all about setting up my own blog, I also learned the different ways to make money out of it.
Blogging brought out the entrepreneurial streak in me that I never existed. I didn’t know blogging was a billion-dollar industry.
Since an online business basically works on the same principles of marketing and finance, it has taught me the necessary skills to survive in an offline business too.
I Have Learned New Skills
There’s so much passion involved in blogging that learning new things isn’t drag anymore.
Blogging forces you to be thorough in your knowledge about the niche that you’re in. After all, you’re going to write about it for your readers.
Not only your skills as a writer improve but there are many others that you acquire on our way.
I have learned WordPress, installing themes and plugins, hosting, search engine optimisation (SEO) for better rankings in search pages.
I know a bit of coding and CSS now and I’m learning new ways to customise my theme.
I have learned to engage with my readers and to promote myself and my business in social media.
I have even learned a bit of designing website banners myself.
These are all new skills that I have learned in the first year of my blogging. Skills that I’m proud to have learned and which I can impart to other people.
Blogging Takes Me Out From My Comfort Zone
By nature, I’m a very private person and the one thing I hated about blogging when I started was the fact that I had to put myself for scrutiny from unknown people on the Internet.
I have never been kind to criticisms and so it always made me cringe when I had to promote my blog in the social media.
I also have never been good promoting myself. I thought I would rather let my work do the talking.
But I realised later that when you own a blog, you will have to promote it. You cannot be depending solely on organic traffic.
Yes, indeed, blogging has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and to be more open about criticisms.
There will always be criticisms and I have managed to cope with it.
I would like to believe that this is a life skill I have learned that has universal application outside of the blogging space.
Blogging has taught me to be more open-minded and to be more accommodating to different views.
Blogging Helps Me See Different Opportunities
The best thing about blogging is that it allows you to see different opportunities for business.
Opportunities in the online space are huge, and I came to know of these only after I started blogging.
I have now a wide network of like-minded people who have no qualms about helping each other grow.
I now have a completely different view about the Internet now. Unlike in my earlier days when the Internet was mostly used for posting on social media, music or movie downloads, online shopping, and e-banking, I’m now seeing it more as a big business opportunity waiting to be exploited.
To me, the Internet is a game-changer and a level playing field for starting a thriving online business.
I’m Better Informed About the Internet Marketing
I must admit that I enjoy the little bit admiration from my friends and other people about my online business and my knowledge of Internet marketing.
I have a more in-depth knowledge than the average person about search engines, about affiliate marketing about the home-based online business opportunities.
I also enjoy talking to people about how people earn money online and about the many profitable and popular niches.
I love telling others about some of the best success stories on Internet marketing.
I have better information than the average person of what digital marketing is and its employment opportunities. And I love that.
I’m Now a Changed Person
It has been a roller coaster ride for me. I have seen the ups and downs of my blogging journey. I have also seen how a simple change in the search algorithm of Google can throw things haywire.
When I look back now, I realise how far I have come from the gawky, wide-eyed newbie I was one and a half year ago.
There’s much more to blogging than the commercial aspect of it. You can really make good money through it.
But more than that, it’s the sense of fulfilment which goes with it that eggs me on every day. Each day brings with it new challenges, new perspectives, and new solutions. A blog’s main purpose is to provide solutions to people’s problems.
I’m glad that I have managed to touch a few people’s through my blogging activity.