Hey fellow blogger,
How are you?
If you’re feeling tired, burnt out, and frustrated by trying to grow your blog and figure out monetization: I get it.
If you’re feeling inspired and wanting to take your blogging passion to the next level: I get it.
And, if you’re ready to take your blog from a hobby to a side business (or full-time business): I totally get it.
If you read my blog, it’s clear that my focus is providing healthy seasonal, paleo and low-carb recipes along with inspiration for healthy living. I don’t usually talk about the logistics of running my business or share income reports from my blog, but today I wanted to share a bit more in hopes that this will help other inspired (or frustrated) bloggers out there.
I’ve been blogging since 2010, and there are 3 key lessons I’ve learned along the way:
1. If you are ready to start a blog, grow your blog, or take your blog from a hobby to a business, you need to invest in yourself.
I’m a very frugal person who loves saving money (NOT spending it) and this lesson took me awhile to learn. Just like investing is important for your personal finances (think: 401k, savings accounts, or purchasing a home), investing is critical when starting or growing a business. When you’re a blogger, YOU and YOUR BLOG ARE the business!
One of my greatest lessons is that making smart and strategic investments in my education has helped me to grow my blog. Throughout the years, I’ve taken online business courses, marketing courses, hired two business coaches, joined a group coaching program, and joined Food Blogger Pro.
Out of all the investments I’ve made in myself and my blog, Food Blogger Pro is hands-down the best. Earlier this week I shared a post about Food Blogger Pro, which is an online blogging school that teaches you how to start, grow, and monetize your blog. Food Blogger Pro is run by Bjork and Lindsay of PinchofYum.com and their awesome team.
I first joined Food Blogger Pro in 2013 and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The reason is that running a blog can be very complicated and is different than running a brick-and-mortar or other online business. I’m not super tech-savy, but Food Blogger Pro’s videos are easy to understand and helped me to do all of the technical website logistics, in addition to creating better content and growing my audience.
For the last four years, I’ve invested in a yearly $279 Food Blogger Pro membership and the results I’ve gotten from it have made the investment worth every single penny. That’s the thing I’ve learned about good business investments: you WILL get more from it than if you hadn’t invested in the first place. 😉 (Note: they also have a monthly $29 option if you aren’t ready to invest for the full year.)
2. Blogging can be hard work, but you can work smarter and not harder.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this: running a blog takes work. And, if you have a blog currently, you know what I mean.
It’s not just about creating content, although that’s often the fun part! If you want to grow and monetize your blog, you also need to worry about SEO, social media, email marketing strategies, working with brands and creating sponsored content, the technical logistics of maintaining your site and making it mobile-friendly, etc.
For the first two years, I was using Blogger and wasn’t getting much traffic. Once I joined Food Blogger Pro, I was able to use their tutorials to switch over to WordPress. Their videos were crucial for helping me to understand all of the technical aspects of my blog and how to get them right in order to optimize SEO and get more traffic. Just six months after joining Food Blogger Pro and implementing their tips, I saw a 250% increase in my traffic. Whoa!!
Blogging definitely takes work, but if you have someone to show you the ropes, it can be a lot easier! 😉
3. Don’t give up! (and don’t compare yourself to others!)
98% of the time, I honestly love my blog and the work I get to do here on a daily basis. However, I have definitely had my fair share of blogger burnout, frustration, and even jealousy when I see other bloggers posting income reports.
Here’s the deal: We all have to start somewhere.
Maybe you’re in your first few months of blogging and are feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do.
Maybe you’re in your third year and are feeling stagnant in your growth and blog income.
Or, maybe you’ve been blogging for a year and you’re totally rocking it and making six-figures. (It can happen!)
Regardless of where you are on your blogging journey, you’re right where you are supposed to be. When I start to feel stuck, frustrated, or a tad jealous, I take it as a sign that I need to focus more strategically on my blog. And, when that happens, I head over to Food Blogger Pro to check out their new videos or visit the community forum to learn about the new blogging trends and what other bloggers are doing. Learning and connecting with the awesome Food Blogger Pro community has been priceless for me because it’s helped me to learn from fellow bloggers who are all at different stages.
At the end of the day, I feel incredibly grateful for the work I’m able to do here on my blog and the amazing community I’ve had the opportunity to create and connect with here. This blog has opened so many doors for me both personally and professionally. I think it’s pretty obvious that I do this work from my heart, but being able to make a side income has also kept me incredibly motivated along the way.
This fall I will be starting an amazing engineering graduate program at the University of Washington and my 2016 and 2017 blog income will be paying my entire tuition. That’s huge. I cannot even put into words how incredibly grateful I feel to be able to go to graduate school and not worry about debt.
And, please know that I am not sharing this to brag. I’m sharing this with you because I consider you a friend and hope you feel inspired to continue in your blogging journey. I promise it’s worth it! 😉
I hope this post has been helpful and inspirational for you! And, if you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend checking out Food Blogger Pro! Enrollment is only open a couple of times a year so you can join the waiting list to get notified when enrollment re-opens. Bjork and his team have created such an amazing resource and I can tell you that I have renewed my subscription each year since 2013 and will continue doing so!
P.S. I’d love to hear from you! What lessons have you learned in your blogging journey? Leave a comment below!0