Mid-Year Check In: A Post of Love
New Visions and Dreams
In a bit of change of pace, I decided to write a post about some of my new visions and dreams for the next year… year and half. Hope that is ok with you.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won't cost you a penny more)! The income I make helps me with the expenses of this blog. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
I have long been a believe of the Law of Attraction and the Secret. (If you have read those books or seen the documentary… I strongly suggest you do). Law of attraction says that you attract what you think about. So think you wont be successful, well then guess what… you won't. Think (and believe) that you will be successful, then guess what you will.
So my post today is all about putting out there what I will achieve in the next year to year and half. Typically you will see these types of posts at the beginning of the year when everyone is doing their new year goals and resolutions. And I thought about waiting until the end of the year to do this post, but I told myself that I don't want to wait to see my future… Why put off tomorrow what you can do today! Plus the sooner I put it out there… the sooner I will achieve it!
My History on Blogging
So a little back story on my blogging journey. Back in the mid 90s I interpreted for a deaf friend who wanted to learn more about this new language called “HTML”. I knew it had something to do with computers but other than that… I had no clue. I remember the class was held on the 2nd story of this small office building on South Congress in Austin accross the street from the deaf school that I worked at. The teacher was this hipster and was very excited about what she was showing us.
Fast forward a couple of years, I was given the option take a “computer assisted” English Literature class at the University of Texas. I didn't realize it at the time but part of our curriculum would be to publish our assignments on the internet. I wrote my English papers with HTML markup and my professor “uploaded” it to the net. For years later, I could google my name and still find that assignment on the internet, but have not seen it in a long time. Not sure if the university finally took it down… (it was after all very crude webpage… and the writing was definitely not my best)… haha… but I would love to find it again and post it here.
For years I was drawn to the internet. I wanted to learn more about it and maybe some day earn a living with it. I took a Webmaster's course at the community college and took several classes on html and different software that one could use to publish pages on the internet. But life got in the way and I had to actually earn a living, so my dream of making it on the web slowly faded. Then in October 2008 came along and I started hearing about this thing called “Facebook” and wondered what it was. Of course I was an early adopter and slowly began my social media experience.
About that time, I became a Realtor and quickly realized that social media and a website presence was a necessity in the world of real estate buyers and sellers. I started attending any and all workshops and webinars that I could find on how to attract and convert buyers and sellers online. I kept hearing this term “blogging” and “SEO” but I wasn't sure what it was all about. When I found a free platform “blogger.com” I decided to open an account and start blogging. I liked blogger.com (or BlogSpot) because I didn't need to know how to code… I just needed to learn their platform and create the content to go in my blog posts. Simple enough right? But I wasn't sure what to blog about… I wasn't sure if anyone out there would even read it.
At first I blogged about real estate and different stats and such. It was like talking to crickets. I wasn't seeing any results (although to be honest I wasn't sure how I would see results other than maybe lots of people calling me saying “oh I found your blog and I want you to be my realtor”) That didn't happen. One summer I was traveling to Colorado in my RV and had some mishaps along the way and on a whim, I decided to blog about it. What happened next was kind of incredible for me. People started reach out to me and telling me how much they enjoyed the post on what happened on the trip. I was sort of amazed that people were actually reading my blog… but more importantly it showed me that I needed to be more personable to connect with my readers instead of just sending them boring real estate stats.
My First Taste of Earning Money on the Net
I had that blog for a few years…. not posting very consistently. It still lives on the net as a reminder of my early days as a blogger. About that time, I started reading how you could insert ads into your blog posts and earn revenue. I didn't quite understand all of the ins and outs but I knew that if someone clicked on a ad, I might get kind of commission on it. So I tried it out what was called “adsense” back then… And I actually made some money off it. About $12…. Unfortunately Google has a minimum of $100 threshold before they will pay out… so I haven't seen that money yet. But that small $12 put a spark in me that has never gone away.
A few years have gone by and I've done a little of this and a little of that in terms of working with the internet. I developed more marketing skills by leveraging social media platforms. Worked on developing websites that were proprietary to the hosting company that the website was on. For example, I developed this website for my church, Bluegrass UCC. This was a several month project and I was very happy with the result, but I wanted to learn more about how to create a website from scratch. I remember back from my early days of coding and knew that my skill level was no where near enough to create a website that would be functional much less aesthetically pleasing.
What is this thing called WordPress?
So I started researching again and found this thing called “WordPress”. It is a free platform… which was very attractive to me. And it is something they call “open source“, which means people from all over the world contribute to the code of this platform. I, of course, have no intentions of contributing to the code, but what it did mean for me was that it was very easy to find free resources online on how to do this or how to do that. I started out on wordpress.com which is hosted on their servers (free), then I moved to a self hosted option with wordpress.org (some costs involved).
As I began my wordpress journey, my main goal was to create a website for my new real estate photography business, KY Real Estate Photography. I wanted to create a website from scratch and use wordpress as the platform. I struggled in the beginning but found tons of resources. One of the best resources I found was WordCamp. This is a 2 day workshop that is put on for $40 per person, run by non paid volunteers. There are WordCamps all over the world and I attended one here near my home in Cincinnati, OH. It was there that I discovered other bloggers who were actually earning money by blogging.
How do I earn money through Affiliate Marketing?
I started hearing about affiliate marketing. Where you blog about a product and then insert a specially coded link for your readers to go straight to the source and if they decided to purchase the product for themselves, then you earn a commission. What is great about this concept is that the price for the product is not a penny more for the customer than if they went directly to the company's website themselves. You are basically giving the company free advertisement and you should get a small commission for that right? Well I saw huge potential in that.
I have been taking this course on Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers and have been blown away at all of the info that is crammed into this course. I have already taken action and can see how it has been improving the way that I market my affiliates on my blog. If you have any interest in this type of monitization… I highly recommend checking out this course.
So about this time I was doing silly facebook videos that I called “Comments from the Car”. I was originally doing it as a way of getting personal with my real estate clients and market myself in different ways. I knew that videos were what the internet was craving and I wanted to carve out a small niche of it. After I started getting feedback from people of facebook that they loved my videos, I decided to try to create a blog for Comments from the Car and fill it with stories, product reviews and other things to try to make some money off the affiliate marketing I had heard so much about.
The problem was that I didn't really have a target market and I was sort of all over the place. I didn't know what to write about and I was not consistent. No one was coming to my blog and I was seeing no results for my efforts… so I just left it alone… to collect dust in the internet shelf.
Finding a Purpose
About a year later, I picked up a craft hobby/business with Stampin' Up!. At first it was just a hobby and I became a Demonstrator just for the discount. Then I wanted to try to generate enough income through product sales to pay for my own hobby. I began to hold classes. Then a light bulb went off….. I said to myself, “Now you have something to write about”… Write about your cards, your classes, and organizational stuff for crafts…. Basically blog about your hobby and small business. So I set out to create a new website called Stamp Me Some Love. I searched for a pretty feminine theme for wordpress and discovered Pretty Darn Cute Themes. I worked on the website for a couple of months and finally launched August 16,2017 with my first blog post. It was a reveal of August's Paper Pumpkin kit. It has a video of me doing an unboxing of the latest kit.
I thought I would just document for the sake of recording what my stats look like now so in 6 months I can look back and see where I am. Thought it might be helpful for you to see too if you are interested in getting into blogging. I'm taking my numbers from March 1-May 30th to get an average.
Average blog posts per month ~ 5 blog posts
Average page views per month ~ 483 views
Average affiliate income per month ~ $XXX (I'm kind of shy actually disclosing my income online, but if you are really interested, then fill out the form below and I'll share it with you offline via email.
6 Month Goals (The power of 10)
I wanted to keep it simple with my goals…. so I just rounded it up to the nearest 10. I know that some of these goals are big… or at least they are big for me, but just like the law of attraction says…. you have to put it out there or you can not attract it. So here goes:
Average blog posts per month ~ 10 blog posts
Average page views per month ~ 1000 views
Average affiliate income per month ~ $XXX (again, I'm don't really like to share this figure on a blog post, but I would happy to share it with you via email. And I promise to give you the nitty gritty truth)
There you have it! Let's revisit this in say… 6 months? That will be right around the 1st of the new year. Yeah? Ok its a date!
Before I let you go today…. If you would like to hear more about my blogging journey and get info about what I am making every couple of months, then fill out the form below and I'll shoot you an email and share with you what I am doing!
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