Welcome to the final part of my super special two year anniversary post, the end of the journey!
This is all about following your heart and finding the things that matter to you. It’s all in there, you just need to look.
Give it Away.
I’ve always felt an urge to help people. perhaps that’s why I started a blog, because there’s very few reasons to pour so much time and money into creating work for other people when there’s no immediate payoff. I’ve always had a desire to give things away, having often said that I’d love to be rich, just so that I could give money away.
And Help Others.
It came to me that photography is a big stumbling block for many bloggers. I was involved in photography twenty years ago, I’ve worked in a camera shop and I studied design at university. I came to blogging knowing how studio lighting works and what all the buttons on my camera do. As soon as I applied them to food, things really took off.
I put two and two together and realised that I could help other bloggers with their photography skills and at the same time I’d get fulfilment out of sharing my own knowledge. I’d also be helping them enhance their blogging world which could take them down all sorts of interesting paths in life.
This is why I’ve just launched the Blogger Skills Academy, a place for bloggers to learn professional skills relating to blogging. I’m starting with photography and looking to expand the course to include other specialist classes related solely to blogging.
Fact 8. I have a large birth mark on the back of my neck and my blonde hair is completely natural, people even stop me in the street and ask me.
Money, or Not.
M Scott Peck wrote that the only place you can achieve something worthwhile in life is from a position of love. If the motive for your behaviour is something else, such as greed (money), avarice (possessions) or arrogance (status), then it’s not going allow you to grow in the same way.
It ties in perfectly with my feelings about how to make a career out of blogging. Blogging shouldn’t be about the quickest way to earn money, or the easiest way to work with brands, or getting the most followers. I always felt a deep aversion to having banner adverts on my blog, I couldn’t understand how they were good for anyone, except those in the sole pursuit of money.
This is why my theory on how to make a career out of blogging or ‘monetise’ your blog is different to most other peoples.
Fact 9. I had my last alcoholic drink on 25th December 2013 after twenty years of drinking every week and haven’t regretted the decision once.
Find Your Future.
To make a career out of blogging, you need to start a blog. Work on it. Find the specific areas about it that you love. Work harder on those areas. Stop doing the things you don’t like, or find someone to do them for you if they are vital. Ignore your traffic. Don’t worry about Twitter followers. Don’t create things because it’s what you think other people want to see. Do things because it’s what YOU want to see.
Learn the subtle difference between genuinely disliking a task or activity, and the other feeling you get when something really challenges you and makes you learn. Both feelings make you want to stop what you’re doing, but one of them is worth working through. Don’t feel pressure to do what everyone else is doing, or what they tell you to do. I stopped doing two recipe posts a week, because it stressed me out, so now I do one recipe and one opinion piece. My traffic dropped, but I’m enjoying my blog more.
Your blog should be your own independent creative publishing space, don’t let anyone else’s needs or payroll change that.
If you keep working and creating content for the world to enjoy, take up EVERY opportunity that comes across your path, then you can also find a career through blogging. If opportunities don’t cross your path, go and ask for them. I got my first paid writing job by e-mailing a company and asking them if they would pay me to write for them. They said yes. My blog was my CV and portfolio.
This route could lead you in all sorts of directions. Because there’s something special about the independent nature of blogging that is incredibly valuable to the soul and I think it is worth preserving. By not monetising my site, I have utter control and can post whatever the hell I want, whenever I want, rather than being worried about traffic volumes being directly linked to my income.
Fact 10. I’m 38 years old as I write this and I was born in a hospital in Wimbledon, South West London, which officially makes me a Womble.
It’s All in You.
The best way to create a career in blogging is to seek out what you love and keep doing it, keep practicing. The things that are truly important in life are often the most difficult to work through. The things that we feel resistance to are often the very subjects that we really need to confront if we want to grow.
When you’re working on your blog, it’s the middle of the night and you’re ready to chuck your laptop out of the window or burst into tears, take comfort in the fact that you’ve probably just hit a milestone of personal change. You’re getting there.
Blogging should not be considered in the context of money, income, profitability or traffic. It should be considered as it’s own art, as a muse, as something you can excel at in life to find your true role. Through that you can then find happiness. Through that you can find a new career, but you need to work hard, learn to listen to yourself and keep the faith. If you ever have a decision to make and you don’t know which direction to go, follow the path which opens you to the world and which shows love and compassion to everyone else within it. I realise that makes me sound like an utter hippy, but if you follow that advice, I can promise you’ll never get stuck in a rut or go backwards in life.
Accept everything that comes into your path. If you have an idea write it down, if you think of something, listen to the thought, you’ve created it for a reason. Your mind thinks about the subjects it wants to be involved with, so listen to it and follow it, don’t resist it, because the feeling will never go away, it will keep on coming back until you follow it.
Which is probably why you’ve read this, now it’s over to you. Good luck.