I want to do a series documenting my blogging journey. I can’t tell you how many books, podcasts, articles, blogs, I’ve tried looking for to give me the scoop on how to make blogging lucrative and how to get started. Just like all businesses, workouts, diets, etc. – in my opinion – we shouldn’t be threatened by sharing our tips and tricks because it all comes down to getting it done. I know a lot of coaches who don’t want to share their workouts because it’s their secret sauce, but really coaching isn’t necessarily about the workouts, but about tailoring the workouts to each individual and giving each athlete the support they need. I find the same thing to be true of businesses. I have always wanted to know, what does it really take to start a businesses. The story is awesome, and I’m always intrigued, but what steps and actions were taken to truly get to where someone is today making money doing what they love? I see it as an opportunity to document chasing my own dream. I’ve read a lot of bloggers blogs about what it took, and they all say a lot of the same thing, and I’ll probably start that way, but if there are any hidden tricks and tips, I will let you know. 🙂 I promise! I’m all about true, authentic content, and really being RAW with you all. I hope that pure honesty is one of the reasons you all keep coming back, and I’m forever grateful.
With that, here’s how I got started, challenges I’ve faced, and how things are going currently.
How I got started.
I started this blog in 2010. In fact, you can read my first post here. And the name of my blog was “Tri’ing for Pro”. My first post was about “Why I Want to Become a Pro Triathlete”, hence the name of my blog. Prior to even ever doing a triathlon, I had decided how awesome it would be to workout for a living, and decided I would try to become a pro triathlete. Kind of funny, right?! My original intent was to simply document my journey in triathlon. My workouts, my reviews of equipment, and then sharing any emotional, mental or physical challenges and triumphs along the way. This is my 7th year blogging, and it wasn’t until about 2yrs ago, that I realized I wanted to be writing and creating content and connecting with all of you as a full time gig. Up until then, I would blog here and there, and then go silent for a few weeks, and then blog, and then go silent. Sometimes it was hard to know what to write, because I was always thinking about what people would want to read, rather than thinking about what I want to share. What I learned is it goes both ways. There’s give and take.
One of the first photos I ever posted to the blog, and it’s of me trying on my first wetsuit, which was by Xterra Wetsuits.
My first 10 posts were:
I thought it would be funny to look back at these posts and see how far this blog has come. 🙂 On average I was blogging every other day the first two years I blogged. But, Twitter had just launched, and Facebook pages were just find their ground. I didn’t know anything about SEO, and so the only people reading my blog were my family and my personal training clients, I’m pretty sure, because there was no where for me to promote.
Mistake #1 – Not getting organized. Not developing a strategy and a purpose. It was more like a journal which is great, but I didn’t hit my stride because I didn’t plan ahead and I was all over the place with my content.
Mistake #2 – Starting multiple businesses where my blog and that business were starting to cross over and I didn’t know how to keep them separate. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, these businesses were The Regimen, and then I started Project Neon. With my goal being to start a business, this blog went on the back burner. I didn’t know how to strategize and truly create content for both and have it be successful. It was getting confusing.
Mistake #3 – Taking a break and not producing content for a few months
The Evolution of my blog continues – This is a photo from January 2011
Challenges I’ve Faced.
In this section I will mention the challenges I’ve faced, and in the next section, how my blog is doing today, and an update, I will answer how I’m trying to overcome these challenges.
- How to make blogging lucrative
- Display advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Making it lucrative while keeping it authentic
- Increasing readership
- Creating content
- Photography and photography editing
- Video and video editing
- Web design
- Topics to share because I love so many things
How things are going currently.
Making blogging lucrative.
This is an interesting one. I’m still trying to figure out the display advertising stuff. I only want to display ads from brands that I actually love and would buy from. Affiliate marketing. I don’t want to just give you guys links to click on to try to make money, so this one is tough for me. I want to make sure that I’m truly giving you all tips and tricks, and recommendations for where to buy stuff. Sponsored posts is my favorite way to make blogging lucrative because I choose who I work with. I won’t work with brands who I wouldn’t wear, use, buy their products. I promise to always only work with brands that I actually like. I’m too honest to do otherwise. I am someone who writes from the heart even if it’s about a piece of jewelry or a beauty product or goggles. I write from a place of feeling, and that will never change.
Making it lucrative while keeping it authentic.
So, following what I just wrote, the hard part is, some of the brands I want to work with aren’t the easiest to collaborate with. I often have to turn down paid opportunities because it just doesn’t fit with me or my brand. And I’m OK with that. I’d rather keep writing and sharing what’s true and wait for those opportunities to come than make a quick dime on products I wouldn’t use just to share.
If you love my blog – please share with your friends, family, social network! I’d love all the support I can get. 🙂 Also, I share my blog posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can always follow me there for in the moment/real life updates, too! And also, let me know what posts are your favorite and what you want to see more of! Leave a note in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you guys!
For a while I found it challenging, but I have started creating a monthly calendar of ideas of what to post about if I don’t have any sponsored posts lined up. Also, when I read a blog post that I like, I write it down, and use it as inspiration to create my own version of that blog post.
Photography and Photo Editing
Since buying my Canon Rebel T3i my photography has improved. I also have a subscription to the Creative Cloud for photo editing purposes. Also, it does help that my boyfriend, Topher, is a professional photographer, and he helps me out when he can. I also use a GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition for selfie shots, and the iPhone has seriously improved since I started this blog, so I use that quite a bit, as well.
Video and Video Editing
This is the part that is still hard for me. I’m not sure where to start. I would love to start making motivational videos and workout videos (again), and I don’t want to pay someone else to do it, but I’m not sure how to go about doing it myself. I have mics and my Canon takes great video, but really it comes down to where to shoot, how long to shoot, and more than anything it’s the time and the editing. But, I’m working on combating that, and I’m putting an action plan in place to get the video aspect going. 🙂
My blog was super out of date, so I recently gave it a whole new make over. What do you think? I will continue to make updates, but I wanted to showcase the different topics I write on, and really make it easier to navigate. And, of course, give it a more modern look. My blog was so 2010. haha.
Topics to Share
This has been tough because I love so many things, but I’m starting to narrow it down and I’ve created different themes for each day of the week. I hope some day I will be blogging full time, and I can blog about all the the topics I love more often. I have narrowed it down to Fitness, Fashion, Food, Travel, and Life Lessons.
Keep an eye out next week for tips for making your blog successful!
Let me know if you have any tips, thoughts, comments, ideas, etc. Thank you all for your continued support and stopping by my blog!