2016-Sharing My First Blogging Months
Affiliate Statement: FTC Disclosure of Material connection: In order for us to maintain this website, some of the links in the post below are affiliate links. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally &/or believe will add value to readers. Check our our full Affiliate Link Policy for more information.
As 2016 draws to a close, now is the time to look back, reflect and review. Wow! For starters, what a year. In January the notion of blogging never even remotely came to my mind. This is a lengthier blog post—as most How To Blog posts on anyone’s website is—so bear with it, read it, absorb it and learn.
With my husband and I being active on the ground humanitarian aid missionaries in our community, we were already very busy. In a nutshell, we gather donations of ordinary household items, big and small. Then we turn around and clean, test, sort, store and display these items in our home. In addition, we schedule, 6 days/nights a week, appointments with families/individuals in need. They come to our home, pick out what they need from beds to salt/pepper shakers and then take these items home—FREE. Many times, Barry and I have to load these items in our truck and deliver it too. (and we are both over 50—in fact, Barry is in his late 50’s now) We assist over 2,000 families a year in the immediate community.
So after picking up and delivering about 40 truckloads of items each and every week, we felt our plate was already full. Starting another branch of our Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs ministry was not even in my (our) thoughts.
The Blogging Seed Was Planted
So how did this blogging thing happen? Well again, I’ll try and wrap it up in a quick nutshell as so many people are scrolling readers. (Yeah, I know you aren’t going to read every word I’m writing).
Like I mentioned previously, January, 2016—not even a remotest thought of blogging was in my mind. In fact, I didn’t even know what that was. At the age of 52, I barely was feeling comfortable on Facebook and basic emails.
In February, 2016 all this changed. A client we’ve assisted over the past few years said simply,
“You should have a blog.”
I was stunned! I didn’t know what “a blog” even was—let alone having one.
A Sharing World
So I “googled” it. Did a little brief research and hey—even discovered and started to read a few bloggers’ blogs. I started to enter a new world and I was intrigued.
Discovering a world of ordinary people sharing. Sharing their wisdom, their creativity, their points of view, their business experience, their ups and downs of life, their families, their lives. In short, sharing.
The Blogging Seed Started Growing
That alone grabbed my attention. After all my husband, Barry, and I share our lives, wisdom, and hearts with our local community now.
I was intrigued and wanting to know and learn more before committing myself to this new world of blogging and sharing to the world.
So I went back to the young lady who’d got me poking around the blogging world. I asked her–“Me? Blog? About what?”
Well, she obviously had been thinking about it longer than I. The next day she sent me a private message on Facebook. She let me know what types of things she’d like to pick my brain and experience on. She even gave it to me with sub-categories too! Ha ha.
Let me see, down the road I might have to recruit her to be my blogging assistant—after all it was her bright idea to begin with.
So back to researching and soon I discovered a variety of wonderful Christian women Bloggers with big hearts, of all ages, sharing. Yes, that word again, sharing. No one blog is the same as the next. There are those who blog on planning birthday parties to weddings. Others who share about homeschooling, faith, budgeting to even how to paint baseboards. And almost all of them are willing to share—How To Blog.
Thank you to all of them.
Learning to Blog
So between February to May, 2016 I spent time trying to learn some of this blogging lingo. Still learning.
By June, 2016 I had timidly entered this new world of blogging. I took a lot of the other ladies’ advice. See below for the list of some of the resources I found the most helpful. I started off investing time and yes, even some money into this new business venture.
Yes, treat it as a business from day one. Realizing that it will take some time to see any significant financial return in the beginning. To build a building—you have to spend careful time and effort and construction of the foundation for the finished building to stand tall. Don’t be afraid to spend that time and effort in your blogging foundation too. I’m sure it will be worth it to me, as I’m sure it will be worth it to you too.
In fact, a lot of bloggers share their income reports monthly with the world. Although their numbers can be exciting, my word of caution is, those results will not happen that quickly for everyone. Including me.
For instance, I’m an author of a cookbook, Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs Cookbook, that has been selling in printed paperback format for 5 years (since 2011). But on my blog—my e-book format of the same book has sold—ZERO. But I don’t let that discourage me. I know I have more to learn and do.
Investing the “Talent” to see the “Increase”
Before I started investing money into other bloggers and some of their courses and such—I researched.
- Which ones would be the best use of my time?
- The best use of my money?
Both of these commodities are already stretched to the limit. Remember, my husband and I already work 6 days a week, and live on $1,000/month. Oh! Did I mention we don’t even have cellphones, cable/satellite, or the internet?
Yup, No Internet
How was I even going to blog?
I’m blogging on FREE WiFi at the local library and coffee shops. That is another story for another day.
So I looked for blogger helps that also offered detailed PDF e-books too. Something I could read at night when I didn’t have internet access. And being old-school, I print these books off, assemble in binders so I can highlight and make notes, underline and more. And if I need the click-through information, the book is still on my laptop–so when I am on the internet I can follow those through too.
The List Of Resources That Have Helped Me The Most
Yes, I did spend some money on resources that did not prove as helpful as I had hoped. However, these resources listed here are the ones that I found more than went beyond my expectations, and proved to be most helpful to a 50+ woman with little computer, techy knowledge or abilities. These people and their resources have proved to be invaluable to me. Therefore, I’m personally recommending them.
Yes, two of the following links are an affiliate link source, and if you click through and decide to make a purchase, I will be paid a commission, at NO COST TO YOU, but that is not why I’m recommending them. I’m recommending them because for me—they helped!! And as the blogging world loves to share—I’m sharing with you!
- The Busy Budgeter—Rosemarie Groner is where I first began. She has a very good “How To Blog” article. Start there, bookmark it, read it over and over. I found it very helpful—and I’m not at all techy. She gives you a whole list of additional resources—many free, if you sign up for her blogging newsletter.
Pay Attention to Emails–
- Ultimate Bundles. Through one of Rosemarie’s emails, I found Ultimate Bundles. In the spring, 2016, she introduced me to the Ultimate Homemaker’s Bundle for $29.95 USD. EXCELLENT INVESTMENT. Even just for personal household use—this is AWESOME !! I got some 90 books, e-courses, and more for that $29.95 USD. If you ever get an email from ANY blogger, introducing you to the Ultimate Bundles—CHECK IT OUT !!! Several times a year, but only for a very limited time to purchase, they offer a variety of bundles. From Essential Oils, to Healthy Living, and even the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. I’ve invested this year in the Homemaker’s 2016 Bundle and the 2016 Genius Blogger’s Toolkit Bundle. I can hardly wait for the 2017 Bundles to be made available. Remember, these are only available for usually 1 week or less—so if ANY blogger sends you an email with the link to introduce you to it—check it out!!
- Building A Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook. I found the “Building A Framework” PDF book in my Ultimate Homemaker’s Bundle. This is written by Abby Lawson of Just A Girl and Her Blog. This is another excellent resource. After getting into her book filled with awesome advice and detailed step by step instructions—I went back and upgraded and paid a bit more to gain more access to her wisdom, including a Facebook group that is only open to those in her course. Abby pops in often to answer questions, and she has a group of other dedicated experienced bloggers to help you too! Abby does Live Chats on Facebook and more. Don’t take a chance whether her book will be in the 2017 Ultimate Bundles—(affiliate link) get it here You can start with the basic book and update at any time if money is a challenge—but it is important to start somewhere. You can’t lose. Her starter package is only $77 USD. After I printed it all out, it took a 3″ binder to hold it all. Very great value for your money !!!!
Save For This One—it is worth it!!
- Through The Busy Budgeter, Rosemarie Groner—I also learned about Ruth Soulkup from The Elite Blogging Academy. I got my registration in for the February, 2017 classes. This one is pricey!! However, I’ve discovered that many, many of the most successful bloggers that I’m admiring and learning from—have taken Ruth’s courses and they credit it for their success. So why reinvent the wheel? Learn from the best. In fact, this was a purposeful journey to join this class and save up the money for it. This is an investment into my blogging future. So look into it, save up for it and get into the next available class that you can—even if it is a year down the road. Ruth only opens the class once a year. That is so she and the other more advanced bloggers can focus on the new class of “student bloggers” and help. Remember, these are a great group of people who love to share.
Make Money From Your Blog
- Abby Lawson from Building A Framework, through her closed Facebook group, just this week introduced me and others to Tasha Agruso from a Designer Trapped who is sharing her knowledge about monetizing your blog through Affiliate Marketing. So on December 6, 2016 I took a FREE webinar class introducing this topic. Now I’ve paid for and am taking the (affiliate link) Advanced Course in Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers And hey! Who doesn’t want to make some money on their blog? I do! It costs to self-host on Bluehost. I’ve bought a Genesis Framework and I’ve bought the Market Theme (a feminine child theme) from Restored 316. So yes, I’m not ashamed to say that to make some money to cover my blog expenses would be nice. Therefore, I’ve invested in Tasha’s course on Affiliate Marketing and I’m looking forward to implementing her suggestions in 2017.
- Lastly, back to Abby Lawson again. Being a writer of books myself and moving into the e-book market—I’ve recently enrolled in Abby’s BOOK BOSS course. A course to show you how to successfully launch e-books. Look for my next big cookbook–150th Canadian Celebration Cookbook–release date is June, 2017.
Gearing Up For 2017
I’m excited about 2017 and taking my blog site and skills to the next level. I feel a bit like a university student. I still have a lot to learn. My course load as I head into this Christmas season is:
- (affiliate link) Building A Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook
- 2016 Ultimate Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit
- The Book Boss
- (affiliate link) Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers-The Advanced Course
- and starting in February, 2017 – The Elite Blog Academy
2016 Income and Expenses Report
Although my Blog Income for 2016 is $0.00 and my expenses, are well, a little overwhelming, I’m very optimistic about 2017. I’ll share those expenses numbers in January or early February, 2017 when I gather all my end of year income tax information. I’m realistic enough as a past and present business owner to know that when starting a new venture, sometimes investment return can take some time.
As my blog has only been “live” for less than 6 months—I’m not concerned yet for making $0.00 on my blog.
But what will 2017 show? Stay tuned as I share the art of sharing with you too!
2016-Sharing My First Blogging Months
More to come—stay tuned.