Marketing My Blog While Maintaining Authenticity
I’m just going to be real here, I would probably benefit from making more money (wouldn’t we all). I know that talking about money makes some people uncomfortable, but not me. Back when I was working as a nurse, I got a glimpse of what it’s like to make a big girl paycheck. For that money, I was paying a big price (sacrificing my mental health), making it 100% not worth it.
These days, my income is totally inconsistent. Some months it’s great, other months, not so much. I love the copywriting work that I do for my clients, but I’ve decided that I’m ready now more than ever, to start turning out a profit from this blog, in the hopes of having a passive income working for me in the background, in addition to my copywriting work.
For me, financial security isn’t about material items, or even going on extravagate vacations. It’s more about having the freedom to live the life that I want to live. I want to be home with my children, I want to have the option to homeschool (if that’s what we decide to do). I don’t want to compromise my values to go work at a job that doesn’t align with what I believe in, only because I’m desperate for money.
So, here I find myself; a mom with a nursing degree, absolutely no knowledge in business, website development, or marketing, with the strongest desire to build out an online business. Where to begin? There is SO much to learn.
I had to ask myself: What do I bring to the table? I’m a great writer, and I know that. Although I don’t have many consistent followers on this site, I love to read my own writing, which tells me that someone else out there must, maybe they just haven’t found me yet. I’m passionate, I work hard, and I believe in myself.
With all of those factors in the mix, I know that turning this blog into a profitable website is possible. I know that it will take a lot of time and energy to get it there, and I’m willing to put in the work.
Although I wholeheartedly believe in my ability to do this, I definitely have some fears. I frequently feel “in over my head”. Sometimes I grapple with insecurities, it’s hard to put yourself out there on a regular basis. But my biggest fear, by far, is losing my authenticity.
Right now, I write for the reason of sharing my own passions with others. I write because I think I have an important message to share with the world (in the form of many different topics). I write to inspire others. I write because I love it. I write because I feel called to do so, and I’m following this calling.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever felt a more organic calling than when I felt called to write. It started over a year ago, before I started this blog. I was working as a nurse and craving a creative outlet. So, I started, with no real plan in place, and here I am. Writing is now my job. Who knew it was even possible? Life’s a trip.
Here are some of the steps I’ve taken so far to help turn this blog into a business.
1. Talking to experts
I’ve talked with a couple of marketing experts whom I found through Upwork. Since I’m on a budegt, I started by signing up for a free consultation call with someone who makes ads for Facebook and Google. He basically told me that I’m not ready for his services yet, but gave me plenty of great advice that I didn’t even have to pay him for.
I’m so grateful for this, which is a big reason why I’m sharing my experience with my followers. In case there’s someone out there who’s in my shoes, or may want to build an online business for themselves in the future. I want to share my experience with you for free, in the hopes of inspiring you to get your own project off the ground and maybe even offer useful insight.
I have another free call coming up later this week and I’m hoping it will spark some more ideas. Once I have the funds, I’m definitely going to hire someone on to help me build a marketing strategy for my site. I’m also hoping to rebrand and get a graphic designer on board (down the line) because I think just about anyone can look at this website and see that it was built by a novice. I’m excited to see the doors that a creative partnership can open for me.
2. Pinpointing a niche
One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve been given thus far: Find your audience. I know how important this is and I’ve read it over and over again. However, this is one of my biggest struggles. I like to write about the things I love, and if you know me then you know I’m quite a wildcard.
My interests range a lot, covering good books, mom life, travel, personal growth, freelancing, and beyond. It’s really difficult for me to pinpoint one specific audience without having to compromise writing about what I love. When we circle back to the concept of authenticity, I think a big part of what makes this blog so organic is that it is purely me, and I never want to change that because, without that, I feel like I have nothing.
So, after doing some contemplation, I’ve found an underlying theme that all of my blog posts share: mindfulness, authenticity, living an intentional life. I started this blog as a totally different person than I am today. When I started I thought, “maybe I’ll inspire someone else to put themselves out there in a similar way.” I still have that goal in mind, but it’s so much deeper now. When I quit nursing, my life did a 180-degree flip. I never would have expected to walk away from that career, but today I find myself exactly where I know I’m meant to be.
I want to inspire other people to do what they love everyday and believe that they can, and it’s not always in the context of quitting a job (although that was my experience). I want to inspire others to live their best life, like truly feel happiness and joy. I’ve been in super low places in my life and when I started this blog, I felt entirely lost. I’m still working on myself everyday but I feel like I’m on much more of an intentional path now.
I want you to know that you can be happy. Regardless of whatever you’ve been through, you can heal from it. You don’t have to settle in any aspect of your life. I want anyone reading this who may feel lost to know that you have a purpose and you can (and will) find it. Mindfulness and self-awareness has been a big part of my journey. The more I get to know myself, the more and more clearly my path carves itself out. I want others to experience this and I’m hoping that with this blog, I can.
3. Publishing my ebook
Finally, I’ve completed my biggest writing project yet. “A Bump Abroad” is my first published piece of writing and after over a year of working on it, it’s finally available for preorder. Exactly two years ago, I was backpacking Europe while pregnant. It was quite the experience and I knew I needed to write it all down so I’d never forget it. I thought it was interesting enough and that others may want to read about it, so I went ahead and self-published it.
I’m so, so grateful to have this eBook available for purchase and it is truly the first step I’ve taken in generating a passive income. As my first published piece of writing, I know it’s nothing major, but to me, it represents a lot. I believe it will open some doors for me and it’s a huge milestone in my writing career.
4. Affiliate marketing
I’ve tried affiliate marketing in the past but I didn’t have nearly enough readers to be successful with it. I’m going to give it another shot and hopefully as my audience grows, it can become a legitimate source of income. Once again, I’m mentioning this in the hopes of keeping it real and always remaining authentic. I plan to only promote companies that I truly believe in.
Ultimately, I just want to be me.
This blog is purely me, and I never want that to change. Sure, I could outsource writing and churn out tons more content but I don’t think I could bring myself to do that because my writing is how this website started and I don’t want to lose that. I know that the route of building an organic following will be a longer one, but I’m okay with that.
Building an email list is a major step for my website (seeing as how I have about 4 email subscribers). So, if you’re reading this and you truly enjoy my blog, please enter your email below and subscribe. I’m not doing this to be salesy, just wanting to reach more people who genuinely enjoy my writing. By having an email list, I can share even more useful information with you.
I hope my website inspires you. I’m excited to see my writing projects progress and update the world as my blog grows. As always, thank you for being here.