You want to start writing as a way to journal your experiences. Or maybe you want to share your recipes. Or perhaps you have fitness and health tips you think could help others.
But you don’t know where to begin. The uncertainty and perceived level of effort can be enough for you to doubt whether you should even pursue the personal blog or business idea. Besides, what platform should you use? What would the name of it be? How will you take photos?
It can be overwhelming, but you should do it. Whatever your idea is, you should 100% do it.
Here is my brief story about how I chose to pursue mine, and if you don’t care that’s totally cool. Just skip down to the why you should pursue yours section.
How I Started My Business and Blog
Amanda was from Vegas. I was from a small town in Southern Illinois. We were random roommates at ASU, and besides our love of the obnoxious colors pink and orange, we bonded over a love of greeting cards, often leaving one for each other on our desks.
Upon graduating, we decided to start our own greeting card company, and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. We hired someone to create a website, contacted a local manufacturer, hired our friends who were photographers, and quickly learned the basics of Photoshop. “The Story of My Life Cards” was born.
They were edgy, “in between” cards, like “Sorry for being a trainwreck” and “I like nailing you.” While we attempted to sell them online and in stores, I wrote blog posts that told the stories behind them, like tales from the night before and the characteristics of long distance booty calls. However, as Amanda decided to focus on her career, and I struggled to make a profit with such low margins, I knew I had to make a choice as to where the business was going.
I gave myself tests. “If I make it into three retailers by December 1, I keep going. If I don’t, I pivot.” Eventually I failed one of my tests and decided to pivot. But to what?
In looking at my website traffic, I realized that most of my traffic was going to the blog, and it had started to become the part I loved most about The Story of My Life Cards. Because of this, I chose to sunset the greeting cards, and when I saw that thestoryofmylife.com was available for sale, I had to have it. “The Story of My Life” was born.
I wrote about the transition in my first blog post on SOML on September 4, 2014 called “Story of My Life Has a New Home.” The quote that I included in it by fashion designer, Norma Kamali, still holds so true:
My advice would be to dream and never stop dreaming. Making my dreams come true has always inspired me to work hard. One dream is never enough, and your dream can be molded and finessed along the way to become relevant and successful.
Since I started The Story of My Life 4 years ago, my content has grown and changed with me. I’ve written about everything from pubic hair to Easter lamb cake to girls who are kicking ass. While I finally decided to narrow the focus of my blog to meaningful storytelling at the beginning of this year, I don’t regret one thing that has been written along the way.
Each greeting card, each article and each piece of social media content has led me to where I am today: a place of contentment with the content that I am creating and a clearer vision of where I want to take it.
With that, this is why I urge you to do the same.
Why You Should Start Your Blog and/or Business
A nerdy confession: sometimes I get overly excited when I think about how it’s 2018, and you can do nearly anything you want thanks to the Internet. Ideas don’t have to remain ideas, and this is why you should pursue yours.
1. Your story and passion matters.
When my Aunt Rosie decided to start a food blog, I was more than happy to help because I loved her passion for cooking, and I selfishly wanted her recipes. In the same way, your story and interests matter. As cheesey as it sounds, we were all given unique skills, and now websites make it easy to showcase them in pursuit of our passion.
2. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
My first photos were taken with my phone, and I even once wrote a poem about a guy I met at a pool party who took me out for oysters (“An Ode to Oyster Boy”). Putting something out there is more important than perfection. Trust me.
3. It can help others – which is what life is all about.
“This is just what I needed.” – a comment I often receive
Each time I post an article I’m filled with doubt and insecurities, wondering if it was worth the time and energy. However, my rule is that even if it helps only one person, it was worth every minute.
4. It can turn into a profitable business.
A couple of my favorite stories are How to Treat Life Like a Video Game and How to Turn Your Passion Into a Business because they are both stories of my best friends who I have met with countless times as they pursued their ideas, and I’ve enjoyed watching them turn into profitable businesses. With enough perseverance, you can do the same.
5. You have all the tools you need – even if it doesn’t feel like it.
You have a phone to take photos, a computer to post content, inexpensive platforms available and endless how-to’s online. However, I know it can be daunting so I’m here for you! I’ve been there, and I want to provide the knowledge that I’ve gained from first-hand experience. In the coming weeks I’ll be providing everything you need to get started and make it happen.
Tonight I wanted to finish this article and resisted going to 5pm Sunday Mass. However, I’m glad that I went because tonight’s sermon summed it up perfectly:
“When given gifts and talents, we’re given them to share. If we share it, God gives the increase.”
It’s time to share.