This blog post has been on my heart for quite some time..
I've been uncertain about how to go about it, and wanted to approach it in the right way. The number one reason I think I've been having a desire to write a post like this is because I simply want to inspire people who are brand new to blogging or have been longing to start one. But I wanted to do it in a way that was 100% real. Like crazy transparent about numbers... as well as a detailed (and I mean, detailed) description of how I've been navigating this whole blogging thing.
Before I get into all of that, let me give you a little back story...
On February 9th of this year, I clicked "publish" on my very first blog post here on Megmade with Love. This blog was kind of a scary thing for me to jump into, mostly because I had recently quit my previous business venture of hand-painting home decor signs and I was feeling very much like a failure. It seemed like I had gone down so many paths, when it came to my "passion" or "calling". And it never failed that when I decided that this new thing was my "thing" it wouldn't be long before I would lose interest or get distracted with another thing that I would find intriguing. And this was a problem for me because I felt like it made me seem lost or foolish-- just going wherever my creativity would take me. And I just couldn't stick with something. I was so jealous of those people that had their one "thing" that they just knew they wanted to do, because the very thought of being stuck with one "calling" just made me feel incredibly trapped.
Side note: Looking back at this I appreciate the struggle of finding my "thing". Because I learned a ton about myself along the way. I 100% believe that if you don't have a good idea of what you'd like to be doing with your life-- passion wise, then there is nothing better to do sometimes than just jumping into what interests you. Maybe it works maybe it won't. But you will never know until you (wo)man up and start doing it. And I mean really going after it. Not half-a$$. :) And no, it didn't magically all click for me the first time I thought of a business "idea", but I also refused to quit searching for that something that lit me up.
This was also a problem, because I couldn't just chase after a new business idea every time I decided I didn't enjoy what I was currently doing. So after I quit making signs, I did some deep soul-searching on what I wanted to be doing. And not only that, but what I'd be good at and what could make some money for my family. At the time I had been doing quite a bit of research on owning a business, and listening to a lot of podcasts. One of which was The Fizzle Show. And looking back, something they touched on that really stood out to me when it came to searching for my "what", was something along the lines of, "What is the thing that you are naturally really good at, the thing that people come to you for".
And that's kinda how it started.. I knew I was really good at making things. Particularly crocheting. Because I have been doing that forever, since I was really young. So I thought I was on to something.. I knew I could design crochet patterns, I've done it before, and really enjoyed it... (Fun fact, I've actually started a crochet/diy blog before! Maybe back in 2011 or so. But back then, I was in a very different spot in my life. I was in college, and had no idea what I wanted out of the blog, so it simply just became neglected and eventually deleted.)
Something I also learned from my previous sign business was that I did not enjoy creating products. Especially the same things over and over. It really killed it for me. Like I almost would rather just go work for someone else than create the same thing for different people. So that's probably the biggest reason I decided to blog and design crochet patterns-- because with designing new things, it would always be fresh. I could explore the craft just the way I craved to, instead of being stuck on one certain thing (P.S. I don't think there's anything wrong with making products for people. Some people thrive doing that! I just discovered that was not for me).
So then I got somewhat involved in the online crochet world. I started following other bloggers, and joined crochet Facebook groups. And this was the tipping point! I was so inspired, and truly felt like I could fit in, and provide my own little take on crochet in my corner of the web. I first started dipping my toes into pattern design by opening an Etsy shop. I think I did this in December... I had a few hat ideas that I really wanted to create, plus there were people that had showed some interest in the designs I came up with. So I posted in the Repeat Crafter Me Crochet Facebook group when I listed my patterns on Etsy, and usually had a huge discount the first day I posted them (you can see my very first hat pattern for my shop below)
So then I came across Ashleigh's blog, Sewrella. And boy did this really change things! She provided an awesome series of very helpful blog posts explaining how she became a crochet blogger (successful one!). She also provided income reports, and I simply found those so inspiring. I thought, I could totally do what she's doing. I've got the expertise and background knowledge in photography and graphic design. It was like it was meant to be!
Before that, I wasn't real sure where my crochet designing business was going to go. All I had done up to that point was list some patterns in Etsy. Now that I had a promising option of blogging, I went all in.
I guess the reason I'm mentioning this, is because it was a simple couple of blog posts someone else posted that pushed me into taking action when it came to my "dream". And I feel this push to provide that encouragement for someone else. Kind of a "pay it forward" moment.
So I'm writing this, about a half of a year into pursuing it... and you may be wondering who does she think she is writing this kind of blog post? She doesn't even have much experience. And to that I say: You're right, I truly don't have a whole lot of experience in the crochet blogging world. I honestly don't even make a whole lot of money doing it right now.
And THAT's why I think I should be writing this now. Because I reckon it would be incredibly easy for me to talk about the thousands of dollars I make (if I ever do... haha) or all the great success I have if I ever got there. But for me to talk about my less than impressive earnings or just the overall struggle of growing a blog... Now to me, that would be the good stuff.
Like, if it were me six months ago, and I saw a blog post about how someone just starting out was doing it, and what those numbers and figures and the ACTUAL WORK they were doing looked like, then I feel like I would have gone into it with a realistic outlook. I'd go into it knowing that it will most likely be super tough in the beginning. That your first blog post won't get 3,000 page views the instant you hit publish. No, I didn't go into it thinking that (ha!), but I feel like I did have some expectations that were pretty quickly shot down. And I mean, I guess that goes for anything... But I just really would love to be that person who can give someone a brutally honest and realistic view into getting a blog going.
And after I say all this, I realize it may sound that I'm downplaying all the other advice people have offered about blogging. That is 100% NOT true. I value the advice, knowledge and statistics other bloggers have provided so, so much. Heck, I wouldn't even be typing this if it weren't for those blog posts. I guess it's just that I think that I have an awesome opportunity to document what I'm going through now, and to encourage people with the information that I've obtained doing this.
So I plan on doing just that! I've got a series of posts planned that will address just about every aspect of starting and beginning your own blog. I'm just going to basically pour my heart out about every. single. little. aspect. Because truly-- I believe I can make real money blogging. I just know I can! I also know that it takes some serious work and skill. And I'm willing to bet that if you have the expertise in the area you are wanting to go into (or are eager to become an expert), and if you're willing to do absolutely every little thing it takes to make that become a reality then YOU CAN MAKE MONEY DOING THIS TOO!! I just know it..
Anyways.. sorry for getting a little jacked up for a second with the all caps and whatnot, but I'm excited, and I hope you are too! I hope I can encourage you to go after that "something" you've been dreaming of. And to do it with the right mindset-- one that's realistic and hungry to actually do the tough work it takes to make it happen.
So stay tuned for future posts talking about all the aspects of blogging I've learned. I will be covering absolutely everything-- anything from what platform I use to blog to how I am using Pinterest to generate some serious pageviews-- even from the very beginning!
If you'd like, below you can provide your email address, which will sign you up for my newsletter. You'll get an email straight to your inbox whenever I publish a new blog post about my journey to making money crochet blogging.
I look forward to getting more into this whole blogging thang! Hopefully this provides that little "push" you need to go after what you're yearning to do. :)
P.S. I thought I would be able to cover all the aspects of blogging in one blog post (ha! what a newbie). I got started on writing and realized this sucker is going to need to be a serious series with all the words that are coming outta my head!! So be prepared for lots of info, my friend... lots of info.