Throughout my life, I have always been a keen writer: from writing Harry Potter fan-fictions when I was 12 to having my first ever blog during my teen year (called La Vida Loka – don’t try looking it up. Unfortunately that gem doesn’t exist anymore because at the time I didn’t want to pay for a hosting).
When I started living abroad, it was only natural that people came to me asking for information or tips wherever I was located, and I can’t count the number of times that someone has asked me for my recommendations on Thailand, where I lived for a whole year to complete an internship for my uni.
It was only after I met Cris, my boyfriend, that the idea of starting a blog again came to me. However, this time around I wanted to play the game right: I would strategize, get a hosting, and try my best to serve my audience, as opposed to talking about personal matters (and hopefully make some good money from my blog too).
If I can say one thing: Blogging is AMAZING!!
I have a new circle of like-minded friends from all over the world, a strong passion for writing that is slowly leading me to fantastic opportunities (such as staying for free in luxury hotels whenever I travel). I am also learning some great skills, (such as marketing, PR, networking, graphic design, photography, editing, etc.) that will undoubtedly benefit me for the rest of my life.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to start a blog, I decided to compile a list of the most beneficial reasons for you to start a blog TODAY!
YOU’LL LEARN KILLER SKILLS
I never thought I’d be able to set up a website on my own and now I know exactly what is a widget, plugin, metadata, permalinks, alt tag and how to generally navigate WordPress on my own.
I never had digital marketing experience, yet I know how to do SEO keyword research, how o grow an Instagram account organically from scratch. I am refining my networking skills, enhancing my public speaking abilities and fine-tuning the creative side of my brain.
I have never felt so smart and my kindle is filled with eBooks from other bloggers. The first thing I do when I wake up tune in to my favorite podcaster and absorb more information on my way to work. My brain is constantly active and never bored, and that has helped me turn into a better, more interesting person myself.
YOU’LL MAKE LIKE-MINDED FRIENDS
Networking is the key. And I promise it won’t take you long to click with some bloggers (and who knows, you can actually meet and/or befriend your favorite influencer in the process).
Cris has met Sorella Amore in Iceland and we were mind blown by this! I’ve been following her for so long that it felt more like meeting a celebrity when Cris had a chance to talk to her. Only from thinking of that I get an adrenaline shot.
Furthermore, I also had a chance to connect with all the big Barcelona bloggers, and now we are friends (I was even invited to some of their birthdays).
To me, this was very special, because it also gave me the opportunity to connect with people from outside of work.
If you are also an expat, you know what I mean (the struggle is real).
YOU’LL GROW AS A PERSON
By learning how to handle your finances, to making conscious business decisions and juggling time when you don’t have any, you’ll definitely mature as a woman when you start your blog.
Add to that the roller coaster of emotions that you’ll need to learn how to manage before you go crazy, and you got yourself a superwoman (and let’s be honest, we all want to be superwomen!).
YOU MAY GET THINGS FOR FREE
Yes, it is possible (and very commonplace) to get things for free as a blogger. However, be advised that if this is the reason you want to jump into blogging, then I strongly encourage you against starting one.
You’ve probably read this around, but blogging certainly is not a ‘’get rich quickly’ scheme. Therefore, if you want free stuff, you’re better off just buying them instead of blogging for free items.
If you are serious about blogging, however, then you probably will want to make money from it at one point or another in your journey (after all, those little green papers are what pay our bills at the end of the day).
But yes, as a welcome added-bonus from being a blogger, you can get a lot of things for free.
Below you can see some examples of some of the free things I got:
- A Rowenta Hair Straightener
- Cable bags for travel
- Me and My Life bracelet valued at 400 USD
- World Scratch Off Maps
- A travel backpack
Moreover, when you grow your monthly website visitors and your email list (and hopefully social media), you can also start asking for money AND the product!
YESSSSS, you’ve read it right: this is also a possibility. When you have an engaged audience you can basically get paid to write about products that brands will willingly give you for free.
Furthermore, you may get more than just physical products for free, but rather experiences.
From being invited for free travel, to staying in hotels for free, or to attend a special event, if you play your cards right, you can live the life of a celebrity.
As a little backstory, Cris and I were kindly invited to stay at Le Grand Galle in Sri Lanka. When we were in our room, I called the reception to ask for something and I overheard the receptionist excitedly telling her colleague ‘’it is the bloggers!!!’’
Cris and I cracked up, of course. It felt like such prestige and we were treated like VIP in every hotel that we stayed in, even if we were relatively small at the time.
PS – on that note, I must remind you: no matter at what point you are in your blogging journey, be it the start or the end, you must absolutely always be kind and thankful.
If you are interested in knowing how to stay in hotels for free, check out my post on ‘’How I Get Free Hotel Stays as a Small Blogger’’, and for an even more in-depth understanding, you can grab a copy of my eBook ‘’How to Easily Pitch for Collaborations’’ here. If you don’t know yet, I am an experienced sales agent and an alumni from a hospitality university in Switzerland, so pitching to hotels and brands has quickly become my expertise.
Please make a conscious effort not to be self-entitled. Being invited to stay for free in a hotel is a privilege that most people will never experience. Be thankful for it and enjoy your stay!
- Blogger Etiquette – Best Practices
- My hotel experience at Grand Galle
- My hotel experience at Wild Grass Nature Resort
- My hotel experience at Theva Residency
- Pitching for Collaborations resource
YOU MAY MAKE VERY GOOD MONEY
The good news is that there are thousands of ways to make money online. The bad news is that if you want to make good money, you’ll need an engaged audience and that may take time.
I don’t want to discourage you, quite the contrary, but to set you with realistic expectations. Back when I started I read so many blog posts that said in a few months’ time you can be already swimming in money.
While that is not impossible, it is not commonplace. Much more often you see bloggers working overtime to make money in their first year, and that is totally fine!
But yea, blogging can be a great source of extra income (or even full time one, if that is what you are aiming).
If you do want to go full-time, though, and if your goal is to make a lot of money, be sure to understand how to make money within your niche before you jump not it. Not all niches work the same way, not all niches are equally profitable.
I speak for myself: I learned it the hard way the travel blogging was not as, well, interesting to me as I had initially thought. If you want to know what were the (big) reasons why I decided to step away from the travel niche, read my post here.
What I want to say here is that it is extremely possible to make a lot of money from blogging, but if you want to do it faster and better, you MUST be strategic from the start.
My two biggest advice to decide your niche’s profitability is to think about two little things that make it or break it how ‘’rich’’ you can get from blogging:
- Can you create valuable eProducts that they’d buy? (eBooks, courses, etc).
- Can you send them a newsletter with appreciated information on it? – keep in mind people’s inboxes are full so they will only open the best emails that come their way.
- How do Bloggers Make Money
- Important Tools and Resources for Blogging
- Why I Rebranded from the Travel Niche
YOU’LL BRAND YOURSELF
‘’But why is that important?’’, you may be asking yourself. Well, the answer is quite simple: in today’s day and age, if you’re not in Google, you’re not relevant (JK, but not really).
What I want to say is that whenever I google my name, my social media and blog are the first things that come up. When you apply for a job, there is a good chance you will be googled, and by having a blog, it shows that you are: computer savvy, dedicated, and passionate.
And if you ever find yourself neck and neck with another applicant for a job, chances are that your blog will put you in the lead. Moreover, if you are a niche blogger, you can also establish yourself as an expert in your field, making you all the more appealing to potential employers.
YOU’LL NEVER BE BORED AGAIN
Gone were the days that I felt bored. Also gone were the days in which I allowed myself to sleep until late on weekends as opposed to blogging.
Jokes aside, you’ll always (and I really do mean ALWAYS) have something to do and keep yourself busy.
As an example, when I met Cris (before starting La Belle Society) I remember being extremely upset every time he had to travel (in case you don’t know, Cris is a full-time content creator. More than once throughout the year during our 2-year relationship he has gone in a month-long trip and many other smaller travels ).
My Gosh, back then I remember being so frustrated from being left behind by him. I would always dread the days his trips would arrive because I would miss him so much (and needless to say I’d be bored).
Well, those days are faaaaaaar behind me. Nowadays I look forward to his trips because that means I will have an entire month to myself to be productive and not be distracted.
I kid you not, he is going to Norway for two weeks in May and I am already working on a calendar of what I will be creating while he is away.
This point is especially important if you are going through a hard time (a breakup, or a loss, or any type of situation where you desperately need a distraction to keep your mind busy).
Trust me, it works like wonders: I changed from a needy girlfriend who would complain every time my boyfriend had a trip, to a self-reliant, busy, independent woman, And this has even helped my relationship, of course, because Cris sees I am well-off without him, even if he goes for a month.
Disclaimer – one month is good enough for me to be away from Cris. As bloggers (ahem: workaholics) we really need to pay attention to our relationships and personal life. Blogging can be addictive and you have to be mindful of when to take a break.
I never really thought I would start blogging again in my thirties, but here I am, and this time for real. Some days are harder than the others, but I keep myself motivated because it is honestly so amazing to learn new tings on a daily basis and to always have a reason to be busy.
What I want to say is, it is never late to follow your dreams. If you’ve always thought you’d be a good blogger, or if you love to write, or even if there is one topic in which you are extremely good or passionate about, then I strongly encourage you taking a look into blogging. The extra income I make is great and it supports. my ambitious life in Barcelona (a city where the salaries are not exactly attractive).
Are you thinking on starting a blog? What niche do you want to get into? What are your main struggles or doubts?
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