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If I had my way, I’d have everyone I know start their own blog.
There are way too many ways in which blogging has changed my life, to list in this post. No, I am not only talking about making money, although it is pretty great to earn money doing things you love.
There is just so much more to it. Whenever I talk to someone who talks about their hobby or something they’re passionate about, when they talk about things they love, when their eyes light up, I always say: “OMG, you should TOTALLY start a blog!”
But see, for me, it’s been a bit of a different journey.
When I started this blog, I had everything a young adult would need to live an incredibly happy life. My fiancé (husband now) and I lived in our own, dream home. I was a pre-med student in college, had a great full-time job, a nice car I was able to pay for myself, wonderful people in my life, a loving man by my side.
Yet, every morning, I had to force myself to get out of bed.
I was struggling with depression and didn’t care about how much *good* was in my life. To me, there was no point to anything. I felt like my life, and I, myself, had to purpose.
After getting off awful medicine (which is now banned, btw) that was contributing to my depression and mood swings, I thought everything would just suddenly change. But that wasn’t enough. Mark kept telling me: “Paula you need a hobby, you need to find something you like to do.” It was around that time that I decided to start this blog.
7 REASONS TO START A BLOG + FREE 7-DAY EMAIL COURSE
First, and foremost, this is how blogging has changed my life. There were so many things I liked; I played in the theater when I was in school, I played the violin, I always loved to read, always wanted to learn more about photography, loved to cook, was obsessed with all things beauty.
Yet, I never found that one thing that was truly *mine.* I never found that one thing that I was incredibly passionate about.
Until I started this blog.
No other hobby, ever, has helped me feel so confident, happy, excited, and fulfilled. I didn’t even realize how much I loved to write and had no idea that anyone would actually be interested in what I had to say. It was then that I knew, that I finally found something I really, really liked to do. I have finally found passion in life. It was something that ended up being a lot more than just a “hobby.”
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
Okay, so I sucked at networking. I really, really did. It doesn’t matter if it was work-related or if it was just going to a friend’s wedding, socializing with other people. Having suffered from social anxiety for many years means that I’ve always loved keeping to myself, I don’t feel very comfortable in big crowds (one of the reasons why I can’t stand shopping centers, to this day).
Turns out, you can still be an introvert, and be great at making connections with other people- whether it be personal or a professional setting.
There are so many things that I like, things I’m in love with, things that I’m passionate about and things that… none of my friends or family really like or are interested in. Since starting this blog I was able to connect with SO many wonderful like-minded individuals. It’s such a wonderful feeling, knowing that there are so many people out there who get your dorky references, who understand you and can relate to you.
I remember, at first feeling so awkward and uncomfortable when being reached out to by other bloggers via email. There were all just so… nice and kind. The same thing goes for connecting with brand managers, blogging business insiders, etc. This blogging community is amazing and incredibly supportive. The skills and lessons that I’ve learned through blogging, have helped me be more confident when connecting with others in *real life*, too.
I do still avoid malls and shopping centers of all kind. Don’t think that will ever change…
When I started my first blog, back when I was about eleven or twelve years old, we had a dial-up Internet connection at home. Every day after school, I’d sit at my desk and just… write about my day at school. I had no idea (like most of us back then) that there will once come a day when earning an income running a blog, would be possible. We live in such an amazing time when we don’t need a whole lot to pursue our passions and make a living doing something we love. Blogging makes this possible.
ConvertKit (which is email marketing program I personally use to grow my blog) is offering a FREE Product Creation Master Class, where you will learn everything you need to know about creating, building and promoting your first product. This is a FREE four-week course, but you only have until the end of this weekend to sign up- the registration closes on Monday, January 15th.
SHARING YOUR STORY
Sometimes, when you go through something, it feels like you’re alone. You think “why is this happening to me?” You feel lonely, you feel lost, you may even feel like no one else in the world can relate to what you’re going through. Blogging allows you to share those feelings, to share your story.
You know what happens then?
Suddenly, you realize that you are not alone, that you’re not the only one who feels discouraged, afraid, overwhelmed or confused. You get to inspire others and find inspiration in them. Blogging can not only change your life, but it can help you make a change in someone else’s life.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
I keep a folder of printed emails that are sent to me by some of my favorite readers (just kidding, you’re all my favorites!). I have people tell me that I’ve put a smile on their face, or that I inspired them to follow their dreams. Someone actually once told me that because of one my posts, they have decided to change their career path and follow their heart. Every single time I feel small, every single time I feel weak, unaccomplished, or whenever I doubt myself, I go through that folder and read every single one of those emails. Many times, I get asked how I stay inspired when it comes to blogging. Well, the truth is, it’s the people who read this blog, people like you, who inspire me.
We all have something special to offer to this world. I don’t think that there’s anything exceptional about me, I’m just a regular person. Yet, whenever someone tells me that my work has inspired them- to be more mindful, to start a blog, to practice more self-love, to forgive themselves, or someone else, to let go of fear, I just feel so strong and it makes me feel so inspired and motivated to bring more change. It’s those times, that make me go: “you know what, we aren’t as small as we think we are.”
So, let me tell you something: YOU are enough to make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you like fitness and are capable of helping someone become stronger and healthier than they’ve ever felt, teach someone to acquire a skill they’ve always dreamed of, show someone who struggles with something you struggled with in the past, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have these amazing gifts, and you need to share them with the world.
LEARNING NEW THINGS
This is seriously one of the best things about blogging. I mean, when I just started Thirteen Thoughts, I had no idea what WordPress was, I didn’t know how to use my DSLR (even though I owned two- that’s pretty sad); I didn’t understand anything about pageviews, impressions, conversions. To say the least, I was pretty clueless. Blogging isn’t as simple as it used to be back in the day when I’d just use it as a journal of sorts- writing about my day, not caring if anyone actually read what I wrote.
Whenever I log into my blog, I have this amazing sense of accomplishment. I remember sitting on my kitchen floor, holding my camera, trying to figure out how to take a photo with that nice “blurry” background. I also remember how hideous my blog looked at first, how funny my writing was, and, how I let others (read: *brands*) take advantage of me by basically providing free advertising.
See, unless you run a blog yourself, you don’t realize how much *behind the scenes* stuff is actually going on. You not only learn how to take pretty photos, or write interesting posts. You also learn how to negotiate, run a business, manage your social media presence, promote content. There are all these interesting, challenging adventures you get to be a part of. When you first start, you have no idea what you’re doing, and later you find yourself having all this awesome knowledge that can be applied to so many different areas of life.
I’ve always considered myself to be a shy person. I always thought that there isn’t anything particularly “cool” or interesting about me. Blogging changed that for me, and it can change that for you, too. I’ve seen the same thing happen to so many of my beautiful blog friends. That confidence comes from learning all these new things, being a part of new and exciting projects, saying “yes” to things you know nothing about, but deciding you’ll just learn along the way.
You will be a more confident business owner, writer, you’ll find creativity, getting to show off your skills- all of this will also translate to your “everyday” life.
Aaaand… now for THE most exciting part of this post! I just launched my first FREE email course.
In this 7-Day Email Course, I will walk you through, step-by-step, starting your own blog. We will talk about what kind of blogger you want to be, how to actually start a blog, how to monetize your blog, grow your audience and how to write amazing blog posts that will keep people coming back to your blog. You can sign up for this free email course, right here:
I am SO excited about this free email course, you guys! If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, just sign up and you’ll be on your way to begin your blogging journey. You all have so many incredible gifts, don’t be afraid to share them with the world.
To all my blogging friends: I would love it if you shared what inspired you to start a blog and what are some of your favorite things about blogging!