Why I Decided to Change the Way I Look at My Business | And why you should too…
When I look back on the last 12 months, and especially the last three months since I began travelling a few things have sprung to my mind.
Firstly, what my initial plan for how I wanted to run my site and my thoughts about online business quickly changed. I planned to help people and along the way got distracted by trying to find ways to make money online before I had grown my audience.
Secondly, when I look back at some of my biggest wins since starting my blog, the most prominent wins that stood out were always when I was helping people.
Finally, the process in which I created my content was always focused on myself rather than being about the end user, you guys.
In this article, I’ll run through my thought process for each of these reasons and explain exactly where I went wrong so that you can learn from my mistakes and focus on the best result possible for your readers.
The Initial Business Plan & How That Shifted
When it came to setting up my blog the vision I had was clear.
Learn how to make money online so that I can leave my job and travel the world.
In fact, in the initial inception of the idea of my blog, it wasn’t even about making money, it was merely growing the balls to quit my job and travel.
If you look back now at my early blog posts like ‘So why blog?’ And ‘Changes, Research and lots of Tea’ you can see that my writing style was very different. Some would say it was a lot purer, and now certainly after writing professional freelance work that I get paid for, I feel I’ve developed a much better flow of my writing.
One thing that was great about my original writing however was I had an incredibly clear focus. The question I then had to ask myself was:
‘Once I’d achieved my goal of leaving my job and getting the hell out of dodge, what was my new goal for the blog?’
The New Blog Goal
The challenge I had since leaving my job in September was focused on a few points:
- What kind of content I want to write for the site
- How I go about writing it
- What would be the best way to grow my blog so that I can sustain myself while travelling
TLDR – How can I grow my blog so I don’t have to go back to a normal job again.
This was where the water became a little murkier. I wanted to produce content that was helpful to people, but I also had read so much at this stage about affiliate marketing, making money from blogs and growing an online business that I wanted to implement parts of this into my blog.
The problem with this was the focus of articles turned to that tainted green stuff, Money. What ensued then was articles which the content was ok, but realistically I wasn’t writing content to the best of my ability for my readers. I was writing content that I thought would be sharable on social media like Pinterest and Facebook so I could get more traffic to make money from affiliate sales.
While we talk about Social, I’d love for you guys to connect with me.
Don’t get me wrong. Personally, I think affiliate marketing is fantastic and a great way for bloggers to make money online without causing any harm to the reader. After all, anytime you make an affiliate purchase through a blog, it doesn’t cost anything extra.
So if the advice from a blogger leads you to purchase that product, and it’s a good product, then I think it’s fantastic that you can give back to that blogger by a commission. I’ve even written a comprehensive guide to the different ways to make money online, including how affiliate marketing works.
The Problem with Being Results Focused
The problem here also didn’t necessarily stem from focusing on money as a goal. The problem comes from being results focused on your writing. By writing content because I wanted it to be shared and aiming to grow my site through these avenues I was writing content that I thought would be sharable.
Not necessarily what would help my readers create their journey to leave their jobs.
After all, helping people leave their jobs and earn money online is the focus of my site. To help others become ‘Jobless’ and make a living remotely from anywhere in the world.
My Biggest Successes with My Blog
Once I realised that my blog wasn’t flowing in the direction I wanted to, I decided to evaluate exactly what I had done well with my blog so far and look at what had been my most successful moments.
What was interesting is that what I class as some of my biggest successes came from outside of my blog, but my blog was central to these wins… let me explain.
Helping and Supporting the Paradise Pack
By far one of my biggest wins is being involved heavily in The Paradise Pack 2017, this project brought together people who purchased a collective pack of over 20 different resources to help people become location independent.
The crowning achievement of The Paradise Pack undoubtedly was the community that came together forming a Facebook group. Travis and Jason, the founders of The Paradise Pack, put together Facebook live videos called ‘high 5’s’ aimed at helping the users with five questions a day.
Why I class this so heavily as a win is in the early days of the group I was incredibly active amongst the members, sharing victories, supporting and being what I consider my ‘best me’. A positive, encouraging person helping other people grow.
In later months with so many distractions and focuses, my involvement tailed off, and that’s something I want to get back too. Helping people, seeing others grow and being a pillar of the community to support people on their journey.
Encouraging People to Start Their Journey
Some of my favourite wins have been again focused on helping people. Since June I’ve supported many different people in taking the first step to starting their blogs, many of which are already a success and some are shaping up to be fantastic.
To name some of these amazing people you have:
Jonathan created backpackersbuffet.com to look at ways in which he can help travellers and people with small kitchens get the most out of their workspace. Jonathan since opening this site is now pursuing freelance writing which is incredible.
It goes to show that sometimes taking the first step, even if it turns into something you don’t want to pursue can still open up potential doors for you.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest successes for me was helping and encouraging my sister to start her blog linziloves.com. After a cancer diagnosis early this year and one of the most intense abdominal surgeries you can undergo, I’m happy to announce she’s cancer-free and in full recovery.
One of the shining beacons that came out of such a tragic occurrence was Linzi’s new love for incredible healthy food and her passion for writing. Her blog is incredibly successful already, even in its first six months and she’s been featured in everything from newspaper articles, to radio interviews and has also spoken at a conference for Kidney Cancer UK.
I couldn’t be more proud of what she’s accomplished, and I often refer others to her success as encouragement that blogging can be more than just a way to make money, but an incredible hobby and pastime as well.
One of the newer members to jump into blogging. Alyssa has a keen interest in wedding planning, and after chatting with her for a few hours about how incredible blogging can be, she took the plunge.
You can expect great things to come from Alyssa, and I have no doubt her site alyssacausey.com is going to be a radiant success. Her blog is shaping up the same way mine did to start off with, an accountability blog to help her make the steps to jump into a lifestyle business.
If you want support and help to grow your own lifestyle business and just aren’t sure where to start, let me know in the comments or send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll do my very best to give you all the knowledge you need to get started.
How to Break the Cycle and Truly Add Value
With all of this self-realisation happening, I began to question how I could break the mould and make positive changes to my blog.
Really what I wanted to know was:
‘How could I honestly and effectively help my audience do what I did?’
And then there was a second realisation in my mind:
‘I haven’t got it all figured out yet.’
Be Honest with Yourself
The problem I had was I was comparing my blog to thousands of other bloggers online, you know the kind. The ones with the Instagram bio that reads:
‘I’m a fucking success, earning shit loads of money every month, come see how —-> click the link.’
Naturally, I figured I had to compete. I wanted to be seen as a success so that people would take me seriously.
The good news is, I have had a good amount of success, and I am incredibly lucky. In January I will be releasing an income report for December 2017, and in it, I have achieved many of my goals I set out too.
I’ve earned enough money through freelancing and my blog to pay for my whole month of travel in Thailand, including some not-so-cheap antics!
However, in the grand scheme of things I’m still figuring it out.
The New Approach – Document
The new approach I’m planning to take is one of more transparency, honesty and showing you guys exactly how and when I fuck up, what I’m planning on doing and also what is working and isn’t working.
For example, I’ve been implementing a Pinterest strategy in the last few months which has had varying amounts of success. However, if I’m honest, I’ve not committed that much time to making it a huge success.
One of the big pushes I’m putting together in Jan’18 is a 30-day Instagram Challenge. I’m going to document my whole process of the 30 days while I try to grow my Instagram following as much as possible.
[clickToTweet tweet=”To follow our Instagram challenge – Instagram.com/letsgetjobless and use the hashtag #Joblessnation30daychallenge.” quote=”To follow along with the Instagram challenge connect with me now on Instagram.com/letsgetjobless and use the hashtag #Joblessnation30daychallenge.” theme=”style3″]
So What’s New?
I’m spending a lot more time on Instagram, I’ve decided that while I’m travelling, I’m going to try and document my whole process. Including where I’m travelling, what I’m doing, the challenges I’m facing and what I’m working on right now.
I’ve even put an Instagram story up as we speak about writing this post!
The inspiration came from a podcast I was listening too by Gary Vee; he’s a brutally honest awesome dude that took a wine company from turning over a few million to over $60 million in a few years at the start of the early 2000’s. He’s now considered one of the most influential public speakers in the world and his podcasts are incredibly inspirational.
Be Honest with Your Audience and Yourself
What I learned from Gary was simple. You don’t need to pretend to have made it.
Being honest with my audience and being honest with myself, gives me a lot of breathing room. Let’s face it… it’s hard to admit when you fuck up. What it buys you with your audience though is incredible.
For building a brand that people can trust all you can be is honest.
Going forward my content will aim to be honest, and I’m planning to use Instagram to give you guys an insight into my daily tasks and challenges.
It seems timely to be writing this post as the year has come to an end and in a way, it’s kinda similar to a new years resolution. Where I was 12 months ago to where I am now, seems like a lightyear apart.
I’m incredibly excited to see what 2018 brings, just know that I’m now more than ever focused on serving you guys as an audience.
With that, I need your help.
Participation, feedback, comments and emails are all incredible ways for me to know exactly what you guys are liking and not liking and I ALWAYS appreciate it, so much. I want to thank all of you personally that read my blogs.
As a final teaser, here are some of the things I’m looking to implement in 2018:
- Video to accompany the blog posts
- Interactive Webinars for Q&A’s and walkthroughs on some of the ways to get started with a Lifestyle Business
- Instagram overload, with full exposure to everything that happens in a nomadic lifestyle business and exactly what you can do to join in the fun
Thank you all so much for reading, and remember…