When I now tell people that I hope to be a full-time blogger, there are always minutes in the conversation where I have to bridge the gap of confusion. It usually starts out with, "You mean, you can make money with a blog?" Yes, you can make money blogging…blah, blah, blah. After I try to give a summary of what took me months to learn about monetizing a blog, the next logical question for anyone curious is, "How did you get started? What made you make your own blog?"
I felt like this would make for great material, because it will help you see how an ordinary guy, who thought he had his life-long goals in order, came to switch paths completely and embrace a new career goal. If I told you that I was planning on becoming a professor, you probably wouldn't believe me, now that I have my sights set on a different goal.
How and Where I Conceived of My First Blog
Unlike most stories that I have heard, I conceived of my first blog far away from the internet. I had been reading more and more blogs in the summer of 2011 than ever before. My friends from college share a common interest and have maintained the great friendship that we built while at college. That common interest is backpacking. It's a great way to physically and mentally push yourself as you carry 30-40 extra pounds on your back. Everything you need to survive is on the weight of your lower back and shoulders.
It was in our first big hike (as the 3 of us) since college and the conversation shifted towards finances. We all had been forced to grow up fast from college, as any one who graduates from college, is forced to do. They both remarked at how confusing certain things are and how it is hard to distinguish good advice from spams. After having read many blogs over the summer, I decided then and there that I was going to start my own blog. I was going to start a blog for people in their 20's (later to be named 20's Finances) so they can have a valuable resource as they adapt to adulthood.
Not everyone has parents who teach them everything, nor are they knowledgeable of where to get resourceful information for every challenge that they encounter. That's why I started blogging.
How Blogging Changed Everything
As was posted on Yakezie, Blogging will Change Your Life. It certainly has been the case for me. I started out hoping to provide a great resource and trying hard for people to notice my blog. After hundreds of hours of learning wordpress, commenting, writing guest posts, and writing posts on my site, I saw a little bit of success. For a couple of months around the 6 month mark, I saw income figures that no one should see in the first year. I began to see how someone might be able to make a living off of several blogs.
That's when I started dreaming big. I thought if I could build up enough blogs, I could have enough income to justify quitting my day job. I'm still working towards this goal today. It will take me a little longer to reach it than I originally anticipated, but that's okay.
While blogging has opened up a new career opportunity, it has also given me the tools to express my entrepreneurial spirit. I have always been conceiving business plans and analyzing why certain businesses don't make it. It's just part of who I am. Yet, I've never been able to actualize any of them. Many of them were patent ideas, which meant that I would end up sharing my ideas with a company to help me develop a prototype. By blogging, I have had my eyes opened to a new world of possibilities – the online world that is invading every aspect of our lives offers more opportunities than anything I've ever known before. This is why I see it as important to have an online presence. This is why I keep up my blogs each week. It isn't always a love-affair, but the potential is always there
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.