In December of 2014, I decided to start this blog.
I had already started and abandoned 5 other blogs, and when I thought about starting this one, I felt excitement, but also, a little bit of fear. Will this one actually make it off the ground? I wondered.
The real reason I started blogging again wasn’t to make money, or to build a business (I already had a business building websites), but because I really missed writing.
I wanted a place to just share whatever I wanted to share.
So I decided to write one blog post everyday.
In the beginning, I wrote about anything that moved me. Parking karma. Morning practice. Gmail tools.
Then, I did something I had never done before – I created a PLAN for my blog.
In December of 2014, I wrote out my goals for the next 3 months of blogging. I wanted to build an audience and get a certain number of page views. I had a plan to create a course in February, but I had no idea what it would look like.
Those were my initial thoughts about what I wanted for my blog. Page views. Email subscribers. Lots of vague ideas and numbers.
But what I didn’t expect was that my blog would totally and completely change my life.
1. Blogging brings deep purpose to my life.
As I mentioned above, when I started my blog, I had a business building websites.
The problem is, I really don’t like building websites. But I was doing it because it’s a skill that a lot of people will pay for.
And I didn’t know what else I could do that would bring in income without my having to get a traditional job.
Blogging every day, or multiple times a week, helped me to tap back into what really mattered to me. As I wrote more and more, I reconnected to 2 threads that have been with me for most of my life – writing and teaching.
When I started blogging, I never expected that it would teach me what I really cared about.
But that’s exactly what happened – I suddenly knew, without a doubt, what I really wanted to do with my time and with my life. Which is teaching other bloggers how to build successful, truly fulfilling blogs.
2. Blogging connects me to amazing friends.
My initial blogging goals included a lot of numbers. 1,000 page views in January. 100 email subscribers in February.
But what I couldn’t foresee were the real people that I would connect with through my blog.
Like my blogging mentor, Sue, who actually reached out to me after seeing my posts on Pinterest, and who is one of the most giving people I know.
Like Kaitlyn, a mom and photographer, who is building an income for herself through her blog, so that she can stay home with her special needs son.
Like Desiree, an incredible web designer who has taught me how to use metaphors to see design in a whole new way.
Looking at the numbers is one thing. But blogging has connected me to so many incredible people that I never would have met otherwise.
And I am super excited for all of the relationships to come.
3. Blogging has inspired me to create a thriving community of bloggers.
One of the first things I discovered when I started blogging were Facebook groups. I joined a group where we would share our blog posts every week. In the beginning, that was my main strategy for driving people to my blog.
Then I joined other Facebook groups, and met other bloggers, who later became some of my first blog coaching clients.
I was so inspired by these communities that I wanted to create my own.
It started out with 30 people, and has grown to over 700 motivated bloggers who ask thoughtful questions and really help each other out every single day.
I could spend all day just connecting with the bloggers in my Facebook group, and celebrating how truly awesome they are. When I dreamed of “building an audience” I never foresaw what that would actually look and feel like. And it feels pretty freaking amazing.
4. Blogging empowers me to know that I can do anything I decide to do.
Blogging has taught me that having a good plan, and then sticking to it, makes pretty much anything possible.
I can apply the same concepts I’ve used to succeed in blogging to succeed at pretty much anything.If you can build a successful blog, you can do pretty much anything.Click To Tweet
Creating daily and weekly habits. Learning about the tools you need to do things better and faster. Connecting with other people on a similar journey. Thoughtful and creative planning.
It’s one thing to know about these concepts, and quite another to execute on them. Now that I have, I feel super empowered and excited about achieving my goals.
5. Blogging has made me more comfortable being me.
I used to really struggle with my self esteem. I grew up in a community that didn’t really get me.
Then, in college, I was the only one in my hall who didn’t join a sorority, so my hall-mates stopped talking to me.
When I lost my teaching job, I was told that I’m too monotone and that I don’t smile enough.
I spent years feeling inadequate and unworthy.
But, despite all of that, I’ve always been completely honest in my writing, and in my life choices. Even when I’ve felt misunderstood, I’ve stood by what I thought was right for me.
I applied the same concept here, in this blog. I am honest, even when it’s hard. Even when it feels vulnerable. And people thank me for it. They tell me they feel less alone.
Now I’ve started doing Periscope (follow me at @DanielaUslan), and even though it feels hard to just put myself out there live, I have the confidence to do it because of this blog.
Blogging has taught me that I am enough.
When I started this blog, I couldn’t see how it would totally transform my life. All I knew was that I wanted to write. And when it got hard, I forced myself to keep moving forward – just a little bit – every day.
Those small steps have brought me here – to a life where I’m connected to my purpose, where I have incredible new friendships, where I’m building a thriving community of bloggers, where I am empowered and where I feel really good about being me.
If you’re struggling with your blog, know this:
This journey is worth it. And you can do it. Just take another step forward.