In today’s episode, episode 225, we’re continuing our series of blogger stories. This started back in episode 221. If this is your first one in the series, you might wanna go back and listen to that one. I explained this series a little bit in more detail but basically we’re giving bloggers who are listening of this podcast a chance to share their story and some tips that they have.
This is all part of our Start A Blog challenge. We really want this series to inspire as many people as possible to start new blogs. We’re going to launch a course at the end of this series, second week of January, to help you do that. It’s a short course which will walk through some of the technicalities of starting a blog but also help you think about how to build a profitable blog and get some of those foundations in place before you start. If you are thinking of starting a new blog or you know someone who you think will be a great blogger, send them over to problogger.com/startablog and you can sign up there to be notified when that course goes live.
In today’s episode, I’ve got another Aussie blogger. This is Nina from Australia and she’s one of the attendees from our recent events in Australia. She came to our mastermind day and I really enjoyed getting to hear a little bit of her story there. I wanted to include this story today. It’s very short, it’s very simple, because, I think, it illustrates another model of building an income around your blog which we don’t talk about enough. I’m gonna leave it at that. Nina is a Nutritionist and she is using her blog to, I guess, help her to build her private following and find some work. I’m gonna hand it over to Nina, it’s a very short episode, and then I’m gonna come back at the end and just make a few comments and give you a few thoughts on what Nina says.
You can get the show notes today and find Nina’s blog, whatsforeats.com.au. You can find the link to that and the full transcript over at problogger.com/podcast/225.
Nina: Hi there! My name’s Nina and my blog’s called What’s for Eats? You can find that at whatsforeats.com.au. I started What’s for Eats? back in 2010, after I have graduated from a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition. I was really struggling to find work. I mean, here I was, a freshly-anointed nutritionist with all of this new knowledge to share and nowhere to share it.
Blogging seemed like the perfect opportunity to practice my health, writing, and spread, and I cringe to say this now, messages about “healthy eating.” When looking back at what I did in starting my blog, I’m most grateful for just starting and putting my stuff out there. I do have perfectionistic tendencies and I think that I was lucky to start blogging at a time when there wasn’t that explosion of health-related blogs like there is now to give me that comparison paralysis.
If I look back on the past seven or so years that I have been blogging, I don’t think there’s anything I wish I had never ever done. Everything I have done has been a learning experience to get me to where I am today. Without trying things to see that didn’t work for me, I would not have been able to hone in on my audience, and my vision, and my values. Of course, looking back, it would have been great if I had started up my list sooner or been an earlier adapter of using Facebook for my business or using Instagram or getting on video.
I think I have to acknowledge that me going back to university to try and become a dietitian, changing careers, and now working for myself has been partly due to my blog. I had an established online presence when I applied to study Dietetics and I think that didn’t go unnoticed by the selection community at the university I attended. That online presence also opened a lot of doors for me once I was qualified. It was a very different story when I started looking for work as a new dietitian with an online presence compared to back in 2010 when I started my blog and I was a new nutritionist without a blog or any social media accounts.
I always thought I can only make money from my blog if I were selling a product or doing sponsor posts and things like that. But, after attending ProBlogger Evolve this year, I realized my blog has been, probably, the biggest contributing in me generating a lot of my income as a dietitian. By having a place online to, essentially, sell myself and my skills, I’ve been approached to work on a variety of interesting projects. I’ve branched out into food photography and I’ve found my niche area online that I love.
Essentially, success for me hasn’t been about page views or email subscribers, it’s been the ability to move out of the Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00, and work for myself, build working relationships with people I wanna work with, and work in an area that challenges and energizes me everyday.
If I’m having to think about my number one tip for new bloggers, I understand the value in finding a niche and identify your ideal client or audience before you start blogging. There’s also a lot of value in doing lots of planning around the structure and the look of your blog, getting content ready before you go live, all those things. Basically being prepared and ready to go with some direction. I think my tip for new bloggers is if you really wanna blog, just do it. You can waste a lot of time in this planning preparation stag trying to get everything just right and never end up getting to the actual blogging part of it.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m where I am today by just doing stuff and working things out and tweaking things as I went along. It took me a couple of years to really find my niche and my ideal audience. While I’m not a mega online success, I’ve found my people and my people have found me online. That’s what’s making being online and blogging just that much more satisfying. If I did all of the things that we’re supposed to do before starting a blog, I reckon I would still be here seven years later waiting to start.
Darren: That was Nina Mills from whatsforeats.com.au. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Nina. Great to hear from you. I did wanna share Nina’s story today for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because she’s blogging with a model which, I guess, we used to talk about a lot in the early days of ProBlogger but we don’t talk about quite so much these days.
She’s blogging, I guess essentially, to build an income indirectly. She’s using her blog to build her profile which is opening doors for her to firstly, get into a university, sort of her studies, but secondly to find work. You heard her during that little story where she said that she used to think that you can build money by selling ebooks and selling something on your blog. But, essentially, what Nina has discovered is that her blog is enabling her to sell herself and her own services. This is something that I think more and more people who are in business, whether they are freelancers, whether they are coaches, whether they are health practitioners, or whether they are legal practitioners, whatever it is really.
If you’ve got a service to sell, if you’ve got a business of your own, I think that is a really great reason to start a blog. To monetize it with advertisers, and with ebooks, and courses, and all those types of things may actually be distracting your readers from the number one income stream that could potentially be coming from your blog, and that is the income stream of you and being able to sell yourself in some way.
I wanted to include this story today because I know that a lot of listeners of the podcast, readers of ProBlogger do have, I guess, brick and mortar businesses or businesses where they sell themselves in some way, and yet they’re trying to monetize through selling, advertising, or creating ebooks and that type of thing to sell. There is another way. Maybe your blog actually is better monetized by selling yourself in some way or a combination of selling yourself and other products as well.
The other thing I loved about Nina’s advice is it goes, I guess, something that I’ve been saying for a long time now. You can spend a lot of time getting your blog ready to launch but never actually launch it. If you do all the things to try and get it perfect before it launches, the chances are some of us will never ever launch our blogs. You heard Nina talk about having perfectionist tendencies there, that’s something I know many of us can relate to. I, for one, am glad that I started my first blogs rather impulsively. I didn’t allow my own perfectionism to get in the way of starting my blog because, I too, think, I would probably be still thinking about starting my blog if I had allowed my perfectionism to get in the way.
If you are a perfectionist, I wanna encourage you to sign-up for our Start A Blog Course. But, also, I wanna encourage you to find an accountability partner and to commit to them that you are going to launch your blog by a certain period of time. Maybe a week or two after you start the course. We do not want our course to get in the way of you starting that blog but we do want our course to help you along that journey. Do the work to be prepared. Do the work before you launch as much as possible. But, launch. You gotta launch that thing. You’ve gotta resist that temptation to waste so much time getting it perfect and never actually getting to blogging itself.
If you are thinking of starting a blog, please head over to problogger.com/startablog. We want to see as many blogs as possible started in the month of January, early February of 2018. That’s why we’re creating this free Start A Blog course. If you know some bloggers, or if you’ve been talking to a group of people, perhaps a group of nutritionists that you’re a part of, or perhaps it’s a group of legal practitioners, or other people within your niche and you wanna start blogs together, now is the time to do it. Get a group together and sign-up to Start A Blog course and we’ll kick that off in the second week of January.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the fifth episode in this little series. We’ve had a range of bloggers now. A nutritionist today, we’ve had a DIY blogger, we’ve had finance bloggers, we’ve had tech bloggers. A variety of bloggers there already. That’s five in total that we’ve done so far. We have another seven to come. We are gonna take a little break for Christmas now so this is the last episode before Christmas and before the New Year. I did wanna pause at this point and just wish you all a happy holidays, a happy time of celebration if you are celebrating. I really hope that it is a happy time, a peaceful time, and a time where you are able to find some rest but also some inspiration for the year ahead. I really look forward to being a part of your 2018.
This podcast will be back on the first of January. We will be getting back into this series on the first of January and that week we’ll be doing another five blogger stories and the following week, we’ll do two more before we launch the Start A Blog course. Do watch out for our episodes in iTunes or your podcast listener. Of course, there’s plenty of other episodes back in the archives as well if you do wanna keep working in this time that we’re having a little bit of a break. We’re at episode 225 today so there’s a lot in the archives there. It’s all still in iTunes. I think once we get up to episode 300, they’ll start disappearing because you can’t have more than 300 but you’ve got some time to dig into those early episodes now before they do disappear.
Thanks so much for listening. I hope you have a great end of year and I’ll talk to you in 2018.