This is something I wish I had known years ago but the technology wasn't what it is today, it definitely wasn't as easy.
When I started my blog 16 years ago I did it purely because I could see it was a good way to get eyes on my destination wedding business here in Marbella.
It was the days before social media.
I had no idea about SEO, I just blogged because I enjoyed that creative outlet.
My original blog is still out there, it is badly done as I had no idea what I was doing apart from sharing my inspirations and weddings but it was the beginning of a journey that got me exactly what I wanted, a thriving wedding destination wedding business.
My father was utterly amazed I had built a business using the power of the internet with my blog. I recall him saying many times 'I don't know how this works but am in awe that you have created this using the internet'!
By 2016 my second blog was moved to a new Wordpress site I had built by a website designer, at first I was delighted but once I started trying to blog on this platform, it made me lose the will to live!
The tech and plug ins wasn't something I understood and the sheer frustration of having to set featured images stole my joy of blogging.
After after years of long hours googling answers to the relentless problems I encountered, including losing the whole bloody thing at one point, I finally took the plunge last year and started a new one for that business on Wix, god it was so easy!
I was sad to see the Wordpress site go but it had become so broken I felt an instant relief when I knew I could get back in the driving seat.
I am a creative, as much as I tried to understand Wordpress it wasn't my best friend so in the end we said Adios!
Keeping your Website Simple.
I am all for the let's keep things simple.
Wix was super easy and whilst I understand there are many bloggers advocating Wordpress, it maybe the Rolls Royce of websites but it confuses the hell out of any non-tech person who quite frankly doesn't want the hassle and will never learn it, I am in that camp!
Gone are the days of having to pay a website designer as they were the only ones who really knew how to design professional websites. I paid my lovely website designer quite a lot of money and he was brilliant but as the years went by I wasn't able to install the latest theme, plug ins, etc.
Whilst I still think there is a place for professional websites, we now have so many more options available to us.
For most creative business owners getting a website up and running is one of those things you should do yet don't get sucked down the Wordpress hole as you will end up doing nothing.
My daughter, an influencer on Instagram, did this and spent a day sucked down the Wordpress hole and was none the wiser, in fact it made her procrastinate as she was so overwhelmed with too much information.
She still hasn't set up her blog so am on it!
So why should you have a Blog?
I don't think many people realise the power of a blog and what you can actually do with it, they just see it as another thing to do and would be far happier just posting on social media for a quick win.
Having a blog and taking the time on it is an investment into your future as blog posts last forever and gain momentum instead of being lost within 72 hours on social media. My original blog, not the Wordpress one, still shows up and drives traffic to my new website.
You maybe spending hours posting and creating reels but even going viral won't work for most creative businesses. Why, because probably a lot of people who watch your content are never going to be your customers.
For some businesses it will work, my daughter is always wanting things she has seen on Tik Tok, mainly beauty products, but I would put money where my mouth is to say it isn't an ideal platform for many businesses, entertaining yes but all these platforms rely on one thing, to keep you on it.
It is a lot of work and yes you may get enquiries but it isn't for the long game, it is instant wins, getting your fans, collaborations and building your community online.
It is also exhausting to constantly feel you have to be posting, making videos, reels, sharing what you ate last night and your perfect life!
What can you can do with your Blog
This is what I wish I knew 16 years ago and have since become far more interested in the power of blogs.
• Firstly you will become much more visible on Google searches. You will increase your SEO (search engine optimization).
• You can create digital products to sell. Using your blog and Pinterest will get a lot more eyes on your digital products. Digital products could be stationery, planners, an e-book are just a few examples.
• You could sell a course. Always remember there are people who watch you and would love to know how to do what you do!
• You can monetize your blog using affiliate links.
Building Assets for the Future
As we enter the fastest growing online AI technology there is no better time to use this to create your pension pot which will continue to generate income without you doing anything once set up.
I have watched other small creative business owners sadly become ill and had to give up their service based businesses. I mean really decacipated and never will be able to work again.
I personally am getting older and am hugely aware that eventually I won't be able to run at the capacity required of me physically in the future.
I have seen businesses sidelined by the pandemic, including my service based destination wedding business and am not entirely convinced another pandemic won't happen again.
I watch my colleagues marking their 50th birthday and wondering how long they are going to be able to work at the pace they do now, which quite frankly is hard.
I hit a plateau at 53, I was exhausted and going through the menopause, I kept going but it was then I realized I had to change the way I worked.
As I build my assets and blog this time I am so much more aware of the power having a blog has.
It has the power to change my future and create an income which when you are approaching retirement will make such a massive difference and will be a lasting legacy to my children.
Sounds heavy! It really isn't it is just knowing how to monetize a blog that will continue to being you in money.
Tools you need for a Blog
Most small start up businesses don't have or wish to throw a lot of money at something that may or may not work.
One thing I will say though is check which website and host you feel you can move forwards with as your business grows. I have seen people create 'websites' on Canva and they don't have many options to go forwards. I am not even sure if they have a blog facility.
But Canva is the perfect tool for creating content for Pinterest, social media, digital products and highly recommend it.
A business Pinterest account.
An email system either within your website or a stand-alone like Mailerlite
A payment portal, PayPal or Stripe, I recommend Stripe.
With just these tools you can create a thriving business using your blog.
Blogging Brilliance Course
Blogging Brilliance is my signature course designed for small businesses just like yours.
I have florists, venues, stylists, stationers, bridal shops, wedding planners, jewellery designers and even a dog breeder who have taken this course and are now in my Blogging Brilliance Community.
Journaling and creative writing is fun when you know what you are doing, you will soon see your business become more and more visible and learn to grow your portfolio of products and services.
It is a live course with me and I am in my Blogging Brilliance group to help anyone who gets stuck or needs my eyes on their blog.
I love the light bulb moments and the excitement when my course members realise what they can do!
If a blog is on your list of achievements then come and join me. One of my course members said you make this sound so easy, it is!
Let's get your business working hard for you, once done it is done and you can enjoy reaping in your rewards.
I will finish with this, a blog takes time to grow and get more visible so don't expect instant wins and dopemine highs, just be quietly working in the background building your future assets. It requires work but so worth putting in a few hours each week.
Would you love to find out more, sign up here to be on my mailing list.