Happy Wednesday! Today I’m talking all about something I have been doing daily for almost 6.5 years now! This post is sponsored by Squarespace. I have an amazing deal for the first 50 readers at the end of this post!
I also can’t wait to tell you about something I have been wanting to do for years and how I am now using Squarespace (the best way to build a beautiful home online) to do it finally!!!
Let’s go ahead and rewind to about 6.5 years ago. I had just run my third marathon and was struggling from knee pain. I was used to running a lot of miles and dropped down to running 0 miles per week in order to help my knee to feel 100% again. The lack of running meant I had some free time open to start a new hobby. I decided to start Hungry Runner Girl. Oversharing is just a part of my nature so a blog seemed like the perfect fit for me—> ps when I was eight years old I created a newspaper (with crayons) that I would deliver to all of my neighbors each week.
I had no idea what I was doing. I was also starting my blog back when blogs were not very popular or user friendly. I wish I would have had the tools offered by Squarespace back then because that would have made life a whole lot easier.
I was positive that my mom and a few friends would be the only ones that would read my blog. I had no idea that it was even possible to make money from a blog. I knew that I just wanted to have a creative outlet for myself where I could talk about the things I was passionate about the most:
Family, running/fitness, food and randomness:)
After a few weeks of writing, I noticed that there were people commenting on my blog that I didn’t know. I was quite confused but it made me super excited to start making connections with people from different states that also loved running and food. I started leaving comments on their blogs and any other food and fitness blogs I could find. I loved the community that I found magically hidden on the internet. It was so fun to find other people like me that thought it was a great idea to wake up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday to run. I commented on Runner’s World forums daily and left my blog link there. I wrote bloggers to see if I could do guest posts for them and I built friendships with my readers by emailing and replying back to them.
A few months after I started this blog (I wrote daily, sometimes up to three times a day) my brother sent me a book. I wish I still had the book but I read it in about 3 days. The book was about how to make money blogging. I had no idea that was even a thing. My brother believed in me from the very beginning (he still reads daily) and saw an awesome way for me to combine my passion of writing a blog and a job. I decided that THIS was something that I wanted to do. I loved what I was spending hours each day doing and knew it was something I wanted to continue doing for years. I continued to blog daily, reach out to different companies, do freelance work for free (i.e. Women’s Running etc) and with each year my paychecks increased.
Right about the time that I had Brooke (2 years into blogging), blogging turned into a full time job financially for me. I felt very lucky with this timing because it allowed me to be with Brooke as much as possible while still taking care of her financially. It was an even bigger blessing for me as a single mom and now as a wife and a step-mom too! I typically spend 30 hours a week (including Saturday and Sunday) on my blog. I LOVE the amazing people I have met online along the way.
I thought I would share a few of the tips I have learned from blogging!
*Blog about something YOU are passionate about. People ask me if I ever have a hard time coming up with blog ideas and the answer is RARELY (and luckily I have a list of ideas to blog about when my mind is blank). I write about my passions and the things I love most. So I always have something to say, even after writing 3,742 thus far.
*Consistency is key. My favorite blogs are the ones that are updated frequently. I am a little OCD about this one. As you have noticed, I do my posts at the same exact time each day. I think I have missed posting something a total of 2 days over the last 6.5 years. It took months of writing consistently before my blog really started to grow so stick with it!
*Make sure to start out with the right platform… this will save you time and money big time! I learned this tip the hard way;) Try out Squarespace because using a solid blogging platform will make it incredibly easy to start your blog!!
*PICTURES. I think especially now, we live in a time where pictures tell a story sometimes more than words even do. It’s fun to get a peak into somebody else’s life!
*Host giveaways! I used to pay for every giveaway that I did (now I do sometimes) and that helped grow my numbers a bunch! Asking people to follow you on different social media channels etc to join giveaway helps a lot! I do not have an email list but I do know this is a very successful thing for other bloggers so ask them to join that too!
*Finding a way to connect with others is huge! I think we are all searching for connections in some way or another and blogging allows us to do so. That is why I love asking you questions each day. I love talking about things we all struggle with and we all find joy in.
*Thicken your skin a bit. This lesson took me years to realize but now my skin is thicker than ever. Not everyone is going to like us. A lot of people are going to think differently than we do. Just keep being you and stick to doing what you know is right for you. All that really matters in this life is what God thinks of us, how we feel about ourselves and how we are helping those around us. That’s it.
*For my blog personally, being open has been huge for me. Being real and sharing the highs and the lows has brought a readership. The vulnerable posts where I am sharing the hard stuff (injuries, divorce, dating woes, blending family stuff etc) always attract people. No one has a perfect life and I truly don’t think people want to read about a perfect life.
*Do things that make you feel uncomfortable, ask bloggers for you to be included in their blog somehow (turn in a Friday Running Accomplishment to me:) Reach out to others. I view blogging as an all-you-can-eat buffet… there is enough goodness for all of us so help each other!
How do bloggers make money? I chose to build a bit of a readership before trying to make money! I think I added ads once I was up to about 5,000 unique readers a day.
*Ads on blogs! I love working with AdThrive.
*Sponsored posts! Once you get your numbers high enough as far as page views and social media channels go, companies will start reaching out to you (make sure your email address is easy to find). You will get all sorts of offers and choose wisely. I work with companies that I think are the best and that is it. This is my prime revenue source. I work through Mediakix.
*Affiliate links! Amazon and Shopstyle are what I use!
*Other social media channels. Working with different companies on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts!
For years and years I have wanted to become a running coach! I am all signed up to take my first courses to do this and I cannot wait! I will make sure to let you know once I have all of the certifications that I need and we are good to go! I really want to work with beginner-intermediate women runners and help people to hit their goals and to be their biggest cheerleader (even though they might curse my name during some of the harder workouts;)!
For this next adventure I want to do, I am using Squarespace to create my domain, website and online store! I am so excited to create a website with different training plans that I create and sell in my store and tips and motivation for my clients daily! I have worked with MANY different options when it comes to the online world and have decided that Squarespace is perfect for this!
I am really excited to use Squarespace for my coaching website because they make design work incredibly easy for me. I have found so many different tools on Squarespace to create the perfect design for what I want to put on my coaching website. I have found that Squarespace is incredibly user-friendly (which I need because I am not a tech guru which is so important because I work online). It is ridiculously easy to edit and create your content on Squarespace! I feel like they truly make design accessible for everyone to create the perfect website for their needs and goals.
I am also really drawn to Squarespace because of their customer service. They are available 24/7 to help which is huge. This is so important for me because website problems make me so frustrated and I hate when things aren’t working right… with Squarespace I will have someone to talk to right away to take care of any problems.
I’ve also really been looking for a way to do a website/online store all in one place (which I’ve never had before and it is a big amazing change ha). Squarespace gives you the all-in-one platform that makes it so all you have to worry about is creating the content for your website. No worrying about installing software or security patches or going over your storage limitations etc… just upload your content and pictures and you are good to go!
Started writing out my first tips for future clients:)
I have had so many incredible positives come from my experience with blogging. Even just the fact that I have a huge journal that I can look back and remember different parts of my life is incredible. I love that my kids and grandkids will also have something that they can look at one day (and probably wonder why I ran so much and ate so much candy). I am forever grateful that I decided to start this random website and the amazing things it has brought me!
I can’t wait to start doing what I have been wanting to do for a long time with Squarespace to make it all so easy and exactly what I want it to look like!
Ready to start your own blog? I recommend Squarespace. The first 50 readers who use offer code “HRG” will receive 10% off their first website or domains purchase!!!
Any other questions about blogging? Let me know!!
What social media platform do you use the most? Instagram, blogs, twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, other?
If you are working right now—> How did you get into your current profession?
Anyone thinking of starting a new website/blog/online store soon? If you start one soon please send me your blog link so I can check it out and I will post your blog/link on my blog in a post!