I’ve been writing online since high school. Probably even middle school if you’re going to include platforms like LiveJournal. I remember writing under an alias that I also used as my AOL screen name. Clearly, I won’t be sharing that so you can’t run to Google and find all of my middle and high school drama.
But writing online turned into blogging in 2010/2011 for me. I started by writing about my “journey to the altar” on Blogspot after becoming slightly obsessed with another blogger who chronicled her engagement to the birth of her second child online. Everything was so beautiful… perfect ring, perfect wedding, perfect husband, perfect children. I was fascinated.
The wedding blogging didn’t work out for me… for various reasons… but I discovered that I had to find something I was really passionate about for the long haul. I got serious when I started a blog all about working out, weight loss, and healthy living. Back then (maybe circa 2011/2012) I had a co-blogger too. We blogged 5x per week and leaped for joy when we FINALLY hit 100+ pageviews per day.
I also designed all of the site graphics using PicMonkey. I remember spending hours testing out headers to make sure they didn’t look grainy. It was tedious, but I loved it. I loved the site, but my co-blogger wasn’t as passionate about blogging and I knew there was MORE that I could do… I just needed a plan.
I remember having a blog consult with Victoria McGinely in early 2013, and Manifest Yourself was born on June 1, 2013. I was excited. I was committed. And, most of all, it was the perfect merger of all my skills and interests.
I’d be lying if I said it was all smooth sailing since June 2013, cause blogging isn’t always fun and games. But I’m proud of myself for the way my blogging ventures have evolved. And honestly – blogging isn’t just blogging for me anymore. It’s a business focused on personal and professional development.
This platform has allowed to be create an extra income stream and build a platform for nearly all of my interests outside of my 9-5 job. Blogging has also shown me that there are options outside of simply working a 9-5. I can be an entrepreneur – full time if I’d really like to.
Fast forward to 2017, I’m able to make an income through sponsored content, live events, workshops, and public speaking focused on helping others create a life and career that they love. Back in 2010, I had no idea this was even possible. I didn’t know that I had the ability to build a platform based upon my knowledge, interests, and skills (inside and outside of my 9-5) and make an income.
What’s more interesting to me is that there are businesses built around helping bloggers and influencers make an income too. Once I had grown my following, I started joining various influencer agencies that work as the “middle man” between bloggers and brands for sponsored content. This month marks the relaunch of one of my favorite agencies, Collectively.
I’ve been working with them for awhile now, and I’ve LOVED the collaborations. I’ve been able to work with a bunch of companies all through collaborations led through the folks at Collectively. If you’re a blogger, and you’re looking to grow your brand and make an income – I recommend that you check out Collectively.
They partner with influencers in such an authentic way that you are able to really be yourself and tell a story about the brands, services, and products that work for you and your audience. While, Collectively reached out to their influencers to write an in-kind blog post – all opinions are my own AND I did not get paid to write this.