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How Blogging Has Changed My Life (and could change yours too!)

Okay, I know this title is a bit dramatic sounding. But truthfully, blogging was the bridge between closing the door on one chapter of my life to a new beginning and achieving a new dream. If you’re considering starting a blog or are currently building and growing a blog, I believe it could possibly change your life too.

Here are some life changing benefits that blogging can offer:

Blogging can give you a huge confidence boost

When I quit teaching, I honestly had no clue what I was going to do for work. I was completely lost after the emotional toll that quitting my lifelong dream (up until that point) took on me. I hadn’t realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in the career.

Focusing on our blog full-time was all I had to lean on and turned out to be the best decision, little did I know. The more success we had with FYD, the more my confidence grew. I had no clue what I was doing or how to grow a blog, but I was doing it and it made me start to believe I could truly do anything I put my mind and energy towards. That confidence flowed into so many other areas of my life and I find myself taking more and more risks and not letting my fear (or cluelessness) stop me!

woman with arms raised at peyto lake in canada

Starting a blog from scratch, building it, growing it, and managing it is hard work. There’s no recipe for success and every blogger does things their own way. Every part of the blog falls in your hands so when you start seeing small successes, it’s hugely rewarding. You can’t help but pat yourself on the back when you start realizing that your content is attracting and helping people! It’s taught me that confidence isn’t something you just naturally have. It comes as a result of pushing yourself to take a risk and go for it!

It’s taught me that confidence isn’t something you just naturally have. It comes as a result of pushing yourself to take a risk and go for it!

Blogging can open up new, exciting opportunities.

I had no idea the opportunities that would come slowly flooding in as a result of growing our blog. Very early on, it started opening up so many doors we didn’t even know were possible for us. I started getting paid for freelance writing and writing was never something I enjoyed doing or even thought I could be good at, let alone be paid for! And now, we’re even doing sponsored travel, getting paid for creating content for large brands, and even host a web based travel show for a major RV company. We receive opportunity requests almost weekly to earn money through our blog, and now “brand”.

video crew filming a couple camping by an RV
We got our “dream gig” and get paid to travel around the U.S., explore different campgrounds, RVs, and activities while hosting a web series called “The Happy Camper Bucket List”. Photo and video production by Isaac Aaron Media.

I don’t share all that to brag, and I’ll be the first to admit we still have a long way to go. But, I want to make the point that you never know what opportunities may come through your blog. So, while making money directly from a blog may take time, you can always utilize your blog to leverage other paid opportunities. If you want to read more about how I’m earning a full-time income, you can click here.

I quickly learned that a blog can end up serving as your business card or resume. All the time you invest up front for little return, the uncomfortable feeling of really “putting yourself out there” despite how unnatural that may feel, and pouring your heart and soul into something you don’t 100% know will work out – it can all be worth it if you stick with it.

Having a blog can be a great way to market yourself and your skills and services. It can be a great opportunity to exert yourself as an expert (because we’re all experts at something) and showcase your unique abilities. This is a great way to attract opportunities and partnerships!

Blogging can be very cathartic

During the time that we started Follow Your Detour, we were in the thick of a really hard time in our lives. I won’t go too much into detail, but you can read our story here. But as we started sorting through various emotions, we eventually changed our perspective on life and this idea of a “detour” was born. Shortly after, we launched FYD.

We initially put our efforts into writing travel content, since we had done so much international travel and lived abroad. But our blog didn’t start making traction until I began sharing the real meaning behind Follow Your Detour and writing personal posts about our journey. So I continued writing more personal posts and that’s when we realized that ultimately, our followers are following us and our story, too, not just the content we’re providing.

All that being said, blogging became an extremely powerful emotional outlet for me. I found that putting my emotions into words, even though sometimes my computer would be soaked in tears, was so healing. It can be even more healing to start receiving messages that one of your posts inspired someone in some small way. Being open and honest about your story and struggles can be an important and rewarding piece of the blogging puzzle.

Now, this may not be the case for every blogger. It may not fit into your niche to write personal, emotional posts. But I do believe your story matters no matter what content you are creating. There’s something powerful about being transparent. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to open up to your audience – you may be surprised on how satisfying it is!

Blogging can help you build friendships and grow your community

As a former teacher, it’s probably no surprise to you that I am a “people person”. I thrive on building relationships with people and have a genuine thirst for personal connection. I never would have expected that sitting behind a computer blogging could offer me that. In fact, I have more of a community now than ever. Through connections we’ve made directly from our blog, we have built deep relationships and lasting friendships.

four friends with their arms around each other backs looking out at Lake Louise in Canada
We met these friends, Pete and Jordan, through our blog, inspired them to RV, and have met up with them a few different times around the U.S. In fact, we recently caravanned to Canada together!

Along with all the networking you can do through a blog, you also have the ability to connect to all kinds of people that you may have otherwise never met. You’ll be surprised by the people who stumble upon your blog and reach out to you. Plus, just becoming a blogger automatically plugs you into a community. From my experience, connecting with other bloggers has been very easy and beneficial. Having that shared interest and commonality helps you develop those relationships.

Blogging allows you to pursue and express your passions.

One of the reasons I was so passionate about teaching was that I had the ability to impact another person’s life. As silly as it may sound, I feel like I still have that ability with blogging. I’ve had so many deep, heartfelt conversations with people who have reached out to us through our blog.

I’ve helped encourage people to take their own big risks in life, I’ve helped them believe that their dream life is achievable, and sometimes, I’ve just offered a non-biased and empathetic ear. Heck, I’ve even been able to TEACH people things through our blog! I know understand that it’s up to you to bring your passion into your work, not the other way around. 

I now understand that it’s up to you to bring your passion into your work, not the other way around. 

Chances are, you’re passionate about whatever you are choosing to blog about. Blogging may also lead you to other passions as well. Follow Your Detour started as just a travel blog because our passion is traveling and we wanted to share it with others. But, as the blog has matured, we’ve began to discover new passions, such as RV travel, inspiring others to take risks and follow their own detours, and now I’m even coaching other bloggers. While your original passion for why you started your blog will always be there, blogging can allow you to expand your horizons. 

four women speaking to crowd about blogging for business
Me hosting a Blogging for Business workshop with 3 other bloggers at the RV Entrepreneur Summit

Blogging gives you the opportunity to develop new skills

I pride myself in being a “lifelong learner”. No matter how old I get, how smart I feel, or how much time I have or don’t have, I always want to be learning new things and skills. I also want to always explore opportunities for me to express my creativity. Blogging is such a great avenue for this!

Being a blogger means that you are constantly growing, changing and adjusting. There’s always new strategies and technology to learn and new ways of reaching your audience. While learning how to build and grow a blog, it’s likely that you’ll also learn marketing, social media strategy, improve your writing and photography, graphic design, email marketing, course building, webinar hosting, etc. etc. etc.! I love the challenge and continual push to improve that blogging offers.

Blogging can be the bridge to becoming an entrepreneur

Blogging is a great “gateway” to becoming an entrepreneur. One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get from successful bloggers is to treat your blog like a business from day one. Blogging as a business means you are working to build a brand and are invested in it’s success. It also means that you are most concerned with how you can offer value or solve a problem for your followers and have processes in place to ensure there’s consistency and professionalism in everything you produce.

Blogging as a business that serves others will in turn serve you much better as well. Follow Your Detour been a huge source of inspiration and motivation for us – we are constantly generating new ideas and I have in turn, started the following other business ventures on the side!

  1. I’ve started a business with 3 other bloggers called Blogging Camp, in which we help bloggers beat, what we call, the “Blogger’s Blues”. We host FREE webinars that teach bloggers how to move from feeling overwhelmed and overloaded to taking actionable steps towards growing their audience and making money from their blog in 8 weeks or less. We also offer a “Beat The Blogger’s Blues Coaching and Support Package” that includes a variety of resources, accountability, and weekly group coaching online.
  2. I’ve also formed a business with my sisters and my mom called A Beautiful Less. We help educate women about safer skincare and are part of a bigger company that advocates for stricter regulations in the industry, while making it easier for people to have access to clean products. As part of our business, we blog…yep, I’m obsessed with blogging! A Beautiful Less is a lifestyle, beauty, and health & wellness blog. It will offer resources for living beautiful lives with less – less chemicals, less time, less clutter, less money, etc.

You might be surprised how quickly your entrepreneurial spirit grows while building a successful blog! You’ll find yourself constantly generating new business ideas and feeling more creative and motivated than ever. Yes, you’ll have hard days or even hard months, but I can’t reiterate enough how much it can develop your overall confidence, willingness to take risks, and increase your drive for success!

Blogging offers more freedom and flexibility

My least favorite part about teaching was that I had very little flexibility with my schedule. In fact, I hardly felt human not being able to schedule appointments in the middle of the day or meet someone for lunch. I also didn’t have much financial freedom and I definitely didn’t have much opportunity for financial growth in the career. Talk about unmotivated.

With blogging,I have so much freedom with how I schedule my days that I actually have to be very disciplined. But, if I want to go for a hike and enjoy the beautiful weather at noon, I can. I can stay up till midnight making up for that time, if need be. I can work from anywhere in the country…in the world, actually…and that is music to my gypsy soul’s ears!

woman working on laptop in RV with mountain views outside window

I truly believe that the sky is the limit with blogging. It’s a job where your earnings and opportunities are a direct result of how hard you work and that can really keep you fired up. There is just so much potential with blogging as a business!

And now I’m teaching other’s how to blog!

I’ve kind of come full circle, huh? I guess you can take the teacher out of the classroom but you can’t take the…okay that phrase doesn’t quite work, but you get the point! I actually don’t know if I love teaching as much as I just love people, sharing my passions with them, and helping them grow.

I hear a lot of misconceptions about blogging. Many people believe you can’t really make money from blogging, or that blogging is too competitive and if they started a blog, they’d be “too late to the game”. The truth is, though, there are lots of bloggers making six figures out there and there’s still lots of space for more. Each person has their own unique voice, perspective, and story to share.

It’s not easy.

It’s A LOT of work.

It takes time.

…but it IS possible! If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have started another blog. So, if you’re ready to give it what it takes and put your fears behind you, I say…GO FOR IT!

I’ve been approached by so many people asking me to mentor them or wanting some feedback and encouragement with their blog. So, I took that as a sign to listen to what people are asking for and started consulting other beginner bloggers. It started by hosting a Blogging for Business workshop at the RV Entrepreneur Summit alongside 3 other blogger friends of mine. After receiving such positive feedback from the workshop, we decided to take the workshop on the road with us and offer it virtually.

And that, is how Blogging Camp was born.

If you are a wanting to start a blog, have a blog and are feeling stuck, or are a blogger looking to grow your skills, monetize your blog, and connect with other bloggers, check us out!

Here’s another great blogging resource: 

TGBTK 2019What questions do you have about blogging?

Leave them in the comments! I’d love to help and connect!

 

 

 

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Lindsay McKenzieBert MintenKara Recent comment authors
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Bert Minten
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Lindsay – this post really struck home for me. I had been wanting to write/express over the past year and was finding myself writing short word documents and saving them to the laptop but not really doing anything with them. The we joined the Xscapers in Quartzite (in January) and, because of Camille’s prompting, I attended the RV ENT Summit in Fredericksburg (in February). I was overwhelmed, immediately got sick, and starting watching what others that had attended the Summit were doing with blogs and online businesses. A month or so ago I started my own travel blog just to… Read more »

Kara
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Thank you for this post…I needed it more than you know!