As we continue to share how we earn money from home (see Cassie’s recent article on how she makes $3,500 per month as a stay-at-home mom with tips to get you started) you see that the largest contributor to her income is from our website. We have been so excited that many of you have contacted us and told us this is exactly what you needed to hear. One question that has been asked a few times though is how to determine what to blog about. Well, check out the following with some tips and thoughts on just that.
At my last Toastmasters meetings at work it hit me. Each one of the four speeches moved me in some way. One speech inspired me that strength can be found in spite of overwhelming adversity. Another informed and educated me on the art of shining boots – something I really needed to hear as my pathetic wardrobe attests to every day. The third motivated me to take a new look at my children and family all the while during a witty presentation introducing us to his family’s pets. And the last entertained me while sharing all the quirky ways her family enjoys Disneyland and somehow making me feel included as if I had been there, joining with her family along the way.
What specifically hit me was that each of these individuals were willing to take something from their past, their present and even their hopeful future and share it in a meaningful way that impacted my life in some way. And it was only from each of their unique life experiences that they could open up, become a bit vulnerable and share those stories – their stories – to an audience ready and willing to hear them.
This is really what starting your own website is all about. Its about telling a story. Its about building on the foundation of a story. Its about the telling of your story in such a way in such a way that you can leave a mark, even if of the most trivial ways on your reader. Whether your goal is to inspire, inform/educate, motivate or entertain (quite often a mixture of all at different times), starting and running a website is about taking something that you know about or have experienced and communicating that in a way that is meaningful to your reader.
The problem that most people have though is believing they have a story that is worth sharing. This is really a few problems wrapped into one – so lets look at those problems and overcome them one by one:
- Identify your story – The first encouragement I want to give you is that you really do have a story to share and can be used. You have specific and unique experiences that are specific and unique to yourself – something that no one else has learned exactly as you have. And that background has made you the person you are today – both in positive ways by allowing you to learn and be shaped from them and in the negative possibly from learning from the school of hard knocks of what not do do in the future. Following the different ways you can leave an impact on your reader let us ask you some questions to help you brainstorm.
- Inspire – Have you learned something (as we stated before either positively or negatively) something that you can turn around and use to inspire others in a way that no one has before? You know our story for this site (how we overcame $100K of consumer debt by using our customized and was able to transform from a life enslaved in fear from our creditors to financial freedom) and how we share and expand that in different ways. But we have other stories that we are using (we as a couple losing over 100 pounds in 90 days and sharing how others can do it too using the tips we learned along the way in our 90-Day Health and Fitness Challenge) as well as others we share along the way. In fact, I have started sharing my second story (our health, fitness and weight-loss journey at my other site LiveHealthRun.com). The story you share can be significant or even seemingly mundane – they key is to find that story and know that by sharing it you can inspire others through it.
- Educate/inform – Do you have a skill you have learned either through necessity or as part of a hobby that you could turn around and share with your readers? That knowledge you have gained (and continue to perfect) could be the perfect and integral subject of your website. And don’t think you have to be the master of the subject today – combining your passion for something with a zeal to learn could be a perfect way to start as well.
- Motivate – As you press forward in life, is there anything you look back on (ahem, part of your story) that continues to drive you forward, has made you the person you are today or even is making you the person you aspire to be? These types of stories may motivate more than yourself – meaning that you can turn that same story into something that can motivate your readers.
- Entertain – As you work through your experiences, find humorous ways that your story can connect you with your readers. We all know that the stories that often are our most embarrassing (especially if you have kids you know what I’m talking about) can really entertain your reader. Whether your humor is dry, sarcastic, or just plain fun think of how you can communicate that in a way that will help impact and strengthen your story to your reader.
- Know that your story is worth sharing – This can often be the place where most people will stop with this process. Often I have had people tell me their story is too boring, too common or just not inspiring enough. Well, when I start asking for details about their story and start finding out those little nuggets of information that is specific to them alone, that’s when I can turn it around and help them see that their story really is worth sharing. Really dig in and consider those details. If you do, I hope you’ll see the value. Besides, just being willing to be a bit transparent and vulnerable – and just going it – you’ll see that you’re doing what most wont: actually doing it.
- Determine how your story will provide worth to your reader – Once you have identified that story, that knowledge, or that experience you want to write about, then continue to brainstorm how your story will provide worth to your reader. Just taking the time to flesh that out will help you come up with creative and new ways to connect – meaning more loyal readers – with them. And don’t think this is a one time process. Cassie and I continue to do the same each and every day as we try to find ways to share with you.
- Ask yourself what you are passionate about – You’ll find that blogging on something you are passionate about will be a joy and help get you through those times that you just don’t know if you can keep going. You’ll find that subject that “gets you up in the morning” will be the one that will drive you to be better and make your site better as you press forward. And that passion will come through your articles and everything you do as your readers will see your passion in everything you touch. What is it that you just can’t stop talking or thinking about? Maybe that will be the key to your next successful business.
So what do you do when you finally find that story and are ready to take the next step? Well, as we just recently shared, you need to do the following to get started. Its honestly much easier than you expect.
- The first thing you will need to get started is to determine your new domain name and your host. One that we have found to be reliable and frugal (you know we love to save money :)) is by signing up through Bluehost HERE for $3.49 per month with the extra bonus that you will get a free domain name. They will then walk you through step-by-step on how to setup your site.
- Starting writing your content. Once you enter the blogging world you’ll hear the mantra “Content is King” continuously. Honestly the reason you’ll hear it is because its so true. Starting writing your blog posts, setting up your content and allowing get ready to become the website your readers love!
- Read our previous article on how she makes $3,500 per month as a stay-at-home mom with tips to get you started so you can start brainstorming ideas on how your can turn your site into a money-making venture; we all know you would love to share just for the sheer pleasure of it, but seeing actual income from something you invest your heart and soul into is always a nice result. 🙂
- Finally, we encourage you to sign up to receive our posts that are specific to how we make money online, all the while giving you the nitty gritty details on how you can follow the same steps to do the same:
Are you ready to share your story?
We would love to have you share your passions and your story with us so we can be excited with you along the way! We hope this can be a blessing to you as it has been for us and that you can see the same time of success we have. Let’s work through this together and help each other as we push forward building our businesses online.