This is a very uncharacteristic post for me to write. I have tended to shy away from writing this sort of content on my blog for fear of being seen as boasting. But this very post is about stepping out of one’s comfort zone. So I stepped out of my comfort zone to write it!
REACH FOR THE SKY EVEN IF IT SCARES YOU.
I usually try to come up with a post for the #candidcuddles linky series that relates to what is happening in my life at the time. Since I started hosting the series with Becky, I’ve been constantly amazed at how I get to Friday each week, scratching my head over what I’m going to use as my words of wisdom topic the following Monday, and then have a light bulb moment when it suddenly becomes totally clear! This week is no exception.
As Becky knows (in fact, she’s been a wonderful mentor where this is concerned…to the point where I may just have to start paying her for her blogging consultancy services!), I’ve been working increasingly on my income-earning goals for the blog this year. With the exception of lovely opportunities that have come my way (eg Lucas Frank sponsoring my BML attendance, working with Mother and Baby Innovation Gold Award winner Litecup UK, publishing a few sponsored posts and reviewing certain products/services etc, I haven’t really pursued the monetisation of Absolutely Prabulous to any significant degree in the three years I’ve been blogging. But things are about to change! I do apologise in advance for the slightly ‘street’ style language) but to put it bluntly:
2017 IS THE YEAR OF THE HUSTLE BABY!
I’ve talked openly with friends and family for some time about how I absolutely love writing – and will always write – but that my long term aim has always been (as it is for many bloggers) to eventually derive an income (be that through the writing or other initiatives). And there’s the crux: the word ‘eventually’.
Eventually has been the key cause of delay (my natural tendency is to procrastinate). Eventually has been the term I let myself use time and time again when friends have asked how one monetises a blog. “Oh it’s such a long haul getting there but yes I will eventually monetise it” I’ve responded countless times. This is indeed true; it really can take years to significantly monetise a blog (depending on what one defines as blog income/monetisation). However, the simple truth is…
I JUST MADE EXCUSES. I DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO REACH FOR THE SKY!
- I didn’t actively nurture any brand collaborations.
- I barely looked at a single one of those emails that would land in my inbox about paid content writing opportunities / how to leverage one’s subscription list / how to get the most out of Facebook advertising or how to use Instagram properly for blog growth yada yada yada
- I hardly responded to a single sponsored post enquiry (because I didn’t even know what they were for the first two years!)
- I hardly followed a single brand back on Twitter because I didn’t actually realise it’s one of the best ways of establishing a relationship and getting the conversation going. In fact, it was only when I read a review by my genius of a Candid Cuddles co-host Cuddle Fairy herself (in which she mentioned how the brand in question had followed her on Twitter) that the penny dropped.
- I didn’t submit content to a single site, beyond my HuffPost ones or those written for fellow bloggers’ sites.
WHY? BECAUSE I WAS SCARED
- Scared of receiving a ‘no we’re not interested’ if I dared approach a brand (the phrase ‘What have you got to lose? The worst they can say is no’ didn’t help at all as my internal reaction was ‘I’d lose all self confidence because no IS indeed the worst outcome!)
- Nervous of my writing being rejected after that one time I submitted to Scary Mommy only to be turned down (ridiculous of me because the rejected post then went viral on HuffPost!)
- Terrified of the whole follow/no follow link thang
- Ignorant of the potential benefits of publishing third party prewritten content on my site
- Convinced my stats and DA etc weren’t good enough
On and on it went. The fear, the procrastination, the hawing and humming and conjecturing and goodness-knowswhat-else-ing.
Then through interesting chats with my blog wife Talya of Motherhood the Real Deal who shall be henceforth known as Seriously Switched On Cookie and of course my #candidcuddles bud Becky whom I’m just going to start calling Social Media Queen and Laura of Life With Baby Kicks who is sooooo ridiculously savvy when it comes to all manner of blogdom that it is almost annoying (it’s ok I can say that, she knows I lurrrve her), I started to come out of my self-created shell and dip my toes out of my comfort zone. And you know how it goes folks…
I won’t go into details at this point as I prefer the ‘proof of the pudding’ approach rather than the ‘opening my gob, sounding like I’m bragging and then jinxing everything’ one. Suffice to say, I have some wonderfully exciting projects lined up, am talking to all sorts of fab people both here in Malta and in the UK (I have a rather exciting meeting lined up in fact when I’m in London next week for more #BloggersCafe filming) and am simply buzzing with excitement over all the possibilities that 2017 holds in store, if I play my cards right and work hard to see it all come to fruition! (And yes I know it’s an ‘if’ but I like to see it as more of a ‘when’.)
IT IS ALL BORN OUT OF GOOD ADVICE FROM SOME AWESOME PEOPLE SUCH AS THE LADIES MENTIONED AS WELL AS MY OWN SHIFT IN ATTITUDE
a willingness to reconsider ideas and collaborations that may not bring in much money themselves but that set me up nicely for future benefits and projects. I don’t underestimate for one second just how much work and dedication it will all take (jeez I’m already doing 50 hour weeks on this thing as it is!). Or bravery.
It’s gonna take a whole load of bravery, of putting myself out there, taking rejection and finding that some ideas just don’t work out the way I’d hoped.
There are projects planned that are already making me nervous just thinking about the level of effort required and the possible failure at the end. But I have a fire in my belly that I haven’t had til now.
Because finally…I know that I have to reach for the sky, even if it scares me. Or in more AbPrab lingo:
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