It all started with an epiphany, my business idea and name came to me in a flash.....hah that was the easy part! I posted my very first blog in June 2016 and naively expected the world to come to a stand still in awe!!!! Well that never happened, nor actually did much happen at all! Skip to present day, 10 months later, boy have I learnt a lot. If only I knew these things then, or at least took the time to acknowledge that I needed to know these things. I still have a long journey to go. However I wanted to share my learnings so far, as you never know, it may help you on your journey.
Know your niche
Ok so every one talks about the important of knowing your niche. What that actually means is be very specific about what you want to offer, and the market that you want to be in, to attract followers and potential clients and customers. Well of course I knew my niche! "Organization" (Professional Organisation) and the market was people that need help with organizing their home and lives.........narrowed it down to busy women in a certain age group 25 -65. Sweet I thought that's my niche. It was not until I had a coaching session with a business coach, who basically laughed when I described it, I realised , with her help, that it was just way too general and I was trying to be everything to everyone and not actually narrowing down my content to a specific market. This has also meant that I have been engaging in too many communities online and not focusing on the community specific to my niche.
With the help of my coach I was finally able to pinpoint my niche and I cannot begin to tell you what a clarifying moment that has been for me. I am so focused now, much clearer on where I can find my community and deliver to them great online content as well as services and products.
Develop Online skills or Pay for it
What was I thinking!! Building a website on my own. I knew I had to have a website...well I couldn't be a successful online entrepeneur without one. Family members were not going to do this for me and I did not want to pay for someone to build me one. So I had to dive in and learn. Can I just say that it's so important to take the time to learn all about the technical side of website development and management. Learn code ...it's such a good skill to have if you are going to be doing all the website work.
You need to reach out to learning communities online for this and there are actually a lot and so much content for free. I purchased Building a Framework from Abby Lawson. If you are going to set up a blog this is an essential guidebook, such a fantastic and amazing value for money resource. However I still had to find tutorials on the details on how to create the actual website, if you have never done this before you need to learn the technical side. So I spent one whole weekend buried in website development. I didn't even know what a "plugin"was when I started. I did succeed and then realised that I quickly had to learn how to manage and run the website. My advice is to research what website is best for you. I am not talking about "template" I am talking about platform. I started off in Wordpress but I was spending so much time figuring out all the back end stuff and endless Plugins and upgrades.......constantly nervous that I was going to crash the site. So I eventually moved to Squarespace ...for me that was the best move for two reasons; Online support is fantastic and there is no back end management as such. It's like going from a PC to a Mac. Ok so it's not open source like Wordpress however if you are ok with that then it's perfect. I now comfortably make changes and improvements to my site and I have also learnt some code so I can personalise some elements.....yes I have come along way in my knowledge but had to work at it.
However if you don`t want to do any of that and have the resources go and get a VA (Virtual assistance) Google them if you want to learn more. Yes it's one of those jobs that didn't exist a few years ago.
Learn to schedule your time
I cannot believe the time I wasted doing things that did not add any value to what I wanted to achieve . Learn this one quickly, learn how to set goals and achieve them, yes there is a skill in this and if you are not good at it then get good at it. I use a planner and have set monthly, quarterly and 6 monthly goals and have developed project plans to achieve them. I tell you if you are time poor you absolutely have to do this. Again there are some excellent resources online to help you with this. I have found "You got this" from Alexis at Strange & Charmed a very good tool, she also has amazing content for women developing their online business.
My rule of thumb I use (now) is....will this help me to achieve the goals I have? If not, then don`t do it.
You cannot do this on your own! I have always engaged in support communities online, there are a lot of great Facebook groups and other online groups where you can safely engage and learn from others. It is such rich information that you get from people that have been there before and know the pitfalls and can help you get through them. You have to be brave sometimes and ask questions, you will be amazed at the support you get back.
So go find your community and get engaged!
Recharge and look after yourself
You have to do this, without you there is no business, no blog, no content...so you have to keep yourself healthy and focused. Taking time out and stepping back and recharging is essential. You will eventually crash and burn if you don't and the only person that can help you here is yourself...so put your big girl pants on and take responsibility for yourself and take it seriously. I certainly have struggled with this, you can read all about my struggles and what I did about it in my post on the challenge to do nothing.
Never give up
There have been a number of times when I just wanted to give up, especially when trying to work out some technical issues and feeling soo dumb.....and seeing all these great bloggers and online entrepeneurs quoting all the thousands of followers and their success. I sit here at my desk thinking I'm never going to be as good as them, who wants to read my stuff...blah blah.
But I have a dream and I will succeed and yes it's going to take a lot of graft and yes I'll make mistakes, however I know that I will get there. So "never give up" is my anthem that goes around in my head when things get hard.
By no means am I any type of expert on blogging and online business however I have certainly learnt a thing or two and continue to learn. I have a long way to go however I wanted to share the realities of venturing into this world......my last word on this is that it is sooo much fun and rewarding and I absolutely love it and it's totally worth the effort.