How to Turn Your Blog Into a Business – Show Notes

🚀 On episode 54 of the Bloggy Friends Show, I discussed how to turn your blog into a thriving business. As a seasoned blogger and business owner, I’m passionate about sharing my insights to help others achieve their blogging goals. Check out the podcast episode for valuable tips and strategies. Here are 3 key takeaways from the discussion:

  1. Reflect on Your Motivation: Before diving into monetization, take the time to understand why you want to turn your blog into a business. Entrepreneurship isn’t one-size-fits-all, so it’s essential to ensure that your goals align with the realities of running a business.
  2. Lay the Groundwork: Building a successful blog business requires quality content, audience building, and a strong brand. Establishing authority, trust, and a clear content strategy are essential before delving into monetization.
  3. Stay Motivated: Consistent effort, realistic goal-setting, and celebrating wins are crucial for navigating the challenges of turning your blog into a profitable business. Take small steps, track your progress, and recharge to stay driven in your blogging journey.
    Listen to the full episode for more valuable insights and actionable steps to propel your blogging business forward.

Links and Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Jay Clouse https://creatorscience.com/author/jayclouse/ 

Pat Flynn https://patflynn.com/ 

Join Share a Sale as an affiliate: https://www.famousashleygrant.com/shareasale

Big Amazon affiliate commission rate cuts among latest program changes https://searchengineland.com/amazon-affiliate-commission-rates-cut-332966 

Turning 1 piece of content into 16 | How to EASILY create content for multiple platforms! By Rachel Pedersen: https://www.youtube.com/live/Tg1UHew4K-0?si=KM7VqOyNIgXJVHUH 

Income Tracker: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hPlpOA8lh-lyDEeGZFMMtyO5wyJ6No-ZHcI11sdCo2Y/edit?usp=sharing 

Create and Go Courses (affiliate links):

Jammin’ on SOPs for Bloggers with Nadja Williamson

Jammin on SOPs for Bloggers with Nadja Williamson Blog Banner

What are SOPs for Bloggers? I interviewed Nadja Williamson to get the scoop. Read on to learn what she had to share!

Welcome back to another episode of the Bloggy Friends Show! In this episode, host Ashley Grant chats with operations expert Nadja Williamson about the importance of having standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your blogging business. 

Tune in:

Episode 50 Show Notes – Jammin’ on SOPs for Bloggers with Nadja Williamson

Nadja shares how SOPs provide structure and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the creative aspects of blogging instead of getting bogged down in the details. She outlines a simple system for creating SOPs:

1. Record yourself completing a task while narrating each step. 

2. Have someone else try to follow your recording to do the task. 

3. Ask them what information is missing from the instructions.

4. Use their feedback to create a clear written SOP.

Some key SOPs Nadja recommends starting with include:

– How to write and publish a blog post 

– How to promote a blog post on social media

– A master checklist of everything that needs to be done for each blog post

Even if you’re a one person operation, SOPs help you stay organized, batch tasks efficiently, and make your business transferable should you get sick or want to scale up. They also provide continuity for your audience, ensuring your content and brand voice remain consistent. 

Nadja emphasizes starting small and not getting discouraged. Building new habits takes time. Approach SOPs as “one less thing to worry about” rather than a chore. They’ll quickly become an indispensable part of your blogging toolkit.

About Nadja

Nadja Williamson is the Lead Strategist of Network Titan Solutions, a consulting agency that helps small business owners supercharge their operations by designing a custom mission control solution for their business. 

She is a nerdy (recovering) people pleaser who is using her superpowers to help others capture the elusive work-life integration dream. 

Though she grew up in the land down unda, she now calls Houston, Texas home with her equally nerdy husband, two sassy daughters, and a houseful of pets. 

Website: https://networktitansolutions.com

FB: www.facebook.com/ceosidekicks

IG: www.instagram.com/ceosidekicks

LinkedIn: www.networktitan.solutions

Here are some key timestamps from the episode:

– 00:01:02 – Nadja introduces herself and explains her company Network Titan Solutions and their signature program CEO Sidekicks.

– 00:02:11 – She talks about how they’ve shifted to helping people build their own “CEO sidekick” by teaching employees to become operations managers.

– 00:03:01 – Ashley asks what operations or systems Nadja would suggest for a blogger wanting to turn their blog into a business.

– 00:03:52 – Nadja outlines her “5 pillars” model for business operations.

– 00:08:18 – She recommends starting with SOPs and documenting processes step-by-step. 

– 00:13:29 – Nadja shares an example of how skipping steps in an SOP led her to waste hours trying to troubleshoot.

– 00:17:38 – They discuss the importance of SOPs for continuity if something happens to you.

– 00:25:18 – Nadja suggests thinking of SOPs as “habits” rather than operational structures.

– 00:35:57 – She explains how task switching hurts productivity and why time blocking is so important.

– 00:47:27 – Ashley sums up that SOPs provide peace of mind and keep your business transferrable.

What did you think about this episode? What SOP will you tackle first for your blog? Let me know in the comments!

Blogging for No Reason

In episode 46 of the Bloggy Friends Show, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kate Volman of the amazing podcast Create for No Reason. In this post, you’ll find the show notes, transcript, and links to watch or listen to the episode.

Please note: This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support!

Listen here:

E46 – Blogging for No Reason With Kate Volman

Kate is a dream manager and helps organizations build dynamic cultures. She also hosts a podcast called Create for No Reason, wrote a book of journal prompts with the same title, and has an upcoming book releasing in June 2023 called Do What You Love: A Guide to Living Your Creative Life Without Leaving Your Job. Our conversation revolved around the importance of creating for oneself and not just for others, the value of blogging for personal growth and community building, and the importance of executing ideas.

Kate discussed the concept of creating for no reason and how it applies to the world of blogging. She emphasized the importance of putting one’s ideas out into the world, even if nobody reads them, as it allows one to understand more about oneself and what they find interesting. Later in the conversation, Kate talked about her coaching company, Floyd Coaching, and her creative pursuits, including her Create for no Reason podcast and her upcoming book.

Throughout the episode Kate and I encouraged creating for no reason and emphasized the joy and importance of sharing one’s ideas with the world through blogging. We highlighted the personal nature of writing and how it can lead to a better understanding of oneself. Because here’s the thing – blogging can be used in different ways, from personal journaling to intentional community building around specific topics or interests.

Blogging is an accessible and fun way to create and share content, whether it’s personal or focused on a specific topic. Anyone can start for free, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be used to share content without a website. Writing regularly can help crystallize our ideas and thoughts, and blogging can serve as a digital time capsule or journal.

Our conversation also emphasized the importance of starting where you are and using what you have, rather than waiting for perfection or permission. We encourage you to pursue creativity and passions for fun and fulfillment, rather than just for the purpose of starting a business. We also discussed how sharing personal experiences and vulnerabilities through blogging and other forms of content creation can foster connections with others.

Truth bomb time –  there are easier ways to make money than content creation, but those who are successful as content creators work hard and are intentional about their process. What is important is honing one’s craft and building your writing muscle over time. There is a difference between doing something for fun and doing something for business, but it is possible for anyone’s passion to turn into a business.

Work on your creativity and create something every day. In this episode we also shared our personal experiences with writing and creating, including the therapeutic benefits of writing and the potential for future use of creative work. We mentioned the idea of practicing and building the creativity muscle through daily activities, such as writing a poem or exploring personal interests as well.

Overall, the conversation was a great reminder to pursue creativity and passions without the pressure of perfectionism or external validation. It highlighted the importance of sharing your creations with the world and connecting with others through vulnerability and personal experiences. It also emphasized the need to take action on ideas and explore different creative pursuits to unlock new possibilities.

Related: Start your own podcast here – https://www.famousashleygrant.com/RSS

Full Episode Transcript*

[TRANSCRIPT]

[0:00:02] Welcome to the Bloggy Friends show. What’s up, my bloggy Friends famous Ashley Grant here, and I just want to welcome you to the Bloggy Friends show. We’re so excited to have you join us on this journey of sharing our knowledge and experiences with you. Whether you’re a blogger, a content creator, or just someone who’s interested in learning more about the digital world, we’ve got something for you. So grab your notebook and a pen to take some notes or just sit back and take in all the amazing information and ideas we’re about to share with you.

[0:00:46] Let’s get into it. I guess we’ll just jump and so, Kate, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you here. Thanks, Ashley. I’m excited to be here. Well, tell my blogging friends what it is that you do. So I run a coaching company called Floyd Coaching. So my team and I, we work with organizations to help them build dynamic cultures so people love coming to work. And we also certify dream managers. So we certify life coaches that go into organizations and really help their people rediscover their dreams and then hold them accountable to actually achieve those dreams. So we help people dream again.

[0:01:24] So it’s a beautiful thing. That is what I get to do for a living. And then, as you know, I also do lots of creative things. I have a podcast called a Create for no reason. Started another one for the company called Lead With Culture. I am a new author, so I have my first book that is coming out, and I’m a creative like many of your listeners. Okay, so you said Create for no reason. Let’s talk all about that. What does it mean to you to create for no reason?

[0:01:53] So Create for no Reason, I love this name for two reasons because I like the double meaning of it. It’s create for no reason just for the joy of it, right? Like, just write, sing, dance, blog, whatever you want to do just for the fun of it. But there really is a reason. The reason is because of that joy. So when we can take a little of the pressure off ourselves and just allow us to create what we feel we’re called to create, it just makes it more fun when we just do things for the fun of it, and then you just don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side. So create for no reason. Just have fun with it.

[0:02:34] If it brings you joy, it’s worth it. So how would you apply Creating for no Reason to the world of blogging? So the world of blogging is so exciting because well, first of all, it’s so fun to me that we’re still talking about blogging, right? Because when did the first blog even come out? In 2004, I think that’s what it was officially called, a blog. But people were like, web logging, like, in the 90s, yes, that’s true.

[0:03:02] Right. And then we finally create it. Came up with the name of it. So it’s writing, it’s sharing your ideas, it’s getting those things out into the world that you feel called to do. And so blogging for no reason is amazing because you’re just putting your ideas out in the world. It doesn’t even matter if nobody reads it or sees it, just the fact that if you think that these ideas are meant to be shared, are meant to be out there, do it.

[0:03:28] And again, it doesn’t even matter if nobody sees it. But the beauty of it is that you want to put it out there. It’s important to you, and someday someone might find it. Or even that we talk about the 1000 True fans that Kevin Kelly talks about. It’s like, if your people find it and resonate with it, then that’s kind of like a cool little journey. But just this idea that writing is such an interesting writing is so interesting because it’s so personal.

[0:03:58] And the more that we write, the more that we really understand about ourselves, about what we want, about what we love, about what we find interesting, and when we can just share that and put it out. And the more that we do it, the better we get. And when it comes to communication and our ideas and building community and really kind of discovering new people, the more that we write, the better we get, the better we’re able to kind of crystallize our ideas on our thoughts. And so blocking is a beautiful way to do that. And so especially for those that have been doing it for years and years, and those that do it daily or weekly, monthly, whatever it is, it’s fun to see the transition.

[0:04:39] When you go back to the blog that you started with however many years ago or weeks ago or months ago, it’s cool to see, oh, my gosh, my perspective has changed a little bit in this regard. Or maybe I still have those same passions and drive to create and write about these kinds of topics. And so it’s kind of a fun way to just keep track of our minds, our thoughts, our creative process, and share it with the world.

Related: Launch your podcast and get a free episode here – https://www.famousashleygrant.com/podcasthosting

[0:05:05] I love that. The way that you were describing it, it’s almost like a digital time capsule or a scrapbook. Yeah, it’s like a journal. It’s almost like a journal. And with blogging, what’s fun is people use it very differently. Right? For some people, it really is a journal. They just want to share their thoughts and ideas. And then for others, they’re a lot more intentional because they have a very clear idea of, I want to start a blog, a cooking blog, and just talk about all of the recipes that I want to share. Or I really have a love of comic books, and everything I write about is that. And they really do want to create community. So I think blogging is so interesting because you can go at it from a lot of different perspectives and how you want to do it. Is it a personal thing that people can resonate, or are you going to choose one specific topic and really go all in on it? And you want to kind of potentially build a business from it. So it’s fun. There’s so many different ways to approach it. But the one thing that we can all do is start creating. Like you could literally write a blog right now, right after you’re done listening to this, and that’s really exciting. It’s accessible to everyone.

[0:06:11] Yeah. And the fact that you can actually get started for free is kind of exciting because yes, I know that so many people, if you’re trying to do it for a business, they say you got to have a domain name and you got to have all these things. But whenever you just go with it with no pressure and you just think, okay, well, there’s all these platforms I can start on. You could even start it on Facebook or Instagram. You don’t even have to have a website at all.

[0:06:34] Yeah, I have a friend of mine, she was telling me about one of her girlfriends who unfortunately went through a very challenging time. Her husband passed away very unexpectedly, and she was dealing with the grieving process, which is obviously everyone kind of deals with it very differently, but she was sharing all this stuff on Facebook and oh my gosh, Ashley, she was just pouring her heart and soul into it. Why? Because it was just Facebook.

[0:07:01] It was just her place to share what was going on in her life to her friends. And so many people started sharing it and talking about it and saying, thank you so much. I feel like you see me. This is what I was dealing with. When maybe they had a child that passed away or their spouse or someone significant in their life. And we see this all the time, right? Like, when people are blogging about their experiences, we are all so much more similar than we are not.

[0:07:28] And so when we share those experiences and those vulnerabilities, that’s when we connect with people. And so when people start sharing this work, no matter how they do it, like you said, you could do it on Facebook or however, we start to gain some traction and we start to get excited that, oh my gosh, I thought I was alone in this thinking. I thought maybe that no one else felt this way. But we know really that that is not true, that there is somebody in the universe that has gone through or is going through exactly what you’re feeling and going through right now. And so when we connect people in that way, I mean, blogging is such a great way to do that.

[0:08:03] And for a lot of people who think about, I want to build this huge community or I want to start this business, then we automatically get scared and think, we have to be perfect, and we have to have this great platform, and we have to buy all these things, and we have to become a great writer. All of it. So we’ve kind of taken ourselves out of the game before we’ve even started, when you can literally just start writing right now, wherever you are.

[0:08:30] It’s that beautiful quote, I think, Arthur Ash, that said, start where you are, use what you can do. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. And that’s exactly what we can do, is, like, wherever you are right now, you don’t have to go buy equipment or do or buy the perfect computer or system or software or editing things. Literally, you can just start writing. Yes. Oh, God, I love that so much. And it’s interesting because I had you on the RSS.com podcast, podcasting 101 with RSS.com, and we were talking about podcasting for no reason. And I have to tell you, since that episode, you actually inspired me to just do some more stuff just for fun.

[0:09:10] And it kind of took some pressure off. And I created a bunch of social media accounts for my dogs. It’s called Pampered palm cheese. It’s so cheesy. That’s so cheesy because they’re two Pomeranian Chihuahuas, so they’re palm cheese. And just having a creative outlet that doesn’t have any pressure on it, that’s just fun. I’m enjoying creating again. So I just wanted to tell you that that you inspired me to just start playing again.

[0:09:35] And I know you have an awesome book that is officially coming out. I’m so excited for it. Tell me all about it. Yes. Well, first of all, thank you so much for sharing that. I’m so happy that you started doing that because that was really the vision behind this book that I wrote. So I’ll share. For those that are watching this book, I am in love with the COVID It is gorgeous. It’s called Do What you Love. And the subtitle is a guide to living your creative life without leaving your job. And the whole idea is exactly what Ashley was just talking about, which is do things just for the fun of it. We talk ourselves out of doing the things that we’re really passionate about, that we feel really called to do.

[0:10:13] And so I wrote this book. I share the seven myths stopping us from exploring our passions and our creativity and how to really overcome those myths. And it’s things that you have probably dealt with in the past, which is we deal with perfectionism. We deal with permission. A lot of us are waiting for permission to do something. We’re waiting for somebody to say, hey, you’re good enough. You should start a podcast, or you should go do this thing.

[0:10:38] No, we have to give ourselves permission. And so the book really talks about those ideas. And the whole goal of the book is really exactly what happened to you after our conversation, which is to inspire people to get back into their creativity and to allow themselves to explore their passions and explore their creative pursuits just for the joy of it, just to have fun. And when we do that, we will see how much it does for our business, for our relationships, for our life in general. Because when we’re exploring our creativity, all of that inspiration and all that passion just oozes into other areas of our lives and we become more fulfilled.

[0:11:19] That is a definite fact. Because, I mean, I personally, my full time job is I blog for other people. That’s what I do, basically. That’s my bread and butter. And I have these fantasies about starting all these blogs that are for me, for my own personal business that I can put my name on because I do a lot of ghostwriting. And so it gets me excited and fired up to think about it from a non pressure perspective and just have fun with it again. So I think it’s brilliant. I really do. And I hope that everybody will like everybody who’s listening to this.

[0:11:50] I know that whenever we think of blogging, we think, oh, I want to get out of my nine to five, or I want to make so much money, but you got to start with what you’re actually enjoying or you’re never going to actually go through with it. You’re not going to do anything about it. Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting. And we talked about this on the other episode, I think, which is there’s a difference between going after doing something for a business and doing something just for fun. There is. There just is right now. Can your passion turn into your business? Absolutely.

[0:12:20] We see it every day, especially today with all of these incredible creators. In fact, I had one of my favorite comedians I had on my podcast two times. The first time I talked to him in 2020 when the pandemic was just going on, it was in December. And so we were all just still kind of stuck in our houses and figuring out what the heck is going on in life. And he started creating on TikTok just for the fun of it. Now I just spoke with him again, so that was in 2020. It’s 2023. I just spoke to him last a couple of months ago, and he’s a full time content creator. Like, he has figured out a way to become full time and he loves it. It’s so much fun. He has brings him so much joy. And so we see that every day, right?

[0:13:00] Because of platforms like TikTok and blogging and podcasting and all. I mean, I have a girlfriend that her whole business is around her podcast. So those things are possible but it’s the starting. Like, it’s the actual starting that kind of gets us into that state of creation. And from there, we can kind of figure some things out. So while I do think that if you want to do something on a full time basis, yeah, you can definitely have that goal. But the first way to do it is to start.

[0:13:30] We have to start creating if you want to be a full time content creator. And then, of course, there’s tons of other businesses where you can I think a lot of people have to get their priorities straight. Like, do you want to be a content creator and create content and earn a living that way, or are you just looking to make a lot of money? Like, if you’re just looking to make a lot of money, then maybe content creation is not exactly where you want to go. Right? There are easier ways to make a lot of money, and there’s, like, affiliate marketing and selling other people’s products. There’s all these other online businesses that you could potentially do that would take you away from content creation on kind of you personally, and you could earn an income that way. You could sell on Amazon. There’s, like, gazillions of things you could do, but we have to choose what those things are that we actually want to do.

[0:14:18] And so when you look at some of the big creators that are earning a living, they are fierce about their creative process. Like, they care deeply about their work and what they’re putting out. And you look at the podcasters, like, what’s the number two podcast call her daddy. That girl is fanatical. When you hear her talk about her creative process and her process of putting out work and building community and being there and the amount of thought and energy and effort that she puts into creating, I mean, it’s very intentional.

[0:14:56] And so that inspires me when I hear people that are full time content creators, but you see the energy effort that they put into the work that they do. So I think we have to get really clear on what it is that we want to do. And on the creator side, those people, they work really hard. They love it. They love it. Yes. But they work really hard at it, which is why they build really great communities. They’re very intentional about their process.

[0:15:23] Yeah. And what’s interesting to me is nowhere in there did you say you can’t make money from whatever it is you start, but it’s just about kind of cleaning up the cobwebs and not looking at it from a profit first perspective. Instead, it’s at least get in there. That’s another thing. I had a friend of mine, I spoke to a friend of mine, and he wanted so bad to be a content creator and to earn a living doing it, but he had never done any of it. Like, he didn’t have a podcast.

[0:15:50] And then he started getting into the work. He started doing podcasting, and he was like, wow, this is a lot of work. I actually don’t even know if I want to do this. And he totally changed the direction of what he wanted to do. But in his mind, he was only seeing what was happening in the world, right? He was like, oh, all these people that are doing all these podcasts are making all this money thinking that he’s going to start a podcast and like, three weeks in, he’s going to get some huge spotify deal, right?

[0:16:15] Those are all beautiful things. And I’m not saying it can’t happen. I mean, especially with TikTok and all these crazy platforms. Like, people get picked up and they’d get discovered and their lives are changed kind of overnight. But they started. They did it. And I love this idea of the ten year overnight success, right? Because some people think, oh, it happened overnight. But no, they were honing in on their craft. Like Amy Schumer talks about it. Like, when Amy Schumer was like, she went from kind of not very well known to that one year where she was like in five movies and doing the Netflix specials and all the things well, you hear her talk about. She was going out on tour, traveling in affordable hotels all alone, getting up and doing stand up at places where they maybe had 20 people in the audience, maybe even less. Some people loved her. Some people hated her. Years and years and years of that. And then all of a sudden, people are like, oh, she just blew up out of nowhere. It was not out of nowhere.

[0:17:13] And so it’s the same thing with a lot of creators. Like, you don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes and people that are honing in on their storytelling, their craft, their writing. Which goes back to your first question about why do you blog? I mean, think about if you started a blog today and you were going to blog every day. After a year, you have 365 days of muscle building. Like, you’re building your muscle of writing, and you’re continuing to do it. And you’re going to get better if you continue to write. You read great work, you look at other people’s content, and you start kind of discovering, what is it about their content that I really like? Why do people like it? What is it about them, their work, that I can kind of look at and learn from and grow from, and then you’d use that in your own practice. I mean, you’re building the skill. You’re building that creativity muscle every single day.

[0:18:01] You were just reminding me of something I haven’t thought about in years. I can’t remember what was called Project 365 or 365 Days of Creativity or whatever it was. It was some book, and it was basically a journal that was inspiring you to do something active towards one theme every single day. And I think the author was doing it with skulls, like some kind of art related to skulls. And so at the end of 365 days, he had just a catalog of art all in this one theme. And so that’s kind of what it’s reminding me of, is how, like, yeah, you’re just practicing, and if you look at this practice and playing instead of, oh, my God, there’s so much writing on this. If I fail at this, I got to stick with my job.

[0:18:41] If you look at it from more of a creative and fun perspective, you can finally play again, and that just sounds so much more refreshing. Yeah. Like, explore what interests you. I always share this story about Kurt Vonnegut and Kurt Vonnegut. It’s of this beautiful story about how there was a school that reached out to a bunch of different authors, and they wrote letters, and they wanted them to come visit.

[0:19:08] Now, Kurt Vonnegut was apparently, like, the only person that wrote back. He didn’t come visit. He was, like, in his eighty s at the time. He didn’t come back. He didn’t go visit the school, but he did write them a letter. And basically the letter was basically and you can look for it on the Internet if you want to find it, but basically, the letter was like, thank you so much for inviting me. He was so prison that they thought of him, but the idea was, this is what your homework should be. Your homework should be to go write a poem.

[0:19:36] Go write a poem. Don’t show anybody. After you write it, tear it all up and then go place it in different garbage cans throughout your area and throw it away. And he basically was talking about how that alone is create. Like, you’ve created something, you put it out into the world, and even though nobody saw it, and even though now it’s torn up into all these little pieces, you have created a piece of art that is now in the world.

[0:20:02] And I love this so much because talk about create for no reason. I mean, you wrote this poem, and now you’ve ripped it up, and it’s all over the place. But there’s something so beautiful about that. And his whole idea was to share with them. Skip to school, dance, sing, allow yourself to have fun, and create every single day. Because we are human, and we are meant to be creative. We are meant to create. And so we need to lean into our creativity. And so often, especially as we get older, and especially as we have more responsibilities and families and kids and jobs and all the things, we just let that piece of us die, when really we need that more than ever in order for us to really be fulfilled in all areas of our lives.

[0:20:47] That is so completely true. And sometimes it’s also just that we got to get it out of our minds. We got to get it out of our minds and either onto paper or into something. I do this thing I’m working on an article on it right now. I do this thing called Word Vomit Sessions where I yeah, I will literally open up a Google Doc or a Word doc, and I just type every single thing in my brain until there’s nothing else left.

[0:21:10] And just getting it out just makes me feel so much better. There’s no pressure. It’s never been seen by anybody, and it never will. Just the fact that I get all of it out of my brain is so therapeutic. And what you’re describing of the throwing it away and putting it in different garbage cans, I kind of like that idea. Like, I almost want to just delete all the pages I created. Oh, my gosh. Well, when people say that, it freaks me out because I’m like, no, my friend Tommy, he talks about that. He’s like, oh, my gosh, no.

[0:21:43] He says, there are so many journals that I’ve had, and I love seeing my old journals. And he has all these journals, and he’s like and I just threw them away. And I’m like, what? No, you have to want to look back at those. That is who you were back then. So when people say that they’re going to delete stuff, I’m like, no, don’t do it. But hey, everyone’s got their own creative process. But I think it’s so fun to create and then just have it. And even when you go back and you think, what was I thinking? Or I can’t believe I wrote that. But there’s also the potential of what was I thinking?

[0:22:18] I can’t believe I wrote that. That is brilliant. I love it, and I can do something with this. And that’s what I love so much. Even in my writing process, there was a lot of pieces that didn’t make the book because it just wasn’t the right fit. But I have a whole document of I love this, I don’t want to get rid of it, but it doesn’t make sense here. And so now I have that, and it could be maybe it is a blog post or maybe it is an article or something else that I want to write in the future. And so I just love the idea of keeping all of the work that we do because you just don’t know what you might be able to do with it in the future.

[0:22:54] Yeah, I mean, the heck, some of those excerpts could be your next book. Hey, it totally could be. After you write one book, it’s almost like I started writing the second one, and there are definitely pieces in there that I’ll be able to use. So, yeah, you get to kind of collect all of your creations that potentially use them. And some things to your point are meant for you. Like, I do believe not all of our work is meant to be shared.

[0:23:22] So much of your work could truly just be for you. I have poems written in my computer that I never plan on sharing with anyone. But actually, I never thought I would share my poetry. If you would have told me five years ago that I’m going to, A, be writing poetry and B, be sharing poetry, I would have laughed. And meanwhile, I have three poems in my book just because I thought it was fun to include them and hopefully help people, inspire other people to be like, hey, I’m not the best poet, but here’s my poem.

[0:23:52] I love that so much. And plus, if you think about it, there’s a lot of authors that I would love to see an anthology of just their unpublished thoughts, just something like that. There are so many authors coming to mind right now where I’m just like, I would love to see their rejected manuscripts, or we didn’t like it, so we didn’t include it kind of thing. I think that that would be just so fun. It needs to go somewhere.

[0:24:16] Oh, my God. I agree. I sometimes wonder about how much creativity or how many things were created that we will never see that is just novels or novellas or music or art or pieces of poetry or things that just people were not brave enough to share. But they are beautiful. And again, not everything is meant to be shared, but I find that there are so many people that create beautiful pieces of work and they just don’t share it because they are so self critical.

[0:24:55] They are dealing with perfectionism. They don’t feel like they’re enough. And those are all the things that I talk about in the book, because I even share a story. One of my friends who is an incredible poet, and he would share his poetry with me, and he’s a very unique poet. He’s a very unique writer. And I would always just I’d say, Send me a poem, and he’d send me these poems, and I would encourage him to share them because I’m like, These are so good.

[0:25:23] I don’t understand why you don’t think they’re good. And I wasn’t just saying that to him because he was my friend. I really, truly was like, what is your mind? How do you even come up with these ideas? And I asked him, I said, Can I share some of these with some of my friends? And he did. And then I told him I go, oh, my gosh. This was the feedback from my friends. Like, they love it. This is what they said. And he was a little bit more encouraged. And a couple of years later, he published his first book of poetry.

[0:25:53] And it’s an incredible book of poetry. I mean, it’s just amazing. And I’m so proud of him for putting. It out there because anybody that creates work and your listeners are bloggers. So, you know, you put out a blog, and sometimes it’s that one blog that you wrote that you’re thinking, I can’t press publish. It’s too real, it’s too raw, it’s too truthful. I mean, you just don’t know how people are going to respond. And when you put it out there in the world, you just never know what someone’s going to say about it. And I feel like it’s those articles, it’s those blogs, it’s those ideas that we put out that we get the biggest response because we are being vulnerable and we are putting ourselves out there in the world in a way that other people really see themselves.

[0:26:40] Oh, God, that sounds so awesome. Like, everything you’re saying is just making me want to play more good. And some of what you were saying kind of reminded me of I was reading I think it was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and she was talking about how she had this brilliant idea for a book, and then it was just not the right time, so she didn’t move forward with it. And then she met someone who was literally writing that book, and they had never spoken before. They’d never met. She’d never talked to them about it, but she said it’s like she put this idea out into the universe, and then because she didn’t come up with the rest of it, it moved on to the next person.

[0:27:18] And I think that’s kind of interesting. That’s right. Well, what’s cool about that is she talks about how it’s an idea and ideas are going to get made somehow, and so it’s for you, but if you don’t do anything with it, it’s going to find someone else who will do something with it. And so that’s what I love. When she shared that story, it was so interesting. I was like, did that really happen? But you know what?

[0:27:42] Rick Rubin talks about it too. Rick Rubin, and he has a new book out called The Creative Act, which is incredible. It’s such a great book, but talks similarly about the same thing, about how someone else is going to take that idea like it’s meant. That’s why when we see other people and we have an idea, how many all right, for all of you that are listening, you had this brilliant idea, right? You’re like, I have this brilliant idea and you don’t do anything with it. And then all of a sudden, like, two weeks later or two months later, you see someone else doing exactly what you said, and you’re like, hey, that was my idea, right?

[0:28:19] It’s like on Shark Tank, we’re like, I had that idea five years ago. Well, guess what? You didn’t do anything. And that is the entrepreneur that did something with it. So it’s so funny how people are always saying how, oh, I had that idea. I already thought about that? Well, it’s the person that executes. It actually happened to a friend of mine. She had this great idea for a car seat. It was for kids. It was a car seat. And basically, if you turned off your car but did not remove your kid from the car, it would sound an alarm so that you wouldn’t accidentally leave your baby in the car.

[0:28:52] And so she was talking about this. She kept telling all of us, like, oh, I need to create a prototype, blah, blah, blah. Two years later, it was a thing. It was an actual thing. It was this alarm that was synced up to your keys so that if you got so far away, it would go off. And she’s like, I should have done it. So basically what it sounds like is we should do the ideas that are in our brain. Yeah, they are meant for you.

[0:29:15] So I have this image in the book. It’s called the Passion loop. And basically what the Passion Loop is, is we have an idea, and we immediately think, I want to do that. I want to try it. And then almost as immediately, we make excuses. It’s not the right time. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. All of the things that we tell ourselves, and then we don’t do anything about it, right? Like, who am I to do this?

[0:29:42] And then so we forget about it. But then a couple of weeks, a couple of months, a year, whatever, however amount of time goes by, and you think about that idea again, and then you think, I want to do that. So you’re stuck in this loop of idea, I want to try it excuses. Idea, I want to try it excuses. Well, to break out of the Passion Loop, as you can imagine, what do we need to do? You need to just take action.

[0:30:08] You need to do it anyway. Like, you make the excuses, but you do it anyway. And when you do it, the cool part about getting out of the Passion Loop is it now invites you to new opportunities, new passions, meeting new people, building relationships. This is why so many times an idea that we have, it could be completely unrecognizable in the future, right? Like, you might have an idea of a podcast, but then the podcast turns into you meeting someone really cool, and you started a business together, and now you have a business, and you’re on Shark Tank. Whoa. But that never would have happened had you not had this idea of starting this podcast. And so that’s what I love about it, is that sometimes one idea is only meant to bring you to the next idea, but you can’t know that until you get started.

[0:30:53] And so every time that we have an idea that we want to put out into the world or to create, we can just play around with it and that’s what’s so great too, is when we allow ourselves to just play with it and we don’t make it. This all consuming, this is my life now. It’s more just like, hey, I just want to like, this is what I find interesting at the time. I’m just going to spend a little bit of time on it. We give ourselves a lot more grace in allowing ourselves to do that. Instead of, oh my gosh, I want to start a podcast, which means that I need to quit my job and get sponsors and have millions of listeners and all the things.

[0:31:31] And again, I’m not saying that that’s not possible. That’s 100% possible for anybody that wants to put in the work. But you got to get started, so make it easy for you to get started. Well, not only that, it’s kind of like what you said with your friend who started the podcast and then realized it was more work than they wanted. At least now he knows he got the idea. He got the idea, he tried it, realized he didn’t want to do it, and now he has the permission almost to move on to the next thing.

[0:32:00] That’s right. I mean, we don’t know what it’s easy for us to idealize what it is like in living in someone else’s situation and what they’re going through, but we just have no idea the amount of work, energy and effort. In fact, I tell my team all the time. I’m always like whenever they have an idea, I always laugh because I’m like, everything is an iceberg, right? Like, oh, we just want to do this really quick, webinar. I just want to do this really this event great.

[0:32:27] Let’s talk about it. Because everything is an iceberg. Everything is a lot more work than we think it’s going to be. It’s going to take more resources, more time, more energy, more effort, and it’s a beautiful thing. It could be a really great idea. Every idea alone in a silo is kind of a good idea, right? We can make any idea a good idea, but when it comes to the bigger picture of our strategy and our lives and what we’re doing in our business and our life and what we want to spend time on, it might not make sense at that time.

[0:32:57] And so the more that we explore and the more that you give yourself permission to explore what you’re really interested in, you’re going to really hone in on, oh, wow, I really do enjoy this, or appreciate that. Writing a book is such a big task. I thought I knew what the process was going to feel like. No, it was so different than I thought it was going to be to write this thing and to get it out into the world.

[0:33:22] And now I know. Now I have that experience and so the next time I do it, I will approach it a lot differently than I did in the beginning, for sure, but I had to go through that experience. And Amy Poehler talks about it. She shares everyone that writes a book. They’re like, it was so therapeutic and so amazing and wonderful. I loved it. She hated it. She’s like, I will never write a book again. And I love that she said that because for some and then you look at, like, Mindy Kaling. Mindy Kaling writes books, like, every other day. I feel like she has so many books out in the world and so very different perspectives.

[0:33:58] Mindy obviously really enjoys it. Amy’s like, no, I’m good. Read this one, and I’m not doing another one. And so not every creative pursuit is meant for you. That is why we get to explore all those different pieces of our creativity and what we find interesting. And it’s singing, dancing, pottery, photography, gardening. It’s all of these different things that we get to explore. Yes. And as we explore them, we get to unlock new possibilities. So when we create for no reason, when we blog for no reason, we’re unlocking the creative possibilities that are before us.

[0:34:31] Yeah. And blogging is so special, I feel, because look who’s one of the most prolific bloggers is. Seth Godin. Right. I mean, that man writes a blog every single day, and he will encourage people to write every single day. I mean, he believes that everyone has something to say every single day. And when you come from it from that perspective, which is, I have to share something every day, you are tasked with looking for interesting things to share and to say.

[0:35:03] And whether it’s through experiences that you have with people at your local coffee shop or people that you meet while walking or taking a walk down the street or whatever it is, or you read great books and you find different pieces of information that you can spark a conversation with. I mean, that’s what’s so fun about it, is that ideas are endless, and these different creative pursuits that we could potentially dig into can be found everywhere once we start exploring.

[0:35:33] Rob Walker has a beautiful book called The Art of Noticing, and it’s all about noticing your world and kind of looking. We’re so caught up in our own little world so often that we forget that there’s so much beauty in the relationships that we have and the people that we’re maybe seeing every single day, but we’re not even having conversations with. I see it on my walks in the morning. There are people that I will literally pass by every single day, and they will not look up.

[0:36:02] They will not look up. They put their head down, and they are just like, don’t talk to me. Okay, that’s fine. I am the kind of person that if you’re walking past me, good morning. How are you? And then I get into a conversation, like, there’s this cute couple that I see all the time. And I stopped them, and I was like, hey. I’m like, how long have you been married? So I had this whole conversation about how long they’ve been married, when they met. All I mean, they’ve been married for, like, 55 years.

[0:36:28] Amazing, because we can learn from people, from other people and those stories. And so for me, it’s like, I’m always looking at what am I not noticing in the world that could potentially make a really fun memory moment. Or I look at creating in the sense of you’re creating memories every single day. You’re creating these little tiny moments every day. And when you can make someone’s day by making them smile or asking them about their day, or we certify dream managers, so I always encourage people, ask people about your dream, about their dreams.

[0:37:03] What are your dreams? If you are standing in the grocery store purchasing your groceries and you ask the person behind you, hey, share with me what are you most excited about in your life right now? Or what’s one of your dreams? They might look at you like you’re crazy, because that does happen sometimes when I do that, but oftentimes they’re like, where did that come from? No one’s asked me that, ever.

[0:37:25] And you have this beautiful moment with that person, and we get to create those things in life, too. And that is part of creating for no reason. There’s no reason for me to have a conversation with somebody that’s standing in line with me other than the fact that you’re creating something between the two of you, and it’s just beautiful experience and could turn into something even more. Yeah. And every single time you miss those opportunities, you’re missing opportunities.

[0:37:49] That’s right. You just don’t know. You don’t know if you speak to the person in line behind you that they have maybe if you’re single, that you might talk to that person and they have somebody that would be in or that you could potentially meet and be in a relationship with and like, oh, my gosh, how did all that happen? Those are the stories that are so incredible when we hear right? Like, I met this random person, and then I somehow got and then I discovered this other person, and then it led me to this job opportunity, and then it led me to this whole like, your whole life can change simply by reaching out to different people and having different conversations and noticing the things around you.

[0:38:29] It’s beautiful. Yeah. Dr. Rick Wilbur. He taught intro to mass communications at USF. He changed my life. He’s why I became a journalist instead of a teacher, as I had intended. And one of the things he said on one of our first classes is he looked around the room and he goes, so some of you are going to end up being best friends. Some of you are going to end up being the worst enemies, and some of you are going to get married. And it was just like, we all looked at and we’re like, but it’s a good point. Like, you never know what reaching out or creating will create that’s right? Oh, my gosh, so did anybody get married?

[0:39:08] I did end up finding my husband at that school, but it wasn’t from that class. But it’s wild because you never know who you’re going to meet or run into or never know. Yeah, it’s like, you and I, we met at a blogging conference, and we stayed in touch, and now we’re creating this podcast episode together. I know. And I was waiting. That was like, what, like 20 years ago? I don’t even know. I think it was in 2006, maybe 2007.

[0:39:38] But it’s been a hot minute. Yeah, it was a really long time. I was like, Ashley, what the heck? She’s, like, reaching out to? I was like, this is so cool. But that’s the cool thing, too, is what I find so awesome. And going back to blogging, what’s so cool is someone could be reading your blog post and resonating so much with you, and you could totally change their life and never know it and never, ever know it. And that is one of the coolest things. And then maybe one day they’ll tell you. Maybe you’ll never know, but somebody’s going to reach out to you at some point, be like, I found your blog three years ago, and I love it.

[0:40:18] That is the thing any creator we love that, right? If you create anything and put it out into the world, when someone says, you were speaking directly to me or, oh, my gosh, this really resonated with me, thank you so much for writing this or saying this or sharing this. And that’s what’s so beautiful, is that you’re really impacting other people more than you know when you’re sharing your ideas and putting them out into the world. And not only are you helping with that in that regard, but you’re helping them to potentially share their own work because they’re saying, well, if this person can do it, why can’t I do it? If this person is being vulnerable, why can’t I do it? And you’re kind of pushing them to do those same things because we all can get in the state of being nervous to share something, but when we do, we oftentimes see a lot of really great benefit from it, even if we don’t get feedback.

Wanna start a podcast? What are you waiting for? Start now https://www.famousashleygrant.com/podcasting

[0:41:11] Just this idea that it could potentially be helping someone somewhere who might have stumbled upon it is a really cool idea. Absolutely. And that’s actually why I reached out to you, because I was following your newsletter for a while, and I was just like, all right, I got to have her on the podcast. That made me so excited and happy because I send out that newsletter every week, and sometimes I get people that respond back and say something, and sometimes they don’t. But I was just at an event last weekend and there was this woman and she said, I look forward to your Sunday emails. And I’m like you do?

[0:41:49] Oh my God. And it’s so awesome because I’m thinking, I had not even known she was on I didn’t know she was even reading them. And so I’m like, oh. And so you think about it, all of those people that are reading your work that they just don’t say anything. Your listeners, we’re all creators, so we know the impact it has. So I always tell people if I read their work, I’m like, you’re amazing. I love this article. I love this episode. I want to do that for them because I know that I appreciate that. But for most people, they don’t realize I don’t think that they realize if you’re not a creator yourself, you don’t really realize the importance and the impact that it has on the person that’s creating the work.

[0:42:30] When you share what you really enjoyed about it, why it made an impact in your life. And so I think that’s something for anyone to just encourage people to let people know if their work inspires you or impacts you in some way. Because even like, the big time creators, it’s fun. It’s a fun, feel good thing when someone says, wow, I really appreciated this about your work. Yeah, because when we’re in the thick of it, we forget that people are actually listening or watching.

[0:42:59] Totally. So if people want to get more of what you’re sharing, where can we find you online? So you can go to KateVolman.com. That is kind of the quickest way to get to everything. And that newsletter that we talked about, you can sign up over there. You can also go to Massive Optimism.com for that newsletter. And of course, I would love for people to support the book. Do what you love. It is officially out on June 1. It’s in presale right now on Amazon. So if you go to Amazon and you just type in Kate Bowman and you can buy the book and I hope that you love it.

[0:43:34] I think it’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait to read it. I’ve already got it, bookmarked and all the things, and I hope that everyone does check it out. And if nothing else, at least sign up for Kate’s newsletter because everything that she shares, if you’re a creative or if you’re even considering creating, you need to learn all about how to create for no reason. So Kate, thank you so much for being here today. I really appreciate your time.

[0:43:54] Thanks, Ashley. Always a pleasure. And thank you for doing all the work that you’re doing and helping creators to do podcasting and blogging and sharing their ideas in the world. All my blogger friends, I hope you enjoyed all the insights our guests had to share with you to get the show notes for this and all episodes, go over to Famousashleygrant.com podcast. And until next time, may your page please be high and your bounce rate below.

*This transcript was automatically generated by Deciphr. Please ignore any typos, grammatical errors, or any other issues. I run this blog and podcast and alone, and don’t always have time to hand check the transcripts. Thank you in advance for you understanding.

Episode 6 – Show Notes – Taking the Leap From Hobby to Professional Blogger

Is it time for you to go pro as a blogger my bloggy friend? Perhaps! In this episode, I’m sharing my key indicators to look out for that will tell you when it’s time to take the leap from hobby blogging to professional blogging.

One of the questions I’m frequently asked is when it’s time to take the leap from hobby blogging to professional blogging. Although this answer is different for everyone, I thought I’d share my key indicators that it’s time to jump off the hobby blogger train and into the glorious world of professional blogging.

You have more than a love for writing.

When you go from enjoying the act of writing to living it, breathing it, not being able to imagine a day without it, you’ve found that sexy, passionate kind of love that tells you this is something real. Perhaps you and writing started dating casually; suddenly, everything in your life is giving you reasons to write more. So you bump it up to seeing each other on the regular. Before you know it, you can’t stop. You don’t want to do anything else but write. You’ve totally found the one and you can’t go back. 

You catch yourself making a plan.

You used to post on your blog when the urge struck, but for some reason you sat down and created an editorial calendar in Excel. You started thinking about what topics would get your readers attention, and you even pondered what the best headlines were for clickability.

You’re making enough money from your blog to quit your day job.

Seriously? If you’re already making enough to pay the bills, why are you still working that pesky 9-to-5? It’s quite possible that you could just do this full time — and perhaps make even more money!

You have to claim blogging income on your taxes.

When you start making serious money and accountants have to get involved, you’re a pro, dude! Just make sure you don’t blow this chance to work for yourself doing what you love — be smart about bookkeeping.

Also see – Big list of potential tax deductions for bloggers

A post or two has gone viral.

OK, this might not mean it’s time to go pro, but a viral post could be the perfect catalyst to shift into being a pro blogger. You know that saying, strike while the iron is hot? Well, do that!

You ooze expertise.

What happens when you become an expert on something and start posting a bunch about what you know? You’ve found your niche, my bloggy friend. Good for you! If people are picking up all that knowledge you’re laying down, then I think you might be flirting with professional blogger status.

Ideas flutter from your brain like migrating monarchs.

Even though it might not seem like it, the fact that your mind just keeps churning out blog ideas is HUGE! Some of the best professional bloggers can go into any situation and come out with one if not five different blog post ideas. 

Self-starting is no problem.

As a professional blogger you have no real boss telling you what to do. Your only boss is you. You have to have the self-discipline to create a schedule and then stick to it — or your readers will tire of your inconsistency and head over to some other blog.

You’re good at interacting with your readers and other bloggers.

The more you engage with your community, the more traffic you’ll drive to your blog. Period.

Words like branding, marketing and reach are in your vocabulary.

When you start treating your blog like a business, you’ve definitely gone pro. Before you know it you’ll be creating spreadsheets of income and expenses, buildings lists of potential sponsors and reviews you want to pitch, thinking of guest post ideas for other blogs, and even having meetings with people to develop your blog into a household name.

Obviously, this is by no means a complete list of indicators that it’s time to take the leap from hobby to professional blogging — but these items scream pro to me.

Resources I Recommend Checking Out:

Episode 5 – Show Notes – The Mental Health of Bloggers | Mental Health Awareness Month

One thing not enough people talk about is the mental health of bloggers. In this episode, I’m discussing it along with what I do to cope.

The Mental Health of Bloggers

Today, I want to talk about the mental health of bloggers, and the importance of staying mentally and emotionally healthy. I want to cover a few things related to this topic because it’s so very important to me.

Interestingly enough, my own mental health is why there was a gap in my podcasting release schedule. Even though I’m new to the game, I had planned to release a new episode every week for 10 full weeks, at least in this first season of my show.

But, last week, I just could not bring myself to record.

Due to some personal issues, I simply made the tough decision to not even try and record. I now understand why so many podcasters tell people that if they’re going to start their own podcast they need to record several episodes ahead of time.

This way if they wake up one day and don’t feel like recording or they can’t record for some reason, they still have something to release on their scheduled day. Even though I did a lot of research and I had read that little nugget of wisdom from many experts that I admire, I was naive in believing that I could commit and just record once a week anyway.

How hard can it be to record and release a single episode I thought?

Well, when you’re dealing with anxiety and situations beyond your control, and there’s a pandemic going on, yeah….it can be really hard to record and release weekly.

Needless to say, I will be doing things differently by the time season two rolls around. But I digress. Let’s get back to the subject at hand, shall we?

The month of May has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month. According to Wikipedia, “Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health)…Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the stigma (negative attitudes and misconceptions) that surrounds mental illnesses. ”

My father committed suicide in December 2016 – just two days after Christmas. I don’t tell you this because I want pity, I tell you this so you can understand taking care of our mental health is so important to me.

My dad struggled with mental health problems all of his life, and many of the issues that plagued him, I see in myself. Witnessing his struggles lead me to leaving home as early as I could, and committing to trying to be as positive as possible for the rest of my life, despite everything he displayed.

In the days after his passing, I doubled down on that commitment to try and be more positive, and always look for the light in life. I know how easy it can be to sink into darkness, and fall down the rabbit hole of negativity…

And, I gotta tell you… being a stay at home blogger – it can be damn lonely. In fact, that loneliness, and solitude from the outside world can trigger many of my mental health woes.

Several of my bloggy friends have told me they struggle with mental health issues too. Interestingly enough, I’ve heard it said that creative people fight the most with inner demons. Depression, anxiety, feelings of low self-worth, lack of confidence – the list goes on.

Maybe you can relate.

So what can we do about it? While I’m certainly not a mental health professional and I would never claim to be, I can tell you things I’m doing to try and improve my own mental state.

What I Do When I’m Lonely

I go out and find friends. Okay, so it’s not as easy as going to the store to buy eggs, but when you put in some effort, you can find likeminded people to chat with.

The first place I look is Facebook.

There are literally thousands of Facebook groups for virtually any hobby or interest you can think of.

I love to craft so I joined a bunch of crafting groups.

I love blogging, so I’m in several blogging groups.

I love cooking so, okay…you get the idea.

What I have found in these groups, is that there are several people in them who just want someone to talk to as well.

Another place I look for bloggy friends is networking events and conferences.

I’ll be the first admit, this was easier before coronavirus. But I like to think we’ll get back to having live events soon.

I have met some of my favorite people in the whole world at live events.

The trick with these is to have some questions prepared ahead of time so you can engage with people.

And, don’t try to show off. I’ve learned the hard way that asking more about them than talking about yourself is the best way to go about meeting new people.

Finally, I look in my own backyard.

During the stay at home orders, I found solace in our neighborhood’s dog park.

I found a few women with adorable little dogs and I started looking forward to bring my mutts down to play with them every day.

It gets me away from home, and into nature. And, the conversations that ensue are enjoyable.

In a pinch, if I’m feeling really lonely, and can’t go out, I’ll call family members or friends on the phone just to chat about everything and nothing.

This image was on the top of the Google search results page for “Mental Health Awareness Month” and they had a statement that said Public Service Announcement.

When you click “More info” you are directed to the CDC

What I Do When I’m Feeling Anxious

I have really bad anxiety sometimes. To the point where if left unchecked, I’ll have a full-blown panic attack and be pretty much useless for several hours if not the entire day.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with two things to help me through it.

The first is guided meditations. I love them. My favorite app for finding amazing guided meditations is Insight Timer, but I’ve also found some pretty good ones on YouTube.

The reason I used guided meditations in lieu of just trying to meditate on my own is that I have trouble with my mind wandering, and the guided meditations make it easier for me to focus on relaxing and let the world go.

When I can’t access a guided meditation for whatever reason, I’ll sit silently and just repeat the word release over and over again to myself. It may sound silly, but it was a trick I picked up I think from Brendon Burchard years ago, and in a pinch, it’s really helpful to me.

The other thing I do frequently is what I call my word vomit sessions. I open a Google Document in Chrome and I will turn on the voice typing feature and I literally just start talking about everything going on in my head.

I don’t set a timer, though some of my bloggy friends have recommended that. But, I just sit there and talk out everything I’m thinking at the moment. I don’t censor myself, and I don’t try to have any rhyme or reason. I literally just word vomit all over the document.

Within a few sentences, I already start feeling better in most cases. Other times, I’ll have to sit there for a while and just keep word vomiting until everything is released from my brain. Occasionally, I’ll re-read what I’ve written because good ideas for my business or blog posts I have to write will end up on the page. However, more often than not I will instead release it all, and then not read it again.

I keep this word vomit document on my computer and I’ve dated each entry. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll go back and read it all and it will make for good material for my memoirs. Then again, it might sound like the ramblings of a person who doesn’t have all their crayons in the box. I’m not sure.

Other Things I Do When I’m Feeling Anxious

Meditation and word vomiting are my favorite things to do when I’m feeling anxious, but other things I do to calm myself down include, but aren’t limited to:

— Going on long walks – I call it pounding pavement. When I’m incredibly anxious and can’t stop fidgeting, sometimes I’ll throw my sneakers on and walk until it hurts. I sometimes won’t even bring my dogs. I’ll just walk and try to focus only on the scenery around me and let go of everything else. I make a point to look at everything I see and really think about it so that whatever is making me anxious is not the focus.

— Taking a long shower – I’m talking the kind where you just stand in the water and don’t even actually soap up. Have you ever done that? There is something about the hot water just flowing that soothes me. I would take more baths, but our bathtub is small and because of that, it doesn’t give me the feel I want from a bath.

— Cooking – I love to cook. But I hate doing it unless the kitchen is spotless, and my husband agrees to clean up after. When I’m feeling anxious I’ve been known to make incredibly elaborate meals just to have something to keep my mind busy, and off of whatever is making me anxious.

— Do a craft – I love working with my hands and creating something from nothing. Lately, I’ve been pretty obsessed with some Dollar Tree craft groups I found on Facebook. The members come up with some of the most creative crafts I’ve ever seen and they mainly use products from the dollar store to make them.

Facebook Groups for Dollar Store Crafts:

DIY Dollar Tree Crafts

Dollar Tree DIY Projects

Dollar Tree Projects & Money Saving Ideas

— Take naps – I know – this one isn’t possible for everyone, but when I’m so anxious that nothing else helps, I go take a nap. I’ve recently found a great trick for falling asleep quickly. Here’s the video that explains the trick:

What I Do When I’m Feeling Sad

One of the first things I do when I’m feeling sad is pray. Whatever you believe in doesn’t matter, but for me, praying helps me a lot. I often will begin by saying something like, “Spirits show me another way.” Or “Spirits help me transform this sadness into love.”

Often times when I’m feeling sad there is a feeling of being unloved under the surface. When this happens, I just pray to feel the love that I know deep down is in my life. I remind myself of my husband who loves me, my family and friends, my dogs, and so on and so on.

Other times, I just have to love myself and tell myself it’s safe for me to feel loved. It’s safe for me to be happy.

One thing that helps me when the sadness is just unwavering is to search for comedy videos, memes, photos, and even clips on TikTok. I keep a file on my computer called my smile file. It’s filled with silly images that make me laugh. And, when I’m in a rut, I’ve been known to open it up and go through the images and laugh until I cry.

Speaking of crying. Sometimes, when I’m feeling sad I will give myself permission to just be sad and cry it all out. I’ll go into my bedroom with a box of tissues and simply cry until I have no more tears left to give. It is often cathartic. But, while doing it, I do my best to not let my mind wander to more things to be sad about because then it becomes that much harder to come back from a downward spiral.

Many of the things I do when I’m anxious I’ll also do when I’m sad.

Another thing that helps me a lot is called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It’s also commonly referred to as tapping. I’m so not good at explaining how EFT works, but you can learn more about it here. For now, the Reader’s Digest version of tapping is that you tap on pressure points to relieve stress, anxiety, sadness, etc…

I first learned about EFT from Denise Duffield-Thomas and she is incredible about transforming one’s thoughts about money. I’m sure she’ll come up on this show again soon because her trainings around money have really helped me to not be so afraid of making a living doing what I love.

One of the best resources I’ve found for tapping videos is Brad Yates on YouTube. Brad has videos on tapping through everything from anxiety to debt to unemployment to mending a broken heart. I highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel.

What Does Mental Health Have to do With Blogging?

Now, you might be wondering, what does mental health have to do with blogging? Well, if you’re like me, when you aren’t in a good headspace, you can’t be creative. Work becomes difficult. And everything just feels like you’re trying to run through mud.

Like any job, it’s hard to be a productive blogger when your mental health is suffering. Though buzzwords like self-care only became the popular thing to discuss in what feels like just the last five years or so, it really is important to take care of ourselves.

One of my favorite sayings in the whole world is “You can’t give from an empty cup.” Though I often fight it, I’ve been trying to remember and commit to this sentiment over the last several years because it’s so true.

If we are supposed to put our oxygen masks on first in a dangerous situation, it stands to reason that we must fill up our own cups first if we hope to have anything to give to others. It’s taken me a long time to realize that minding my mental health is not selfish. It’s about making sure there is enough of me to give to myself and others. It’s about making sure I’ll be here when people need me.

Other Things I Recommend for Help with Mental Health

To wrap up this episode, I want to share a few more things I recommend to help you with your own mental health journey. Some of these are things I can honestly tell you I still struggle with, but hey, I’m a work in progress.

First, get enough sleep. As adults, we should be aiming for between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. I will tell you that this has been a serious struggle for me in recent months. I’ve actually been sleeping in a broken pattern where I’ll pass out for a few hours, work, and then pass out again. I’m working on this one y’all.

Second, be mindful of what you put in your body. I’m horrible at this one, but what we eat has been proven to have a direct effect on our minds and hearts. We need to be eating a healthy, well-balanced diet to perform at our best.

Third, and this is a huge one for me is to seek counseling. I hate that the idea of therapy is still so taboo. I am proud to share that I’ve consulted with and sought help from multiple counselors or therapists. We don’t make a big deal out of going to get a physical with our primary care physicians, and we shouldn’t make a big deal out of seeing a therapist or counselor either.

I can honestly tell you, without a doubt, I would be in a much darker place today had it not been for some of the amazing mental health professionals I’ve spoken with over the years. And, there are resources for you if you can’t afford one.

When my dad passed of suicide, I couldn’t work for several months which meant that my income didn’t exist during that time. Here where I live, a nonprofit provided me with free counseling to get me back on my feet. They even helped me handle the financial blows that I dealt with as a result of being out of work.

If you take nothing else from this episode, please take care of your mental health and seek help and guidance when you need it. And don’t be ashamed if you need more help than others. I’d rather everyone go to a therapist and get help with their mental health problems than read another family member, friend, or acquaintance has taken their own life because they couldn’t cope.

It may sound cliche, but the world really does need you. You are loved. I love you. And, I want to see you succeed and thrive.

Conclusion

I hope this episode was helpful. It was meant to be inspiring and break away from the stigma that so many people feel about discussing mental health. I’ll be the first to tell you that I know I struggle with mental health issues and I’ll never shy away from seeking help for those issues.

We all deserve to be here, and we all have a mission and a purpose. But to fulfill that, we have to take care of ourselves first. Alright, that’s all I have for now my bloggy friends.

Until next time, may your page views be high, and your bounce rate be low.

Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll catch you guys next time.

Additional resources for mental health:

How to recognize symptoms of entrepreneur burnout and what to do

Lonely blogger? Find friends in the blogosphere.

Blogger burnout? Try these tips to reignite your passion.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Alliance on Mental Illness Video Resource Library

CDC – Mental Health and Coping During Covid-19

Mental Health America organization

Episode 4 – Show Notes – 10 Ways to Make Money As A Blogger

Most bloggers never make money from their blogs. That’s why in this episode, I’m covering 10 ways to make money as a blogger indirectly.

10 Ways to Make Money As A Blogger

What’s up you guys?!? Famous Ashley Grant here, and today I want to talk about how to make money as a blogger. One of the common misconceptions about blogging is that you can just start one day and then make a boatload of cash. Now, believe it or not, this actually is possible. But it’s the exception and certainly not the rule! There are some new bloggers who hit the virality jackpot with their very first post and start making money right off the bat. Again though, these folks are MAJOR OUTLIERS… for the rest of us….

We have to get a little creative if we plan to make money as a blogger. And the truth is we may never make money from our blog itself. In fact, according to Blogging.org, 81% of blogs never make more than $100 directly from their blog over the blog’s lifetime. That’s why many bloggers who are making a full-time living actually are doing it indirectly.

What You Need to Know to Make Money as a Blogger

Before we completely dive in, there are a couple of things you need to know about trying to make money as a blogger. First and most importantly, is that it’s going to take work. If you plan on using your blog as a get-rich-quick scheme, then this episode definitely isn’t for you, and I recommend that you go ahead and skip it.

To Make Money as a Blogger Directly

  • You can add affiliate links and Google Adsense to start monetizing right away – even doing this though, you won’t make a bunch of money right out of the gate
  • You’ll need to figure out your niche – the bloggers that make the most money have a niche – in fact, a lack of a solid one is what has prevented me from hitting it BIG
  • You’ll need to add LOTS of QUALITY posts
  • You then need to start getting eyeballs on those posts and even that might not be enough

It might get frustrating at times because if you are like most of the bloggers I know, you’ll have days/months, maybe even years, where you’re not making as much money as you would like.

You might not make “real” money for months or even years – maybe not EVER 🙁

It has taken some bloggers years to make more than a few hundred dollars from their blogs

Pro Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger worked 80-100 hrs a week for the first several years, and even now usually puts in at least 60 hours – but he makes $100,000 a month now on his blog! I recommend you read his guide on how to make money as a blogger – HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING (FREE GUIDE FOR 2020)

Image via Problogger

To Make Money as a Blogger Indirectly

1. Email marketing

If you’re smart you’ve started growing an email list — and that list means you have potential income opportunity. I’ve told you guys before, that I’m really bad about this. I don’t have an email list, even though I know I should.

Think about what product or service you could sell to your email subscribers. Whether it’s your own product or someone else’s for which you get a cut of every sale, you’ve got a chance to get paid.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

2. Podcasting and YouTube

And again, this is not get-rich-quick. Sure, with YouTube you could go viral, and suddenly be able to make an influx of cash. But, like with blogging, this is the exception and not the rule.

If you have a strong speaking voice and think you could reach a broader audience, podcasting might be a good fit for you. While some people believe that it’s just as hard to build a podcast following as it is to build a blog following, others believe podcasting is more appealing in our fast-paced society because no one takes the time to read anymore.

As for YouTube, people love watching videos, so why not leverage that platform to make a little cash? Of course, you will need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watched hours before you can monetize with Google Adsense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start making money right away. Product links, affiliate links, and links for your services can all be added to your description box!

You could simply read your blog posts to your viewers, tell your viewers about your blog posts, or show what you are writing about. For example, if you have a cake decorating blog you could create videos of you decorating cakes. Craft blog? Create short how-to clips. When you have enough source material, edit the clips into a full-length video that you can sell.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

3. Speaking Gigs

Depending on your message and your blog’s niche, you could start making money from speaking at various engagements. Say you’ve got a knack to describing how to build the best chicken coops; you might just be able to land a speaking gig at a farming conference.

Note: In lieu of cash, some speakers are paid with tickets and hotel reservations for the conferences or expos they’re participating in. That’s as good as cash to me, baby. Am I alone in that? Tweet me at @AshleyisFamous and let me know.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

4. Books

Develop a large enough knowledge base and you’ve got the opportunity to organize and distribute your knowledge in book form. Thanks to the joy of online publishing platforms like Kindle, Lulu and others, you don’t even need a publisher. You could also sell your book as a PDF downloadable directly from your website. Of course, you’ll use your blog to promote the books you create.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

5. Hosting Workshops – live and virtual / Teaching Courses

It’s been said that it takes as much effort to write a book as it does to plan and sell a course. Why not do both? Take your lessons from your book and create videos with visual elements and combine them with group coaching to walk your students through every step of what you know. Bonus points if you get an outside sponsor to help subsidize your costs. You get more bonus points if you film everything that happens at the event and then sell the digital sessions. Ah, multiple levels of income potential from one event — it’s a beautiful thing!

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

6. Consulting Gigs

As a blogger, you have set yourself up as an expert in your chosen field. You could become a consultant in your area of expertise. You might even look into consulting about blogging (although if you’re not making any money at it, you might want to give that potential income stream a pass until you are). Of course, some topics are more profitable than others, but if you’re interested in giving one-on-one advice there might be someone out there willing to pay you for your time.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

7. Social Media Management

As a blogger, you’re already learning how to use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This is a valuable tool that many business owners are looking for. Perhaps you can manage their social media feeds for them and get paid while you do it!

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

8. Creating Digital and Physical Products

I’ve seen bloggers create everything from journals to planners, custom aprons to lipgloss, essential oil blends, spice kits, budgeting planners and so much more. You can easily create digital products with just your laptop and have them ready to sell as fast as you can create them. While physical products will take more time and resources, you can certainly develop those and make money too.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

9. You Could Land A Swanky Nine to Five Gig

Perhaps the skills you have learned from running your blog make you a perfect candidate for a new “real job.” Your blog might be the ideal resume. Should you choose to go back to the dark side 9-to-5 world, you could keep building your blog on the side while bringing in a steady paycheck. If that’s how you want to roll, more power to you!

What are your favorite ways to make indirect blogging income? Please tweet me at @AshleyisFamous and let me know because I’m ALWAYS looking for additional revenue streams!

10. Ghostwriting and Freelance Writing

Now, before you tell me you’re not a writer, take a look at the number of posts you’ve written on your blog. If you’ve formed coherent thoughts into complete sentences, you’re a writer my friend. Maybe not a good one, but a writer nonetheless. With the decent portfolio your blog posts comprise, you can find yourself some freelance writing gigs — becoming a ghost blogger like me or pitching magazine, newspaper and website editors to write content for their outlets with your own byline.

Recommended reading if you want to use this method to make money as a blogger:

More Resources I Recommend If You Want To Make Money As A Blogger

How Much Do Bloggers Really Make?

Blogging Bullsh*t: Why Do Bloggers Keep Lying About Money?

How to Make Money Blogging

How Bloggers Make Money Blogging

How to Make a Full-Time Income From Your Blog

Make Money Blogging

Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? [7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging]

Can you still make money blogging in 2020?

Ideas To Promote Your Blog for FREE – Episode 3 – Show Notes

Ideas To Promote Your Blog for FREE

Does organic traffic feel elusive? If so, you need new tactics. In this episode, I’m sharing 10 ways to promote your blog for free!

Episode 3 – Show Notes

This episode is all about tactics for promoting your blog and driving traffic to your website for free. Ashley shares 11 tips, including guest posting on other blogs, participating in blogger roundups and link parties, doing joint giveaways, using your email signature, getting media coverage, writing for sites like Medium, strategic use of social media, getting interviewed on podcasts, interviewing experts yourself, networking online, and speaking at summits and conferences.

Ashley explains each traffic-building strategy in detail and emphasizes the importance of promoting your content everywhere possible and connecting with others in your niche. She wants to help bloggers grow their audiences organically without spending money on advertising. The episode is filled with actionable tips bloggers can use right away to increase visibility and get more eyeballs on their websites.

Here are the most important timestamps for this episode on promoting your blog:

1:35 – Ashley introduces her 10 best ways to promote your blog for free.

2:41 – Ashley explains how guest posting works and why it’s her #1 favorite traffic strategy.

4:17 – Ashley talks about participating in roundups and link parties to tap into new audiences.

5:09 – Ashley covers doing joint giveaways with other bloggers.

8:45 – Ashley suggests using your email signature to promote your blog.

9:27 – Ashley talks about different tactics for getting media coverage as a blogger.

11:59 – Ashley recommends writing for sites like Medium to establish expertise.

13:02 – Ashley stresses the importance of strategic social media use.

15:45 – Ashley explains how guest podcasting can drive new traffic.

17:20 – Ashley talks about interviewing experts and quoting them.

18:33 – Ashley suggests networking online through groups.

20:40 – Ashley does a quick recap of all 11 free traffic-building tips.

Let me know if you need any other important timestamps highlighted!

Read all 11 ways to promote your blog for free here!

Subscribe to the Bloggy Friends Show – Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music

The Not So Wild World Of Ghostblogging – Episode 2

The Not So Wild World Of Ghostblogging Blog Header

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Bloggy Friends Show where we chat about The Not So Wild World Of Ghostblogging.

Episode 2 of the Bloggy Friends Show Notes

In this episode of the Bloggy Friends Show titled “Ghostblogging,” Famous Ashley Grant discusses her experience and insights into the world of ghostblogging. She shares how she got started, the challenges she faced, and the opportunities it presented. Ashley emphasizes the importance of being a good writer and learning the client’s voice. She also talks about the benefits of ghostblogging, including the ability to work from anywhere in the world. Ashley offers advice on breaking into the industry and highlights the significance of having writing samples, or clips, to showcase your skills. Overall, this episode provides valuable information for those interested in pursuing a career in ghostblogging.

Tune in on YouTube instead:

How to Become a GhostBlogger

What’s up, everyone? Famous Ashley Grant here, and welcome to the ghostblogging episode of the Bloggy Friends Show. Before I dive into today’s content, I just want to thank everyone for their reactions to my first episode. I was so scared to release this podcast. For years I’ve wanted to do an online show you guys, and every time I started to write an outline or record audio, I would just tuck it away and push it to the side. It’s why I released the first episode on April Fool’s Day, honestly. I want to release weekly episodes on Fridays, but I chose a Wednesday for the inaugural episode just so it could fall on April Fool’s.

I figured if it sucked I could just say it was a joke. Ha!

But so far, everyone has been so supportive. You all have been so awesome with your messages, comments, and words of wisdom. I know I’ll probably keep being scared for a while. But, I’m going to keep trying and powering through the fear because I have big plans for this show and future projects, and my goals aren’t going to accomplish themselves. Anyway, I just wanted to share how much I appreciate the feedback, and let you know that I’m going to keep going and keep chasing my dreams. I’m grateful to have such amazing people in my corner rooting me on.

Alright! Enough of this sappy show of emotion. Let’s get into today’s content. Shall we? I want to talk about ghostblogging. Ya know? This episode is going to serve a little bit as a time capsule in a way because right now in 2020 we’re living through a pandemic. Something that was never even on my radar.

Because of miss coronavirus, so many people are losing jobs or having to transition their 9 to 5 jobs into stay at home work. Many entrepreneurs I know are still working, but even they have taken pay cuts and had struggles as a result of these insane times. I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve worked from home for more than a decade. Sure, I’ve had a few 9 to 5 stints here and there, but for the most part, I’ve been a work from home writer.

As the workforce has been changing, I’ve gotten questions from people about how I’m still earning a living, and how they can do it too. So that’s what I want to talk about today. The not so wild world of ghostblogging.

What is a ghostblogger? Odds are you know what a ghost writer is, but just in case you don’t — a ghost writer is a writer who pens content on behalf of another individual, in their voice (or as close to it as possible when you don’t share a bloodline, and might never even have met in person) and with their byline. Ghost blogging is very much the same thing, only instead of writing books, pamphlets or press releases, you write blog posts on behalf of someone else (i.e. the person who pays you and strokes your fragile self-confidence by telling you how amazing you are).

I focus strictly on blog posts. Both short and long form, but blog posts only nonetheless. Why did I choose ghost blogging?

As I mentioned in the last episode, I got into ghostblogging in January 2014 when it literally landed in my lap. A lady I had met asked me if I would be interested in writing her blog posts because her writer was quitting, and she didn’t have time to produce her own content. Because I was losing work at the time, I jumped at the chance.

That first year was a whirlwind of chaos and learning curves. I had to learn the client’s voice, and then as I gained new clients, I had to learn their voices too. It ended up being an amazing year though, and I earned enough to go on my first vacation in years. We went to Thailand, and while we were there I realized that I could turn this into an amazing business working from anywhere in the world. Though my name wasn’t on the blog posts, I was making good money, and I knew I could keep working on my own blog in my free time.

I’ve ghostwritten books and press releases and landing pages too. But blogging always ended up being my favorite type of content. That’s why I started turning down offers for other work, and focused mainly on ghostblogging.

Since that first year, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to get into ghostwriting. I thought this would be the perfect time to lift the curtain and tell you everything I know about breaking into the world of ghostblogging.

For starters, you need to be able to write a blog post. There are plenty of places to learn copywriting, and with practice you can fine tune your process of researching and writing both short form and long form pieces.

You have to be a decent writer. You wouldn’t go to a hairstylist who gets lots of complaints online that they don’t know how to style hair, would you? Wait a minute – Am I the only one getting flashbacks to the movie Grease when Frenchy accidentally mismatched the colors and turned her hair pink in beauty school?

I can suddenly hear Frankie Avalon singing Beauty School Dropout…

Just me? OK … moving on!

Back to the importance of being a decent writer; notice I didn’t say the greatest writer who ever lived (that’s why we have editors). Imagine you and another person are being chased by a bear — you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you have to be faster than the other person who is also being chased by the bear. It’s the same with writing. All you really need is to be better at writing than the person you’re writing for!

The number one question I get from people thinking about becoming a ghostwriter is “Do I need a website?”

To this I say, no. Not exactly. But what you do need, is clips. You need some kind of proof that you can write.

Interestingly enough, when I start ghostblogging, I did not have a “traditional” or “typical” writer’s website. Sure, I had clips of pieces written, but not an actual website.

In fact, my first ghostblogging client found me because she saw stuff I had written in the newspaper and in local magazines.

But, how can YOU break into ghostblogging? In other words, How can you prove you know how to write without a website?

  • Write on Medium.com
  • Write on other people’s blogs. This is called guest posting and I plan on doing an entire show about that in the future
  • Write on your own blog
  • You could even write mock posts on Google docs that you can share with potential clients. The main key is to write something on a platform that gives you a link that you can send to someone who asks for clips.

I get it! Building a writer website can be time-consuming, and most people looking to break into ghostblogging want to start working right away. Building a website can take significantly longer than you might have time for. So, if I was starting over again today, and couldn’t build a website…here’s what I would do….

Create a Facebook fan page and call it something simple like Ashley’s Ghostblogging Business – these are FREE!

Write a post, or a few posts on Medium.com about the type of content you want to be hired for.Yep, I’m talking niches people. The cool thing about blogs is there are LOADS of topics…so you can set yourself apart by becoming an expert in one topic and get lots of work in this area.

When I first started ghostblogging, I was writing almost exclusively for travel agencies. I got really good at knocking out posts quickly because of how many assignments I had in the travel niche. And, the best part? I started learning how to come up with blog post ideas because I had written so much about travel in a short period of time. In one year alone I wrote more than 100 posts on travel. It’s crazy when I think about how much I have grown since then.

Start thinking about what topics interest you. Odds are there are businesses related to your topics. For example, if you love jewelry, perhaps you could work on blogs for business owners that run Etsy businesses or homemade jewelry. If you’re all about fitness, perhaps you could write for a personal trainer or even a gym franchise. Maybe you could talk until you’re blue in the face about homeschooling – there are virtual business owners that need writers to post about that too!

If you can’t find businesses that are related to your topic exactly, are there ones out there that interest you just enough? Probably! The possibilities are virtually endless.

But let’s get back to my “what I would do if I was starting today” scenario…

Once I had a Facebook page up, and a few posts about the topic I want to write about published on Medium.com – I would then:

– create a Paypal account if I didn’t already have one

– create a contract for clients

– decide on your pricing strategy

– get on Canva.com and develop some graphics announcing that I’m a writer for hire

After the business side of things was handled, I would start going about finding my first clients.

You need clients if you’re gonna make any money, am I right?

Where are these potential clients, you ask? Everywhere, my bloggy friend! They are online, offline, and they might even live next door. In fact, they might not even have a blog yet.

Odds are you already know someone (or you know someone who knows someone) who needs a writer. To start, I would go to my current network of friends and family. I would share my clips and ask them if they know anyone who would need a writer for content like this.

If I didn’t get any bites, I would start searching for businesses I’d like to work with. I’d grab my local chamber of commerce directory, join networking in person and online, join Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and basically tell everyone and their brother I’m open for business. All the while, I’d continue writing on Medium and other platforms about the topic I want to ghost blog about. I’d share the posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with a simple message that said something like “I you need content like this, DM me”

Now, I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret I don’t think I’ve shared anywhere else. When I’m in a pinch for client work, and leads are drying up, I go to PR and Marketing Agencies. Here’s the thing – all of their clients need content and they know it. They can have in-house staff do most of it, but sometimes they will bring on outside contractors to knock out the work that much faster. That’s where people like me come in. This allows them to get the job done, look good to the client, and I get paid. Everybody wins.

Most of the work I have gotten has been via referral, but when I really need work, I often will go back to the list of agencies I haven’t pitched yet and throw my hat in the ring. More often than not I get a message back that they don’t need anyone right now, but that they will keep my information on file because they like to have a pool of writers. Follow up when you need more work, and reach out to new places as often as you can. You never know when a pitch will yield work – it could be immediately, or it could be far down the road. That’s why you have to continue pitching yourself.

I will tell you I also have gotten work on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Now, listen. I know these websites get a bad rep, and yes, there are a lot of jerks on there looking for cheap labor. BUT! You can actually secure work on these platforms, you just have to be careful. Still, I agree that these platforms are more of a last resort than where you should begin your hunt for clients.

Other places I have found writing gigs have been on job boards, by attending conferences, and even by being a guest on radio, television, and other podcasts. In fact, one podcast I was a guest on yielded more than $400 in a single day. I got to promote my business, and landed an easy $400 while providing content to the podcast host. It was a wonderful experience, and I have since been on other podcasts getting my name out there. Again, you never know where your next gig will come from, so you have to keep marketing and promoting yourself.

One place some of my writing friends have found success in landing gigs is Facebook Marketplace and in Facebook groups where you can “sell your content.”

If you’re like me and hate putting on anything but yoga pants, you’ll likely want to look for most of your clients online. Believe it or not, I’ve never met 90% of the people I’ve worked for. We literally handle all of the elements of our business online. It’s awesome!

I love ghost blogging as a business because I get to make my own hours, and work at my own pace. I negotiate my rates, and then do the work and get paid. It’s truly been the most fruitful work of my writing career.

Let’s talk about what to do once you land your first client. You’ll first negotiate and agree on the terms of your writing gig. Save your emails and get everything in writing. If they want to chat on the phone or via Skype, that’s fine, but do yourself a favor and send them a recap email of everything that was said and get confirmation so you can ensure you are on the same page. You may want to get a contract in place as well to protect both you and the client.

Before you write a single word for them, agree to details like the date of delivery, whether or not your fee includes a re-write, whether the tone will be friendly or professional, the keywords they want included in the post, approved places for research…and so on.

You also need to agree on the method of payment, and how invoicing and payments will be handled. Some writers I know charge non-refundable deposits up front, and others charge the full amount once the job is done. You have to decide what works best for you.

After everything has been agreed to, it’s time to get to work. Here’s my suggested workflow for writing assignments:

Step 1 – 

Get the topic the client wants along with the keywords they would like you to include in the post. If they have any research they have already done on the topic, go ahead and get that from them as well.

Step 2 – 

Remember, only AFTER agreeing to terms, topics, word length, etc… should you start writing. Now it’s time to start researching your topics

Want to understand jet lag so you can ghost blog for travel specialists? Fly to Thailand, like my husband and I did earlier this year. It’ll make you a better blogger.

If you’re writing for a photographer, you’ll need to research their photography style and website and the photography topics they want to cover in their blog posts extensively so you can write with authority. With their byline on the post, their reputation is on the line. I suggest going after clients who need the type of content you already know about. It will make your life much easier.

When I started writing for travel agents I had to do a ton of research that might not have taken so much of my time if I’d initially known more about the travel industry than how to book a ticket online. After years of working with and ghostwriting for travel agents, I’m still learning and doing quite a bit of research — but at least I have a better grip on the subject. My industry-specific know-how now helps me assist in coming up with post ideas and knowing where to go to even begin the research process.

Step 3 – 

Write the post by the date you said you would and send it to the client either as a Word document, a Google doc or in the body of an email (how you submit your work will depend on what you and the client agreed to ahead of time) i personally prefer Google Docs because I can access them anywhere with WiFi and both I and the client can add comments directly into the document for edits and ideas

I have to take a quick moment here and reiterate something of great importance. Always meet your deadlines! Trust me, the fastest way to lose your blogging clients is to be late and/or drop the ball completely. If they want a post every Friday by 5 p.m., you better make sure they get their posts every Friday by 5 p.m.! Bonus points if you’re early because then they really know they can rely on you.

Here’s the thing, in the past 13 years I’ve written a lot of content. I’ve also been an editor and a manager and someone who hires and fires writers. Nothing irks me more than a writer who can’t meet a deadline. Especially if they don’t communicate with me that they will be late with a good reason. I personally have blacklisted writers who can’t communicate, follow instructions, or meet deadlines. I don’t want that to happen to you. So, just please, communicate with your clients and be on time. Okay, end rant.. Back to my suggested steps for your workflow

Step 4 – 

Rewrite the piece if necessary. This may be needed a lot in the beginning as you learn your client’s voice.

Remember, the whole point of ghostwriting is to allow your client to take the credit. If they would never use certain quotes or say certain things — like “dude” or “awesome” or “put a pin in it” — you’ll need to adapt to their way of writing. For example, one of my clients hates the phrase “not so much” and another doesn’t like any references to tofu in her healthy eating blog posts.

In the beginning, you need to interview your client thoroughly to learn how they talk and what they want to get out there to their readers. Both your credibility and your profit margin shrink every time you have to revise a draft because the voice is off.

Step 5 – 

 Invoice the client for the work provided.

Add terms and conditions for when you want to be paid. Set this precedent in the beginning so there are no surprises. For example, every invoice I send out states TERMS: NET 30 days, and past due amounts are subject to a $10 or 10% late fee whichever is larger. Because I’m clear on this, there isn’t a surprise when a late fee invoice is submitted.

Now for the hardest part about being a ghostblogger… well, at least it is for me.

You have to keep your work a secret.

If you can’t handle keeping mum about what you’ve written, ghost blogging might not be a good option for you. I sometimes have trouble with this myself because I’m one of those vain writers who can’t wait to tell everyone about my latest work (surprising, I know), but unless your client is OK with going public about using a ghost blogger, you better keep your mouth shut. In fact, don’t be surprised if you have to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which means you could face legal ramifications if you don’t keep quiet about your work!

The truth is ghost blogging requires a lot of work, but when you’re willing to put in the effort you can develop a pretty decent stream of income before you know it. So, the question now is what are you waiting for? Get your clips together and start looking for work today!

That’s all I have for today’s episode. I hope this was inspiring and gave you a glimpse into being a ghostwriter. Thanks for listening, and Until next time, may your page views be high, and your bounce rate be low. 

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Bloggy Friends Show Episode 1 – Show Notes

Welcome to the Bloggy Friends Show-YT Thumbnail

I’m so excited to have finally launched my Bloggy Friends Show! Join me on my journey and let’s be bloggy friends!

Welcome to the Bloggy Friends Show!

Who is Ashley Grant?

Ashley, who goes by the tongue-in-cheek moniker “Famous Ashley Grant,” first got started in journalism in 2007 when she was in college. Her first paid writing gig was for the Tampa Bay Times in 2008.

In 2009, Ashley was given the nickname “Famous Ashley Grant” by a hotel concierge she knew. She thought it was hilarious and decided to lean into the silly name, even ordering business cards with it.

Ashley has made her living as a freelance writer and ghostwriter since 2009. She loves writing for others but also hopes to build her personal brand and become “internet famous” under her own name some day.

What will the Bloggy Friends Show be about?

The goal of the Bloggy Friends Show is to “inspire, educate and connect” with other bloggers.

Specific topics Ashley plans to cover include:

  • The realities of blogging after you launch a blog
  • Ghost blogging
  • Promoting your blog
  • Making money blogging
  • Interviews with other bloggers

Ashley wants the show to celebrate the blogging community and create a space where bloggers can learn from each other. She coined the term “Bloggy Friends” to refer endearingly to her fellow bloggers.

Watch the episode on YouTube instead:

Welcome to The Bloggy Friends Show Episode 1 – Show Notes

What’s up, everyone? Famous Ashley Grant here and it’s my sincere pleasure to Welcome you FINALLY to the bloggy friends show. I’ve been talking about starting this show for years now. Though I can’t quite say What it is exactly that has prevented me from starting it, a series of events in the past year has led me to realize there’s no time like the present 2 just launch it already.

I know one thing that has held me back has been the fear of putting myself out there, especially considering that most of the work I’ve done in the past 6 years didn’t even have my name on it. I’ve been a Ghostwriter since 2014, but long before that is when my writing career actually began. But I’m getting ahead of myself

In this first episode, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself, share how I got into blogging and explain the origin story of my silly moniker that I’ve been touting since 2009. I’ll also share what my hope is for this show and what future episodes will look like. so let’s Dive In!

In 2007 my very first written piece was published under my name in my university’s newspaper. I was working towards my journalism degree, and getting clips was required for one of my classes. A few short months later my first paid piece was published in a local Tampa paper called TBT which stood for Tampa Bay Times.  I have to say from that very first piece in February 2007 in the University of South Florida Oracle newspaper, I was hooked. For me, there was nothing quite like having your name displayed and a story you had written being visible for all of your peers to see. then when I got the gig with the TBT I was on cloud nine and convinced that I wanted to be a writer for the rest of my life.

Fast forward to 2009 and I had several writing gigs under my belt, I was writing stories for various news outlets both online and in print. About that time, I was covering a lot of local Tampa events and at 1, in particular, I met the guy who would give me my moniker Famous Ashley Grant.

His name is Ron McDougall, and at the time he was known in Tampa as Ron from the Don. He worked for the famous pink hotel in St. Petersburg, the Don Cesar as a concierge. Needless to say, conversations that ensued with him were always entertaining and I quite enjoyed chatting with him.  One night when I was covering a story as I walked into the room he blurted out “ oh my God! It’s the famous Ashley Grant!”  I thought it was hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing. That night, he cemented it by calling me that multiple times and introducing me to several people as the Famous Ashley Grant. I can hear him now saying to people, “Do you know the Famous Ashley Grant?”

When I got home, after a little too much white wine I confess, I accidentally ordered business cards with that name on it. When they arrived, I busted out laughing but realized that I couldn’t exactly return them. So I thought why not, I’ll just hand them out and see what happens.

Incidentally, I started introducing myself as Famous Ashley Grant, and it was the first year that I made full-time income as a writer. As the momentum picked up during that year I got excited and so I bought the domain thefamousashleygrant.com and decided I was going to keep using that name because every time someone met me and I used it they would either laugh or they would roll their eyes. But the key was they would never forget. And that became essential for me to get more work.

Slowly but surely maintaining the level of work that I was getting became a little bit harder because anytime advertisers would pull out the first people to go would always be Freelancers which is what I always was. A freelancer. Come 2013 I was making significantly less income and begin looking for other opportunities. Then, in January 2014 ghostwriting literally landed in my lap. Suddenly, getting gigs was easy again, as long as my name wasn’t on the byline.

So I’ve been doing that while also trying to get more gigs under my own name ever since. Of course, I continue to try and get internet famous enough to make full-time income as Ashley Grant, but in the meantime, I’m truly loving how many clients I’ve helped to get their story and content out there for their businesses.

So there you have it. That’s the backstory of how I got into blogging and how I got my moniker. Now you might be wondering, why call this the bloggy friends show? The truth is, the life of a writer can be a lonely one. A while back, I started calling my friends who were writers and bloggers my bloggy friends. I liked the idea That anyone who was a friend of mine had a special title of being my bloggy friend, and I often will say “let’s be friends” to people as I hand them my business card.

What will the show be about? I wanted this to be a show about bloggers, for bloggers, by a blogger. it won’t be about how to start a blog though. In my opinion, there’s plenty of posts, podcast and vlogging episodes, and articles about blogging.

So what I want this to be is a place about the wild world of blogging after you launch, or even after you’ve been around a while. I want it to be a place to hang out and learn about bloggers that are actually doing this and read their stories. I want it to be a space to learn about the latest news that could impact your blog, revenue, and business. But most importantly, I wanted to be a party to celebrate the coolest people in the blogosphere, and celebrate all the amazing things they are doing online. The goal of this show is to inspire, educate, and connect.

I plan to release 10 episodes or so per season as podcast, and in the first 10 episodes it’ll just be me jamming I’m blogging. I want to talk about ghost blogging, promoting your blog, making money, and things like that.

Then later, I’d love to do a series of interviews with bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and even brands all with the theme of connection and becoming bloggy friends! So that’s what you can expect from me and the show. I do ultimately hope to share episodes and other clips that didn’t quite make sense to make a full podcast episode out of on YouTube as well. Without further ado, let’s jam on all things blogging!

I’m working on a proper website and social media handles for this show, but for now, you can find me as FamousAshleyGrant.com and as Famous Ashley Grant across social media. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect with you. Until the next episode, may your page views be high, and your bounce-rate be low!

Subscribe to the Bloggy Friends Show – Google Podcasts | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music