But before I put up my blog tutorials, I wish all my readers to first get to know the history of this blog. How it started, why it started, where it is now and where it is headed. Maybe my story will inspire you in some way to start your own blog and make blogging a work from home career.
Why did I start this blog?
If you asked me months before I started this blog as to what blogging is all about. I'd tell you in all honesty that I have no clue. I've been hearing the word "blogging" for years now but I was never interested to know what it is about. I was not a very techie person. I know it's about computers, but that was it. I hated computers.
The funny thing is I'm actually in the computer most of the time. I'm an interior designer by profession. And everything I've designed has been done in the computer. And so to even do something on the side.. in the computer again? I was thinking, why bother.
Then one day I got curious. I wanted to know if you can make money blogging as I look for something part-time while I stay at home with the kids. I did my research and read articles that bloggers actually do make money blogging. The business minded person in me couldn't pass up the chance to try it myself. So after a month of research and reading(it's very addicting). I figured it's time to stop reading and just start my blog.
Blogging was not the first business I started. I previously had an online baking business called mustlovedesserts.com(I don't own the domain anymore). Realizing how hard it was to bake til' 3 in the morning and going to work at 8AM, I closed shop. I was killing myself in the kitchen doing it all by myself. Lesson learned is I'm not a superwoman. At the same time not being able to legalized my business hindered me from going forward. You need a commercial kitchen to do so, not a home kitchen, and I wasn't ready for it at that time.
After that, I created an online clothing store called dresscapade.com(I no longer own the domain as well). There's a lot of wastage and capital involve for inventory. Buying wholesale clothing means 6 pieces minimum per style. 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large. Guess what people bought? Small & Medium. I was stucked with all this Large size clothes I can't even wear myself. Lesson learned, write a business plan.
From those 2 businesses, why does blogging worked for me now?
Besides the fact that I can blog from home, you don't need a huge capital to start a blog. No inventory needed either. I do blog 'til 1AM, but that's by choice. If I don't wanna blog on certain days, then I stop. There's no customer waiting for my shipment that I need to worry about. I'm not going to say it's easy, it's actually a lot of hours too, but you can choose your hours or in my case whenever the baby naps or sleeps.
But I've also learned from my 2 e-commerce sites, how powerful the internet is. I was getting orders from all over the US before even without advertising. So I figured I'll also get a lot of traffic on my blog. And the amazing part is my readers are not merely from Los Angeles, not only from California, not only from the USA, but actually from different countries around the globe.
October 2012. A month before I found out I was pregnant with our second kid. After a month of blogging, with unbelievable page views I didn't think I'll see that soon. I stopped. I was having morning sickness. I was in bed all day. I went back to it in March 2013, unsure about it, but I just did and I'm glad I did.
What does AnyTots blog about?
I was suppose to start a food blog. I love food the way Anna & Elsa of Frozen loves chocolates. But I figured my niche has to be something I really do on a daily basis. At that time, I was going on playdates with my eldest. She was a toddler then. So I figured I'll document our adventures and feature events in the Los Angeles area and more specifically the South Bay where we are base. We even visited The Good Year Blimp. The blog has evolved a lot since I started it 2 years ago. It now features Travel, Events, Food, Products, Deals, Parties & Printables. It's basically a Lifestyle blog.
What does AnyTots mean?
I was trying to figure out a name or domain name that is not taken yet when I asked the hubby about the names I wrote down. Then I said, Any Thoughts? Before he can even answer, I said that's it. AnyTots!!! It sounded like Any Thoughts(filipino accent), but I put Tots since our eldest was a toddler then. And it will be any adventures our tot wants to do. And it will also be about Any of my Thoughts.
Does this Blog make Money?
Yes. I created this blog as a business right from the start. You cannot make money immediately right when you publish your first blog post. You need to build content. Typically, you'll make money blogging at your 6th month. We made our first $3 in April 2013 which is the 6th month, but technically I didn't blog from December to February. So it's 2 months after I decided to get back to it. Jumping for joy at the first $3, how funny. Anytots blog now makes 4 digits a month. And we are shooting for 5 digits soon. I'm also in the middle of launching my second blog. Fingers crossed it happens soon.
What are the goals of this blog?
I had 3 goals when I started this blog. First, to be able to impart information. Second, to monetize this blog. And third, to teach other people how to blog if I can make it successfully enough.
Goal 1 has been achieved. To impart information. A lot of people message me privately how my blog has been really useful to them right from the start. Random strangers who are now my virtual friends. Thank you guys for continuing to read my blog and follow me on social media as well. And sorry if you've gained a few pounds for getting tempted to eat when I post about food.
Goal 2, to monetize this blog. The first $3 was amazing. $3? What? That's nothing, but believe me, it felt like everything. Because it proved that you can really make money blogging. Especially since I didn't invest anything to start this blog except for a lot of time & $10 for my domain name. Yes, only $10 to start this blog.
So on to my 3rd Goal. To teach other people how to blog is what I'm gonna work on this year. Am I knowledgeable enough to teach other people how to blog? I can honestly tell you I don't know everything. Because as technology changes, so does blogging and social media. But I know enough to inspire one, and for me that is the most important thing. And we can all continue to learn together. Even bloggers learn from each other. I know I can contribute a lot to anyone who wants to start a blog.
In the weeks to come, we'll discuss the following things you need to know to start a blog before you even jump on the bandwagon and many more topics about blogging I wish to share:
1. Different Blog Niches to Blog About.
2. How Blogs Make Money.
3. Different Ways to Monetize Your Blog.
4. How to Create a Brand for your Blog?
5. How much do you need to Invest to Start a Blog?
6. How to Reach Out to Brands?
7. All the Social Media Platforms you Need to Have with your Blog.
8. SEO, Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
9. How to Grow Your Blog and Social Media
10. Mistakes I've done as a Blogger that you should Avoid, etc.
Where is this blog headed?
This blog is not perfect. Nothing is. Not even my grammar unfortunately. I speak 3 languages but cannot say I've mastered one. But in anything, the important thing is sending your message accross.
I'm looking forward to 2015 and the years to come as I try to perfect this blog and run the second blog. You'll see more content, tips on travel, blog tutorials, lots of free printables, hopefully even some recipes and everything in between.
For 2015, I'd like to add another goal which is to put part of this blog's profits to a charity I'd like to help. And I'd like to thank everyone who has help me in making this blog successful because it gives me not only a sense of fulfillment, but an opportunity to help others.
Amazingly, I was able to learn so much from blogging. It's not all about writing. There's branding involved, marketing, lots of technical aspects to learn. I didn't even know what a widget was when I started. And I continue to learn as technology changes as well. There's also a lot of perks when you're blogging and I've met a lot of amazing bloggers and have connected with a lot of brands that I loved which has all been really great.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my brother "J" who was the computer geek in the family. Had he not been patient enough in fixing his computer every time it crashes after I use it back when I was still in high school; had he not been pushy in making me use the internet back in college, back when connecting to the internet was still dial up and makes that funny sound(you're my age if you know that sound); had it not been for him who got me my first laptop and every succeeding laptop after that. Things will not be the same. Love you bro. I owe you lots.
And last but not the least, my very first followers. A.K.A. my other 2 brothers, my awesome cousins and friends, my parents who keep liking my Facebook post. They are my minions for life. Did I just call them my minions? Haha. And to my ever growing supporters on social media, thank you!!!
Ready to start a blog? Got a lot of questions on your mind? Leave a comment if you wish to learn or if you've already started one and have questions or if you just wanna say hello.
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