For me it was taking my blogging more seriously and to the next level. I had been quietly reading up on it and researching what it would involve, even making lists just in case, someday, I got up the nerve to act on the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I have a perfectly good blog site already and I have been making a concerted effort to post to it more regularly and more often. Checking the dates on the side bar will prove that while I have had this particular blog, (which is not my first or even my second blog) for a long while, I have been somewhat less than committed to posting to it regularly. Lately I have been adding one or two posts a week to it. At one point, it occurred to me that I could easily add Amazon affiliate links to my blog because I often mention specific products and most of the time those can be found readily on Amazon.
So it started with me giving myself a stern talking to. Are you gonna do this for fun or are you going to try to earn an income, no matter how small, from what you spend time and effort on? I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I did a bit of research of being an Amazon affiliate and it turns out it isn’t all that difficult. The most frustrating thing about it all is that once I made the decision and tried to add the links to my current blog, I realized that the links were not working. Not the affiliate links, not any of my links. I tried several different times over the course of a couple of weeks and they didn’t work. I tried two different computers and they still didn’t work. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to make the links, because I have done it many times over the past couple of years.
Just when I was making some progress on making my blog what I hoped it would be and starting small with just a couple of affiliate links, something goes wrong! It figures! Just my luck. I then considered the fact that my free blog site might not allow such links, but by then I was seriously considering the whole, get a domain name and do this for real thing. So, one night I was doing more research about how to start a Word Press blog and whether I wanted WordPress.com or WordPress.org and somehow I ended up on a site where I could see if the domain name I wanted was available. So I searched for the one I wanted and it didn’t look like I could have exactly what I hoped for. Perhaps I could switch some of the words around without too much trouble? Yes, there were a few options available so it was just a matter of deciding which domain name I thought would be most closely matched to what I have been using. So I decided to think about it some more and do more research to find out exactly what all of this might cost me. In case you don’t already know this about me, I don’t spend money lightly, at l;east not on things like this, not on, gasp, myself.
A few weeks pass, the year ends and another begins, and all of January passes and still I haven’t figured out just what domain name to settle on. I would be settling too, which is part of the reason I couldn’t get myself to act on the substitute name options I was tossing around. None of them seemed right. I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for any of them. It was like the dream was spoiled somehow. I figured I would just put the affiliate thing on the back burner and keep posting to my blog. I could always update the posts if the link thing suddenly started working again.
Then, over the weekend, I watched a webinar. Nothing new there, I am always finding interesting free webinars to watch, but this one got me excited about the whole thing again. I even taught myself to use a free online graphics creation tool in a day and was actually enjoying myself again. I created a Facebook banner, not because I needed one or even wanted one, but because it was possible. I created a business card for myself as a Freelance Writer. What? Me? Well, why not? I’m just creating graphics here, no harm in that right? Fifteen or twenty graphic creations later I was thinking about starting a Facebook author page just so I had somewhere to park my banner. I even went so far as to go to VistaPrint and see what business cards would cost and if what I had created would even work. Meh, something was a tad off, I would try again later and see if it worked better without the border. I had so much fun hanging out at home all day on Sunday and playing at graphic design. I knew I was no good, but it was fun, so it didn’t matter. I kept going and kind of figured out what I was doing eventually. Ah ha! I’m NOT too old to learn new tricks!
I remembered a link to a how to start a blog video from someone I trusted not to lead me astray and started watching it. She has you jump right in with getting a domain name first thing. Oh. We are back to that hurdle again are we? Well, let me see what the options are again I guess. Maybe I could get the name I want in something other than .com and I just didn’t know it. I could live with that right? So I followed the steps and couldn’t believe my eyes when the exact domain name .com that I had been wanting all along was available! It was like that still small voice was whispering in my ear. “Come on, do it! Commit already! Put your money where your mouth is, you KNOW you want to!” Yeah, that voice. Should I do it? What was the worst that could happen? I could pay for the domain name and never use it, that would be a waste of money. So don’t waste the money. What? That’s not what I meant! I meant buy the domain name and actually use it, of course! Well, I guess I could do that.
So, I took a chance on me for a change and decided to commit to my goal, not someday, but now. If I didn’t act, someone else could snatch up my perfect domain name choice, it had to be a sign that I was meant to do it right? So I click the button, and my frugal self talked me into committing for 36 months, because it is so much cheaper per month that way. I was feeling so proud of myself after I made the commitment!
I went and did another possibly crazy thing. Yep, you guessed it! I reworked the business card design and ordered 500 of them. It was easier to do that, probably because there was much less cost involved. So I am officially committed to this blogging thing for the next three years and I will soon have a box of freelance writer business cards that will become clutter on a shelf if I don’t get busy and put myself out there a little more.
So have you ever taken a chance on yourself? What did you do? How did it work out for you? If you take a minute to let me know in the comments, you will be helping me not feel quite so alone in my adventures.