Have you ever had a moment in your life where everything changed?
You might not have known it at the time - but the moment was defining, it changed the course of some area of your life in a way that turned things upside down.
I had one of those course changing moments early in my blogging. It was a moment that resulted in my blogging moving from being a hobby that generated a nice bit of secondary income into a full time business.
It was a moment that at the time didn't feel life changing - but it was.
The funny thing about this moment is that it wasn't a discovery of some secret way to make money blogging, it wasn't the day I started one of my blogs… in fact it was a moment that didn't immediately lead to any particular change on my blogs - because it was largely something that happened in my mind - a paradigm shifting moment.
It all started with 9 words from my wife - Vanessa
'You've got 6 months to make blogging full time.'
Vanessa then told me that if I didn't get it to this kind of level I'd have to get a 'real job'.
This sounds like a rather harsh kind of ultimatum but it actually emerged from an ongoing conversation we'd been having about my dream of becoming a full time blogger.
Up until this point I'd been talking about how blogging could one day provide us with a full time income. I'd been showing her the growth of the earnings from the blogs so far and projecting forward to what they might be in the future if things kept going.
I'd been on about it for months and things were going OK - the earnings graphs I kept showing her were trending up - I could see the possibility of one day being a full time blogger.
But I'd been talking a lot…. dreaming a lot…. creating a lot of pretty graphs…. and not really DOING a lot.
Vanessa had very graciously supported my dream for quite some time but realised that to achieve it things needed to change.
I didn't really see it (I was too close and too caught up in my dreams) but Vanessa knew it and so she set me the 'ultimatum' - a deadline that changed my thinking and more importantly led to me changing the way I went about my blogging.
In the moments after Vanessa's ultimatum I had a realization that while I dreamed that one day my blogging would become a business that I'd been treating my blogging like a hobby.
I knew that if I were to succeed in going full time in the next six months that that had to change. I needed to start looking at my blogging as a business now - even though it was only earning a day or two a week's income.
That moment changed everything.
That was the day I....
- started putting serious time aside for blogging
- became more focused upon my core tasks of creating content
- wasted less time on distractions
- became more strategic in my thinking and set myself goals to work towards
- began to look for new income streams - beyond AdSense
- started hustling for advertisers - ringing up businesses in my niche and pitching my blog to them
- began to seek out guest writing opportunities on other blogs and even in main stream media
- started setting myself deadlines for posting a certain number of posts a day and developed an editorial calendar
- I started networking more with other bloggers
- began to invest more time and even money into my learning of different aspects of blogging
- started to look for a business coach who could teach me how to look at what I do as a business instead of a hobby
That day began the process for me of looking at what I do as a business.
While not a lot changed on my blogs that day - the impact over the last 4-5 years has been significant. I've not looked back and many of the things I changed back then have become patterns and a natural part of my blogging work flow.