It sounds like a very dramatic title I know! I don’t have an uplifting back story of overcoming adversity and so perhaps the title IS too dramatic. But the truth is, blogging truly has been a pretty big deal for me. So… I am going to get a little personal in this post and explain how and when I first came across the idea of running a blog and how blogging has changed my life.
How Has Blogging Changed My Life?
I first same into contact with blogging around 2005, when a work colleague of mine called Lee introduced me to the concept and explained to me that people were making money through blogs. The whole idea was pretty exciting and we decided to work together on a couple of blogging projects to see if we could make a little extra on the side.
This was the beginning of my relationship with blogging and it was the catalyst for changing my life.
To avoid going into too much more detail about my journey, you can read about it here: What Happened and How The Heck Did I Get Here?
For now though, here are the 7 ways I feel blogging has made a huge difference to my life.
Blogging went well for Lee and I after we started blogging and after a couple of years we were in a position to quit our jobs. This enabled us to focus on the online activities that were earning us more than our monthly salaries. Our jobs were holding us back, eating up a a lot of time we could have otherwise spent growing our online business. So we quit to focus on blogging full-time!
This is is the first example of how blogging changed my life: it gave me the opportunity to support myself through my own endeavours rather than by relying on an employer.
Now… my circumstances have changed a bunch of times since I left my job in 2007 to pursue blogging. I’ve been employed and self-employed again since that time. But blogging has always been in the background earning at least some extra side money for me and at most a very good second income.
I suppose many people would see this as the most important way in which blogging can change your life, but it’s by no means the only one!
2. Blogging is Something I Truly Enjoy
I really do enjoy blogging. It’s a lot of work and takes a stack of time, patience, trial and error but it’s worth all the effort you put in over the long-term.
Blogging takes dedication and it’s not a quick financial fix and nor should it be treated as such, but the rewards of making money, helping people out and watching something you’ve made grow into something IS life-changing.
The Internet evolves as does all technology, including blogging, so you always have to adapt and learn. That can be tough and frustrating at times, but such challenges overcome are life enriching in my view.
There are many times in the past where getting up to go to work has been a real slog. I used to wake up with a very heavy heart and drag myself to work. It felt like a chore.
Nowadays when I wake up, I can’t wait to get started. I’m excited about what I’m doing and eager to get to it!
Of course there are times when I get frustrated that things aren’t moving as quickly as I’d like, but this is because I’m driven to make my blogs successful and I want it to happen now!
How I feel about my working day now is light-years away from how I used to feel. Blogging has changed my approach and attitude towards work entirely!
3. Learning New Skills
I’ve always been a technically minded person, and there are many aspects of blogging that appeal to the technical calling I had early on in my career.
I find that I am constantly learning new skills or concepts as new technologies force change upon the blogging landscape. Even though I’m fairly technically minded, I often feel pleasantly challenged by blogging and the learning opportunities it offers.
I enjoy learning new things enormously and I always found that carrying out the same role day in day out for businesses at which I’ve been employed to be very dull.
Oftentimes the initial steep learning curve of any new job is a challenge, but as you become accustomed to your role the opportunities to learn diminish.
Would I say that blogging learning opportunities specifically are life changing? Maybe not. However, continuous healthy learning challenges definitely ARE… for me at least!
4. I Call the Shots… to a Certain Extent!
As an employee, I marched to the beat of someone else’s drum. If I didn’t agree with a certain project detail or felt there was a better way of doing something, in most roles I’ve ever had the response was often “well we’re going to do it this way”! I always found this enormously frustrating.
In most of my employed roles, the day began at 09:00 and I had to be at my desk and ready to work at that time. I’d often have to take my lunch break at an agreed time, that worked along with other people in my team. The workday ended at 17:30.
More often than not I would l not get to take a break and rarely leave my desk until well after 17:30. This is a working reality for many people.
When I started blogging full-time again last year, my life changed dramatically as my work / life balance shifted in favor of my home life. I started blogging full-time from home.
While I appreciate the benefits of working from home, I won’t pretend there aren’t any negatives. I’ve posted about these here: What Working from Home is REALLY Like! However, for me the positives of working from home outweigh the negatives as this change in my work situation immediately meant:
- No longer spending hours each week travelling to and from an office.
- Spending more time at home with my family.
- Carrying out school drop offs and pick ups for my two daughters.
- Taking a day off whenever I choose.
- Planning my working day the way it works best for me and not for the business I work for.
I guess the increased availability of time is how blogging has changed my life in one of the most beneficial ways. I work just as hard if not harder than I’ve ever worked, but I seem to have more time available.
5. I’m Not as Stressed as I Used to Be
I won’t lie. Blogging is hard work and it can be a quite lonely activity sometimes. However I am nowhere nearly as stressed about what I do on a daily basis as I used to be.
I’ve worked as a freelancer for a number of years… effectively the employee of my own business. The conditions were slightly better for me than being an employee of someone else’s business, but the squeeze and stress from clients was probably as bad as I’ve ever experienced.
The experience of my last client was so unpleasant that I literally couldn’t sleep at night from the pressure to deliver impossible results. I had to walk away in the end and it’s blogging I turned back to again.
Since coming back to blogging again full-time, life has become a lot less complicated, easier to understand and I have a sense of control and a greater degree of influence over what I do.
I won’t say I don’t worry about things… I’m human! However the unnatural stress I felt early last year would have made me unwell at some point in the future I’m sure.
Reducing this stress has changed my life… and no doubt extended it!
6. Realizing I’m Not Alone
After university, I spent around 12 years working for large corporate multinationals. Things would always start well enough, but after a time I came to feel what I was doing wasn’t really making a difference: I was just a tick in a head-count box!
For most of the time I spent in the corporate world, I felt there were very few opportunities for progression. I wasn’t happy and felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
Since I started blogging, I realized I’m not the only one! It seems many bloggers have been in my position and decided to opt out of situations that made them unhappy too!
Like me they didn’t just quit but worked hard to get themselves into a position whereby they could focus upon blogging full-time.
You may feel it’s not life-changing to realize that you’re not the only person feeling how you do, but it’s certainly eye-opening. It’s also comforting at the same time!
7. Meeting Cool People
When you’ve been blogging for a while and working hard to put your content out there, you will come across others doing the same. It’s unavoidable!
You’ll build relationships with many of them and get to learn about them as time goes by. You’ll also get to learn FROM them. I’m often amazed by some some of the people I get to know, what they’ve done in their lives and what they’re doing now.
Some of the tips and ideas I’ve picked up from other bloggers have changed the way I look at things or the way in which I work. It’s very easy to get locked into our own ideas and practices, but meeting cool people and learning from them truly opens up your appreciation of what’s possible.
You’ll learn an incredible amount from people you meet through blogging and hopefully they can pick up the odd thing or two from you too!
Blogging can make a huge difference to your life, if you’re serious about it and maintain a consistent level of effort. You must also prepare yourself for a long journey because making a success of any blog does not happen overnight.
It’s not necessarily all fun and games either. Blogging is hard work and you have to take the rough with the smooth to reap the benefits, whatever they may be for you.
I recognize that I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do right now. But life can always change in unexpected and unforeseen ways, so I understand that it’s possible at some point I might have to consider becoming an employee again. Of course I’d prefer for things to continue as they are right now, but you never know!
For the moment I’m able to fully appreciate and enjoy how blogging has changed my life in the very positive ways it has… and long may it continue!
That’s all for now.
If you’re interested in dipping your toes into blogging waters, remember it’s never too late to start! I’ve written a straightforward startup guide to help you to do just that: How to Start a Blog in 16 Simple Steps.
I’d love to hear how blogging changed your life. Drop me a comment below and tell me about it!
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