It was a little over a month ago when I wrote this post. I’d been struggling with finding a job after our move from Estonia to Germany, and was feeling like a total loser. I was defeated and lost. But, looking back at it now, that day turned out to be a turning point for me. It forced me to get myself together and make a conscious decision. I could either keep fervently looking for a job and feel like sh*t in the meantime, or finally start taking myself seriously and act like this, my blog, was a real business.
After I’d had a good cry, a heart to heart with my husband, and some time to think, I decided to go for the latter. I started working for myself full time. For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been getting up at 7am every morning and working for 12-14 hours every day to turn this blog into a business. If you’ve ever started a business, or tried to monetize your hobby, you might know how hard that is at first. Sure, I’ve been blogging for years, and sure, I’ve had thoughts of monetizing my blog many times before, but I had never made a commitment.
Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been going back and fort between keeping this a hobby, turning it into a side-job, or going for a full creative career, depending how the week’s stats were, and wether or not I’d made any Etsy sales, or had been featured somewhere. I was feeling awesome and so ready to be all business when things were going uphill, but quickly started doubting myself when the blog wasn’t growing as quickly as I’d hoped, or the post I’d worked on for hours got mere crickets instead of millions of comments and shares. Ok, maybe not millions, but you get the point.
What I’ve realized over the past 6 weeks, though, is that building a business is so different from just hoping to monetize a hobby, or make a little extra money on the side. Building is a conscious action, usually requiring a plan, some knowledge, and the right tools. Very different from hoping to build something. You don’t accidentally build a table, right? Well, you don’t accidentally build a business neither. Hoping is wishing something happened despite you. Building is making sure it happens in spite of everything else.
Which is not to say that a hobby-blog couldn’t grow to a point where monetizing would happen almost by accident. Or, that when you start taking your blog seriously, from a business perspective, you’ll be an instant success, and money would start pouring in. You know from my recent income report that’s not true. What I am saying is that how you view your goal, whether it be growing a blog, or pursuing a creative career, will determine the rate of your growth, and infinitely better your chances of making those dreams real. Look at it this way – when you start walking from Tallinn to Rome without a map, you might still get there, but the chances are way better when you start with a clear route in mind and a map to guide you.
When I started Pearls & Scissors, I had a very clear vision for my blog and an intention of turning it into a profitable side-business. I remember being very excited back then about the prospect of making money doing what I loved. I even had some initial success. I had over 44 000 pageviews in the first month alone, and an average of over 39 000 pageviews/month for the first 6 months. My blog kept slowly growing, but at some point I felt it wasn’t growing quickly enough. I wasn’t getting the opportunities I thought I would be, and slowly but surely, I started to lose hope. Why wasn’t this happening already? The thing is, I entered this with no idea how to get to where I wanted to go. And to be honest, I don’t even think I knew exactly where that was. All I had was this elusive dream of a paycheck that had something or everything to do with my blog. So, I was basically hoping for success.
At some point I got tired and confused. Somewhere along the way I went back to being a hobby-blogger. Which is totally fun and cool, but not at all what I set out to do. When I wasn’t getting the results I wanted fast, like yesterday, I gave up and hoped that things would magically happen for me. Time and again, I’d get inspired to give it another go. And another. And another. I hoped to build a business, but I didn’t have the tools or knowledge, nor a plan.
What I realize now is that hoping isn’t enough. If I want to see results, I need to have a plan of action. If you keep hoping for things to happen, they might never. But if you make a plan, get the tools, learn what you must, and do what you can every single day, eventually you will make it happen.
So, how did I grow my blog from 35 000 pageviews a month to 75 000 pageviews in just 30 days?
1) I got my sh*t together and made a conscious decision to build a business.
2) I set myself smart goals I could attain, and a clear plan to follow.
3) I showed up each and every day and did my best.
I hope this inspires you to make a conscious decision to do the thing you’ve been hoping for. To take matters into your own hands, and make it happen instead of waiting for it to happen to you.
xo. HannaP.S! If you haven’t already, go an check out my awesome new crafty e-book!