Home » Chapter 1: How was my first year blogging?

Chapter 1: How was my first year blogging?

How was my first year blogging

After I convinced myself that blogging was the way forward for me (see INTRODUCTION) It still took me 4 months of umming and ahhing to actually get serious and make the purchases which in my mind marked the moment I would cross over from being a dreamer to actually doing something tangible.

These two purchases, which I finally made in April of 2020, were:

  1. Registering the official names of my websites
  2. Securing Hosting for my websites

I had a lot of ideas for the types of blogs I wanted to write and took a lot of pleasure (and still do) from looking for the perfect website names for the sites I’d imagined making.

The first site would be about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which, as I mentioned earlier, I was certified in and found fascinating.

The second site would be about teaching English overseas (since I’ve done this job for 9 years and have a lot of knowledge to share on the subject).

The third site would be about one of my guilty pleasures… Greek Mythology! That’s right I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to Greek Mythology and it’s one of my passions.

I went to Namecheap.com which is the best place to register a name and I went through a list of names I had in mind to see if they were available.

More importantly was if they were available in the .com format since that is the one that has the most power in Google.

In the end I settled on 3 names and registered them for the websites I mentioned above. The names were:

  1. NLPkeys.com
  2. EnglishTeacherOverseas.com
  3. GreekMythGeek.com

I was happy with the names and also stoked that I’d finally taken a real step in the direction of making my own real blog.

How it felt when I finally took action and bought my website names!

Next I had to get hosting. Guys, if you haven’t heard of “hosting” before it can sound like a very technical word but let me explain it in layman’s terms… Imagine the internet is like a big block of land and every blogger has to purchase their own block of land to sit their house on (their house being their website).

A Hosting service sells you that block of land and you pay a yearly fee (about 100 euros usually) to continue being the owner of that block.

There are a lot of different Hosting providers but the best is Siteground and I’ve been so happy with them ever since.

I used Ian Pribyl’s book “From Nothing” to help walk me through the process of setting up my first blog which I decided would be the NLP one, NLPKeys.com.

The other 2 names I registered are mine to use when I choose but, at the time of writing, I’m still yet to use them.

I was told by people in the know that it’s best to focus all your attention on 1 blog first and get it going well.

When it’s making money and you have it automated you can then think about making a second.

If you try to manage too many blogs at once it will be overwhelming and it will take a lot longer to get any of them to a good level.

This has honestly been my hardest challenge until now!

I’ve still got the shiny object syndrome and have so many ideas for different blogs which I want to start NOW!

But, I know I have to focus my energy on one to get the best results.

This is me! So hard to stay focused on just one blog at a time!

However, I am making this blog as I speak, whilst still trying to build my other one up (NLPkeys.com) so I haven’t exactly adhered to that advice!

Still, for me I’ve taken huge steps in the right direction.

A long the way I’ve also experimented with a niche site I made called TypingRest.com.

The story of how this one came to be is a little crazy but hey, you never know if you don’t try! Let me explain this blog’s story a little…

When I had the hosting and names & set up for NLPkeys.com I started writing articles and trying to provide a lot of content and value so people would check it out and stay for more.

I woke up super early in the morning and worked from 5:30am to 8:30am.

Then I’d work in my English academy from 9 to 14:00 some days and again in the afternoon from 16:00 to 21:00.

They were looong days but it was the only way I’d get anything done without sacrificing the little precious time I had to spend with my girls.

How I felt blogging at 5:30 in the morning!

However, all this extra work on the computer took its toll on my body which wasn’t accustomed to these new demands.

My forearm was constantly strained and it affected my wrist as well. It was pretty worrying and I would constantly be trying to stretch my arm throughout the day but to no avail.

I went to various physios and even a type of local witch doctor but none of them could cure it. I knew I had to stop typing and using the mouse so much but I didn’t want to.

I was in a rush to get this blogging thing on a roll because I saw it as the escape from my less than ideal timetable and the path to financial and location freedom which would allow me to spend more time with my family and “working” in the mornings on what I loved.

So, I got an ergonomic mouse and changed my typing position and just tried to improve every ergonomic feature I could think of whilst working at the computer.

In the end it worked and I haven’t had the pain since.

I wanted to share this information with people because I had searched everywhere on the net for someone to help and there was nothing of use!

So I decided to make a quick blog, put the NLP one on hold for a little bit, and went looking for a website name that summed up what I was trying to preach.

This coincided with me hearing a podcast from a successful blogger who made websites and his big secret was to choose a website name that uses the exact same keywords that people search for regularly on google.

The name of this website is a perfect example of that. I have an online keyword tool from a website called Keysearch.co which allows me to search for specific words and see how many people search for those words each month on google.

For this website, I saw that the words How Do You Start A Blog?” were searched over 2000 times a month.

Normally it takes a long time and a lot of work to get to the first page of google but if you have the exact words of the search in your website name it seems to give you a boost and makes it easier to get to page 1 as long as your site covers the topic well and provides high quality content to the readers.

So, after hearing about this concept I decided to look for keywords that were searched a lot each month that reflected the solutions I wanted to give people for their pains from excessive typing.

I searched for Typing related keywords and one absolutely knocked my socks off!

I saw that the search term “Typing Rest” was searched over a million times a month! That’s not a typo… over a MILLION times!

It also appeared to have no real competition. This was too good to be true!

Finding the keywords “Typing Rest

I decided it was worth trying, I mean it was only 8 euros to register the name and it was an experiment I wanted to try.

I purchased the name and made the site. This only took me about a week to do and then I went back to the NLP site afterwards.

I was hoping to see the traffic (the number of people who visit your site) flowing in for TypingRest.com while I worked on NLPKeys.com but it wasn’t happening.

Maybe it just needed time…

I waited a month and still there was no sign of movement.

I added an article and some more things to try and get it moving but something was wrong.

That’s when I discovered the mistake I’d made…

I did a manual search on Google for “Typing Rest” to see where my site might appear and straight away the results appeared as if I’d searched for Typing Test!

Google had a little message saying “It looks like you wanted to say Typing Test, if you really wanted to search for Typing Rest click HERE”.

Shit!

Over a million times a month people searching for a “Typing TEST” misspelled it and wrote Typing REST instead.

The R button on the keyboard is right beside the T button, it’s an easy mistake to make.

Google had caught onto this and had automatically changed the search results to show Typing TEST as the search term.

Pretty much sums up how I felt!

Uffffff, I couldn’t believe I’d missed this.

I can’t believe I thought people would be looking for ways to have a Typing Rest!

I figured Typing REST referred to arm wrests and wrist rests while typing and they were the types of products I promoted on my site.

The problem was no-one was ever going to find it!

Oh well, it was a cheap mistake and I learned a valuable lesson… Make sure the search results for the keywords are actually dealing with what you want to write about because it may be a typo.

Anyways, after this experiment, I went full-on with the NLP blog again but realized there was sooooo much information out there on the net but so little organization of it that I didn’t really have any strategy or path to follow.

The Ebook only helped me set up the blog, it didn’t tell me the exact steps afterwards to make it successful.

I knew I needed a course that would show me how to do this.

I checked out Ian Pribyls course again and it looked good but I still wasn’t convinced enough to shell out the money.

And then the inspiration came…

I was on holidays in a little village in the Spanish countryside with my wife and family in-law.

I found inspiration on this spanish countryside run
I found inspiration on these runs in the Spanish countryside

I went running every morning in the surrounding hills whilst listening to podcasts on blogging and that’s when I first heard Sharon.

Sharon Gourlay is an Australian woman who has a family and managed to make a living from blogging.

She is so humble and real.

I just connected so much with her story and felt an instant affinity because we are both Aussies and have families to look after as well.

She doesn’t exaggerate like other bloggers which I like.

She just states it very matter of factly and realistically which created a lot of confidence.

She mentioned her website and I checked it out and found so much great information.

It basically picked up from where Ian’s book, “From Nothing”, left off.

I also saw she had a course called Build Blog Freedom Fast Track and the people who had done it were raving about it.

I loved how it looked and this time it felt 100% right, I knew this was the course I’d been looking for to take my NLP blog to the next level.

On the 1st of October 2020 I signed up for her course Build Blog Freedom Fast Track and handed over 500 euros in the process, a huge investment for me but by now I was sure I’d follow through with blogging until I became successful, this was my “burning the boats” moment.

burn the boats
This was my “burn the boats” moment!

I had to get serious about this, find a strategy and work hard on it knowing it would take me in the direction I wanted to go.

I loved the course and there was SO MUCH great info. I followed all the steps and started making little commissions here and there from Amazon and the NLP Center which I’d done my certification through thanks to the referral links in my articles.

I also finally felt like I knew what I was doing and could see a clear path forward.

This was also the time I saw that all that research I’d done for almost a year before starting this course was necessary to understand the concepts and steps she outlined in this course.

I wondered how my dad would get on doing something like this and realized it was inaccessible for a lot of people due to terminology and steps which bloggers take as a given that everyone knows.

I made the decision at that moment to one day create a blog and course which would show people How to Start a Blog and could be understood by people who’d never heard of blogging in their life!

And this is the site you are reading right now!!!!

I have a long way to go but my mission is clear and I am super passionate about it.

It’s a pleasure to share this information with you guys and if you ever want to chat about any of this just send me a message on the Contact page.

Anyways, at the end of January this year (2021) I left my job in the English school and am now dedicating my time to giving online English classes and blogging!

I am finally my own boss and have location freedom!

I don’t have financial freedom yet despite making a personal best of over 1000 euros from blogging this month which is huge for me!

scrooge money dive
This is how I felt after my 1000+ euros month in blogging!

My wife, daughter and I have just moved to Australia and I’m actually writing this from our Hotel quarantine right now! Upon arrival, you have to spend 2 weeks locked up in a hotel room and go through COVID testing before they let you out but hey, keeps the country safe so we understand..

When we get out of here and actually set foot freely on the streets of Australia I may have to find a regular job again to help us pay the bills but I’m going to find time to continue blogging (even if I have to get up at 5:30 every day again) because I can see I’m making progress and I know I’m going to achieve my goals, it’s crazy but I really know in my heart it’s going to happen.

hotel quarantine in Australia
I’m in hotel quarantine with my family in Australia right now!

So this is where I’m at with blogging. I have this new site you are reading now which I’m not making for any real profit at all, I just want to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who is like me and dreams of a life with financial and location freedom doing something you’re passionate about.

I hope I can help you and we both make our dream life a reality!

Thanks so much for reading and remember to sign up for the newsletter below so you don’t miss out on my 18-month update in October this year! Will I be working another job here in Australia by then or will I be fully online and blogging up a storm? In 6 months you will find out!

Much love

Mike

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