Back in October 2012, Uniquely Healthy Ltd started officially operating as a business. This last year has been one crazy ride and I feel like I’ve learned a hell of a lot!
I have to say I’m proud of what I have achieved. I’ve gone from working in full time employment to part time employment and eventually I am hoping that I will have enough income to make working for Uniquely Healthy my full time gig. That is a very scary, but exciting thought!
It is not all sunshine and unicorns though. As much as the last year has been amazing, it has been very hard. I’ve worked 70 hour weeks, dealt with serious financial worries and really just questioned whether or not this was ever going to work. I’ve had to take a long hard cold look at myself, and ask if I’m really up to the job of working for myself. There has been many, many days when I’ve seriously just thought I should give up and go and find a ‘proper’ job.
Yet, the more I do this, the more I bloody love it. Whenever I get an inspiring testimonial from a client, kind comment on a blog post, an email from a reader or a see a child drinking one of my green smoothies at a community event, it reminds me why I want to keep going. The thought of touching someone else’s life in a positive way, even in the smallest way, is what keeps me on this path. Thinking to the future, the hope of being truly in charge of my own destiny and achieving ‘success’ (my version of success is probably a lot different to what other people think of as success) keeps me pushing forward.
As well as health coaching, selling the Super Conscious Living Programme (and future guides) and the community work I do, which at the moment will probably increase, I have also been lucky enough to have opportunities to write for some other sites and publications which has been excellent. In addition to that, I also get some income from blogging.
I know that blogging and receiving an income from it, is a pretty controversial topic, but here I’d like to be open about my experiences with it. Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish is part of my business, a massive part of it, and yes I do blog to create income, something I don’t feel I’ve ever hidden. However that is not the only reason I blog, if all the income disappeared overnight I would still blog, as I did for a number of years before I tried any kind of monetization. I never started the blog with an aim of doing it for an actual job, in fact I didn’t even realise that was a ‘thing’ you could do! But as the blog has grown, I saw that I had the opportunity to make this into something more than a hobby. Who wouldn’t want to make a living doing something they love and are passionate about?
I gain a small (yes small, I’m not sitting here making a ton of money, believe me!) amount of income into the Uniquely Healthy business (so I pay all my taxes properly!) from sponsored posts and advertising. I have really had a steep learning curve when it comes to sponsored and guest posts, and I’m the first one to hold my hands up and accept I’ve made some bad judgement calls in the past, usually when I haven’t listened to my gut feeling!
I am fully aware that these kind of posts can be a total turn off to some readers. I think about this blog the way I think about the blogs that I read, I don’t mind if a blogger chooses to make income through appropriate sponsored posts, if they don’t interest me then I just skip them. Like wise with advertising, it doesn’t bother me on other blogs unless it’s those ones that jump at out you! I try and focus on sponsored content that I create myself, or post guest posts I feel are genuinely helpful or interesting, and as far as possible I try and keep paid for content to a certain level. The income I gain from those posts, means I have the ability to dedicate more time to creating what I hope, is really helpful, interesting, inspiring and engaging content, as well as free resources. I do know that I will lose some readers because I do some of these kind of posts, and that is something I have to accept as I know it’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not here to defend my decisions on blog monetization, I guess it’s just to explain how I got to this point!
This last year has been the most challenging, yet rewarding year of my life. I’ve done things I would have never dreamt of. I was talking about this with a friend yesterday and I realised that part of the reason I’ve progressed so much this last year is because I’ve just closed my eyes, took a deep breath and got shit done. I used to over think every little thing, but eventually the time comes for you to take action. At the same time, I have learned that approach can lead to added stress, and something I will be doing more of in the future is starting to say ‘no thank you’ a lot more often!
For you guys that do read, and have stuck with me through the changes to the blog, and even more, have actually supported me through becoming a client or purchasing the Super Conscious Living Programme, you have no idea how thankful I am to you! I think seeing the little community that has grown on the SCLP Facebook page is yet another cherry on top of the Uniquely Healthy birthday cake! So fingers crossed, Uniquely Healthy will continue to grow and grow. I have some big plans for the future!
Any other business owners out there? What lessons have you learned? What are your thoughts on blog monetization as a blogger and a reader?