When you Believe, You will Succeed
I began my blogging journey for one reason and one reason only – to make money. I quickly learned that blogging is about so much more than making money. Blogging uncovers your insecurities, your weaknesses, and most importantly, your strengths, your voice, and your passion. It connects you with like-minded people and gives you an outlet to express yourself. Blogging allows you to share your gifts and inspire others. Making money is just the icing on the cake.
My blogging journey
I had been a stay at home mom for just over a year when I decided to explore blogging. I was feeling frustrated and lost trying to figure out my purpose after a few failed attempts to make an income from home. While I love being a Mom, I needed something for me that didn’t involve dirty diapers and answering to Mommy at every hour of the day. A friend who has been successful as a blogger and on YouTube encouraged me to get started.
What would I blog about?
But, what did I have to share?
My stay-at-home mom journey had taken me on an unexpected journey of self-discovery. Having felt so incredibly overwhelmed as a full-time working mom I was slowly realizing there was more for me. I could be a great mom and still have an identity outside of motherhood. I started reading personal development books, began prioritizing my self-care and uncovering my Why. Through these books and experiences, I began using daily affirmations, journaling, meditating and reading more.
It didn’t take me long to figure out I needed to share my experience with other moms who were having similar feelings (and I knew there were a lot of them).
Seashells and Storytime was born in April 2017. My goal is to inspire busy moms to find more confidence, balance, and fulfillment. I want to help stop the mom guilt and show moms that taking care of yourself allows you to be a better mom! Additionally, I wanted to share these positive self-care habits with our kids.
How would I inspire others when I was still figuring it out myself?
When I started I had zero blogging experience. I didn’t know how to use WordPress, barely used Pinterest, was terrible at creating graphics and it had been a long time since I had written more than an email. I had to teach myself everything! Hours were spent reading blog posts on blogging. I purchased the Genius Bloggers Toolkit and immersed myself in as many courses as I could, including Suzi’s tremendously valuable Blog by Number course. Her detailed, step-by-step courses make blogging so much less intimidating!
Learn as you go
Looking back, I wish I had treated this as a business and had a plan before diving in, but I’ve always found that I do best by learning as I go. When I overthink things, I’ll talk myself out of it, so it’s best just to do it!
If you wait to know everything, you’ll never start! So don’t wait!
When I first started, I was overwhelmed trying to learn it all. I spent over a year slowly trying to build a blog and create content. Finding time was challenging as a mom of two young kids, so there were times when I was fully immersed in my blog, and times when weeks would go by without doing anything. If I had a better plan, I wouldn’t have let this time go by.
After my first year, I realized I had spent more money than I had made and was feeling discouraged. Needing to find other sources of revenue, I did some research and purchased a course on creating digital products and created a digital journal for kids called “My Daily Journal.” I wrote blog posts where I could incorporate links to the journal and pinned like crazy on Pinterest.
I sold 3 copies in 6 months.
I’m not a quitter
Did I want to quit? Heck, yeah! I have had many moments when I’ve thought about giving it all up, but I didn’t want to be a quitter. I didn’t want to throw away all the hard work and deep down I knew I could make this profitable.
When I felt like quitting, I kept reminding myself that it wasn’t just about the money. I was getting so much more from blogging than I had expected. I was growing as a person, learning new skills, connecting with other bloggers online and expressing myself through my words. While I may not have been reaching as many people as I’d hoped, I was getting positive feedback and felt that inspiring any moms was fulfilling my purpose.
During this time my husband has been in the process of starting his own business, a local craft brewery. His work schedule increased significantly making it even more challenging to find time to blog. Worried about finances and the unknown of my husband starting his own business, I decided to take a part-time job at my daughter’s school last year to provide some reliable income.
Despite the challenge of working part-time and being a full-time mom, I didn’t give up. I continued to chip away at building my business. My blog was far from perfect and I still had a lot to learn, but as time went on, I grew more confident in what I was doing.
I also joined a membership group where I connected with supportive women who were also growing online businesses. I no longer felt like I was all alone trying to figure this out as I had a group of women to bounce ideas off of, give me feedback, share my insecurities and my wins.
At some point, I stumbled across self-publishing and had a light bulb moment. I had always felt that my digital journal would be more successful as a print journal as most parents don’t want to print off 50 pages on their color printer, but I had no idea how to do it.
After doing some research I soon discovered that self-publishing through Amazon was a lot less intimidating than I expected. I can publish my journals through Amazon and have them print and ship on-demand, so there is no upfront cost for me!
My first journal – Life Well Designed, A Journal to Create Your Best Self was published in November 2018. I had a lot of success with my followers and network of friends. They were all impressed that I was a published Amazon author! And I was pretty impressed with myself too! But the journal lost steam after the launch period.
I published a second journal a few months later with the same experience.
I continued to research self-publishing and did more research on keywords, writing descriptions and researching niches for low content books. I knew I was on to something if I just kept at it.
Third time’s a charm
I published my third journal, Thankful Thoughts: Gratitude Journal for Kids, in May. When I introduced this journal, the feedback was incredible. Parents were so excited to introduce this journal to their kids and started sharing it with their mom friends. Many had never considered practicing gratitude with their children and were thankful for the idea. Friends started sharing their experiences using the journal with me and I started to realize that I could have an impact.
Meanwhile, the impact it was having on my own family was life-changing. My daughter, who struggles with anxiety, had been at a very low point and was beginning to be more optimistic, friendly and thankful after using the journal for a few weeks. We were connecting through our shared feelings, reflecting on each day and appreciating the little moments in life.
I knew I finally had a product that could help people and I wanted to share this with as many people as possible!
Believe and you will succeed
When I published Thankful Thoughts, I found the confidence that I didn’t even realize I had been lacking for the past two years. I found a passion to share this product with as many families as possible, not just to make money, but to impact other children like my daughter. I want to help families improve their connection and help teach children the gratitude practice that I didn’t learn until I was in my thirties!
Looking back at my journey the past two years, I can see that the biggest obstacle to my success has been myself.
When I wrote blog posts, I was always concerned about what people would think or if I had a grammatical error (which I have plenty). When I published my digital journal, I wasn’t confident in the product, thus it didn’t sell. I started self-publishing through Amazon and I felt like I was on to something. I was becoming more confident in what I was doing and that showed to my followers.
It’s not unusual to fail several times before you find what works. What’s important is that you get back up every time you fall.
The biggest reason for my success with my journals is my mindset. I’m confident that my Thankful Thoughts journals are a superior product to what is out there. Why? I’ve done my research and I’ve used it with my kids. I’ve asked my friends for feedback and had excellent reviews.
Because I’m confident in what I’m doing I’m no longer afraid to share it with others. I’m reaching out to other bloggers asking them to share it too. I’m creating new, fresh journals so families will continue to use them for years to come, creating residual income. I’m continuing to see growth and am currently selling approximately 30 copies of my journal each week. I am passionate about my product and am dedicated to reaching my goal of making it a number one bestseller!
My advice to bloggers
No matter where your journey takes you – know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. It may take you two months or two years to find your way, but don’t give up on yourself, and don’t let your insecurities and excuses keep you from seeing your potential and from sharing your gifts with the world.
Most importantly, be confident enough to share your knowledge and don’t worry about what others think of you. There are people out there who need to hear exactly what you have to say, who need your course, your advice or your product. Go get em!
Stacey is a mom of two girls, beach lover, avid reader, and dream chaser. She enjoys connecting with other moms and inspiring them to prioritize their self-care and personal development. Stacey has used her personal experiences and drive to help other moms through her blog and by self-publishing journals for adults and kids. Find tips and Stacey’s free worksheet to help you find your Why here.