How to Build a Blog that Leaves an Impact

This week on the podcast we spoke with Sarah Li Cain from the site High Fiving Dollars about how to leverage your blog for freelance work.

This was a very insightful conversation seeing as how we’re all freelancers and built our blogs up to establish more freelancing success.

When you start a blog, you should realize that it can open so many doors for you professionally in terms of transitioning from blog to business, launching a freelancing career, establishing partnerships with brands, selling your own products and more.

In order for any of that to happen and for your blog to evolve, you need to focus on leaving an impact. Memorable blogs are successful and resonate with people.

If you’re trying to break into freelance writing for example, quality clients will be looking to hire writers with a proven body of work and your blog can act as your portfolio if you don’t have much experience.

Clients want to hire freelancers who not only write well but can deliver quality work that will boost engagement among their audience.

Therefore, you must start by building a blog that leaves an impact. Here are 3 things you can do to make that happen.

You have a blog and want to reach people with your message. How can you build a blog that leaves a lasting impact? Here's our best advice.

Be Open About Telling Your Story

There are millions of bloggers out there, and probably tons who write in your desired niche. What will set you apart from other bloggers and leave an impact is your personal story.

Every blogger has a story whether it’s a challenge or obstacle they’ve overcome, a unique experience they’ve had, or a journey toward a successful result.

You can reach and connect on a deeper level with your readers by being authentic and sharing your unique story on your blog. This also allows your audience to become more willing to trust you.

One day on my blog, I shared my story of being a teen mom and working my way out of poverty. I felt nervous about putting myself out there at first, but I realized my story actually helped people and resonated with them.

Someone who worked for a corporate website that hires writers also happened to read my blog post and ended up reaching out to me to see if I could share my debt story on their site and become a regular staff writer.

At $300 per post, they became one of my highest-paying regular clients and I love that I can pitch topics on anything that’s important to me.

Telling your unique story might not always result in a shiny new writing gig, but it can help you impact your readers, build your brand, earn trust from your audience, and set you apart when applying for freelance gigs.

-Chonce

Provide Value to Your Readers

You can choose to blog for many reasons – blogs can be a personal journal of sorts, where you’re mostly writing for yourself, or blogs can be a platform you use to reach others with your message.

If you want your blog to be memorable, I suggest keeping in mind that everything you write should provide value to your readers in some way. That doesn’t mean that each and every blog post needs to have an obvious takeaway, though.

Yes, you can write list posts and “how to” posts, but there are other ways to provide value that your readers will likely appreciate more.

For example, I 100% agree that your blog needs to be a reflection of you. Authenticity can be rare in the sea of blogs that exist because it’s so easy to be anonymous online, but when you open up to your audience, you’re providing value. As Chonce shared, being vulnerable on her blog made her readers feel less alone with their debt and struggles. That’s value.

Your story can serve to inspire others to take action, whether it be to pay off their debt, start saving, or make a career change. In that case, your blog is serving a great purpose. You can tell people how to do this, you can show them through your own stories, or you can feature other success stories.

But your blog can also serve as entertainment. People love to escape the mundane of their everyday life. That’s why vlogs are so popular (they’re like reality TV), as well as books and video games. So if you have a knack for making people laugh, perhaps your blog can serve to do that as well as inform and inspire. Again, not everything needs to be “10 ways to do X.”

The point is, you need to start your blog with a mission, and that mission should serve yourself and your readers in some way. After all, people are taking the time out of their day to come visit your blog and read or watch something you’ve produced. Don’t they deserve to get something out of it?

The more value you give, the higher the chances that you’ll build an awesome community of raving fans. Just make sure you’re providing value in an honest way. It should come from your willingness to help people.

-Erin

Would You Read Your Blog?

Lately I’ve been trying to make sure that when I write for my blog that I’m writing about topics I’d want to read about and in a way that I’d like to read it.

This means making it entertaining, personal, and unique. Just as Chonce and Erin have said above, these are the best ways to connect with your audience.

When you’re not sure about how what to write about, think about what’s going on in your life that could impact your readers. You don’t want your whole blog to be stories of what you did that day – no one wants to know that you ate ramen for lunch – but you can use your life experiences to connect with your readers by sharing funny things, sad things, happy things, etc. that have happened what you learned from them.

When you’re writing for your blog, make sure it’s something you’d want to read too. Make it valuable, make it personal, and make it fun!

-Kayla

What steps are you taking to build up your blog so it leaves a positive impact? Do you have any general questions about blogging or starting a blog? Be sure to email us!

FCP049 – How to Leverage Your Blog for Freelance Work

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

This episode was inspired by a reader question we recently received from a listener and fellow blogger who is interested in leveraging his blog to start making money offering freelance services.

Luckily, all of us have experience with this topic as we’ve all taken different approaches to building a freelance business after starting our own blogs.

Joining us in our conversation today is Sarah Li Cain from High Fiving Dollars. Sarah started her blog and turned it into freelance writing and content marketing business.

Want to go from blogger to freelance writer? You can leverage your blog to gain paid freelance work. Here's 4 success stories to learn from!

In this episode we discuss:

  • 1:30 – Sarah’s introduction
  • 2:30 – Why we decided to start blogging
  • 8:45 – How we turned our blogs into freelance work
  • 24:20 – Have you used job boards? Should you use job boards?
  • 45:20 – Sarah’s future plans for her blog and business

Related Links to Check Out:

Like It? Subscribe!

We would love it if you subscribed via iTunes or Stitcher, or if you left us a review! While we love getting together and chatting each episode, it’s great to know people are listening. =)

We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions or questions? Comment below, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

3 Unhealthy Ways to Think About Money

Most people don’t have a great relationship with money, which is unfortunate.

Money is a tool and you can use it to empower yourself and live the life you truly want.

But instead, most people let their money control them – for example, letting their lack of money stop them from achieving their dreams.

Thinking that you’re broke and staying in that mentality is an unhealthy way to think about money, and there are many other ways to have a sour relationship with your finances.

We’ve all been there, though. It doesn’t make you a bad person or bad with your finances. You just have to work toward having a healthier relationship with your money.

To help, here are three instances we’ve had bad relationships with our money, and how we’ve overcome it.

If you need more guidance on this topic, we had a chance to discuss it much more in-depth on our podcast with financial therapist, Kiné Corder.

A lot of people have bad relationships with their money. Here are 3 common causes and solutions to fix an unhealthy relationship with money.

1. Having a Scarcity Mentality Toward Money

I grew up watching my parents constantly stress about not having enough money. They were in credit card debt and could barely spare a penny to save. Whenever an emergency hit, it hit hard, because they would have to resort to using credit, and thus the cycle began again.

I knew I didn’t want to live like that, so as soon as I got my first part-time job, I started saving. And saving. And never stopped.

There was nothing more satisfying than seeing my bank account balance grow, because the more distance I put between being broke, the better.

Unfortunately, this led to me hoarding all of my money. I was so concerned with my savings balance that I convinced myself I couldn’t afford “fun” things or wants, and when it came to needs (like food), I would only buy what was on sale.

While saving and shopping sales aren’t inherently bad, the mentality I had developed toward my money was. I had a total scarcity mindset – I thought that I needed to keep saving, or else, I could run out of money, just as my parents did.

The fear I had was irrational considering I’ve never been in credit card debt, and I’m fairly frugal by nature (another result of my upbringing). So while I seemed to be making financial progress on the outside, on the inside, I had a horrible relationship with my money.

To overcome this, I started spending on my values. I didn’t frame purchases around the context of being needs or wants; instead, I focused on whether the purchases I made were related to my values. Would they bring me happiness? Would they create memories? Were they practical?

I also stopped budgeting.

This still takes a lot of discipline, so I don’t recommend it for everyone, but it helped me begin to focus on the bigger picture instead of getting lost in the woods that is comprised of numbers. I no longer feel guilty about making purchases and enjoying my money!

-Erin

2. Overcoming Emotional Shopping

I’ve talked before about how I’ve struggled with emotional shopping in the past. I’ve tried many different things over the past 3 years to overcome this shopping habit by taking time to truly understand why I have the urge to splurge, so to speak.

Although I think I’ll always have at least a little bit of trouble with emotional shopping and overspending my budget, I have come a long way through self-reflection.

I know I’m a natural spender, not a natural saver, so allowing myself to shop within set limits is the best way I’ve found to feed my shopping monster without harming my finances.

Sure, I still go overboard sometimes, but now I know how to recover if and when it happens. I also don’t go overboard to the extremes that I used to because my financial goals and budget are always in the back of my mind when I’m shopping.

-Kayla

3. Thinking Money Will Solve All Your Problems

Sorry to break it to you, but if you think having more money will solve all your problems, you’re wrong. Sure, having more money can make you feel better and solve some issues you might have, but it won’t make you truly happy long-term.

Plus, money can’t always buy everything like love, kindness, compassion, good health and so on.

Once you solve one of your problems with money, another one will pop up. This is what I realized after I started earning more money. I felt great at first, but then that feeling subsided and I starting wanting more.

Then it became a vicious cycle. There are statistics that say money can improve your happiness up to a certain point. Once you earn a certain amount of money, it will no longer affect you and I feel that’s so true.

It’s important to view money as a tool to live your best life which shouldn’t always include buying more stuff. Use money to create memorable experiences and don’t get upset when you don’t have the money to meet a want or make an impulse purchase.

Stop viewing money as a requirement in order to have fun or feel loved. Those feelings are absolutely free and will always be free. Most important, don’t let money define you by basing your long-term happiness on how much you earn or what you have in your bank account.

Focus on meeting your basic needs, and realize that money comes and goes. Don’t allow it to control your life and your happiness. It doesn’t deserve that much credit.

-Chonce

Have you ever thought about money in any of these ways?

FCP048 – How is Your Past Money History Affecting Your Life Today?

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

In this episode we are talking about how our past histories with money, both good and bad, could be affecting our lives today.

Negative history with money could be blocking you from achieving financial prosperity even if you don’t realize it. This is why working with a financial therapist can help you work past these issues so you can finally achieve financial prosperity.

So to help us explain the importance of our money history, we had special guest Kiné Corder on. She’s a financial therapist who focuses on helping business owners and couples improve their financial well-being with her company Presidential Lifestyle. She also gained international popularity when she worked as a spokesperson for ABC’s Extreme Makeover.

We had the privilege of getting to know Kiné in person at FinCon16 a few months ago, and were honored when she reached out about joining us on the show! We had so much fun talking with her and learning from her professional experience as an advisor and therapist. 

Every person has a different money history, and these histories greatly affect how we make financial decisions now - good or bad. Here's how.

In this episode we discuss:

  • 1:30 – What is financial therapy?
  • 3:45 – Integrating financial therapy into your life and business
  • 8:45 – What is the money cycle?
  • 26:45 – Rewarding yourself for progress
  • 48:45 – Kiné’s plans for the future

Related Links to Check Out:

Like It? Subscribe!

We would love it if you subscribed via iTunes or Stitcher, or if you left us a review! While we love getting together and chatting each episode, it’s great to know people are listening. =)

We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions or questions? Comment below, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

How to Get What You Want in Life

This week on the podcast, we had a pretty deep conversation with empath, Leisa Peterson. We talked all about identifying what you want in life and how to work toward your goals.

A big part of being able to get what you want in life is being able to let go of what you don’t want. This means not “keeping up” with those around you or giving in to peer pressure.

We’ve all been thinking a lot about what we want in life and how we can get it. Here are some of our best tips for how to get what you want in life.

We've all been thinking a lot about what we want in life and how we can get it. Here are some of our best tips for how to get what you want in life.

Take Time for Self-Reflection

I’ve been focusing on taking time to identify the path I’m on in business and in life right now to see if this is truly what I want. What I found was that not everything I do on a daily basis is in line with where I want to go and what I truly want.

It’s not always easy to identify what you want in life, and what you want might change over time. This is why it’s a good idea to take time reflect every few months or so. Make sure you haven’t lost sight of why you started things in the first place and to make sure you are still on the path to what you want in life.

You may find that you are right on track, or you might realize that you need to make some changes to get what you want in life.

-Kayla

Get Clear on Your Values

During your time of self-reflection, you should get clear on your values. What I mean by that is you should notice what makes you happy, and what drags you down. What makes you excited, and what do you find tedious?

Self-reflection is great on its own, but your values can guide you toward what you actually want.

You might not even realize how much of your thoughts and actions are being influenced by those around you until you do this. Many of us go about life doing what we’re told, whether that’s following instructions from someone else, or following someone else’s path to success.

It’s okay to do things differently, especially if your current actions aren’t in line with your values.

A classic example is choosing freelance work because of the flexibility it gives, and then working around the clock and not being able to take advantage of that flexibility. Do you want to be so “successful” that you have no time for family and friends? Or are you focused on earning as much money as possible right now to save up for something big?

That’s something only you can answer, but knowing what your values are can help you answer that!

-Erin

Work Hard to Reach Your Goals

I couldn’t agree more about Erin’s points on determining what your values are. If you don’t know what you want out of life and what you value most, how you can you create the best life possible for yourself.

Once you’re clear on your values, it’s time to set goals. Set goals that are realistic and achievable. Most times, breaking down your large end goal into small chunks that you can tackle each year is the best way to go.

Then it’s time to kick your action plan into gear and work hard for what you want. Success doesn’t come easily and most people don’t just get lucky and start living their dream life without putting in lots of hard work.

It can be difficult at times but the payoff is great. Once you start reaching the goals you set, you can start to shape your life into whatever you want it to be life. It’s pretty amazing actually!

-Chonce

Have you determined what you want out of life yet and what steps you’re going to take to get there?