“Who would be stupid enough to do THAT? Wait, so what is Bull Poker again?”
I couldn’t help but think this sounded awesome. Four people sitting around a small card table in an arena, when a mad bull is let in. The last person out of their seat wins.
You can read about that on my blog, along with many of my other adventures, marketing ideas, and whatever else crosses my mind. A blog lets you share whatever you want, but did you know it could also change your life completely?
Here’s how blogging changed my life.
I was a photographer living in Fort Lauderdale, but the beach high-rise and flexible schedule weren’t doing it for me. My friends weren’t as entrepreneurial as I was, so they couldn’t just take off to go to Disney in the middle of the week.
I decided to move… but I didn’t know where. A friend suggested Los Angeles, as my style of photos would go a long way there, and he suggested that I crash on a mutual friend’s couch.
BOOM. It hit me! Why not just move to LA? Why not see everywhere, and then decide where to live. There are people with couches everywhere, and thus, my blog idea had transpired.
Benefits of Blogging as a Couch Surfer
I realized that my life is a story, and that my blog was a great way to tell that story—good, bad or indifferent. It was also a way to make a bit of extra income through affiliate offers.
On top of that, a blog provides access to anything. As a photographer, I had press passes—a magic card that gets you into concerts, fashion shows, or parties at the Versace mansion. My blog was the same.
I would reach out to people as a blogger, tell them about my couchsurfing project, and ask if I could crash on their couch and interview them.
Don’t like staying on couches? First, consider this: People that you would normally have to pay $10,000-$20,000 a day to get part of their day, were granting me access with them for days or weeks at a time, at no cost. People like Perry Belcher, Tony Hsieh, Matt Bacak, Jason Moffatt, and many more opened their doors (and couch) to me.
I’m not telling you to go play bull poker, or sell your belongings and go on the road (though, it is very liberating, and makes you discover a lot about life), but you can blog. And you can leverage the fact that you have a blog!
Building a Reputation, and Other Lessons
It was through blogging and during my journey that I built my reputation by attending conferences. I highly recommend going out there and meeting people in person. A blog is a great place to start, but meeting people face-to-face really strengthens those relationships.
Learning is another game changer. With six years of couchsurfing, I spent my driving time listening to audio books (and don’t forget all the stuff you’ll learn at those conferences). With all this info, people thought I was smart.
Want a cool way to build authority, help people, grow your brand, and get smarter?
Learn…then teach what you learned, then blog about it.
A Blog Business
Because of my blog, my unique stories, and my sharing of information, I had many people hire me for various projects.
Eventually I got fed up with projects, because my lifestyle was too important to me, and they were a distraction from it. So, rather than making websites, or copywriting, or creating graphics, I applied all the things I learned, and did it for myself.
I made my own product, Make WordPress Easy, which teaches people how to set up and run their own blogs and websites (with a focus on ease), and my course got so big that I needed to settle down to work on it.
So, bringing it full circle—I started my 6-year journey to figure out where to live next… So I chose Austin, Texas.
Pointers for Success…for Your Blog (and Life)
Take chances. If you’re writing and saying what everyone else is, you’re boring.
Follow your passion. Most people’s lives are boring (to them). They crave authenticity and passion, which you can provide. Do what you care about, and share it with the world. You will also attract like-minded people.
Be yourself. Be loud, be expressive, and write in your voice. This is YOUR blog, don’t be shy! This isn’t a job where you have to wear a tie, and be polite. Write as if you’re talking to your best bud, and you’re catching up.
Don’t be afraid to share the real deal. Most people try to hide what’s going on in their private lives, but that is the interesting stuff. What are movies about? The real stuff that happens.
Your life is a book—write it in your blog. If your story ended today, would you be ok with that? If not, start making the choices that will make for a more interesting story, and it will write itself.
Comment on other people’s blogs. Authentic writing comes from the heart, and it’s nice to know that someone’s read what we wrote. And guess what? It’s karma; they’ll often come back and read your stuff too.
Go out there, blog, and be yourself. If you’re not sure exactly who that is, even better. Go discover yourself, and blog about it. It will change your life.
How are you changing your life through your blog? Let me know in the comments below.