Let me get this out there: I believe that we are a lost generation. We’re super educated, super unique, super talented, and are perusing jobs on Craigslist so we can make rent.
I got lucky and landed a pretty good job out of college (well, compared to what’s out there, at least). I was making enough money to pay my bills (but not enough to really “buy” anything, or go out to eat, or visit friends in other cities, much less really travel) and I had this horrible gut feeling that I had sold my life for my shitty little salary to sit behind a desk and feel, well, shitty.
Am I being dramatic? Maybe a little, but that’s definitely how horrible it felt. You know how it goes, I would wake up, workout so I would feel good at work, dress up, go to work, work all day building someone else’s business, biting my tongue, executing other people’s ideas, counting the hours and minutes until lunch, and then coming back and grinding my teeth until happy hour so I could have a glass of wine and a little dinner before going to bed and doing it all over again. Then, the weekends felt about 10 minutes long because between doing my laundry, my grocery shopping, trying to have some fun and attempting to have some sort of remnants of a hobby, my glorious two days of freedom were all over and it was time to do it all over again.
It was a disaster.
I wasn’t making enough money to save anything, in fact, I was accumulating a little each month on a credit card.
I wasn’t growing.
I was bored.
I was boring.
I was depressed.
I was anxious.
But it was a good job in a bad economy, and I knew I couldn’t complain.
Then I read an article that changed my life by Steve Pavlina. Then I read a book that changed my life by Gary Vaynerchuk. And then I found Jon Morrow, and Ashley at The Middle Finger Project, and Corbett Barr, and suddenly it was like light shone on me, angels sang, and I had another option: I had hope, and there was a way out.
What all of these people had in common was social media and an Internet presence. In their own way, each of them argued that having an Internet presence was the only way to really stand out and build a life for yourself. And the funny part was, I already knew they were right, because it had already worked for me.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – that good job I got right out of college, I got that because of my blog. My dinky little blog that I made at night once my homework was done. It wasn’t the 6-figure education, an overstuffed resume, or my presence at a networking event – it was my blog.
I realized at that moment that my blog got me into this mess, and it was powerful enough to get me out.
After only three months of working on my blog full time, it gets over 10,000 hits a month in traffic (and counting), and sometimes, when something goes viral, I get thousands of people in a day. No, that isn’t like LOLCatz, but it’s meaningful traffic of people taking the time to read my thoughts and ideas that a lifetime (and that 6-figure education) spurred.
For the first time, I’m creating things that are meaningful and connecting with people everywhere I turn. My days are filled. In the last month I’ve released an e-book, built a strong subscriber base, and been featured on PsychCentral and Allwomenstalk – websites 10 times the size of mine. I collaborate weekly with Pro-MMA fighter Frank Trigg on his dating blog. I have more opportunities than I’ve ever had before, I’m constantly researching and discovering new things, and I’ve started to build a future and identity for myself. It’s become a team effort. With the help of contributing writers and many hours of blood, sweat, and tears by my designer/web programmer man/boyfriend Chase, we’ve built MsQuotations – which I think is the richest quote database available, because everything is handpicked and high quality – and are building The Miss Lifestyle to launch summer 2012 which will feature an e-commerce store (modeled after the awesomeness of places like Fab.com) and turn us into a legit business.
From taking me into and out of my first job, to paving my way into a rich future that I’m finally excited to be a part of, I believe that cultivating an online identity and web presence is the single most powerful tool we can use today to set us apart from our peers in this debilitating economic environment.
And so, my next step will be – as I’ve always done – spreading the word. I’ve spent two years building my blog, taking courses ranging from guest blogging to monetization strategies, picking the brain of my web designer and developer boyfriend, following literally hundreds of blogs about blogging (so meta!), studying journalism and content creation, learning how to function in the worlds of Photoshop and creative licenses, running email marketing campaigns and re-making websites as a Marketing Director, and now, finally, packaging it up so that it can do some good.
Plus, selfishly, I’m tired of watching everyone I know be bored at their desk jobs.
You already know that the real movement for me has always been “fearless thinking.” I want us to think fearlessly about our bodies, our relationships, and our futures. Embarking into this blogging world has taught me a lot of practical things – everything from titles that hook, to posts that go viral, to guest blogging etiquette and protocol. But more than anything, it’s helped me meet hundreds of other people that have reached their best lives with the help of an online presence. It isn’t just about making money online, it’s about creating something online – because if you create something great, you’ll attract like-minded people who also want to make great things. And suddenly, that energy and success is contagious.
So, as things have started to go crazy these last couple months, people have started asking me for advice. Advice on finding content, or writing so that they don’t sound silly. People have asked me if a blog is right for them, or how they could make it, or how it could help their business or help them find some social connections or even just an emotional outlet. People have started to pick up on the fact that I live and breathe blogging – and I couldn’t believe in it more. Anyone that reads my blog knows that I may not always say the right thing, but I study the hell out of any subject I post. You better believe it’s been exactly the same with my blogging career.
And now, without further ado, I present you with my next project: to make you a converter, so you will join me in this whole new frontier. I want you to join with me, and be my blogging buddy, and send me links to your brand-new posts so I can promote the hell out of them and collaborate together. I want more of my friends, and my readers (who, through the comments I know have so much to say) to be a part of this with me – because it’s so damn exciting.
So for the next 20 weeks I’ll be posting every Monday morning a piece of my series that I KNOW will convert you. Titled “Think Blogging is for Nerds? Think Again: 20 People Who Changed Their Lives with their Blog” I will do just that – I will profile over the next few months 20 totally different people who have used the Internet to grow their business, their personal life, their creative life, or any other part of their life they felt they needed to explore. So, stay tuned.