How do start a blog and actually do it full time?
What’s it like being a full-time blogger?
Ready to start a blog? Interested in being a full-time blogger? Meet Arfa of She Means Blogging, she's here to help you start a successful blog. @arfanazeer3 #Blogging #Blogger #BloggingTipsClick To Tweet
There’s a lot of buzz out there about how easy it is to make money from home blogging. But, is that true? Can you do the same?
Listen, it’s doable, but there’s more to starting a successful blog and even making money online.
If you’re thinking about blogging as your future career choice, and want to avoid mistakes of getting started, then this interview is for you. Arfa Nazeer of She Means Blogging is an expert at blogging and finding your passion online. Straight out of university, she also started making money online as a freelance writer. So, she knows a bit about starting a profitable business that you love!
Arfa shares her own journey from what it’s like to start a blog to finding her own blogging success, sharing common mistakes newbie bloggers should avoid. She also gives you a sneak peek into what it’s like to set your own hours and be your own boss.
Let’s get started.
#1. Who are you and what’s your story?
I’m Arfa, the founder of SheMeansBlogging.
After finishing my Masters in Mass Communication, I had developed an interest in writing. I started offering freelance writing services and worked with a variety of different clients. It was when I realized that working from home is a flexible option you can enjoy at your own schedules, and still make money.
I also remember how I got into blogging for the first time. It was when one of my University Professors asked us to create a personal blog on ‘making opinions’ to secure safe 5 marks. This is exactly how I started! And, I became eagerly passionate about blogging that I even started spending hours and hours online to hone my blogging skills.
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After experimenting with trials and errors, I now run a blog to empower bloggers and small business owners boost success and maximize their growth. Today, I help aspiring individuals to transform their ordinary blogs and make them profitable.
#2. What’s your average day like?
Take us hour by hour
I like to be organized but I have found that working from home gives you more flexibility to choose when and how to work. I follow different routines. Sometimes, it’s like spending more than 10 hours working each day while there are a few days every month when I don’t work at all.
An average day would look something like this;
- 8:00 – 9:00 am – Wakeup, exercise, and breakfast. (I can’t function without breakfast so this is a must-thing for me)
- 9:00 – 9:30 am – Taking a bath and getting ready (When I put myself in nice clothes, and get myself ready, I feel better to work)
- 9:30 – 2:00 pm – Working hours
- 2:00 – 5:00 pm – Help my mom with some homely things. Have lunch, pray and then, take a nap (I am a person who definitely needs naps to recharge)
- 5:00 – 8:00 pm – Tea break and work
- 8:00 – 10:00 pm- Dinner and family talks
- 10:00 – 11:00 pm – Get relaxed by reading a book, or listening to a podcast
- 11:00 – 12:00 pm – Windup things, and go to bed.
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My routine is not always the same no matter how hard I try. Sometimes, we have guests to serve so it’s like I adjust my working hours so that it doesn’t affect my plans. But, I always make a list of things to do every morning that really helps me stay focused and pay attention to the most important things first.
On average, I spend 6-7 hours a day. It also depends on the workload. If there’s any campaign, lead magnet or a set number of blog posts I intend to publish then it’s usually more than 6 hours.
I also make sure to take one day off to relax and take a break. To enjoy that break, I visit anyone or go for an outing to spend time with others and relax with some alone time. It’s really important to take care of your mental and physical health.
#3. How do you stay motivated? What or who inspires you?
The definite purpose of my goal keeps me motivated all the time even if I ever feel like giving up! I always wanted to encourage women and other individuals to do something while staying at home. And, nothing is better than starting your own blog, or online business.
Receiving emails and DMs from followers is what helps me keep going with my ultimate purpose. Recently, I got a message on my Instagram where someone told me how she got motivated from one of my IG posts and actually, pitched to 7 freelance clients to win 3 gigs.
I also get inspiration from listening to stories of other successful online entrepreneurs. Whenever I get some time, I make sure to plug in my earphones to listen to a few podcasts.
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Some of my favorites are;
- The Influencer Podcast,
- Online Marketing Made Easy,
- On Purpose With Alex Beadon,
- Become a Pro Blogger,
- Pursuit with Purpose.
#4. Let’s talk about goals. How do you slay yours?
Goal setting is something I totally believe in. I also make sure to only set realistic and achievable goals. The best way to do that is by setting SMART goals. I try to break down things and keep my focus on small things first. The personal satisfaction of achieving a few small things first makes you excited to prepare for big goals.
My #1 tip is to visualize the end picture of your goal. Imagine, what would it be if you hit that goal? This imagination or visualization helps me get excited about the new goal.
Along with that, don’t forget to set deadlines. Even if it’s writing a new blog post, set a timer for 2 hours or more.
#5. What’s one app or tool that you can’t do without?
I think, my laptop and a notebook. No matter how many apps are available online, I still use a notebook, kept on my side, for taking notes. I always use that notebook for all the important things that need to be done.
Google drive is my go-to app! It has just made my work life so easier. From spreadsheets to Google Docs, I keep most of my files on Google drive. Even if I don’t have access to my laptop, I can access the drive from my phone too. It’s very convenient to use.
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#6. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
Honestly, I love being an entrepreneur! My favorite parts are that I’m the one who makes a decision, I am able to work with what I love doing, and enjoy the flexibility to work from home at my own hours.
My least favorite part about being an online entrepreneur is the administration challenges. I know that It’s good to be your own boss but, it can be a burden at times.
Along with that, I also feel that loneliness can be scary too! You are completely responsible for all success, and failures. That is where you need to start understanding that networking, and being friends with other entrepreneurs is so important.
#7. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
FIND YOUR INTEREST FIRST
Nothing will work if you’re not interested in your blog! Before starting your blog, or business – ask yourself if this is something you want to do? As you know that blogging is a continuous work and there will be days when you might feel demotivated or giving up. That’s where your interest, purpose, and ambitions dive in.
Always pay attention to your interests first! If you’re about to start your blog, know your interests and niche first.
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BLOGGING TAKES TIME
Even if you have a plan to focus, blogging still takes time. As you jump into the blogging wagon, you will see that there are tons of things to know about. You learn, grow and earn with time. It’s not a quick rich scheme. Don’t depend on blogging income from the first month.
It grows with time, hard work and strategies. But, if you do blogging the right way, you will see success faster! Another tip is to do any side-hustle to keep making money unless your blog generates real income.
Even if it’s just about learning a new blogging skill every month, just do that! Continue improving yourself as a blogger. From Pinterest to SEO and other marketing tactics, there’s so much new to learn every day! If you ask me, it’s my favorite thing to do. I still put hours in learning.
Remember that we all make mistakes throughout our blogging journey. But, only those who identify those mistakes, correct them and learn to take a right step forward, and succeed. I also talked about 13 beginner blogging mistakes most bloggers make.
DON’T BE SCARED TO INVEST
As a new blogger, you’ve two options. Either spend some money into learning new things, and the right blogging tools to accelerate the blog growth or spend months, and months to grow your blog! In the end, you still need experts advice, suggestions and a roadmap to follow. I’ve also shared 20 small things to invest in your blog for profit and success!
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#8. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
The best business advice I’ve ever received is to execute your idea no matter what results it would get! Even if your idea fails, there’s nothing big you lose but if you don’t work, you might lose opportunities that others may benefit from.
If you any idea you think could work great, just do it! Don’t let your fears and doubts kill your ideas. Keep them coming to you, and make the most out of them.
#9. What books do you think every entrepreneur should read?
#GirlBoss is the book I think every entrepreneur must read! I love how Sophie Amrouso has shared all her challenges during her entrepreneurial journey. As a new blogger or biz owner, you get inspired and motivated by reading stories of how others have done it with limited resources.
I would say;
- Read business books,
- Listen to inspiring podcasts,
- Buy Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (If you’re a new blogger and you don’t want to invest huge in different blogging courses then this bundle is a good investment)
- Consider joining membership sites that cater to a specific topic.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
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#11. Can we talk about money?
To be honest, I never relied on my blog income when I was starting out. My real source income was freelance writing. I continued writing for different clients unless I started making some real money from my blog.
In the early stages of your blogging career, it’s important to make money by offering services like freelance writing, virtual assistant services, or any other skills. This will eventually help you save money to invest in your blog at the beginning level. By doing this, you don’t have to wait for years to invest in a tool or any blogging resource.
Currently, my monetization strategy on my blog is mainly, affiliate marketing. I make most of the money with affiliate marketing and a few sponsored posts. In the future, I am planning to increase my income stream by creating digital products, and maybe, use ads.
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#12. What’s your strategy for finding clients or readers?
Pay attention to create valuable content, and put in front of targeted readers! This is what I’ve been following throughout my blogging journey.
Here are a few tips to find readers for your blog;
- Make your content keyword optimized for organic traffic. SEO is a must! That’s how you find your ideal clients or readers through direct search.
- Attract your readers through social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Let your readers know that your blog exist and how it will help them.
- Build an email list to form a relationship with your readers.
- Increase your online visibility by guest posting, marketing, collaboration with other bloggers, networking, and showing up online.
- Pay attention to turn visitors into regular readers, subscribers or customers as they land on your blog. Conversion is the word.
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#13. What role does social media play for you?
Social media is huge! No doubt, I’m an advocate of SEO and organic traffic but I think, social media is equally important these days. This is the place where you find those engaging readers. In addition to that, it’s where all the interesting conversation happens. From common problems to solutions and celebrations, people use social media to ask, share and discuss.
Use social media strategically to find and study your target audience’s minds!
Well, I think Instagram and Twitter are my current favorites. Facebook groups have always been important, and a useful way to interact. But, you only connect with your audience through your own channel. Let it be through Instagram stories or short tweets!
Although, I also think it’s difficult to be consistent on social media. I do struggle with social anxiety at times and that’s why I usually take small breaks. But, the best part is, I’m always active on private messages through my social channels. Even if I don’t post in a week, I make sure to respond to my followers through private messages.
#14. Do you have a special offer you’d like us to know about?
As a blogger, I knew that finding the best information on blogging was one of the biggest struggles. I made a couple of mistakes, but all those mistakes helped me learn something new that’s more realistic.
If you don’t know, I even struggled with clarity and lack of focus for a long time until last year, when I rebranded my blog for profit and success. And, the results are OUTSTANDING!
Considering all the pain points, I offer a free email course on 11 blogging tips to accelerate your blog growth. If you’re a new blogger or you’ve been blogging for a time, enroll in this free blogging tips course to enjoy bite-sized blogging advice.
Quickly tell us about yourself and what you’re currently:
- Reading? 4-Hour Work Week
- Watching? Nothing much, I don’t really watch TV
- Listening to? Rebel Boss Ladies with Eden Fried
- Eating? Chicken cheese Lasagna and it’s yum!
- Obsessed with? Tartiest lip paints. I am really liking the warm tones in lip stains.
More About Guest Contributor
Arfa is the driving force behind shemeansblogging where she helps motivated bloggers create their blogs, grow their readership, increase site traffic and make money blogging with her in-depth content, blogging tips and strategic advice. Her mission is to help thoughtful bloggers live a life at their own schedules with easy blogging while doing what they love to do.