One year of Dream and Wanderland!
Hello everyone! It is unbelievable how time flies. It is one whole year already that I launched this blog and so much has changed ever since. You are right! It is the first anniversary of Dream and Wanderland!
Before Dream and Wanderland!
About a year ago I finally decided to start this journey. For a couple of years, I felt not challenged enough anymore, almost empty and my brain, and also my body was starving for something new, a change in my life. I discovered that I feel a certain satisfaction when I was writing. During that time, I wrote a couple of articles for my company´s newsletter, and I still do that today on a few occasions, and it felt so good to express my self and get some thoughts out of my head. Although, a free opinion about my employer was limited when this article will be read by 70.000 other employees worldwide.
Because of a coincidence, I had the opportunity getting a kind of mentorship on how to set up a website, find a web space host and buy a domain. It is was a year ago, when I stumbled upon this chance and made my decision eventually. What a perfect combination: love writing and someone who supports me on how to do it.
“Dream and Wanderland” was born.
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What has happened in one year Dream and Wanderland?
I can tell you… a lot!!! Four new countries: Romania, Spain (and no, I will not count Mallorca to Spain. I am sorry.), Belgium, and Portugal. I finally did my road trip to Ireland, and I jumped out of a plane (which was on my list, since my time in school)
The blog got some very cool features (although there is still room for improvements), I have a regular newsletter and even bunch of people who read it every time (guys, you are fantastic!)
By the way, if you are new here, you can be a part of Dream and Wanderland at any time. Just fill in the form below 😄
I also met a lot of like-minded people from all over the world. I developed new habits; I got a bit more disciplined because it is the only chance to get any blog related things done. Due to my fulltime job, it is not easy to sit down in the evening and write new articles or work on the layout or whatever else. In the past, I had time to lay on my sofa and watch TV or meet up with friends. During the year, I switched the TV and sofa-sessions to “work-sessions,” although it does not feel like work when I take care of my blog.
Suddenly I have goals. I never had a real goal before. The most are blog and travel related but as it is a part of my life now, it cannot be too wrong, I guess.
What has changed?
One of my first blog posts was about my plans in 2017, and another one introduced my blog to you. As you can read there, I had not a clue what I would be doing here.
This, in particular, has changed completely. The months went by, and I got a better feeling of what blogging means. Not only that I realized how much work needs to be done when you want to run a blog, but I also recognized what it means to myself. It feels like I found my THING. It is fun, it makes me happy, it gives me a reason. Finally, I found something I love to do, and although it means a lot of additional work (do you remember that I still have a 40-hours-full time job), I return almost every evening to my laptop and work on new blog posts, the newsletter, the social media. In my very first post, I stated that I probably find the love of my life in 2017. Sometimes it feels, that my blog is exactly this very love. Who knows?
I changed from a “hobby, seeing what comes around the corner-like” attitude to a serious, I will conquer the world mindset. Seriously! Around summer 2017, I noticed a change of my mindset. I put more effort into each action (like my blog posts, the appearance changed drastically in a positive way, in my opinion 😉), and yes, I take it as a serious way of having fun while working, and to escape my 9-5 “destiny.” The last thing I want to do is doing the rest of my work life a job, which does not fulfill me anymore. My step-father once told me: “You have to find the one thing, which makes you happy and you want to do for the rest of your life.” The first time in my life, it feels like I found it.
A bunch of new friends and lovely people stepped into my life. Because of them, I recognized that having an online business and remote work is not that unusual anymore. And the most important knowledge is that working while traveling is indeed possible.
During the past year, I learned that blogging, writing and in combination with traveling is the thing for me. I got more professional and learned a lot about this whole blogging world. I could not imagine how many things you have to keep in mind, like writing an article is not the only thing but make it nice-looking takes me often the same amount of time as the actual writing. No words about getting it out there and make people want to visit my website.
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What I have learned!
Consistency means a lot. In one year I met, subscribed and read a lot from other bloggers in different niches. And all of them agree when it comes to consistency. It is the key to be present, and get noticed by other reader, followers and even potential business partners. Just an example: I do see a difference from times where post regularly on Facebook. My reach to more viewers is better than in periods I did not post a lot. Also, my Newsletter comes around with more engagement now that I send it out once a week on a particular day.
Take advantage of the different automation tools. As soon as you take it seriously, I recommend automizing as much as possible. You do not need to get every app for any social media which exists. No question about it that in most cases it will costs you a little money to get all the premium features. I still do not have a massive income from the blog yet. Because of that, it is natural that I do not have a lot of premium helpers. However, I try to schedule a lot of things in advance, so I get it out of my head and have more time to concentrate on other things.
3. HTTPS, Domain, Webspace host, and more technical stuff
Think about the name of your website and if the domain is still free. Find a hosting service which fits your requirements best. I recently switched over to Siteground, and I am delighted already. It is easy to use and has extraordinary customer support are just a couple of advantages.
There was no particular reason why I chose another one in the first place. It was just an easy and cheap choice at that time. More a coincidence, instead of a proven decision. Now, one year later I know it better and would do more research beforehand, instead of driving myself crazy with switching hosts and transfer all the files of your website. Fortunately, they have a transfer service, and the best is, it is for free once. They helped me to move Dream and Wanderland, with all of its files to their servers within one day, without any problems or other issues. If you ever think about starting an own blog, Siteground as your hosting provider is a win.
Another point is to consider if you like to set up your page with an SSL certificate or not. Nowadays, it is recommended using SSL as it provides extra security for you and your readers when they visit your site. Especially, when you think about a webshop, it is highly recommended to secure any exchange of data with the support of an SSL certificate. The small difference between HTTP and HTTPS could mean a lot, not only for the Google ranking of your site.
Find your niche if possible before you start blogging. This one is indeed the most difficult point for me. I am a terrible example in this case because I still struggle being clear about my niche or my ideal customer, and how I can serve him or her. Life will be easier as soon as you are clear about this point. Suddenly, everything gets clearer as you know what your followers want to and how you can help them. It gives a lot of potentials to find the right product for them and getting it sold.
You see, I still have some homework to do!
Taking care of yourself is what I learned as well. Listen to your body and plan time for yourself. If you feel that there is anything which does not feel right, then stop, breathe, and take a rest. Have an evening off or even a week, especially, when you have a fulltime job as I have. Blogging is a fulltime job, too. It is not possible to give a hundred percent for both all the time. Set priorities, plan well and possibly in advance. TAKE CARE!
Hop over to a brilliant blogger and friend of mine. Well-being and balanced working are her topics. On Wellness Nomads you will find a lot of tips and tricks to stay healthy and being productive at the same time.
7. Business Plan
A business plan is absolutely necessary when you do taking it seriously with any kind of business. I started blogging with no clue about anything, no plan and especially no strategy. I will not say, that this is a huge mistake. Of course not! Everyone has its own pace and its own journey. But sooner or later, if you want to make a business out of it, you will need such a damn business plan. Hence, if you want to save a little time, do your homework first. In my special case, it was good as it was as I just needed all that time to find that clarity.
Plans for 2018
- Find my niche eventually
- Monetize my blog
- Create/ Find “my” product
- Sell this product
- Get my business plan done
- Make the website look better, cooler, more attractive
- Go back to New Orleans.
- Visit a new continent by going to Cuba and Columbia
- Convince my boss (the fulltime job, you remember, right?) to get more remote work days.
- Grow the blog and conquer the world
- be more patient with myself
- less self-critical (I am a kind of perfectionist sometimes)
- more proud of myself and self-confident with the things I do
We will see what the next year will bring. Hopefully, next year at the same time, I can tick off the most of these points. Fingers crossed!
Of course, you leave me your two cents here. What about your plans in 2018? Do you have some? Do you already start working on them? Oh, I am so curious…