I’ve mentioned that my current guest, Rhoda writes the awesome Southern Hospitality blog where you’ll find lots of inspiration as well as practical advice for a wide range of home decorating and improvement projects. Lots of bloggers make some income from their blogs but not many are actually able to turn their blog into a business and generate sufficient income to support themselves. Rhoda however is one of those bloggers so I asked her to talk about how her blogging success transpired. Here’s Rhoda:
[contemplate1] I’ve always been interested in decorating. That’s been one of my hobbies that I enjoyed doing from back when I got my first house in 1985, I was decorating it, painting, picking fabrics. Loved it. Just loved that whole creative process.
When the internet came along I started getting involved in online decorating boards and hanging out with people talking about paint colors. That was back in the late 90’s before blogs existed. I was involved in an online decorating site where we all shared pictures of our houses and gave each other tips and advice on how to do things. It was just a fun little group and that’s how the online thing started for me.
So when blogging started it was a natural next step. I started my blog in 2007 when I got married. It just as a hobby. I was fixing up the house that we were living in and blogging about it. That’s really when all the blogging stuff started taking off. I was earning a part-time income from it.
Things were growing and my niche, décor and the home bloggers has really exploded. In the last year it has totally, totally changed with lots and lots of brands and companies wanting to work with bloggers. It’s amazing all of the ideas and inspiration that are now online. You can find anything in the world you want to find out about decorating online by just typing in whatever keywords you’re looking for, it’s there. And most likely now you’ll find it on a blog. Bloggers are at the forefront now of doing decorating projects and how-to’s and sharing all that with everybody else.
I went from just a little part-time kind of deal when I started my blog in 2007 to earning a full-time income in 2011. I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in blessings but after my divorce, is when everything just started increasing for me.
I went through my divorce and then I had complete freedom to do everything I wanted to do with blogging. I had to make a choice: was I was going to stay with blogging or was I was going to find a job doing what I was doing as an administrative assistant back in the corporate world? I did that for thirty years and I’m good at it. I made decent money doing it but, my heart is really on this creative side.
The blog just really allowed me the freedom to explore that creative side and be able to get into it at a good time. It’s just amazing how, when I needed the blog to make money and start making money and start supporting me full-time, it did. That’s when it happened.
To me that is just one of those blessings that God has allowed for me. He’s opened the doors and He’s allowed things to happen. It was just when I needed it. Exactly when I needed it.
Maybe if I hadn’t gotten married, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I do look at it that way too. If I had not done that, maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now? I have to look at things that way too. I believe that there is a reason for everything in life. It’s as if going through all that pain and heartache has brought me to a point of real contentment and happiness right now in my life.
I have so many wonderful things to look forward to, with what’s going on in my life, with what I’m doing for a living, with moving into this fixer-up house. It’s going to be completely my own doing and exactly the way I want it. Just all of that coming together is very fulfilling.
Then to have my family here with me, my parents, working on this house with me, all of that creates so many wonderful memories because I know that they’re not going to be around forever.
I feel like I’m reinventing myself at 55 and that’s pretty exciting. I really feel like this is what I’m meant to do at this point in time. And with all these women that I’ve met, all these friends that I have all across the country now, I’m in the place that I need to be. It’s great. I could not be happier with where my life is going right now.
Divorce is a scary time – it can mean change in every quarter of your life. The temptation (and sometimes it’s necessity) is to cling to what you know. What Rhoda demonstrates though is that sometimes if you follow your heart, follow your passion and open yourself up to possibilities, you will find success AND happiness.
Rhoda also demonstrates that success doesn’t happen overnight. Her knowledge comes from years of pursuing her hobby for home decorating and then over ten years experience with online communities. It’s a process, it involves perseverance and hard work.
This part of Rhoda’s story reminds me of Carolyn – she was a high school dropout but after divorce she went back to get her GED and then went on to qualify as a registered nurse. Despite her high school experience she was a star student and was president of student’s nurses association. Again, this wasn’t a quick overnight solution to how Carolyn was going to support herself and her children. This was years of hard work, one step after another and it started with Carolyn deciding that she was going to take a risk and go back to school.
Have you followed different opportunities since your divorce? Are you trying to decide between the safe option and following your heart? Are you headed to where you’re meant to be?