I’m so grateful for the peak into Diane’s blog today. It’s been an honor to work offer WordPress support to her as she’s grown.
My name is Diane Henkler. I am the blogger behind the blog, In My Own style.com It is a blog about Affordable DIY Decorating & Creative Lifestyle Ideas. I am self-employed.
How did you get started blogging? Tell us your story!
When I became an empty nester I went back to to doing what I did before I had children, I worked as a retail display designer. I liked the job, but not the hourly pay. When home dec blogs started showing up online, I thought to myself, “I can do that.” I had written a book about quick and easy home decorating back in the 1990’s titled, Instant Decorating. It was published by Meredith (BHG). When promoting the book, I was on many DIY home type TV shows. This was before HGTV. I had lots of experience creating content and writing so I knew if I could learn some tech stuff, it was worth a shot. I found a blog designer on Etsy and wrote my first post on Nov 2009. I became a full time blogger about a year and a half later.
I have always wanted to be an editor at a lifestyle magazine. Having a blog allows me to to just that and best of all, as the editor and chief.
Do you have advice for those looking to start blogging?
Try to find out everything you can about blogging. Read books, search online for information on how to start a blog and go to blog conferences. Make sure you are passionate about what you plan to write about because it will become your life 24/7.
How do you define success and do you consider yourself successful? If so, how did you get there?
Success for me was making a living doing what I am passionate about. I make more money now than I ever did in my life. Many think if they start a blog that they will make money right away. This is not true. The first two years all I did was spend money to go to conferences, pay for hosting, tech help, and supplies so I could create projects to post about. I also had to develop lots of content that would bring page views to the blog. It took 2 years before I started making enough money to come out even. It was when brands and advertisers started coming to me and offering to pay me for my knowledge that I knew I had become successful.
[clickToTweet tweet=” ‘I make more money now than I ever did in my life.’ More of Diane’s success story…” quote=” I make more money now than I ever did in my life.”]
How did you grow your blog?
I went to every blogging conference I could. I was lucky that there was a blogging group in my city where we would get together once a month and discuss all things blogging. What I learned at these meet-ups helped me to grow and and become a better blogger.
How do you manage your family, freelance and blog and (anything else??) ?
I started blogging after my youngest child started college and became an empty nester. I had lots of new found time on my hands so it was fairly easy to find time to blog even with a full-time job. When I started making more money blogging than at my job, I quit and became a full-time blogger.
I work all the time, but the best thing about working from home and being self-employed is that I can set my own hours. Every day is different. I may decide to go shopping one afternoon, then I will work at night. I never have to ask permission if I can take off or get vacation time.
Anything else you want to share?
If you are thinking about starting a blog, my best advise to success is to be passionate about what you plan to write about and be authentically you. Don’t try to be like another blogger, it won’t go over well, readers will come to your blog when you have a story to tell and give them something to learn or that they can use to make their life better.
I can be contacted at: [email protected]
My best advise to success is to be passionate about what you plan to write about.