I began blogging in early 2010 when I took an early 'retirement' to spend more time with my teenage daughter after her biological father committed suicide.
I have always loved writing and was just beginning to work on a novel. I thought, what better way to flex my creative muscles and hone my writing skills than start a blog? My friend Nicole of NicoleOlea.com encouraged and inspired me to start my own blog...so I did!
Within a year, I found that I loved blogging so much that I completely gave up on writing the novel.
My journey as a blogger has been an interesting one, and one that I am sure many of my blogging friends have found themselves on as well.
I didn't start out to make money. I didn't start out in hopes of being invited on fabulous press trips to Jamaica and Los Angeles. I didn't even know that companies would give bloggers items in exchange for a review! I just wanted to write again.
Being the ambitious gal that I am, once I realized that I could actually make a little bit of an income off of my writing, I felt that if I didn't, I was somehow failing.
Not taking advantage of opportunities available to me meant that I was not living up to my potential. I couldn't have that!
The funny thing is, once I began monetizing my blog, I loved it.
Way back in high school when I used to day dream about being a writer, but knew that I would never be able to make any kind of living off of it?
I WAS DOING IT.
Sure, I don't make even a fraction of what I made working for Corporate America. There is no 401(k) plan, no health insurance, and no paid vacations. I work at least 50-60 hours a week blogging, networking and using social media. But...
I absolutely love every second of it.
My passion in life, aside from my family, is travel. Experiencing new destinations, new cuisine, new cultures, new attractions. Every penny that I make blogging, after paying my hosting fees, membership dues and equipment (that new DSLR wasn't cheap, yo!), it all goes to travel. When you see me snapping away photos of the beaches of Barbados? My blogging income paid for that $500 plane ticket. When you see my Instagram photos of the dinner I'm eating in Denver? My blogging income paid for that trip too.
When I quit working, it was understood that I would no longer be able to travel, aside from our annual family vacation, because there wouldn't be a budget for it after losing my sizable income.
So, when Trisha from MomDot.com asked us what we wanted to acheive with our blogs, my answer popped into my head before I even finished reading the question.
I want to travel and share the world with my readers.
I want to be invited on trips to explore new cities and then share those cities with my readers and social media followers.
I want to be invited on trips to watch new movies and experience entertainment attractions and then share those experiences with my audience and tell them why they should take their families to see them!
I love writing and sharing new brands with my readers; it makes me proud when a company thinks I am qualified enough - GOOD enough - to represent them and speak for them. The income I earn from writing about companies here on The Rebel Chick is steadily increasing as I grow my brand and get myself out there.
But...nothing beats the excitement of seeing "You are invited..." as the subject line of an email in my inbox.
THAT is what I want out of my blog. Out of my business. Out of my brand.
I want The Rebel Chick (and HappyTravels.com, my new travel-only blog) to be a brand that people recognize as influential enough to be invited to share their destination or experience with the world.
What do you want?