Blogs are awesome. The internet is a seemingly infinite platform for anyone, anywhere, to share their experiences. But there are so many of them.. why start another one?
Surfpreneur is my personal blog, where I document my efforts building location independent businesses and earning more time to live well. I hope that by sharing the process, I can help others do the same.
I want this blog to be a little different from some of the blogs out there, so here are 8 reasons why I started it.
1. Learn new skills
Aah, a new challenge. Before starting this blog, I had never used WordPress and had never really delved into SEO (search engine optimisation) or keyword research.
I was lucky to find a great theme with a supportive developer and community behind it, so learning WordPress has been an absolute pleasure. I’ve even jumped into PHP to customise specific areas of the blog. I’m pretty happy with it, what do you think?
With the help of Backlinko, I’ve also gained a decent foundation in keyword research and SEO, and the more time I put into this blog, the more I’m going to learn!
You can teach yourself almost anything with the help of the internet, but the best way to learn is by doing.
2. Fits in with my ’network’ of projects
Surfpreneur fits in nicely in the sort of network of other projects I’m working on. They’re all related. It will act as a hub; a place where I can write about all of them.
For my freelance content business, I’ll get more examples for my portfolio. I’ll establish some authority on small business topics (small businesses are my freelance target market), and hopefully, I’ll make some referrals.. I suppose from that angle it could be described as an elaborate content marketing campaign!
The healthy lifestyle aspect fits in with my surf photography business as well. Health is important and should come before all this business malarky. I try!
The freelance business is a service business, I exchange time for money. And the photography business is an ecommerce/service business, I’m always putting time into that. Surfpreneur won’t have the same immediate demand on my time as they do, I’ll write here in my spare time.
Oh, and blogger sounds better than surf entrepreneur..!
3. Writing is healthy
Writing helps me to organise my thoughts. Trying to articulate something makes it clearer in my head, and that helps me learn from mistakes, talk to clients, identify next steps, come up with ideas.. all that good stuff.
Being healthy is just as much about being mentally healthy as active and physically healthy. Writing is a massive help there. I write a lot anyway, I should share more of it!
4. Give you an alternative
There are thousands of blogs dedicated to teaching people how to do things, with step by step guides for anything you could think of. There are probably thousands specifically about teaching people how to build a business!
That’s great, I read blogs like that all the time, especially when I’m trying to solve a specific problem.
But there is a huge lack of blogs that share the process, from the point of view of someone actually putting techniques into practice (got any suggestions?). I find blogs like that extremely useful, and I’m more likely to trust what I’m reading because I can see it working.
But lots of people either don’t have the time for blogging, or they are worried that other people will steal their ideas.
I don’t mind sharing my ideas. They’re worth nothing without the execution anyway. But if someone does copy me and do it better, they deserve it! I’ll be thrilled if you take ideas from this blog and make something successful with them.
Time is always going to be a struggle, but I have a fair bit more of it now that I’ve left my job, so we’ll see what the future holds..
5. Help and inspire others with content I’m passionate about
Like I said, I think sharing the process and real experience will be really useful for you folks reading.. hi Mum! Even if you don’t want to do exactly what I’m doing (you probably shouldn’t), the lessons I learn and mistakes I make will be applicable in some way to your project.
For example, you don’t have to be making a surf photography ecommerce website, or a photography business of any kind, to find something useful in my ramblings about doing it.
Plus, this is the stuff that I love doing, so I’m excited to share it! If it helps you, all the better.
6. Build a community
You have a wealth of experience vastly different from mine, we can learn a lot from each other!
I want to build a community around this blog and start conversations and real friendships with people around the world. I’m sure we can help each other and open up opportunities. It’s amazing what another person’s point of view can do to improve an idea you think you have well thought out!
I’ll end every blog post with a question, and I hope more people get involved in the comments and on Twitter as time goes on.
7. Try a different business model
Surfpreneur is a business in itself. The plan is to make money by including affiliate links to products that I actually use and recommend. That means I’ll make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use a link and decide to pay for one of the tools.
It’s important to me that I maintain my integrity and share honest advice and experience, so I’ll never share a product or tool just because of its affiliate program. I use the tool first and find the program afterwards. If there’s no program, no worries!
This is a model I’ve never tried before, so I’m interested to see how it will work and what I can learn from it.
8. Have fun with new projects
I love new projects. The first stage is always one of the most exciting parts; doing the research, learning, working out the details, coming up with new ideas. This blog will give me an excuse to try new ways of making money online.
A couple things on my radar that I’d love to experiment with are matched betting and teaching English as a foreign language. I’d also love to try an FBA product on Amazon. What do you think I should try?
I’ll come back to this list in a year’s time and see if this blog has achieved what I hope it will. But even if it doesn’t do everything I want it to, it’s already been worth it. The new skills I’ve learned will be invaluable for other projects.
Do you have a blog? Why did you start it and what have you learned from it?
Thanks for reading, and see you in the comments!