This post is going to be a little bit different from the normal stuff you're used to reading here. I'm not going to share with you my life story as such, but moreover, how I got into blogging and what blogging really means to me.
I do hope my story will help to inspire you, even if just in a small way.
Let's roll back time, all the way back to 2006.
It was in the Spring of 2006 that I first went about building my first online business.
I started in eCommerce, building a small website and online store for selling original artwork.
I can clearly remember trying to build my first ever website using a tool called Moonfruit.
To be honest with you, I actually had no idea what I was doing. I had no knowledge of website design, no knowledge of digital marketing, and social media was pretty much unheard of.
All I knew was that I was a passionate artist who wanted to sell some paintings online.
Things weren't exactly rocking and rolling for me in my life at the time.
I was already working a dead-end 9 to 5 office sales job, six days a week. In reality, it was more like 7am to 7pm including traveling to and from work.
Yep, I was spending 14+ hours a week commuting just for work.
OK, so I hated my job, everyone hates their job but they just keep going, right?
You could say that I was complaining about nothing, but unlike most people, I wanted more from life.
Life just kept on getting better.
In fact, my 3-year relationship with my girlfriend, at the time, had just come to an end.
I had accumulated some debts and I hardly had any money left to enjoy anything in my life.
But worst of all... I was borderline homeless.
At the time of starting my first online business, I was actually living under the staircase of my mother's home.
I had a single, rolled-up, battered mattress. And, a black garbage bag that carried most of my clothes and personal belongings.
My mother didn't really want her 29-year old son living under her staircase, you know? It was quite embarrassing for her when she had guests around and they would see an old rolled up mattress and some black bags.
You can imagine how it must have felt for me too.
Some nights I would sleep in my car.
It wasn't a bad thing during the summer, in all honesty, because when I wasn't working in the office, or working on building my online business, I was traveling up and down the coastline surfing.
Even if the surf was rubbish, I would just enjoy being out in the ocean, sitting on my board waiting for a wave set to come in.
But I couldn't ignore the fact of the matter:
At the grand age of 29, I was going nowhere.
I was stuck in a dead-end job that I hated so much, not to mention the people I worked with.
I was pretty much broke, and my relationship with my girlfriend had ended bitterly after three years.
I would sometimes cry myself to sleep. Not because I felt sorry for myself, but because I was scared of what could come next.
All I kept thinking was that this was all going to end badly for me at some point.
And, more so with the fear that I would be out on a limb very soon and officially be made completely homeless.
Let's just say, I came too darn close to ending it all.
Here I am writing this post and telling you, my readers, all of this, yet very few people in my life actually know about any of this.
So, I felt as if life was just one big pile of crap, but yet I hung onto it!
Then, two life-changing things happened to me in the year of 2008.
I loved being an artist (painter). And being so fortunate to live so close the some of the best surfing beaches and coastline in the whole of the UK, and indeed Europe.
So, inspiration was always plentiful.
I met my girlfriend Samantha in late 2008, and by mid-2009 we had moved in together.
She shared my passion for art. She loved the surfing lifestyle, and being a successful businesswoman herself, she helped me to make a real go of everything in my life.
For me, Samantha was that last rock I grabbed and held onto just before the end of the waterfall. And boy was I in love with her.
So, as our relationship flourished, so did everything else in my life.
My eCommerce website was getting a lot of traffic and generating more sales than I could ever imagine.
During that time, I was also learning more about digital marketing and website creation. We spent Summer, Autumn, and Winter of 2008 and 2009 doing art exhibitions together, and I was also learning how to leverage other eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Etsy to sell more artwork online!
Business was going great, I was in love, and I was happy again.
I'm proud to shout out from the rooftops that the love of my life, Samantha, was responsible for changing the course of my life.
In 2010 business started to get slow. The recession and the economic downturn started to have an effect on a lot of small businesses here in the UK, including mine.
Art sales started to drop very low, bills started to mount up once again, and we were on the course to struggling times all over again.
There was one big difference, this time around.
The thought of defeat never crossed my mind. Instead, I felt more driven and motivated than ever before. I went about finding an alternative solution.
Sure, I had taken my art business to new heights of success and enjoyed the rewards, but now, I was hungry for a new challenge.
That challenge came in late 2009 when I discovered a blogging book by John Chow called: Make Money Online: Roadmap Of A Dot Com Mogul. You can find it on Amazon here.
When I started blogging in 2010, the web was kind of different from what it is today in 2019.
After playing around on web 2.0 blogging sites like Squid00, HubPages and InfoBarrel, I finally launched my first WordPress blog in the summer of 2010. Magnet4Marketing was born.
The first year was the steepest learning curve for me. I was discovering and learning a lot about various tools for the first time, including WordPress, plugins, themes, web hosting, SEO, etc.
All the tools I've used since I started blogging, by the way, is mentioned here. Feel free to take a look.
During those early years, I found a lot of help and support from around the blogosphere. I got opportunities to write for some great blogs, including BasicBlogTips.com and ComLuv.com.
By the time 2012 came around, I had built a fairly decent blog with good traffic, and with a decent community.
Talking of traffic, this was increasing and I was making a few affiliate sales here and there, and everything was kind of falling into place.
Even though things were going well, I was kind of blogging without a real purpose.
Why was I even doing it?
I didn't really know at the time. I just wanted a new challenge and to make a little bit of extra money I guess.
Very few people start a blog and become successful with it the first time around, very few.
I must have started half a dozen blogs since Magnet4Marketing and failed with each and every one of them.
In the Summer of 2013, I bought the domain name Magnet4Blogging. Yep, I thought, this was going to be yet another blog project for me to fail at.
This time, though, I was actually going to succeed with it.
I've been blogging at Magnet4Blogging now for almost 6 years this March (2019).
Unlike my previous attempts at blogging, with Magnet4Blogging, I had and still have a purpose.
That purpose is to serve my audience the best I can while providing my digital services and selling digital products.
Having made so many mistakes in the past, I knew what I had to do to succeed this time around. I had to treat blogging like a business.
And, whilst I'm still very far away from my ultimate goal of living a complete life of freedom through blogging, I've loved and still love the process of getting where I want to go.
Magnet4Blogging is just one piece of my online business puzzle, but a very important one.
So much has happened in the last 13 years in blogging, business, and in my life. Personally, I can't wait to see what the next 13 years will bring.
These days, I wake up feeling pretty motivated, inspired and driven. Our kids alone inspire us so much.
Samantha and I were married in 2017, and life has just gotten better each day.
I'm thankful. I feel blessed, and I hope the journey will continue being blessed. Not just for me, but for YOU too.
Thank you for your help and continued support. Thank you for your friendship and your business over the years. You are awesome.