This post is going to be a little bit different from the normal stuff that I put out on the blog.
I’m not going to be sharing with you my life story as such, but more appropriately, how I got into blogging and what blogging means to me from a business stand point, and more critically how blogging helped to change my life.
I hope my short story will help inspire you and many others to want to do something great.
In 2007 I set about building my first online business in eCommerce as a ‘struggling artist’ (painter).
I remember building my first ever simple website using the Moonfruit Sitemaker Live software.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when it came to the online world. I was just a passionate artist who sold paintings at local craft shows and solo exhibitions.
At the time of getting online and trying desperately to learn how to use the web to promote myself, I was also going through a pretty tough time in my personal life.
I was already working a dead-end 9 to 5 office job, five-days a week, which realistically was more like 7am until 7pm, six-days a week.
I was spending 14 hours a week commuting to and from work.
My 3-year relationship with my girlfriend at the time was coming to an end.
I had accumulated some debts and I hardly had any money left to enjoy anything else in my life.
But worst of all… I considered myself to be a homeless person.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail…” quote=”Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail…”]
Homeless because at around the time I started to get online, I was also living under the stairs of my mothers house, with a single rolled-up battered mattress and a black bin-bag which carried most of my clothes and personal belongings.
And for the record, my mother didn’t really want her 29-year old son living under the stairs in her house, it was quite embarrassing for her when she had guests around.
You can imagine how it must have felt for me.
Sometimes though 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 travelling up and down the coastline surfing. Being out in the ocean was my sanctuary, I still love to get myself lost out there now and again..
But the fact of the matter couldn’t be ignored. At the age of 29 I was going nowhere. I had zero motivation left in me. I was stuck in a dead-end job. I was broke and my relationship with my girlfriend had ended bitterly after three years.
[clickToTweet tweet=”At the age of 29 I was living under my mother’s stairs completely broke – Blogging Changed My Life.” quote=”At the age of 29 I was living under my mother’s stairs completely broke – Blogging Changed My Life”]
Do you know something else? I would sometimes cry myself to sleep where ever that may be, under my mother’s stairs or in the back of my clapped out car.
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 made completely homeless.
I came too close to accepting failure.
That was up until two life-changing things happened to me in 2008.
- I found my soulmate, the women that would put a rocket in my backside to do something with my life…
- I became motivated and inspired to seriously take my business online and to the next level, and discovered the world of blogging for the first time.
How online business changed my life
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, 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, the surfing lifestyle and being a business woman herself, she helped me to make a real go of things. She became my rock.
My website got a lot more traffic, I was learning more about online marketing, we were doing exhibitions together, and I was also leveraging other eCommerce platforms like eBay and Etsy to sell more artwork online.
Business was going great and I really felt a great sense of achievement.
Again, I felt as if none of this would have been possible had I not met Samantha, I know the headline title of this post doesn’t reflect that at all. We all need some encouragement sometimes right?
In 2010 things started to slow down however, and the recession and economic downturn started to have an affect on a lot of small businesses here in the UK, including mine.
Art sales started to drop, bills started to mount up again.
This time I wasn’t feeling defeated. I felt motivated enough to want to find another solution. I had taken my art business to new heights of success and wanted to continue painting, but I also wanted a new challenge.
That challenge came in late 2009 when I discovered blogging for the first time. (Thank you John Chow and Darren Rowse).
How blogging changed my life
After playing around on web 2.0 blogging sites like Squid00, HubPages and InfoBarrel, I finally started my first WordPress blog in the summer of 2010. Magnet4Marketing was born.
The first year was the steepest learning curve for me. I was using a lot of tools for the first time, including WordPress, plugins, themes, hosting, SEO and a bunch of other online services.
All the tools I’ve used since I started online is mentioned here by the way.
During those early years I found a lot of great support 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 a decent blog with a decent community. Traffic was increasing and everything was kind of falling into place.
But… I still felt as if I didn’t know what I really wanted, or where I was going with blogging.
Looking back now, it’s clear to me that I was blogging without any real purpose.
Sure I wanted a new challenge and wanted to make money I’ll be honest, but I think I was covering way too many broad topics as well.
I was writing about marketing, blogging, eCommerce, WordPress, money, lifestyle, technology and all the rest of it.
I wanted to become more focused on something specific, and something that I truly enjoyed doing and cared about.
Then came the blessing in disguise I was looking for. Two furry little algorithmic animals called Google Panda and Google Penguin.
By the time 2013 came around, Google Penguin had seriously damaged my blog, and after a year of trying to frantically fix things, spending a ton of money with it, it was clear that recovery was never going to happen.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this was a good thing.
You can read more about how Google Penguin destroyed my blog here.
By the summer of 2013, I had lost total interest in blogging and decided to take Magnet4Marketing offline.
I also took most of that summer off, mainly to re-access things and decide where I would go next. And boy did I get a lot of time to surf 🙂
I kept up my appearances online and connected with a few more peeps that really made me rethink my strategy and mindset with blogging.
I remember leaving a comment on Neil Patel’s blog (QuickSprout at the time), and he responded with a very motivating comment indeed.
I knew I had to start over…
The birth of Magnet4Blogging
Here’s the thing, I purchased the domain name Magnet4Blogging in early 2013 with absolutely no intention of using it.
In fact I only purchased the domain name to create a video tutorial on How To Setup A Domain Name in Bluehost. Here’s that original video.
Whilst I no longer promote BlueHost (here’s why), the video is still up on YouTube.
After taking a very long break from blogging, in March of 2014 I decided to make a comeback to blogging with Magnet4Blogging.
Starting over felt a lot more exciting than starting a blog for the first time, and here’s why. I was ready this time!
- I was fully aware of all the mistakes I made the first time around.
- I knew how to get setup and was reasonably savvy with WordPress, themes, plugins, HTML, CSS and web design in general. I didn’t have to learn how to do those things again.
- I knew how to get myself out there in the blogosphere.
- I knew the pitfalls I would have to avoid, investing too much time in SEO was one of them.
- I had a host of new ideas, visions and goals I wanted to set for the new blog… I was ready to make my comeback.
Six years ago I started blogging with no real clue as to where it would lead me. Here’s 5 ways blogging changed my life.
- It’s given me something positive to work towards.
- It’s taught me new skills that I’ve been able to use to help others with (providing services).
- It’s given me countless opportunities to meet and connect with other like minded bloggers, solopreneurs and influential people in my industry.
- It’s given me the freedom to work less, to work from home without commuting, and to earn significantly more money than any 9 to 5 job that I’ve had in the past.
- It’a given me a lot of joy. Blogging is something I love doing, and I can’t ever imagine NOT doing it. It’s given me real job satisfaction!
That’s how blogging has changed my life.
But of course and I’ll say this again, none of what I’ve achieved since 2008 would have been possible without meeting Samantha, my soul partner for the last 8 years, and in 12 weeks time we finally get married.
[clickToTweet tweet=”We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how – How Blogging Changed My Life” quote=”We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how – How Blogging Changed My Life”]
It’s time to take charge of your life, make something happen!
I was so fortunate to meet someone like Samantha who inspired and pushed me forward to make something of my life. But putting aside meeting someone special that can motivate you, no one can change your life for you, only YOU can do that. You can get a helping hand of course, but it’s up to you to make the move.
We can all sit and complain about how much we hate our jobs, or how we wish we had more time and money to do the things we want in life.
Complaining is easy, feeling down about things and feeling as if you don’t have a choice is easy too.
You have a choice.
And if you have a laptop and access to the internet, you have an even bigger and better choice.
This internet thing has opened up so many new opportunities for everyone who has access to it, we are so, so, so blessed to be living in this era. Right now matters. You matter and YOU have something valuable to share, even if you don’t know it yet, so don’t waste another day.
If you want to make a start and change your life for good, that’s what I’m here for. To help you!
I’m not a lifestyle design coach. I’m not a business coach either, and nor do I have the ultimate solution that will help you change your life.
What I can do is help you create the most epic web presence ever, to kick-start your blogging or online business journey.
Start with an epic blog or website design.
Click here to connect with me, and let’s arrange to have a friendly chat about some of your ideas.
Why start a blog?
I encourage anyone to start blogging, especially if they have the time to do it.
Whether you’re a stay at home dad like myself, or stay at home mum, or someone that’s currently unemployed, or someone who’s just looking for a new challenge. Blogging or setting up some kind of online business through blogging is a great opportunity to invest time in doing. And it can be exceptionally rewarding.
Blogging changed my life in a way I never imagined it would, and I believe it can change yours or anyone who’s passionate enough to learn how.
If you have a skill set that you think you can use to provide as a service through blogging, then do it. Start here, start today!
Share your story with me
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my story here and have been inspired in some small way, but now it’s your turn.
Has blogging, entrepreneurship or online business changed your life in any way?
Share your inspiring story with me below in the comment section, I’d more than love to hear them. Let’s spread the inspiration peeps!
Happy blogging – Fabrizio Van Marciano
Shout Out: I want to give a special shout out to the folks over at ReachForce for interviewing and featuring me on their site. Check out that interview here, feel free to share it with your friends, I appreciate you.
Another shout out I’d like to give is to Marketing Manila again for interviewing me and featuring me on their site. Really awesome opportunity that I’m so thankful for. You can check out that interview here.