It feels strange to do a yearly recap on a blog that is only 9 weeks old today, but all the cool kids are doing it so I thought I would give it a whirl!
Most Popular Posts
In the last 9 weeks of writing on this blog I have written 32 posts. The top 10 most popular posts by page views are:
What Can You Do in 6 Minutes 408 views (my favorite post too!)
We Like to Party: How to Host a Client Event 346 views (my first post!)
Real Estate Success Story: Liz Tardo 316 views
11 Unique Closing Gift Ideas 291 views
4 Marketing Areas to Evaluate for 2015 249 views
What’s In Your Holiday Letter? 215 views
#RealtorsUnite Chat: Marketing Ideas 185 views
I also had the privilege this year of having 2 articles published by the highly respected Inman News. In addition to these articles, they asked me to be a permanent contributor so look for more from me on Inman in 2015! (Including a new article the week of January 5th about working with Millennials!)
Why the Change
For the last seven years I have run my own business, Automated Marketing, Inc., that has catered to creating custom marketing tools for Real Estate Agents and other small businesses. I have enjoyed doing it and have been blessed with work just when I need it. I have met some really great clients through this business, people that I am lucky to call my friends. I have spent the last few years busier than I could have imagined and it was amazing for me to watch something that I started grow so fast.
So why the change? I will be honest, a small part of me was burnt out from making websites and postcards and flyers. The other parts of me wanted something more than just creating the tools. I felt like a task master and for someone that is a big idea person like I am, I found myself fairly unhappy with my role. I realized in October that I have a list a mile long of blog posts that I wanted to write, but could never find the time. I realized that I really loved coming up with new marketing ideas and strategizing about marketing. I realized I really just loved to talk to people about their ideas and helping them.
My Single Motivating Purpose
Prior to coming to these realizations, I had taken a course about online business. I thought I was going to learn about creating a successful product and launching it online. Boy was I wrong! First I had to do the “me” work and one thing I had to develop was my Single Motivating Purpose. At first I was frustrated by this as I have owned a business for the last seven years, but I decided to trust the process and I am really glad I did!
A Single Motivating Purpose is a single statement that describes how you can have the greatest impact in the world, by doing what you love.
In other words, it is your greatest asset for:
1. Finding fulfillment from your work and
2. Making an impact in the world
I really took this section to heart and was intrinsically rewarded for doing it. You see, in addition to running a business for the last seven years, I also had many life changes including the birth of my three children. I spent 2014 refocusing on me and who I am after all the major life changes I have had in the last eight years including marriage, children, moves and job changes. So for me, finding my Single Motivating Purpose fit right into my purpose for 2014.
My Single Motivating Purpose is: “Every day I am motivated to explore and create solutions to problems in order to make people’s lives easier, happier and more rewarding.”
So I took a look at my SMP and what I was currently doing in my work and I could see why I was feeling unfulfilled. I was creating tools that helped people at the time, but I wasn’t looking at solutions, deeper solutions that would help people. At the end of the day, I truly love to help people.
This realization led me to take a leap of faith, one I prayed about and one I talked extensively with my husband about. I decided to scale back on creating the marketing tools and scale up creating the marketing ideas and strategy. In order to do this, I believed writing a blog was the best way to get these ideas in my head out there. I figured, I had this long list of ideas, let’s see if I can write everyday for 90 days and if I like it. So on November 3rd, I jumped in and began to write.
What I’ve Learned
I am truly blown away by what I have learned in just 9 weeks about me, about my business, about blogging and even about what makes me happy. I feel that in this season in my life I have found my calling. I love to write. I love to share ideas. I love when people tell me they have tried one of my ideas and it worked for them.
Other things I have learned:
1. Blogging every single day is a crazy idea unless you are running a couponing blog. By writing everyday I haven’t put some of my best work out there. I know that not every blog post can be epic, but a lot of them have been mediocre and for me, that’s as bad as being a failure. I also have learned that by writing everyday, I am pushing my great content to the bottom and the true representation of my writing may never be seen.
2. My opt-in is terrible. The free report I give you in return for giving me your email address has got to be fixed. I put it together quickly to get this blog up and running quickly. To those of you who have trusted me with your email address I thank you. I also promise you a better free report is coming and those on my email list will be the first to see it.
3. I have learned that I have so much to learn! I read about blogging everyday and I cannot take in enough information. There is so much to learn about how to write, how to promote, photos, networking, monetizing, SEO and more. I love it!
4. I have met some really great friends that have only recently come into my life and have been so kind in promoting my posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Thank you friends for looking out for me!
5. I have learned that I can write and I’m kind of good at it! More importantly I have learned how much I enjoy it and how rewarding it has been to see my ideas in print.
Where I’m Going
I could not be more excited for 2015. I really feel like it is going to be my best year yet both personally and professionally! I plan on spending the majority of my time working on this blog, doing marketing projects for Automated Marketing (although I think that will begin to decrease) and starting a personal blog aimed more at lifestyle blogging. My theme for 2015 is to live my life with intent and I am ready to get started!
Here are some ideas I have my mind set on for 2015 for this blog:
1. I want to focus on writing one really great marketing post every week and one personal development post every week. I will also continue to do the #RealtorsUnite write-ups as well. I will sprinkle in Realtor Success Stories from time-to-time as well because I think it is important to hear what others are doing to grow their businesses.
2. Develop a phenomenal opt-in worthy of peoples’ email addresses. I want to make an opt-in so good that people ask “Why isn’t she charging for this?”
3. Create emails that help people and aren’t seen as SPAM. I have two really great emails that I love to receive from two businesses and my goal is to send emails like they do.
4. Research ideas that Real Estate Agents really want to learn more about and deliver that to them. Present the ideas in an easy to understand format that is helping people.
5. Be transparent. Every month I am going to lay out my goals for the blog and then at the end of the month I am going to share my results. I am going to share what is and isn’t working for me in marketing. My hope is that this will help other Real Estate Agents put ideas into practice that will help them grow their business too.
6. Continue to meet new people via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Actively engage on these platforms and provide helpful information as well as promote my own writing. Also I am going to add Pinterest to the list of my social media platforms.
7. Create an online product that I can sell on the blog that will help Real Estate Agents with one of their greatest challenges.
8. Grow my email list to 5,000 subscribers and the blog to 50,000 pageviews by this time next year.
9. I am going to educate myself on blogging, writing and marketing all of the time. I am going to grow and improve the blog by learning as much as I possibly can.
10. Experiment with public speaking and do a few classes in my area to see if it is something I want to pursue on a larger scale.
11. Look at building accountability groups around topics that Real Estate Agents struggle with on a daily basis with the goal of helping them work ON their business instead of IN it.
Thank you to all of you who are reading this blog, who have joined the email list and who have left comments. Thank you to those of you who have promoted my posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I have really enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to an exciting and fun 2015 for all of us!