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How starting a blog changed my life

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Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon, shares hows starting a blog changed her life. She mentions the obstacles she faced and what opportunities arose from blogging.

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How starting a blog changed my life

  1. 1. How Starting a Blog Changed My Life Presented by Karen Swyszcz WordCamp Hamilton 2019 – Sat June 1st Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  2. 2. Who Am I? Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  3. 3. Who I Was Before I Started Blogging  Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo  Multiple jobs, careers, applied to grad school twice  Unemployed several times  Confused, frustrated, lost  Government job – initially thought it was good, but fell back into the same pattern of being confused, frustrated and lost Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  4. 4. Why I Started Blogging  Initial idea was to use it as an extra source of income to help pay for my wedding  Started a personal finance blog - Makinthebacon in June 2012  Felt there was a need for more people to discuss the importance of creating multiple streams of income, saving for a rainy day Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  5. 5. What Actually Ended Up Happening  Didn’t make money right away  Fun hobby  Developed some new skills  Creative outlet to help tolerate a job that was very boring and repetitive Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  6. 6. I Had a Creative Childhood  Growing up I was very creative  Wrote poems and stories  Liked to doodle, draw, do lettering  Was never encouraged to take these things seriously Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Estee Janssens
  7. 7. I Had a Creative Childhood  Did well in English class  OAC English teacher assumed I was going to pursue a degree in writing  Led to believe that pursuing a degree in science, engineering, medicine, etc. would provide better career opportunities  Enrolled in engineering, then ended up with a science degree in biochemistry Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Estee Janssens
  8. 8. The Blog Brought Creativity Back Into My Life Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  9. 9. Blog Rekindled My Love For Writing  So many years had passed where I was not really doing anything creative  Blogging was a way for me to express my thoughts and feelings  As an introvert, I feel I am better at expressing myself through the written word Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  10. 10. New Skills That I Had Acquired  Continuously improving communication skills  Using social media to network and market your blog/business  Networking online  How to develop an online presence  Running a side business  Creating and managing content Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  11. 11. New Skills That I Had Acquired Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  12. 12. But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  13. 13. I Made a LOT of mistakes Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Nathan Dumlao
  14. 14. What I Did Wrong Or Didn’t Do Right Away  Was anonymous for several years  Used ugly stock photos  Wasn’t consistent with posting  Didn’t share my content that much  Thought I didn’t need any help, could figure everything out on my own Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Pawel Janiak
  15. 15. More Things I Did Wrong/Didn’t Do Right Away  Have some sort of focus  Wasn’t that active on social media right away  Didn’t do a lot of in-person networking  First WordPress theme was really ugly, the next couple of them were not so bad Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Pawel Janiak
  16. 16. I Didn’t Really Put In The Time and Effort  More focused on trying to build a career at my full-time position  Blog was never really a priority Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Pawel Janiak
  17. 17. How The Blog Changed My Life: The First Time Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  18. 18. Taking a risk, changing careers and starting over  Getting to the point where I wanted to quit my job everyday  Felt like I had not gained any new skills  Efforts at the government agency were not paying off Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Walker Fenton
  19. 19. Taking a risk, changing careers and starting over  This was when I made a couple of decisions:  To put more effort into building the blog  Leave the government agency completely Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Walker Fenton
  20. 20. Taking a risk, changing careers and starting over  Thought I wanted to be a web designer or a web developer  Took workshops and part-time intro to web development course  Went to startup/tech-related networking events  Applied to startups Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Chris Ried
  21. 21. Taking a risk, changing careers and starting over  Offered a job as a business analyst at a startup  Took it because I was hungry for a challenge, hungry for change  Leaving a steady job with pension, benefits, lots of vacation  Took a huge pay cut, but eventually made significantly more than my government job Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Alessandro Bianchi
  22. 22. Starting To Live The Startup Life  At government – was one of the youngest employees  At the startup – one of the oldest employees  Had to learn on the fly  Everyday was something new, often a challenge  Insane learning curve Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Alessandro Bianchi
  23. 23. How The Blog Changed My Life: The Second Time Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  24. 24. Starting Over – Yet Again  Was let go beginning of 2017  Based on skills learned from blogging, decided to create a consulting business  Teaching/advising small business owners on using blogging and social media for their businesses Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Alessandro Bianchi
  25. 25. Again, not all sunshine and roses  Met with a lot of doubt, especially from family  I was not one of those bloggers who was making significant income  Quickly learned how different AND much more difficult it is to run a business vs using your skills Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Steve Johnson
  26. 26. Again, not all sunshine and roses  Lots of naysayers who still don’t believe that blogging and social media can help your business  Many writers are charging significantly less for posts → devaluing the work  With the growing popularity of video, people think that blogging is dead (It’s not) Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Steve Johnson
  27. 27. New career, new opportunities  Faculty of Continuing Education & Professional Studies at Sheridan College  Blogging workshops within the Greater Toronto Area  Keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and panel moderator at a conference  Co-author on two books publishing in 2020  Lead author on a book project publishing in 2020/2021 Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  28. 28. New career, new opportunities Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  29. 29. New career, new opportunities Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  30. 30. Create Content and Share It Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  31. 31. The Benefits of Creating Content  People consume content, they crave content  You never know who is reading, watching or listening  They may be waiting for the right time to reach out to you  It can start a conversation and lead to connections and/or opportunities Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  32. 32. Start that passion project Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  33. 33. Find something your passionate about Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  34. 34. How Do You Do That?  Questions to ask yourself: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What did you enjoy doing when you were growing up? What have you always wanted to try? Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  35. 35. How Do You Do That?  Learn a new skill  Take up a hobby  Attend conferences, meetups  Make new connections, go for coffee dates –  Shapr App, Bumble Bizz  Tap into your network, use your LinkedIn connections  Ask questions Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Rhondak
  36. 36. Discover Your Passion  READ:  Books  Blogs  WRITE  Bullet Journaling  LISTEN  Podcasts  Audiobooks  WATCH  TedTalks  YouTube Videos Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Alessandro Bianchi
  37. 37. Recommendations  READ:  Books – The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, Tools of Titans By Tim Ferriss  Blogs – ProBlogger, See Girl Work, Give Me Back My Five Bucks  WRITE  Bullet Journaling (Read: The Bullet Journal Method By Ryder Carroll)  Productivity Planner  LISTEN  Podcasts – Be Wealthy and Smart with Linda P Jones, Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman  Audiobooks  WATCH  TedTalks – Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling  YouTube Videos Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Alessandro Bianchi
  38. 38. The Benefits of Being Creative  Gives you time and space to think  Help to de-stress and reduce anxiety Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Tanialee Gonzalez
  39. 39. “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame. We are creative beings. We are by nature creative.” Professor Brené Brown Source: The Benefits of Being More Creative By Samuel Lehane Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  40. 40. Why Creativity is Necessary  “Creativity is the single most important skill in the world” – Paul Petrone, LinkedIn Learning, January 2019  “CEOs say creativity is the #1 factor for future success” – IBM  “Creativity is or is related to 9 of the top 10 skills that global executives say is essential for 2020 and beyond” – World Economic Forum Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Tanialee Gonzalez
  41. 41. Create Something and Share It  Write something and share it online  Create something, take a picture of it and share it  Reach a wider amount of people online Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Tanialee Gonzalez
  42. 42. Don’t Be Afraid To Share Your Creation With the World Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  43. 43. Where To Share  Social Media – on your feeds and in Facebook Groups  Behance  Medium or LinkedIn Publishing Platform  Hit Record – online community where people can collaborate on art and media projects together Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Tanialee Gonzalez
  44. 44. We Share Thoughts and Ideas Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  45. 45. We Are a Sharing Economy  People will share things with their community that they find to be useful,informative, inspirational, etc. OR  People will share things that they may think will be useful to other people Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Elaine Casap
  46. 46. We Are a Sharing Economy  Uber, Air B’n’B (sharing vehicles and homes)  Kickstarter, Indiegogo (Crowdfunding)  Coworking spaces  TaskRabbit (knowledge and talent- sharing) Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Elaine Casap
  47. 47. That Passion Project Could Eventually Be A Source of Income Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  48. 48. Which Can Lead To Multiple Sources of Income Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1
  49. 49. Online Content Can Help You Develop Additional Income Streams  Ads on site isn’t the only way  Connecting with other people online through your content -→ partnerships, collaborations Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Sharon McCutcheon
  50. 50. Online Content Can Help You Develop Additional Income Streams  Online :  store  Resources  Webinars, courses  Affiliate marketing  Consulting services  Workshops  Paid speaking opportunities Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Sharon McCutcheon
  51. 51. It is possible to do something you love and get paid for it  It takes a significant amount of persistence, time and effort  But eventually it becomes worth it  Don’t believe the overnight success hype you see on social media Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Sharon McCutcheon
  52. 52. Key Takeaways  Figure out what you’re passionate about  Ask questions, stay curious  Start that passion project  Share it  You never know what opportunities or people it could lead you to Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Paula May
  53. 53. Questions? Karen Swyszcz of Makinthebacon || Twitter: @makinthebacon1 Photo: Emily Morter

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