Hi! My name is Alina. I currently own and write full-time for my blog Writing It Wells and am currently writing my debut novel Star-Crossed. Last December I made a life-changing decision. I was at a crossroads: I could work another dead-end job and continue to be miserable while paying my bills, or I could take a leap of faith and start writing full-time. Nine months later and working harder than I ever have in my life, I find myself happy, thankful, and fortunate beyond belief.
Before I tell you my story, I'd like to take a minute to say:
THANK YOU!! If you've followed me since the beginning of my odyssey, you are AMAZING. If you joined me halfway through, AWESOME. I hope you'll continue to stick around. If you're brand new to my site with this post- WELCOME! I am so happy you're here and I hope I'll have the privilege of getting to know you better. I could truly not do any of this without you guys and I am thankful and blessed to have your support.
When I first started blogging I had no idea what to expect. I had visions of a grand future as a writer, of course, but when it came to knowing how to achieve those goals I was as clueless as a toddler. I found it exciting, exhilarating, and difficult to adjust to my new path. I was a pioneer exploring a career that few have tried and many have failed. I faced a lack of knowledge, the doubts and criticism of others, the con's of financial dependency, self-doubt, and stage fright. I struggled to build structure and a work/life balance without anyone to guide me. I became a creative entrepreneur who wore many hats. From social media, to marketing, to business strategy, to writing, and many, many more I've done it all. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
For anyone out there who thinks blogging or writing is "easy" or something that just "happens", you couldn't be more wrong. Any type of writing requires effort, but in order to succeed in both blogging and writing a book, it takes sheer willpower to overcome the many challenges and to find the strength to keep going. I've had days where I feel on top of the world and so connected to other writers and readers that I want to shout out in triumph. I've had others where I don't think my self esteem could sink any lower...until I lose ten more followers. The truth is, blogging is an emotional roller coaster. It is not a nine to five job- more like 40+ hours of intense planning and constant writing. There are no "weekends" or scheduled quit time. I work round the clock, night and day, with sometimes very little to show for it.
And THAT'S why so many would-be bloggers and writers fail. Not many people are willing to do what it takes to make a living off of blogging...or writing for that matter. There is always an excuse, a more appealing option, or another distraction. Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." Let me tell you, NOTHING has been more true!
Blogging and writing are all about learning. Every day I strive to gain more knowledge that will help me either achieve my blogging goals or make me a better writer. Each week I sit down on Monday to figure out my week and revisit my goals list. I find that staying organized and holding myself accountable have been instrumental during this process and this period of growth. This year has been crazy busy so far. I started my blog, got serious about finishing my book Star-Crossed, planned a wedding, and adopted a dog. Keeping track of everything became a real struggle. I solved it by investing in the right tools. Below is a picture of my Editorial Calendar and my personal planner. I use both to keep track of everything I need to do blog-wise, book-wise, and with my life in general.
I'm linking them here along with the colored pens and highlighters I use to help me stay organized in case you want to follow in my footsteps:
So where does all this organization lead to?
Here is a screenshot from my analytics based a year ago, when I first officially started.
As you can see, I have a peak traffic point that starts off the blue line. That's the day I first announced that my blog was available online. Those 141 site sessions is the complete number of people who had visited my site (many of those being myself) and the 67 unique visitors were all my friends and family members who were kind enough to check out my blog at the launch. This was for the month of December, 2019. I started on the first of that month.
Now check me out!
Holy smokes!! What a difference!! This screenshot is from January 1st to September 18th, 2020. I've had 868 total visitors to my site and 422 of those are completely new people seeing my website for the first time. Wowza! Doesn't that just blow your mind a little bit? This is all WITHOUT ads and most marketing tactics/freebies. I gained all this organic growth through engagement and social media alone.
Speaking of social media, I went from someone who absolutely hated socials and never thought she could succeed in virtual marketing to a woman who is well on her way to 2,000 Instagram followers! That's a HUGE gain. I've also created a Twitter, Facebook Page, Pinterest, and Email which I'm linking below so you can follow me if you so choose.
Don't be shy! Connect with me! :)
Facebook Page: Writing It Wells
Pinterest: Writing It Wells
In addition to gaining traffic and followers, I've also joined several affiliate programs as my first official revenue stream. I'm now a proud partner of Amazon, Skillshare, and Ultimate Bundle. Yay! Before we move on in this post, I want to take a minute to mention two great opportunities.
If you're not familiar with Ultimate Bundle, you should be. They put together high value collections of eBooks and eCourses at huge discounts. It's pretty wild! Starting from September 21st to the 28th The Genius Blogger's Toolkit 2020 will be on sale. This bundle is a blogger's dream. It contains 86 products all designed to help you succeed as a blogger and make the full-time income you've been longing for. Trust me, you definitely don't want to miss this. I've already bought my bundle and will be revealing more information about it in next Monday's post.
To make sure you don't miss my post and special link to this awesome deal on Monday 9/21, subscribe on my homepage here. An email alert will be sent to your inbox to remind you.
In other news, Skillshare is also offering a great deal. It is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, writing and more. On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey. You can too!
By signing up here today using my link, you'll get 30% off your annual premium membership. This is such a steal, so make sure you take advantage of it while it lasts.
With all these new responsibilities comes an even more important task. Updating my goals list. For a quick refresher, here are the goals I started out with way back in December. This is an excerpt from my original welcome post:
Better yet, guess what? I've met them all ahead of schedule! *cue the applause* It's hard to believe how far I've come, but now it's time to make some new goals. Moving forward I would like to:
Gain 2k or more followers on Instagram by the end of this year
Grow my following on my other social media sites
Earn my first paycheck from affiliate links
Further engage with writers and readers
Continue to grow my blog's traffic
Continue to build and nurture relationships with other writers
Build an even better helpful/informative community for writers
Grow even more as a person and as a writer
But wait! What about Star-Crossed?
Excellent question. Star-Crossed is my current work in progress and debut novel. It is a medieval fantasy similar to The Tudors, The Borgias, and Romeo and Juliet. It follows three main characters: Hadrian of Livius, Delicia of Gratius, and Cilla of Marca as they try to navigate the treacherous world of Hyperian Manor, a noble compound where wealth, intrigue, and shifting alliances threaten the very essence of who they are. Hadrian of Livius must choose between his duty as the heir of Livius and his heart's desires. Delicia of Gratius must find a way to change her fate before living life as a noblewoman traps her forever. Cilla of Marca must overcome illiteracy, poverty, and physical abuse at the hands of her drunkard father- before he kills her. Their fates are irreversibly entwined, but how they'll survive the rest of their adolescent years remains to be seen.
Here are some sneak peaks of the main characters:
*Note* These images are not mine, they are courtesy of Pinterest.
For more information about Star-Crossed you can visit my Instagram page @writingitwells or any of my other social media accounts (except Pinterest) for more sneak peeks every Saturday.
Just think about what's to come...
Can you imagine where I'll be come next year?
That was a trick question. While none of us can predict the future, I do know that I'll still be writing, blogging and promoting Star-Crossed. That being said, I do have some exciting announcements to make:
1. Come the third week of October, I will begin doing maintenance on this blog because *drum roll please* I will be doing a complete revamp of the site! That's right, Writing It Wells is getting a refresher since it's been doing so well. Some things to look forward to will be a new banner and layout, updated posts, a new logo, a monthly newsletter, and so much more. All good things on the horizon so make sure to keep checking back.
2. Right before the revamp begins, I will be taking a week-long trip for- you guessed it- my wedding!! Can't believe it's almost here!! You needn't worry though, all regularly scheduled posts and media will continue as normal for that week though comments and responses on social media will be slower due to my being away. Another great change coming to the blog is that my blog name will FINALLY make sense since my last name will be officially changing to Wells.
3. Another super exciting announcement is that I am currently working on my official Author Website! I will hopefully be launching this before Christmas, but it will depend on how the blog revamp goes, as that is my current priority. More to come on that topic so stay tuned!
4. I will also be hosting a GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page @writingitwells on Tuesday, September 29th in celebration of my 100th blog post!!
5. My final announcement is that I'm currently open to beta reading manuscripts, so if you're looking for a beta reader please reach out. One thing I'm going to be looking further into is getting my editing certification so I would love the opportunity to work with any indie writers now before that happens. If you need help with your novel, please reach out to my email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that's all for now, but make sure to stay updated by subscribing on my homepage to keep in the loop about all the changes and opportunities coming your way in the future. Thanks for reading!
Affiliate Links Disclaimer: When you visit www.writingitwells.com and click on a link, it may be an affiliate link. This means that I will be paid a small percentage of money for the service, software, program, or product I am recommending. I only recommend what I use personally, with integrity and authenticity being of utmost importance. Thanks for visiting!
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