Start a Blog. Change Your Life.

 

Back in 2003 I launched a website about my favorite basketball team from an apartment in Ireland. This was before I’d ever heard of the word blog, and I was pretty clueless about this whole writing dealio. I had a vague dream of finding an audience online, and maybe someday moving to the USA and actually attending a game or two.

Fast forward six years, and there I was living and working in New Orleans, interviewing players and coaches in the locker room, and sitting courtside at the media table as some of the biggest names in basketball squeaked sneaks a few feet in front of my disbelieving face. That humble blog I’d started had become affiliated with the biggest sports network in North America, and I was living the everloving shit outta that dream of mine.

That same year (2009), I started the blog you’re reading now, with no clear direction or intention. I just figured it would be nice to share my personal development experiences and outlook on life. I was busy working 9-to-5 and spending 20+ hours a week running that basketball blog, but at some point my writing here became more fulfilling than anything else. The revelations came hard and fast:

  • Writing about my goals and aspirations makes them more concrete and likely to transpire.
  • Having a voice online gives me easier access to some pretty cool people and opportunities.
  • Sharing my message and beliefs forces me to think deeper and more clearly, meaning I get to know myself better.
  • My words and ideas can help inspire people all over the world, even long after I’ve written them.
  • Expressing my real self for everyone to see moves me away from false friends and towards new and true.

Today, less than two years after starting this blog and thanks in no small part to these words I string together twice weekly, I find myself living in sunny Spain, conversing in a foreign language, running my own business, connecting with all sorts of legendary people, and about to start an incredible adventure that 99.9% of people could never even fathom. Life is damn good, and I feel I’m just warming up.

It’s not just me

Now I know you’re probably thinking that I’m made of super-special star stuff that you’re not lucky enough to be made of, and as such you could never blog your way to the life of your dreams. And now you’re a little freaked out that I’m all up inside your head, reading your thoughtseses… right?

Or maybe not. But here’s where I get some online friends of mine to chime in with their own compelling blog stories. First up is Anthony Middleton from Man Vs. Clock

Blogging has definitely changed my life for the better. It’s an accountability tool which makes me take great action, in order to inspire and connect with like-minded individuals. From a social point of view, it’s absolutely amazing because it makes me realise I’m not such a special case and that there are people out there who can relate to my “thing.”

And now over to Caroline Leon from Life Is Limitless

I nervously and tentatively hit publish on my first post just under three months ago. Boy has my life changed since then! Through my blog, not only have I met numerous people who are doing incredible and inspirational things (many of whom I now consider friends) but I’ve also done and committed to doing so many exciting and life-changing things myself that my life is starting to look completely unrecognisable from the one I had three months ago.

Hell yeah! And as if that’s not enough to convince you, be sure to also check out Sean Ogle’s list of 56 reasons to start a blog. Just a taste:

The first step towards making drastic changes to improve your life is starting a blog.  It allows you to sort out your priorities and then meet likeminded people who will support you every step of the way.

How to start a blog

First thing: Starting a blog doesn’t have to cost you any money. AT ALL! There are lots of ways you can start a blog for free, probably none better than WordPress.com. If you’re new to all this you should definitely go the free route to start, give blogging a spin and see if it floats your boat. I know I’ve just chewed your ear off about how legendary blogging is, but you might still find that it’s not really your thing. No sense making a big investment until you figure that out for sure.

(UPDATE: I recorded a video tutorial stepping through exactly how you set up a free blog on WordPress.com. Check it out here.)

Now, should you discover that you are indeed serious about this whole blogging game, you can put forward a little bit of money to get yourself set up like a pro. There are a bunch of paid services out there, but this is me writing so mi scusi while I go ahead and promote the one I just launched ;-)

Basically, the offer is this: You pay for hosting and throw an extra $50 my way, and I’ll get you set up in less than 72 hours. Yup, that’s fast and cheap, just like me on a first date. Interested (in the service, not a date)? Well then you should definitely cruise on over and find out more here.

A small favor

If you’re not in need of a blog, no worries, we can still be friends :-)

But I’m hoping you’ll be so kind as to help spread the word about this new service of mine. Check around for yourself and you’ll quickly discover that it’s a remarkable deal. So if anyone you know is serious about starting a blog, send them my way and I’ll get them set up all quick and sexy like. You can refer them to this post by sharing on Facebook or Twitter via the buttons below, or tell them to check out 50dollarblogs.net.

Muchas gracias, mis amigos!

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19 Comments

  1. Check me out with the first comment of the article…..I’m becoming a BLOG WHORE :P

    Cheers for the shout out mate. A few of my mates have started since I have and are reaping the benefits too :)

    • Cheers, bud! It really can turn your life around if you commit to it. And speaking of commitment, nice job on your latest post :-) Looking forward to the reveal next week.

  2. Ha ha, I was thinking about doing the same thing, eventually. Why? Because when I decided to make websites, I asked 2 recommended dudes how much they’d charge to put up a site and they said 1800 and 1500 USD for a basic site. I understand those prices for in-depth web design with tracking codes, etc… But to set up a blog or an affiliate page??? No way!

    I was going to help my cousin start a blog. I’m sort of lazy though and could not charge him for the work, so I’m going to send him your post. Then he can get his blog up sooner and I can continue to relax. I’m busy babysitting my brother’s seven month old baby. It takes a loooooot of energy.

    • You know, I was charging the same high prices up until recently, and I still do for highly-customized web design. But I figured that so many people just want the basics that it made sense to create a package deal and work out an efficient system for delivery.

      And thanks a mil for any recommendations you can send my way, Dean. I really appreciate it!

      • No problem. What do you use, thesis? Or something else? I went with thesis, it works ok but it’s not ideal or anything. Or will you just use straight wordpress? I would offer an option.

      • For this blog I just customized the default WordPress theme. But for the $50 blogs offer folks can choose a premium theme for an extra cost (the $50 only covers a free theme). For premium themes they can choose between Thesis (plus a skin), StudioPress, Headway, or WooThemes. Some are more expensive than others though.

  3. Niall I’ve been directing friends and co-workers to you ever since you set up my blog for me. I hope some of them have utilized this fantastic service! Now that my life is starting to settle into a regular rhythm I’ve recommited to my blogging. I don’t know how you manage to keep on such a consistent schedule with all the traveling you do!

  4. So, let me be clear. Anytime I hear a blogger-to-be talking about setting up a blog, you want us to whisper: “I know a guy who will set you up with a professional blog for a really good price $50 in less than 72 hours”?

  5. “Sharing my message and beliefs forces me to think deeper and more clearly, meaning I get to know myself better” probably is the first thing I realized when I started and only with that one writing my blog would be worth it but I am experiencing your first, second and fifth revelations as well and that feels great too.

    I couldn’t say if blogging changed my life or I changed my life and then I started a blog (I think the second though) but in any case having a blog is a positive, enriching thing I’m glad I started

  6. Niall, I don’t comment here that much (I should!) but I’ve been following a long for a while and it’s inspiring to read about what you’re doing. Your $50 blog service is very valuable and I hope to use that service.

    I’ve been way to busy with learning and working (LR + more) to actually take my blog public, but it’s sitting there, more or less ready. I just wouldn’t have time to keep up with it right now.

    But hey, it will happen probably by December 1st.

    Anyway, useful and authentic stuff as always!