Fail Twice, Try Again

Everybody has dreams. Everybody has a perfect life pictured in their head that they are tr_failures and heartbreak are a part of dreams and journeys. You cannot have one without the other._ying to achieve. For me, that dream started with my attendance at American University in Washington, D.C.

For those of you who have been tagging along for a while now, you know exactly how important that dream was to me. For those of you just joining us, let me explain. It was so important that it did not feel like a dream; it felt like destiny. That is how positive I was that that was where I was meant to be.

I am writing this article to tell you all that I will not be going to Washington, D.C., in the fall. I will not be going anywhere in the fall.

Even as I’m writing that, it makes me want to cry. To say I’m disappointed would be the biggest understatement of the year. I have known for a long time that I don’t belong here in Utah. There has been this little voice in my head whispering that to me since I was twelve. I have been waiting for two years, almost three, to finally make that move, and now I can’t. It’s devastating.

It’s important for you to understand that the reason I am not going is out of my hands. It has to do with that green devil we all have to deal with: money. College, unfortunately, is astronomically expensive, and it puts a damper on so many kids’ dreams of higher education. Too many, if you ask me.

But I digress.

You’re probably wondering why I am telling you all this when this blog is supposed to be about my dreams and journeys, not failures and heartbreak. What I have realized through all this is that failures and heartbreak are a part of dreams and journeys. You cannot have one without the other, no matter how much we all wish we could. The question isn’t “if we fail”; it’s “when”. We are all going to fail. We are all going to fall short. What matters is how you act in the face of that, how you pick yourself back up and try again.

And you can bet that I am going to try again.

But that knowledge doesn’t always make it easy accepting defeat. It doesn’t mean that my heart isn’t in pieces on the floor, or that another little piece falls to my stomach every time I have to tell someone that I am not going. That right there is the true meaning of the journey. We have to figure out how to cope with failure, heartbreak, setbacks, etc. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out how to do so. But what I have realized is that all you can do is take it one stewe are all going to fail.p at a time, one day at a time.

I set out writing this article with the intent to give you advice on how to handle rejection or failure, to tell you what I have learned. You see, the hardest part of dealing with this failure has been trying to reconcile the plan in my head with what is unfolding in my life. I had been so sure, so completely convinced, that D.C. was where I was meant to be, and this was how I was going to get there. Clearly, I had been wrong about something in there. I keep telling myself it is because I wouldn’t be able to find a good job out there. Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), I was offered a promotion at my job just a few weeks before I learned that I would be staying in Utah. Now, I just keep telling myself that I had to take this promotion in order to get a good paying job in D.C. that would allow me to support myself. If you ask me, I was wrong about how I get there. Maybe American University isn’t the right school. Maybe now isn’t the right time. I couldn’t tell you what is going to happen, but I can tell you that I am not going to let this stop me. I am not going to take this “no” and settle for a life I never wanted. I am going to get back up and try again. And I will probably fail at something else. But I will never give up on my dreams. That, I can promise you.

I hope this made sense, and I hope it helped you understand me even more. I hope you’ll stick around and watch me grow some more; hopefully, I’ll be able to teach you a thing or two, too. But I don’t want you to worry. My crown may have slipped, but I am straightening it. Now, it’s back to business.

5 Tips for the Beginner Blogger

You’ve been thinking about making a change. To your job, to your passion, to your location. Maybe you’ve been thinking about going solo, being your own boss for a change! Pick your own hours, pay, and whatnot. Who wouldn’t want that?! The truth is, though all of the above is possible, it takes a lot of work!! If you agreed with any of the above statements, have you thought about giving blogging a try? It’s fun, it’s rewarding, it’s satisfying! Trust me, guys, this blog has been such a fun project for me that has saved me from falling off the deep end a few times! So, if you’re thinking yes, keep reading. I can help you!

Recently, some of you lovely readers have been asking me for advice to start blogging. When I first started getting these questions, I thought to myself: “I just started, I’m still learning! I couldn’t possibly teach you anything yet!” Then, I realized, aren’t we all in that boat? Even the veteran bloggers who have been around for years still have tricks to learn. That’s part of blogging because the internet changes so much, and audiences change so much. We, as bloggers, cannot just leave things the same. We have to adapt to these changes. That is why I decided to write this post. I have learned a few things so far that I would like to share with you.

Hosting

Let’s be honest here. Hosting is terrifying because it is a huge step to take, but if you have any desire to make money off your blog, you need to pay for hosting. I know what you are thinking. You don’t want to spend the money. I get it. I was in that boat for a very long time, and it stopped me from starting this blog for over a year. Lots of people will recommend Blue Host, but I use Site Ground because it was slightly cheaper than Blue Host, which was a huge plus for me! Most importantly, there team has been a HUGE help to me personally, no matter how many times I had to ask questions! Plus, I got a free email account and domain name with their hosting plan! (You can click on this link now to get hosting for only $3.95 a month!)

              I know it is a scary step, but it will open so many doors for you that you can’t even imagine right now.

WordPress

For the design of your website, I swear by WordPress because I have tried Wix and Weebly, and WordPress is just so much easier to navigate and does so much more! Besides, WordPress makes it easy to set up a domain name. Some of you have asked me about the design of my website. I have not paid for the theme because the one that fit my blog the best was free. (WordPress has a ton of awesome free themes!) You can buy one if a free one does not meet your needs. As a rule of thumb, look for what fits your blog the best. If a free one fits the design, then get the free one. If there isn’t, BUY ONE! Impressions are everything, guys, and it is worth the money to buy a theme if it pairs better with your blog than a free one does.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Guys, I cannot stress this enough. Frankly, I didn’t know there was a difference until I started All My Dreams and Journeys, but it makes a huge difference. If you have any intentions to monetize your blog, you have to use WordPress.org. This version is built for that, for paid hosting and domains. It also makes it much easier to keep track of how your blog is doing.

Are courses worth it?

They absolutely are!! I have learned so much from the courses I have taken. Yes, some of them cost money, but they were worth every penny I spent. If you are looking for some good ones, I can recommend Alex & Lauren over at Create & Go. They have a huge variety of courses, from broad ones to focused ones. They are a major talent, and they know what they are talking about! Their Pinterest course has helped me in starting out so much!

Content?

Admittedly, this one is tricky because there are so many variables that I can’t account for for you. What do I write about? What medium should I use? There are so many concerns when it comes to content, but the best advice I can offer you is do your research. Make a list of topics you would be interested in writing about, and then research it. Find out what people are looking for. Then, satisfy that need in a way only you can. I recommend starting out with five to ten topics already posted to your blog before you launch.

Marketable Content?

              Another question I have seen involving content is “Do I need to have something to sell right away?” My answer would be no. For the first month or two, focus on getting a following. If you already have an e-book or a course, then by all means, put it up on your site. The reality of this situation is a lot like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? You need a following to successfully sell a product but having a product to sell also makes it easier to get a following. At the end of the day, you just have to decide what the best course of action for your niche is. If you are not sure what you could sell, look into affiliate marketing. It still involves selling, but it takes the pressure off you to create your own product.

              These are only five tips that I have picked up on in the last few months. I hope this helps, and I encourage you to take the plunge. Live your life your way! It is too short to live it any other way. I still have a lot more learning to do, so stay in touch. I’ll pass along any more tips I get!

              Happy blogging!