How Blogging Made My Dreams Come True

Disclosure: By telling the honest story of how blogging made my dreams come true and became my full time job I am entering to win BlogaliciousFIVE tickets and hotel stay from LatinaBloggersConnect.com.

Blogging started because I wanted to help others. The and opportunities to help have broadened! Abriendo Oportunidades: supports Guatemala's most disadvantaged population: rural, indigenous girls ages 8-17. Chick on the photo to help out. :)
Blogging started because I wanted to help others. And with blogging the opportunities to do social good have broadened! “Abriendo Oportunidade” supports Guatemala’s most disadvantaged population: rural, indigenous girls ages 8-17. Click on the photo to help out. Photo courtesy of Abriendo Oportunidades, all rights reserved.

Looking to Help Others

Growing Up Bilingual was born from the desire to help others. The idea came to me one day as I struggled to find ways to bring my Latino culture into the lives of my children.  I wondered how many Latinas where out there doing the same, trying to pass on to their children their language and traditions in a country that does not seem to appreciate bilingualism as the amazing tool it is.   At the time I was volunteering in an organization that gives assistance and education to preschools and daycare providers so that they realize the importance of supporting dual language learner’s home language.  I’d come across so many immigrant families who in their search of the American dream had sacrificed their language and culture without realizing that being bilingual and having a strong sense of identity would give their children the tools they needed to succeed and get ahead later in life.

As a woman who grew up bilingual in Latin America I thought I might have some interesting ideas to share on how being bilingual had opened doors for me and why it was important to keep our culture alive for our children so it just made sense for me to write about what I knew and felt passionate about.

The Power of The Blogging Community

I bought my domain, had my husband design my logo, attended a bunch of WordPress webinars, set up my blog and started writing.  After a couple of months I realized that “if you build it they will come” might work for a field of dreams in a cornfield in the Midwest but it doesn’t really work online.  I knew I had to do something so I dove into social media, met other Latina bloggers online and attended my first blogger conference.   Thanks to the help and support I received from the blogger community, to everything I learned and to all the amazing connections I made at my first blogger conference my blog not only came alive but also started making money. This was a complete surprise to me as I had never thought of my blog as a business.

At blogging conferences I met online friends and made new friend who have all been a constant source of support and inspiration. My own personal group of cheerleaders motivating me every step of the way!
At blogging conferences I met online friends and made new friend who have all been a constant source of support and inspiration. This is my own personal group of cheerleaders who have motivated me every step of the way!

Making My Dreams Come True

My blog started as a way to help others but soon things turned around and blogging not only became an income source but a vessel that helped my own dreams materialize into reality.  I had always wanted to have my own business and thanks to my blog that dream has become a reality.  Blogging has improved my life in so many ways:

  • I have grown as a professional, as a mother and as a person.  Through my blog and other blogs I have give and received advice on every aspect of my life, sharing with friends and sisters online everything from recipes and potty training advice to writing inspiration and how to make my blog friendly for mobile devices.
  • I have improved my skills. Blogging is a creative outlet and my writing skills and business skills and even my cooking and photography have just flourished as a result
  • I have gained economical independence. Blogging lets me work from home so I can be there for my kids, which has been crucial for our family as I have a child with special needs who requires me to have a flexible schedule.
  • I have found new opportunities. Blogging has opened doors to countless business opportunities from writing gigs to social media managing and translation clients.
  • I have met amazing people. Through blogging I have met so many interesting and accomplished people, and even a few celebrities and broadened my horizons.
Seriously this is work? Who knew you could have so much fun and get paid for it!
Seriously this is work? Who knew you could have so much fun and get paid for it!  My non blogging friends think I’m either a millionaire or a jet setter! I just know that it feels like I’m a “super mom” because I feel like I have it all. 😉
  • I do something I love for a living. There is nothing better than doing something you love and being recognized and paid for it and I have so much fun blogging that it doesn’t even feel like a job!
  • I have found ways to revive old dreams. Thanks to blogging I have been able to pursue other dreams that had been on the back burner for a long time: photography and traveling.
  • I have made lifelong friends. Through blogging I have found an online community of hermanas and we support each other and help each other.
  • I have the opportunity to give my children more. Be it the latest educational app, a beautiful personalized book in Spanish or the opportunity to go to their favorite theme park my blog lets me broaden my children’s world and experiences as well as mine. I have more time to spend with them and more time to teach them because as we do a fun educational craft, or cook a traditional dish I’m also blogging about it so I combine work and quality time with my kids in the same activity.
  • I am able to help others. Through my blog I have had the opportunity to share with so many all of the wonderful resources, books, articles, etc. that I have found in my own journey to raise bilingual children.  I have also had the chance to do social good supporting and sharing initiatives and organizations that are helping in areas that I am already passionate in advocating for like Latino rights, disability rights and even helping people in my own country: Guatemala.
  • I can share my culture.  My blog has given me a way to share with others my culture and my traditions and it serves as an album of all of those traditions for my own children.
Through blogging I can share my culture and use my blog as a album of traditions and authentic recipes for my children. From left to right: my Pinterest board with photos and traditions of Guatemala, giant kites for el Dia de los Muertos, Dia de los Muertos craft the kids made, my daughter wearing a traditional Guatemalan custome and fiambre a traditional guatemalan dish eaten on el Dia de los Muertos.
Through blogging I can share my culture and use my blog as a album of traditions and authentic recipes for my children. From left to right: my Pinterest board with photos and traditions of Guatemala, giant kites for el Dia de los Muertos, Dia de los Muertos craft the kids made, the day I became a US citizen, my daughter wearing a traditional Guatemalan costume and fiambre a traditional guatemalan dish.

 

Tips For Turning Your Blog Into A Tool To Make Your Dreams Come True

  • Find something you are passionate about. This is key, if you write about something you are passionate about you will never run out of inspiration.
  • Always put your best foot forward. On every post always do your best.
  • Treat your blog like a business. Create a logo, make business cards, network and maintain a professional image always, both online and offline.
Learning to take better pictures has been crucial to my blog's growth. You do not want to see what my photos looked like two year ago!
Learning to take better pictures has been crucial to my blog’s growth. You do not want to see what my photos looked like two years ago!
  • Great writing needs great photos.  People are attracted to images, invest in a good camera, take some photography lessons and try to use your own photos.
  • Find your niche. Find one thing and concentrate on that so that your blog will attract like minded readers, weather it’s Latina Lifestyle, fashion, tech or education when your blog focuses on one thing it attracts more people.
  • Give readers something to take away. Use your blog as a tool to teach people new things, provide valuable information and tips. Whether it is a new gluten free recipe, tips on traveling with kids or detailed instructions on how to shoot a great video with your iPhone people want to grow and will appreciate a post that teaches them something.
  • Attend blogger and social media conferences. Conferences are not just the ideal place to learn the latest about blogging, technology and how to take your blog to the next level but they are the perfect place to network with bloggers and brands and get noticed!
  • Be creative. There are many bloggers out there and you need to stand out to succeed, fin inspiration in what you love and unleash your creativity. Don’t be afraid to do something different.
  • Help others. What you put out in the world comes back to you. Support other bloggers, mentor, do social good campaigns, comment, share information and you will find that it is easier rising as a group and as a community and that all that you do for others comes back to you tenfold.
  • Have fun. Don’t forget to have fun, when you love doing what you do and you have fun with it you will be more motivated to invest the effort and time your blog needs to succeed.

I would be thrilled to attend BlogaliciousFIVE so that I can continue to learn and be inspired. This would be the ideal opportunity to make my blog better and grow as a person.  I would also love to share how I have found my own personal success through blogging and how blogging can help others make their dreams come true as it has helped me realize mine.  If I win the tickets the tough part will be choosing a friend to go with me, I would like to take them all!

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31 thoughts on “How Blogging Made My Dreams Come True”

  1. I have been a blogger for almost 5 years and have yet to attend a blogging conference. I promised myself that I *would* attend one in 2014. I love this post because you highlight all the good that blogging has done for others and yourself.

    Reply
  2. I love your blog – you can tell in each post that you love what you do! I definitely need to work on my pics – I have a great camera, but am clueless to using it – I think I will take your tip and find a class somewhere! Thanks!

    Reply
  3. I know what you mean about joining my Hispanic culture and my kids! I am so happy you were able to make that passion a business in which your dreams have come true. What an Amazing Adventure you’ve had!!

    Reply
  4. I love this post…I am still new to this (only 3 months in) so this was very inspiring and I appreciate the advice…I am fortunate to have learned early on that the blogger community is the absolute best thing about blogging…I never knew I would meet and network with such wonderful people – both on and off-line. Pictures is the area where I know I need to improve…taking better pictures…breathtaking images…I am going to look for a photography class. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  5. It’s nice to be able to look back and see what/how your blogging has changed/helped you. I’ve been blogging for 3 years now and haven’t attended a blog conference, I guess eventually I will.

    Reply
  6. That is awesome! I hope to become a bigger and better blogger. It takes alot of time, hardwork and dedication and it seem’s you have that. Congrats for achieving so much 🙂

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  7. I completely agree with you, Paula. Blogging has afforded me many experiences that I would not have had otherwise and I am also very thankful for each and every one of them. It is a blessing and an honor that so many people value what we have to say on our respective forums.

    Reply
  8. Paula I want to be like you when I grow up, figuratively speaking! 🙂 I always enjoy your blog and your writing. I admire you, and look up to you! I really hope that we can meet up one day and have a cup of joe or something. I’d love to talk to you in person and maybe have you as a mentor 😉

    Reply

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