This is part 1 of 2 parts.
I started out my journey about 4 years ago.
Since I love missions and I love to travel, I thought I could write a book and a blog to encourage others my age to get out of their comfort zone and participate in missions! I actually didn’t know where to start. I’ve always had a dream of being more involved in missions, but I didn’t really know that much about writing a book or writing a blog. That’s why I started researching and reading as much as possible back in 2014. All the information about writing a book and starting a blog seemed overwhelming. I am one of those people who jump into something and figure it out along the way. But, I wanted this to be different from other things I did in the past. I wanted this to be my passion and a ministry. I am hoping and praying that my blog will become a community of believers supporting each other in our dreams and passions! I was busy with life in 2014, so in my free time, I started to learn and read, not only about writing but about missions too.
You know, only 7.1% of all bloggers are 51 years or older?
That’s right. Most bloggers are between 21 and 35 years old. So, I am hoping someone will eventually read my blog! There are some incredible people writing blogs. Many of them have found ways to make a living doing it. That was interesting, so I bought a course about blogging and making money. It was a very good book and very well written. Some of it I could see myself doing and other things I couldn’t. I decided that I would also write a book. A book was something I could promote and also use as a fundraiser for my mission trips. There is also a lot of information about writing books and self publishing.
Fast forward to 2017. It was time to get Started!
You do get many mixed messages when you are seeking advice. I read a lot online and I paid for people to consult me about writing and blogging. I did read that people that visit your blog like to hear about you and your journey. Then I would hear from another source that everything I write needs to encourage your reader and not be about yourself. So, I had to decide which advice to take. I decided from time to time I will share my journey. I like to read and hear about other people’s journeys, so I think there may be someone else that will be encouraged by mine also. I don’t know how often, but I will share what’s happening with me from time to time.
Time to start writing my book
I decided to start by writing my book and then get the blog going. The first half of 2017 I was reading and researching about missions and mission trips. I’ve always had a heart for missions but lately I began wondering if it was worth all the time and all the money that is spent on short-term mission trips. After reading several books and praying, I decided that God does want us to go to the world with His Good News! I give much more detail in my book.
The second half of 2017 was writing the book
I made notes and I organized them all. Then I wrote. I wrote from my heart and out of love for the Lord. After I came up with a rough draft, I had some close friends help me edit it. In February 2018, I found Steve to design a cover for me and format it for Amazon. That wasn’t an easy decision to put it on Amazon either. Again, much research went into deciding if I would sell it on Amazon or on my website. There are pros and cons to almost everything, but I decided on Amazon since they already have a huge customer base and they allow new authors to give away their books for free in the first 90 days.
FREE Book giveaway in September
I will give away my book on Amazon for 2 days on September 18 and 19. Please sign up for the email list on my website at: travelwithpurpose55.com and I will send you the link to my FREE book. I’m not going to send you a lot of things by email, so don’t worry! I know people feel like they get too much email these days. I will always put my new posts on Facebook, so please‘ like’ my page and you’ll get the latest post. I have 3 more days that I can give away my book on Amazon, so Facebook is a good place to find out the dates that you can download my book.
My facebook page is facebook.com/travelwithpurpose55.com.
Time to get my website with a blog setup
I realized I couldn’t really have a book without a website in order to promote it and have a place where people can find out about me and my ministry. Again, I started to research. I had many questions again. I found several websites and blogs that has helpful information about starting a blog. I purchased a course from Abby Lawson called, Building a Framework. That was a great course. I’ll share all my resources at the end of next week’s blog. All the information was mind boggling to say the least. Now I had even more questions.
- Where do I start?
- Where do I go to get help creating a website?
- How do I promote it on social media?
Everything I read about having a blog was good, very good.
These men and women that are blogging know what they’re doing! They’re writing for their audience and they’ve found a way to make a living. So I started to set up my website and I had more questions:
What platform do I use for my site?
What should I name my blog?
What’s my logo? Etc. There is always more to it than what you see!
Getting my website up and ready to start posting my blog took 4 months. Approximately Feb 2018-June 2018. I definitely needed help. I paid for a few people to help me. I ended up with Lise from Gali Designs. I would put things on the web page then she would fix it for me! Thanks Lise!
Making decisions along the way!
Through this process of writing my book and setting up my website, I had to make some decisions. I had to honestly ask myself the purpose of my ministry and what do I want to accomplish. First and foremost I want to bring Glory to God! I am His child and His servant. I want to encourage all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord to serve Him whether overseas on short-term mission trips or next door helping your neighbor. My ultimate goals:
- To be an encouragement to my age group to get involved in missions
- To raise funds for Dean and I to be able to go on short-term mission trips
- Eventually be able to replace my income at the hospital and do ministry full time
I started to write blog posts in June 2018. Please write and tell me your missions story so I can share it on my blog. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about social media and promoting the blog?
I don’t know about you, but it seems that most of my friends are only on Facebook and many don’t get on any social media! I decided I would set up a Facebook page to promote and share my blog posts and book. Please visit me at my facebook page at facebook.com/travelwithpurpose55.com
I would be honored if you would ‘like’ my page. That is where I share my latest blog posts. I won’t send them to your email. I know most of us feel like we already get enough email! Eventually I’d like to promote my blog and book on Pinterest. I’m looking for someone that can mentor me.
This is Part I of a 2 part post. Next week please look for the second half.
Next week you will get a sneak peak into future plans of Travel with Purpose and Resources that helped me get this far with my book and blog.
Thanks for reading!