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Blogging Advice

The Best Advice for Anyone Wanting to Start an Online Business

By 07/30/2012September 18th, 202125 Comments

A few weeks ago, someone I vaguely know on Facebook sent me a message. And this is what it said:

“Hi Maria, I wanted to get your feed back on something. We don’t know each other very well but I was talking to _____about my business and she told me to reach out to you. I am starting a internet business selling informational product online and I heard you have a very successful blog and online business. I was wondering if I could give you a call sometime and ask you a couple questions. Would you be open to that? Thanks”

So here was my advice:

1. There is no such thing as “Get Rich Quick” online or anywhere else. I work more now than I ever did before my blog. Two to five hours a day, just writing my blog posts. Anyone who says to me, “I don’t have time to blog,” is simply not passionate enough about their business (maybe).

There are many days when I get up at 3:00 am to write a post or stay up until 1:00 am to get it done.

Or you have kids. I don’t have children but if I did, I agree that it would be hard to decide to keep blogging over reading them a bedtime story.

I moved to Yarrow to be close to my nephews, and my sister Elizabeth is just as passionate about being a great mom and conjuring up all kinds of ways to get the best nutrition in their little stomachs as I am about blogging and design.

For example, the other day I got the best smoothie recipe from her (her kids even like it) and it’s this one:


1/4 of a whole, organic lemon (rind and all)

2 cups water

2 small organic oranges (just the peels off)

1 slice of pineapple

As many greens (Kale, beet greens, Swiss chard, parsley, celery, spinach or dandelion leaves) as you can stuff into it.

Basically she starts with 2 cups of water and then keeps adding greens until she has 5 cups.

You feel a bit nauseous if you are not used to it, but my sister now has energy! It’s awesome.

Oh, and a little Stevia (Aspartame is very bad for you, it’s a chemical and your body doesn’t know what to do with it, same goes for anything non-fat).

All the Hollywood stars drink smoothies, it’s the best way to get your vitamins and there are so many benefits to green smoothies, here’s a great blog to get you started.

Bottom line, if you don’t have kids, then you have time.

2. You need to be completely passionate about what you do.


You need to love it so much that even when you’ve decided to “Take the evening off,” you still pick up a design magazine to read or hang out on Pinterest (which is great because it’s the #1 source of traffic to my blog). That’s my business, so if yours is selling financial information products, you’re still doing something related, even when you are supposedly not working.

3. You need to be absolutely convinced that the world would be a happier, better place if they all just knew about your product. Seriously, this is not a joke.

There are so many systems, designers and consultants that you need to first of all find and second, decide if they know enough to be able to help you get to the next level before you ever figure out how you’re going to be famous and successful online. If you are not madly in love with what you’re selling/doing, you will give up as soon as the going gets tough. Which will happen so fast your head will spin.

4. If there is anything you love and would rather be doing more than sitting on your laptop (remember I’m talking about starting an online business), reading about and conjuring up ways to be more interesting on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or Pinterest, then let me tell you right now, the world of the internet and selling information products is not for you.


It’s something else, that’s all.

This is not bad news. I am saving you countless hours of wasted time and beating yourself up because you don’t have what it takes.

You do have what it takes, it’s just not here on the internet (if you answered, yes there’s other things you’d rather do than this).

So speaking of marketing and selling online. I am having a rare sale on my eBook to go with my series of 37 Days of Learning Undertones and it ends tomorrow (Tuesday).

So buy my awesome, information-you-cannot-find-anywhere-else-in-the-world, life-changing, now-you-can-sleep-at-night-because-your-colours-are-right eBook (use the code undertones for $10 off) and you will help me be able to continue dreaming up ways to teach you about my passion right here on Colour Me Happy, for free.

Thanks to everyone who has already bought my eBook, hired me for consulting, to decorate your house and to teach you about colour, from the bottom of my heart! You are the reason I get to do what I love every day. Because of you, I got to buy a house this year, a huge dream of mine, live close to my sweet mom and sisters and I get to share my joy with you here every day on my blog!


Thank you so much my lovelies!! xoxo Maria

Related posts:

Maria’s Guide to Starting a Design Blog

What Nobody Tells You About Publishing ebooks

10 Ways to Create a Money Making Blog

Download my eBook, to learn what you didn’t get in Colour Theory – How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones. Now available in Apple version for iPad.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

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  • Passion and perseverence – that’s definitely what it takes!!! 16 hour days are NOT for the faint of heart. I wake up in the middle of the night decorating rooms and dreaming about color specification. Oh yeah, and then I have to go pee . . .

  • Carol Anne says:

    thought I would take the weekend off…thought it was a great idea on Friday afternoon… well then I decided I needed to and did some work on floor plans for 3 hours Saturday… then went into work from 9:30 to 1 pm to pull rugs and fabrics for clients on Sunday… guess I didn’t take the weekend off after all, I truly do love my job…my dream job… x

  • MaryAnne says:

    Purchased and downloaded your book (thanks for the $$ savings) and am enjoying every word. I am building a new house and although I have always considered myself very ‘savy’ in the color department, I am learning so much more from you. Love your daily note…I look forward to reading it with my coffee every morning!!

  • Donna Frasca says:

    I agree Maria! You have to eat, sleep and love this in order for it to work. I hope she takes your advice. I agree with it 110%. My kids are older and I work from home which is another bonus to be able to squeeze in all the computer time that is needed to make a business thrive.

  • Jennifer says:

    You said it BEST Maria!!! You are not kidding, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, weekends, holidays you name it!! I love what I do and it CONSUMES me! I get it.
    Thank you for this!

  • This is such a refreshing and honest post. Just like everything you write, Maria, from the heart!

    Frankly, I’m a little weary of reading bloggers who advise, “Yes, start a blog and write about what you love. It’ll be fun. Just be yourself, and you will gain followers and money.”

    That’s not entirely true. Yes, you’ll have fun if you are passionate about all aspects of blogging. A good blog requires time and energy and creativity and study. A blog takes on a life of its own, and you’d better be ready to get caught up in the momentum.

    Thanks for another juicy post!

  • You are so right! My blog doesn’t sell anything, doesn’t promote any sort of business I might own and yet I find myself thinking about it and working on it all the time. Why do I do it then if it’s not to promote something? Because I’ve learned so much, “met’ so many people and shared so many things with a wonderful group of readers. I, too, break out in song now and then!

  • Karen says:

    Maria – You truly are a generous, wise and kind person. You give so freely of your time which is the most precious thing in life. I wish you huge success in your business and life because YOU deserve it.


  • karen says:

    I diddo what the other Karen said. Well put. Anything worth having is worth the time and effort. I would like to say thanks for the smoothie receipe too, I also make up smoothies, sometimes making extra and putting in the fridge or freezer for those hurried days. Great way for those greens to get in. We don’t get enough, I never got ill feeling but did feel strange the first time I had one. It’s like my glass of medicene, or glass of goodness. I put cinnamon in it, which is great for blood sugar too.

  • I love your enthusiasm….have just started a is a baby…and yes a lot of work

  • Laurette says:

    Thank you so much for today’s blog post, I thought something was wrong because I spend so much time promoting my business with my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, always writing, reading, studying, trying to make things interesting for my readers. I work all hours and have to make myself sleep at some point, I love it. I thought maybe I was over doing it but I now feel vindicated. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with all of us.

  • guylaine says:

    richard branson’s no.1 rule for a successful business: if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. you must love what you do.

  • Hear, hear!

    Maria, thank you for the green smoothie recipe. Made it this morning 🙂

    Carol Anne, thank you for reminding that interior design is actually WORK. I get chagrined when my interiors are not coming together at a snap 🙂

  • lesley kramer says:

    Ha Maria! — this post sounded JUST LIKE YOU….one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much, besides the great info, is that you are a real person saying real things in a real way….and that is so refreshing….now that I’ve met you, the blog is even more fun…thanks for all your hard work, and for always getting better at what you do!.

  • I totally get where you are coming from. After years of working at jobs for other people I retired and follow my passions. I became an abstract artist creating my joy and also a certified personal trainer that teaches power walking. It seems most of my waking hours are devoted to one or the other…..I consider myself extremely fortunate to follow my muse. I am sixty seven, fully engaged, energy plus and HAPPY…..all the work and effort is worth it. Karin Lynn Cumming, Oakville, Ontario

  • sandra says:

    As usual, Maria … you create lemonade out of
    lemons… it’s all about the passion and joy of doing something you love…

  • Deb says:

    Once again, Maria, you tell it like it is with humor, honesty, inspiration and authenticity. Your blog is the ONLY blog I subscribe to and read and forward to people as an example of what a successful blog is.

    Thanks for another wonderfully informative post!

  • Amanda says:

    Maria, you deserve it! It is clear that you work nonstop in order to reach your goals. You are a great example of taking a dream and making it happen. You are an inspiration to all women entrepreneurs, and you truly have something wonderful to share with the world: expert advice on color! Love it! Keep on keeping on, girl!

  • Iris Bieri says:

    Thanks for the reality check! There is a lot of hype out there about how easy it is to make money online. It’s refreshing to hear you speak about what really goes into creating a successful business. I love your blog and look forward to it every day!

  • tara dillard says:

    I keep congratulating you about your new home, and renovations, because I KNOW where the money came from. Your talent, passion, & hard work.

    In addition you give free good business advice all the time. Am surprised the person asked you those questions. You’ve already answered them. Freely, as a gift to us all.

    When I’m asked those same business questions I give people your blog address. Seriously, no kidding.

    I work ALL the time, if feels like a life of PLAY.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • this post really was very validating for me too Maria. I’m only blogging a little bit and I’m not planning to make money with it (although in my dreams that would be wonderful).. It does take a huge amount of time. My kids are all home for summer vacation and there are very few days when I have time to do the type of blog post that I want to. I feel conflicted about it because the children are my number one priority but I have all of these posts floating around in my head, Anyway, thank you so much! Your the best! xo to you to!

  • StagerLinda says:

    You encouraged me to start a blog. You told me if I have a passion for what I do to write about it. You told me it would take a lot of time and effort. You warned me to be patient. You gave me the benefit of your hard earned knowledge. I’m trying diligently to follow your advice and make my path. I love and appreciate you and all that you are. Thank you so much.

  • Kim says:

    I love your blog, Maria, and my sisters and some friends are now reading your blog. They love your blog, too. Thanks for all your work! Just wanted to say that learning about undertones has helped me save a lot of money. Recently, I purchased a 5’x 8′ area rug online and needed to return it, because it just did not look right with other items in the room. That entire experience was a hassle. I will not repeat that mistake.
    And about that smoothie recipe, my daughter-in-law makes a similar smoothie and my 2-year-old grandson loves drinking it everyday. Great tasting and a great way to get all of those COLOUR-ful vegetables into the diet!

  • Kelly says:

    Passion and very hard work! You always put things in the best perspective! You have helped me to keep pushing forward although at times I feel like quitting. Thank you my friend!

  • Maria,
    You are so right. I want to do so many things and specially interior design. But now I’m living another big dream that I always had…being a Mom. I have a 10 month old baby girl and I am having a great time, but also takes my focus completely I have to watch her a lot because she is crawling and putting stuff in her mouth haha. So I’d been thinking to keep learning and reading and doing some little projects around and when the time is right I will do my second passion of designing and playing with colors. I want to enjoy my baby and give her the best and things will come into place.
    Thanks for the orientation.

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