The world is a peculiar place, as is the human experience. We all encounter challenges, trials, moments of wonder, times of crisis, joy, triumph, pain. To exist is to feel, and not all experiences are positive. Life is an intricate dance of moments, radiant, devastating. Yet, it’s not the hurdles we encounter that craft our legacy, but our resilience in the face of obstacles, the audacity with which we rise to meet them, defeat them, and surpass all expectations.
My crucible saw a rather dramatic change in direction, fortunes, health and wealth, all fuelled by one simple thing: authentic content marketing, beginning in the least anticipated arena imaginable; a blog.
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of starting a blog, consider this your call to arms. If you’re sceptical that blogging can genuinely create the success and wealth we hear about in TikToks, Tweets (or is it Xeets now?), Reels, YouTube posts and yes, even blog posts.
Here’s my own rags to riches tale to allay your suspicions. It’s entirely possible to change your life and create success on your own terms. I know, I’ve done it. But there is a caveat; there are a million or more others trying to do exactly the same thing. You need an edge, an advantage, something to distinguish you from the madding digital crowd.
That thing is authenticity; through authentic content marketing you can change the world, not only only for yourself, but for others. Here’s how it happened for me…
The Authentic Genesis
2011 was a bad year for me. And yet, as a great wizard once said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
JK Rowling found solace in the midst of depression through writing, and I have often done the same. For years I’d been tinkering with novels and stories, bits and pieces of writing I’d always hoped would one day be published. Fiction.
When I was diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder in 2010 it was a relief; I finally knew what was wrong with me, why I’d been struggling so much. Unfortunately, by the time I was diagnosed I’d got myself into a very bad situation (such is often the case with these things). My illness had left me extremely vulnerable, and despite the outward appearance of success – I was on a scholarship studying for a PhD in archaeology – I was engaged to a man who was…problematic.
My fiancé was manipulative and domineering, discouraging me from seeking medical help for my mental health challenges. Ironically, he confided in my brother, expressing his fear that if I were to recover, I’d leave him. Truth be told, I harboured the same sentiments but felt tethered by my own emotional fragility.
My mental health challenges manifested as crippling depression, anxiety, and erratic behaviour. Financial constraints only exacerbated the situation. Though my desire to leave him grew stronger, he was diagnosed with cancer and I felt obliged to stay, to provide care and support.
Regrettably, this overwhelming pressure culminated in a near-fatal suicide attempt. It was a watershed moment, reinforcing the dire need for change. As my fiancé’s health stabilised, I mustered the courage to tell him I wanted to leave. He responded by setting the house on fire. Thankfully, we all – including my gorgeous pup, Dexter, and his two dogs – emerged unscathed.
The aftermath was a bleak revelation. I hit rock bottom when I found myself lying to the police to protect him; not through fear of what would happen to him, but terror at what else might happen to me. The presumed insurance coverage was non-existent, sacrificed for his alcoholic indulgences. I found myself ensnared in a ton of debt, much of which blindsided me, all of which was in my name.
Without a home, struggling mentally, and burdened with insurmountable debt, I sought refuge with my mother, accompanied by Dexter.
If you ever wonder why my little wolf is so precious to me, this is it; I would not have survived this period of my life without him.
How Authentic Content Marketing Became The Lantern In The Dark
The refuge I’d found in fiction intensified at this point, resulting in my first novel. Highly cathartic to write, but not very lucrative (I knew nothing about marketing at the time). Cornered with towering debts and emotionally drained, I started freelance writing from the sanctuary of my mother’s spare room. Each penned word became a therapeutic release. And before I knew it, I was immersing myself in editing, proofreading, and even exploring the nuances of graphic design. This was the start of my journey to entrepreneurship. The initial phases were chaotic. Yet, as I embarked on my therapeutic journey for bipolar disorder, clarity emerged both mentally and professionally.
In my quest for business growth, I immersed myself in marketing courses, eventually stumbling upon blogging, then delved deeper into SEO, honing my skills and pouring all my efforts into authentic content marketing. I shared my story. I shared what I’d learned (about myself and marketing), I shared my writing skills. Of course, the journey wasn’t devoid of bumps. But the more I prioritised my mental health the more I realised digital marketing was the key to creating a career that would allow me to manage my health and still become successful. Specifically, the key was authentic content marketing, which had already brought so much positive change and growth to my life.
As I delved deeper into SEO and blogging, I found they weren’t just tools; they were gateways to gaining a voice, to connecting, and a catalyst for growth. They ushered in new clientele and a consistent revenue stream.
Blogging became a practical tool for real, relatable content. As I sharpened my skills, I saw the potential and shifted my attention entirely to copywriting. Combining my writing talent with effective content strategies, I carved out a unique niche in the market.
What Blogging Brought Me…
As I built my little business from my mum’s box room, blogging became my lantern. Here’s the transformative impact that authentically marketing my skills through content had on my life, one genuine post at a time:
Organic Connections And New Customers: Every post was more than just words—it was a piece of my authentic journey. And it was this genuine approach to content that drew readers who resonated with my experiences. But they weren’t just passive readers; they evolved into loyal customers, finding value in the authenticity I delivered.
Sustained Financial Growth: Beyond its therapeutic essence, blogging, rooted in authentic content strategies, evolved as a lucrative venture. Diving deeper into the nuances of content marketing, each post served as a beacon, consistently attracting revenue. The joy of a payment alert, especially after a phase of financial instability, is truly unparalleled.
Tackling Monumental Debts: That looming debt? Through consistent and authentic content marketing efforts, I managed to gradually dissolve this burden. Every genuine story, every candid reflection, played a part in lightening this financial load.
Prioritising Mental Wellbeing: My struggle with bipolar disorder has never been a concealed chapter. Blogging, enriched with genuine content, granted me the cushion to prioritise my mental health. On challenging days, I could concentrate on recovery, confident that my blog was forging connections and ensuring stability. SEO never dies, it compounds; the work you put in keeps returning to you even if you’re forced to stop the work. I’ve previously gained a £100K+ client off the back of a blog post that was years old on a site that hadn’t been updated in months.
A New Chapter, On My Own Terms: Blogging wasn’t just a platform; it was a gateway to emancipation. Through it, I didn’t merely recount adversities; I showcased resilience, drawing from my genuine experiences to build the life I’d envisioned. This authenticity empowered me to steer my narrative, positioning me at the helm of my entrepreneurial odyssey.
The true essence of blogging? It isn’t just about traffic or metrics. For me, it’s the platform that lent me a voice in my silent battles and fortified me in my weakest moments. And if it could redefine my journey through authentic content marketing, envision the wonders it could work for yours.
The Evolution: From Blogging to Vlogging
In 2017, sensing the winds of change and ever eager to connect more deeply with my audience, I took a leap. I elevated my blogging by embracing the dynamic world of vlogging. This shift, seemingly simple, had profound effects. It tripled my income in just a few months and pioneered a fresh way of disseminating my stories—through the power of video. Video content not only amplified my voice but made the narratives of both myself and my clients more accessible, relatable, and vivid to our audience.
And It Bought Me…
While blogging infused my life with intangible growth and an undying spirit, wielding an authentic approach to content marketing (both blogging and vlogging) manifested in concrete rewards. Every article, every genuine interaction, not just enriched my soul, but significantly transformed my tangible world:
Real Assets: Had someone whispered to the version of me, buried under debts, that authentic content marketing through blogging would give me a new home and car, disbelief would’ve been my response. Yet today, every brick and every mile stands as a testament to the genuine connections I’ve made through blogging.
Rebuilding After the Fire: I lost most of my possessions in the fire, many irreplaceable (I still mourn the loss of my signed hardback Terry Pratchett collection). But, step by step, post by post (both for myself and for my clients), I replaced what I’d lost where I could, and.
Once-Distant Luxuries Within Grasp: Holidays were once ephemeral dreams, and heartfelt gifts felt out of reach. However, my authentic content journey altered this narrative. I spent what felt like years apologising to friends and family because I couldn’t afford to buy them birthday or Christmas gifts. As I write this, I’ve just returned from an all-expenses paid trip to Greece that I gifted my other half for his birthday. I’ve gone from being unable to afford a birthday card to splashing out a few grand without concern on one gift. The ability to do that, without causing stress or strain, and create those wonderful memories and experiences for someone I love is a genuine wonder to me.
Prioritising Dexter in His Twilight Years: In August, I lost my baby Dexter. He was my anchor through storms, my best friend, my strength, my comfort, my joy, and so much more. Over his last three and a half years, he needed a lot of care, and I was more than happy to give it. I’ve always been quite open and honest about my journey, and Dexter was my constant companion on that journey. You’ll find him all over Rebel Wolf, and there he shall remain, despite his departure, for he was a large influence over not just the naming of the business (my little wolf), but also the journey that created it.
He had pet insurance, which I’d been paying since I got him as a puppy, but during the tough years I missed a payment and they used this as an excuse to reset the policy. They wouldn’t cover anything from before, and that included the heart murmur that eventually turned into heart disease and a lot of related issues that weren’t covered. His regular medication alone cost around £300 per month, every month, for almost four years. And that was without extra complications and vet visits, which were frequent.
It felt quite fitting to me that my dedication to authentically sharing my story through content enabled me to ensure that Dexter’s health and happiness never got entangled with financial constraints. Every pill, every vet visit, was a choice I could make without second thought, ensuring he was safe, loved, comfortable, and as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Moments With Dexter: Beyond tangible assets lies the immeasurable worth of time. The business I built by authentically blogging granted me the dual boon of financial independence and time flexibility, letting me treasure every second with my furry companion. It also ensured he always had the best care, leading to him living over two years longer than the vets expected. That time with my furry little baby was worth more to me than all the rest of it combined.
I’d take more time with Dexter over the chance to visit every country on the earth. And yet, as we all know, there are some things money cannot buy, and immortality is one of them. In his absence, I’ve thrown myself into my work and the writing that helped Dex save me before.
Blogging wasn’t just a financial catalyst. It was the compass guiding me to dreams once deemed unattainable. The power of genuine content, the resonance of true stories, and the craft of authentic content marketing made this possible. If I could etch this tale of transformation, consider the wonders awaiting you as you pen down your authentic journey.
Authenticity: The Foundation of My Blogging Success
Looking back at my journey, one might wonder what exactly it was about my blogging that made such a profound difference. Yes, consistency, SEO, and marketing strategies played their part. But the true cornerstone? Authenticity.
The business world is saturated with voices, each clamouring for attention. Yet, what set my voice apart was its genuine resonance.
Here’s how authenticity shaped my journey and why it’s crucial for anyone in business:
Building Trust with Authentic Stories: Every anecdote about Dexter, every memory of the hardships I faced, and every victory I shared were real. They weren’t fabricated tales designed to catch attention, but genuine stories from my heart. This transparency fostered a deep sense of trust with my readers, turning them into loyal customers.
Humanising the Brand: While businesses strive to set up a professional facade, I showcased both my strengths and vulnerabilities. This human touch, the raw emotions, and authentic experiences, humanised my brand. It reminded my audience that behind the website, the services, and the words was a person with a genuine story.
Relatability: By being authentic, I shared experiences many could relate to – be it mental health struggles, financial challenges, or the simple joys of having a pet. This relatability made my content not just readable, but also shareable, expanding my reach organically.
Setting Ethical Standards: Authenticity also meant ethical business practices. Whether it was delivering on promises, maintaining transparency in transactions, or being honest in my communications, being genuine set a standard for how I ran my business.
Long-term Growth: While inauthentic strategies might offer short-term spikes in metrics, genuine relationships built on trust lead to sustainable growth. My authentic approach to blogging not only helped in acquiring customers but also in retaining them.
In today’s world of deepfakes, photoshopped realities, and manipulated narratives, authenticity stands out. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a business strategy, a philosophy, and at its core, a way of life. For businesses and entrepreneurs looking to leave an imprint, remember: authenticity isn’t just about being real; it’s about being real in a world that often isn’t.
So, as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey or elevate your existing venture, embrace authenticity. Not only will it set you apart, but it will also anchor you in values and purpose, ensuring that success, when it comes, is deeply fulfilling.
The Current Chapter
Blogging didn’t just rescue me from adversity; it set the foundation for a thriving entrepreneurial narrative that’s still being written. From the confines of my mum’s box room to establishing a successful six-figure copywriting venture, my growth has been nothing short of astronomical. But that was just the beginning. Inspired by my journey and the power of authentic content marketing, Rebel Wolf was born. More than just a marketing agency, Rebel Wolf is a testament to my belief that stories, when told right, have the power to change lives.
It’s fascinating how our stories manifest in various formats. I elevated my blog in 2017 and took a leap into vlogging, which not only tripled my income but also paved the way for a unique blend of words and visuals. But my journey with video content wasn’t all smooth sailing. While I had been wanting to vlog for a year or two, personal inhibitions held me back. Bipolar meds led to massive weight gain, taking me from a size 10 to 20 in a matter of months, then crept up to a size 26. Yet, as a firm believer in positive body image and the sheer joy of being oneself, I embraced TikTok, dancing unabashedly and sharing those moments with the world. It wasn’t about looking perfect but about having fun and being genuine. The outpouring of support and connection I received, leading to new clients and increased visibility for Rebel Wolf, was a testament to the power of authentic content.
Today, I’m proud to walk into my own modern office, a testament to hard work and relentless spirit. It boasts a spacious content creation studio, a haven where creativity and innovation meld, producing content that resonates, engages, and converts. I’m immensely proud of the fact that those dance videos have inspired other women to come and take advantage of the space I’ve created, to craft content of their own in an environment that gives them confidence, safety, and inspiration.
Yet, the most gratifying part of this current chapter isn’t just my personal achievements, but the ability to give back. I’ve now dedicated a significant part of my journey to teaching. But not just any curriculum or academic lesson; I guide other women, instilling in them the skills and knowledge that pulled me out of my abyss.
My goal is nothing short of emancipation, for anyone who wants it (female or otherwise!). Whether it’s freeing them from financial constraints, self-doubt, societal expectations, or struggles that mirror or diverge from mine, my mission is clear. I want to empower women to reclaim their narrative, to harness the power of content marketing, to become masters of their destiny.
Each story is unique, every struggle distinct. But the solution, I firmly believe, has a universal touch to it: authenticity in content, persistence in efforts, and an undying belief in oneself.
In this chapter of my entrepreneurial tale, my joy comes not just from personal milestones, but from watching the phoenix-like rise of every woman I help. For in their glowing success stories, I see reflections of my own journey, reminding me that for all we walk in darkness and uncertainty at times, luminous triumph is but a bend of the path away. And here we find the other inspiration behind the name Rebel Wolf; the woods may be dark and full of terrors but they are usually where we find ourselves, if we’re willing to embrace a slightly different way of doing things and follow the way of the wolf.
If you’re ready to unravel the exact content marketing strategy that transformed my journey, sign up below for a free sneak peek of my book, Divine Blogging. Dive in, harness the power of authentic content, and let’s embark on this transformative odyssey together…