From the moment I discovered personal finance blogs, I was hooked. Over the years, bloggers inspired me to live my life differently, buck the social norm, get out of debt and lead my best life. My only regret is not starting my own blog sooner.
As a stay at home mom for the past 15 years, I’ve had my fair share of side-hustles. They were all good for bringing in a little extra cash, but blogging is my absolute favorite!
Blogging allows me to make extra money, I set my own schedule, and can still be home for my kids when they need me. Blogging is really fun and I am more motivated than ever to set and achieve my goals (the benefits of creating public accountability). Plus I see the income potential from those who have made blogging a full time job.
Making the decision to start a blog
The decision to start a blog has been in the back of my mind for years until, one day, I decided to just dive in and give it a shot. I figured if I never even tried, I ultimately failed. I mean, all of those bloggers out there making a full-time living had to one day make up their minds to actually START. (Don’t be like me and put it off for the “right time”. The sooner you start the better – you can always go at your own pace!)
When I started my blog, I was afraid. The fact that anyone in the world would be able to read what I wrote brought its fair share of terror, but I was also afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure out the technical aspects of starting my own website. Both of these fears are virtually gone now.
The blogging community is more supportive than I ever imagined it would be. Though you may think other bloggers will see new blogs as competition, I’ve found it to be quite the opposite. Other bloggers are more like coworkers and friends that are willing to share, and also provide feedback and support along the way.
I had no idea what I was doing when I first set up the blog. I’m not technologically savvy and don’t have any experience with coding or web development, but I’ve still been able to do it without a problem. Although it’s a learning process (I love to learn), everything is really user friendly and set up for those of us with no technical background.
My recommendation for anyone contemplating blogging is to just start and learn as you go. At first, things may take a little more time, but there are resources available to guide you through the whole process.
Can you really make money from a blog?
The short answer is yes, but blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. Blogging is hard work and takes time, but it is a real way to earn real money while doing something that is incredibly rewarding and fun.
Typically, you can’t start blogging and expect to make much money in the first few months. Consider the first few months an investment in future earnings. If you continue to work at it, create great content, connect with others and share your content, you are likely to see results.
Keep in mind many of the bloggers who are killing it and making $20,000+/month have often been at it for years. They’ve taken the time to learn the ropes and worked hard to get to where they are at.
Worried about making the financial investment? You can start a blog for free, but if you want to have control over your blog and make any money from your blog, you should definitely have a self-hosted site. Advertisers typically won’t take a second glance at a free platform, such as Blogger sites. Plus, starting a self-hosted site doesn’t have to cost any more than lunch at a fast food restaurant each month.
Having a self-hosted site gives you complete control and gives a more professional appearance. Plus, even if you start out on a free platform, you may decide to transition to a self-hosted site later and this can be a pain. From reading others’ accounts of making the transition, it sounds tedious and difficult. In my opinion, you’re better off to just start off with the self-hosted in the first place.
It takes time to build an audience and make money from a blog, which is why I recommend paying for one full year of blog hosting . This saves you money and ensures your commitment to following through on blogging for a year (if you can’t pay for a whole year, that’s okay, just commit to sticking with it for one year).
Unfortunately, many bloggers quit within a short amount of time. Building up an audience and getting traffic takes time. It has taken me about 6 months to get a good amount of traffic. If you don’t stick it out for 6 months +, you’ll never know for sure if you could do it.
Tips for new bloggers
WordPress can look intimidating at first, but it’s actually very user friendly. Once you’ve been using it for a couple of months, it will begin to feel like “home”. I had many questions at first and just Googled them. Any question you have has probably already been asked and answered!
Plan ahead with content ideas. When I think of ideas for a post, I jot down the topic and a few notes in Google docs. I then come back to it later to do more research and a brief outline (and subheadings) of the post and then write the post (and edit, edit, edit!).
There is a ton of advice out there on strategies for getting traffic to your website. While one method may work for some bloggers, others have better luck doing something else. Experiment to see where you get the most interest. I receive the most traffic from Pinterest and guest posts on large sites.
You can’t do everything at once. I still find myself trying to do everything I think I should be doing as a blogger, but have better results when I focus on just a few things at a time. Though posting good content consistently is always at the top of my list, I also try to focus on just one other thing at a time, such as guest posting more often or figuring out the best Pinterest strategy.
Connect with other bloggers in your niche. The benefits of connecting with other bloggers are far-reaching. You get the support from the community, new friendships, networking opportunities, ideas, suggestions, and much, much more!
I can’t stress it enough – the most important thing you can do is just start. You don’t have to be an expert right off the bat. Starting a blog is a constant learning experience that is incredibly rewarding (one of the reasons I absolutely love it is there’s always a new learning opportunity).
I wish you the best of luck and if you have any questions, concerns, or just need a little pep talk, please feel free contact me.