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I am coming up on starting this blog just about 8 months ago now for this blog, but it was about a year ago that I started really working on a travel blog! My goal was to build a travel blog and roam the world, but I quickly found out that I am more of a homebody. I love traveling, but I also love my home. There are a ton of travel bloggers out there, but it didn’t work out for me. I even wrote an explanation why it didn’t work for me. My goal is still to do a ton of traveling, but I love having a home. I love this blog because finances are so much more my personality. I have been a budget-er since I started working. My goal is to actually make this blog by business.
I find myself doing at least one or two things for it every single day. In fact, I used to spend the entire day in front of my computer working on getting stuff done. I spent a good part of my vacation getting back into the swing of these after coming back from 2 1/2 weeks of military training. I have not been very consistent, but I am now making a continual effort to do better from here on out!
Here is what I have learned from blogging
“Working” From Home is a lot of work
I have heard a lot of comments about how it must be nice to stay in my pajamas all day and just work at my desk. Honestly, there are some days that I do stay in my pajamas all day because I start my coffee and sit at my computer all day. I have moved straight from my bed to my working space and not gotten up other than coffee, bathroom, and food.
There are some days that I am up, been to the gym, showered, and back at my computer desk before most people are awake. There are days that I don’t get up til 9am, but work until midnight. Just because I am building my business to work from home, doesn’t mean that I just lay around all day. Of course, I love the idea of laying around and writing every single day, but that very rarely happens.
Most of the time I am all over the place and fitting my writing in the weirdest times of the day. Now that I am working two jobs, I have done some writing over my lunch break, in between jobs, til 1am, and at 5 am. 5 am is definitely my favorite time of the day to knock out some work!
I am not computer savvy and I probably never really will be.
I have called my computer friend so many times asking him how to fix something. Usually we get it mostly figured out, but I still have zero idea how to code or do any of the back work for a website. In the future, I will be paying for someone to do all of the computer tech savvy stuff, because it just isn’t for me. If that is what is holding you back from starting a blog, start one now. There are so many people to help you accomplish what you need to get done. Youtube, Google, and Pinterest are covered in step by step tutorials on how to set something up and they usually have copy and paste code. It makes it too easy to figure it out.
Luckily, my boyfriend is computer savvy, so now I have to keep him around because Siteground customer service only does so much for me when I “break” my blog. The great thing about blogging is that you don’t really have to be good at computers and the background stuff. I have Googled any coding stuff I have needed and there are a few plugins that you can install to make it easier.
There are a million different ways to do it.
Even though I haven’t made much money, I have spent hours pouring myself into this website. Into ideas and future projects and the goals of where I want to be in 5 years. I have thought about where it could go and how to reach out to people. I have zero clue where it will lead and I don’t know what will come of my future, but I do know that I want to help people with their finances in some form whether it be from my writing or from some desk job that I get in the future.
Some people write books, some people create courses, some people do product reviews, and some of them do all three. It doesn’t matter what format it comes in if you are truly helping people, the product will sell itself. Someday, I will manage to beon the same page as some of these. Here are a few ways that I have made money so far. There are a lot of ways for me to grow my blog still and I am slowly working on a ton of ideas behind the scenes.
No matter what you write about, someone will read it.
Even if it is only your parents and closest friends (Shout out to Mackenzie Haake for reading and commenting on 99.9% of things I post. It has recently come to my attention that I have a ton of military friends who read religiously, so shout out to them too!). When you first start blogging, it may just be your closest family, friends, and some random people from Pinterest or Instagram.]. After time, you will find more and more people are reading what you are writing. It is one of the coolest feelings when someone brings up your blog when they are talking to you in person.
If you have a passion for whatever you are blogging about, someone will find your blog, they will love it and they will probably share it. You will have people who have the same passions. You will meet people online from all over the country, but it won’t be without a little effort. It is a lot of hard, deliberate work. There will always be someone to read it. The more you share it, the more people read it too.
There will always be one part of it that you enjoy the most.
I could spend hours writing and on social media promoting my posts, but when it comes to creating pictures and other graphics for my blog, I have a very short attention span. It is something that is very important to blogging, but it’s not my favorite. I don’t think I am very good at it, so it isn’t something I enjoy. It takes so much attention to the details, and I usually end up not impressed with them anyway.
Some day, I will probably hire it out if it becomes bigger, but for now, I will relish in the other tasks of blogging that I enjoy and just complete the things I don’t enjoy as much. I love writing and telling my story. Sometimes, I have a hard time sitting down to focus and actually finishing a blog post. Right now I probably have 20-30 half written blog posts in a folder waiting for me to go back to them. Someday.
Scheduling things instead of trying to be on top of it all has saved my life.
Tailwind is my absolute favorite thing in the entire world. It has allowed me to schedule Pinterest Pins as far as a week in advance. It means that I don’t have to spend my entire lunch break trying to manually pin everything and post everything because it all posts for me. I usually only get on Pinterest every few days to make sure everything is working the way it is supposed to! Use this link to get a free month of Tailwind to try it out for yourself!
I use WordPress to schedule most of my blog posts to post at a later time instead of exactly when I finish it. This means that I can finish something at 1 am and it will post the next day when everyone else is messing around on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The only social media that I don’t schedule is my Instagram, but I write all of the posts for the day and save them in my drafts, then post as needed. I have found that this is easier than trying to take the time out of my day to figure it out. I also get a good portion of my traffic from Instagram, so not scheduling that allows me to interact with my followers better.
Money isn’t easy
I have read so many posts on how to make money with a blog. Probably 15-20 posts trying to figure it out. My goal right now isn’t to use the money for anything other than my Debt Free Journey, but it has taken me forever to figure it out. I haven’t learned everything and sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to. I would love to be able to work on my blog for days at a time, but I am still working two jobs.
While I struggled with making money for the first few months, I am slowly learning. I have taken a few courses by other bloggers and I am figuring it out. My hope is to keep running my blog and have that pay off some of my student loans! I wrote a post to help new bloggers figure some of the money making skills out, but I still have a lot to learn!
It is worth it.
If you have been thinking about starting a blog, DO IT! Don’t wait until you think you have learned all of the tips and tricks. Just dive in head first. Make the mistakes and learn from them. The first few months are hard. I started with no clear lead onto where this blog was going to take me. I actually didn’t really know that I was going to write about finances and I REALLY had no clue that I was going to start my debt free journey just a month after I started this blog.
If you are thinking about it, here is a step by step guide on how to start your own blog! It is seriously one of the best things I have done. Blogging allowed me to write and share my whole story with whoever wants to take the time to read it. It also documented the whole story for me. My blog forced me to sit down and think about what I am doing along the journey. Also, it kept me accountable and on track with paying things off!
It is hard work to put together a blog that other people want to read. I hope that I have created something for other people on their debt free journey to learn from and be inspired by. My goal of my blog is for people understand that they don’t have to live in tons of debt and be miserable. It is possible to work your way out of it and have some freedom.
I am so thankful for the readers that I do have! Blogging has become one of my favorite things to do. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings me!