I always knew in my heart that I should be working an “unconventional” kind of job, no, not pole dancing or singing on Broadway but *gasp* writing and blogging.
I should have listened to my gut instinct years ago, but instead I pressed on , doing the whole daily grind thing, like a rat on a proverbial wheel.I kept trying to fit into a mold that society crafted a long time ago, like a two year old trying to fit a square block into a round hole ( ok, enough analogies already right?), it just wasn’t working, and I was miserable.
I knew I had a passion for writing, for business and for helping people,with the work I do now, I fulfill all facets of my passions. Sounds amazing right? But wait! Could I actually make money doing what I love I asked myself. It’s not rocket science creating a website or blog it’s easy right? Then comes the challenging part. Growing an audience and monetizing you blog for income.
Let’s take a step back to 2010. After I gave birth to my first son I stumbled across a blog called hip2save.com one day when my two month old was napping.It was out of necessity that I came across this website, because quite honestly I was scared! Let’s be real! I was freaking out! My husband had just lost his job and I was a stay at home mom…we had no income briefly, yes a very trying time in my life and I’ve had quite a few of those. What I’ve learned from the struggles is this, in the most challenging times is actually when we experience the greatest discoveries. When we are tested and backed into a corner, what I like to refer to as ‘sink or swim time’ only then do we have a period of self discovery and growth
Would I be a bloggger had I not went through the challenges? Would my passion be helping moms who are in the same position I once was, probably not.
In the months to come I became so excited about money saving and couponing that I ended up starting my blog mommiesfrugalfinds.blogspot.com (yes it was free, I had no money)
I eventually also wrote a best selling ebook on secret couponing strategies. Here’s the link if you would like to check this out.
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So, that’s how this whole ‘blogging thing’ came about.
Now on to the dark side of blogging
Here are things no one tells you about blogging…
The struggle is real. If you are starting a blog for just income alone, you are in the wrong business.You will not make a living the first month, the second or maybe even in a year. For me it started as a hobby and it was free. Blogging for me was a way to vent and help other moms, it was my creative outlet when my son napped. Sure I wanted to make money with it. I just didn’t have the tools to do it right. In October of last year I decided I would either delete my blog and four years worth of posts, or I would give it everything I had and absorb as much knowledge as I can about this industry. I’ve spent countless hours doing research, watching videos, podcasts, youtube videos, reading my favorite blogs, looking into social media marketing and SEO.
Your blog title is the core of your business. Don’t pick something in five minutes. Think long term. Are you going to hate it five years from now? I do. I wish I would have put more thought into my other blogs title. I was trying to be cutesy and clever, oh yeah, and momsfrugalfinds was taken. So, the name didn’t catch on and now it just looks like I’m illiterate. Think about what your blog is about and don’t have such a narrow focus in mind that you can’t expand and grow. Make sure it tells potential readers what they are clicking on. I kind of wish I didn’t use the word ‘frugal’ in the title too because it kind of gives the impression of someone re-using paper towels and pulling apart 2-ply toliet paper (Tyra Banks does this). Extreme frugality isn’t what my blog is about. It is more about living a good life on the cheap. I still like nice things like designer clothes, I just refuse to pay full price, like ever.While there are a lot of very successful frugal living blogs, it is kind of self limiting.
It’s pretty cut throat. It’s not for wimps.You will be putting yourself out there which opens the door for negativity and criticism. You have to be able to take rude messages with a grain of salt. I just have to remember if someone is taking the time to read my post then they are still making me money in the long run, hater or not.Some people feel so protected by the internet that they can just say anything they feel or they are just bored and want to stir the s$%t pot(who ever stirs licks the spoon right?) Ok that was just wrong.I’m obviously getting so tired right now I’m losing it). You have to understand not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say, and that’s ok. It opens up interest as well as conversation and that’s what you want.
The hours are awesome but they also suck at the same time. What do I mean by this? Sure, you can set your own hours it’s 12:40a.m as I type this so some days (early mornings rather) I can work when my kids sleep which is wonderful…but. Yes, there’s a but and a big one at that. The hours are grueling. You might be working 60 hours a week to get your blog really up and running, to gain followers, set up social media, market social media, design pin and blog posts and still make time for family, friends, cleaning, phone calls, helping out at your sons school, etc. There is just not enough time in my day, ever. I never feel like I got everything done at the end of each day. I always feel like I’m slacking in one area or another. As women we try to be everything to everyone, we just can’t *period*. My son always picks out super woman t-shirts for me when we go shopping, I’m obviously not superwoman but he thinks I am and that’s ok with me. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and just be present in the moment. Make time. Schedule well and delegate tasks.
It takes money! Yes you can start free but to take it from blog to business it is going to take money! Once I realized this myself and started to put a little money here and there into it. I started seeing progress and gaining momentum. Let me tell you FIverr has been a god send for my business. Using this service has saved me time, money and my sanity.
Sometimes you have to be a b@#ch! Being nice doesn’t get you paid. Don’t devalue yourself by giving too many things away free or trading services. If someone wants your services, set your price, be fair but firm. Once you start seeing value in your work, others will too.
More blogging tips to come! Stay tuned for more helpful insight and a little craziness!