On Monday I talked about what my perfect day would look like if I could just run this blog full-time. I didn’t really talk about why I started a blog though. What’s the whole purpose of it? I’ve been blogging now for about 3 months. I try to post consistently three times a week, every single week, plus a new post on Saturday with my weekly roundups. I have only missed a couple posts, and I was on our minimoon so I’m cutting myself some slack. Blogging takes a LOT of work and dedication. My readership is small at the moment and growing it is difficult without being able to dedicate more time to marketing activities like I’d like to.
To be honest, it doesn’t bother me in the least. That’s not to say I don’t care about my readers – I enjoy interacting with people in the comments and I love it when I write a post that clicks with people. But my page views aren’t the most important thing to me. So why then did I decide to start a blog?
It’s Not About The Money
Look up how much money you make blogging and you’ll come across one of the widest income ranges of any job I’ve seen. If you do some digging, you can find some pretty high-income earners. There are dozens of folks who can make tens of thousands of dollars each month, or more.
Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, for example, publishes monthly income reports. She rakes in over $100k month after month without breaking a sweat. She’s put in years of hard work and dedication, and has grown a tremendous following on her blog. Her readers are engaged and she writes very consistently, and has for years. Other “intermediate” bloggers can earn between $500 and $20,000 a month. Sometimes it’s good money to help pay off debt or invest; in other cases it displaces an entire income and then some.
I could sit here and cite examples of bloggers making some serious money – enough where many have decided to quit their otherwise lucrative jobs. But, truth is, getting to that point takes a significant amount of time, and an undying degree of dedication. Blogging at that level is not for the folks who want to just quit their jobs because they hate working. On the contrary, blogging at that level requires an immense amount of work, likely more than you’d put in at a desk job.
But I didn’t start blogging with the intent of making money. Thus, on the other side of the spectrum is me. I’ve earned about $1.87 in the three months of blogging I’ve done. To be fair I’m not trying to monetize my blog right now, so this amount doesn’t bother me. Sure some extra cash would be nice, and I’m probably leaving “money on the table” as they say, but that’s something I’m aware of and fine with. I didn’t start blogging to make money; I had other things that motivated me and continue to do so.
It’s Not About The Fame
If not money, then do I blog for fame? Well, if you read the header…no. I’m not famous. I don’t have a sexy story. I have not been interviewed by any major news outlets, and I don’t really expect to. The ‘About’ page has my picture; I am not anonymous (you can easily find out who I am, and my friends and family know I’ve got this blog obviously) but I’m also not out there seeking out fame and glory.
I’m not overly wealthy nor have I ever been truly poor. I have a comfortable-paying IT job and haven’t NEEDED to do anything extraordinary with my finances to be successful or comfortable. I didn’t graduate with student loan debt (thanks Mom and Dad) that I then paid off quickly. I read tons of personal finance blogs about folks who pay down tens of thousands of dollars in student loans by going through extraordinary measures. These folks are hard-working, intelligent individuals who have awesome stories. I love reading about them.
But that isn’t me. In a way that doesn’t make my story relate-able, but in other ways I think it shows that I’m just a regular, fortunate dude. All I had was a few grand in credit cards and a car loan that was easily affordable but I hated. I’m about the normalest nerd you’d meet. That makes it unlikely that I’ll ever become famous through my blog.
People like sexy stories. They like hearing about individuals who tackle debt while working at relatively low-paying jobs, those who have taken great control over their financial situation where they previously had absolutely none. They like reading about the bloggers who were able to quit their jobs and have that nomadic lifestyle. I’m not that guy, and that means that fame will likely never find me. And that’s good with me.
It’s About Sharing
No, I didn’t start to blog with ambitions of money or fame. I didn’t start it with the intent of eventually quitting my job to write full-time. That’s become something I’m now considering if I could make it work, but I didn’t realize it until after I started writing how much I enjoyed the process.
Blogging to me is about sharing my story, sharing my successes, and sharing my failures. We’re not perfect, but I’d like to believe that we’re not total f*** ups either. We live in suburbia, have a mortgage, drive one used car, and have pretty normal jobs. We’re going through life the way many people our age do, but what we’ve seen is that many people our age are mismanaging their finances in a detrimental way, and they may not know it. For many, retirement seems like a far-fetched goal, and they struggle to see how to get from HERE to THERE. Maybe they assume that saving 10% of your income is enough (it’s not).
It’s About the Journey
I started this blog in part to share our journey as we take more control of our finances. It may not be as extreme as paying off $75k in student loan debt, but there are plenty of other challenges we face. As a young married couple there are topics that aren’t easy to navigate. How do you handle finances as a couple? How do you approach conversations about money to begin with? What sorts of goals should we be thinking about together? How do you deal with competing financial priorities?
There’s value in listening to other’s peoples stories. You can draw upon what’s worked for them (and throw away what doesn’t apply to you). You can learn from their mistakes and open yourself up to new ideas. I hate to use the phrase “sharing is caring”…well…actually I don’t. Sharing IS caring.
I want people to be more comfortable navigating the conversation of money in their marriage – or whatever other life circumstances they have, whether they’re single, married, in a long-term relationship, whatever. Navigating these topics can be extremely intimidating. It’s my goal to open up some of these conversations and help people communicate and understand their finances more today than they did yesterday. Money shouldn’t be a taboo topic. I want to break down those walls.
It’s About Thinking
If you haven’t noticed I’m kind of a psychology nerd, too. I love understanding how human psychology plays a role in how people manage their money. This is embodied in one of my favorite quotes about money: Mismanaging money isn’t a math problem; it’s a psychology problem. It’s fascinating to me to think about how behaviors has an impact on our finances.
I always end my week-day posts with a question to the readers. Doing so serves two purposes. First, it helps me gauge how much a post really clicked with people. An active, engaged audience is something that all bloggers strive for. It’s a great source of ideas for future posts, and can help you understand what topics don’t do well and should be avoided.
Second, it can force me to change my perspective and try to see things in a different way. I don’t expect – nor would I want – to agree with everyone all the time. I like having differing opinions from people because challenging my opinions on things is a great catalyst for growth. Another of my favorite quotes encompasses why I welcome different opinions: Life is change; growth is optional.
Shit’s going to hit the fan at some point, in some way, for every single person. It often comes when you’re least expecting it. Being open-minded and prepared for the curve-balls life throws at you is important. If I’ve positively impacted somebody’s ability to deal with the next shitty financial situation in their life, I’ve done my job.
To Each Their Own
Many folks have very different reasons for starting blogs. Some people are trying to build their brand or start a business. Others may start something they’re passionate about with the intent of growing their own business. Whatever people’s reasons are, it’s an amazing time we live in right now that we have the flexibility and opportunity we do. No other time in history have we had such a wide reach to share our message than we have today.
How To Start Your Own
Starting a blog can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have ever thought about starting your own blog for something you’re passionate about, there’s no better time to start than right now. You can start with a relatively minimal investment of time and money, and can use your blog to grow your business or just talk with others about something that you’re passionate about.
I’ve created a “How to Start Your Blog” guide in which I walk you through the signup and blog installation process. From there, the only other things are customizing the appearance of your site, and obviously writing. Growing your blog can be a very fulfilling experience and can lead to other opportunities with freelance writing and more.
If you want to give it a shot, send me an email and let me know what you’re going to blog about and why you’ve decided to start. I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re a blogger, why did you start blogging? If you aren’t, what keeps you reading other blogs?