I’ve finished my first year of blogging on Frugal Fortunes. It’s been a challenging – but rewarding – journey. Many people talk about starting a blog but few do… and even fewer keep it running for over a year. So today, I’m going to give you some insight into what it takes to start and keep blogging.
Frugal Fortunes is a passion project that I don’t plan to monetize anytime soon. Not a single ounce of advertising income. To see how I keep the lights on, check out how I make $1 per word as a Financial Copywriter for other businesses.
1. Start Writing
Don’t get bogged down by the fear of failure. This is one of the top reasons people never start or quit early on. It’s ok to fail and I even encourage it. If you’re not failing a few times a week, you’re not pushing yourself enough to learn.
The key to starting a blog is to write. Don’t overthink it. Get words on paper and put them out into the world. This is the fastest way to learn and improve your writing. Too often I run into aspiring authors that have been reviewing their unpublished book for a few years. Please don’t fall into the trap of analysis paralysis. You’ll get the best feedback from other readers.
2. Find Your Voice
Many writers try to emulate their favorite bloggers. It’s OK to use them as inspiration, but try to find your own voice. This is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd. Readers will be more likely to remember your ideas and stories if you tell them in unique ways. This is one area I need to improve most. I tend to be a too concise and fact forward at times.
Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts. Readers will be more likely to return to you when you’re authentic. And there’s another reason to write in your voice. If you consistently copy others, you’re more likely to burn out. It’s more sustainable and healthy to be yourself.
Motivation helps you get started but habits are what keep you going. So it’s good to make your own writing deadlines and stick to them. Because when you let one slip, you’re more likely to miss some in the future.
To improve my consistency, I write a few days each week after work. It’s not always fun but it’s a process that helps me improve. Also, like most writers, I get stuck with writers block. It’s tough but we can all take steps to avoid it. When it happens, give your article a break and start on a different topic. That’s a more productive path than using lack of creativity as an excuse…
Creativity is an illusion. That’s one truth I’ve realized that few people agree with. Although, you don’t have to agree to benefit. We can all take steps to be more creative with our writing. For example, try writing at different times of the day to find what works best.
4. Reality Check
When starting a blog, prepare for the sound of crickets when you publish. I’d be lucky to get ten views on any one article. It was discouraging but the key is to be persistent. Keep writing and looking for ways to improve your blogging.
There’s also a technical learning curve. If you want to start own website, you’ll have to register a domain and find a hosting platform. Making small tweaks to your site can take hours. Although, it gets easier the longer you stick with it.
5. Build Relationships
With blogging you can build great relationships. First and foremost, your relationship with readers is the most important. You gain their trust in drips but you can lose it in buckets. So treat them the way you would want to be treated. You can also learn a lot by listening to your active readers and asking them questions.
I’ve found similar bloggers and have met up with some of them in-person. This has opened up doors and helped me stay motivated. On top of that, blogging is also a great resume builder. I’ve gotten multiple job offers from people reading my blog.
Blogging is a rewarding path. Over time you can build up a powerful network and archive of content that you own. It’s not easy to do but it starts with a first step… followed by the next. I recommend the path if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’m happy to share more insight. Please leave a comment below.