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Should I Write A Blog

This post contains Affiliate links. If you utilize it I will get some money to help offset the cost of hosting through no cost to you.

One question people inevitably ask when they find out about Full Time Finance is why I chose to write a blog. If the person has a little tact they start with what motivated the decision. Eventually, however, everyone always asks if I make any money off blogging.

The Reality of Blogging for Money

The simple reality is making money simply from blogging is usually a losing battle. If your goal is to start a blog, write a few posts, and make some money then your wasting your time. Sure some blogs do make money, some even a lot. However most of them are making money because they use their blog as a platform. Perhaps they sell something as an affiliate, or if they are more aggressive they sell something themselves like an e-book. I might personally every once in a while put up an affiliate link, but I actually don’t enjoy selling things. So, obviously I’m not in this to be a salesman. If you’re not either, you’re likely not going to be living off your blog earning.

The only money the blogger truly makes directly from their content are display ads. An example are the google ads on the right hand of your screen. If you are lucky these will return a little more than your hosting fees. If you are like me, I’m about 4 months in, and I’ve covered about half my hosting fees. Think about that, I’ve written over 50 articles and I’ve paid for the privilege to do it.

On an aside, and I don’t mean it for me but bloggers in general. Please turn off your ad blockers when visiting blogs.  This helps us to keep the lights on.

Blogging Not About Money

So hopefully by now you’ve thrown out the idea of creating a blog to make money unless you’re a marketing or sales person. That however doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a blog. In the 4 months since I’ve started posting I’ve noticed several benefits of having a blog:

  • Community – Blogs tend to be grouped into categories. While I only have experience in the Personal Finance Blog Category I have noticed that there is a real community in the blogging world. People participate in forums, and help each other to succeed. Who knows you might even make some new friends.
  • New Ideas – Having a blog will lead you to new ideas on how to improve your execution of finance (or other topics). This happens in a couple of different ways. When you write a new post, in order for it to be successful you need to know your topic. This will lead you to research where you may learn something. Furthermore, to promote your blog and to participate in the aforementioned community you will read and comment on many other bloggers posts. You will inevitably find new ideas which you have not considered, and perspectives that differ from your assumptions. A great one for me was the usage of gift cards resold on Raise to get an added reduction on purchase cost. I learned this little trick simply from reading a post on Go Curry Cracker I never would have read had I not been a finance blogger.
  • Ability to discuss things without judgement in your every day life – We talked a few weeks ago about Stealth Wealth. It’s difficult to really ask questions in your everyday life or dig deep into financial topics with others. Some people will judge you, depending on your questions or make judgements. Others will give you an answer which is completely wrong simply because they haven’t done their research. With a blog, any judgement is confined to your online life. Also, I’ve noticed while it is possible to get wrong answers to questions on blogs, inevitably someone pipes up with the right answer because you have a larger group of people answering the question.
  • Ability to discuss things with others that enjoy the topic – Fairly self explanatory and the biggest motivation in my case. My wife is not a fan of personal finance topics. This blog allows me to talk about it with others, which I enjoy, while not overloading her with constant money talk.

Steps required to create a blog

So, if after this post you feel the desire to write a blog then hopefully the below quick tips will help you get started. It’s really quite simple.

  1. First pick your topic, make it something you’re passionate and knowledgable about. If it’s anything else you’ll quit soon as you will grow bored of your topic.
  2. Secondly choose a host. I use blue host as it’s relatively inexpensive, and serves my purpose. Honestly, at least initially you can’t go wrong on a host so long as you make a site more professional than free hosting.  Hosting choice won’t have much of an impact until, and unless you develop a significant audience.
  3. Once you’ve picked a host choose your blog name. Spend some time thinking of something unique and looking at the blog names available. Don’t do anything ridiculous like buy a blog name that is for sale, just pick one of the available names that speaks to you.  Consider checking for registered trademarks via a search engine before doing so to avoid trouble down the road.
  4. From there your host will set you up with a wordpress site. WordPress is basically a plug and play option where you can post without any coding. From there just add content and visitors. The second part is the hard one but if you participate in the community it will eventually come.

This post contains Affiliate links. If you utilize it I will get some money to help offset the cost of hosting through no cost to you.

10 Comments

  1. The Green Swan
    The Green Swan February 10, 2017

    Right on, FTF, blogging for money is most often a losing battle and to win will generally require a long time writing consistently good content. Tough road to hoe. But there are many other benefits as you mentioned, which is why I’ve enjoyed it so much and continue writing. It’s been great being part of the community and writing isn’t too overly hard as I treat TGS as a personal journal, more or less. It’ll be great to look back on in the future too, especially if blogging can make enough to keep the lights on! Keep up the good work!

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] February 10, 2017

      I often find myself thinking if I were freelance writing instead of paying for the privledge I probably would have cleared a few thousand dollars by now. There are definitely easier roads to Money. But I’m enjoying the blog, so it’s not going away. Thanks for the words of encouragement, you’ll see how important they are in an upcoming post.

  2. Max Your Freedom
    Max Your Freedom February 10, 2017

    It’s funny because I was actually having an exchange with someone today on the very same subject! You’re completely right, and I can speak from (short) experience as well, if you’re starting a blog for money only, walk away. All the reasons you listed for going ahead, should be the real motivation. For me personally, it’s the fun of interacting with other like minded personal finance bloggers. That’s been more enjoyable than I had even initially expected. Great subject, thanks for sharing!

  3. Mustard Seed Money
    Mustard Seed Money February 10, 2017

    I first started writing because I wanted to improve my writing and thought it’d be an excellent way to develop this skill set. On top of that I have learned way more in the short time that I’ve been in the PF community that I could have ever imagined. I was pretty confident when it came to my personal finance knowledge but I am blown away constantly by the various nuances that I didn’t know. I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I definitely thank you for all your contributions!!!

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] February 12, 2017

      Working on writing skills and even creativity are other great reasons to blog. The community is great and I learn something every day by participating. Thanks for the comment and thanks.

  4. Smart Provisions
    Smart Provisions February 13, 2017

    I started writing my blog because I wanted to share the knowledge I learned with the world. A secondary advantage is to improve my writing as it’s not that great.

    Starting a blog has also made me more accountable with my finances as I would always keep it in check with monthly net worth posts. It allows me to easily visualize where my money comes in and goes out every month.

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] February 13, 2017

      Thanks for the great adds. Blogging seems to mean a lot of things to different people.

  5. Leo T. Ly @isaved5k.com
    Leo T. Ly @isaved5k.com February 14, 2017

    I gotta admit that at first, I was thinking of the potential for making money when I started blogging. I think that I read one too many posts from bloggers who are making a killing and presented their results that made it look easy. Reality started to set in after a while. However, it didn’t discourage me as I started to enjoy blogging and sharing my thoughts with others.

    • fulltimefinance@fulltimefinance.com
      [email protected] February 14, 2017

      One has to wonder about all those advertisers shouting start a blog and make millions. Making more money promising you millions then earning by other methods seems to be a common approach.

  6. SomeRandomGuyOnline
    SomeRandomGuyOnline February 16, 2017

    Great points, FTF! There are a lot of good reasons to start a blog (as you mention), but one of those reasons is not to make money.

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