This has been the craziest, most change-filled year of my entire life.
We finished paying off six figure student loan debt, we finally bought our first home, I had a surgery I’d been putting off for a while, I got a new car, my step dad received a difficult diagnosis (dementia), and we brought home a new (slightly insane) puppy.
I’m also working on adding another big (positive) change to that list…stay tuned! :)
It’s no surprise that during this season of change, my plan for this blog has also changed.
I used to see this blog as a business. I wanted to grow my blogging income A LOT, and I had big dreams of turning this blog into a lucrative side hustle or even eventually a full-time gig.
But, a few years later, I’ve decided that now just isn’t the right time for that.
Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize: blogging is a lot of work.
I think most people imagine that you just slap up a few short posts occasionally and that’s it. That MIGHT be true if your blog is just a fun hobby, but it’s definitely not the case if you’re trying to grow your traffic and your blogging income.
There is WAY more that goes into blogging than simply writing a few short articles each month.
Here are just a few of the other tasks a blogger might work on:
- Crafting a Pinterest strategy, designing beautiful and intriguing pins (using Photoshop or Canva) that manage to stand out (among thousands of other pins competing for clicks), scheduling pins via Tailwind, and regularly applying for and joining new group boards.
- Posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regularly and engaging with commenters.
- Creating a Facebook ads strategy, running FB ads, and learning how to drive as much traffic to your blog as possible by spending the lowest amount of money on ads.
- Trying out different SEO strategies and tactics for creating content that gets clicks.
- Crafting an email strategy, sending out regular emails to readers using some kind of program (like ConvertKit or MailChimp), and creating email funnels.
- Creating digital products like eBooks, courses, printables, or checklists to sell to your readers.
- Managing an affiliate marketing strategy and numerous affiliate marketing partnerships.
- Freelance writing, writing sponsored posts, applying for sponsorships, and working with sponsors.
- Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues (like your website going down or being hacked).
This list just scratches the surface. There are MANY important tasks involved in running a successful blog.
For a few years, I dedicated most of my free time on nights and weekends to growing this blog, but unfortunately, I focused on all of the wrong things. I spent most of my time creating content and too little time marketing.
I didn’t take enough risks with my time or my money, I wasn’t willing to fail often enough, and I was too stuck in the perfectionistic “employee” mindset when I should’ve been thinking like an entrepreneur instead.
Around the time we moved into our new home, I decided to take a break from blogging for about a month.
I was feeling burned out and I wrestled with the decision about what to do with this blog.
Should I quit entirely? Keep trying to grow the blog and make more money? Stop blogging for money and just do it for fun?
Eventually, I decided that for now, I’ll blog for fun. Maybe at some point, I’ll focus on blogging for money, but right now, that isn’t what I want.
I don’t want to keep giving up almost every weekend to work on the blog. Life is short and I don’t want to spend all of my free time working. I want to do other things, and that’s okay.
I’ve also realized that while I love coming up with new ideas for posts, creating content, and sharing useful tips with my readers, I don’t really enjoy anything else about blogging.
For example, I hate designing pins, I dislike Twitter, and I don’t enjoy spending two hours resolving a technical glitch on our website so that someone could get a refund of the 99 cents she paid for a printable.
Now, to be clear, I’m not saying that I should “give up” just because there are things about blogging that are difficult or uncomfortable. If there were only a few things that sucked, and everything else was good (overall), well, that would be different.
But I don’t really like ANYTHING about blogging EXCEPT writing blog posts.
For now, I’m going to focus on writing posts and sharing tips…because that’s what I actually love and feel passionate about.
Once I made the decision to just blog for fun, I had another choice to make.
Should this remain a personal finance blog, or should I write about other things?
Over time, my passion has grown beyond money. I still love talking about frugality, but there are so many other topics I’d love to write about.
I’ve been listening to a lot of amazing podcasts lately (The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo, Design Your Dream Life with Natalie Bacon, The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman, and Things Above with James Bryan Smith, to name a few) and I’ve learned so much from these. I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned.
I still believe that money is important because it touches every aspect of our lives, but here’s the thing: it’s not actually about the money. Not really.
My true passion is to help fellow millennial women to live their best lives…whatever that looks like. Managing money well can solve a lot of problems and it’ll help you to live your dream life, but managing money is just the first step.
Because money won’t bring you happiness.
Your external circumstances don’t create your emotions; your thoughts do.
Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results (thanks, Brooke Castillo!)
If you want to feel better, or behave differently, or get different results in your life…you need to start by changing your thoughts.
Keep thinking the thoughts you’ve always thought and you’ll continue to repeat the same cycles of emotions, actions, and results over and over again.
This is bad news if you feel like crap all the time or you don’t like the current results in your life (your profession, how much money you make, where you live, what you weigh, etc).
My new focus on this blog will be about how to feel better and get better results so you can live the life you’ve always dreamed about.
There are two crucial steps:
- Overcoming negative thinking about problems in your life related to money, health, relationships, and more.
- Creating positive thinking There are number of ways to do this, such as: practicing gratitude, creating a reverse bucket list, and focusing on things above. These are just a few examples!
This blog will now have four main categories: intentional living, faith, wellness, and money.
Maybe you only read this blog for personal finance tips. I understand if some of these new topics just aren’t your thing. That’s okay!
I hope you’ll stick with me as I explore new topics that can help my readers in a broader, more holistic way.
Let’s do this!
P.S. Here are a few more puppy photos :)