I recently celebrated my six month blogiversary (I know 🙄 but it’s a fun word!) and have been trying to figure out what—if anything—I should write about it.
For my 90 day blogiversary (🤦🏻), I provided an update on my progress toward accomplishing all the goals I set for myself in the article I wrote about what I learned my first month of blogging.
I could keep going in this vein, but I think at some point, this “report out plus new goals” routine will likely get old.
In addition, when I look back at the goals I set for myself at the 90-day mark, not all of them remain relevant today: as I continue to learn and really think about what I want for Good Life. Better., my priorities have shifted.
That said, I didn’t want to ignore this accomplishment completely. Anecdotally, 6 months is a milestone few blogs reach. Not only have I reached it, I continue to be inspired by what I think Good Life. Better. can become, and how it can help people (not to mention I’m still having a lot of fun with it). I am in this for the long haul.
So instead of providing a check-in, I thought I would take this opportunity to provide my thoughts on whether you should start a blog. If you’ve been thinking about it, here are five questions to ask yourself.
Do You Have Something to Say?
I ask this question first because I think it is the most important. As I explain below, Good Life. Better. is my not my first blog (it’s my third). Why have I been able to stick with it for six months, and publish posts consistently, while the others lasted only a few weeks each? That’s easy: I am finally writing about something I am passionate about.
For years, I have enjoyed reading and talking to my friends about personal finance and growing my career. Blogging about these topics is not only fun but I can’t imagine ever running out of things to write about.
If you are thinking about starting a blog, what would you write about? What is the topic that, when you bring it up, your friends sigh and know they are in for a long night? For me, its personal finance but for you it could be using credit card points to travel for free or nearly free, or a craft like woodworking or knitting.
Whatever topic you design your blog around, my advice is to be passionate about it.
Do You Like to Write?
Please note that the question is do you like to write and not are you a good writer. If you aren’t very good at writing, you will get better with practice. But if you don’t like to write….
Other bloggers out there may disagree with me that this is important. As proof, they will point to big-time bloggers who pay writers to produce content for their blog. I am not convinced.
Yes, these bloggers may have ghost writers now but they didn’t in the beginning. In those early days, their blog built a following through a personal connection between the blogger and his or her readers. Freelancers may be able to mimic that voice now and maintain this connection but there has to be something to mimic.
If you are just starting out, my advice is to write your own content. If you don’t enjoy writing, this might be difficult.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Since I started my blog six months ago, I would guess I have averaged about 25 hours a week working on it (and this is in addition to my full-time job and my side hustle). If you don’t have this much time to devote to blogging, does it mean you shouldn’t start? Of course not!
I have been freakishly gung-ho about blogging and will be the first to admit it. I choose to put that much time into it because I enjoy it more than I enjoy a lot of other things (like watching TV and shopping).
What do I spend my time on? About twelve hours each week are spent on writing two posts to publish that week, each about 1,000 words. I like to write and I am passionate about building wealth but, man, am I a slow writer. Another hour is spent writing a weekly email my subscribers. The remaining time is split between promoting my blog on social media (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), and educating myself about the art of blogging.
If you don’t have a spare 25 hours a week, that’s okay. You will need some time, however. My advice is to identify at least 10 hours each week you can devote to your blog. The learning curve is especially steep in the beginning. If you don’t have enough time available to figure out what your are doing, you may get frustrated and quit.
Do You Need External Validation To Remain Motivated?
When you first start blogging, you probably aren’t going to get a lot of people visiting your site. I know this is a bit shocking but it’s true. My first month, for example, I had 382 page views (and some of those were likely me viewing my site from my work computer).
Maybe your experience will be different but just in case it isn’t, will you be able to keep on investing your time and energy (and money) into your blog until your traffic starts to pick up?
My advice is to make sure you won’t be disappointed if your blog is slow to take off. Be willing to find satisfaction in just hitting publish while you wait for people to find you.
Are You Scared of Technology?
Before you immediately shut down at the thought of writing code, let me assure you that you do not need to be an expert at coding (or even a novice) to start your own blog.
I liken it to owning a car. While I doubt I will ever personally change my car’s oil, I not only know that the oil does need to be changed regularly but can even tell you why a car needs oil. And, if I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, I like to think someone could talk me through adding oil to my car so I could continue driving it to the nearest service station.
I think you will be at a disadvantage as a blogger if you are so scared of technology you aren’t willing to learn a few tricks. My advice? Be open to learning the tech side of things. It can only benefit you later on.
My Blogging Resume
As mentioned above, Good Life. Better. is my third blog. I started my first in 2012 during a three month trip to Kenya. It was on a free blogging platform, and I remember being so excited about the thought of sharing my experience with the world. I just knew I was going to post something every day!
Then the Summer Olympics started. And when the Olympics ended, I found other excuses, including traveling, reading, hanging out with new friends, etc. Basically, everything became more exciting than blogging. After a meager five posts, my Kenya travel blog died.
I tried again in 2016. On the about page for this second blog, I refer to it as a “vanity diary” which wasn’t really true because I made it so it couldn’t be found by search engines (so basically, it was just a diary). I wrote 14 posts in total for that blog before I abandoned it. In the end, I just lost interest.
From the start, I knew Good Life. Better. would be different. I had a story I not only wanted to tell but to shout from the roof tops. I was (and still am) convinced that I could help other people make their good lives even better, just as I had made mine.
This passion drove me to prioritize making the site a success and to be willing to step out of my comfort zone. And that has made all the difference (for any poetry fans, you may recognize this last sentence as the last line in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken).
What Do You Think?
Do you have a blog or have you been thinking about starting one? What’s holding you back? Let me know in the comment section below.
P.S. If you have read this and think a blog is for you, check out my friend Pete McPherson’s mega-post on starting a blog. He also hosts the amazing “Do You Even Blog?” podcast.
P.P.S. I provided an update after my first year of blogging on the Do You Even Blog website here.
Oh technology… that part of blogging still mostly escapes me. Ha. But all of these listed are so so true – and somehow get missed in most of the “how to start a blog” posts 😉
And happy 6 months!! You’re basically big time now.
I know! My theme has a really good forum section and I’ve been able to figure most things from there, usually from other bloggers. It’s rewarding each time I tweak something!
Great post! And I can’t believe it’s already been over 6 months for you, congrats!
It can be tough to stick with blogging, especially when results are slow to come in. You really do need to enjoy the process. When I can set aside a decent chunk of time I really enjoy writing, and I like looking back to see how my voice has developed through blogging (those early articles though…cringe!) Sometimes it’s all the other stuff that gets tedious though.
Keep up the great work!
Thank you! It is fun to see how my voice has evolved and my comfort level with everything has changed. I’ve been going back through all my posts (this one is my 55th) and there are two I just can’t bear to read. One of these days…. 🙂
Too late. I already started! Now addicted to it.
Haha—me too (at least this time around!).
Great post, new to your blog but will make sure to check out some of your other posts:)
Congrats on hitting the 6 months anniversary.
I wrote a sample job posting for potential bloggers (with some humor but I think it covers the basics of becoming a blogger), I would love for you to check it out. I hope it’s ok to add the link
Thank you! Glad you are getting started and hope you’re having as much fun as I am. I’ll check out your post.
A fantastic little post Jenny.
You’re doing a stellar job in my own opinion; I mean you were one of Problogger’s faves from the year. That’s amazing.
Keep up the great work.
(FYI, 25 hours a week is incredible impressive. I’d be curious to hear how you think you might go about writing faster though)
Thanks, Pete! I could write faster if I didn’t edit as I write. I took a writing course in college that made it really hard for me to do this. It was an amazing course but afterward I found it difficult to separate writing from editing. Made me a good writer but not a fast one. Sigh.
Great post Jenny, thanks for sharing! I’ve been blogging a little over a month and definitely can see how most don’t last 6 months. Since my first post I have been loving it and look forward to my own six month anniversary in a few months.
I think the goal of at least 10 hours a week is solid, which is what I’ve shot for at the very least. Not having a lot of traffic also nags in the back of my head, but just have to keep pushing forward!
I’m so glad you started and are having fun! Your attitude will serve you well. My views are increasing and I’m getting great feedback but my audience is still small. I believe in it though!
Great post and serious things to consider. I still struggle with most of these daily. The time commitment is something people really need to consider. It’s a lot of work and if you don’t put in the time, it’s going to look sloppy and choppy. You’re doing great and I really enjoy your posts. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Jim—that’s so encouraging to hear! Time is definitely an issue. Rosemarie Groner talks a lot about prioritizing based on ROI. I think I’ll get there some day but since it’s still early days, I feel as if not putting in the time will stall my progress. Good luck to you too!