MY REFLECTIONS AFTER 1 YEAR OF PERSONAL FINANCE BLOGGING

anniversary

Well, well, well, would you look at that? It’s officially been a year since I got a kick in the butt to launch my blog and (for the most part) keep up with it consistently. A lot has happened over the past year. Here are a few observations I’ve made since last October.

 

Writing Unique Content on Finances is a Challenge

Writing is my jam, and so is talking about money, so I naturally thought blogging about finance would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong. Coming up with fresh ideas that aren’t just echoing every other blog takes a lot of work.

When I first launched my blog, I tried to stick with safe topics like saving and maintaining a budget. Those things are important, but blogging about personal finance made me realize there’s way more to money. Finance affects everything you can think of, whether it’s relationships, mental health, or other major life issues.

It wasn’t until I got the nerve to speak on topics like the fear of my ever-growing student debt, or my challenges in navigating a career path as a black woman, that people thanked me for sharing my experience because they face similar struggles. Giving a unique perspective on finance isn’t always easy, but it’s much more fulfilling than pumping out cookie-cutter content.

 

Mistakes Will be Made, Even When You’re an “Expert”

There were a few times I felt like a fraud because I made decisions I advised against on my blog. I didn’t pay as much on my student loans as I said I would, I used my credit card and didn’t pay it off in full right away, and I went out to restaurants way more than I planned to.

“How can I give other people advice when I don’t even have it together?” I asked myself. This is honestly what caused me not to post as often at times. Beating myself up for being human is a bad habit I have, and I’m learning to be more forgiving when I don’t do everything the right way…see what I did there? Yes, I’m a nerd, that’s why you love me. 🙂

Going forward, I want to start posting more on financial decisions I’ve made that maybe aren’t the best, for transparency’s sake. In the personal finance community and beyond, I think we tend to only show up when everything’s great and ghost when we’ve fallen off the wagon. I’d like to change that, because sharing our mistakes can (hopefully) allow us to have more compassion for ourselves.

 

I’ve Come a Long Way with Blogging – and In Real Life

When I started this blog, I was in school and living in my hometown. Things weren’t terrible, but I felt like I was in limbo. Since then, I’ve graduated, landed a job in my field, and moved across the country. The blog isn’t making huge numbers, but I got quite a few views from this post, and I’ve done some freelance work and guest contributions for other blogs.

I’m the ambitious type so I’ll always push myself to progress further in life. Still, I’ve hit quite a few milestones in just one year. Now is the time to set some small, not-so-lofty goals and take a breather.

 

I May Not Blog about Personal Finance Forever, and I’m Okay with It

I admit I’m sometimes envious of popular finance bloggers. It’s easy to play the comparison game when your blog gets 20 views on a good day, while other bloggers get thousands on a weekly basis.

At times like those, I have to stop and remind myself why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to help people learn and protect themselves from making the same poor decisions I’ve made in the past. Making tons of money and getting a million views would be great, but that’s not the main focus.

With that being said, I’ve come to realize there’s so much more I have to say about life than finance. As I said earlier, it’s very important but I don’t want to limit myself to one topic.

I was recently asked to speak on a radio show about the Kavanaugh hearings and the impact on young women in America. It was a last-minute thing that came up, and I almost declined because 1. I’m super introverted and mostly rant about controversial topics with my husband or mom and 2. I don’t feel I’m an “expert” on social/political issues.

To make a long story short, I must say…I killed it! (In a good way, of course.) There’s a possibility I may participate on the show again which I’m really excited about. That’s something I never thought I would do, and I want to be open to more opportunities outside of strictly talking about finance.

For those who have made it to a year of blogging (or more), what have you learned since you started? Do you plan to blog about finance long-term?

10 Comments

  • Hey, K! Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to pop in and say I’m glad you’ve made it this far — most bloggers don’t even reach the 1-year mark! And, glad to know I’m not the only one who reads others’ reports about getting thousands and thousands of views in the first few months and gags a little bit. I’m convinced that if we stick with consistently writing high-quality original content, we’ll get there too 🙂

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by! Yes, it can be mind-boggling to see how many views other blogs get. But you’re so right about staying consistent with writing quality content. This is why I prefer to take my time and write something thoughtful, rather than churning out fluff pieces just to say I put something out every week. Glad you stumbled over this way! 🙂

  • Congrats on the radio appearance! That’s awesome.

    I have the same struggle that you do when it comes to writing about finance (and my blog is only about 2 months younger than yours!). That’s why I decided to brand as a financial independence & lifestyle blog rather than a Pf blog. I feel like that gives me more freedom to write about things that aren’t as overtly related to finance (though in life, pretty much anything can be tied to money).

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you! It was a lot of fun…now I can officially add “radio personality” to my resume. Lol!

      Branding as a financial independence and lifestyle blog is a great idea. I think I may move towards making this a lifestyle blog, because when it comes to money, lifestyle/mindset/habits play a huge part. Thanks for sharing!

  • Congratulations on the one year mark! Its so hard to find the niche you’re passionate about. When I started I also wrote generic articles, but later realized you can find those anywhere. So I refocused what I wrote about. Cheers to another year! Liz

    • Thanks for stopping by Liz! I think finding your voice in the blogging world is tough to do, especially when there are so many blogs out now. I’ve read some of your content though, and it’s way better than the generic stuff, so keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂

  • Happy one year!

    Didn’t plan to be writing about money this long (circa 2006) but it’s always going to be pretty relevant to our lives so as long as I have a story or thoughts to share, I will. Hope to see you here for a while yet!

    • Thank you! Wow, you’ve been doing this since 2006?! That’s impressive! I started a personal blog around 2008 and I wrote about money sometimes (mostly about how I never had any), but it wasn’t as consistent or specific as I’ve been for the past year. I hope to stick around for a while too!

Leave a Reply