How Blogging Has Changed My Life (& Can Change Yours Too)
If you would like to set up a blog of your very own and start earning money from home, follow my step-by-step guide.
Starting a blog is an idea that many people seem to have - and there are literally millions of blogs out there, so there must be something that people love about it! It can be a hobby for some people, but it can also be a business for others, and there are bloggers who have become millionaires just from the products and services that they offer in connection to their site.
There aren't many businesses out there that you can start for such a low cost (few pounds per month), and then grow it, and earn money depending on the amount of effort and passion that you put in, as opposed to in perhaps a normal 9-5 job where you are only paid for the hours that you are there.
It can be hard to see how many successful bloggers there are until you are fully ensconced in the blogging world, because once you are in it, you meet so many people, some of which have multiple sites, and lots of people in different stages in their journey.
The majority of bloggers are very open and honest about their lives, so you can follow them along on their journeys, and see how their lives change through the course of their blogging history. It's actually quite nice to go back through a bloggers posts and see how far they have come!
Introduced me to new ways of earning money
When I started blogging, I was at the stage in my life where I did not have much money coming in, and had cut back as much as I possibly could - I was eating the same thing everyday to make sure that I could afford to give my daughter the healthiest meals, I never went anywhere or bought anything...it was a really hard period in my life.
I was struggling to find things that I could do to earn extra money that I could do around my daughter who was only a baby at the time. I searched and googled various things, but they all seemed to be ideas that I couldn't do with a child in tow, or needed a lot of money to start up - and I had nothing spare.
I decided that I wanted to start blogging, as a way of helping anyone in a similar situation and documenting my journey (if you look back at old posts they are in a completely different format), and because it had a really low start up fee. Once I started blogging, I realised how much I loved it, and because I wanted to try out new things to share on the blog, I discovered new ways of earning extra money.
This doesn't have to be in the personal finance niche either, as if you are a beauty blogger you could try out new makeup that you never would have usually tried, food bloggers can try out more adventurous recipes, and so on.
It opened up a whole new world to me, and I am so grateful for that, because it did honestly change my life for the better. I had been feeling really lost and unsure about the direction that life was taking me, as I had obviously never planned to have a child with no spare money to do anything or go anywhere.
Kept me on track
Once I had started on my new financial journey, I needed to focus and stay on track. I had gotten into debt and was using the extra money to pay it off, and I was determined to get rid of it so that I could work on my personal goals, and start saving for important things like retirement, and creating decent savings pots.
As anyone will know who is doing something similar, it can be hard to stay on track because there is the temptation to spend your money on less important things - and it's no wonder as we are constantly assaulted by adverts, whether that be on TV, radio, or just walking down the street. We see them on social media, we see people sharing what they have been buying, and we want them too.
I am guilty of this, but I've learnt to put these to the side and know that I can do these things once my goals have been met. This was born out of me living extremely frugally for a long time - I actually find it quite hard to spend money now (I feel guilty!).
Many people start bloggers to keep them accountable, and I have also seen many people start up Instagram accounts solely for the purpose of keeping them on track with their goals such as paying off debt or losing weight.
Paid off my debt
Well, this was a biggie for me! This year at the end of March, I paid off all of my debt, which was something I was determined to do, but can't believe that it actually happened, and I owe a lot of it to blogging.
Because of blogging, I spent a lot of time researching things such as budgeting, the best way to pay off debt, ways of earning extra money (all things that I share on here), and this helped me work out a plan on how I was going to achieve this, and also work out a time-frame.
Any of the money that I earned from the blog went towards my debt. Just to clarify that I also paid off the debt using money from my side hustles (matched betting, mystery shopping, dog boarding, entering surveys), and I had 2 part time jobs at the time so I used one salary for bills and one for debt.
I earned money from sponsored posts and affiliate marketing, and I made my first sale in my 3rd month of blogging (I put the link up in the 2nd month). Sponsored posts are where a brand/company pays you for you to write about them, and this works best if you are going to talk about them anyway, or have a post where you can easily mention them - examples on here include a post about pensions, and a post about investing - because I was going to do posts on these subjects anyway, I was happy to mention these companies (and they are really good, which is why I'm happy to recommend!).
Affiliate marketing is where you recommend a product or service and when you link to them like you usually would, you instead use a referral link which means if people use it and purchase, you receive a small fee, with no cost to them.
As I really love blogging and helping people, earning money through doing this means a lot to me, and I love receiving messages from readers saying that they've tried out some things that I've recommended and had success.
Learned new skills
Before you start blogging it's hard to know what you will spend your time doing - I thought that the majority of time would be spent blogging, but it's not just about the writing! (Sadly, as I love writing and like to think that I have a good writing style).
There are so many skills that you can learn from running a blog, such as running your own business! As soon as you start earning money from your blog you will need to declare it to the tax office, and register as self employed. There are many facets of a blogging business, and you will have to deal with the content, marketing, income, expenses, and as your business grows you will probably end up hiring other members of staff to help with your workload.
Marketing is a big part of blogging, and many people aren't aware of that until they start their blog, and can actually be the reason why some blogs are very successful even if they don't concentrate so much on the content creation side of things. The main ways of marketing tend to be through social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or email marketing.
You will also learn things related to graphic design, such as when you have to create images for your posts (I use Picmonkey and Canva to do mine).
I am not a techy person at all, so I feel proud that I have built a lovely website that I enjoy working on everyday and can easily navigate my way around (it was totally easy, I won't lie!).
Make new friends
I am a pretty shy person in general, so meeting new people is a bit nerve-wracking for me, which is why I love blogging so much - you can make so many online friends, and if you are able you can meet up with them in person. Other bloggers are lovely, friendly and very helpful - I try to be as helpful to other bloggers as well as it's nice to share any tips that you may have.
The ways that I have made online blogging friends is mainly through Facebook groups or through Instagram - I've never set out with the intention of making someone my friend, it's just happened organically and it is lovely. On Facebook I am part of a group with 3 other bloggers where we support each other and share any advice/tips/work with each other. It's so nice to have other bloggers on your team!
I am soon to meet up with a bunch of money bloggers this weekend for the money bloggers awards in London - I'm pretty nervous about going and meeting everyone, but I'm also excited to put faces to names and get to know everyone some more!
Makes me optimistic for the future
I'm a pretty positive, optimistic person in general but when I was in my bad financial place, my confidence definitely took a knock and it took me a while to re-build that.
My blog is something that satisfies my creative side, lets me put my time, energy and passion into it, enables me to help others, keeps me busy, and shows me that although my blogging growth may be slow, it is happening!
Blogs have a huge potential for making money, especially when you add in your own products or services as well - there can be many streams within a blogging business that bring in the cheddar. Seeing other bloggers growth inspires me to work really hard and hopefully achieve the same level of success in the future.
It also makes me feel quite secure, because I know that even if I lost my part time office job, the blogging income should hopefully tide me over in regards to paying for my bills and perhaps having a little bit left over. They do say that millionaires have an average of 7 income streams, and it's easy to see why they do that.
I am really happy knowing that I have this little business all to myself, under my control. It's down to me to get it to succeed, and I relish the challenge.
How has blogging changed your life?
Ways To Make Extra Money Now:
- Start a blog with Siteground! This can start off as a fun side hustle, and have the potential to turn into a huge full time income (which is still fun!). Yes, you CAN make money blogging, and it's the best thing that I ever did. To get started, read my post How To Start a Blog.
- Answer simple questions on survey sites! This is a really easy money earner and I love it because I do it when I don't need to really think too much e.g. Netflix on in the background. Sign up to the best survey sites over here.
- Matched Betting - you don't need to be good at maths, it's not gambling, it's tax-free, it can be done at any time of day and earn you thousands extra per month. All explained here and you can sign up to my favourite site that will guide you through the steps.
- Mystery Shopping - I always thought these were a scam or a pain to do, until I got started! Since then, the free food and other items (e.g. clothes for me and my daughter) have convinced me otherwise! My favourite legit sites are rounded up for you here.