Technically, I’ve been around for a long time even though this blog was launched in 2017. I, like many others starting a blog in 2017, have lofty aspirations, like making $100,000 a month blogging, just like Michelle Shroeder-Gardner. Actually, to be honest, I don’t really have those lofty aspirations, I just want to achieve what I achieved back then in 2009, which is starting a profitable blog that gave me a four figure income per month. I didn’t realize how good I had it back then and sold the blog in 2012 because it was too much work and took too much time (at that time my relationship was crumbling and he felt I spent too much time on my blog- which admittedly was probably correct).
Let’s just say right now, that the four figure per month is not happening (yet?? Hopefully), but that’s okay, because I am learning new things (like Pinterest) and feeling connected again to fellow PF bloggers. I have Internet friends again… and I even met a PF blogger Internet friend in person while in Hawaii, how cool is that (Mommy Finance)?
I thought it would be fun to compare what I find different between starting a blog in 2009 and staring a blog in 2017.
What’s the Same About blogging in 2009 and 2017?
Blogger Burnout Still Happens and Blogs Disappear
Blogging takes up a lot of time.
Starting this new site made me remember why I sold the previous site in the first place LOL. It takes a LOT of time to build up the blog. Blogging addiction ensues and then the next thing you realize, you are checking your stats (ahem, page views) almost compulsively on a few-times per day basis. Your friends and family start to notice that you are spending a lot of time in front of the computer and then you go into this vicious cycle of wondering what you are doing in the first place… those aspirational dreams of monetizing your blog aren’t coming into fruition and you are spending an inordinate amount of time working towards something that seems so unachievable.
Yup, blogging takes a lot of work. It’s no surprise why most bloggers quit within 6 months of starting a blog.
On example from 2009 of blogger burnout- I had a blogger friend who I really enjoyed chatting with in 2009, Escaping the Rat Race I think was his name, but the website is no longer there and I like to think that he’s escaped the rat race and is enjoying a margarita somewhere tropical right now. He was probably one of the original Canadian “FIRE” bloggers without even knowing it!
There Will Always Be Bigger and Better Blogs Than You
Comparison is the thief of joy, and with a super saturated personal finance blog niche, there will always be bigger and better blogs compared to yours. Blogs that start later than yours and seem to do much better. Blogs that have much higher pageviews than yours. Blogs that seem to make money much faster than yours.
If you go back to the real reason that you’re blogging- to feel connected with other personal finance bloggers, to be able to express freely your thoughts about money, to be able to share your deepest secrets about yourself and your money that your friends in real life don’t actually know about (for anonymous bloggers like myself), then you will continue to show up for your blog and your growing readership. Also, scheduling posts ahead of time helps combat that blogger burnout!
Don’t feel bad about looking at the pins of “How I made $3569 in my first month of blogging!” or “How I Went from 0 to 350,000 Page Views in 15 days” because we are all on our own blogging journey-path. 😉
Some 2009 Bloggers are Still Here
There are some ‘oldie’ personal finance bloggers who are still here an it’s nice to see some old faces (or avatars haha).
- Million Dollar Journey– I actually used to write a few posts for my PF blogger idol (you’ll find them somewhere in his archives) until I couldn’t take the intense comments from some intense readers on his blog lol!
- Financial Samurai
- Budgets are Sexy
- Retire by 40
- Save. Spend. Splurge– Sherry has also morphed from her previous blogs Fabulously Broke and Everyday Minimalist
I Still Suck at the Technical Side of Blogging
I remember spending hours upon hours of trying to fix something with the HTML of my site back then. I just was not technologically proficient (and to be frank, I still am not). I remember having to outsource tasks previously and even hired someone to redo my site design. So far I haven’t had to do too much on this new blog but when I had the commenting issue fiasco (some people weren’t able to comment on my blog), I was still not able to figure it out and somehow it resolved itself (I think). Let me know if it hasn’t!
Nonetheless, trying to figure out the technical side of blogging is still a fun skill to learn about even though it can take hours to just fix one issue.
Those Spam Comments are Still Coming!
Another thing that’s the same from 2009 to now is that those spam comments that seem to praise you most of the time and at other times, insult you, still come into your spam inbox. I still enjoy reading them and continue to find them amusing.
Do you secretly enjoying reading them too?
What’s Different about Blogging in 2009 and 2017?
Marketing Your Blog Takes More Time
There seems to be much more marketing involved in 2017 compared to 2009. One word- Pinterest. There was NO Pinterest in 2009. I recently semi-learned what Pinterest is and how it works (it is basically a search engine for images and ‘pins’) and why people seem to love it. It has been fun creating graphics (albeit time intensive) with Canva.
It’s interesting to see what graphics on Pinterest gets clicked on (think: feminine, girly graphics with pink and white and macarons and peonies in the background).
I signed up and paid for a year of Tailwind because I had no idea I was pinning incorrectly and flooding boards with my pins. Now with Tailwind’s pin scheduling service, it is much more reasonable as I schedule every few weeks. Once I get the hang of something (sort of), Pinterest confuses me again because now there’s something called Tailwind Tribes.
I can’t keep up! Lol.
Instagram is another thing that takes some time. The followers seem to come slowly and the follower count seems to ebb and flow with greater numbers (e.g. people follow you and you follow them back and then they unfollow you?!). Also you can’t see if they follow you as easily as on Twitter.
Upping the Graphics and Images Game
As mentioned, the graphics and images game in 2017 blogging is upped to the max! I find that I don’t click Twitter links as easily if there aren’t nice graphics to draw me into the click the blog link post. Thankfully there are some stock images that are free on Pixabay and other sites.
I don’t think I’m uploading them properly though as they are still .jpg and I think they are supposed to be another format so that they don’t slow down the site as much.
Page Rank is Dead, I Think…but to Be Honest, I’m Not Sure
Back in 2009, the buzz word was Alexa and Page Rank. Getting a good page rank was everyone’s goal and there were websites to check your page rank– the higher the number, the better. I think since 2013, Page Rank is now dead (The Big G aka Google nixed it). But to be honest, I’m not sure- remember what I said about me not knowing what the metrics for 2017 are? It’s all new to me paying attention to this kind of stuff!
Rockstar Finance Replaced Financial Samurai Yakezie Alexa Challenge
Back in 2009, Financial Samurai launched and he started the Yakezie Alexa Challenge. I joined the Yakezie Challenge back when he started it and as a group, the Yakezie Challengers all worked together linking to each other to increase the Alexa ranking. In 2017, Alexa seems to have been bought out by Amazon (I’m not sure when) and I’m not sure if Alexa is important anymore to be honest! Is it?!
In 2017, Rockstar Finance, started by J$ at Budgets are Sexy and recently purchased by ESI Money seems to have replaced the Yakezie from 2010 as a big amalgamation of personal finance bloggers. It seems to be the gold standard to get mentioned by Rockstar Finance because of the large amount of traffic that it can generate to your blog.
There we have it, those are some of the differences that I see with blogging today compared to eight years ago.
So in conclusion, I was winging it blogging back in 2009 and I’m still seemingly winging it in 2017. It’s almost been 6 months since I started genymoney.ca and it takes a lot of time but I’m having fun 🙂
Readers, can you answer some of these questions and uncertainties I have about blogging in 2017? (For example, is Alexa still relevant? And do you secretly like the Spam comments too?)