What To Think About Before You Start A Blog

In case you are new to my blog, I earn around $30,000 a month blogging so this, of course, leads to many blogging questions. The other day I received a question from a reader who doesn’t have a blog. His question is what sparked my idea to create this blog post, as I’m sure there…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 18, 2022

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

What To Think About Before You Start A BlogIn case you are new to my blog, I earn around $30,000 a month blogging so this, of course, leads to many blogging questions.

The other day I received a question from a reader who doesn’t have a blog.

His question is what sparked my idea to create this blog post, as I’m sure there are plenty of other people out there who are in the beginning stages of thinking about starting a blog.

Related articles:

 

Here is a snippet from his email:

The main reason I’m reaching out to you is that as much as I find your current experience and success inspiring, I’m more interested in your blogging past and beginnings (since this is where I find myself). I’ve read all the “blog beginners guides” that I could find on your site… It is the psychological “start up” that most haunts me. Would you mind sharing a little more on your beginnings?

Below are different things I think you should think about before you start a blog:

 

Do you want to blog for money? Or are you looking for a fun outlet?

When I started my blog in August of 2011, I definitely did not start it with the thought that I would one day leave my day job to pursue full-time freelancing.

I started blogging so that I could have an outlet.

It was a few years after my dad passed away, and some other bad things in my life were happening as well (I wish I could share what happened, but I am public now so that wouldn’t be good).

I wasn’t doing great with my finances either, so I really just needed a way to write out my feelings. I also wanted a way to keep track of how I was doing. It’s still entertaining going back to my posts from the beginning and laughing at myself.

If you are starting a blog, you need to be honest with yourself and see if you want to blog for profit or if you want to blog for fun.

 

How much money do you want to spend upfront?

You can start a blog for very cheap and sometimes even free. Or, you can spend a lot of money.

If you decide to start on Blogger, then your cost could actually be free. However, there are many negatives to starting on Blogger. If you want to blog for profit, then definitely do not start on Blogger. Check out the link at the bottom of this article titled Should I Use Blogger or WordPress for more information on that.

I recommend that everyone start on WordPress. It’s not expensive, and it can really help you out in the long run. Even if you are not starting your blog for profit, having a blog on WordPress means that it is YOURS. Check out the article that I reference below for more information on that.

If you decide to start your blog on anything besides Blogger, then your costs will typically include:

  • Hosting – I think you can often buy hosting through Bluehost (yes, that’s my affiliate link) for less than $5 a month.
  • Domain – These are usually around $10 to $15 each year.
  • Design – The amount of money that you spend on your blog design can vary greatly. You can do it yourself (it would then be FREE!), or you could hire someone. There are cheap blog designers out there who will work for $100, and then there are others where it will cost thousands.

 

Do you even like to write?

If you want to start a blog, then I hope you like to write. Writing on a blog is different from writing a college term paper, but you have to remember that it is still writing.

Many people stop blogging after just a few months because blogging can be a lot of work. It takes time to write a quality blog post, it takes time to connect with others on social media, and so on.

I will say that it is all worth it though! For me, I love blogging, I love social media, and I love everything else that goes along with it.

 

Are you okay with everything being online FOREVER?

You might think that you can just delete a post and that it would be gone forever, but that is not the case. There are websites out there where you can look at posts that have been deleted and look at archived versions of a website.

This is why they say that everything in the online world is permanent and why you should always be careful with what you are saying.

 

Do you like people?

I used to read a blog (it was more of an entertaining read), where the author absolutely HATED people.

I don’t even know why they had a blog. They would openly say that they hated everyone and everything. If someone commented on their blog, they would yell at them. It was honestly the craziest thing ever, and it made no sense.

If you are wanting to start a blog, then you should at least kind of like people. Even though almost everything related to blogging is done online, you do still have to interact with people. You might interact with others in your niche, your readers, clients, and more.

Blogging is great, and one of the great things about it is the community. I love the blogging community and everyone in it.

Why did you start your blog? What tips do you have to share for someone who wants to start a blog?

 

If you don’t have a blog yet, do you think you’re ready to start a blog? If you are, check out these articles below:

  • How To Start A Blog – In this article, I give detailed instructions about you can actually start your blog by buying hosting, a domain, and setting all of that up. This is a good article for those who want to start blogging on their own because you want to learn or because you have limited funds. It is very doable to do it all yourself.
  • How To Make Money Blogging – If you are interested in making money through blogging, then you are probably curious as to how that is actually done. There are many different ways to make money blogging, check out this article if you are interested.
  • Should I use Blogger or WordPress? – Tips on How to Move – I started my website on Blogger, and it was great in the beginning, but I think you are really holding your blog back by sticking on Blogger. Move to WordPress now!

 

 


Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Honestly, I’m not a fan of blogs before, but when I started working with Pauline, I just realized how boring my life was. I really love reading blogs even the comments and reviews from the other readers.

    1. Yes, reading blogs is a lot of fun!

  2. Defining your goals early on when it comes to blogging is so important. It is very easy to get caught up in it all and start chasing someone else’s dream.

    1. Yes! Everyone needs to have their own goals.

  3. RJ

    Hi Michelle!

    For me it’s about having a fun outlet and to improve my writing skills. It’s also a way for me to hold myself accountable while making the journey to financial independence. And I believe I can help people with similar money issues or just to make people smile.

    The biggest challenge for me is being consistent at putting up new posts. I’ve got a ton of ideas and a bunch of drafts but there’s always something that needs doing first or something comes up and my writing always seems to take a back seat. I plan on rectifying this going forward by making sure to put aside time to write.

    1. I have a similar challenge. I would like to start working on posts ahead of time and have around a full month’s worth of posts ready and scheduled.

  4. Great tips Michelle. This is a nice primer for blogging newbies.

  5. These are all great tips Michelle! I’m with you on starting on WP as it’s just much smoother in my opinion. I know I looked at the cost and didn’t want to, but at $50 for a theme and cheap hosting it really isn’t a whole lot. I would also agree that liking people, or at the very least maybe helping people should be a part of it as well. I just don’t know that I could devote an entire site to writing about things/people I hate all the time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yes, devoting a website to hating everyone and everything seems like a huge waste of time and money.

  6. I agree that it’s important to remember that blogging is “forever.” Only say what you want out there for the world to see. You never know when something will come back and haunt you. It’s happened to me before (nothing big), and I’m more careful now.

    1. Yes, I am much more careful now with what I say. I regret some of the things I said when I was “private.”

  7. The best tip for starting a blog is to just start it. Write out a couple post ideas, then go ahead and publish a post. Yes, it’s important to remember that whatever is online is permanent and could be seen by anyone, but don’t let that paralyze you if you want to write. I think it’s easy to get hung up on finding the perfect theme, the perfect domain, or the perfect topics. All of that can be revised later. If you have a blog you want to start, just start it!

    1. Yes, you are right Daniel. Some people put way too much thought process into the whole thing.

  8. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore

    I used to think my life was way too boring for me to start a blog. While I still thing my life is boring, at least in comparison to the lives of many of the PF bloggers I read about, it sure seems to provide plenty of material for my PF blog…

    1. Yes, too many people think that they are too boring. I thought the same thing but I have like 100 topics of things to write about!

  9. In all honesty, you Michelle were a big reason why I started “My Life, I Guess…”. I had always had a blog in one form or another, but it was always more of a “private” thing. Like, it was just my friends that would read it, or people that I met in an online community back when I was a teenager. I had started reading a lot of PF Blogs when I realized my work/life balance was completely unbalanced and I started following a lot of the advice PF bloggers give. I slowly started to engage in the community and to write more about these topics on my blog. And it just sort of grew from there! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aww thanks Amanda!

  10. Great post! I always worried I’d be too boring to start a blog, but I’m really enjoying the process so far ๐Ÿ™‚ I would say just go for it! You also get to meet some wonderful new people along the journey which helps you along the way ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Nicola! How long have you been blogging?

      1. I started at the beginning of June – so barely any time at all ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Haha well congrats on setting a blog!

  11. Joshua

    Hey Michelle, I absolutely love this post. Then again, I love getting to know other bloggers and why they blog. I also did something like this where I shared an email from a reader who was starting a blog…she’s now in full swing! Anyway, thanks for the great read!

  12. I started my blog because I had been reading other blogs, and it looked like a fun community to be a part of. I wanted to keep track of my goals and my financial journey, and hold myself accountable. You certainly don’t realize how much of a time commitment it is until you do it, but no regrets here.

    1. These all sound like similar reasons for why I started blogging. Great minds think alike ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. When I started paying off my debt, I started reading a lot of different personal finance blogs and after a year or so I said to myself “I can do this.” “Also, after paying off my debts and seeing how much I had learned about my finances, I started telling everybody I knew. After repeating myself dozens of times, I decided to just write about it and send people to read my blog.

    Blogging has been so much fun that even though I’m not making any money on it (yet), I still consider it a worthwhile investment.

    1. Sounds like a great reason to start a blog. There are just so many positives! How long have you been blogging?

      1. I little over two months. Not that long, but I’ve been enjoying every moment.

        1. That’s cool! Yes, blogging is a ton of fun.

  14. Addison @ Cashville Skyline

    I’ve loved my journey blogging over the past six months. I feel like I’ve gotten to know an amazing group of people and I’ve never even met any of them in real life! I’ve also felt supported while working through things that I’ve found challenging. There are so many benefits to blogging, and making a little of money on top of that only makes it better!

    1. Congrats on 6 months! I love blogging as well, and I agree, the ability to make money from it is nice as well.

  15. I think it’s important to have a “why” when starting a blog. Whether it’s helping others, a great curiosity for a subject, having an outlet to share your views, or to make money – whatever the case, you should have a genuine reason for starting a blog. Without that sense of purpose, whatever it might be, you’ll stop blogging sooner than later. I have two blogs and enjoy them quite a bit!

    1. Yes, I agree! Having a goal or purpose is important. How long have you been blogging?

  16. Sarah

    I’m at the very beginning stages of a new blog. I ran a crafting blog off and on for about four years (it wasn’t very good, since I wasn’t consistent with it), but I really enjoyed creating posts, taking pictures, and pulling the whole thing together. However, between getting a masters degree and teaching (which ran my life 24/7), my crafting (and thus my blog) were not a priority.

    I’ve heeded your advice about starting on WordPress with this new blog and while it took some learning (switching from blogger) I can already seen the advantages. I’m a bit of a perfectionist though and that is something that I need to work on. It took me three weeks (!) to publish my first post because I wanted it “just right”.

    1. Yes, it does take some learning to get used to WordPress, but it is far better than Blogger. Glad you agree!

  17. You def. need to be passionate to start a blog. The people who think they are just going to make $$$ by just writing a few times a month are screwed. I think having the desire to share you life and experiences should be the number one reason to blog. Too many people think that it is a get rich quick scheme.

    1. I agree with you. I receive many emails each month where people are just interested in becoming a millionaire blogger.

  18. I’m still not sure if you would say my blog is popular haha. But there was a good 6 months where I don’t think very many people read it.

  19. Melissa

    This was such a great, helpful post! Thanks for the encouragement – I’d like to start a blog soon, and this is a great push! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. What’s stopping you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans

    All the beginners guides in the world can be informative, but will never be the same as the experience you can get from actually trying! I suggest starting a blog just as an outlet first.

    1. I agree! Just throwing yourself out there and testing the waters yourself is important.

  21. I started my first blog when I was 17. I used to write about life experiences and opinion. I had a small readership but I wrote because I liked it. It was a great hobby/catharsis.The funny part is that’s how I met my S.O (I would never have thought about meeting my soulmate that way). We used to read each other and well…the rest is history!

    6 years later, I write because I love it and I want to quit my day job soon, so it helps to build my reputation and share what I learn with other freelance bloggers.

    I would say if this person wants to start a blog, should start writing about something he/she loves. Preferably buying a domain. That is a perfect way to test the waters and could eventually make money from it.

    1. That is awesome that you met your SO that way. Amazing!

  22. One tip I usually provide beginners is to take the choosing of your domain and name seriously. If you choose a name like, “Engaged at 28” eventually you’ll no longer be 28 nor engaged….thus, you’ll quit.

    1. Haha yeah I’ve seen names like that it the person always ends up quitting because of course they will age!

  23. Lesa Caputo

    Thanks for this article and all the other companion posts about starting a blog. I’ve been contemplating this as my kids are leaving for college! Just for fun! I will continue to read all the related advice you have to offer. Thanks again! Love your financial tidbits as well!

  24. I really appreciate your posts. I am thinking of starting a blog, but I have a lot of fears. You, or the other comments, have addressed most of them here. It’s encouraging to see that I’m not alone in overthinking getting started or in wondering if I really have anything to blog about. I am very thankful you posted about WordPress and Bluehost. It saved me hours of comparison shopping, both for price and for reviews. I’ll take your word for it that they’re the best, and move on from there!

    I guess the biggest question that remains for me is where to start with the financial part of blogging. Could you tell me a little about how you got started or where would be a good starting point? I’ve used Google AdSense in the past, but with very little result. I’d like another jumping off point this time around and will continue to follow your posts for new ideas beyond that. Thanks in advance!

    Amanda

  25. Chandra

    This is a great post. A lot of blogs will tell you how to set up your site, but they don’t really talk about the human side of things. This was super helpful. Thank you!

  26. Cheri

    Tonight is the absolute first time I have ever considered blogging and after reading through several of your articles I’m swirling many ideas around in my head the problem is they aren’t all related .. do you need a different domain name for each track you are going down or can you have one basic but blog multiple tracks? I would hate to have to pay $50 every time my brain got distracted by something shiny I wanted to write about!! lol

    1. You can have one basic blog that you include everything on ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Amy

    I just stumbled upon your blog this afternoon and I’m seriously thinking about starting my own after reading many of your posts. It does kind of scare me though. I’m not very tech savvy so I’m hoping everything would pan out ok. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and my posts tend to be quite lengthy! I’ve toyed around with the idea of starting my own blog now for about 6 months but I haven’t taken the plunge. I’ve figured my own little space on the web would give me a great outlet to get my thoughts out there & interact with people. I’m (sort of) a fitness junkie and I freaking love food. I make my own food all of the time. So if I were to start up a blog it would definitely be fitness/food/lifestyle based. Perhaps I shall give it a shot? Your information is so precise and easy to follow. I’ve read up on “how to start your own blog” from other bloggers and I was left feeling very confused :/ your explanations sum up everything perfectly! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Helen

    Thanks Michelle!!!
    I am contemplating on starting a blog…as another income source firstly, but after reading your posts and the comments, I was kinda enlightened on the more important things if one wants to succeed in blogging. Hopefully I can get started soon and conquer fears and apprehensions in me. I now see that I can grow along with my blog…

  29. Annette

    How much content should you have before starting a blog? A few months worth?

    1. Just a few blog posts is plenty. You’ll add more as you go.

  30. Hi, great post!

    I personally enjoy blogging and content creation, but I know people who have successful blogs and hate writing. They outsource all articles on freelancing sites like Upwork.

    What do you think about outsourcing articles Michelle?

    1. I think it just depends on what your direction is for your blog.

    2. Janine Dance

      interesting. how does that work?
      id like to have a blog but hate and can’t write.

  31. janine dance

    HI, the idea of blogging and the money it can earn sounds wonderful. I’ve tried it a few times and don’t stick with it – i sit there staring at the computer wondering what to write and I’m blank. reading this i discovered that i don’t like writing. i thought everyone who reads must be a writer too. i love reading so i assumed i must love writing too.wrong. if only one could earn just as much money reading.
    anyway thank you for this.
    janine

  32. Fantastic Post Michelle. This post is an eye opener. I started blogging because I just want to share what I know.
    I realize that the more one give – the more one will receive. Also, the more one will want to learn more in that field of expertise.
    Thanks for this post once again.