In August of 2011, just seven years ago, I started Making Sense of Cents.
It’s crazy to think that I started my blog seven years ago, especially when I consider all of the amazing things it has done for my life.
It was something I started and worked on in addition to my full-time day job as a financial analyst, and around two years after I started this blog, I quit my day job to blog full-time.
Blogging changed my life for the better, and it allows me to earn thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love.
But, let's rewind a little.
You may have heard this from me before, but the funny thing is that I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. It started as a hobby to track my own personal finance progress, and I honestly didn't even know that people could make money blogging!
I knew absolutely nothing about blogging and I didn't have any goals for Making Sense of Cents.
In case you are new here, I used to work as an analyst at an investment banking and valuation firm. I chugged along working the 8-5, Monday through Friday grind and didn't see myself having an enjoyable future there. I had a stressful job filled with lots of deadlines and responsibilities that just didn't interest me. Yes, I know this is the norm for some people, but I just couldn't imagine myself living like that for 40+ years.
Blogging was an outlet for my stressful day job, and my interest quickly grew, even though it was just a hobby. It gave me space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, to keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.
A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal.
That one deal sparked my interest in taking my blog more seriously and learning how to make even more money blogging.
I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim, not even knowing that blogs could make money.
Blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I urge anyone who is interested to learn how to start a blog as well.
Blogging has allowed me to take control of my finances and earn more money. It means I can work from home, travel whenever I want, have a flexible schedule, and more!
I have had some of the most amazing experiences ever since building my blog – I have lived and traveled across the U.S. in an RV, bought and now live on a sailboat, and take some pretty incredible vacations!
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And, all of this happened because I started some random blog seven years ago.
I made so many mistakes, and I still make mistakes today. But, I continue to learn and improve, which has shaped this blog into what it is today.
I was so afraid to quit my job when I did, especially for a blog.
So many people thought I was absolutely crazy and making the worst decision of my life. Especially since my husband quit his job at the same time!
It's now been almost five years since I worked for someone else.
Five years since I commuted to work.
Five years since I've been location independent.
Five years that I've been my own boss.
When I sit back and really think about it, I am still in disbelief that starting some blog has led me to where I am today.
And, I am so very grateful. Extremely grateful.
Here are five things I've learned about blogging and myself over the years.
There's always something to learn.
Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, and anyone who tells you that it is (or acts like it is) is lying.
Blogging is not easy.
And, you won't make $100,000 your first month blogging.
Blogging can be a lot of work, and there is always something to learn. Something is always changing in the blogging world, which means you will need to continue to learn and adapt to the technology around you. This includes learning about social media platforms, running a website, growing your platform, writing high quality content, and more.
This is something that I love about blogging – it's never stale and there's always a new challenge.
I enjoy being in control and being my own boss.
I never had dreams of being my own boss. I always thought I'd work for some corporation.
Then I started blogging and realized how much I love being my own boss.
I love being in complete control of what I do, and becoming self-employed may allow you to feel that way as well. I enjoy deciding what I will do each day, creating my own schedule, determining my business goals, handling everything behind the scenes, and more.
I actually have a rule in my life/business that says I don't do anything unless I want to. While I still say yes to many amazing opportunities, I’m not doing anything that feels like a total drag or is against my beliefs. This has really helped improve my work-life balance, which is great because being able to choose how you earn a living amounts to making sure you love everything you do.
I honestly love each and every service I provide – writing online, promoting everything, networking, interacting with readers, and more.
Running an online business (and being your own boss) may not be for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy.
Bloggers make great friends.
So many bloggers see other bloggers as enemies or competition, and this is a huge mistake.
As a blogger or other influencer (such as on Instagram), you should make it your mission to network and to do it successfully and genuinely.
Networking is very important if you want to create a successful blog. Bloggers should be open to making blogging friends, attending blog conferences, sharing other blogs’ content with their readers, and more.
However, I believe that many bloggers skip this area, which holds many of them back.
Networking can help you enjoy blogging more, learn new things about blogging, learn how to make money blogging, make great connections, and more. If you want to make money blogging like I have done, then you will want to network with others! After all, networking is the reason why I learned how to make money blogging in the first place!
The key is to be genuine and to give more than you take, which are the two main things I always tell people when it comes to networking. I receive so many emails every day from people who clearly aren't genuine, and it's very easy to see.
I've made great friends who are bloggers and influencers, and it's truly a great community to be in.
Having a flexible schedule is amazing.
One of the best things about working for yourself and being a blogger is that you can have a flexible schedule.
I can work as far ahead as I want to, I can create my own work schedule, and more.
I love being able to work for a few hours in the morning, do something fun during the day (such as a hike or a lunch with friends), and then work later at night when I have nothing planned. I can also schedule appointments during the day and it's really no big deal.
I can work at night, in the morning, on the weekends – I can work whenever.
Location independence allows me to work from wherever.
Being location independent over the past five years has been great.
I love being able to work from wherever I am, and it’s allowed me some of the best experiences I’ve had, like living in an RV and now on a sailboat. All I need is an internet connection and my laptop. Can't beat that!
The only problem with being location independent is that it can be hard to separate work from the rest of your life. You may find yourself working all the time, no matter where you are, and while that may seem great, being able to take a true vacation can be a hard task.
However, I'm not going to complain because the work-life balance I'm rocking right now is great.
What major change have you made in your life?
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