Wednesday marked six months of blogging. It feels a lot like having a kid in terms of time – on one hand, didn’t I just start this thing? On the other, it’s strange to think I’ve only been writing for half a year.

Apparently the majority of blogs fail within six months (though I can’t for the life of me find that statistic), so I’d say this has been a successful endeavor simply by the fact that I’ve continued writing.

I first stumbled upon the world of personal finance blogs about five years ago when I started reading and Sadly, both of these blogs have since been bought out, but I think both are very much worth reading the older content that is still out there. They’ve continued on in name only, but the content is very different now.

Starting my very own blog

Like many others, I found Mr Money Mustache and the FIRE community and the wealth of amazing information that is out there. I continued reading and absorbing information on the sidelines and began debating writing down my own story at some point after that, but it was Joe’s post on Retire By 40 that finally kick started me into purchasing a domain name and begin to be a more active member of the personal finance community.

I started slow my first few months (some days only at 2-3 views), but I learned that I really enjoyed writing for myself, regardless of how many people were listening and I started seeing how sharing my story was positively affecting my life. After writing about my run to work, I found myself making sure it happened every week because I wanted what I wrote online to be true in real life. Six months later (and much colder, darker, and rainier mornings), and I’m still putting in those six miles every Wednesday.

January isn’t usually sunny and warm(ish) like it was this past weekend

Finding my tribe online After the first few months of blogging, I found myself dipping my toe into different online blogger communities and started to get to “know” some other bloggers, but I was still mostly on the outskirts, until one day in November Military Dollar convinced me to join Twitter. From day one there, I realized I had found my online community – tons of people who loved to talk about personal finance and who wrote some really fantastic content.

One of my first goals in starting a blog was to interact with and become much more active about talking about finances, and the personal finance Twitter community has been this beyond my wildest expectations. It really is a fantastic place to learn and talk about money with some really great people, many of whom I hope to meet in person one day.

Keeping myself accountable

My other initial goal in starting this blog was to hold myself accountable to create – and keep – hard financial goals. This started out slowly, and I first wrote out some of my thoughts here, but I wasn’t seriously focused until I decided to go full speed ahead on my very first no spend month.

Bringing lunch to work – key to reducing our spending

As part of that challenge for myself, I created a Facebook group where I posted my everyday spending and others did the same. We all had different goals for the month, but they all centered around taking control of our finances in a really concrete way. Two months later and this group has morphed into No (Low) Spend 2018 with over 250 members now. I’m loving the community which is so supportive and positive, and I love hearing the little successes from people that happen every day. This group – along with the personal finance blogging community – is the reason that I even went ahead and wrote out such a huge financial goal for 2018.

Sharing my blog in real life

The first few months of blogging, I shared with very very few people in real life. My husband has known from day 1, but since he doesn’t much want to talk about the nitty gritty of personal finance in real life, he isn’t super interested in reading it here either 😉 It took me three months to even share with my mom (whoops – sorry mom!) because I felt like such an impostor in the online realm.

Only over time, and as I realized people actually did want to hear what I was writing about, have I slowly gotten more open with people I know. I took a leap of faith at the end of December and shared my plans for embarking on the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month on my personal Facebook page and was absolutely floored by the positive responses I received there. Since then, I have been having conversations with friends offline about finances – and about this blog.

Yep – I even talked finances while on our mini vacation two weeks ago

Expanding the conversation offline has been such a rewarding experience, and I’m so glad I finally decided to share. Hearing stories about friends maxing out their 401ks and deciding to do a frugal month of their own has been so awesome. From here on out, I promise to be more open about what I write here and be ready to talk finances with the most unlikely of people.

I had so many experiences prior to this that led absolutely nowhere whenever I tried to talk money, but I think there’s something to be said for reading it online that’s a little less in your face that is easier to work with. After all, that’s where I really started five years ago.

My six favorite posts in my first six months

The end this here, I want to share my favorite posts that I’ve written thus far.

1. Retire From Obligation (Necessarily Your Job)

A common theme in the FIRE community is the idea that once you hit financial independence, it’s time to quit your main job. However, in doing the homework for the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month, Liz asks you to write down your “dream bio.” While there may be some small things I’d change about my life, the big things wouldn’t change. Financial independence for us is about options, not the absolute need to quit a soul sucking job.

2. What I Learned About Our Spending Habits From A No Spend Month

An entire month of writing down every single purchase, necessary and planned or not, was seriously a huge turning point for me. Since then, I have a goal to hit as many zero spend days as possible because they are what drive our savings rate to a whole different level.

3.  Christmas Traditions Don’t Have To Be Filled With Stuff 

I absolutely love Christmas, but not the materialistic side of the holidays. My favorite memories and traditions come down to people, not things.

4. A Week In Hawaii For $400 A Person

Our Hawai’i trip back in November was the absolute perfect vacation, and we didn’t ruin our savings goals in the process. We honestly could not have spent any more money to have a better trip than we did. Being frugal and tracking our spending is not about deprivation but instead about being mindful about every dollar and making sure we are sticking to the things that matter.

Seriously the most amazing trip ever

5. Live Like You’re Financially Independent (Even When You’re Not)So much in the FIRE community discussions center around when you finally have enough money to be financially independent (or at least have a huge number in your savings). I’m a big believer in creating a life that you want to live today because nothing in the future is guaranteed.

6. Why I Suddenly Quit My Awesome Side Hustle

Similar to the reasons I cut back my career job to part time, I quit my second job that I really did enjoy in order to carve out more time for our family. It’s a decision I haven’t regretted once in the year since I quit.

I didn’t include any of my Friday’s Frugal Five posts in this list, though they have been really fun to write. There’s something to be said for celebrating the little wins because those are what add up to be the big ones over time.

Blogging stats – 6 months in

Finally, for those who are interested, here is where my stats landed at the end of month six. I honestly have a hard time wrapping around these numbers in the last few months. They are minuscule next to some of the really popular bloggers out there, but they seem like giant numbers to me.

To put it in perspective, August, my first full month blogging, had 904 views, 663 visitors, 10 likes, and 8 comments. December had 7,834 views, 4,419 visitors, 105 likes, and 262 comments – and 867% increase in views from August. Wow. Thank you to everyone who reads these posts and are interested in what I have to say. It really has been a fun six months, and I’m looking forward to the next six.

75 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned In My First Six Months Of Blogging

  1. Thanks for the mention! Congrats on making 6 months. Keep at it. Nice stats so far too.
    I just posted a follow up guide today – how to get more readers. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    1. Thank you! Will definitely read it. Still make sure to read all your posts even though I’m now reading so many more blogs than I used to 😊

  2. Awesome! Congrats on hitting the 6 month mark! I think it’s great that you are starting to talk about finances in your personal life too…I think we all need to work together to erase the taboo against it.

    1. Thank you! I’ve always been an open book but talking to people about finances (in a way they actually want to listen) has been a hard one to crack.

    1. Push through the first few months – they are definitely the most difficult! In theory you tell yourself you don’t care if anyone reads what you write, but it’s sure hard when it really is like no one reading 😉

    1. Thank you! It definitely seems to get easier as the months go by and you get on a roll.

  3. That’s exciting to review your progress! Looking forward to seeing what you’ll reflect on for one year and years down the line. Haha I try to share my blog with my family and friends but it doesn’t really interest them yet. Oh well!

    1. Most of them still haven’t read more than maybe a post or two 😉 I’m just happy to be talking more in real life though!

  4. Congrats on your 6mo Blogiversary! Great stats and mile markers!

    Also – way to get going in the fbook community. I think we are still going to keep it just Twitter, he focuses on. And I work over in Pinterest land (how I picked up on this piece tonight – see- it works!) It’s been a fun learning curve that’s for sure and I’m glad you are still enjoying it too!

    Keep it up!

    1. Hooray! Pinterest is a total pain and I’m not sure it’s worth it (my biggest day for pins so far is 10…) Twitter is definitely the most fun social platform.

    1. Thank you! Blogging has been one hundred percent more awesome than I ever expected it to be 🙂

  5. Big congrats! I’m only 2.5 moths into blogging but I’ve found the same thing about accountability that you mentioned. Since I’m now part time at my job I’ve found that the blog is like a new boss saying “Dude, how’s that post coming? You gonna make it on time?”. It’s a nice little driver to put things out there.

    And 7k monthly views is great! I hope to get to that by 6 months.

    1. Thank you! A month or two in blogging felt hard and maybe not worth it, but now it is totally awesome thanks to the community I’ve found with people like you 😊

  6. The increase in stats is tremendous, but it looks like you found your purpose beyond that, which is perfect! I’m heading over to the Hawaii blog post to learn more hihi! Congrats!

    1. Thank you!! It’s a little mind boggling to realize how much the stats have changed in 6 months. But the most fun is all the people I’ve connected with through this whole thing.

    1. Thank you – it’s a little crazy thinking back to what the first few months looked like. I’m glad you’re here as well <3

    1. Thank you! And it is a really special supportive space that I feel doesn’t otherwise live on the Internet.

    1. They still feel kinda giant to me too! Until I read the numbers from some of the bigger bloggers haha.

    1. Thanks! You’re way ahead me in blogger years, but I’m glad you’re part of this whole thing!

  7. Congratulations on six months…we are currently on month number one and this is great inspiration to keep going. Good luck in the future!

    1. Thank you! The first few months are definitely the hardest until you start hitting your stride. Now if I could just figure out the tech side of things…

  8. Hey, TLRE. Congratulations on six months. I’ve only recently discovered you, but I could tell right away that you’d be a fine addition to our FIRE community. Welcome aboard. Quick question. I know you recently participated in a Mrs. Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month, but have you been tracking your spending prior to that? I’m curious to see much you reduced your monthly household expenses by simply being mindful. Anyway, here’s to another six months of terrific blogging. Cheers.

    1. Thank you – that’s high praise coming from you ☺️

      We’ve never done a strict budget (more just spend less than we earn), but I do have annual total costs so that will be interesting to see after this full year. I’m actually participating fully this month (after signing up twice before and just skimming things). The biggest expense we’ve cut over the last few months is our grocery bill – it’s been cut by more than half.

  9. Congrats on reaching six months, I’m just reached my six months as well!! Love reading your blog and all your stories, keep them coming.
    Yes twitter is the best social media platform where all of us can interact. It’s easier than all the other ones.

    1. Thank you! For some reason I thought you’d been around a bit longer than me. Twitter is just fun, the rest are work 😉

  10. Hello – Glad I stumbled on your blog from ChooseFI. I am just starting out and when no one reads your writing it definitely feels personal. After reading your blog, I am motivated to stick it out and keep writing (and to follow you and Twitter and see what the fun is about!).

    1. Oh – if you haven’t gotten on Twitter yet it is definitely a game changing place for personal finance 🙂

    1. Yeah – yesterday was my best day ever for stats. I knew that post needed to be written, but I didn’t realize how much.

  11. Thanks for sharing! I’m new to the blog world and I am definitely glad I read this. Just the inspiration I needed! Cheers to your next 6 months!

    1. Glad it’s inspired you! I wanted to make this post as transparent as possible. Blogging isn’t all sunshine and roses, but it can definitely be fun and rewarding.

  12. Thanks for writing this post! I am new to blogging and am still in the phase of getting a hand full of views a day. Even though my traffic is low, I’m enjoying chronicling my journey. This is good inspiration to keep working at it!

    1. The low traffic days were okay – it was the ones that I was worried about having zero views that were hardest. Keep it up, and keep connecting with others! It is so totally worth it.

  13. Great post–I am right behind you (my six month anniversary was yesterday). It’s been an amazingly fun journey but I am glad it isn’t as crazy now as it was in beginning when the learning curve was so enormous. Glad I have gotten to know you and your story!

    1. Happy six months!! It does seem like that’s the point where it starts to get at least a little less overwhelming 😊

  14. I LOVED reading this! I literally just started mt blog (January 1st) and it’s so encouraging and inspiring to see what you’ve been able to accomplish in just 6 months. I recently started getting active in Twitter and I love all of the advice and encouragement from the people there. I can’t wait to see how you’re blog grows from here!

    1. Thank you! Twitter has really been the most fun. And remember, there were days where no one was reading my blog… just keep writing, keep interacting 😊

  15. Congratulations! You’re blog is great. Very real and down to earth.

    I can relate to the accountability piece. In fact I’m writing a blog post now focused on this topic.

    As a newer blogger who is trying to grow traffic, what advice do you have for someone just starting? What do you think has been the strongest contributor to your increase in volume?

    1. Thank you – that’s the goal 😊 Just write, and write often. And engage in the fabulous community that’s here online, which was the whole purpose for this blog in the first place anyway.

    1. Thank you! It’s a little mind boggling, to be honest. I still have no real idea what I’m doing 😉

  16. Congratulations! Those numbers look giant to me too! I hope I can be there in just six months.
    I feel as if I am starting the same way that you did. I haven’t really told anyone in my personal life either. It seems like telling other people puts a lot of pressure on me to do well and then I get all flustered and end up falling on my face. Can you tell I’ve tried (and failed) to start lots of things before? Ha!

    1. Thank you! I’ve started to tell a few more people now, but I know exactly how you’re feeling! It feels a little less stressful to have people in real life read what I’m writing now. At least a little bit 😉

  17. Congrats 🙂 You may have *ahem* tread lightly, but it sounds like you’ve made an awful lot of progress in 6 months. And yay for Mr. Money Mustache – I actually saw him speak a couple of year ago.

    1. Thank you! And very cool on getting to listen to him speak; I’d definitely go to that given the chance.

  18. So you are saying I should share that I am blogging with my mom before month three? I am happy you made it through your first 6 months + a few! Looking forward to seeing what you accomplish next!

    1. Hahaha maybe. My mom sure would have rather know about it early on 😬

  19. I really appreciate this! I’m on my 3rd month of blogging and some days are amazing while other days are just like, “Why am I doing this if no one else cares?” It’s good to know that it does take time, because there are way too many people out there who say they get thousands of readers and fail to mention that it took them months of hard work first.

    1. Those kind of posts are SUPER discouraging on days you see 2 or 3 views. While it’s true some bloggers get big QUICKLY, more often it’s time and a TON of work that gets you there way down the line.

Leave a Reply