Blog post number 100. I’m not sure how I got here since starting the blog back in July, but I guess it pays off to be strict about posting every Monday and Friday without fail, with an occasional Wednesday for good measure. Instead of writing a post where I go over just my thoughts about blogging these first one hundred posts, I decided to turn it over to others and answer their questions instead.
20 Questions: Blogging Q&A
1. How has your life changed since staring your blog? – Operation Husband Rescue
Blogging has made me hyper aware of my spending habits to a degree I’ve never experienced before. I felt like we have always been “frugal,” but we had some pretty big holes in our budget that I always just explained away. The accountability factor of being transparent online is great motivation to do better. The more people who read my posts, the more I feel like I have to be completely honest because I don’t want to make anything seem easier/harder than it’s really been.
2. Any obstacles or fun stories from being obsessed with constantly publishing? – Elementum Money
To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m “always publishing.” I only write maybe 2-3 days a week, and the rest of my blogging time is spent on the “fun” part of interacting with everyone and reading other blogs. I think it helps me a lot not to feel like I have to write every day.
3. Do you ever feel like every other blogger around you is writing so well, and you are not? I feel that constantly. – Countdown To Tranquillity
I felt this most strongly when I was competing in the Rockstar Rumble, especially in my last round when I made it to the final 16. Tawcan is an incredible blogger and I definitely felt some imposter syndrome going up against him. I’m usually pretty happy with what I write though, and I feel like I’ve improved a lot since I started blogging.
4. Where do you find inspiration normally and where do you find it when you’re feeling uninspired? – She Picks Up Pennies
I keep a huge list of blog ideas in my draft posts that are usually just a sentence or two about a specific idea that I think I’d like to write about (usually from conversations I’ve had or other posts I’ve read). When it comes time to write another post, I pick one of the list if I don’t have something particular I’m inspired to write about. Sometimes I’ll get a paragraph or two in, and if the words aren’t flowing, I’ll send that post back to drafts and pick another one that I’m feeling that day.
5. How has blogging helped you in your professional life & career? –Making Momentum
I do a bit of writing / creating informational documents for work, and my work has improved a lot with the practice I’ve gotten from blogging. For example, I had a 7 page proposition paper I had to write for our City Council, and it looked / flowed a lot better thanks to my blogging skills. Blogging (and podcasting) about why I don’t necessarily want to retire early also helps to remind me on the days that work is dragging WHY I care so much about my career.
6. How has your purpose / mission / reason for blogging changed since you started? – PF Geeks
I started out blogging mostly just for me – to have an outlet to talk to other people about personal finance beyond when most people’s eyes glaze over, as well as a place to keep myself accountable with our spending and savings goals. I’d say those parts are certainly still there, but as I’ve begun to reach more people, I really want to be an inspiration to people when it comes to their finances. The very best comments and emails I get are from people who have changed some part of their financial life because of something I’ve written. This goes for people in real life as well – I’ve had two different friends increase their 401k contributions from conversations we’ve had, which is so totally awesome.
7. How do you produce so many posts and still find balance in your life, especially with a kid? – The Luxe Strategist
To start with, I actually only write maybe 5 hours a week, so writing posts isn’t a huge chunk of my time. I tend to write my Monday post on the weekends during nap time because that’s the one that takes a bit more time (and usually I’ve jotted down somewhat of a basic outline during the week previous). My Friday post is really quick and fun to write, so that usually takes less than an hour altogether. Since it’s a round up of frugal things I’ve done during the week, all it takes is to recap my days, and since I’ve lived them, the words tend to flow.
I also don’t proofread or edit my posts, so that saves a ton of time as well. I do occasionally have a spelling error or mistype in there because of it, so I really appreciate when someone points it out to me! This means my posts might not be perfectly polished, but I’d rather have them published than sit in my drafts forever until they’re perfect. Oh, and 95% of the time I write on my phone, so I’ll write a bit whenever I have a little down time. I’m the kind of person who just can’t sit still, so that helps too 😉
8. What’s your favorite post of the 100? – Kiwi And Keweenaw
That’s a hard one, but I think I would have to pick The Women Of The Financial Independence Movement for its impact as a whole on the personal finance community and how it’s launched separate discussions because of it. Plus I absolutely love how many referrals it sends to other fabulous female bloggers.
9. At what point did you feel as if you were no longer writing to the void? – The Financial Freedom Project
Not until at least a few months in. I had a few views, but very few (or no) comments on most of what I posted. Thanks to sharing occasionally on Facebook, I’d have some people read what I’d posted, but there weren’t many who would come back to read more. I’m glad I wasn’t out to make a lot of money / have a ton of views because it would have been really discouraging.
Thanks to the urging from Military Dollar, I joined Twitter in November and I finally felt I had found my “tribe.” Even now, the number of comments I get on my posts are way more exciting than the overall number of views. Blogging is way more fun as a community, and the back and forth is something I really love.
10. What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to new bloggers just starting out? – Spills Spot
Just write and publish, even if you don’t feel like your post is absolutely “perfect.” Your writing will get better over time and you’ll get into the habit of writing, which makes it easier to keep going (at least for me). Starting out, I was worried I’d run out of ideas to write about, but the longer I write, the more ideas I have. Also, connect with the blogging community. Read and comment on other blogs. Create friendships. It’s the community that makes blogging a worthwhile endeavor.
11. When you look back on your time as a blogger, what is your proudest achievement? – The Smart FI
I’d have to answer this similarly to my answer about my favorite post. I didn’t realize at the time I published it how important it was to have a personal finance blogroll specific to women. Now that it’s out there, I realize what a big deal it is, and I’m proud that my blog has become a hub for lifting up female voices.
12. What do you enjoy most about blogging? What do you like least about blogging? – Minivan Adventures
Like I’ve said up above, the people and the community are hands down the best part, as well as feeling like I’m making an impact on other people’s lives. My least favorite part is definitely the technical side of things. There’s so much I’d like to do to improve the look and feel of my site but I still struggle with the basics. If money was no object, I’d pay someone to do it for me 😉
13. Is there anything you are doing now you wish you had implemented earlier? – Auditing Myself
Hands down, this would be to share my blog in real life sooner. Since I’ve gotten more public with my blog, I’ve had some awesome conversations that I never would have had without that lead in. I hesitated sharing because I didn’t feel confident about my writing, but I now realize that everyone has a story to tell, and writing doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat.
14. How has blogging changed your perspective (on life)? – The Give and Get
Blogging has forced me to really think about my “why.” Writing out our goals for the year – and the reasoning for our pursuit of financial independence – makes me look closely at our life to make sure I’m on the track I want to be. It’s so easy to just let life happen and have the years slip away from you, but blogging has helped to force me to stop and consider where we’re at and why we’re here (and if we actually want to be).
15. What’s the most surprising/unexpected thing that’s happened to you as a result of blogging? – Wise Mind Money
Just last week, I was added to the Your Money Or Your Life website’s resource page as one of her favorite blogs. I’m still a little star struck that she knows my blog at all, let alone the fact that she apparently loves it. A little intimidating as well though as I continue to write, because I want to live up to that honor.
16. Did you write a post you thought would resonate with people but didn’t? And vice versa. Was there a post you weren’t sure people would like but they loved? – LifeZemplified
I expected my post on why I don’t want to retire to do better than it did. Perhaps I need a catchier title? Or maybe it’s just that my blog hadn’t gotten much attention at the time I wrote it. Or maybe it was just boring 😉 Whatever the reason, it was a post I was fired up about and it didn’t seem to get much interest.
On the flip side, I hesitated for a long time before writing about my recent hearing loss. I’m not someone to be bothered by other people’s opinions in general, but there was something about going partially deaf in my 20s that felt really bad and like something I needed to hide. I was blown away by the response, and I feel less alone in this now that I realize how many people are going about life with invisible handicaps.
17. If you had to start a second blog on a different topic what would that topic be? – Smile and Conquer
The upside of writing a more broad “lifestyle” type blog than most personal finance bloggers is that I don’t really feel like there is much I can’t write about. I already write about running, cooking, gardening, our pets, the environment, and my family, and those are the things I’m most passionate about. Thinking about it though, it could be fun to write a blog about what I do for work – specifically affordable green building.
18. If you could pick only one blog post for your son to read in 20 years, which would it be? – Financial Pilgrimage
That would be one of my earliest posts actually. It might not be the best written, but the content is there. I’d want him to know that we put in a lot of thought on how we wanted our lives to be and how to raise him. We may have given up a considerable amount of income for it, but I wouldn’t change the general shape of our lives at all. I hope I can pass that sentiment on to him – that if your life is wildly different than you’d want it to be if money was no object, then do what you can to shape that life now.
19. What was your favorite source of inspiration that led to a blog post? – Reaching for FI
One of my early posts (that hardly anyone has read), was actually inspired by a church service and it’s become a life goal of mine to continue to close the intention-action gap in all aspects of my life. I realize now that I may have turned some readers off due to the religious nature of the post, but it’s relevant regardless of your spiritual views.
20. Would you keep blogging even if no one read it? – Budget Epicurean
Literally no one? Then I’d have to say no. I’ve never been one to write journals or diaries (even my son’s baby book is just a random string of notes in a note app on my phone). The big draw of blogging for me is the community that surrounds it and the forced accountability for my goals. Publishing the posts in general give me a sense of accomplishment, but it’s everyone I interact with through this platform that makes it really special.
Top Ten Posts (in order of total views):
- Meet The Women Of The Financial Independence Movement
- What A Year Long Clothes Buying Ban Taught Me About The Privilege Of Minimalism *
- What I Learned About Our Spending Habits From A No Spend Month
- A Week In Hawaii For $400 A Person
- We Cut Our Grocery Budget By 63% And Eat Better Than Ever
- Friday’s Frugal Five (Vacation Edition)
- Live Like You’re Financially Independent (Even When You’re Not)
- Our Millennial Family Saves An Additional $4,982 A Year By Eating Avocado Toast
- Why I Suddenly Quit My Awesome Side Hustle
- 8 Zero Waste Alternatives That Will Save You Money
*My very first Rockstar Finance feature!
Is there anything else you’d like to know? What would you like to see me write about in the next 100 posts? Anything you’d like me NOT to write?