Two years ago, I started this blog of mine. Technically, July 10th was my second blogiversary, but as that day landed on a Wednesday this year, I published my normal Wednesday roundup post and waited to share this post until today. It’s still my blog’s “birthday week,” I suppose, and clearly I prefer to stick to a posting schedule.

I first started reading debt payoff and then financial independence blogs seven years before that, but it wasn’t until maybe six months before I set up this site that I considered actually writing my own blog.

This blog has grown in size and importance in my life in ways I didn’t expect since then. I certainly hoped for the accountability that comes from sharing online, but this past year has been much, much more than just accountability.

Since I wrote about my year mark of blogging, the friendships I’ve made have grown deeper. I’ve met so many wonderful people in this community (and had a number of them stay in my home). I now count people I’ve met online as some of my closest friends. Absolutely something I never would have imagined earlier on in this journey.

One of many nights with A Purple Life and other blogger friends

I expected that blogging could be fun and something that could keep me on track with my finances, but even a year ago I didn’t realize how deeply it would get into my bones. Even a year ago, I wouldn’t have considered myself “a writer.” I grew up with an author for a mother and always excelled in English classes, but it’s a label that I never saw for myself.

I wasn’t someone who wrote a LiveJournal back in the day, and I only ever wrote a handful of times in various diaries. “A writer” is something I never really aspired to be. I enjoyed writing papers for school, but again, it was never an identifier for me. Two years into blogging though, I know it absolutely to be true: I am a writer.

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Blogging about women, money, and the environment

This second year of blogging has been all about finding my voice and my niche. I set out to write about financial independence and sustainability, but becoming a driver for women’s personal finance snuck up on me.

I initially landed myself on that topic with my Women of Financial Independence post back in January 2018 when I’d been blogging for just six months and I didn’t realize what an impact it would make immediately and over time.

Women’s personal finance

Fast forward eighteen months, and that part has grown in leaps and bounds. My Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group has over seven thousand very active members in it, and I’m chatting with them via Facebook Live once a week.

My first time “face to face” with Jillian ❤️

I have 42 weeks of my Wednesday roundup series under my belt, and each month my reach grows with it. Someone asked recently why I write these every Wednesday, and I told them that I absolutely love seeing referrals go out to other bloggers. And there are few things that make my day more than when someone tells me they found a new favorite blog through that series.

Imposter syndrome and self doubt

Writing my Women of FI post back as a new blogger, I struggled with some serious self doubt as its reach grew. Who was I to be a leader in women’s personal finance? I was just learning what I was doing online in the first place and suddenly I was being looked to as someone who could converse about women specific issues around money.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel like I was the one to talk about the topic. There were so many women who were so much better versed than I was, and I wanted to pass the mic. I don’t often find myself in a place of self doubt and full of imposter syndrome feelings, but they were there in spades.

Now, I confidently tell people that piece of my blog. It feels just as much a part of me now as talking about money and the planet. It was a slow burn to get myself to that confidence, but I feel like I can now talk well about what it means to be a champion of women and money. And I’ve learned and grown so much by going through that process.

So thank you, to the wonderful women who support me, amplify this space, and teach me what it’s like to be a leader here. I would tell someone else in my shoes to own it, and it’s finally sinking in as advice to be taken myself.

Money blogger

Blogging about money has clearly been a central tenant for this blog since I first started writing. Two years in, I feel like I have learned a LOT about personal finance. Both general but also specific to me. Getting your money right takes a lot of mindset work and figuring out what works best for you. Writing down my thoughts has absolutely clarified this for me.

In the last year, I’ve also gone to my first financial independence retreat and attended more meetups (including one for my women’s personal finance group as well as ones at my house). And I’ll be headed to FinCon for the very first time in September.

Impromptu blogger party during the Financial Freedom book tour

I tell people in real life that I’m going to a conference for money nerds and they keep getting confused that it’s not work required travel. I’m so excited though, and I can’t wait to see everyone there. This is the year where it really feels like these are “my people,” and spending a few days hanging out all together sounds like a ridiculous amount of fun. The money stuff is great, but the community part of being around people who get you is the best.

Sustainability and zero waste

My first year of blogging, I didn’t write as much about sustainability as I’d meant to. Of course, most of my writing has an undercurrent of these things, but I didn’t write many focused posts explicitly about this topic. That all changed when Budget Epicurean pitched the idea of a zero waste guest post for my site.

She wrote an absolutely fabulous post on her journey to zero waste, and she lit a fire under me to re focus on this topic in my writing. I live the sustainability thing every day, and I want to share what I know.

I’m now writing pretty regularly on this topic (I have a tab up top that will take you to everything environment/zero waste), and I love the intersection of financial independence and sustainability. Slowly but surely, this seems to be getting a larger platform, as it should. The topics naturally blend together, but too often the money piece dominates the conversation and suddenly the sustainability piece falls off.

I come to frugality from sustainability, and I’m sharing that conversation here. I’ve found myself to be somewhat of an expert in this space, and my goal is to leverage that to encourage others to make changes in their lives (like replacing their toilets).

I will never not get excited about toilet replacements to ultra high efficient ones

Inflection points in year two of blogging

I hit my first year of blogging without a single mention in the mainstream media. Since first being featured (anonymously) in New York Magazine’s The Cut last November, I’ve been in a number of articles including Business Insider and MarketWatch.

After that, I found myself recording with ChooseFI, one of the biggest podcasts in the financial independence space, thanks to a referral to them from Military Dollar. Much like career networking, it often comes down to who you know and who is willing to speak up for you. Clearly, the relationships are most important to me, but I’ve appreciated that those connections have also meant that I’ve been able to expand my message of this blog because of it.

Blogging, and growing your influence, takes time. A lot more time than most “start your own blog” posts like to make it sound. Of course, a few can make it out of the blocks quickly, but that is absolutely not the norm. I wrote for sixteen months before a much larger blogger passed my name on to the journalist who wrote that first article about my story.

And it was that same journalist who wrote the New York Times article last month that ended up in the print edition of the Sunday Times. Seeing my name there was completely surreal, but the best part again was watching so many people land on my site and then head out to other blogs written by women thanks to my Women of FI list.

Pinch me, is this real life?

I am just a single voice in this community, and I want everyone to know that there are so many incredible voices that are worth following along with. My story may resonate with some, but I know the more you can see and relate to someone’s story, the more likely you are to make changes in your life.

And feeling that there is a whole community that surrounds you? Suddenly it doesn’t feel like you’re doing something totally countercultural and there’s no longer a reason to need to hide or excuse it away. We’re changing things in real ways online, and I can feel it.

There is always room for a new voice and a new blog

There is always room for a new voice and a new blog. The internet is huge. We are closing in on eight billion people on this planet. Almost half a billion of them speak English as their first language (and many many more are fluent). And yet, when I started this blog, I had the feeling that this personal finance space was already full. There were so many other voices already filling the community, certainly there wasn’t a need for mine.

Two years later, I know this absolutely not to be true. There is always room for a new voice and a new blog. This corner of the Internet is still so small and there is always reason for a new story to be shared. We all come from different backgrounds and different experiences and that diversity is what makes this community grow.

Perhaps we don’t need another blog post on the 4% rule. But maybe we do. If that post isn’t just the numbers but the how and the why, then yes, we absolutely need it shared. Numbers can be dry, but personal finance and money is anything but “just the numbers.” We are human, and it’s those stories that stick with us and shape our future.

Where do I go from here?

Above all, this blog will continue to be about my story and my journey with my family along our path to financial independence while treading lightly, living mindfully, and intentionally bringing more light and love into this world. Just like yours, I believe my story matters, and I intend to continue writing it out here.

With that, though, I am coming around to the concept that to be all those things that are important to me, this blog can also be something bigger than just sharing my story. It can be grown to be something that makes a bit of money. And with that revenue, I can continue to grow what’s important to me.

I’m having so much fun with the Facebook Lives in the Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group. I’m considering adding some to my Facebook page since it is open to everyone. And perhaps migrating those videos to YouTube to continue to grow my reach. (But I still have zero interest in editing said videos)

Growing income to grow my impact

And then there is Pinterest and search engine optimization and ways to grow this blog in size. As much as I’ll admit, it is fun to watch the numbers grow, my goal is to reach out and touch as many lives as I can.

It makes my day, my week, my month when I get an email or a comment from someone sharing how my words have completely changed their money story. Or the outpouring of people who shared with me that they had switched out their toilets after listening to me passionately talk about them on ChooseFI.

So finally I’m starting to listen to the people in my life that there may be really good reasons to look to growing income with this blog. Because I still don’t really want to do much on the back end as far as technology grows. I don’t have the extra time to spend here with my already very full life. But if I had the monetary means, I could employ someone else, change their life immediately, and grow the back end piece and grow a better blog in turn.

And then, just maybe, while growing my reach and my impact, I could fill a Donor Advised Fund, something that seemed like a long off dream with just my day job income. I never begrudge a fellow blogger the opportunity to be paid for their hard work and long hours to produce something that’s free for me to consume. So why do I hold myself back?

This is yet to be the announcement that things are changing on this blog. I still don’t have any ads on here, though that day may come. I will continue to include the small affiliate link (usually to Airbnb or an Amazon item) as it makes sense with my normal posting. But if I can do what I’ve always been doing and at the same time leverage that financially? Perhaps that just makes sense. Time will only tell.

Airbnb in Leavenworth 3 summers ago

To my readers

And above all, thank you to my readers, my friends, and my community. You are what makes this blog worth it. Thank you for following along with my journey as I share my struggles and triumphs of this one precious life I’ve been given.

When we start blogging, we tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter if we are just writing to ourselves. But it absolutely does. Once you’ve been writing for a few months, you realize there’s a reason why you decided to publish your words publicly. And shouting into the void is a whole lot less fun than you would have imagined.

This isn’t my diary. It is a blog, shared with the world. And so thank you for reading my words on my little corner of the internet. I am so glad you are here, and I am so glad you are taking this journey along with me. Here’s to the next two years.

75 thoughts on “Reflections on Two Years of Blogging (Women, Money, and the Environment)

  1. that was well stated. this blogging thing is pretty fun and i believe there is room for another voice. we are all unique. sometimes a reader might just see something that seems to be recycled material but the way it’s presented has it make more sense for their life.

    two years is just great. congrat’s on the success.

    1. Absolutely. We all have different perspectives, and sometimes it takes that new voice to make something click.

  2. Like I mentioned earlier, hard to believe you have only been at this for two years. My biggest attraction to your blog is your passion for the outdoors and deep commitment to the environment. Climate change and our footprint as a society in North America must change and through financial intelligence we can realize our consumption of housing, transportation, goods, services and food plays such a profound role in this. Your blog is helping people awaken to this reality.

    Cheers to another year of happy blogging.

    1. “Only” two years 😉 But as you know, that’s what drives what I do in every part of my life. The finance bit really doesn’t matter if we screw up the Earth too badly.

  3. Congrats on an awesome two years full of new friends and successes! Like you, I’m amazed by what I’ve learned about personal finance (not to mention psychology, branding, and social media). Your facebook group sounds so intriguing it might single-handedly get me on that platform. I’ve been debating it for months… I personally love your focus on zero waste and sustainability btw. I find it makes what you are doing unique and relevant to so many families!

    1. You can always join with an anonymous profile! There are plenty of friends on Twitter you can ask for how to do it 🙂

      1. Strange how that works, huh? Beginning of the year makes sense, but not sure what it is about summer!

  4. Keep going Angela, you’re absolutely right. Everytime I get asked by someone if they should start a blog I say yes. Everyone has a story. Very true that we don’t need another post on the math behind the 4% rule, but hearing stories behind someone’s journey to get to FI or get out of debt are what everyone needs to hear. The stories all bring something unique, and something to identify with.

    1. Exactly. And it’s not just for sharing your story with others, but the active involvement in the community that changes your story as well.

  5. Congrats on hitting 2 years — and on getting so much attention by the media! I still haven’t gotten that, and I’ve been at this for more than a decade (though admittedly, I wasn’t trying very hard to grow for most of that). I think you’ve done an amazing job. And I hope you do consider monetizing. I feel confident you wouldn’t let it impinge on your voice or narrative, so why not?

    1. Thank you!! It’s been a bit surreal these past few months in particular. And as far as monetization goes, this dog surgery cost might just be what tips me over the edge 😜

  6. Great post and lots of good insights. Congrats on hitting 2 years. 🙂

    Love that you’re getting so much attention by the media lately. Keep spreading the words of diversity within the FIRE community!!!

  7. Congrats on your 2 year blog-a-versary! Love your corner of the internet ♥️! Your messages ring true whether you monetize or not, I for one would be supportive of pulling in some income to help do bigger and better things!

    1. Thank you so much friend! And love that I’ve gotten to know you because of this community as well ❤️

  8. Great accomplishments, Angela! I always enjoy your posts and learn so much (especially on the sustainability topic), and I love the WPF FB group as well. You’ve done a lot of good stuff here to be proud of! I hope I’ll get a chance to meet you in person at FinCon!

    1. Thank you so much! And yes! FinCon! There are SO many people I want to meet (or see again).

  9. Congrats on 2 amazing years of blogging Angela! I’m so happy you are finally listening to yourself 😉, and owning the leadership you’ve had in creating something amazing that led to building a much needed space for the women in this community.
    I can personally say that it has inspired me and made me feel at ease & welcomed when I started interacting on twitter while discovering this amazing PF community.
    Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring others to do the same! I’m looking forward to hanging out at FinCon which I totally agree, does sound like a ridiculous amount of fun!!! Can’t wait!!!

    1. Thank you so so much – I really appreciate those words 🙂 and can’t wait to meet you in just a bit!

  10. Loved this post, and love your voice. I’m so impressed with what you’ve accomplished in two years! As I told Purple – you definitely deserve to make money off your blog…if you choose to. Either way, you’re having a huge impact, you’re a great model, and you amplify voices that need amplification. Also, your two podcast appearances (Choose FI and What’s Up Next) had some of my favorite moments on any of those podcasts. Keep it up, and thanks for being welcoming to new bloggers.

    1. Well, thank you so much for that!! Welcoming to newbies is definitely up there as far as my goals are concerned 🙂

  11. Well done you! Seriously, I look forward to your Women of FI post every week, and was really encouraged to find someone else who decided to make living in the now a priority, even if it lengthens their FI timeline.

    1. I’m so glad to hear you say that! And I definitely feel you that this community could use some more living in the now 🙂

  12. Congratulations on writing for two years! I absolutely agree that everyone should start a blog who wants to. We are all drawn to different stories and voices, so new bloggers can absolutely bring their unique point of views to the forum. In the case of blogging I think we need as many voices singing as possible!

    1. Absolutely!! And really, we are still a TINY voice compared to everyone in this world who could use a bit more personal finance stuff in their lives 😉

  13. Congratulations on writing for two years! I absolutely agree that everyone should start a blog who wants to. We are all drawn to different stories and voices, so new bloggers can absolutely bring their unique point of views to the forum. In the case of blogging I think we need as many voices singing as possible!

  14. Confidence! Congratulations on sticking with it and evolving over the past two years. I hope you keep having fun and continue to grow. I like the zero waste/sustainability refocus! Keep kicking booty!

    1. The sustainability bit is so ingrained in all parts of my life, I forget to focus on it with specific posts sometimes:)

  15. Congratulations, Angela! Hope we get to meet each other at FinCon. I’m going for the first time too and have suggested to the organizers that they add a sustainability niche meetup to the other niche meetups that take place during the event. Wouldn’t that be great to get a number of us together in person at once!

    1. Oh that would be great!! You know, we could also just organize one ourselves too ;$

  16. Congratulations on your two year blog-a-versary! I’m a long-time lurker who has always felt…weirdly intimidated commenting for some reason. Needless to say I felt the section on imposter syndrome really deep — which made me really appreciate the piece on there being room for more in the community. Thanks for being such an encouraging voice— can’t wait to keep following your journey!

    1. Thank you for commenting today! I was a seven-year lurker before I started my blog, so I get it. And I so appreciate you stepping out of your comfort zone and saying hi!

      1. Slowly working on that comfort zone — maybe not leaving it behind entirely, but at least expanding it, if that makes sense. Being an introvert on the internet can be tough (at least, if you want to find and get involved in community life, anyway)!

      2. The good news is, most of this community is introverted. Not me, but most 😉

  17. I’ve loved following along on your blog this last year and a half and so happy to see you being featured in more and more places. It’s so well deserved! Congrats on two years and everything in between. Excited to see where you take it in the future!

    1. Thank you so much! Love that we are doing this journey together online. And face to face in September at FinCon! Finally.

  18. Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed your blog since I found it a few months ago! (I forget how–the magic of the internet, I guess.) I live just to the south of you, in Tacoma, and doubly enjoy your local spin.

  19. Congratulations on 2 years of blogging! You are such an inspiration to so many, myself included. I love what you bring to the community and how you focus on building others up. Keep being awesome and cheers to many more years of making an impact with your blog!

    1. Thank you so much! Community building is definitely one of my favorite parts that I didn’t realize would be a thing when I started 🙂

  20. Congrats on your success, Angela! Well deserved. It’s really awesome to see what you have been able to accomplish with your blog over the past 2 years. I like that you said there’s always room for a new voice. I am looking forward to seeing what you will accomplish over the next 2 years. Thanks for sharing!🙂

  21. Beautifully written, you’ve poured so much of yourself here. I’ve been reading your blog for about 1 year and may have commented once or not at all. I have watched your reach and growth unfold and your voice getting stronger and stronger. I did not know what to make of your Wednesday posts but clicked on the links and found new voices and new perspectives so thank you for that! It gets a bit boring after a while to follow the same blogs as after a while there isn’t so much novelty or much new to tell. I have 4-5 blogs I follow regularly and yours is one of the fresh content and perspectives one. Congrats on your 2 year mark and best wishes going forward. I do not desire to ever blog and I comment minimally but am enjoying your journey and some of its similarities with mine.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment – I appreciate you coming along for the ride with me 🙂 And blogging is certainly a big commitment and not for everyone, nor should it be.

  22. Hey Angela! Came here through Purple’s blog 🙂 (I wish she tells us her name, I feel bad calling her purple all the time 😅) Anyway, it’s GREAT that I’ve finally found a blog on sustainability! I’ve made a blog and have been looking for fellow bloggers regarding this topic, but I was bummed to find that most have died out or shifted to newsletters. Are there any other sustainability blogs that you follow?

    1. Glad that you found me! And thanks for reaching out on twitter – I hope that answered your question!

  23. Oh goodness, I’m so behind this week. Happy Belated Blogoversary! Keep up the good work and keep letting your authentic and empathetic voice come through. My opinion, FWIW, is that I’ll keep reading whether you decide to monetize or not as long as you stay true to YOU. I’ve seen a few that do a great job with the monetization and some that are over the top and since you are so intentional in other areas of your life, I would expect that you do it in a thoughtful way so as not to detract from the content.

    Cheers! Hope you had/have/having a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much, friend. Love that I have you along for the ride ♥️ And you know I’ll always err on the extra cautious side when it comes to monetization.

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