Why Blog? Blogging Can Change Your Life - Elizabeth Stapleton
Elizabeth Stapleton
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Why Blog? Blogging Can Change Your Life

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When I started blogging two years ago, I never could have imagined the world it would open up. Blogging opened up a desire to learn a whole new skill set, connected me to incredible and inspiring people, and frankly made me feel like my big crazy dreams weren’t so big and crazy.

I reached out to some fellow bloggers and asked them how blogging has had an impact on their lives. While many shared my same experiences other’s answers surprised me. It is amazing all the things starting a little ole blog can lead to. Before I get into all the amazing things blogging can lead to, I want to add a little disclaimer. Blogging is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work, and none of the bloggers featured here reached success without a lot of hard work and some time. “Overnight” Success rarely happens overnight. 

A Sense of Community

Feeling a little alone in the world or just too embarrassed/scared/depressed to talk about your money with people you know? Start an anonymous blog and tell strangers about it instead. In all seriousness, there are some great people and bloggers out there that love nothing more than to help others. Some people start a blog solely to help others, like Doug Nordman of The Military Guide who donates all of his writing revenue to military friendly charities. (As a sister of a soldier, I love this so much!)

Sign up to join the community and receive my daily tips via email. Community members get access to exclusive discounts and freebies like my list of the Best Tools for Blogging & Running a Business (based on your budget)!

If you need help, sometimes you just have to put it out there. Asking someone for help or saying thank you for a post you liked can lead to some great relationships with fellow bloggers. Eventually, those online friendships can turn into IRL friendships with conferences like FinCon. Melanie Lockert of Dear Debt said that her blog, “was my lifeboat that got me out of a deep depression. It has changed my life in so many ways. I found a new career as a writer, paid off my debt early and found a community of like-minded debt fighters.” She even wrote a book and was kind enough to sign my copy at FinCon16 🙂

The community isn’t just about helping you or helping someone directly; it could just help you stay motivated to stick with something. Gary Weiner of Super Savins Tips said that the introduction to the community of “impressive PF [personal finance] bloggers who have helped and motivated me to do even more.” is how his blog has impacted him the most.

Are you interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Today Page for tutorials and the tools I use for blogging. 

It Creates Opportunities – Including the Opportunity to Leave a Full-Time Job

We’ve all heard of the bloggers who make thousands from their blogs; they are truly inspiring, and I’m happy to share some of their stories today.

It’s Possible to Make More Money Blogging than Working a Regular 9-5

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents is one of those super impressive bloggers; she just shared her income report from September, and she made over $100k.  According to her, “My blog has completely changed my life. Me and my husband now travel full-time (we sold our house last year), and we were both able to leave our jobs.” Most of Michelle’s income comes from Affiliate Marketing, she now teaches a course on the topic. Even if it isn’t $100k per month, blogging can be more prosperous than that regular 9-5. As Kali Hawlk pointed out, “through blogging, I’ve been able to: 1. Quit day jobs; 2. Jumpstart a freelance blogging career; 3. Learn more about and start a career in inbound marketing; 4. Work virtually, when and where I want, full-time; 5. Move from Atlanta to Boston just “cause I wanted to and location was not a limiting factor; 6. More than triple my income; 7. Meet people, I now consider my best friends.”

But You Don’t Need to Make Bank to Leave that 9-5

However, many bloggers don’t make $100k per month, but they do make enough to leave the job they don’t love and pursue something that they enjoy with the bonus of having more control over their days. “I ended up leaving my full-time job and joining a mastermind. Actually, a lot of things happened after I started blogging.” This quote from Amber Berry of Feel Good Finances is a good reminder that blogging in a way that lets you quit your job is not just about money.

Kylie Travers is one of the best examples of how blogging can change a life and how it isn’t all about the money. As for what she said the biggest impact that blogging had on her and her life, “Left my abusive marriage, became an author, speaker, freelance writer, and CEO. Won multiple awards became a charity ambassador and youngest ever director on the board of a local charity.” Even better than that, “Also, helped my daughters get all the help they needed to overcome their learning disorders and started a company.” (note: if I had any clue how to do emojis on my computer Kylie’s story would get a ton of clapping hands)

You May Not Even Start Blogging with the Intention of Leaving Your Job

Now just because a blog has lead to full-time income, it doesn’t mean it was started with the intention of doing so. Adam Minsky of Boston Student Loan Lawyer started his blog as a side project to help student loan borrowers but now has “a thriving, full-time student loan law practice and the blog has been the engine of its success.” Why do people decide to leave the 9-5 for the blogging life? According to Lisa Phillips, “I get way more value to the world and from the audience than I’ve ever gotten from corporate America.” Having an audience can make a big difference no matter the goal of your blog.

Are you interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Today Page for tutorials and the tools I use for blogging. 

Blogging Can Change Your Life by Keeping You Accountable

As you can probably guess by my monthly debt reports, accountability is just one of the many reasons I choose to blog. Knowing someone is out there brings a whole new level of thought into what you should or shouldn’t do. Emilie Burke from Burke Does said that by posting her spending reports and debt repayment, she started asking herself while shopping, “Can I justify this to my readers?”. After paying off nearly $15k in debt, I’d say it’s working.

Blogging for accountability also helped, Lauren Bowling from L Bee and the Money Tree, “pay off $8k in 90 days” she was then able to leave her full-time job and “never looked back.” Following other’s journeys out of debt through their blogs has been hugely inspirational to me, I even wrote an open letter about just that. So if you are thinking about starting a blog, I can only say I’m so glad I started mine. As you can see from the post, you never know what opportunities might come about because of blogging. Basically, blogging can change your life.

Are you interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Today Page for tutorials and the tools I use for blogging. 

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

Blogging can absolutely change your life. Though how it will change your life depends on what you are working towards and why you decide to blog. If it takes a while to gain some traction, don’t get discouraged, put in the work to write, promote, and network with the blogging community and you will get there. One great way to help get your blog out there is to join the Rockstar Finance Community. There is a forum about blogging, a blog directory, and live feed of posts from the community. Related: Why Blog Find Out What Made These Bloggers Share Their Stories

Blog tools & resources I recommend

Convertkit (for email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. 

Making sense of affiliate marketing (for monetizing your blog) Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Tailwind (for automating pinterest) Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.

SmarterQueue (for automating other social media) SmarterQueue is a lower cost alternative to meet Edgar, SmarterQueue does pretty much the same thing but it costs about $20/mo for up to 4 social media accounts. They have a free 14 day trial but if you use my referral link you get a 30 day free trial.

Thrive Themes Membership (for theme, opt-ins, and tons of other stuff)I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Theme, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.

About the Author Elizabeth Stapleton

Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.

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