These days, many people start blogs because they want to build up a semi-passive source of income. While I think it would be nice for my blog to eventually provide me with a significant revenue stream, the real reason I started a blog was because I needed a place of my own online.
A Professional Blogger without a Blog
I’ve been blogging for others since 2005. However, I never really had my own blog until late 2011. I wrote for blogs that were ostensibly mine, but were actually owned by others. I started a personal blog, and updated it infrequently, but I had no blog that reflected my professional pursuits.
Finally, after being asked several times why I didn’t have a personal finance blog of my own, I thought that maybe it was time. After all, but the time 2010 had rolled around, I had begun owning the term “professional blogger.” Shouldn’t a professional blogger have her own blog?
I realized that I wanted my own place to express my views on personal finance and investing, as well as share what I learned as a home business solopreneur and freelance writer. It would be nice to tell people about a URL that was all mine. And, in the back of my mind, I vaguely had the idea that it would be nice to keep the money from any revenue the traffic to my posts brought in.
Partnering on My Blog
One of the reasons that it took me so long to start my own blog was that I dread the messy backend. While I know it’s nice to have money from AdSense, and advertisements, and affiliate campaigns, I know that monetizing a site effectively takes effort. On top of that, you have to deal with hosting, design, and a number of other technical issues. I love writing, so the idea of the backend sucking up all my writing time didn’t appeal to me.
The problem was solved when a long-time online friend of mine, Tom Drake, suggested that we partner on the site. He’d do all the things I hate, I’d write, and we’d split the profits. This arrangement got rid of the roadblock to starting my own blog, and I’ve been happy with my decision. Tom knows what he’s doing, and we’ve even made money (although not a whole lot, so far).
Maintaining the Motivation
Even with someone else in charge of the monetization, there have been challenges with my own blog. The biggest obstacle I face now is the motivation to keep writing for my own blog.
I’m so used to being paid immediately for my blogging work that it’s sometimes hard to write for “free.” Intellectually, I know that I’m writing for myself, and that, long-term, I have the potential (with Tom’s help and guidance) to make a tidy income from my blog. However, in the present moment, there are days it’s hard for me to write something for my own blog when I’m not going to receive payment for it at the end of the month. I often shuffle stuff for my own blog to the side in favor of working on stuff for others, since I know I will get paid much, much faster.
Sticking with It
Overall, though, I’m glad – proud, even – to finally have my own place on the web. It’s something I can point others to. Plus, as a professional blogger, it helps to have a home on the Internet. This reality impressed itself upon me in rather dramatic fashion in early 2012.
Just a few months after launching Planting Money Seeds, the blog I’d called “home” for six years decided to end its independent blogging network. Not only did I lose a pretty sweet gig, but I also realized that, if I hadn’t started my own blog earlier, I’d have been forced to do it at that time. I thanked my lucky stars that I had started my own blog already – and done it on my own terms.
Starting a blog is rarely easy, and it takes time to make money at it (if you ever do). But it can be fulfilling in ways that writing for others for mere money isn’t.