(yes I KNOW today is the 2nd of January but due to a technical problem (WordPress reloading and losing all my work) I wasn’t able to publish on the last day of the year. But no problem: all content still applies)
It’s the 31 of December 2017 and I thought it would be fitting to do a detailed blogging review of my 2017 blogging year as well as the results from my Money Experiment 1: Blogging.
Blogging was my first Money Experiment because I wanted to see whether it really was a viable source of income for college students, as well as a good tool to explore all the different aspects of money. The good news: those two hypothesis did turn out to be true. But was it easy? Nopety no.
I spent many hours working on this little blog, from waking up at 6.30 on a daily basis (yes even on Christmas Day) to spending hours finding a design I like only to discard it a few days later. It’s been quite a ride in the Financially Mint world, and that’s not excluding my personal one.
This is what I wrote, 4 months ago:
Cool, huh? Anyway, here are the results from 5 months of blogging and hours of work.
Total pageviews: 3,901
Total money earned directly from blog: £55
Total money earned indirectly from blog (opportunities connecting with others): £293
Total blog posts: 50 !!!!
Twitter followers: 2,318
Pinterest views: 18k
Tumblr followers: 547
- Set and followed a realistic budget
- Interviewed very interesting people (check the first one here)
- Opened an online shop (and then closed it lol)
- Started another side hustle: Matched Betting
- Slowly became an idea machine (yes it DOES have to do with money)
- Made an investment plan
- Did 6 Money Experiments
- Completed 4 of the WTF series
- Gave away £1 a day for a month (Money Experiment 5)
Although I do think quite a bit was done in those past 5 months, I’m not going to lie to you: I feel like I could have accomplished much more. However, as everything else in life, it’s all about the learning curve, and after meeting so many interesting people online I would never say this was not worth it. I’m definitely not about to give up any time soon, for sure.
Here are my top takeaways from my 2017 blogging journey.
1. Blogging is not passive income
No matter how many people list blogging in their passive income lists, remember that success in the blogging world comes from working the hours. Contrary to other passive income streams, you have to keep working at your blog for it to really bring in some revenue. This means that blogging is either a hobby you do continuously, or it’s your side-hustle/business if it’s generating good income.
As the weeks and months have passed by, I’ve classified my blog more as a hobby with potential to become a business in the future. I’ve focused on the content, rather than the monetisation or the marketing. But in 2018 things will have to change (more updates on that soon).
2) The direction of the blog will change, and that’s ok
I’ve really struggled with this one. Financially Mint started off as a Personal Finance blog, evolved into a blog tracking Money Experiments and is now a tool to help college students become financially intelligent. Quite a ride! I kept changing my audience and my focus (which probably explains the lack of growth), simply because I wasn’t happy with the content. Now I can say that I’m very happy with this blog’s purpose and will keep working towards providing content for college students.
The important thing here is to always keep an open mind. You as a person will change, and therefore so will your blog. If every day/week/month you focus on improving, you can be confident that those changes are only for the better. It’s important to keep searching for what will truly satisfy you coming from this little project (this is me indirectly talking to my past self hehe).
I think I really struck gold with the two niches I’m involved with: personal finance and college bloggers. The people in those communities are the most helpful, cooperative and genuinely nice people I’ve ever met online. Always ready to help, always willing to give advice, the community was a huge component in the evolution of the blog. Rockstar Finance is full of people from all ages and backgrounds ready to give you advice on sorting out your finances, and the various college Facebook groups are all about sharing content and talking about different lifestyles. Some really great people there.
This goes to show that no matter what you plan on focusing your blog on, always look for a community. You get huge opportunities (I landed a big client thanks to this), you get to make friends and you get to grow your blog. Community is a big priority.
4) Marketing and promotion is essential
Gosh it really is. Although I’m still learning the ropes to marketing and promoting, I can immediately see the difference after doing some effective marketing (thanks Pinterest). It’s great if you have good content, but how are people going to read it if you don’t put it out there? (again note to self). As a newbie blogger, good content must be your first focus. But as you get better and better, I do believe your primary focus must expand and evolve to other goals: monetisation, marketing, etc.
What I’m saying is that you have to make sure you have a marketing plan when running a blog and a business: being active on social media, doing collaborations with other bloggers, building a community around your own blog, etc. It’s really a skill to be mastered.
5) You really have to want it
Putting in all those hours into Financially Mint really showed me that one really has to want it in order to keep going. Whether it’s working long hours, constantly trying to find solutions or making small sacrifices, blogging is a commitment. Which is why it’s doubly frustrating when all this work you put in doesn’t produce results (see my guest post: Is the Hustle worth it?).
This is why I think it’s so important to be writing about something you truly enjoy, that you’re truly interested in. If not, the fire burns out and you’re left without any energy to continue. It’s something all bloggers struggle with, and it’s what separates the long term blogs to the 6 month blogs (I could still become one of those lol). If you’re just starting out, just make sure your blog will be about something you enjoy, something that won’t bore you after 6 months (same could be applied to any business).
Moving on, here are some of the 2017 Financially Mint highlights.
2017 top posts
Awesome guest posts
And 2 more coming up for 2018!!
Some goals for 2018:
- Keep going
- Direct Financially Mint more as a tool than a blog
- Find a theme I’m finally happy with (help)
- Increase subscribers
- Interview more experts and do more interesting + risky experiments
- Focus more on marketing and building a community rather than content.
So, what are the results so far of Money Experiment 1: Blogging?
Is blogging a good way to earn an income? I definitely think so, however it shouldn’t be your only goal – My main goal here at Financially Mint is to help other students manage their money, and my secondary goals are to earn a bit of income and learn about money through Money Experiments. Your primary goal could be to earn an income, but make sure you have valuable secondary goals as well.
Is blogging a good way to learn about money? Definitely. The amazing community, the endless resources and the actionable advice has made it a great place to explore the world of finance. I can honestly say that I’ve learnt more about money in the past 5 months than the 18+ years of life.
2017 has been quite a ride for me personally as well. I lived in 3 different countries, I started a blog (surprise surprise), I started university and quit and I really made some amazing friends. 2017 has been the year of finding my ‘passion’ (finance) and truly getting to know myself. 2018 will be the year of taking action and of accomplishments.
The next blogging update will be in 3 months, and I’m looking forward to the results.