My First Six Months Of Blogging. How It Went and My Future Plans

My First Six Months Of Blogging. How It Went and My Future Plans

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On June 30th, 2018 I published the first article on this site. It’s an article with great information but looking back it was so terribly written that I can’t believe anyone has ever come back. My first six months of blogging are almost up and I want to do a recap. Looking back and thinking about all the things I have done right and mostly wrong has been slightly amusing. I’m also proud of some achievements as well, which have steered me in the direction I want to go with this whole thing.

If you’re a reader, even just once or twice, you know this all started with a book. Due to a combination of being bored and frustrated with seeing people waste their money I wanted to do something. I understand that most people when they get bored don’t write a book and to be honest I don’t know why I did. I must have been really bored. Starting this website though had nothing to do with being bored and everything to do with pursuing a purpose.

This article is going to be a little different. There won’t be much fancy formatting and the grammar isn’t going to be perfect (nothing new there). Instead, I want to just get all my thoughts and reflection into writing. I have my starting point of zero which was established in June but I need another milestone to compare to. Don’t worry I still think there will be a ton of value here for you.


My Original Plan

When the idea first came to mind to start a blog I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was too oversaturated and why would people want to read what I put out? I originally wanted to start a podcast or YouTube channel as I thought there was much more upside. A combination of not having the equipment and being scared to record myself for videos led me to do nothing. Nothing wasn’t an option though, I had to do something.

I realized I’m extremely lucky to have the internet at my disposal. It’s a tool my parents didn’t have when they were young and who knows if it will be around in the future. Either way, I had to take advantage of my situation so a blog was the answer.

I did a ton of research and was immediately overwhelmed. There’s a ton of information out there and I quickly realized I needed help. I ended up outlining what I wanted and paid someone locally to build it for me. I want to cover the topic of money and how much I’ve spent on YD&NB but just not yet. Instead of giving you estimates I want to give you exact numbers so be on the lookout for that article after I file my taxes.

Anyways, I started writing and writing and writing. I felt like I was writing novels but it’s nothing for me to sit down and write a 1500 word article in a couple of hours now. As of now, there are over 40 articles and 60,000 words on the site. That’s badass to think about. I thought the page views would start piling in. I’m putting in the work so why wouldn’t they? Well as I’ve learned it is a little more complex than that. Keyword research, using Pinterest, and SEO (search engine optimization) are all a work in progress for me but I’m working on it.

My favorite part of my original plan was that I had no intention of ever using this as a get rich quick scheme. I knew it would take time and I knew that the main goal was to just help people. My value statement, that I wrote 6 months ago, reads:

Young Dumb and NOT Broke?! is here to cut through all the noise and useless financial advice and get you back to the basics. Through our articles and resources, you will become comfortable with the topic of money and allow yourself to live the life you have always wanted.

I think I’ve seen that original plan through quite well.

What I’ve Learned

The single most important thing I’ve learned over the last six months is that everything won’t always be perfect. I have had countless grammar errors, links that wouldn’t work, and other tech stuff that I still don’t get. I wanted it all to be perfect and that just wasn’t going to happen. Learning to accept that and still put out content has been quite challenging but I’m working on it. I believe this ties into that old saying, “quit waiting for the perfect time and just learn as you go”. Every day I’m learning and attempting to give you, the reader, a better product.

Another thing is that I need to constantly be providing relatable content. I’m a personal finance nerd, I love talking about it, it’s just who I am. Most people aren’t like that, they’re more normal. While I 100% believe everything I’ve put out has provided value I need to be more conscious of exactly what I’m putting out. I know if I do that things like page views and email subscribers will take care of themselves. By the way, subscribe to my email list at the bottom of this article 🙂

Lastly, something that I wasn’t going to hit on but I figure I should is that it can be quite lonely. I’m not going to sugarcoat this one, all of the work is on you. When you’ve set a goal to put out two articles a week, manage an email list, and deal with back-end stuff you will have to make sacrifices. Don’t get it twisted though, I made the conscious decision to do this and to keep doing it. While it brings me a ton of happiness it can be quite lonely, that’s the reality.

When questions do come in, or articles get shared it makes it all worth it. Nothing is cooler than spending a couple hours on an article and then having it get over 1000 impressions on Pinterest within a week. Or seeing people order your book, the little things add up.

Future Plans

Let’s get one thing straight, no matter what happens I’m riding this thing through 2019. I have a ton of goals which I’ll talk about after the first of the year but they are lofty. I realize that the site is new and from my hours and hours of research I understand that things take time. Specifically in regards to getting search engine traffic from places like Google. Over the past 6 months my pageviews have been relatively flat which is expected. Getting this number to grow is my #1 concern.

The second thing I want to do is help individuals more specifically. I say all the time how our situations are all different and I know individual help can fill this need. I’ve done this a dozen or so times through email and the feedback I’ve been getting is great. There is nothing cooler than checking up with someone 6 months down the road and them telling you they’ve reached a goal.

To kind of piggyback off that I want to spread financial knowledge outside of just my blog. Whether that is going to one of my high school classes, being interviewed for a podcast, or doing a larger speaking event (that’d be sooo cool). Anyway to try and help people I’m down for. This includes expanding my scholarship, which if you’re eligible then apply! It’s free money. One of my ‘down the line’ goals is to turn those into full rides not just $250.

Making Money


Let’s address the elephant in the room. Am I going to ever monetize the site? The answer to that is yes and I already have. Hopefully, you haven’t even noticed because that has been my goal. The first way I’m doing this is through book sales. While I’m not selling dozens a month I am selling some and it’s a nice source of income.

The second way is through affiliate links. You most likely don’t even know these are here but they are. Legally I have to disclose to you when I use a link which you’ll see at the top of some articles. How this works is when you click the link and buy whatever it is I get a small cut from it. This won’t make you a millionaire but on my book alone I made around $50 from just using a specific link. Rarely do I use them but just understand if I’m ever linking you to a product it’s because I use it.

The last way is through ads. A couple of months ago I pulled all ads from the site after I made a whopping $6.04 in about a month. Which money is money but I realized it was taking away from the user experience. I’m not going to completely write off the use of ads in the future but for now, they’re gone.

Courses

Be on the lookout in 2019 for a couple of online courses. I don’t want to give too much away now but I have two that I’m already working on. The launch of these will all depend on my monthly pageviews. Because if I’m not producing valuable content that is getting read then there isn’t much of a point.

Wrapping It Up

Overall, I feel very content with how 2018 went in regards to YD&NB. I worked my ass off to put out valuable content and based on feedback it was helpful. I know that being patient will pay off and that if I just keep my head down that I’ll grow.

If you’ve read an article, let me interview you, or even bought my book then thank you. I truly appreciate all the support. Let’s continue it on into 2019.

– Shelby

Starting a blog can be intimidating. Here's how I did in my first 6 months. #Blogging #Money

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