I promise I won’t do a blogging update every week, but the first week after starting a blog is a huge adjustment. So first I will share a little bit of my story and why I decided to start a blog in the first place.
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I, like many millennials, graduated college with student and consumer debt. And of course, I knew everything about everything as a recent college graduate. So I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to paying off debt. After all, my parents paid off their mortgage in about ten years and never had a car payment. Unfortunately, I had been without a job for about a year so I had credit card debt on top of student loan debt. Luckily, I knew to pay off the credit card debt first (29% interest, yikes!). That was paid off in less than 3 months after graduation on a minimum wage summer job income. I smoothly transitioned into my first big-girl job and apartment in September. I made a good choice by choosing to live with roommates for a year while paying off my student loans until I moved in with my now husband. I lost track of my goal and only managed to pay off $1500 of my student loans in the first 3 years following my graduation. I had also ran up credit card debt of about $3500 (more on how that happened later). Then I got really serious about paying it off and within a year I paid off all $7500. I did this on a less than average for a recent college grad income, with no side hustle. All that remains now is my and my husband’s car payments and brand new mortgage and my husband’s private school loans.
I have a goal of being able to stay home one day when/if we have kids, at least until they are in school all day. In order to make that happen, I ran some numbers and we need to get creative. Creative with debt payoff and with increasing our income or it would not at all be possible. We would be just fine and comfortable should we continue at our current pay rates but he would like to be able to cut back on his second job and I would like to be able to leave my day job to care for the kids. So we recently both began side hustles, mine is blogging obviously. The good news is, that any kids are at least a few years away so we have plenty of time.
Now, a word to new bloggers.
Any blog post you read that says “start a blog in # minutes” or anything implying that you will be publishing your first post(s) within the hour is absolutely deceptive. Sorry to the other bloggers that have a post with this title, I’m not trying to call you out. I’m just trying to allow other newbies to plan accordingly. I’m a bluntly honest person, sometimes too honest. Luckily, I allowed a few hours the night I set up my blog, but it was still not enough time. Maybe I’m slow, or less technologically inclined than I thought. Now that I have set it up once, I’m sure the next time will go much faster. If you are new to creating websites, be prepared. The actual set up through Bluehost/ WordPress was actually very simple and straightforward. So much so, that I kept thinking I was missing a step and double checking everything I did to make sure I had done it correctly. This part did only take a few minutes, but then there are many more steps before you are actually up and running. If you are not wiling to make this kind of time commitment to your blog, then blogging may not be for you. It still took me almost a week to get my first post ready to be published even though it had been written for over a month. I wanted to be sure that I had certain pieces in place, plugins and widgets and a functional menu before going live. I’m a borderline perfectionist. I still don’t have everything done. In fact, this weekend I will be working on getting a “subscribe” option set up to begin building my e-mail list.
Update: Checked setting up my e-mail list off of the to-do list, make sure to subscribe for updates and exclusive content via e-mail.
I am not an overly outgoing person in real life. So that may be why it made me very nervous to hit publish on my first few blog posts. Especially since my husband read them for the first time after they were published. I got a text from my best friend about a post only two hours after I had published it. This nervousness caught me completely by surprise. I had my first mini-freak out when my husband texted me saying that he found a typo. However, I’m very thankful to have support from my two biggest real life fans as well as the new friends I have made via social media. The blogging community is truly one-of-a-kind and full of mutual support. I can’t wait to get to know more people and get to know the ones I have talked to even better.
Honestly, I am probably even more excited about my blog today than I was a week ago. I cannot wait to see where it goes and learn everything I can to make it even better.
What is some advice you have for a brand new blogger? Are there any other new bloggers out there that have some advice they want to share? What are the best resources for bloggers as they get into their blogging routine?