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How I Started My Frugal Blog; From Hobby To Business

 

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details)

Previously, I wrote about side hustles and included a blog as one of those ways to make money.  However, like mowing lawns or delivering pizzas, blogging may take a while to see any cash flow. I have earned $3.49 through Amazon Affiliate program.  Although that isn’t even enough for them to cut me a check, it is there…waiting to be added to! You can make money blogging by being an affiliate, and you can also make money by creating your materials.

Make Money Blogging

For example, eBooks.  My eBook (over 25 pages of information on how to grocery shop for under $200 a month for a family of four) is FREE, but many will sell their ebooks.  Others have courses like Create and Go does.  I am also working on one of my own, but that will take some time.  But this is about how I got started in the blogging community and how you could too.  Starting a blog is not for the weak of heart. It takes dedication, passion and time.

By no means am I an expert.  Full disclosure.  But there have been some people that have asked how I got started, and I have had a couple of challenges getting this blog going, so I might be able to save someone else a little time – and heartache.

I have been writing for YEARS for my purposes and dabbled in blogs off and on.  But nothing ever stuck, until my niece told me about her year-long shopping freeze.  I decided to give it a shot, and then the thought occurred that I could blog about it for accountability.  That was in January 2018.  You can find that story here.

As the blogging continued, I decided I wanted to do more with it than a free WordPress site would offer, so I went with self-hosted Wordpress which allowed me to do so much more.

Self Hosted

I purchased my domain name through WordPress before I decided to go to self-hosted, so that was done.  Then, I signed up with Bluehost, which was a lot cheaper than I thought it would be and they have AMAZING Customer Support (which I truly needed after you hear what happened next).  $3.95 a month is a bargain!  I followed the directions, importing all my past posts into the new format.  I made sure everything was there, and it was all set up.  Bluehost site said everything was right so I deleted the old free WordPress site and I then waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Facebook support groups said it should not be taking this long, so I contacted Bluehost who let me know that there was an issue on the WordPress end.  So I had to create a tech support ticket and wait for them to get back to me after the “Friends of WordPress” tech support couldn’t help.  Finally, after a week and a lot of help from my friend Dan, tech guru, I was up and running.

DO NOT DELETE your free blog until AFTER Bluehost has you all set up.  That was my mistake, and it took six days to correct after getting in touch (finally) with someone who could help at Wordpress.

I found a theme that I enjoy from My Theme Shop that helped me create the exact blog I envisioned.

Courses

I have realized that there is so much more to blogging if you have plans to take it to the next level.  I want this to be much more than just a hobby blog and to reach out to others and help them live their best life by showing that debt is not the way to do that.  But there is so much I didn’t know.  So I took some courses through Alex and Lauren at Create and Go.  They will teach you how to make money blogging from the initial set up to their Six Figure Blogger Course advanced level.

Thre is a LOT of information out there, and you may be able to find your answers for free, but for me, I was spending HOURS looking up information to get this blog running.  I didn’t have time to dedicate to searches.  So, I paid for a few courses from people I found I liked on youtube.  I did my research on them, watched and read everything I could find.  I joined their facebook page to see how they interacted with the people.  Were they trying to promote their courses and deleting comments from others that they were not affiliated with (because I had run into this before)?  I vetted them in every way I could come up with.  Because these courses aren’t cheap, you want your money’s worth.

Their Pinterest Avalanche course changed the way I marketed my blog.  They show exactly how to get the people to your writings.

Tailwind is an automatic scheduler that is free and a must because manually pinning takes up valuable time when you can have Tailwind do it for you! Pinterest is the key to make money blogging.

They also explain the four stages of blogging which really helps when you think you might be doing something wrong.

The Create and Go Team will walk you through step by step and explain the importance of subscribers and how to get them and keep them.

Create An Email List

I started with MailChimp to collect my emails but found it confusing and hard to navigate, so I went with Convertkit.  They also have great support, and when you are new to the game, all the support you can get will help.  It is a paid subscription, but I like what you can do with it. I paired Convertkit with Sumo for some added features to promote my eBook on how to save money on groceries. Email subscribers are your tribe.  They are your people and want to hear what you have to say.  Your subscribers are the in-crowd or the cool kids, and they get first-hand information before the public has access.  You want a substantial subscriber list.

Equipment

(added May 30, 2018). For Mothers Day, I got this great camera.  It’s a Nikon D3400 DSL cameras.  This is the starter camera in the digital photography world. My husband shopped around and found Amazon to have the best deal.  It was a little cheaper than the one Target had on sale, and it came with A LOT of bonus products from filters and tripods, to cleaners and a remote control!!!  I have been loving it, and I am seeing the quality improvements in my photos.  I highly recommend it.  Here is the link to the camera I have.

I still have so much more to learn, and there are so many great things on the horizon for Frozen Pennies.  I will continue to update you as I go along!!

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Kim May 18, 2018
    • frozenpennies May 18, 2018
  2. Ilana May 24, 2018
    • frozenpennies May 24, 2018