I started this blog for two reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, because I love talking about personal finance and alternative ways of living, and I wanted to be able to talk to others about it too. Secondly, and I’m sorry about this, I wanted this blog to be a side hustle. I wanted to earn some money from it and I’d been very inspired by bloggers like Emma Drew and even Mr Money Mustache himself who make a shed-load of income from their blogs.
To this aim, I’ve been studying lots of ‘how to blog’ resources, my email inbox is full to bursting of the many, many, many ways I can apparently gain 50 zillion readers in a few weeks, how fabulously I can monetise, how blog income will outstrip anything I could ever hope to earn in the real world, blah, blah, blah. So I’ve been learning (an admittedly miniscule amount) about SEO, I’ve joined Twitter even though I find it really odd way of contecting with people, I’ve been making sure all my posts are at least 800 words, as, apparently, that’s what Google likes, I’ve looked at my branding, I’ve made sure all posts are on message and all the rest of it. It’s been time-consuming and, at times, frustrating.
Somewhere in amongst all of this I’ve lost sight of why I’m here at all and I’ve become so bogged down in making sure each post is exactly right that I’m not posting with anything like the frequency I’d like to.
Now, I want to be clear. Absolutely everything on this blog I have written is true. I am self-employed and I did start that business while I was on maternity leave, my life is based around the needs of my kids, I did pay my mortgage off in 5 years, I won’t be paying for my kids to go to uni and we have got rid of the car in order to more quickly reach our financial goals. I’m proud of these achievements and I hope I can inspire others to take more control of their personal finances.
However, I’m also completely flawed and I don’t necessarily find any of these things that I do always that easy. Sometimes I’m not as patient with my kids as I’d like to be. I love riding my bike but sometimes I feel so jealous of people who couldn’t care less about the environment, or who earn enough that they don’t need to consciously weigh up every situation. I’m not moaning, this is the life that we have chosen. But I won’t lie: sometimes I wonder why we don’t just go to work full time and buy in childcare and domestic help like so much of the population.
So, some of the changes you can expect to see, dear readers (yes, notice that plural – we’re into double figures now. Woo Hoo!!!!). I’ll be using pictures of my own pictures on the posts. Some of them may have had the picmonkey writing on treatment, some of them may be Pinterest ready (Pinterest is where it’s at according to about half of my daily emails) but many of them won’t. It might start to look a bit less polished. I may not check quite so carefully for typos. I hope it’ll still be interesting and I hope above all that I’ll still be able to use and develop this as a way of talking to like-minded individuals. I’d still like to create the essay style blog posts but as these take at the very least 2-3 hours to write, there’ll be more chatty posts appearing too.
I’ll be staying anonymous for the time being. I’ll never post pictures of any family members on here so expect to see lots of pictures of trees and hills and all of that stuff. The picture on this post was taken on our honeymoon in Scotland about this time several years ago.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the anonymity thing having been told that readers trust bloggers more when they know what they look like. For now, I’m happier to keep the really personal identifying details – including my face! – out of it, not because I’m really that interesting but because once that box has been opened it’s impossible to close the lid again.
So there we are, a non-SEO friendly blog post without pinnable images, affiliate links, branding or a call to action. A blog post written in that tiny little gap of time when my beloved was doing the morning school run. He’s nearly home now and it’s time to crack on with earning some money while the house is empty. Have a good day, and, as Arnie would say…. I’ll be back.