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I recently wrote a post on why everyone should consider starting a blog, mainly because you can create a nice side-income while writing about a topic that you’re passionate about. Yet what holds most people back is that they figure there’s too much competition out there to actually get ranked in Google.
To be honest, there is a lot of competition, and it’s only going to increase. That’s why you have to start sooner rather than later if you ever want to be a serious blogger. Despite all this, making a name for yourself is not impossible.
Back when I wrote about my experience after my first month of blogging and the income I had brought in, I mentioned that I had made a mere $25 dollars after hours and hours of countless work. In fact, most of the time I spent on the blog didn’t go into blogging, but rather finding a design that I liked and getting things setup.
I was completely new to the blogging world, and I wanted to make sure to get things right before I moved on to increasing my content. I continued doing this and only wrote every once-in-a-while, maybe producing a new piece of content about once a week.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that those weeks when I wrote maybe 2 or 3 articles is when my traffic made a sudden leap, and that I was greatly mistaken. In fact, I bet if I had spent all of that time writing continuously for a minimum of one hour a day, my traffic would be 3 – 4 times what it is now.
In any case, I came to the realization that content is king, and I’m extremely happy that I chose to write about a topic in which I thoroughly enjoy. If that were not the case, you definitely wouldn’t see any topics being updated on a daily basis on FFL.
I took the challenge and decided to write a minimum of one article per day for as long as I can stand it. It’s been about 6 months since that time, and while I haven’t written every day, I’ve still written the same amount of articles that would span over 6 months if I were to write on such a consistent basis (I wrote a total of 231 articles in 174 days, for an average of 1.33 articles per day).
I Almost Gave Up
I’m not going to lie – life as a blogger is pretty tough, no matter how you look at it. When you tell people that one of the things that you do for a living is write a personal finance blog, they tend to give you strange looks. “So you just write about what you think and get paid?” or the more common “So you basically do nothing all day? Perfect, then you have time to…”
With the snickering comments made above, it’s difficult to find any type of motivation from outside sources. That’s why it’s extremely important for you to find internal motivation for blogging. If I were to be building an app or opening up a tea shop, I’m sure my friends would be astonished at what such a cool thing I was doing with my life.
Yet with the app market extremely saturated (and me not knowing how to code one), it’s difficult to create one that stands out above the rest unless you have a great idea. As for a tea shop, the startup costs are a lot higher, and I wasn’t about to drop a couple of grand on a new business.
In any case, I ended up choosing blogging as my next path. Finding unique ways to save money is something I’ve always been passionate about, and I wanted to share my findings with everyone else too. Strapped for cash? How about running a few video apps in your home to tide you over. Want to save money on Amazon? Why not get Amazon products for free by using Amazon Review Sites.
I guess the fact that I enjoyed writing these articles and that people found these articles helpful (thanks to various emails) is what really pushed me to continue. That and the fact that although traffic was increasing incredibly slowly, it was still increasing.
And for all of those other bloggers out there, here’s the part you’re probably most interested in: the traffic. It was back in May when I started writing a minimum of 1 article per day. On average, I would say that my posts were anywhere from 800 – 1,200 words long, but there were some exceptions. However, I don’t recall ever dropping below 600 words, and sometimes (not often) I would write articles that passed two or three thousand words.
Let’s take a look at some screenshots to display what kind of traffic I was getting. Below is my total traffic from December 13th, 2014 to April 30th, 2015. As you can see, there wasn’t much of an increase until around April 1st, when I started writing much more frequently at about 3 – 4 articles per week.
At this points I actually felt pretty good about myself. Just by slightly increasing my article count per week, my traffic had already jumped an extra 100 visitors per day in a short time. I thought that this was going to be pretty simple. So that’s when I decided to blog daily. Here’s what my traffic looks like from May 2015 all the way to July 31st.
Things were really starting to look up. Although the increase was very gradual, it was still happening. I could expect there to be a daily visitor count of around 600 – 700, and maybe within just a couple of months I’d be at 1,000 visitors per day. So I decided to keep going and was actually a little shocked and disappointed at what had happened. My traffic basically went nowhere from August 1st – September 30th.
With the exception of some posts that went semi-viral near the end, my traffic was incredibly stagnant despite the fact that I was still writing on a daily basis. I was incredibly hard on myself and decided that I must be doing something wrong. The problem is that I believed this.
I’m not sure whether the stagnation during that time was because of seasonal changes or similar types of content being produced over and over, but I do know that my frustration levels kept increasing. I figured that maybe since my blog has only been around such a short time, it’s too difficult to determine what the problem is. So I kept writing.
I actually increased my writing a little bit. Some days I would write 2 articles, and it was rare that I would write 3 or 4. Most of the days consisted of writing just once, but for the past week or so I started writing an average of 2 more articles per day, sometimes 4 or 5, but always with a minimum of 1.
I’m actually still facing a bit of stagnation, but I can tell that my high days are a lot higher than my best days from before, and now I never usually go below a certain number of visitors per day. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to keep writing and see what happens. I figure with the continual amount of effort, I’ll eventually get where I want to go. And if nothing happens, at least I’m enjoying the ride.
All of this traffic is gained through organic searches and very little social media presence. After writing an article, I quickly post it to the FFL Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ page. Other than that, most people find me through Google.
Writing a blog takes a lot of dedication and effort, so if you’re considering writing one, make sure that you’re up for it before you begin. Furthermore, it’s going to be a bit slow so don’t expect a lot of income at start. Yet with tenacity and perserverance, you can definitely make your blog a success. Keep writing and thanks for reading.
My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.