My sister and I started a blog. We were both disillusioned with teaching and wanted to channel our energies into some other passion. One passion we both shared is writing so we wanted to do something based on that. Well, to get to the meat of the matter, we came across a blogging course that everyone was raving on about. The cost was manageable since we had not left our jobs yet. So we paid for the course offered by Elite Blog Academy.
We had not known much about blogging before then and it seemed quite an American thing! Honestly, we did not get to delve much into the course initially because it seemed teaching took up most of our lives! From planning, marking, admin work and also teaching, it was full on. Even after work, we had so much related to the job to do! It was really depressing! But in the back of our minds, we knew we had been hearing so much about how good the course was, so we really wanted to do it and start our own blog.
During one half-term break, we had a chance to sit together and look at the course and was surprised to find out how fun and interactive it was! I don’t really know what we were expecting, but certainly not this! This was good! At this point, I really must say well done to Ruth Soukup who wrote the course! Blogging has changed her life in so many ways and she really wanted others to have ‘a piece of the pie’.
We set up our own blog following the same steps so carefully set out in the course and before you knew it, we were up and running! We started out with a ‘feel good’ blog and we enjoyed writing things that people really wanted to read about, such as When God has another plan, why I left my teaching job, How to be a helpful neighbor and so on. They were easy to read and fun to write but then we got to the part in the course about how to monetize your blog and that got us thinking.
People want to know how to get the most out of their hard earned money so why not write about that and get paid to do it? So that is what we started to do. The blog was transformed into a frugal lifestyle blog. We started giving tips and tricks for householders to save money, make money and make what money they had go further. Some of the topics that people were most interested in, including: How to spend Christmas on a budget, Fifty shopping tips for the Savvy shopper and we also tell about the vast savings we have made since we made some lifestyle changes including meal planning. People kept writing in, in response to the posts we had written, or to our newsletters letting us know that we were really helping them with their everyday endeavours. It was truly overwhelming. And to think it is all because of the blog!
In order to be able to widen our reach, we started both a Facebook group and page to help with the blog. Keep reading to see how this little flicker that seemed so insignificant became such a big flame!
The Big Moment
Well about two years after we both gave up teaching, the blog was thriving and we even helped others to set up their own blogs, we got a message through our FB page. You can read about that here. It details how we got selected (through our blog) to appear on a television programme in the United Kingdom! The programme is called Shop Smart Save Money.
Initially, the programme had a trial phase of 3 programmes for the series. We were in all three and had so much fun! Yes, it was nerve-wracking and yes, we had to do things over and over again until we got them right. But we have come to accept that, that is how it is in the industry so we are ok with that.
Have a look at our first appearance.
Our section of the programme takes the format of a shopping challenge. We are up against another blogger each week, to source items for a family. Of course, the aim is to get items of good value for the least price. Well in the initial pilot series, we won all three challenges. Thank you very much! (I can imagine you applauding).
When the end of that series came and we were taking stock of what had happened, we couldn’t help but thank God for the insight He gave us to start up our blog. We did a proper SWOT analysis, not formally of course, but we did. Our blog grew exponentially as a result of that television appearance and of course we have had lots of recognition by members of the public when we have been out and about. It has seen us get more and more opportunities to extend our service to the public and now people ask us to help them with their shopping by offering tips. We gladly do.
Series two of the programme started and we were asked back on the programme! Of course, we said yes. Have a look at some of the photos.
I think was our second filming day with Kelly, our friendly rival on the show
What an eventful year it has been! We have met so many wonderful people, been to so many different places in the UK and have been able to help many families understand the importance of shopping frugally and helping them to save money for major purchases. The eight-part series has just ended. In the end, we won four of the challenges and our very friendly rival won four. We don’t see it as us having lost 4 but rather as us teaching her how to shop frugally so much so that she is now perfect competition for us.
If you are interested in starting a blog, go for it. Let nothing stop you. I can truly attest that the blogging course from Elite Blog Academy has definitely helped us in starting ours. It is now a lot more expensive than when we started out, but there is also a course called Turn Your Dreams Into Money by a UK blogger which costs much less and also much easier to follow. We have had the opportunity of looking it over and it is really in depth yet goes step by step. It is easy to understand as long as you do the steps whilst you do the course. If money is no object, then go for Ruth Soukup’s course. As frugal lifestyle bloggers, we definitely recommend Emma Drews course.
A parting note, the programme is going to be on for a third series, and guess what? We are on! Wish us well!
You should never give up on your dreams and never settle for less either. Just look at us! It was a real leap of faith to let go of the certain salary of a teaching job. But God has provided, and He always will.