As I’m writing this now it’s hard to believe that it has been one year already that we started this blog! We are celebrating our first anniversary! Honestly, it doesn’t seem so long that we got on to the fun, exhilarating, breath taking and sometimes scary ride. Truth be told, we would do it all over again. Of course there are a few things we would do differently.
When we started this blog in January 2016 we didn’t know it would take us through so many highs, nor so many lows. Here are some of the highlights of the year as well as some of our projections for the first quarter of 2017. Before I forget, thanks for coming with us on this ride.
The blogging course Elite Blog Academy has taught us so much. Most of what we know is from this course. We can strongly recommend it and can’t wait to start version 3.0. Although we have not completed the course yet, we are more than happy with what it has helped us to achieve. If you would like to start your own blog, you can check out these posts. If you do have questions about any aspect of blogging, don’t hesitate to ask us. We would be only too happy to help. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lemon Challenge
One of the fun things we embarked on last year was to have a challenge with our subscribers on the blog. The lemon challenge forced us to face challenges with a positive mental attitude. There were daily activities to do for 7 days and these left us feeling better about ourselves, which was the aim of the challenge. The most remarkable thing that happened for me as a result of doing the challenge was getting in touch with others we had not communicated with in a long time. Thank goodness I started the blog or perhaps this would not have happened.
Refocus and changing niche
The blogging course we did encouraged us to actually think about and decide on a particular focus for the blog. At first we wanted to blog about any and everything, all headed towards living a happy life no matter what lemons were thrown at us. This decision was made after careful thought and consultation with the followers we had at the time. So now, we have embraced and are sharing our passion of being frugal lifestyle blogger. We share how to make money, pay off debt, and tips for frugal living. Some of our popular posts in this niche have been Tips Taking Care of Your Personal Finances and These tips for Making Money using your computer.
We have found the blogging community to be quite friendly and acquaintances are made quite easily. As a result of this warm community, we have been able to write guest posts on other people’s blogs and have received posts on our blog from others too. There’s a nice feeling when you actually see your own writing somewhere else on the internet! It’s like making a dress and finding some celebrity or royalty wearing it!
We have been able to be a part of an amazing mastermind group with some amazing female bloggers. A mastermind group is useful for giving tips and advice, encouragement, and even a proper telling off when you need it. With our group, we have a good laugh together but we are also serious about doing better and share our ideas with each other.
From bloggers to authors
One of the things we have always wanted to do was to write a book. Ever since we were little, we’ve read a lot and it was just natural that we thought we should write a book of our own. Well we finally did it! At fifty years old, we published our very first book Living life While Squeezing Lemons. It has been a culmination of hours of writing, proofreading, editing and so on. As a birthday gift to ourselves we had our book launch for the Kindle edition of our book on December 22. It was a hectic and fun day which allowed us to connect with some of our readers, subscribers, family and friends. The paperback version is also available on Amazon.
This little book makes me swell up with pride and has been such a source of help to so many. Look out for our next book which we will hopefully have ready by the summer of 2017.
The blogging world is friendly but also quite competitive. There will always be sites with things that we prefer to our own. This caused us to change the look several times and each time it cost us money to have success with what we want. It’s disheartening to see your site in a complete mess when you try to make changes in the background and those changes don’t work. It’s always best to get a professional to do this and we learnt this the hard way several times. Although we are still not completely happy with everything, we are content with it at the moment. Several times throughout the year, we found out that our site hosts failed us. As a result we have move to Siteground and we couldn’t be happier with them. You should definitely check them out if you want to start a blog.
Revenue from the blog
Although we didn’t start off the blog as a money making venture, the blogging course we took showed us how easily this could be done. So we are pleased to report that we have made some money through our book, sponsored posts, ad placements and affiliate links on the blog. This year we will be more focused on monetization strategies so that will be our secondary motivation and will compensate us for the hours we spend blogging daily. We will however, only promote products/services that we use and or enjoy and would recommend.
Plans and Proposals
We will make plans in the first quarter of 2017 to do an ‘in person’ book launch and book signing, perhaps at our local community centre or library. Watch this space and we will let you know how it goes.
The next book
We are currently preparing the content for our next book which we would like to get ready for the summer of 2017. It will be based on our new focus of frugal living and we are excited for what the future has in store in this regard. We will definitely add content that will benefit others in their quest for financial independence and for helping their children along these lines too.
We have been so impressed with Ruth Soukup’s blogging course 2.0 that we have decided to go through the 3.0 version as well. This course, we are hoping, will help us to monetize the blog more, have a more cohesive look, reach a wider audience and grow our subscriber list.
So as we celebrate this anniversary, we want to encourage you to consider blogging if you are not already doing this. The benefits far outweigh the scary bits. It has been an amazing year and we are really looking forward to next year on Penny Pinchers’ Paradise. Do join us on the ride, won’t you?