Literally 1 year ago today, I released my first blog – A shoe isn’t “just a shoe”, the trap of emotional spending.
And what a year it has been.
I wanted to mark the occasion by writing about how it has all gone so far and perhaps lay out a few “home truths” about blogging and what it entails.
Where the idea came from
When I turned 30, I had something of a late “quarter life crisis”. I came to the realisation that my career was not what I thought it was, and that I was broke. I had a decent job, but nothing really to show for it, and I was living the paycheck to paycheck cycle (barely).
In this year, I quit my job and went travelling for 5 months (using some savings, but a lot of credit). I think I was “running away” from my problems temporarily, and it was a fun way to do it, but I remember distinctly sitting in a hammock in Fiji (sorry if this sounds so pretentious yaah) and thinking to myself that enough was enough. I said to myself that when I get home I’m doing whatever it takes to be debt free and stop all the negativity and stress I’m experiencing around money.
What Happened Next?
Fast forward around 18 months, and a few changes had taken place. I had:
- a £1000 emergency fund
- a buffer of money in my account at all times
- paid off several debts, including my overdraft (but not debt free entirely)
- started investing in the stock market
- curbed my emotional spending habits
- moved out of London to be with my boyfriend and to live a much cheaper lifestyle
- changed career path and decided to learn to become a GP
During this 18 month journey, I started to notice money problems in my patients and in the staff around me. There was no shortage of tales from professionals who were earning decent incomes but didn’t seem to have anything to show for it. I heard on the news about midwives and nurses using foodbanks. Patients were telling me they couldn’t have time off of work to recover due to financial commitments. I kept reading about how our retirement funds are not as good as our parents and grandparents. It was all pretty negative stuff!
And it got me thinking.
Community doctors are in a position to be helping with this problem. We are often consulted by patients when things are going wrong – money stress is a BIG problem for mental health in our society, and where do patients go for help? That’s right; their GP.
So I decided to start blogging about what I have learnt and became the first UK doctor (to my knowledge) to do this.
This is just the first step!
The community I’ve built (so far)
In the past 365 days, I’ve met some amazing people. Through the UK money bloggers I have gained a wonderful network of like-minded individuals and partners. I even got the chance to be on local radio through them after meeting Catherine Morgan of the Money Panel. They have been a great source of support, and hopefully will continue to be so moving forward.
Through building a Facebook community alongside the blog, I have made some lovely (and hopefully lifelong) friends. I met two of them in South Africa this year, and they continue to support me online too. I’m finding more and more people who are in a similar situation to me, and who I am helping to see their money clearly and break free from the negative cycles they are in.
Online, I’m now getting to know money-blogging communities across the world, and competed in my first “Rockstar Rumble”, gaining 8th position overall out of over 260 blog articles. I’ll be going to Orlando in September to network with money bloggers in the US after winning one of 20 scholarships to the huge FinCon event. I absolutely cannot wait (and of course I’ll share the details with you!)
I look forward to seeing who I meet over the next 365 days!
Some facts about my blog
While feeling slow, my blog is starting to gather traction. I’ve gone from 0 readers to 20-30 people coming through every day (some days are more when an article of mine is feature somewhere with a large readership). This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it blows my mind that my blog is attracting people at all, let alone this many of them! I hope this continues and I can reach many more individuals seeking to improve their money habits.
After 365 days, I now have nearly 100 posts on my site (in fact, this post is number 99) and I have had over 23,000 views. These views are from over 10,000 visitors.
In blog terms, it’s small, but it’s growing, and I love every person who passes through it!
So the last thing I wanted to talk about was a few blogging myths that people might be thinking. Blogging seems to be the “side hustle” that is the holy grail for bringing in an extra income. And yes, for some people it absolutely is helping them to live a lifestyle of their dreams.
Blogging IS NOT an easy or quick way to make money (but it is fun!).
It takes effort and consistency of posting at least once a week, if not more. Even then, this is not enough. You need to build a minimum stream of traffic (people visiting) to your site in order to have advertising agencies interested in working with you (in order to be able to make any money!). Companies won’t even look at you until you have x-number of social media followers either. And unless you learn how to successfully bring in the kind of visitors you need, you won’t make a lot of money initially. Even when you achieve this, the money gained from advertising is small, so other sources of income need to be thought about (such as affiliate marketing, but even this requires traffic).
This can feel frustrating and overwhelming to say the least!
And when do you find the time to blog? I work a 9-5 job, and I refuse to work at weekends on it when my boyfriend is not at work, so that leaves me with early morning or late at night. I get up at 5-5.30 am every day because I write best in the morning.
Blogging is not for the faint hearted if you want to turn it into a business idea. But if you want to run it as a hobby, then there are plenty of ways to create your blog for free.
Finally, I read somewhere that it takes 3-5 years of solid effort before an online business will get to where you want it to be. So you need the staying power to do this. What you write about needs to be something you’re passionate about or you’ll give up at the first hurdle!
Some people may well disagree with me on this, but this has been my experience so far.
If you’re interested, I’m learning from Emma Drew using her course: “Turn Your Dreams Into Money”. She has very kindly given my readers a discount code – FEMALEMONEYDOCTOR which gives you £50 off. The code can also be applied to her other course “How To Smash Affiliate Marketing As A UK Blogger” and this will get you £5 off. Just so you know, I do get a commission if you sign up to her courses, but it doesn’t bear any extra cost for you.
Blogging is fun, but it can be frustrating. It requires a lot of learning if you want to grow it seriously. But so far, I think it’s worth putting in the effort!
So there you have it, my blog is one year old today! Happy birthday to the female money doctor – long may it continue and I’ll be writing about turning 2 this time next year!
Thank you so so much for all your support so far. Without you there is no blog or community, so for that I am truly grateful.
Until next time.
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Every week I'll send you something inspiring, useful and fun related to our favourite m-word.....MONEY! I look forward to "meeting" you. Love, Dr Nikki x