One Month Into Blogging – What’s It Like?

It’s been one month after I took the dive into blogging on March 21, 2017.

I started Frugal Asian Finance after 12 years of hesitation, fear, and debate.

I was afraid I’d lose momentum, that I’d run out of things to talk about, or that I’d be too busy to write anything and then abandon my blog like I’d done before.

Well, it’s been a month since I started blogging, and I’m happy to report that my blog is still up and running far beyond my expectations.

1. I couldn’t sleep during the first week.  

I have an 8-5 job, so the only time I can write posts is the evening on weekdays, usually from 8 to 10:30 PM, and on the weekends.

Prior to blogging, after work I’d talk to Mr. FAF and Baby FAF, do some light reading online, and watch videos on Youtube. It was a good way to unwind at the end of the day.

However, now I just churn out blog posts every day. Sometimes I’d write 2,000 words before going to bed.

Staying so focused to write consistent content made me super alert.

My brain was in working mode and refused to shut down for sleep right away. I’d toss and turn for an hour before I can eventually fall asleep.

In the morning, I’d wake up an hour or two before the alarm, thinking about my blog. I tried not to do that, but my brain wouldn’t listen to me.

Needless to say, it was an exhausting first week, and the sleeplessness went on until now. But I still felt happy about the progress of my blog.

2. No more window shopping on the weekends

Before Frugal Asian Finance, I’d spend at least 2 hours walking to the mall near my house and window shop to kill time on the weekends. I reasoned that it was my workout to feel productive, but I’d still feel unproductive afterwards since I got nothing done.

Now besides the usual cleaning and meal prepping on the weekends, I’d sit at my computer and write nonstop. On the second weekend, I wrote eight blog posts (800-1,000 words/each). It’s an equivalent of 6,400-8,000 words or 13-16 single-space pages full of words.

I know it’s the quality that counts, but if there’s no quantity, there’s no quality. In other words, if I didn’t produce anything, then I’d have no content to show.

At one point, I felt so out of touch with reality since I was so engrossed in my blog. I called Mr. FAF and told him I felt like I was living in another world. But all those feelings went away the next day I went to work: back to reality.

3. I have more to write about than I thought. 

I don’t know if it’s because I’m just starting out. But once I started the blog, ideas came flooding to my mind. I think about what to write in the shower, on my way to work, before I go to bed, when I eat lunch: pretty much any time I can.

I have a draft email in my Gmail titled “Ideas” where I jot down all the new ideas or titles for a new posts. When I get home, I’d look at the list and choose what to write. However, I usually end up writing about a completely different idea, depending on my mood and what I’m interested in at the time.

Once I have an idea, I’ll start typing away. Before I know it, the post already has 500, 800, and then 1,000 words. It’s just so different from writing papers for a class or writing reports for work. The writing comes so naturally to me that I don’t even have to think much in advance.

I have an idea. I sit down at my computer. And I just start typing my thoughts away. It makes me feel productive and happy knowing I’m producing a useful product for myself and hopefully others.

4. When to publish a post is important. 

Even though I can churn out 2 blog posts a day or 8-10 on the weekends, I don’t want to overwhelm the reader or my subscribers. I started doing some research on when to publish my posts.

Apparently, the best time to publish for the most traffic is 11 AM on Monday. I started scheduling 2 posts for the week (one on Monday and the other on Friday). But I felt like it was such a long wait, and there weren’t many posts on my blog yet, so I decided to post three times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 AM.

I want to publish early before people start working since they might want to start their day with something fun before diving into the workload. I myself read some blog posts before starting my workdays, especially towards the end of the week when the work frenzy is subsiding.

5. Marketing is important.

During the first 10 days, I had no visitors and no views. But I wasn’t disappointed. I just started my blog, so of course Google wouldn’t rank my blog very high (or at all?) yet.

I had a strategy in mind. Reflecting on my own experience of how I found other bloggers, I decided to start commenting on other blogs after 2 weeks of building the content on my site.

Drawing traffic to a blog with 5 posts will not appeal to the reader. I’ve been one of those visitors and never returned to a blog that had only 1-3 posts. I’m not a snob, but if there’s not much info for me to look at yet, I will not want to do any more digging on that site.

I originally commented on any blog posts I found interesting no matter how old they were. But then I realized commenting on a new post, and especially being the first to leave feedback, helps draw traffic a great deal.

I wouldn’t leave random comments without actually reading the posts (a.k.a spamming) since it would affect my blog’s reputation and irritate the bloggers and their readers.

I’m looking into Pinterest as a platform to reach a wider audience. But to be honest, it’s been a bit frustrating trying to navigate that platform and learn how to promote my blog posts on Pinterest.

Conclusion

Starting a blog alone may not be difficult. But having the right design, content, and marketing strategies is a totally different story for me.

It took me at least 5 hours to figure out how to put a Subscribe box on my site and link it to MailChimp to store subscribers’ email addresses.

However, those are all the technical add-ons that I just need to deal with once (hopefully!). The soul of my blog is the content and how I present it. That I like to produce.

Blogging has made me lose sleep at night. But it’s made me feel more productive, happy, and hopeful about the future when my blog can grow so much more.

And one more thing: I really want to attend FinCon one day to meet other like-minded bloggers. I won’t be able to attend this year, but next year is a possibility. I just can’t wait!



14 thoughts on “One Month Into Blogging – What’s It Like?”

  • I started promoting my blog the same day I launched it 😀 I was so excited I couldn’t wait! Granted, I had 4 posts prepared for the launch, so I didn’t “lure” visitors to a completely empty website.

    You may have been blogging for 1 month only, but you’re doing a great job! Congrats on finding the time to prioritize your new project 🙂

    • Hi Adriana, I’m glad you were so proactive in promoting your blog. I think part of the reason why I waited was because of fear. I was afraid people wouldn’t want to go back to my site. But sometimes you just need to take the plunge (with some prep) and see where it takes you.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot to a newbie blogger like me! 🙂 I just visited your blog and was really impressed by the layout and the amount of great info that you have. ^.^

    • Hi Adriana,

      I just checked out your blog and as ms FAF said, it looks great.

      But can I ask you why you haven’t set up an about page?
      I think your readers really would like to know who you are and more importantly, why you’ve setup your blog.

      It’s one of the best ways of connecting with your readers. And especially if you want people to hire you.

      But I do love the layout of your blog.

      • Thank you, Chris!
        I’ve been meaning to create the about page, I kept postponing it for so long, it’s embarrassing! Thanks for giving me a heads up, I promise to make time to create one ASAP!

        I also have a question for you: your website says you’ll be launching soon, but meanwhile, I don’t see an opt in form. Why not attempt to build an email list right away, so you could remind people of your website the minute you launch it? 🙂

        • This is a great idea! I was also going to sign up for Chris’s blog but didn’t see a subscription box. I’d love to see one too!

  • hi ms faf,

    First of all, congrats on your blog launch.
    I can imagine how busy you are with creating content and engaging with other people.

    Where in Asia were you coming from? My wife lives in Bangkok and my goal is to go live there in the near future.
    My goal is to start my blog, build an online business around it so I can move and live in Thailand. It’s a big goal, I know that. But without dreams, where would we be, right?

    To go into the number of posts, personally I think it doesn’t really matter whether you’ll come out with 5, 10 or just 1 post. As you’ve noticed in the early stages of your blog, you will not have that many visitors to begin with.

    Only by posting consistent and actually build your community and engage with them, will make your blog grow.

    Keep up the great work.

    Chris

    • Hi Chris, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m originally from Vietnam. I think it’s a great idea to build an online business around your blog so that you can be location-independent. I’ve read some blogs of people who live in Asia where it’s much cheaper than the US and still live a very comfortable life. And since they travel a lot, they also create amazing content on their blog. I’m sure you will do a great job with your blog too!

      You’re right about the number of posts. I think I was also a bit apprehensive about people checking out my blog and never coming back since there’s no much content on the site. When I first started writing my blog without leaving feedback on others, I literally had no visitors other than myself when I wasn’t logged in, which I knew not to do after a week to keep track of real traffic.

      I plan to post 3 times a week (Mon-Wed-Fri), so I hope it will help me keep the readers interested. Thanks again for dropping by my blog! 🙂

      • You’re more than welcome for me coming over to your blog and thanks for actually responding to my comment ms faf.

        I know it’s the right thing to respond to your comments, but unfortunately, not everyone understands that.

        I love meeting new bloggers and interact with them and learn from each other.

        Have you already setup google analytics? Because you can exclude yourself from the analytics to keep your tracking on point.

        I’ve put your blog under my favorites and will keep my eyes out for your new posts.

        xoxo Chris

        • I was sooo happy to hear that my blog is now one of your favorites. I was already glad that you actually read what I wrote and even left amazingly supportive comments. Thank you! 🙂

          I’ve been using Jetpack to track my traffic and will publish a Blog Traffic Report early May. I just started Google Analytics 2 days ago (I know -_-). I will be using it for the traffic reports for May onward.

          I look forward to your blog launching and reading your posts! ^.^

  • Hi FAF

    Didnt know you were from Vietnam.

    I am from Indonesia working at Singapore at the moment. Hope to see more of your great posts around 🙂

    • Hi Brian, thanks for dropping by my blog! It’s great to know you. I will keep posting more updates, so stay tuned 😉

  • You’re doing really well. Keep at it. If you have a lot to share, then go ahead and post 3 times per week. You can always cut back later.
    It’s pretty amazing what you cut back on when you start blogging. I used to do a bunch of unproductive stuff, but now most of my free time is spent on the blog.

    • Hi Joe, it’s always great to see your comment! I definitely started to slow down after the first 3 weeks. Now I write a new blog post every 2 days or so. I think I’m getting a bit burned out after 3 weeks of typing thousands of words every night. But there’s no doubt this is something I still enjoy doing.

      Blogging helps me feel productive and express my thoughts in writing. And seeing few comments from the readers just makes me ecstatic and motivated to write more! ^.^

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