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Have you ever wanted to start a business, but you can’t figure out what product or service to sell? I have. Multiple times.
I wanted to start my own business when I was a freshman in college.
I didn’t know what I’d do, but the desire to own and run my own company was burning inside me.
Over the years, life has taken me on a different path. That fire in me subsided until last year.
I liked my current job, but I wanted to do something on the side in the evenings and on the weekends.
Seeing how many bloggers have successfully built their sites, made a good income from their blogs, and become their own bosses gave me an eureka moment.
I decided to start my own blog and wanted grow it into a side business one day.
I contemplated starting a blog as a hobby for 12 years but never followed through with it. But this time, I will.
I didn’t start out intentionally searching for a niche I could fill. I started Frugal Asian Finance to fill a void I saw in the blogging community.
After more than two years of reading various personal finance blogs, I realized that there were not many female Asian bloggers out there.
Most bloggers I have come across are white. While I enjoy reading what they wrote, I feel like there’s still something missing. I want to see a blog I can relate to in terms of culture, tradition, upbringing, education, food, and the like.
Many blogs offer recipes for low-cost meals, but they’re more like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chili, and mashed potatoes, which are tasty but not what I’m used to eating every day. I want to see more frugal Asian meals and grocery hauls.
While Deb and Al at Saving The Crumbs offer great posts about their groceries, they’re strictly vegetarian, and I’m not. Even after I started blogging and found out about other Asian bloggers, their sites are more about early retirement and investment.
And most importantly, most of them are males. I am not sexist. I just want to see more tips from Asian wives and Asian moms who probably have experienced a similar upbringing as I did and face the struggles maybe unique to Asian females in America.
I want to see what Asian dishes they make to keep their groceries under budget. I want to see how they prepare for and celebrate the Chinese (Lunar) New Year instead of Christmas and the Mid-Autumn Festival instead of Halloween.
I Googled various key words such as “frugal Asian,” “frugal Asian man,” “frugal Asian woman,” “frugal Vietnamese,” “frugal Chinese,” and many other combinations but couldn’t find much. A lot of Asian-related blogs I found had gone defunct years ago.
When I decided to start my own blog about personal finance, I swore to myself that I’d include the two key words “frugal Asian” in the site name so that it’d be easier for other people to find my blog.
My first personal finance blog was named Frugal Asian Girl. I wanted the site name to capture the essence of what my blog is about: being frugal as an Asian female. It’s short, straightforward, and to the point.
However, setting up a blog wasn’t as easy as I thought. I wasn’t tech-savvy, so even linking the categories to the main menu was such a challenge. I picked a theme where I had to design my logo and upload it onto the site.
Having no graphic design background and not wanting to drop $35-50 on a designer, I made a simple and straight out unattractive logo in a Word document (yes, that’s right).
Discouraged by the whole ordeal and regretting the $120 spent on Bluehost service, I called up Customer Service to cancel the domain the next day.
I lost $11 from the cancellation but still felt happy about getting $110 back.
It wasn’t long until the blogging urge came back to me. I decided to give it a second chance. Unfortunately, the domain frugalasiangirl.com had been taken. Not wanting to spend $12 buying it, I I decided to pick another site name: Frugal Asian Finance.
I actually went back and forth between Frugal Asian Finance and Frugal Finance. While Frugal Asian Finance sounds like a great niche, it’s also a bit restricted. I didn’t want non-Asian readers to be discouraged from reading my blog.
I wanted to appeal to a large audience by writing about personal finance in a way that anyone can relate to me. However, when I looked at Frugal Finance, I didn’t see myself in it. I didn’t see what I saw was missing in the blogs I had read: a perspective on personal finance from an Asian female.
I eventually decided on Frugal Asian Finance. It also has a nice abbreviation (FAF) which I can use as my nickname (Ms. FAF) on the site.
The only thing that went wrong this time was a typo in the domain name. I set up the blog at 11:30 PM that night. I’m not sure if being sleepy was the reason, but I typed frugalasiangfinance.com. I added a “G” in between Asian and Finance and didn’t notice it until I got a confirmation email from Bluehost.
I called Customer Service, but no one answered. I called again the next day. An agent answered my call. Although I spelled out the name for him better by letter, he managed to make another typo by leaving out the N in Asian. When I found out about this mistake, I was so upset I called the company and cancelled the whole account.
Two months later, the blogging bug refused to leave me. I finally gave in. This time I told myself to check the domain name carefully and never cancel it ever again no matter what might happen. Frugal Asian Finance was born.
By reading other personal finance blogs, I’ve figured out what I like and don’t like about certain features (i.e. layout, pictures, topics, styles). I’ve tried to incorporate what I like into my own blogs, but it’s still a work in progress.
I didn’t realize until now that I was actually doing market research for my current blog and figured out a niche I could fill. I’ve also decided on the blogging style I want to pursue: keeping it personal with great tips along the way.
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