I can’t believe that I’m sharing that Canadian Budget Binder earns more money each month than I did at my first job in Canada.
I recently decided to let my readers interested in starting a blog learn more about the process.
That’s not to say that my process for starting a blog is the same as other bloggers, so bear with me.
Baby Steps For Starting A Blog
For those new to my starting a blog series, I want you to know I’m taking baby steps.
Think about budgeting and how intense of a process it would be if I wrote everything about the topic in one blog post?
Related: How To Budget 10 Step Mini-Series
It would be overwhelming, and they would close this post and move on for some people.
It would help if you didn’t go anywhere because I almost did the same thing when starting a blog.
Looking back, I lost thousands of dollars because I dropped into the blogging world like a bomb.
I thought blogging was simple, and I was wrong because you’ll work hard to get your foot off the ground.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it like some other bloggers do to earn affiliate income from you.
It’s a case of either you want to blog, or you don’t, end of the story.
In other words, after starting a blog, it takes time for someone to see you and want to learn from you.
Part-Time Blogging Income For CBB
Today, I blog part-time, writing and updating the blog and earning a five-figure yearly income that I never imagined possible.
By part-time, I mean each blog post takes me up to 8 hours to research, plan, write and create.
I say I work part-time, but in reality, I’m working two full-time jobs because I love blogging.
There are many successful finance bloggers that I know as we as food bloggers who earn millions blogging.
I’m not that person because I still work full-time, which requires more time than I have at the moment.
The significant part about starting a blog is that it’s back up income in the case of an emergency.
It’s also a legacy that we can leave to our son, who may one day take over and share his journey.
Reasons For Starting A Blog
Why do you want to blog?
I started a blog to find an outlet where I could share my passion for finance and food.
When you work and have a family, it’s nice to have sacred things for only you.
For example, besides blogging, I like to read, work out and search the web to learn more about blogging.
The part that resonates with my readers is that we did have debt, we never won the lottery, no one gave us a dime.
We worked hard for every dollar that helped us pay off our house in 5 years while maxing out our investments.
That was not easy, but we led a frugal life and started a blog that earned extra cash.
If you don’t know why you want to blog, perhaps sitting down with a piece of paper and writing it out might help.
That’s what I did.
Below is the actual piece of paper that we worked on in 2012 before the blog began.
It was part of the process that I learned about in the Blogging For Dummies book.
I’m not sure why I kept this piece of paper, but I was proud of myself and still am at the time.
I can safely say that since 2012 I’ve pretty much touched on all of the topics I was brainstorming in this photo.
What’s funny is that many blog posts come from experiences, either personal or from other sources.
Blogging is not a cut-and-dry type of industry.
Is Blogging Hard ?
Do you understand blogging?
When Canadian Budget Binder met the world in 2012, I made many mistakes I had only learned about many years later.
To blog is to share personal experiences, reader experiences, professional tips and have an open platform to feel safe.
The only part of blogging I had considered when I started Canadian Budget Binder was,
- Am I doing this right?
- What if no one reads my blog?
As you’ve just read, I barely scratched the surface about why I wanted to blog and focused on the negative.
To be a blogger doesn’t mean you will be successful; however, I am proof that you can do it by building a community of like-minded people.
You must be positive, optimistic, realistic and be present when you start a blog.
I know not all blogs are happy blogs, but my point is that you have to envision yourself on a stage with a microphone.
- How do you want your listeners to see you?
- What will your listeners learn from you? There has to be some value in what you write about for your subscribers to want keep coming back.
- Do you want them to listen to what you have to say?
- Is the topic you are discussing relatable to the blog and the subscribers who come to read it?
- Have you researched your topic before you present it to your audience?
Time Needed To Blog
Have you the time to commit to a blog?
Oh my goodness, you could blog forever and ever if you don’t set your priorities straight.
Creating a blogging plan is critical so you know when you begin and when you should end.
My blogging schedule is relatively simple as I blog three days a week plus a bi-weekly newsletter and frugal recipe.
Since Covid-19, blogging has been challenging for me as I was working from home.
The cherry on top was that our son was online learning which meant my schedule was everywhere.
Once you finish your blog post and hit publish, there are always things you can do to update your blog.
Recently, I’ve been going back and adding SEO to old blog posts, adding information and making sure I get the two green dots on SEO Yoast.
SEO Yoast is a plugin for your blog, which I will talk more about in another post.
It’s a free service; however, they have Yoast Pro, a premium service offering even more tools for $89 a year.
Yoast makes sure that your blog post follows SEO standards, and you’ll either get a green light for “Readability” and “SEO” or red light, which means your post has issues.
Business Blog Or Personal Blog
Do you have money for a blog start-up?
If you want to start a personal blog as a hobby, definitely use wordpress.com as it’s the best free platform available and easy to use.
This is where I first started Canadian Budget Binder in 2012 after reading Blogging For Dummies.
Before you begin blogging, ask yourself whether you want a blog that is a hobby or one where you plan to earn passive income.
If you can establish this from the start, it will make the entire process of starting a blog more accessible.
However, if you want to monetize your blog go straight to wordpress.org and begin your journey.
How To Find A Domain Name Before Starting To Blog
I was a dummy and sometimes still feel like one because there is always something to learn about CBB.
By that time, I had already known what I wanted to call my blog,
Since finance and food were two topics I loved to talk about, Canadianbudgetbinder sounded appropriate.
The binder encompasses all aspects of life where money can affect you financially.
Think, Food, Retirement, Debt Reduction, Budgeting and so on.
Moving forward, I registered my domain name with WordPress and away I went.
If you want to own a domain name, it’s best to check the name availability and then purchase it.
I chose a .com, but you can also go for a .ca to let your readers know you are Canadian.
I thought my blog name was pretty obvious, so I went with www.canadianbudgetbinder.com.
Buying and registering your domain name makes your business look professional rather than just a hobby blog.
Once you own your domain name, you pay a yearly fee, your self-hosting fee, and an email subscription service with Mailerlite.
Overall, these three expenses are close to $300 Canadian each year.
From there, I registered my site with the Google Search Console, so I had access to blogging resources.
Plus, if you are blogging, you can claim various business expenses on your income tax return.
Keep all receipts that are related to your blog and document everything, including your income and expenses.
How To Write A Blog Post
Blogging in my early days, I went a bit crazy writing every day but nothing near what it should have been.
I’ve since learned it’s better to write a well-researched article twice a week instead of doing a blog dump.
When writing a story, it should have a beginning, middle and ending.
A similar process applies to a blog post; however, there are rules when writing a blog post.
Although I knew about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I didn’t utilize it.
If you want what you write to be recognized by Google or other search engines, you must implement SEO.
By doing so, you may see your blog post on the first page of Google for the search term you used.
For example, if I used the word “blog” as my keyword in the title of this post, I could do a keyword search with Google Adwords or SemRush.
SemRush is what I use for this blog as well to find long-tail keywords and worth every dollar.
A long-tail keyword is more than just one word, such as Starting A Blog.
SEMrush is an excellent SEO research tool that will take your blog from the back of Google to the front window.
Optimization means money, so don’t leave money on the table.
Once you’ve done this, you can start to write your blog post, which I will explain in another blogging series post on CBB.
Search Engines and Social Media
Yes, Pinterest is a search engine and not social media, as many people believe.
My advice is to set up accounts with social media relevant to your blog and various search engines.
Search engines will crawl your blog looking for keywords that people are searching on the web.
If you follow SEO correctly, you may find your blog post front and centre, so people first click on your blog post.
Hardly anyone searches past the third page when doing a Google search for a topic.
For example, if you open Google and put in “Scanning Code of Practice,” you’ll see Canadian Budget Binder on the first page.
I have quite a few keywords sitting on the first page of Google, which helps send traffic to CBB.
Monetizing When Starting A Blog
Starting a blog for business is what I didn’t do because I didn’t know.
A few years into blogging, I started to build my email list, and that’s when things began to happen.
Yes, blogging is profitable IF you do it the right way to create a successful blog.
That was when WordPress.com approached me about monetizing my free WordPress blog.
I was totally up for it but didn’t realize the benefits of starting my blog on a self-hosted WordPress platform.
When I decided to leave WordPress com to go self-hosted, I had made my first one-hundred dollars.
The only pitfall when you start a self-hosted blog and monetize it is that your income fluctuates.
Ideally, you will want to see your blog income increase monthly but it will never be the same.
Currently, I do not earn even close to what I make at my full-time job but perhaps one day I will.
Choosing A Host To Start A Blog
I started self-hosting with Blue Host, which is cheap and perfect for beginners in the blogging world.
For only $3.95 each month, if you click on the banner below and use my link.
From there, I’ve been with Big Scoots for at least five years, and they are simply the best host.
In late 2013 I had hired someone to move my blog from WordPress to self-hosted.
I also had him design a new theme for the blog as I’m useless with that stuff.
I believe I paid him USD 500 for the complete make-over back then, but then he just disappeared.
It’s safe to say he’s on my “don’t hire him” list.
Then I found Sara from Moonsteam Designs, who I’ve paired with to take care of the blog.
It was a weight off my shoulders, and although it costs a bit of money, it’s worth it for business bloggers.
Making Money Starting A Blog
These are the two most frequently asked questions that I get when looking for advice on starting a blog.
- Do I want to make money blogging?
- How much money can I make with a blog?
Anywhere from $0 to millions of dollars is my answer because it’s a simple truth.
There is no easy answer; however, you may hit the jackpot if you have a topic people want to learn.
In this case, you want people to subscribe to your blog and follow your journey, almost like a soap opera,
Although this blog is authentic life, and there are no millionaires splashing money around.
Yes, you can make money starting a blog, but it won’t happen overnight.
These days it’s not unusual for CBB to earn up to $1200 for writing a blog post for a company.
I earn five figures every year with Canadian Budget Binder, although that’s a topic for another day.
Protecting Your Blog
Lastly, if you power your blog with a self-hosted WordPress site, consider protecting your blog with Jetpack.
If you are on the free WordPress.com site, Jetpack is built into the website, although you don’t get all the self-hosted paid features.
What is Jetpack?
Jetpack is a paid plugin for wordpress.org and the single tool to help with your website design, traffic growth, and security.
I used to use Vault Press to protect Canadianbudgetbinder until it became one with Jetpack.
The cost was reasonable, and I wanted to make sure my blog had levels of security.
Is Jetpack worth it?
Well, if you want your blog to get backed up in real-time and have tools to increase growth and cool blog designs, then I’d say it’s worth it.
For $7 a month for the first year, you’ll be reassured to never lose a word, image, page, or time worrying about your site with automated backups & one-click restores.
- Automated daily backups (off-site)
- One-click restores
- Unlimited site storage
What I will say is that blogging is meeting your readers virtually and perhaps never in person.
Not everyone will resonate with what you are right and have their opinions, and that’s ok.
Don’t be afraid of feedback as long as it’s constructive and adds value to your life.
In all of my years of blogging, I’ve only encountered three jerks who treated me unkind.
Recently a reader called me out on a text error, and it is not an excellent way.
It upset her day that I forgot a letter in a word that is hard for me to understand.
There are many reasons why media, whether newspapers, magazines and other print media, make mistakes.
They are human, and computers make mistakes.
I use Grammarly Pro to proofread my post, but even sometimes, it can miss things.
It happens, and life goes on, but I’d certainly recommend it to everyone who owns a blog.
Grammarly Instant Spelling And Grammar Checker
So, understand that someone may have a bad day, or a blog post hit them differently than you intended.
Take the good with the bad (hopefully lots better) and continue to thrive and reach the readers who want to help, listen and care about offering suggestions instead of harsh criticisms.
Starting a blog is a fantastic gift to give yourself, so think optimistic and be realistic at the same time.
Until the next part in the How-To Blog mini-series, have a read of the discussion below and let’s move on to the next step.
For more information, check out my page, “How To Start A Blog Resources.”
Other posts in the how-to blog mini-series to read are as follows;
Discussion: What other questions would you like me to answer about blog considerations? Leave me your questions below.
Thanks For Stopping By.
P.S Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder and join thousands of other readers who want to understand finance, frugality and food in one spot.