Things have been quiet on the blog the last month or so because I have had to prioritize my time. When I chose to take a teaching job for a few months, this was in addition to working with some student teachers. These jobs both give me service credit in the New York State Teachers Retirement System.
Since I have four years until I can start taking my pension, I am trying to maximize my service credit and hit a milestone of 30 years of service. Without hitting that milestone, I will earn about $14K less per year in retirement. But I’m also trying to earn credit while being able to travel, enjoy winters in Florida, and work only “seasonally” when we are in New York when school is in session.
And if you add in working with Amy from Life Zemplified to start two new websites since early March and you can probably see why I had to make choices about what I could get done and still get some sleep each night 😉
What are the websites? Women Who Money answers money questions in informational posts. We also post reviews of books, podcasts, apps, and various products we believe our readers will benefit from. We “level” our content to try to help readers no matter where they are on their money journey! We also have pages that include over 550 women’s personal finance blogs, podcasts, and personal finance businesses on the site. We control the content on Women Who Money and we strive to write evidence-based posts that readers can trust.
Our other site is Women’s Money Talk. We bought the two domains at the same time thinking that one site would be informational and the other site would be story-based. Amy and I curate women’s personal finance articles to be featured on Women’s Money Talk. We also have a great collaboration and share posts with Ty from Camp FIRE Finance! Check out our blog and podcast feed and scroll through the latest blog posts and podcasts by awesome ladies writing or talking in the personal finance space.
My Takeaways from Two Years of Blogging
Since I just realized last week was the two-year anniversary of my blog, I thought I’d take time to talk about what I’ve learned. I started my blog as a way to share what I learned about decision-making in my doctoral program. I wrote a number of posts that included a decision-making framework people could use as a model and I talked about how we used it numerous times to help make smarter decisions.
I also offered free coaching services to readers to help them make tough decisions when they were struggling with what to do. In two years, I volunteered time to help eight people. Some of the decisions I coached people on were making decisions about relocating, changing jobs or careers, and returning to school to further their careers.
It was awesome working with each person and I hope I brought value to their decision-making process. I’ve now decided to charge for my services after a free consultation. It’s nice to volunteer time when I have it but time is at a premium right now.
I’ve made a few hundred dollars on the blog from affiliate links from products I have used and recommend. This has covered my Siteground hosting costs and the fees from Sucuri to keep my website from being hacked again. And yes, those are affiliate links. You don’t pay more when you use a link but I get a small percentage of any purchase you might make or a small set affiliate fee.
There are some bloggers who are wildly successful and make thousands or tens of thousands of dollars each month. But if you are thinking that you can make money easily on your blog, you really need to think again. Is there a chance you could make it big in blogging? Sure. But I could have made thousands of dollars working a part-time job or put more effort into starting a business. But that’s not why I started it in the first place, so I’m pleased that it has paid for itself.
So how am I richer if I’m not really making any money?
My life is richer because of the people I’ve met and the places we’ve gone since I started the blog.
The first year I mainly wrote content, coached people, and tried to make sense of blogging. And I did that as I worked full-time – which didn’t leave much energy to do other things.
What’s really amazing is what has happened in the last nine months.
We traveled to Longmont, CO and attended the PopUp Business School at Mr. Money Mustache’s headquarters. We have 80 new PopUp friends from all over the country and a few other countries too! And I regularly talk to four women I met their as we work to define our businesses and futures. We’ve also met up with other PopUp attendees in Florida and in New York this winter and one of the cofounders of PopUp and his wife stayed with us for a few nights in Florida too.
Our Younger Next Year Facebook group was created because of Twitter discussion I was having with a PopUp attendee. Somehow I got into a conversation the PopUp friend and Jonathan Cheveraux – one of Canada’s leading financial gurus. He runs the Financial Independence Hub and has authored two books – Findependece Day and the Victory Lap. The second one he wrote with Michael Drak who is also in the YNY group. We went and met them both as we celebrated Jonathan’s 65th birthday last week – an OAS (Old Age Security) check party in Toronto! (A 3-hour drive for us.) Really terrific people with similar goals for the future – living as healthy as we can, for as long as we can. We also had another YNY FB member meetup in Florida this winter too! If you want to join a fun group, come and hang out online with us! We’re 465 members strong now too!
And we can’t forget the four days in Dallas at FinCon last October. I won’t name who we met and hung out with those days (because there is NO way to include everyone!) But they were one fine group of people! And after hanging out with them in person, I can tell you they were as great as they are online. We’ll be heading back to FinCon this year too. More fun times ahead!
One couple we missed at FinCon were the bloggers behind the awesome blog, Freeom is Groovy. They couldn’t make it so we dressed up to be them at the FinCon Halloween party! But we did catch up with them in person this spring on our drive back from Florida. And as you might have guessed, they’re pretty groovy people. I’m glad our path to Florida will take us right by their soon to be Groovy Ranch. I’m thinking we’ll be dropping by for some visits!
In addition to chatting with Amy a number of times most days about our two new websites, another blogger I message with often is “Penny” from She Picks Up Pennies. Penny is a teacher, so we certainly have a lot to talk about! And if you don’t follow her, you should. She is bright, articulate, caring, witty and she’s making a difference. You’d all be lucky to have a Penny in your circle of friends.
I’ll probably need to add a Part 2 to this when I realize I’ve missed some key people! That’s one of the problems with naming names. But it’s also the beauty of having SO many amazing experiences this last year.
If all of that happened in 9 months, what does the future hold? We can’t wait to find out!
So if I missed you – I apologize! And I hope you’ll forgive me because I’ve been writing this post for a week and I need to hit publish tonight. And I have to get up to teach at 5 am…. Six more school days and I’ll hopefully get back to posting here more frequently. But the kids come first right now. Priorities you know. They get the best me everyday because they deserve it.
More soon and I hope you are all well!
Photo Credit: dlritter@freeimages .com