Final Post! What I’ve Learned? What’s Next?
No, the title isn’t just for click bait. This will be the final post here on LifePrepCouple. It has been a fun journey and huge learning experience but it is time to move on. We started this blog in April of 2016 with all the hope that we were going to be this wildly successful, millions of readers per month blog. Well, that didn’t exactly happen but a ton of good stuff has happened because of this blog.
What I Loved About Blogging?
1. Self Accountability
I primarily, started the blog to help others. Maybe that is to motivate them to lose a couple pounds, help them chose the right major in college, or to get out of debt. What I didn’t know was how much blogging was going to help me.
The self-accountability that comes from blogging has been a game changer. Even though we only get around 1,500 page views per month and have 32 subscribers (what up ya’ll) I felt like the world was watching me. If I’m going to preach about the importance of saving and investing I damn well better be doing it too. If I make a post about my goals for 2017 I better at least achieve most of them (for the most part I did. Except the Spanish thing :)).
2. The Community
It has been really nice getting to know some of the other bloggers out there. You don’t come to expect that people know how to be civil on the internet let alone nice. For the most part, everyone kind of understands the struggle and is just out there hustling too. You would think it would be a little more competitive but it has more of that “a rising tide raises all ships” kind of feel.
Big shout out to Erik at the Mastermind Within. He was one of the early readers and was nice enough to help me out with some formatting back then. AKA don’t just type a 1,000-word paragraph maybe add a header or two. Go check him out. He is constantly hustling and right now he is doing a cool 12 days of personal finance giveaway book.
Other bloggers that I have really enjoyed and who helped me along the way.
Lily at The Frugal Gene – Hilarious financial blogger with a serious talent for saving and using GIFs
Tim at Tub of Cash – Certainly not a guy who plays small. He will definitely motivate you to step your game up when it comes to goal setting and achieving success. And he gives away iPhones.
Rob at Mustard Seed Money – Guy has two kids, works full time and blogs three times a week. Tons of great tips every week about how to get out of debt and start saving like a boss.
What I Learned
1. Blogging is Hard Work
It is super easy to look at some of the wildly successful bloggers out there and think “what an easy job”. Just write a post here and there, link some shit on Amazon and boom get paid big bucks. What you didn’t see was the years of hard work that went into building that brand. The hours and hours pumping out great content for basically no pay for years.
I thought I could grow this blog into something pretty decent with about an hour/day of work. What I learned was that you probably need to spend more like 5-10 hours a day. At least in the beginning. I struggled to even get one post done every week only putting in an hour per day.
Getting your good quality posts up every week is just step 1. You gotta have a good website, interact with your readers, comment on other blogs, stay active on social media, do guest posts, make special content, hustle for subscribers, etc, etc…
2. Social Media Is Very Important
I had been completely off social media for years before starting this blog. As a consumer, you should stay off it too. It is wildly addictive, depresses you, sucks your time and will do nothing but get you in trouble if in a relationship.
However, if you are a producer you need to dominate at least one form of social media. I’m talking about focusing just as much energy on getting followers as you are on writing content. Don’t wait to get followers organically. You are only going to get a couple per week like that. Go out there a mass follow people, post constantly, comment, hashtag, DM people. Just pick one platform and hustle away until you have a gigantic following.
3. Narrow Your Focus – Go Niche
I personally love fitness, finances, philosophy, neuroscience and my family. However, blogging about all that stuff is way too broad. Looking back that was one of my biggest mistakes was not going after a Niche market. For the most part, people want to come to your blog scratch one specific itch. They are looking to get advice from an expert not, from some guy who knows a little a bit about a lot. Once you establish a good base of readers you could experiment with going a little broader but I don’t recommend starting that way.
Example, my two most popular posts which account for almost half of all my search engine hits (only about 2-5 per day) are…
Most of my regular readers probably don’t even know anything about either of those. That is what makes them great. You can’t find hardly any information on these two topics. They are very niche. You could honestly build a whole website off around either of those topics and really establish yourself as an expert.
4. Treat It Like A Business Not A Hobby
If you ever want to build a big following and make any money from blogging you have to get serious. I treated the blog more like a journal instead of business. I had no consistency to how often I posted, I never took any classes, never spent much time interacting on Twitter, had no real work schedule, no big projects, no real goals just kind of wishes. For the most part, my routine was to write/research for 30-60 minutes every morning. That’s it. I certainly don’t take this approach when it comes to my personal health, finances or my engineering work.
5. Holy Shit There Are A Lot Of Good Financial Bloggers
I had always felt like an absolute Money Juggernaut around my friends, family and, co-workers when it came to managing money. So I figured hell yeah I will teach the world about the magical Roth IRA and this thing called a budget. Well, it turns out that just because the average American is really stupid when it comes to money doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole bunch of really smart people out there.
I quickly realized that while I am way ahead of the curve I am straight getting my ass whipped by almost all of the successful money bloggers. Now, this worked out great personally because we are saving more and earning more because of what we’ve learned but I hardly feel qualified to position myself as an expert in this field.
So this blog didn’t work out as hoped but I struggle to even call it a failure because of how much we have learned and improved our lives. We are a looking at the world through a totally different lens now then we were two years ago. So what are we going to do now?
1. Theresa Is Quitting Her Six-Figure Job
That was going to be a fun post to write about. “When Six Figures Can’t Buy Happiness.” You always have these income figures and net worth figures in your mind. “Man, once I get to X then I will be all set.” “I’ll never want anything more if I could just get X.” Well, Theresa has made well into the six figures her last two years of work but isn’t happy. She is tired, overworked, and stressed about keeping up with her sales. This gets compounded when you have a child in daycare that you only see a couple hours per day.
We talked about it and figured there is really no chance of it improving either. Odds are you will continue to make more money but will be pushed to just keep working harder. Life is too short to spend so much time doing something that hurts your spirit regardless of money.
She is going to attempt to attempt to get some severance pay but she is going to be out of there by May 1st.
2. Theresa Is Starting Her Own Business
During Theresa’s pregnancy, she was frustrated at the lack of resources available to women in terms of working out and getting back in shape. A lot of the information is outdated and really only applies to the average woman who never works out. But what about the women out there who are athletes and want to run marathons and squat 200lbs? Not a lot out there for those people.
That is why Theresa is going to start a personal training business that focuses on pre and postnatal mothers. Still working on the details but she will take in person or online clients. Can train local clients out of our home gym or meet up for runs. Will, of course, have a website and a blog attached.
Everything that went wrong with LifePrepCouple should be able to go right with this. Her market is underserved and niche. She already has a decent Instagram following without even trying to. And she is going to have several hours per day to work on this (daughter will still be in daycare part of the day).
3. I’m Here To Help
While we transition Theresa out of her current job and get her business up and running I will just be playing the support role. Setting up a new budget, looking at tax implications, necessary insurance coverage, technical support, not getting fired, etc.
I have a few business ideas that I would like to start on but I think it better to wait for now.
Wrap Up / Goodbye
Like I said I hate to even call the blog a failure. It was a wonderful experiment that has taught me a lot. Even though it didn’t work out exactly how I would have chosen, I don’t have any regrets. My life has improved because of this so it is tough to have any negative feelings.
I wish all of you out there the absolute best in your journey and thank you so much reading!