What I have learnt from blogging so far?

So I have now been blogging for just over 3 months, what have I learnt?

Before I set up the blog, my biggest concern was having enough to write about and actually keep people wanting to come back. I knew I needed to write regularly, and so I set my public target as a minimum of 1 post per week, although I am trying to make it more like twice a week. Given the need for this volume of posts, I had decided I would start writing a bunch of posts before I even started creating the blog – if I struggled  to write enough then that would be a clear sign that maybe I shouldn’t try and start the blog. As it stands I still have a whole bunch more posts to go, and seem to get new ideas fairly regularly, so far so good!

Lesson 1: Be Prepared.

So no, I wasn’t ever a Boy Scout, I did know that I wanted to post at least once a week (my publically declared goal) in order to ensure that I had a steady flow of articles to keep people coming back to the site. As I didn’t know how much I would be able to or want to write, before even starting the blog I fired up a text editor and started writing stuff down, to see could I actually write or generate content? I knew I would have two guaranteed posts a month (Income / Expenses and Portfolio Performance) but would I find enough else to ramble about? The short answer so far seems to be yes!

Lesson 2: Don’t underestimate how much time is required

From all the blogs I have read I knew that this would need a reasonable amount of time to keep going (especially after starting to write stuff before I even started the blog) – and that continues to be the case. I’ve spent several hours this morning just writing up ideas, drafting posts, editing posts and generally getting things ready for the blog. I know this is now a regular commitment I need to make in order to keep the blog alive – and I need to guarantee I have the time to do it. I can’t commit to doing this during the week as my work life is so busy (including commuting time I can easily spend 12, 14 or even 16 hours a day in my work) so I need to ensure time is there.

I guess I am probably averaging between 6 and 8 hours a week on the blog, and I want to increase this to ensure I have plenty of material to post.

Lesson 3: Know why you are starting

Everyone has their own reason for starting a blog – if you are doing it for money then you shouldn’t start a blog! Why did I start? I have immensely enjoyed reading others blogs, and follow somewhere in the region of 40 (in itself fairly time consuming!). At present there seemed to be only a few in the UK, and only a couple that I knew of that were London (FirevLondon and Monevator – I think has a slight nod to London from time to time). I know just how expensive it can be in London and wanted to share my experience so that others can follow and realise that it is possible.

Granted, I could move somewhere else but I wouldn’t get the salary I do, nor the opportunities – and I don’t just mean work. Being able to pop into the British Museum or head to the Royal Albert Hall for a concert are real perks (I didn’t purchase one of the boxes that recently came on the market funnily enough!).

Lesson 4: Have thick skin!

One of the joys of being “on the internet” is that anyone can find your blog. I want to keep the conversation flowing so haven’t as yet turned on moderation in the comments and I really hope I never have to, but of course this means people can post anything they want, when they want. So far I haven’t had anything I would class as a bad comment which is good, but I am prepared because at some point I know it will inevitably happen.

Lesson 5: I’ve really enjoyed it!

I can honestly say I have really enjoyed it so far – now if that is just because I have changed my verbal diarrhoea from the pub to this online form then so be it – it is cheaper to sit at home with a bit of TV in the background, a mug of fresh coffee and my laptop. It’s pretty much free, as opposed to spending a reasonable amount of cash down the pub, so it’s also saving me money! I have no idea if people are enjoying it but I would like to think so!

What have you found about yourself since you started blogging? Or what is stopping you from starting a blog?

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Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

10 thoughts on “What I have learnt from blogging so far?”

  1. Hi FiL

    The 3 months have gone quickly, it didn’t seem that long ago when you had us all guessing at what your new blog name would be! 😉

    I’ve enjoyed reading so far – I’d say your life in London is very different from mine but I of course still identify a lot more with what you are talking about than say with FI blogs from the US or other countries.

    Glad you are enjoying the blogging. The main thing for me is the accountability of aiming towards my plans/goals when I post them up for all to see – this helps maintain motivation and focus. Readers’ comments also help with this too and also provide me with new ideas.

    None of my friends are looking to FIRE so the blog provides me an outlet to talk about what I’m doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Weenie,

      The time has definitely flown by – I can’t believe quite how fast it has gone, and so far the only challenge is making the time to ensure I do post something each week.

      Glad you are enjoying it – London is very different to most other places, but as with almost anywhere it can be as expensive or cheap as you want. This weekend was an expensive one as I was out quite a lot but I enjoyed it so I don’t mind!

      Yes – it is a good way to hold yourself to account for all to see, and keep things focused. I have to say I really do enjoy the comments as much being able to chat to people and bounce ideas back and forth.

      Only one or two of my friends are thinking of FIRE – but they don’t know to what extend I am pushing it, and there is something about the blog being a great outlet without divulging your true identity!

      Cheers,
      FiL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I share a lot of the same sentiments, FiL! Blogging definitely isn’t easy or a get rich quick scheme, but it is fun and enjoyable. I am coming up on a year and I thought I’d have trouble with consistent content too but it’s almost amazing how the endless ideas to post keep coming.

    Keep up the good work!

    Like

    1. Hi JW,

      Good to see you again! I am with you, its fun and enjoyable and (hopefully!) of interest and use to others as well! I am pleased that so far I have managed to keep up a fairly regular posting frequency, and it is something I would like to increase, but lets see.. no promises yet!
      Cheers,
      FiL

      Like

  3. Glad to make your acquaintance through writing. I should do a post on the similar topic some time. ‘Don’t understand how much time is required’ is a big one. I have loads of ideas but they mostly come out as amateurish writing which to my own mind is of really poor quality. Ah well, it’s fun to reflect on stuff anyway. Hope to improve as I go along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi FP,

      Well hopefully in person at the next UK meet up! For me I dont mind how amateur it may sound, the main thing is to provide people with the idea that this is a realistic option, so go for it. Who knows where we will be in a few years (other than maybe retired!) – main thing as with so many things, its an ongoing learning experience!

      Cheers,
      FiL

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some great insights here FIL.

    It’s definitely a steep learning curve at the start although that is when motivation is at its highest. You did right to start posts before getting the blog, I just fired WordPress up and see what came out although I guess I had a rough plan of what those first few months of posts would look like.

    Now I just write whenever inspiration and time allows and have to say I enjoy this way of blogging much better. Still got loads of ideas after nearly 4 years (bloody hell!) so sure you can keep at it mate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi TFS,

      Thanks for popping by again, and glad you liked them!

      You are right, it is dificult and a fast learning curve but the reason I started on the posts before was because I didn’t know if I would actually be able to write enough to keep going, now I am struggling to find the time to keep put in everything I can think of!

      Yes – I have to say I keep writing and updating stuff as I go so I always have things to post up, I just need to keep the frequency up!

      4 years – blimey that’s good going, can’t believe I managed to read them all as well in probably the course of about 3 days 🙂

      Cheers,
      FiL

      Like

      1. I meant to say actually I have no idea how you read 40 blogs, that’s commitment to the cause!

        I think I may have started off at that level as a keeno newbie FIRE wannabe but had to drop that back to maybe 5 core blogs plus random other readings as and when I (re)stumble across them.

        Cheers

        Like

        1. Haha yes well I always like to look for inspiration! To be honest very few of them post every day which makes it a lot easier, plus I can read some whilst I eat lunch at my desk at work which does help!
          It also depends on how busy things are, so I may binge read for a few hours at the weekend to catch up if I have a very busy week but it is one advantage of waking early – at the weekend if I am usually awake before 7 and it’s a bit early to be doing too much other than putting the coffee on and reading then 😉

          Cheers!

          Like

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