How Blogging Replaced My Day Job

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Blogging replaced income through my day job. I share blogging tips that helped me quit my job and get opportunities I never dreamed of getting.

I first started blogging close to four years ago. I had just quit my job as a stockbroker to help my wife run our growing business. Having spent nearly 15 years in the financial services industry I missed talking to people about money so I started a blog.

I’ll let you in a secret. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I came up with a name I liked, bought the domain on GoDaddy and got started. Fast-forward four years and blogging has changed my life.

So much so in fact, I’ve more than replaced my income that I lost when I left my former day job. I regularly get asked how to start a blog or how to make money blogging. It’s not that difficult. In fact, it’s relatively simple. If I can do it then I know you can too. Below, I’ll share the steps you need to take to start a blog.

My Blogging History


Starting a blog is one of the best decisions I’ve made – both professionally and personally. I’ve been able to take advantage of opportunities I never thought were possible. It has allowed me the freedom to work the schedule I want with the companies I like. I love working for myself, and blogging is a great way to do just that.

It may sound too good to be true. It’s not. I’ve more than tripled my income through blogging through things like freelance writing, consulting and affiliate advertising. There are many resources to help you start with any of those, especially affiliate marketing. I can’t recommend my friend Michelle’s course on affiliate marketing enough – she makes over $50,000 per month all thanks to affiliate advertising. If you’re interested in learning how to make money with affiliate marketing, check out the course.

Mind you, this did not take place overnight. Many who start a blog will give up after a couple of months because money doesn’t instantly fall from the heavens. However, if you put in the work and time, you can make significant money through a simple blog.

You may not know what to blog about. Find an interest and go after it. For me it was personal finance. There are many other blogging niches out there – parenting, fashion, sports and interior design just to name a few. Whatever it is, find a niche you enjoy and have fun with it. If it’s not fun you won’t want to stick with it over the long haul. That being said, if you pick something you enjoy and put in some effort your website can change your life.

Start A Blog By Following These Steps


A blog can be a great hobby and a fun past time. Starting a blog, however, can be overwhelming. I had no idea where to start when I started my blog. I’m not technically inclined. I had never done work online in the past and had no idea how to even work online.

We had a good family friend who was supporting her family with a website and figured if she could do it then I could as well. With that, I started my blog. Before you start a website, there is a lot that needs to go on behind the scenes.

I made mistakes on some of them, but I did not let that intimidate me. Instead, I learned what I could and got some great help. Don’t let the details overwhelm you. Trust me, if I can start a blog, keep it online and make money at it you can too. Let’s move on to how to start a money making blog.

Know What You Want to Write About


This is likely the most important aspect of starting a blog. You want to write about something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it you’ll get bored and frustrated awfully quickly.

There’s a fine line to walk when you choose a blogging niche. You want something broad enough that will attract readers but you want it focused enough to have a good connection with your main audience.

Don’t feel like you need to know exactly what you want to talk about. I just knew I wanted to talk about money and very little from there. Many other successful bloggers didn’t have a laser focus niche when they started either. The moral of the story is to find something you enjoy but don’t give in to paralysis by analysis. The important part is to start and build it along the way – that’s what I did and it worked quite well.

#1 Name Your Blog


There’s a lot of debate over what or how to name your blog. You can be as simple as naming it after yourself or, assuming you have a brand identity in mind, you name it something else that might be search engine friendly.

I chose not to go with the personal approach as I wanted to create a brand. After some thought I came up with the name Frugal Rules. I felt it was catchy enough, obviously discussing frugality to a certain extent but not bound by simply frugality.

Again, whatever it is you choose make sure it’s something you like. Make sure it works with your personality or a created personality if you choose to go with a pen name.

#2 Register the Domain


Ok, so you’ve spent a few days thinking over some domains you might like to try but where do you start? It’s actually quite simple. You want to make sure the domain names you’re thinking of are available for purchase.

The best way to see if a domain is available is through GoDaddy. You simply type in the domain ideas you have in mind and hit “Enter.” GoDaddy will tell you if the site name is taken or not. Assuming it’s not, you can generally buy the name for $12 or less for the first year – though they commonly run specials so I’d make sure to get it for as cheap as possible.

If the site name is available it makes a lot of sense to buy it as soon as you can – especially if you plan to make money blogging. The last thing you want is to wait around or not search and find out the name is already taken.

I will add one note. If you plan on taking blogging seriously you want to get a custom domain name. It’s more professional and will help you with search engines. If you want to make money blogging, both are very important to keep in mind.

#3 Choose A Host


Once you buy your domain name, you want to choose a host. Before I discuss how to choose a host let me say something.

You can either use a free blogging platform, like Blogger or go self-hosted. If you go with a free platform you’ll hinder your efforts to make money blogging. Not only will you not own your content in most cases, you’re also severely restricted from advertising. You want to make money blogging so you want to go the self-hosted route.

The best self-hosted option for beginning bloggers is Bluehost. There are several reasons for that, such as:

  • If you sign up through my link you get hosting for $2.95 per month. That’s extremely cheap.
  • Free domain name. You get a free domain name when you sign up through my link.
  • One-click installation. If you’re not technically inclined, Bluehost allows you to install WordPress (the platform you need to use if you self-host) with one simple click.
  • 24/7 Support. Let’s face it, a blog lives online 24 hours a day. If you need help with a problem, they’re there 24 hours per day.
  • Generous refund policy. If you choose to cancel within the first 30 days, you get a full refund. Bluehost will pro-rate it after 30 days for the remainder of your term.


#4 Open Your Bluehost Account


Ok, now we know that going self-hosted is the best way to make money blogging. You’ve chosen to host through Bluehost, but how do you start? Here’s how to open your account with Bluehost:

Go to Bluehost and click “Get Started Now”



Select your hosting plan.

You will see three different options. If you’re new to blogging, you will be just fine with the $2.95 option.



Get your free domain.

Remember that when you sign up through my link you get a free domain name with Bluehost. If you don’t have a domain name, simply input it. If you already have one, select the “Transfer Domain” option.


From there you simply add in your billing information and you’re good to go.

Connecting WordPress


It may feel like we’re wading in the weeds here. We’re not. Remember, if you signed up through Bluehost, they allow you to connect your site with one click. Here’s how you do it. You select “Hosting” and then “cPanel.”

This will take you to another page. You will want to look for a tab that says “website builders” and select “Install WordPress.” You click on that button and it takes care of everything for you so you have a live blog.

It will ask you to set up a user name and password. Please, please, please don’t use “admin” as the user name. Select something that’s unique as that will protect your site from hackers. Once you’re done, you’ve got an honest to goodness blog.

Blogging replaced income through my day job. I share blogging tips that helped me quit my job and get opportunities I never dreamed of getting.

Blogging Tips for Beginners


As I shared in the beginning, I’ve been able to more than replace my income from my former day job through blogging. Keep in mind, I have five people in my family. This is not to toot my own horn, but to say that you can make money blogging – good money at that. If I can do it, so can you. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start a money making blog:

  • Don’t be a hermit. If you tell no one about your website, no one will come to it. As such, you want to get your name out there as much as possible. Connect with other bloggers in your niche. Answer questions from readers. Reach out to companies you like to see if they’re interested in working with you. All of those activities have the potential to help you grow your blog.
  • Commit to a specific period of time. I told myself that if I couldn’t make money within a year I would have to try something else. Guess what, I’m still here fours years later. If you don’t commit to a specific time period you’ll be more inclined to give up when things don’t go as you like.
  • Make a plan. I’m a bit neurotic and schedule posts out at least six months in advance. You don’t have to do quite that much, but you never know what will happen in life. Planning ahead will help you avoid scheduling conflicts – not to mention catching seasonal events that might be beneficial from a monetization standpoint.


There are many other tips to consider though this will give you a good start. Just remember that if you want to make money blogging – it is possible if you put in the work and have an idea you want to share with others.

Remember: If you want to start a blog, you can get hosting for $2.95 per month plus a free domain name through my Bluehost link. If you want to make money blogging, self-hosted is the best, most reliable and most professional way to do it.

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Great tips John! Carnivals are one thing that I only dabble in every few weeks, but should probably submit to more consistently. I did get mine in a couple this past week. I also have a core of 20-25 sites I visit every day and try to hit up as many others as I can when I have time. You really have to prioritize how you spend your time blogging, because you could literally spend all day commenting on other sites!

    • John says:

      Thanks DC! Yea, I have a core of 30-40 I visit each day and work in others as I can. I completely agree that you do have to prioritize your blogging time. Commenting is great and all, but sharing is much more important.

  • Pauline says:

    I am not sure carnivals bring a lot of traffic unless you are in the editor’s choice but is it a great way to build links. I also tend to visit the host’s site if it is new to me.

    • John says:

      The traffic is hit and miss from Carnivals, especially if there’s 50+ posts in the Carnival. That said, I really don’t do it for the traffic, but for the links which are vital. I have also found quite a few new blogs (to me at least) from the hosts.

    • femmefrugality says:

      I’ve had the same experience with carnivals. I love writing the week ahead, too. It makes life so much less stressful. If I can get further ahead than that, I do it, but it all depends. Expanding our views in all aspects of our lives is always a good thing, IMHO, and blogging/writing is no different! Great post

      • John says:

        Thanks! I completely agree, I love to get scheduled as far out as I can if I am able to. I totally agree on expanding as well. It’s always helpful to see other views to help you sharpen yours more as well as grow them.

  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I can’t believe that was 900 words, it flew by.

    I enjoy the community aspect of blogging so much that I think it is the main reason why I run so many different websites.

    I still haven’t submitted to a blog carnival yet, I guess I should really start, who knows where my site would be if I did.

    • John says:

      Thanks Glen! I enjoy the community aspect as well, but I can only manage 1 blog right now. πŸ™‚ The big thing with Carnivals is the link building aspect they bring.

  • Catherine says:

    I agree with glen, an easy 900 words! You’re inspirational John that’s for sure! I have yet to submit to any carnivals but do my best to comment on blogs that take time to comment on mine. Scheduling posts is a huge time saver…when I have the time to power more than one out at a time that is πŸ˜‰

    • John says:

      Thanks Catherine! Carnivals are a great way to build links and can be a good help. I love scheduling out posts. I like to stay a week ahead of time so I don’t feel the pressure of having to write one for the next day.

  • Michelle says:

    These are all great tips and obviously your blog is doing well. I am horrible with submitting to carnivals, I need to do that more.

    • John says:

      Thanks Michelle! I hate doing Carnivals as well, but so thankful I’ve found a way to cut down the time investment.

      • Joe Cassandra says:

        That’s what bogs me down is the time investment, as I get antsy doing something multiple times, but I know I’ve lost ranking juice because of my antsy laziness!!!!!!

        Great post John!

        • John says:

          Thanks Joe! The time investment is huge and finding that balance is vital, otherwise you could spend all day working on it.

  • Justin@TheFrugalPath says:

    Thanks for the tips John. I have submitted about twice a week to carnivals, but never had much luck. However, they do add links which is important to Mr. G. Thanks for the links, I’ll use them to help my link building through carnivals.

  • K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says:

    Great post and I made it through your 900 words; speed reading πŸ˜‰ Seriously though as a newbie your tips have helped me. I’ve also been able to become more organized and streamlined in the way I approach blogging and thus saving time in the process.

    • John says:

      Glad that I can be of some help K.K. Saving time is HUGE when it comes to blogging, I am always looking for ways to save more of it.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    Good post! Everything you said here was true. It is so time consuming and I don’t think that people who don’t have a blog realize it. My tip for not going crazy is to take a few days off every once in a while.

  • Grayson @ Debt RoundUp says:

    Great tips John. Blogging is not easy, but it can be manageable. I like how you were able to cut your time in half with Carnival submissions. I still need to do that in order to get my blog moving some. I actually submitted my first one yesterday, so we will see how it goes. Thanks again for the tips.

    • John says:

      Thanks Grayson! I agree that it’s not easy, but there are ways you can keep it under control. Good luck on the Carnival submissions.

  • Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree says:

    I like these tips, and I think Carnivals are important as a “beginner”. I was told it takes 6 months for people to really take you seriously as a blogger as most blogs either flourish or fall off at that point. I no longer do carnivals, and I haven’t seen any substantial change in my readership. I used a service when I first got started and it did help build my “clout” as a blogger.

    • John says:

      Thanks. I’ve heard the same thing about the six month mark, which makes sense. I would disagree though on Carnivals. True, they do not bring a lot of traffic, but they’re vital for link building. I think if you’ve been blogging for a year or a month you need to be looking to build links.

  • Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy says:

    You have been making exceptional strides on your blogging journey, John. I really enjoyed reading your perspective here. Carnivals are great ‘entry exposure’ into a blogging niche community, to introduce yourself and your work. Most of the bloggers I contacted crinkled their noses and looked the other way when I attempted to reach out to them, which was NOT the best way to go about building relationships when you’re a just a wee young pup. πŸ™‚ Now all of my blogging relationships have formed organically, which has been such a phenomenal experience in itself.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jennifer! I agree about Carnivals being a great entry point and really should be continued as you get “older” to continue the link building. I’ve heard the same thing about the “big boy” bloggers and have stayed away as a result. I agree that organic relationships are the best.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I think the newbie title wears off at 6 months. Just my opionion, though. For me, I can write quicker if no one is up, so I get up a bit early on weekends to get posts done. I think it’s whenever you are most productive, get it done. I am terrible after 8 at night. Carnivals aren’t hard, I just forget to do them, but maybe will get better as it goes along.

    • John says:

      I would agree Kim, that’s what I’ve heard as well. I write the best early in the morning as well. Which is part of the reason I get up at the a$$ crack of dawn.

  • Gillian @ Money After Graduation says:

    Great post, really helpful tips!

  • Jason says:

    I love these posts about blogging tips! It’s fun to see things from a new bloggers perspective and get some ideas that I may be missing out on. I think the time saving deal is the most important for me; I’ve paid somebody to do my carnival submission for nearly 8 months now and I’m glad to have that off my plate!

    Hiring a few staff writers is also going to save me a boatload of time writing posts and working on that side of the business.

    • John says:

      I agree on the time saving aspects as that is vitally important to me. I think I’ll be looking to do the same thing with Carnivals here in the near future as a way to save more time.

      I bet having the staff writers will be a HUGE time savings for you. I look to get to that point in some time so I can focus on other areas of blogging.

  • CF says:

    Good tips – I definitely try to keep my blogging personal. Even when it’s a mundane topic, I try (and hopefully succeed sometimes) in injecting a personal element to the topic in order to keep it interesting.

  • My Money Design says:

    Nice tips John. Keep them coming. I’ve often thought about trying to put together a script for automating the Carnival submission process even further, but then decided the 15 minutes it takes to cut and paste my info really wasn’t that bad. Good emphasis on keeping your writing passionate. It can be hard to keep focused on this as time goes on.

    • John says:

      Thanks MMD! I agree that the cutting and pasting really does not take long and is worth the time & effort. I totally agree that it can on being difficult to keep that focus, which is why a few days off now & then.

  • Veronica Hill says:

    Excellent tips for beginners and even intermediately experienced bloggers, I couldn’t have put it better myself. The biggest issue I have with blogging is time. You seem to have it under control and have the capacity to schedule ahead, but this is really difficult for me to do. Yesterday I planned on writing for the entire week but only managed to schedule 1! This is something I have to work on and improve on, because trying to write everything during the week the night before results in low quality rambling (something I’ve done many times now and I’m not proud of).

    Carnivals are so awesome, yet I fail to submit to them. I’m glad you and everyone out there who writes about these tips keeps reminding us newbies πŸ™‚

    One thing I’d like to mention is, in the past I’ve contacted other bloggers to collaborate and they seem to eagerly agree, which is great – but then we fail to make anything of it. This is part my fault, but I mention it because I think there is a lot of potential in forming that kind of blogger relationship and following through with collaboration efforts.

    • John says:

      Thanks for the kind words Veronica! I agree that time management is vital, I can relate to your desire to wanting to get so much writing done, but getting less done. That can be frustrating, but you can only churn out so much at a time.

      I totally agree on forming those relationships, they can be very helpful. I have a few myself, and following through is vital for it to work.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter says:

    These are great tips and I would agree with each one and their benefits. In fact, they are all things that I have done myself. I always try to have content on my site that speaks to what I believe in. I think it is the only way to stay true to your own voice. I also find scheduling ahead of time a huge help. That way when I get swamped at work etc, I don’t have to stress about being behind.

    • John says:

      Thanks Miss T! I agree that it’s vital to stay true to your own voice and to yourself is vitally important. I love to schedule ahead as that really helps me feel the pressure a little less.

  • Edward Antrobus says:

    I really do dislike the “P” word, but I agree that if you are interested in the post, then it is easier to write. I don’t think I could ever manage 1000 words in 15 minutes, however! When I’m in the zone, 500 words takes a bit more than half an hour. Getting to 1000 words is more like an hour and a half. But when I’m not feeling it, the 500 words takes that long!

    • John says:

      I am curious Edward, why do you dislike the P word? I don’t consider myself a very passionate person, but there are many things I care about and that has to come out in the writing or it can be too dry and not engaging. I often do not write that fast, but is great when I do.

      • Edward Antrobus says:

        I guess the problem comes from the fact that I live on the outer edge of the millennial or “Gen-Y” generation. I’ve been hearing claptrap like “follow your passion and the money will come,” “if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life,” and “if you don’t like your job, quit and find something you enjoy” for far, far too long. The real world doesn’t work that simplistically.

        Another one, that I am constantly reminded of because I commented on the post and can’t figure out how to turn of DISQUS notifications: “You don’t need a job, you need guts.”

        • John says:

          Ah, ok. I totally see what you were saying then. That really was not my meaning in what I meant by passion. I do see what you’re saying though and I completely agree. Life is not that simple, and much of the world does not work that way.

  • Gen Y Finance Journey says:

    Blogging definitely takes a lot of time, but it’s also very addicting. I really wasn’t planning on becoming a “blogger” when I started my blog, I mostly just wanted to use the blog to record my progress and keep me accountable. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that I really enjoy blogging. I can be tough to churn out content when I’m not feeling inspired, but now that I’ve been at it for about 6 months (and seriously blogging for about 3 months), I’m getting better at finding inspiration all over the place. It’s definitely true that the posts I’m most passionate about practically write themselves. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      I totally agree. I find that the key is achieving a good balance. I agree on being passionate. There have been many posts that really do write themselves and I have to stop because very few will stick around for a 2000+ word post.

  • Mackenzie says:

    These are great tips! I would agree with Holly that it is good to take some time off once in awhile. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers just burn themselves out doing this.

    • John says:

      Thanks Mackenzie! I am in complete agreement with Holly. In anything really you need that, but with a time hog like blogging it’s essential.

  • Shannon Ryan @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Excellent tips, John. I’m a fairly new blogger too. It’s an exciting, vast world that can definitely consume your time. I absolutely agree that whatever you write – you must be passionate about the topic! I haven’t explored any blog carnivals yet, so thanks for the tip!

    • John says:

      Thanks Shannon! Welcome to blogging! Carnivals can be a great tool, especially as you’re a beginner. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Tackling Our Debt says:

    Managing the whole blog thing does take a lot of work. As for carnivals I set myself a reminder to do them every Thursday. Similar to you, I cut and paste all of the details of the post that I want to submit into a text file and then visit each carnival submission page and copy the stuff back in.

    I wish there was a way to copy all of the stuff in once and then check off all of the carnivals that you want to submit to and have it done in one swoop.

  • Mandy @MoneyMasterMom says:

    Thanks for the tips John. I know Carnivals are great for links, but are they really effective at driving traffic. When I see a post with more then 10 links I usually don’t click on a single one. I only read carnivals with less then 10 posts

    • John says:

      Not a problem Mandy. Good question. They’re not huge traffic drivers. I get maybe a dozen or so hits a day from them, but the link building aspect is the main reason for them. Just starting out and as you continue to grow that link building is vital.

      • Canadianbudgetbinder says:

        I think the carnivals are great and I use them all the time to research and educate myself as well as network with other Bloggers that I have never come across. For me it’s a big plus and saves me time, it’s like a PF newspaper. Having said that I need to start submitting to them. πŸ™‚

        • John says:

          That’s a great point Mr. CBB! I often will use them to find other bloggers I’ve not met yet or at the very least open myself up to some new ideas or at the very least learn something new.

  • Justin @ The Family Finances says:

    You mentioned you submit to 12-15 carnivals a week… Do you submit the same articles to more than one carnival? I guess I always thought you should only submit each post to only one carnival. I usually wait a couple weeks, and submit all my posts over the past tweo weeks to carnivals all at once.

    • John says:

      That’s a great question Justin. It depends on the week, but generally I will submit the same article to multiple Carnivals. Most of them allow that, I’d say at least 75-90% of them. Most Carnivals will also accept posts that are up to two weeks old, so I’ll spread it out so I don’t submit the same post to the same Carnival twice.

  • Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin says:

    Great post! I didn’t even know you could submit to carnivals. As a new blogger myself this tips and ideas are priceless. Thank you!

  • Kay Lynn says:

    I wish I had these tips three and a half years ago when I started blogging. My favorite one has to do with passion. If you lose the passion for a topic, writing will become harder and harder to do. My advice would be to first take a break. If that doesn’t bring the passion back, change topics to something you that does.

    • John says:

      Thanks Kay Lynn! I totally agree with the passion. Without it not many will want to read your thoughts, including yourself. Taking a break is definitely an essential thing to do at times.

  • Harry @ PF Pro says:

    Nice tips John. I use Chrome to submit to all the blog carnivals so once I enter in all of the info once, all the data is saved that way I can submit very quickly. I only have to copy and paste the description field. It works very well since each site has around 10 carnivals that you can submit to.

    Have you thought about outsourcing your tweeting of articles or things like that to a VA, I feel like that could really save some time but not sure how much they would charge. It’s something I plan on looking into eventually.

    • John says:

      Thanks Harry! Automating that submission process is a big time saver.

      I have thought about outsourcing that, but don’t want to take on that cost as of yet. I timed it a few weeks ago and saw that it takes me about 60-90 minutes a day to tweet all of the posts I do. So, as my blog gets bigger, I’ll definitely be looking in to something like that.

  • John says:

    Great tip on carnival blogs! I started submitting articles there a couple months ago but not nearly as many as you. Being that you jumped to PR4 in 3 months you must be doing ALOT right! I’m going to check out your first article on blogging tips.

    • John says:

      Thanks John! I guess I am doing something right πŸ˜‰ though I’ve not figured it all out yet, so I’ll continue going with what’s worked for me thus far.

  • Savvy Scot says:

    Some good tips John… I find the same thing – If I am passionate, I can bash out 1000 words without even thinking about it… it is definitely sometimes worth looking for some inspiration before getting started! πŸ™‚

  • Marie at Family Money Values says:

    I’m impressed at the number of blogs you visit/comment on – any time saver tips there?

    • John says:

      Honestly, I probably comment on at least 30-40 per day. I am a pretty quick reader so that helps a lot and I have folders for ones I read and comment and one for those I just tweet. I mix it up regularly as to not just go to the same sites each week.

  • Canadianbudgetbinder says:

    Thanks John for a great article. Lots of great tips. I’m one of those people who haven’t really submitted to carnivals in the almost 11 months of blogging. Having said that, I have found one carnival in the past month that I submitted to twice and I’ll use that as a starting point I guess. Thanks for sharing. Mr.CBB

    • John says:

      Thanks Mr. CBB! You have to start somewhere in my opinion, but I think you’re doing pretty darn good as it is anyway. πŸ™‚

  • Budget & the Beach says:

    Carnivals seem to be the last frontier that I have yet ventured. Doing things one step at a time, so that’s my next move. I had no idea how to submit to them, so thanks for the tip!

    • John says:

      Taking things one step at a time is a great way to go as you can only do so many things at once. πŸ™‚ No problem on the tip. I think some believe it’s more work than it really is. Once you submit once or twice then it’s a piece of cake.

  • Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies says:

    You left out an important tip – but clearly you’ve already learned it… Kitten pictures make all posts more fun =)

    It’s impressive that you’ve picked up so much so quickly. It took us a long while to realize all the different moving parts to getting our site off the ground, and we still feel like we’re beginners at this game. Mad props to you.

    • John says:

      Yes, that is a very important tip. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the kind words. I am still learning a lot and still feel like I am using training wheels most days. I’ve not done it all on my own and am thankful for those in the community that provide very helpful info and for other friends that blog also.

  • AverageJoe says:

    Sweet tips, dude. I always remember that it’s a marathon. Every little think I can do today….just a tweak, can have profound long term impact. If I can improve a word or get the picture just right, that might help me connect with one more person and help them manage money more effectively.

    • John says:

      Great point Joe, it is a marathon and that’s key to remember. We want things instantly, yet anything worthwhile takes time and focus.

  • James @ Free in Ten Years says:

    Thanks for these tips. They are really helpful. I haven’t really investigated carnivals at all yet – off to check out those links you posted.

    Thanks again John. I really appreciate you commenting on my blog like you have been.

    • John says:

      Not a problem James. Like I’ve said, Carnivals can be a great tool, especially for new and growing blog. No problem on the commenting, likewise to you!

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life says:

    This a great post. While I may have been blogging longer than you, I definitely feel like you know more about it/are less of a beginner than I am. I also need to get started submitting to blog carnivals, I’ve know for awhile that I should be doing that, it’s just a matter of actually sitting down and figuring out what it’s all about, maybe I’ll drop you an email on that topic.

    • John says:

      Thanks Jordann! A lot of what I’ve learned I have picked up from others and just doing some research. Carnivals are important, especially as a link building aspect that can really be helpful. They’re fairly easy to submit to, once you do it once or twice. Feel free to drop me an email, I am always happy to help.

  • Jason Clayton | frugal habits says:

    John, I’m really enjoying your posts on blogging. You really have a lot of insight into growing a blog, and I’ve seen it first hand with frugal rules. I think I’m one of the lazy ones, as I have yet to submit to a carnival, although I’ve been meaning to. It looks like I better start thinking about doing that here soon (maybe make it my Tuesday tradition :).

    Many years ago when blogging was new, I ran a blog for about a year where I was publishing a post every day. It was brutal on me and I ended up quitting until I started frugal habits this summer. Since then, I’ve changed my strategy to post twice a week, but it does cause my blog to grow slower over time. My hope is that it will keep my motivated to keep going until I make it with Mr. G. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Thanks Jason! I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on them, so I might make it a bi weekly or monthly post series. I don’t know that I would call it laziness, especially when you’re doing it on top of other things. One big thing I’ve learned is that you have to go with what works for you and your time. Keep doing what you’re doing and the G love will come. πŸ™‚

  • Kathleen, Frugal Portland says:

    I think you’re a beginner until you’ve hit year one — but dang I love these posts of yours because you are a quick learner, and extremely helpful!

    • John says:

      I would think that as well Kathleen as I’ve heard it’s anywhere from the 6-12 month break point. Thanks for the kind words, once I get started I am a pretty quick learner. πŸ™‚

  • Buck Inspire says:

    Great tips on working smarter not harder! Submitting to carnivals does take down. I’m trying to get my process down a bit because it is very beneficial for link and relationship building. You’ve done quite a bit in your first few months. Keep it up! Are you having fun?

    • John says:

      Thanks Buck! They do take time, but you’re right in that they’re worth it. I am enjoying it thus far, and don’t see any let up.

  • FI Fighter says:

    Great tips! I’m not really a new blogger, but up to this point I haven’t done a very good job of marketing my site. Carnivals are definitely something I need to start considering. I guess the trick is to allocate the right amount of time for both blogging (the actual writing part), and marketing/social-media aspect.

    Best wishes!

    • John says:

      Thanks! Finding that balance to devote time to the writing and working on the site and the marketing aspect is a good, but difficult one to find. I like to put as much to the marketing side of it as I can in order to cast a wide net.

  • Matthew Allen says:

    Think it takes a lot of time running one blog? Try running multiple sites! I quit my old PF blog in May to pursue building niche sites. The blogging bug bit me though, so I started a blog about passive income and how I was building niche sites to create it. Then I figured out I wasn’t very good at getting niche sites to rank, so I started a “niche blog.” So now I have a niche blog, which is kind of a personal finance blog created around a specific niche (paying off credit cards) – and I am still blogging about how I am building that blog on my passive income blog! What have I gotten myself in to?!

    • John says:

      You’re a stronger man than I am Matthew! I could not imagine running more than one as it takes up enough of my time. I think my wife would leave me if I were to try and run multiple blogs. πŸ˜‰

  • Jefferson @SeeDebtRun says:

    Few non-bloggers realize the time commitment that really goes along with creating and promoting a blog.. You are doing a fantastic job of it, without a doubt… And the tips and methods that you are using form a nice blueprint for someone who is just getting started…

    • John says:

      I totally agree Jefferson! Before I started I thought that I would only need a few hours of a day at most. Sure, you can do that, but not if you want your blog to go anywhere.

  • Ron @runningfromdebt says:

    When I started blogging, I never knew how time consuming it can get. Aside from coming up with new and fresh content, but the constant tweaking of my blog’s layout and look takes a lot of time! I do not submit to blog carnivals, but I am definitely looking into it in the near future. Do they have specific ones for certain topics such as running or are blog carnivals just for PF blogs?


    • John says:

      You’re exactly right Ron. I feel the same way as there’s always something that can be done, but you have to stop somewhere. They have all sorts of Carnivals and are not just for PF blogs. The first link I provided has dozens of different niches that are included. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Ian says:

    This was great thanks! I have been curious about the carnivals, but yet to try. I will soon. The Passion statement is right on. If I really like something I can go on and on, but if not I come up with blanks. Thanks for the great post man!

  • Boris says:

    John, first let me just say ‘thanks’ for visiting my site before. Second, I just appreciate this blog post cuz it will help a lot newbies like me. If I were to share a few tips it would be as follows:

    1. COMMENT, comment, comment.
    2. reply to comments as it helps others return to your site and get visitors more engaged.
    3. make sure to add your avatar from gravatar.. usually people will remember your “icon” and visit your site.
    4. this commentluv thing helps out a lot (I’ll need to implement it on my site).
    5. join a network of similar minded individuals (eg. yakezie).

    • John says:

      Not a problem Boris, keep up the good work! Great points, I could not agree more. They mainly point to the need to network, which is huge to be successful at blogging.

  • JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit says:

    That’s a great list! I really need to work on getting posts prepared in advance. I had them scheduled while I went on my honeymoon and it was nice knowing that the blog was still up and running. Too bad I tend to slack off on that when I have the time.

    • John says:

      Thanks JC! Planning those posts ahead is a huge time saver as well as it makes things much less stressful. When I know I have a couple of weeks posts scheduled already I can spend that extra time on other things.

  • Buy & Hold Blog says:

    I’ve not tried carnivals yet. But, sounds like I need toe try it to build links.

    • John says:

      They can be very helpful to submit to, especially as you’re starting out in order to build up some links and meet other bloggers.

  • Elle @ New Graduate Finance says:

    Great steps! I admire, and hope to emulate, your success.

    So far, I have been afraid of really committing to blogging, but one thing I’m working on is just taking the plunge and going full-force!

  • Raynee Branch says:

    Hi John,
    I am brand new to blogging and I enjoyed this post very much. It gives us newbies hope! I will have to investigate carnivals. I am just now learning about affiliates and trying to figure that out as well as learn wordpress.
    Thanks again for the great read!!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher says:

    Hey there! Care to share tips on increasing blog readership and monetization?

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