What We’ve Learned From Our First Month Of Blogging

One of the primary reasons why we decided to start this blog was so we could document our journey to financial independence. We wanted to share a piece of ourselves, and also have a place where we can go to reflect on both our challenges and our achievements. Now that we have been blogging for a little over a month now, we thought that this may be a good time to reflect on our blogging experience and share what we have learned thus far.

Transparency matters.

We knew early on that no path in life is perfect, and even though we implemented a well thought out strategy in order to achieve FIRE, we did anticipate that there would be some road blocks along the way.  This meant that we needed to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that our goal to reach FIRE will come with many obstacles, and if we only write about our positive experiences, it would be nothing more than a false reality. Whether we are drawing from the past, the present, or discussing our future, it’s important for us to always be candid.

It’s best to maintain a sense of humor.

When we first started this blog we decided early on that I (Mrs. FE) would do most of the writing. Where I’m not a professional writer, Mr. FE had volunteered to be my editor-in-chief, however, his career started to get in the way and he’s been unable to keep up with his end of the bargain. As a result, many times I will go back and read a post that I have published and find a myriad of mistakes. For example, in my last post Why We Chose to Live in a Suburb, I wrote “cat on a lease” instead of “cat on a leash”. Not good. The last time I checked, felines weren’t allowed to sign a lease. So if any of you wish to volunteer for the editor-in-chief position, we are hiring! Just know that you will be compensated in the form of some old lollipops we received last Christmas. We are frugal!

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Not a good thing when your trying to blog!

Always remember to have fun.

It’s okay for us to pour our heart and soul into it, but when we start waking up at 3:00 a.m. (I really did this!) to obsess over whether or not we should write this or that, then we have crossed the line. Now we do know that there are some bloggers who are trying to make a living at this and we respect that, but for us, it’s important to not lose sight of why we started a blog in the first place – to have fun!

It’s important to find a good balance.

We knew initially that we would have to invest some time. What we didn’t factor in was exactly how much time. Also, it didn’t take long before “the blog” became addicting and found ourselves consumed by it. So we decided to create the Our Frugal Escapades House Rules of Blogging.

Here are the rules:

  • No blogging on weekends or holidays – Mr. FE and I came to an agreement that five days a week should be more than enough time to spend on our newfound hobby. Instead we focus on getting out of the house, taking a breath of fresh air, and going for long walks and hikes while the nice weather is upon us. Plus, it helps with our creativity!
  • No more six-hour long discussions about blogging. – We now spend about an hour a day discussing the blog and the various topics we want to write about. This gives us time to focus on other aspects of our lives like where we are on our financial goals, etc.
  • No more smartphones, tablets, or electronic devices at the dinner table. – I’m guilty as charged! I found myself constantly checking social media while we sat at the dinner table. Poor Mr. FE just wanted to have a conversation about our day, yet I found myself ignoring him completely. Not good for the marriage, I tell you!

*House rules are subject to change without notice.

You have a lot to teach us and we thank you for it.

The stories people share about their experiences are nothing short of amazing! Blogging has really opened our eyes to a world that is even bigger than we ever imagined, and the things that other people have to teach us will forever change our lives. For we both know that the only way we can expect to make progress is if we never stop learning, and we would like to thank each and every one of you for the contributions you have made towards the betterment of our lives, as well as the lives of others.

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41 thoughts on “What We’ve Learned From Our First Month Of Blogging

  1. Welcome to the world of blogging. I too am a recent participant starting in March and the journey so far has been fantastic.

    I’ve learned so much and met (online) so many great people. I’m so pleased to be a part of this community and know you will too so again, welcome.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about when you describe waking up at 3am, usually with either the next great idea or because you missed something in a previous post.

    I have also had to put my own self imposed rules in place to stop this blogging becoming obsessive.

    I like what I’ve read of your blog so far and enjoy your style, typos included. Looking forward to more great posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and we appreciate your wonderful blogging hospitality! 🙂 It’s been a really great experience for us so far and we enjoy meeting nice people like you!

      In the beginning, we definitely had our moments when it came to obsessing about the blog, but thankfully we were able to put it in perspective fairly quickly so we could derive the most amount of enjoyment out of it. It seems we are hearing this a lot from other new bloggers!

      We appreciate your kind words and look forward to writing more (even typos)! 😉 Thank you for the follow!

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  2. Enjoyed this post. Blogging is really a great way to have an internet ‘conversation’, of sorts. I did notice the cat on a lease vs leash in that blog post. Just wanted to let you know that our cat is on our lease and we have to pay an additional $25 a month in rent for her. Payment for services rendered via regifting- great idea!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We agree! So far it’s been really cool discovering other like-minded bloggers. Like you said, it really is a good way to have an *internet conversation*.

      Ha ha! I’m sure everyone noticed that typo (any others)! But thank you for making me feel a little better knowing that cats really do need to be on a lease! 🙂 – Mrs. FE

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  3. Great reflections and good rules. I started my blogging in January, and I made all the same realisations too. It must be a blogging “coming of age” rite 🙂
    Are you serious about looking for a volunteer editor-in-chief? I’ve got time on my hands right now, have had a bit of a blogging funk, and actually just realised that writing is really a passion. So I’d be more than happy to help you out and get me engaged in blogging/writing in a different way. You can read my posts as an audition 😛 no hard feelings if you feel it’s not the right fit, but the offer is there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Coming of age rite” is a great way to describe it! 🙂

      We appreciate the offer and just may take you up on this one day! For now, Mr. FE claims that moving forward he will block out a little time to help me out. So we’ll see where this goes. But who knows…we may eventually get in touch with you to start a blogging partnership!

      Thank you again for your offer! We really do appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We don’t blog on weekends either. I found I need a bit of time away or I start to get a little obsessed. Plus I need to spend a little time learning how to set up a blog with disclaimers and sidebars and what the hell is a widget? It’s great to have you around, I look forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear that you have a similar schedule. It’s good to get away and take a breather! Give it time on the setup where it is a bit of a learning curve. We spent a lot of time on Google looking for answers. If you need some help, let us know! Good luck figuring out those widgets!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy one month blogging. I think everyone that is passionate about what they are writing spend way too much time on developing their blog and obsessing about it (including myself). It’s natural. It’s really good that you guys have set some ground rules. I have gotten a lot better with not meeting my blog consume me. Now it’s about increasing my reach. I enjoy you blog by the way. You have so much great insight to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pamela! We needed to set some rules because as much as we love blogging, we also realize that we must not forget that we have a big world outside. Plus, the more life experiences we have, the more we have to write about! Have fun networking! 🙂 – Mrs. FE

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  6. It is definitely a time vaccuum and takes a ton of up-front effort!

    I have been consumed for the last 1.5 months – but I enjoy it

    The social media aspect is really new to me (yes I am a millennial that doesn’t understand how Pinterest works)

    I usually reserve 15 minutes to re-read my post after publishing (catch tons of mistakes still)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it makes you feel better, you are not the only one who is social media challenged. You should have seen me try to set up our Facebook page where I’ve never used Facebook before. Even now, I still don’t know if the darn thing is working right or what I’m supposed to do with it!

      I have been able to figure out Pinterest, so if you need some help, let me know!:) – Mrs. FE

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m so there with you! Took me weeks to set up Facebook correctly and I do use it already. Never used Twitter before ( but Mr. PIE is hooked now) and as for Pinterest, I use it personally and still can’t see how it could be useful for personal finance and early retirement blogs!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your reflections. On a similar theme, I wanted to blog to ‘keep it real’ to show that this path is really hard, and requires us to answer a very complex problem. I didn’t want to be the shiny Facebook perfect mother/wife but genuinely share the obstacles like you have done recently but also to show how the simple life can be wonderful – like your photo and the photos you’ve shared on Instagram. Don’t worry I accidentally hit publish on a post which was in a series where the first one was on another bloggers site so I couldn’t publish is yet – eek – rocky mistakes. I’m sure I have heaps of typos too.
    Thanks for blogging, sometimes I wonder if I should give it all up but post like yours keep me going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Keeping it real* is an excellent way to describe it! I think it’s great how you share the truth of how difficult the journey really is and I really admire that!

      Thanks for sharing your little mishap with me. I try not to fret over mistakes too much. In fact, I think it’s important to maintain a sense of humor where I would much rather laugh at my silly mistakes. At the end of the day, we’re human! 🙂

      Keep blogging and I will keep reading! 🙂 – Mrs. FE

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great tips here, I think i will adopt your no blogging on the weekends. I currently write my posts around 6am on the weekends. I look at the time spent as pleasurable “me time” and seek to be alone with my thoughts. However, the weekends are the only time the entire family is home with tons time. I think I will make better use of my weekend am’s. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So much of this rings true! I would never have imagined how much work a blog is to keep up with. And I get you on the multiple ‘blog’ conversations. Does get a bit out of hand.
    We really appreciate community we are part of. So accepting and positive. And so good to ‘talk’ with people who share the same goals and mindset

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m also a blogging newbie. I’m so glad that y’all are in this space. Blogging can definitely be addicting. My girlfriend warned me before hand, but I did not understand. I hope you find the right balance for your goals and lifestyle preferences.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your third rule “Not electronics at the dinner table”.

    That is a good rule regardless of being a blogger or not. After everything is said and done the relationship that is most valuable in life is that of family and its best not to let gadgets get in the way of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on your first month of blogging! I grew up just outside of Boston so it’s nice to find fellow Bostonians in the personal finance blogging community. My fiancé and I plan to move back to the area in a few years and maybe buy some property in the South Shore. Looking forward to reading more posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We love hearing that we have fellow Bostonians as part of our community! We are very familiar with the South Shore and find that area to be quite beautiful. We wish you the best of luck in locating your perfect piece of real estate in the future! Thank you for reading! 🙂 – Mrs. FE

      Liked by 1 person

  13. These are great tips. I have to admit that during my first month of blogging, I was working on my blog tirelessly to make sure that everything was alright (even though I didn’t know what ‘everything was alright meant’). I believe in what you said, that is, that there needs to be transparency, balance, and fun when it comes to blogging.

    Congrats on your first month of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Allen! It’s nice to hear that we aren’t the only ones who became obsessed with our blog! 🙂 We agree that there is no real indicator of what “alright” even is and are happy to embrace real or perceived imperfections for what they are. If we are going to be in this for the long haul, then it needs to be fun! 🙂 – Mrs. FE

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  14. Lots of very good points Mrs FE.

    Blogging takes a lot of time. Reading and commenting on other people’s blogs also takes lots of time. How can we fit it all in?

    We try to minimize as much time that we’re spending on the blog together at the same time. I commute 2 hours a day on a train, so that gives me heaps of time to comment on blogs and write articles on our iPad mini. Jasmin has a read through and offers suggestions as well as fixing any poor sentences I’ve written. We both read through it together so we know what we’re changing.

    Blogging can become a bit of an addiction, even just looking at the views. So I’m trying to tone that down, by telling myself I’ll still have those views later that day – they won’t disappear!

    Having no devices is really important. It’s extremely easy to be distracted by other things. That’s also why I’m trying not to do any commenting whilst I’m ‘with’ Jasmin (except perhaps responding to our own blog) because there is an unlimited amount of time I could spend doing that – I’d never be present with my wife – which isn’t good.

    Having fun / bringing your personality is one of the key things for a successful blog. We all read blogs because of the individuality each blog has. We want to know you, the writer – as a person and your thoughts on finance. It’s what makes any blog unique. Otherwise it’s just monotonous lists, updates and money lessons – all legit topics, but if they have no soul they don’t make for compelling reading.

    Tristan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds as though both you and Jasmine have found a perfect balance where you adhere to a set schedule. And we can tell from reading your blog that you both put forth a lot of effort in your posts and we really enjoy reading them!

      We try not to get too hung up on the views, but we can see why it could become addicting. After all, you work hard on your posts and want to see that people are actually reading them.

      That’s great how you figured out early on that blogging is second to your family and I’m sure Jasmine really appreciates that! 🙂

      We hear you on the importance of sharing who we really are, and ironically, we did have this discussion before we started the blog. We agree that reading blogs that have lists and to-do’s can become monotonous very quickly, and agree that it’s more important to share life experiences, Your blog fits the bill of being unique and we enjoy reading it very much so. It also helps us grow when we are able to learn new things from others, like you and Jasmine. 🙂 – Mrs. FE

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great house rules! I have never realized before starting a blog how time- and thought-consuming it can become. I definitely need a break from it, too, and we talk about it much less than we did at first. Though it’s still fun to bounce ideas off each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The time involved was definitely a bit of a shock to us in the beginning, and it’s nice to know that others like yourself have experienced the same! It’s great to hear that you are having fun with it also!:) – Mrs. FE

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  16. I totally agree about the no phones at the table. I feel that if someone has cooked a meal you should all sit down and enjoy it with family time talking about your day.

    I also agree about the fun side of doing a blog. We both work all day so I only get to do my blog in the evenings or weekends. But only after all the other chores are done. I’m lucky that as my blog is about food that my husband photographs we work together. We/I cook the dish and help with the styling. He sorts out the lighting and photographing it. We then take it to the table and sit down to enjoy it with the family. Hopefully while it’s still hot.

    The writing and research of my blog recipes is my hobby but I get him to read over it to make sure it makes sense. It’s great teamwork.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a beautiful blog with amazing photography! It’s really nice how you are able to prioritize and take care of what’s important first. Sounds like you guys make a perfect team! Your meals look delicious by the way, and we look forward to trying your recipes!

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  17. You’re doing great! I’ve been at it for a year and still feel like a newbie. I’ve had so many starts and stops along the way. It’s been difficult keeping it up but has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Even if I don’t make much on it, I’m happy that I have convinced a few people to be a little more mindful of their spending 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vic! Like you said, it has been a very rewarding experience and we agree that it can be a bit to keep up with. We do wish we had more time to devote to it. You do an excellent job of motivating others to pay attention to their finances! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m curious as to if you can summarize your strategy for attaining financial freedom. Do you eventually intend to make money from your blog assuming you have enough of a following? Thanks for sharing the humorous and well written post. Also, don’t worry too much about the typos… I’m sure many of us have a ton of them too. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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