WC = Wise Colleague
DD2 = Dear Second Daughter
A Brief History of my Blog
“You have to write with the understanding that it’s possible nobody will read it but you. If you think you can do that and still feel it’s worthwhile, then go for it.” That was the advice a wise colleague (I’ll call her WC) gave to me back in May 2012 when I was thinking about starting a blog. I loved writing, and I was psyched about my newly formed resolve to become debt-free, so I took her advice and went with it. Tech-phobia was my only obstacle, but WC graciously walked me through the steps of setting up and maintaining a blog site.
I remember being thrilled in those first couple of months, to see from my stats that I’d had pageviews on a given day. For May 2012, I had a total of 68 pageviews. The next month, I had 128. When I got my first comment, I didn’t know what to do with it. It took me a while to figure out how to reply.
CBC & Twitter
My pageviews spiked significantly after I was first interviewed by Robyn Bresnahan of CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning in October of 2012. It was Robyn who, after our interview had been taped, encouraged me to start using Twitter. Tech-phobia reared its terrifying head again and delayed my initiation into tweeting by several months, but another gracious colleague patiently accompanied me through my first steps into the Twittersphere, and more spikes in pageviews followed.
Twitter gave me quick, easy access to other debt-bloggers, and I found remarkable encouragement for our journey out of debt as I read the insights and experiences of others. I found a post by Club Thrifty about cooking with beans just at the time we were trying to reduce our grocery budget. Within hours of saying “no” to DD2 after she asked if we’d help with her unpaid tuition bill, I read a post by the Broke Millennial who reflected with gratitude upon the tough financial love with which her parents had raised her. (By the way, DD2 has paid off her bill! More on that later.) I cried when Travis paid off his $109,000 credit card debt.
“Side hustle” is a term I learned as I read through tweets and posts over the months. (Most debt bloggers are young and hip.) What can you do on the side to earn more income? It was a concept I had embraced already. The month after we started our journey out of debt, I taught summer school – something I hadn’t done for fifteen years – and I’ve done it ever since. Wasn’t that side-hustle enough? Monetize your blog. The idea kept presenting itself – through tweets, blogs, and even my sister. “I told a friend of mine about your blog, and she really likes it. She says you could make money from it. Have you ever thought of that?”
It makes sense. I’m writing my posts anyway, and some people are finding them helpful. So why not earn an income while I’m at it and put every cent against our debt? All kinds of terrors loom in the face of that one. Tech-phobia once again. Money-guilt. And a sense that something good will be lost. “Your blog is pure,” WC said to me recently. “That’s one of its biggest appeals.”
I’ve found help with the tech-phobia part of things. And I’m facing down that nasty, lying money-guilt. But can I keep my blog “pure” if I monetize it? That’s certainly my intention.
So in at some point soon, you might see some changes around here. A new web address. A new format. A more user-friendly comments section. But it will be the same blog, the same Prudence, and the same journey out of debt – the good, bad, and ugly of it. I hope you’ll continue to join me!