It’s okay to blog for fun

by Erika Torres
50 comments

I’ve blogged for almost 3 and half years now. I had another blog before this one and that’s how I met my husband.

Blogging has always been a way to document my life–a sort of personal diary online where people can read and relate. Most comments have been empathetic, some have been harsh, but I’ve never lied about anything.

I don’t know what it is about blogging that I enjoy so much, but I do love all the aspects of it. I enjoy sharing my life and I enjoy reading about other people’s lives.

More importantly, I’ve built friendships online, from the people I have met in real life to the ones I have yet to meet.

With this blog, I’ve documented our journey to pay off debt and our daily lives as well.

Somewhere along the way, I got lucky and started making money from my blog with advertisements. It began in October, and the side hustle has continued. It’s allowed me to save a good chunk of money which I hope to spend on a honeymoon at some point–whenever we can figure out Eric’s work schedule or have him not be injured (more on that later).

The money from advertising has been a huge help. There’s no way that we would have been able to save for a vacation had the side hustle not started.

Last month, however, something happened. In a nut shell, blogs were targeted by Google because of the advertising and Google stripped blogs of their PR value–which advertisers use to determine how much advertising on a blog is worth.

Essentially, what this means, is a lot of people who were dependent on a certain kind of advertising to make money from their blogs will no longer be raking in the same kind of dough.

Now, my first reaction was utter disappointment at losing my primary source of advertising. And after a few minutes, another feeling started to sink in–relief.

Relief at the idea that my blog could return to being just my fun hobby rather than something I feel I need to keep up with.

There were days that I would make myself write because I had to have a post on Mondays. Then it was all about SEO writing, and making sure I was writing for the search engines, rather than the readers, or better yet–myself.

Then there were the critics–the ones who felt I wasn’t spending my money wisely and thought I was an idiot for thinking I could spend money on a honeymoon when I still have $22,000 in student loans.

Frankly–it became exhausting.

I work full-time, I am training for a half-marathon, I am taking Pure Barre classes almost every day, I am managing our household, trying to decorate a new place, walking our dog, and now taking care of a practically bed-ridden husband.

I’m TIRED.

Is it okay to blog just for the fun of it? Because I actually like writing and because I enjoy reading others’ comments and hearing suggestions?

Is it okay that I won’t be making hundreds anymore and that I can feel free to write about everything and anything without sticking to a certain topic just because I sometimes write about personal finance?

I mean, gosh darn it, it is my blog after all πŸ™‚

Do you blog for fun?

 

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50 comments

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What I’m Lovin’ July 7, 2014 - 7:45 pm

[…] on a Budget talks about how she wants to blog for fun. A lot of bloggers saw their PR decrease last month, which caused lots of them to realize that text […]

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Bits & Pieces 4/14/12 April 13, 2012 - 6:08 am

[…] It’s okay to blog for fun, says Newlyweds on a Budget. It totally agree! This blog is fun for me (uhm I write in bullet points so it’s easy/fun/stress release) and that’s the main/only reason I write it. For a while I wanted to earn money but don’t care as much now. It is what it is. […]

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B. (Below Her Means) April 7, 2012 - 9:18 pm

What a great post. I definitely blog for fun.

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Weekend Links from the Cult | Cult Of Money April 7, 2012 - 8:55 pm

[…] It’s OK to blog for fun!Β  Newlyweds on a Budget says so!Β  Here here! […]

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Cat@BudgeBlonde.com April 4, 2012 - 5:15 pm

First of all, great post. I actually got really inspired by your side hustle income as a way to knock out debt and really added to my plate big time. I’m a writer/English prof and I’ve been doing well writing a ton of articles but it’s actually left me little time to write for my own blog! At the same time I get kind of addicted to the excitement of earning income that was not originally factored into the budget, thus it’s surplus – Can you geek out with me on that one?

Secondly, it really baffles me that someone would criticize you for saving for a vacation when you have 22k in debt. David Ramsey’s plan doesn’t work for everyone. Want to know how much student debt I have? Well I have 40k and my husband is in med school. When he is finished in 3 years, he will have borrowed 350k… yeah, we’re talking almost 400k combined. If we waited until we finished paying that off to do anything fun, we’ll be old and gray after a life without any enjoyment. There are lots of ways to balance life out. There is no way the paying off all debt then have fun formula would work for us. We already have a separate high yield savings fund for a big one month trip two years from now and we are stoked. It keeps us going and keeps us saving.

Keep up the good work – and sorry to ramble on and on!

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ginna April 4, 2012 - 10:21 am

I love personal, fun posts. Your readers don’t come just for the content– they love you and they way you share your life and experiences. Keep the fun content coming!

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Little House April 4, 2012 - 7:37 am

I hear ya! I love writing and blogging, but sometimes it feels like another job. It’s only when I step back and take a breath that I can actually remember why I enjoy doing it – not for the money, but for the creative outlet. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the side income, but if it’s only about the money, then it loses it’s enchantment.

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J.Mill April 4, 2012 - 6:46 am

Blog for fun! No one likes to read a jumble of SEO keywords or a sponsored post for a drug store item. If you want to write with certain words, make it fun. If you want to critique a product, do so as you would in person, with a friend! Feel relieved, friend!

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Jai Catalano April 4, 2012 - 4:11 am

I think it’s safe to say I blog for fun. Yes I have made money but not the kind of money that makes a mom proud.

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Bach @ adeptdebt April 3, 2012 - 10:15 pm

Aww girl! Blog for fun! I put adsense on my blog “for fun” knowing full well I’d be lucky to make back my blog costs in a year (this is my second blog, I deleted the first so as to keep my identity private since I like to talk about money and other sticky subjects :)) I’m sorry to hear about your troubles- care to blog in more detail so the rest of us understand what happended?

There is no shame in making a buck or two off your hobbies, but you have to put yourself first. I’ll read regardless!

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Melissa April 3, 2012 - 8:35 pm

Of course! I blog because I enjoy it. Period. Full stop. I started because it seemed like fun, and I keep doing it for that same reason. It’s awesome that I’m now able to make a bit of money off of it, but the second it stops being fun for me, is the second I stop doing it.

Actually, I imagine part of the reason I haven’t been consistently successful with ads (as compared to other blogs of similar rank/age) is that I sometimes take week-long breaks from blogging. I don’t do it often, but I’ve done it three or four times. Either because I was going on vacation, or once because I was sick, or because everything else going on in my life just got to be too much and blogging had to take a back seat. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, I really only blog for fun anyway. Though I suppose it’s a bit more of a luxury for me to say that I blog only for fun, since I do legitimately make my living from writing anyway. So unlike most bloggers, if I quit blogging, I still have a zillion outlets for writing on a daily basis, which I’m quite lucky for, I realize.

I do love your blog, though, so I hope you don’t let the haters get you down and keep at it!

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SB @ One Cent At A Time April 3, 2012 - 7:31 pm

Oh worried for you..what happened to him? And do write whenever you get time. Just don’t quit. Readers would be there anyway

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John@MoneyPrinciple April 3, 2012 - 6:11 pm

Best to blog as you mean it. The search engines are getting pretty good at spotting black hat techniques these days and penalise you. Advertising needs to be subtle and not take up too much real estate. Hope you get back on track anyway.

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Teacher Girl April 3, 2012 - 5:47 pm

Amen! How funny that you and I would post on such similar topics around the same time. I guess great minds think alike πŸ˜‰
At the end of the day, your blog is your blog and you should be able to do what you want with it. =)
P.S. I hope Eric is okay!! Let us know!

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Adrienne April 3, 2012 - 4:47 pm

I love this so much! What an awesome reminder of why we start blogging in the first place. I think you rock lady, and I’m sorry for Google’s recent suck-fest!

I’m totally on boat with the current stress thing too btw. It’ll get better πŸ™‚

Keep on blogging, because you’re so great at it and you love it!

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Young Professional Finances April 3, 2012 - 4:28 pm

I definitely blog for fun although if I ever earned income from it, that would be great. I can see what you mean though – I wouldn’t want this to ever feel like a “job” for me. I think it’s good you were able to take a step back and see what you really love about blogging.

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MommaStar April 3, 2012 - 3:49 pm

I will enjoy your blog either way. πŸ™‚

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justrealhappy April 3, 2012 - 2:39 pm

That’s why I quit QLL and started justrealhappy. I didn’t want to worry about any other people and meeting expectations. I write for me and to update people who care to follow my life. The rest is way to stressful to think about at this point of my life.

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John | Married (with Debt) April 3, 2012 - 1:50 pm

My brain tells me, no, I don’t blog for money, but then my heart asks, well then why do you do it because you ain’t making money! I just feel if it’s something you want to do with your life, then you have to be doing it while you wait.

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Careful Cents April 3, 2012 - 12:55 pm

I have been blogging for almost 10 months now, and I purposefully chose not to do any advertising until last month. I wanted to “purify” my reason for blogging. I want to blog for fun, for the relationships and the opportunity to interact with a great community. If I start making some money on the side, that’s a nice perk. But I can keep my real purpose for blogging in my mind, by always thinking back to the reason I started. I’m a writer at heart (like you) and enjoy reading other people’s blogs/comments. I’m not an SEO expert, a content farm or any other kind of blogging money-making machine. I like blogging for fun..and for me!

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shopping2saving April 3, 2012 - 11:38 am

I definitely blog for fun. I haven’t looked into advertising or anything because I still feel like I want to keep my blog more private, and only for people who genuinely want to read about me and my life. I think that it also puts pressure off of me, especially since I am so busy like you. I can understand where you are coming from though, and you can breathe a sigh of relief when you are writing just to write. Without any critics, or any consequences. I’ll still be here though and I can’t wait to see what happens next here! πŸ™‚

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Frugal Portland April 3, 2012 - 10:57 am

I do blog for fun. I feel lucky when I realize I haven’t yet made money on my blog, and that my PR had absolutely nowhere to go to hit zero. Blogging keeps me focused on my goals. Blogging helps me talk about budgeting and saving and investing and whatever until I’m blue in the face, without irritating the heck out of my real-life friends. Someday I’d like to make money on the side, and I think someday I will.

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Kyleigh April 3, 2012 - 10:28 am

Erika- I’m quite proud of you for this post. I’ve been following you since back in the day (let’s just say, I was around when you met your Mr.) and have always enjoyed your writing style. When you started over here, you were still…you. Then, you started writing more for the advertising and less for you and, frankly, I could tell. You weren’t as you as you used to be (i’m going to Dr. Seuss land here).

Anyway, I just thought I should pop in and tell you i’m proud of you for getting back to your roots.

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Amandalynn April 3, 2012 - 7:33 am

I read your blog because I can relate to you, your posts about your hobbies, your hubby issues (like TRASH) and so many other things. My husband and I read it aloud πŸ˜‰ We love your blog posts and are excited to read them when they come!

I think it sucks that they took away your money maker but I AM SO GLAD that you arent letting that get in the way of keeping your your blogging. πŸ™‚ You have loyal readers… and we read for the great insights and fun anectdotes that you have experienced and learned from! πŸ™‚ Don’t forget that!

β™₯ Do what you love. The rest will fall into place. β™₯
xoxo
Amandalynn

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kim April 3, 2012 - 7:04 am

I read your blog more for you than your PF ideas – we’re a couple of years ahead of you in…well everything (marriage, cleaning up Someone’s financial history, delaying a honeymoon, etc.) and so it makes interesting read. You also tell a story well.

I went down the rabbit hole of reading about blogs, page rank and spam pages. I learned some interesting stuff. I never noticed any keywords when you began to make money from this blog. And…I’m glad your’e back; since you had gone about 10 days I was actually starting to worry that something happened to you!

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Ashley April 3, 2012 - 6:51 am

Good for you! Do what’s best for you and what makes you happy!

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Daisy April 3, 2012 - 6:51 am

I’m sorry you were hit with the PR fiasco. I can see where it gets completely exhausting to have to keep up with a blog – I’d blogged for a year and a bit before I started making money on my blog, and i blogged for fun before. I still blog for fun! If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it, even if I could make money for it. It’s far too time consuming to not enjoy it πŸ™‚

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Micah April 3, 2012 - 6:45 am

I think I would find blogging to be a chore if I wasn’t free to write whatever i wanted. So I absolutely think blogging for fun is a good idea. I enjoy your posts. πŸ™‚

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Kim April 3, 2012 - 6:19 am

I’m glad you can get back to what you enjoyed about blogging in the first place. To be honest, it was a little tiring with all of the finance carnivals, guest posts, and everything. I really enjoyed your blog when it was originally just for fun. Tell us more about the 1/2 marathon training and the new house! I’m currently training for a 10 miler, so it’d be nice to compare war stories. πŸ™‚

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Emily April 3, 2012 - 6:19 am

I hear you. I went to a local blogging conference and left feeling torn. Was I doing enough of what I like? Should I be doing more to eventually be compensated or to cover the cost of my projects? It sometimes feels like you have to keep up and you have to maintain readers’ expectations. I guess in the end I have to be confident about what I do and how I do it. The conference did give me a good reminder that it is OK to take a break. It is OK to mark your reader all as read and instantly feel caught up. Keep it up! You’re doing great!

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Jordann @ My Alternate Life April 3, 2012 - 5:51 am

Love this post! As a new blogger, I definitely am just blogging for fun. I try and write about what interests me and I’ve even deliberately avoided some promotional things that would make me feel pressured to write for a certain audience. I hope you keep writing about what interests you, because I love reading it!

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Dave @ DebtBlackHole April 3, 2012 - 4:53 am

If it’s not FUN…then it’s not worth doing. Whether it’s a hobby or business…do it the way you want to!

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Leah @ The Miracle Journal April 3, 2012 - 4:37 am

Brava!!!
I blog because writing helps to keep me sane. Second, I write for my readers. If at any point I start writing for the advertisers (who haven’t shown up yet, so for me it’s still just a concept) I hope I’ll get a course correction as quickly as you did. And frankly, I think there’s money to be made simply by being authentic. I truly believe that’s what people want.
And I love reading your blog…I hope you keep having fun at it because I have fun reading it! πŸ™‚

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Marissa @ Thirty Six Months April 3, 2012 - 4:17 am

I love love love this post. Blogging is meant to be fun and I think somewhere down the road we all might have lost sight of that.

Ps. I hope Eric is alright.

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Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals April 3, 2012 - 3:54 am

First of all, I hope your hubby is ok!!!

Second, yes, I do blog for fun, but that wasn’t always the case. I have a family blog, and for a while it was growing too fast – I was bogged down in all the minutae you described, until it became no fun at all. In fact, it felt like a burden. About two years ago, I pulled back, and I was surprised that my advertisers still stayed with me even when I announced a change of course.

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my honest answer April 3, 2012 - 2:05 am

I’m so sorry to hear about this! But rest assured that if Google start to fake rankings like this, someone else will come up with a new and reliable ranking system that will be adopted instead. They’re not the only web company out there!

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eemusings April 2, 2012 - 10:08 pm

I wasn’t hit by the PR downgrade but have certainly started to feel a bit of pressure re:blogging (all self imposed!) I have a post coming up on this exact topic and remembering why you’re in it in the first place. And for me, ultimately that’s love, not fame or money.

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Meghan April 2, 2012 - 9:29 pm

I blog for fun, though I’m not very consistent! I’m sorry to hear about the blog income issue but I’ll of course still be reading. It seems like we actually have a lot in common- we too are trying to pay off my student loans and I’m running a half marathon next month.

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Emily April 2, 2012 - 9:24 pm

I think this is great as long as you get to go on a honeymoon! When you go to Costa Rica be sure to go to Moctezuma.

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Shannon April 2, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Oh I could hug you for writing this. I wish I could make the money wtih my blog but I would rather put my writing into a book that makes money. I have had those moments with my blog where you feel like you are losing it but it should be for you at the end of the day. Isn’ t that why we started this? Don’t run yourself ragged. And I hope hubby feels better:)!

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jobo April 2, 2012 - 6:20 pm

Amen!! So glad that you can go back to doing this more for fun and not as much because you feel compelled to for certain reasons. I think what you were doing and are doing is fantastic but can also completely understand the need to scale back a bit. Good for you! Sometimes we just need to stop and reset, ya know?

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SWR April 2, 2012 - 6:19 pm

1. I hope your husband is okay!

2. I hope your blog continues to be fun for you!

3. Because I’m really curious, anywhere I could find more about what happened with Google and changing blog advertising? You’ve got me really intrigued

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One Frugal Girl April 2, 2012 - 6:13 pm

I so agree! I blog for enjoyment, not money. But what happened to your husband? I must have missed a post!

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Michelle April 2, 2012 - 5:48 pm

Great post! I wasn’t one of the blogs that had their PR lowered, but so many did. It’s crazy how that works. I say blog for fun, don’t listen to critics and the like.

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Drea April 2, 2012 - 5:42 pm

I read a lot of different types of blogs that have different focuses, but I choose to read the blogs I read because I like the blogger. Liking the blogger is more important than liking the subject matter, to me. If you stopped blogging about finance and started blogging about fashion, or something, for whatever reason, i’d still enjoy your blog because I like your writing and your personality.

So, I think you should do whatever you want with your blog. Whatever makes you happy!

That really sucks that your income from blogging changed, though. I hope more sources pop up soon!

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Kiw girl April 2, 2012 - 5:27 pm

I hope you keep blogging for fun as I really enjoy reading about you and your husbands adventures in the first years of marriage. We have just celebrated our second wedding anniversary and like you and Eric we are saving for a house downpayment while paying off student loans. Our combined student loans are now less than $10,000. Although unlike you we went on a four week honeymoon two days after our wedding, it was an amazing adventure that included a two week camping trip and was then worth paying the credit cards off once we got home. All the best for continuing to save and plan for your honeymoon.

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Brent Pittman April 2, 2012 - 5:06 pm

Keep writing for yourself and your audience (not other bloggers). The money will return and hopefully your passion for blogging too.

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CeCe @Frugalista Married April 2, 2012 - 4:47 pm

I blog for fun ’cause I certainly don’t make any money at it. Which would be nice but it’s not why I started it in the first place so I’m okay with it. Hmmm….this thing about google not liking certain advertising sounds kind of fishy. I know nothing about all that but I think it is a bit sad that people who were making money now may not be. At least you got some money stashed away while the gettin’ was good.

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