How and Why I Started My Personal Finance Blog

One of my fellow bloggers, Passive Income to Retire, started a challenge a few weeks ago and I’ve decided to join in! This challenge, the Begginer Blogger Challenge, is just a way for a TON of bloggers around the world to discuss a few things they’ve experienced in starting up a new website/blog. There is no real prize — so I’m not sure why it’s considered a “challenge” — but it does allow for me to join in on the fun and share a few things with my readers.



Question 1: How Long Have You Been Blogging?

I officially launched my blog on November 28, 2011. So I’ve been blogging a little over 3 FULL months!

I actually purchased my domain, design, and logo in late August 2011 but it took me a few months to get everything ready to go.

There is no hiding that I’m a little anal and extremely attentive to detail, so I attribute those flaws (sometimes a positive attribute) to the delay in getting things going.

Much of my competitive nature and the desire to do things right forced me to take some time to make sure this site was properly designed before I launched it. That along with the fact that I wanted to get ahead on my blog posts (I consistently stay about 1 week ahead) delayed my launch from the beginning of October to the end of November.

Question 2: Why Did You Start Blogging?

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time then you’re aware that I struggled with money for a LONG time.

My personal struggle with finances eventually led to me pursuing a full-time job that involved advising (asset management/wealth building) and coaching (Dave Ramsey style) people 1-on-1 on a daily basis.

After advising/coaching for 2 years, I began to get disappointed in the number of people I was able to meet and help on a daily basis. My schedule was full — so it’s not that I wasn’t staying busy — but why only meet and speak to 500 people a year when you can reach thousands?

That problem then led to the realization that I could start a blog and share my story/knowledge with thousands of people. There is ZERO doubt in my mind that Americans struggle (greatly) with money. Our inability to handle money will eventually lead to extremely tough times for this country and the only way to circumvent that is to have millions and millions of people that lead financially independent lives (not only in the here-and-now but also 30 years from today in retirement).

After a lot of pushing from one of my close friends, I finally decided to start WorkSaveLive and am very thankful that I followed through with the decision.

Question 3: How Long Did it Take You to Earn $100?

Over the course of the last 3 months and 2 weeks, I’ve earned a total of $97 in blog income! Talk about a get-rich-quick scheme!!

Having followed a number of bloggers I do realize that this is a fairly unusual accomplishment. From multiple accounts it usually takes quite a bit longer than that to break the $100 mark.

So, if you have some misguided thought that I’m raking in piles of money over here, then I’d ask for you to rethink the glitz and glamor that comes with being a blogger.

With all of that said, I do believe blogging can be a profitable endeavor over a LONG period of time. Through CPC ads, affiliate marketing channels, and paid-for advertising, blogging can create some sort of “semi-passive” income stream.

Similar to TV and magazine advertising, advertisers want to reach audiences and they’re willing to pay for it. The caveat here is that VERY FEW bloggers will ever realize this. Your blog/website has to rank very high in the world and has to have a thousands of visitors each month.

Question 4: What is One Thing You Wish Someone Had Told You Before You Started Blogging?

There are simply too many things that I could list here. If I had to narrow it down though, I think I could fit all of my struggles into one thing: the time commitment.

As a newbie blogger you have to learn HTML code and CSS (which I still don’t really know). You have to find a theme (design) that works for you; you have to find a place to host your domain and create a logo.

THEN, once all of that is done, you still have to design the site to the way you want it to look.

Oh…I forgot the whole content thing: there is the time commitment to continually push out quality content. And if you want your blog to be successful, then you also have to allow time for guest posting, visiting other blogger’s sites, and building relationships with some of them.

Guest posting and finding a network of bloggers to help you is VERY important in the early stages. Blogging is very similar to the way our world works: it’s not always what you know, it’s WHO you know.

The unfortunate reality of search engines is that the ONLY way for you to be reputable in the eyes of Google, Bing, Yahoo,, etc., is for other websites to link back to yours.

So, even if you create quality content, you’ll struggle building your site (in the short-term) if you don’t have other people that are recognizing your site (linking back to you).

That is certainly one major thing I wish I would have known before I started. However, the great thing is that there are wonderful bloggers/websites out there that are willing to help you! It just goes back to that whole time thing…

If you’re a fellow blogger and would like to take part in this challenge, head over to Passive Income to Retire and check out the details!

Picture by David Castillo Dominici

About the Author

By , on Mar 15, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of

How to Become Rich e-Course

Budgeting 101


  1. 3 more bucks to go; you’re so close to the $100. It really can take a huge chunk of your time up, depending on what your blogging goals are. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post.

  2. The time commitment is a huge one – I didn’t realize how much time I would spend reading other blogs, commenting on them, finding my place in the Yakezie challenge, etc. I love it but it definitely does take a lot of time!

    • Andy says:

      I agree! I love getting to know all of the bloggers but the time commitment has definitely taken away from my writing time. I used to be weeks ahead on my posts and right now I’m 1 day ahead. lol. Going to have to work on being more efficient here soon!

  3. Karunesh says:

    Hi Andy,

    I found your post very helpful. I have updated your post at my website weekly roundup

  4. I think many of us are in the same boat: we see that the plan can work – it’s just a lot of blood, sweat, and tears sometimes in being a “one-man band” and making it happen! That’s why being a part of Yakezie is so great – lots of support! Andy: I’m going to carry through with your theme and post up my own response to the Beginner Blogger Challenge. Thanks for being a motivator!

    Lisa @ Thriftability

    • Andy says:


      I’m glad to know it’s not only me that works like a crazy person! I look forward to reading your response to the challenge; I’m curious as to what you’ll put as your thing you wish you knew before you started.

      Have a great weekend!

  5. CultOfMoney says:

    Good to know that I’m not the only one slaving away at all hours trying to get things working and writing something that is interesting, plus the networking and promotion. A bit sad to hear it doesn’t get much easier though… ๐Ÿ™ Great post, thanks for sharing!

    • Andy says:

      That’s a great point, CoM – when is it supposed to get easier? Maybe when you start making some money and can outsource some things?

  6. Katie says:

    I loved this post. I completely agree about the time commitment. There is just so much to learn when you’re starting out. And ultimately I think you have to enjoy blogging to make it in the long run.
    I think your blog looks great. Very professional, so all that time you put in getting it just right will surely pay off.

    • Andy says:

      Thanks Katie, I appreciate the kind words! I certainly enjoy blogging and I find it a lot of fun to see how the blog grows over time.

  7. TB says:

    Well this was an incredibly helpful post! It’s great getting info from fellow bloggers about time committment and stuff. I feel like I put in a lot of time and wonder if others to do too! And it looks like everyone does!

    • Andy says:


      I’ve been wondering that too, so I’m glad I’m not the only one! I just wonder how everybody else manages. I don’t have kids so I don’t get how anybody could do this, work a full-time job, and still have kids. They’d have to sacrifice a lot of family time.

  8. Taline says:

    Hey Andy,

    Looks like you and I both launched out sites in the same month/year! ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently outsourced a designer to help out with my site as I came to the realization it was taking me too long to figure it all out myself (although I have learned a lot of things like SEO, Alexa, page rank, CSS, comments, blah blah blah) lol….

    You have pretty much covered a lot of what I have gone through. I think networking with a similar group of bloggers (for me it was Yakezie) is vital to survive and be inspired to go on ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great post!

    • Andy says:

      Thanks, Taline!

      The network has certainly helped for me too, but I draw a lot of motivation by watching my traffic grow and competing against the Alexa rank/the world of blogs.

      I have thought about outsourcing stuff but I’m just not sure how people justify it when you’re not making any money. Have you made money on the blog yet or are the funds coming out of pocket?

  9. Daisy says:

    I love reading these! It’s so interesting to see how different bloggers develop and grow.

    I totally agree about the time commitment. I spend HOURS a day working on my blog (commenting, writing, development, Yakezie). It’s fun, but exhausting sometimes. You can outsource, though!

    • Andy says:

      Can’t outsource if you’re not making any money! ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoy blogging but not enough to dump more money in from my personal budget.

  10. Karunesh says:

    great post Andy,

    I have been working on my website for 1yr 6 months now. I launched my website 8 months back thinking it would be great success overnight ๐Ÿ™‚ but reality turned out to be different. anyways I decided to stick to blogging and tried harder and harder.

    blogging teaches you a lot about life and starting a business. It teaches you a lot about entrepreneurship.

    • Andy says:

      You took 8 months to launch your website?? That is a long time!

      I think you’re going to do very well. I love the pictures you draw and you are very creative. Definitely a different perspective and people like that. Just keep working hard!

  11. Shilpan says:

    Nice post Andy. I started blogging just few months ago. I have made zero dollars. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoy sharing my success in this great nation with others. I’ve built a very good net worth starting from scratch in last 10 years. So, blogging is more passion to share than to make money for me. And, not to mention, I enjoy friendship with bloggers like yourself.

    • Andy says:


      I’ve enjoyed getting to know you (as much as you can via a computer) as well! I love your blog and your principles. You actually won my post of the week – which will show up in my post tomorrow morning!

      Maybe as I continue to follow your blog I’ll learn how you built wealth and what you did prior (or what you currently do)? Look forward to hearing about it someday!

  12. I am .03 up today! The road to riches!

    • Andy says:

      You’re ahead of me! I’m at $0.00! My adsense has been terrible this month. I made $20 last month and I can’t even rub two nickels together in March.

  13. Great post Andy!

    The time commitment is huge and if someone strictly does this for the money I think they will quickly burn out, unless they can afford additional help.

    Coming up with new topics to write about is a struggle for me as well. I read so many great posts on other people’s blogs just based on things that happened to them that week and I think man I live a dull life.

    Also, I noticed you are always the first to comment on many blogs in the morning. You must be making an addtional effort to get up early everyday to get all that done as well. Wishing you much success with your blog!

    • Andy says:

      Hi Sicorra!

      You’re 100% on with your first statement. If you don’t enjoy helping people, networking, learning, and writing/talking about finance then you’ll definitely get burnt out. Heck, even if you do you still may!

      I mentioned this in a previous comment, but something that helps with the content thing is planning it far in advance. I’m sure I’ll eventually run out but I’m fortunate that my job provides me with a TON of material to discuss. It helps that I get to help people with this each day and find out what they struggle with.

      We also live a dull life…all of the other bloggers are so much more creative and fun. It’s all good though. I don’t mind my boring life. lol

      And you’re right about the mornings! My wife works at 6 AM and gets up at 4:30. I try to get up with her but I normally can’t gain consciousness until 5ish. My promise to myself (and to her) was that if I started this it would all be done in the morning. I work some evenings at my full-time job, so to take time away at night to do blog stuff just isn’t something I’m willing to do very often.

  14. Michelle says:

    We’ve made $0.07!!! We have been at it for 7 weeks. I think we must be doing something wrong…

    And actually, if you count the domain costs, we’re in the negatives. I don’t know if we’ll be successful, but we are already doing so much better financially just because we’re keeping track of everything, which is the whole reason we started the blog. If it takes off and we start making a little dough, too….great!

    • Andy says:

      Oh Michelle, don’t worry, I’m negative too! lol. To the tune of $500 or so.

      The only reason I’ve made any money is because of the My Setup page. A quite of few people have used the Logo company I recommend and some people have bought the Theme/design I use too.

      It all is in due time. The more your followers trust you, the more they’re willing to listen to you and believe in what you recommend to them.

  15. AverageJoe says:

    Great advice on the beginning stages of your blog. When I started, my wife said, “I thought all you did was write some stuff and throw it up for people to read. You never talk about that part now.”

    Thanks for the fun look into your blogging life.

    • Andy says:

      LOL. Yeah, I’m pretty sure my wife has no idea – nor does she want to know.

      Most people have no idea all that it takes. I was COMPLETELY ignorant stepping into this. But it has opened my eyes and it’s been a very fun journey.

  16. SB @ FPR says:

    now I have a very big thing to put in my writing on this topic. A great learning this week.I though I ma a hero who knows everything in blogging, I was wrong and got a huge shock.

    • Andy says:

      There is always something new to learn! I can’t wait until I know half as much as the other bloggers that I follow. I have a LOOOONG way to go!

  17. Michelle says:

    The time commitment is definitely something I didn’t realize. I get so caught up reading blogs (I love reading though).

    • Andy says:

      I agree on that front! It’s been very fun building relationships and getting to know all of the different bloggers. But it sure does take up time!

      Have to be efficient and focused when you sit in front of the computer.

  18. Your answers are very interesting. I was especially intrigued with your answer for why your started blogging. You have a goal for advising and coaching a larger number of people on asset management and wealth building. That’s not only noble, but it also shows that you truly want to help people. That’s the greatest thing that one person can do for so many others.

    • Andy says:


      Thanks for coming by and commenting! I originally chose my career today because I wanted to help people change their lives. I left everything I knew and made a lot of sacrifices to do it.

      I realize (because I lived it and I coach people on a daily basis) that money has a reign on many of our lives and we’re bound to our existences because of our financial obligations. The only way to fix that is to learn how to manage money properly…and that has been and (I hope) will always be my motivation.

  19. Jackie Walters says:

    Great post Andy. I’m still clueless with everything that goes into blogging. My biggest obstacle is the actually writing/content portion of the blog. However, I have no problem commenting and/or sharing other blogger’s information via Twitter/Facebook or even linking to my Blog.

    I’m not sure if my blog will be successful or not – I just want to be able share my wealth of personal finance information with as many people as possible. If my blog isn’t the vehicle in which to do that I will go back to aggregating personal finance information on Twitter/Facebook.

    Thanks, Jackie.

    • Andy says:


      I think my content is helped by the fact that I work in the industry. When I started the blog I thought long and hard about what my content would cover.

      Our personal story and the blogging income/stats take up a post. i do the weekly recipe and then the rest are finance (primarily), career, and life related.

      I will say that I also plan out my content well in advance. I will get better eventually but right now I plan 1.5 months out. So in mid-February I planned all of my posts through March. Here in a week or so I will plan all of my posts through April or May. I’ve found that to be very helpful and it gives me some guidance.

      Good luck and keep working at it!

      • DANG you are organized I am more of a procrasinator. Deadlines and pressure is when I work best. I applaud you that you are able to do that. I love the layout and feel of your blog. I didnt realize as you mentioned above the time commitment. If you want your blog to grow you have to put in your time in the trenches.

        • Andy says:


          I’m starting to believe I’m a lot more organized than other bloggers. :/ Although I know some of the of the really successful ones plan months and months in advance.

          That is just how I do things I guess; maybe the experience I’ve had with developing business plans and growing things from the ground up play into it.

          Or I’m just anal…I’m not really sure. lol

  20. Nice post Andy! I couldn’t agree more about the time commitment. Many of my non-blogging friends hear about my success with blogging and think they can do the same thing with a few hours here and there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I thought the same thing when I started, but committed to seeing it through.

    • Andy says:

      Yeah…frankly I thought this would be a little easier than it is. My guess is that most people really have no clue how much actually goes into all of this.

      Like you though, I plan on seeing this out! It is fun and it is exciting to see the site grow. As I mentioned in the post it helps me a lot to look back and remember why I started this site; WorkSaveLive is starting reach a lot of people now and it should help some of them! That was the goal!

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