My second blogversary is tomorrow, Thursday, the 29th of March. My very first post went live on March 29 two years ago. It has been quite an adventure since then, with many changes both in my personal life and in the online world! Here are some of the highlights:
- I purchased a home with my girlfriend, and we moved in together.
- I started taking my first Mandarin courses a bit more than two years ago. I’m now almost finished the whole program (30 credits!). On one hand, I could be halfway through an MBA or something like that. On the other hand, it was great learning a new language, even if I still have a long way to go. It wasn’t easy going through the program, but I enjoyed it.
- Two years ago, I was in a bit of a rut at my job. Things were going well, but I had been doing the same thing for a while. Since then, I learned a great many new things, got promoted, and even mustered up the courage to take a leap into the world of self-employment.
It’s been a great adventure, and certainly one that I haven’t shared alone. I’ve enjoyed sharing the journey with you, my fellow reader. 20s Finances is asking us to share our advice and tips for newer bloggers out there, even though I still consider myself a young blogger. Here are my answers to some of the questions a lot of you may have:
Why did you start blogging?
At the time of my mild rut a couple years ago, I was debating if I should go back to school to pursue a CFA and MBA, and perhaps jump into the world of finance. I had done well in those classes at school, and I liked to compare different scenarios. My fellow colleague, Mich from Beating the Index, loved to talk about investing in oil & gas companies, as well as his daily battle to beat the index. I recommended he start an online journal to record his thoughts, and I decided to try the same to document my own thoughts and journey in personal finance. Back then, I didn’t know much about the blogging world or about other personal finance bloggers.
I’ve since learned that I’m not as much into the finer details of investing in stocks as my buddy is. I like seeing my money grow, but I prefer an approach based on index funds and following simple and sound strategies, such as spending a LOT less than you earn, and not getting ripped off by the banks.
I’m not sure if this blog succeeded in helping me pursue a CFA/MBA in the end. I’d like to pursue a master’s someday, but since it’s not cheap, I also need to look at the opportunity costs!
Where this blog really helped me the most is in forming new connections and learning new ideas. I have learned so much in this short span of time. Invest It Wisely is the main reason I was able to make my jump to full-time self-employment. It’s still too early to say where things will go, and I’ll be honest: I would have had a much more relaxed schedule had I stayed at the job. I also would have hated my job. It’s enjoyable to fight the storms and fight for your future, instead of letting it be dictated by what happens at your company and by the whims of your bosses!
I am also starting to write my first book and a major section of a second. Many of these doors have opened for me simply by being exposed to this world of opportunity. For that, I am again thankful to you, dear reader, for keeping me going through the thick and thin of it.
How long did it take you to earn $100?
Probably almost an entire year. I made very little money at all during my first year of blogging. Blogging doesn’t make a significant amount of money for me even today (far less than what I earned at my day job), but it helped me accumulate enough extra savings so that I could make the jump.
What is (at least) one thing you wish someone had told you before you started blogging?
Tough to say. However, something I highly recommend is regular backups, of both the database and of your files. This is doubly important if you don’t have your own hosting. Most importantly, breathe, and relax. Not always easy, I know, and I need to often take this advice myself, but the key to blogging is longevity and resilience, and you won’t get there if you’re always feeling stressed out.
On to the part I know you’re all waiting for. To celebrate my second blogversary, I’m giving away over $1200 in prizes! There are three prizes to win in all:
- Top prize: The new iPad 16GB with 4G + Wifi (value $649) . The new iPad has a high-res screen of 2048×1536, quad-core graphics, and long battery life. With the 4G connectivity, you’ll have access to high-speed internet wherever you are. I would love to get one for myself!
- Follow-up prize: Simply Investing course (value $347). This course is a simply investing approach to value investing with a focus on dividends. Learn the same techniques used by successful investors like Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham. You can find out more at the Simply Investing course description.
- Follow-up prize: Stock Trend Investing Gold Membership + $25 via Amazon (value $216). This membership will give you access to simple investment strategies and teach you how to analyze the market to grow your savings and net worth. You can learn more at the Stock Trend Investing website. There is also a $25 gift card via Amazon to make the prize even better.
Please note: This giveaway is open to legal participants in Canada and the U.S. only. Also, entries are only valid if they are new entries. For example, if you’re already subscribed by email, you can’t count that as an entry. You have to do something new.
Thank you very much to everyone who has kindly sponsored this giveaway!
- Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing – course worth $347
- Van Beek @ Stock Trend Investing – course worth $191 + $25 via Amazon
- Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter – $50 toward iPad
- Simon @ Sustainable Personal Finance – $50 toward iPad
- Young & Thrifty – $50 toward iPad
- Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – $25 toward iPad
- Cents to Save – $25 toward iPad
- Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey – $25 toward iPad
- Sandy @ Yes, I Am Cheap – $25 toward iPad
- Squirrelers – $20 toward iPad
- Edward Antrobus – $5 toward iPad
Thank you all, for helping to make this giveaway possible! The contest is now closed; thanks for participating! See this page for the winners.
Best of luck!