Good morning & happy 1st November! Can’t believe we are fast approaching the end of the year. Today though we are handing over the blog to Jane as she has kindly agreed to take part in our Wise Words Wednesday feature.
Her blog is full of lots of interesting articles on saving money but living a fun filled life at the same time.
Over to Jane :
Tell us a little bit about you & your blog:
I blog about living a fun and frugal life at http://www.shoestringcottage.com. The subjects I cover include healthy eating on a budget, frugal gardening and growing your own food, budget travel, making extra money and finding the best bargains. You can also find me on Twitter, on Instagram and on Facebook .
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started Shoestring Cottage in 2013 as a way to motivate myself and keep my finances on track. Life felt a bit hard at the time; I was working full time but not really earning enough to get by. As the children grew there was the prospect of losing working tax credits, child benefit and maintenance and I was panicking a bit. I researched frugality and money saving. The more I learned, the more in control I felt and the more I wanted to share my money saving knowledge.
What has been your highlight of blogging?
Discovering the UK Money Bloggers Facebook group has been a turning point for me. I have discovered a warm community of helpful and talented people writing on a wide range of money related topics. It has been fascinating to start exploring some of them. I have learned more from members of the group in the past six months than I learned in all my years of blogging along by myself.
It has also been fantastic to chat to some of my lovely readers. I feel as if I know some of them, even though we have never met. I give my thoughts and advice, and I get loads in return. It is a satisfying two way process.
Is there anything you have learnt about blogging which you wish you knew when you started out?
Tough question, as there are so many things….if I was starting now, I would go self-hosted from the beginning, I would consider the design of my blog more carefully and how it is organised, I would give more thought to what I want to achieve. Having said all that, I didn’t have a clue and it has gone OK anyway!
Bloggers sometimes get a lot of stick however many work really hard and are reaping the rewards, what has been the most rewarding part of blogging for you?
I find blogging incredibly therapeutic. I enjoy writing and I love the communication with my readers. Because I have a full time job I don’t have as much time as I would like to devote to Shoestring Cottage, which is frustrating. I have yet to reap huge financial rewards, but I make a little bit extra from affiliate marketing.
What would be your 1 tip you would give all new bloggers starting out?
Make sure your spelling and grammar are good. Proof read your posts. It really irritates me when I am reading something that should be interesting but I am constantly distracted by awful punctuation! Aim to improve your writing skills and think about how you structure your posts so that they read logically.
Who do you find inspiring to read/watch in the blogging world?
There are lots of blogs I enjoy. I love Ilona at Life After Money – she is so genuine and eccentric. I also enjoy Sue’s blog, http://attheendofasuffolklane.blogspot.co.uk/. I am drawn to the environmentally friendly ethos of Zoe’s blog at http://ecothriftyliving.com/ and am amazed at the huge variety Cass offers at The Diary of a Frugal Family – Living a Fabulously Frugal Family Life. But there are so many blogs that I admire, it is hard to pull out just a few.
Lastly – do you have any big plans/dreams for your blog in the next 12 months?
I have only recently come to understand that it is possible to make a living from blogging. This is my ultimate dream. I may not achieve this in the next 12 months, but it is certainly an aim to at least make a bit of money from my blogging efforts at some point in the future. Until then, I enjoy writing posts for Shoestring Cottage as well as guest posts such as this one and will continue to do it for love!
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