Nowadays, it seems loads of people write a blog. I don’t blame them! For me, it is a great hobby and starting my Shoestring Cottage blog has had so many benefits. A decade after I began, here are my reflections.
How my Shoestring Cottage blog came into being
Shoestring Cottage came into being way back in 2009, when I suddenly became a single parent and had to be a grown up! It was a moment that changed my relationship with money. Until that point, I wasn’t remotely interested in personal finance. As long as we had enough to get by, that was fine and I let my ex-husband do the sums. Not a very feminist view point. However, suddenly becoming a single again after 25 years gave me a huge jolt. I had to pay my own rent and bills and keep control of my money, as I had a lot less to live on.
I have always been fairly frugal in my approach to life. However, I realised that, as well as getting a full time job, I would need to do better and keep very tight control of the purse strings.
Partner in crime
The benefits of writing the Shoestring Cottage blog
I have also got to know a lot of other bloggers, particularly through joining the UK Money Bloggers community. We chat on a couple of Facebook groups and I have met many of them at the SHOMOs Awards a couple of years running. I am hoping to go again this year.
A creative outlet
Until a month ago I was working for the council in a humdrum job I did for a decade. Frankly, I was bored as hell, which is why I jumped when I was offered redundancy. During that time, the Shoestring Cottage blog gave me a well needed creative outlet. I love writing – I always have – so blogging has given me the opportunity to do this. I have also written guest posts for other bloggers and for companies, such as this one I wrote for Royal London.
My photography skills aren’t great – Mr S is a much better photographer and I frequently pinch his photos. However, it has improved massively because I know a lot of the pics will appear on the blog (or on Instagram!).
I don’t earn a massive amount from the blog. In reality, I enjoy writing it more than I do chasing people for sponsored posts and the like. However, it makes some money and every little helps!
It is, of course, possible to make a decent living as a blogger and I know many who do. If you are interested, Emma Drew has a ton of useful information about starting a blog and making a full time income.
No one goes through a divorce – however amicable – and comes out with their confidence undamaged. Blogging – the writing, the interactions with readers, other bloggers and brands, the sense that I am making progress on my journey to get and keep my finances in order – has hugely improved my confidence and self esteem.
I am not a very techie person but as a result of the Shoestring Cottage blog I have learned all sorts. Actually, I am always learning, which keeps the grey matter going a bit. No bad thing.
If you are feeling a bit meh and need a hobby to give you a bit of a confidence boost, I really recommend starting your own blog! If you already have one, please leave a link in the comments so we can all check you out.
This post contains affiliate links.