I first started reading personal finance blogs back in 2006-2007 when my wife and I were just beginning to get serious about our finances. I was stumbled onto the personal finance blogosphere when I was investigating a question about retirement accounts, and after reading some blogs for a few weeks, I was struck with just how interesting a topic personal finance was. There are so many angles to examine when it comes to money, from the psychology of money, to the technical details of setting up a retirement account. I was hooked.
After reading those blogs for a year or more, I started reading how it was possible to start your own blog and turn it into a second income. You could make money from display advertising, Adsense ads, affiliate marketing and a variety of other sources as well. I read stories from some bloggers how they had quit their day jobs to become full time bloggers because they'd become so successful at it.
I decided that I wanted to start blogging as well. I'll admit that when I started, one of my main motivating factors was that I wanted to make a second income for my family. My wife and I were planning on having kids, and we knew she would be staying home with our kids when that day came, so i wanted to create some additional income. Blogging seemed to be a decent way to do that.
When I started looking into blogging, however, I realized that while there was stuff available on the topic of blogging and how to get started, not a lot of the materials were very professional. they were lacking. I read a few blog posts on the topic of how to get started, but for the most part I just muddled my way through, learning as I went. While I've been more successful at blogging than I could have ever imagined, I wish I had some better resources back then to help me as I got started. If I had, the learning curve could have been cut significantly, and I could have started doing the right things from the start.
Luckily, if you're starting a blog today, there are some better resources out there, including the ones I'm going to mention today.
Blogging Your Passion
One of the first blogs I started reading back in 2007, and one of the ones that inspired me to start my own, was the site ChristianPF.com, written by Bob Lotich. The site was one of the very first Christian personal finance sites, and I knew that was the niche I wanted my own blog to be in. Bob was very approachable and has helped me over the years when I had questions – and I was lucky enough to meet him last year at the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago. Bob is a full time blogger, and really knows his stuff when it comes to the art of blogging – not just through some courses he took somewhere, but through first hand experience.
Bob has put together some great video courses on blogging and recently released them. There are currently 3 modules that you can take part in that I've also had a chance view.
- Blogging Your Passion University 101
- Blogging Your Passion University 201
- Blogging Your Passion University 5-Week Video Series
Blogging Your Passion University 101
Blogging Your Passion University 101 covers all the basics that a beginning or newer blogger needs to know when starting a WordPress blog. There are 24 instructional videos that will show you how to pick a domain, how to brand your blog, what software to use, how to setup and optimize WordPress, what plugins to use with your site, how to install analytics software and much, much more. The 5 modules include:
- Module 1: Laying The Right Foundation
- Module 2: Setting Up Your Blog For Success
- Module 3: Understanding WordPress
- Module 4: Essential Blogging Tools
- Module 5: Important WordPress Tweaks
Going through the 101 course will help brand new bloggers and those who need to know the basics a solid foundation that your blogging empire will be built on.
Blogging Your Passion University 201
Blogging 201 builds on the foundation you get in the 101 class, and takes it to the next level. It has 44 step-by-step videos walking you through some more advanced topics like how to generate traffic, the basics of SEO, running a site efficiently, making money with your site, and how to come up with great content. The modules included in this class include:
- Getting Traffic to Your Blog
- On-Site Improvements
- Off-Site Tasks
- SEO & Keyword Research
- Making Money with Your Blog
- Content Generation
I've had a chance to go through the videos and I'll tell you right now that the production value is great, and Bob and his partner Jonathan both know what they're talking about when it comes to how to create and grow a money making blog.
Blogging Your Passion 5-Week Video Series
In addition to the 101 and 201 video series, Bob and Jonathan also held a 5 week class which you can also take part in. I was able to review that a while back as well, and it is a great investment for bloggers who aspire to go full time as well. You can read my full review of the program here:
To find out more details about the 101 and 201 programs, click on the links below: