How to Blog Better: On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog!

Last Updated on July 15, 2020

I’ve wanted to make money off of my blog for a while now. That desire has only grown as I’ve struggled to find a meaningful job over this last year.

I’ve done a few things in attempt to earn some income from this place – such as adding ads and doing some freelance writing – but it’s nowhere near enough for me to quit my dumb part time minimum wage job and work from home instead. Of course I’d love to make 5-figures each month like some bloggers, but even $500 a month would be enough to justify quitting.

I’ve spent many nights pinning various articles on the subject, but I’ve never really known how or where to start. So, I was super excited when I started to hear rumors around the PF Blogging water cooler that Kathleen (of Frugal Portland and For Profit Blogging) and Anne (of Unique Gifter and Money Propeller) were working on an e-book to address this very issue. I know from my own interactions with these two that they know what they are talking about when it comes to launching and monetizing a blog.

You see, these two ladies hold a spot close to my blogging heart.

Almost 2 years ago, I was one of those bloggers that had a free blog and I wasn’t sure I was ready to invest my hard-earned money into buying my own domain or not. I had owned my own domains in the past, but my they were pretty much for me and a small audience made up of my real life friends and family members. Could I actually become a “real” blogger? Was I interesting enough for strangers to care what I had to say?

Well, I left a comment saying basically that on a post that Kathleen had written. And her response to that comment was what made me decide to take the plunge and do it!

And then there’s Anne. Dear, sweet Anne who would always answer my blogging and personal finance questions even though back then I only knew her through her gift giving blog. To this day, she is one of the few bloggers that isn’t afraid to be real with me, especially when it comes to the topic of money.

As soon as the e-book On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! was launched, I got my free copy of the sample chapter. (Which you can also get!) I knew the book would be valuable, but would it be right for someone like me that’s already been blogging for awhile? Or is it more for brand new blogs and bloggers?

I decided to simply ask Anne, who in turn sent my a copy to review and see for myself.


Yes, one of the first chapters does cover how to set up a brand new blog, but I do NOT think that established bloggers should skip over it. I’m glad I didn’t! Anne and Kathleen cover a lot of important stuff that I still haven’t done with my blog – partially because I didn’t realize I needed to (like creating a back-up administrator login), but mostly because I didn’t know how and was too terrified to play with the cPanel and WordPress settings. But they keep it simple and straight forward by only addressing what needs to be addressed.

Although I was clearly looking for information on how to make some money off this blog (which is, of course, also covered and has added even more to my blogging to-do list!), I personally found the chapters on branding to be the most valuable and interesting. I didn’t put too much thought into my brand when I first launched this domain because it was still just a hobby back then. Now that I want to step it up a notch, I really need to focus and (to paraphrase the authors themselves) stake my brand so no one else can!

In short, Anne and Kathleen made some blogging mistakes in the past and were awesome enough to put together this “road map” e-book so that we don’t make those same mistakes with our blogs.

I’ve somehow managed to find some success with my blog so far, but On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! will now help me pinpoint what steps I missed along the way (thank you, handy, printable check-list!), tell me how to fix them, and finally give me that solid foundation that I want for myself and My Life, I Guess. Hopefully you will see some of these lessons come to life right here, over the upcoming weeks. 🙂

What are you waiting for? Whether you’re new to blogging, considering a re-brand, or just want to make your blog better, On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! will get you there.


What did you struggle the most with when first setting up your blog?

Or if you’re not a blogger, what’s stopping you?


* This post contains affiliate links, because a) I want to make money!, b) I’m already implementing some of what this ebook has taught me, and c) I really think you’ll like this ebook, too.

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it - it's FREE!

8 thoughts on “How to Blog Better: On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog!”

  1. Awe thanks!!
    There are so many things involved in setting up a blog… I keep missing steps, even though I “know better” or at one point or another have figured them out along the way. I still need to go back and make sure that I haven’t missed anything for each of my sites, eeep.

  2. Speaking from experience, I can say that it’s a lot of work to get a blog running, and keep it running. I own two PF blogs and they give me incentive each week to write interesting, informative and fun posts that will hopefully engage readers.

    My best advice is to keep on going and have a plan to show readers what’s unique about your blog.

  3. Money After Graduation has consistently delivered four-figures monthly for more than 2 years now. It’s been incredible, but it hasn’t been easy (I always joke that blogging works out to $4/hr but secretly I think that’s a generous estimate, it’s probably less). I have no idea how to grow from four to five figures of monthly income, and I’m doubtful I’ll ever find out.

    It makes me a little sad to see a lot of bloggers getting onto the monetizing bad wagon — not because I don’t think they deserve to make money because seriously everyone should, but because I think when they switch to that thinking they lose the real purpose of their site.

    Way too many people are focused on BS like SEO instead of creating truly content. Of course you want people to find and share your work, but you need to produce work that is worth finding and sharing. I’ve never given a shit about SEO or rankings or developing Money After Graduation as a “brand”, but my site has done well because it’s full of great content and I have a compelling story (born out of being absurdly average as a 20-something that racked up $20K in student loans).
    It is far more important to be relateable, helpful, and entertaining as a writer than it is to have great SEO. When it comes to blogs, your money is in your readership, so you should cultivate that.

    • “Way too many people are focused on BS like SEO instead of creating truly content.”

      I have a different view of this. Too many of the good writers make zero money because they NEVER pay any attention to SEO or how to create some minimal streams of income and they burn out too soon….leaving only the people who know SEO and selling, but really have not much to say.

  4. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed quite a few steps and I’ve been blogging for almost three years now. However, I feel like I become somewhat serious until 1.5 years later. One of the things for me was and still is trying to find the time while working two jobs. As much as I love blogging and have been able to make a bit of money off of it (mind you, last year’s was only almost at three figures and that was for the entire year), it is CRAZY how much time and effort needs to be into it to keep it active. I was even skeptical about the first few crucial steps that needed to be done in order to grow your blog such as becoming self-hosted and buying a theme (I’m hoping to eventually have a better design in the near future). Now that I’ve done it, I wish I had done it sooner. It always seems like that though. Lol.

  5. Thanks for the amazing review! I don’t even remember the comment that pushed you all that time ago, but I’m so glad I did! Monetizing isn’t about selling out, or optimizing around a keyword — it’s about finding ways to stay true to your voice and make a bit of income off that.


Leave a Comment