I love how here on Yakezie we all come together for our love and interest in blogging, personal finance, lifestyle topics, and helping each other. I wouldn’t be where I am today as a blogger without Yakezie and the support of so many Members and Challengers. I knew so little about websites and blogging before I started the Challenge! Looking back I have to laugh at some of the things I used to get so confused about, for ex. what’s the difference between a plugin vs a widget? and what the heck is RSS? And I know a lot of you have had similar experiences.

I didn’t even know what WordPress was until a few years ago. The only thing I did know was some basic html that I learned many years ago when I was playing around trying to make a website on Yahoo Geocities. (Remember Geocities?!) Ha that was so long ago it sounds like the Stone Ages. Well I totally failed at my first attempts to get on the web, which turned out to be fine, and it’s exciting to see how far technology, web platforms, and online sharing has come since then.

You Will Be A Happy Blogger If…

There are many things I’ve learned from blogging since I started Untemplater. Some I learned from others, some I learned by research, and a few I learned by accident. If I had to pick only one piece of advice to share from them all, it would be to blog because you love to write. You’d be surprised how many people run sites and call themselves bloggers but actually don’t enjoy what they do and dread having to write.

As an observer, I’ve seen more and more people start or takeover a blog primarily because of money and not for the love of it. I’m not saying it’s bad to earn income from blogging, I think that’s a sweet bonus. But having too big a focus on money alone tends to squeeze all the life and personality out of a site. As a blog owner, if you don’t truly love writing for your own readers, the truth will eventually come out.

Blog Because You Love It!

It’s very hard to maintain a regular posting schedule long term if you don’t actually enjoy writing for your site. I was shocked when I met a fairly big blogger a few years ago who I used to look up to because he said to me “I hate writing.” Wow, how sad. At the time his blog didn’t indicate that he hated writing.

But it’s hard to do anything you “hate” long term. So I’m not surprised to find out that he stopped writing for his blog all together and it has since gone downhill. The core of his site used to be about his own life and career experiences, but that is all lost since he only publishes articles by staff writers and guests now. So many people give up!

That’s why you have to genuinely love blogging if you want to stick with it long term. Your site may be able to survive if you stop writing and hire other people to write all your content instead, but you shouldn’t call yourself a blogger if you’re not actually writing. You’d be a content manager, editor, or just a website owner at that point. Perhaps you have a different definition of a blogger, but to me a blogger is someone who writes their own stuff! And a happy blogger is someone who loves to write.

Time Flies When You’re Smiling

Blogging will feel like long drawn out torture and stress if you don’t like to write, pure and simple. If on the other hand, you like being able to sit down and pour out your emotions, thoughts, and advice on the computer, you’re going to do very well as a blogger. Haven’t you noticed time flies when you’re smiling?! Even if you’re not a natural and are a slow writer like me, you’ll be able to grow and improve in time if you enjoy the act of writing itself. I love being on a computer and I love to write, so blogging has been the perfect medium for me to do both.

Whether or not you like the technical aspects of blogging is less important to being a happy blogger because the techie stuff is minor compared to the frequency, focus, and energy it takes to write for your site. A blog is about producing posts after all! Even if you start to burn out or get distracted with other work or personal issues, a love of blogging will always bring you back. If on the other hand you start to realize that you really dislike sitting down to write, you should start to question if blogging is really for you. For me, I’m so happy every time I finish writing a post and am constantly thinking of new things I can write about.

I’m also a happy blogger because Untemplater helps me keep track of how far I’ve come. I’ve been able to use my own experiences, struggles, and growth to get things off my shoulders, remember what I’ve overcome, and help people grow and find ways to enrich their lives. A few of my posts that stick out in my mind are

It’s just so much fun to look back at all the stuff I’ve written about. I’m sure you feel the same way about your own blog. It’s a priceless feeling to be proud of something you’ve accomplished on your own. I feel so grateful that I’ve been able to write about so many experiences and share with other people these last three+ years. As long as I can help even just one person out there through my writing, I plan to keep writing for as long as I can.

So Many Bloggers Give Up

Remember there are many other ways to express yourself and work towards earning some side income than just being a blogger. So don’t feel bad if you discover that blogging just isn’t your thing. But you may be like me and start off feeling hesitant and end up loving to blog way more than you ever imagined! Life is short, so it’s important to spend as much of your time doing things you truly enjoy. Do what makes you happy.

For me, I find writing to be so many wonderful things – an emotional outlet, a way to keep myself challenged, a method for me to help other people, a means to learn new things, a way to connect and build friendships, etc. –  which is why I’m a happy blogger. I also think it’s why I’ve lasted as long as I have. The failure rate for bloggers is pretty high, which you’ll realize more and more the longer you do it.

For example, I ran the Broken Link Checker plugin the other day and quickly lost count of how many bloggers had given up when I was cleaning up broken links from comments they’d left on my older posts. It’s easy to become a blogger, but it takes a lot of diligence, time, and enthusiasm for writing to keep up with it long term.

The Pure Joy Of Reaching Goals And Milestones

A funny thing happened to me recently that just goes to show how fast time flies when you’re smiling and having fun. I was sitting at home while I was surfing Yakezie and randomly had the idea to pull up my Member post. I laughed at how green I was when I wrote it, and skimmed down to the bottom of the post. Then curiosity led me to look at the date of the first comment, which was in the early Fall of 2011.

Wait a minute. Counting backwards, since this was my Member post that means I started blogging at the beginning of 2011. Then counting forwards, 2012, 2013, 2014 – holy cow that means I passed my 3 year blogversary! Ha no way!

I didn’t realize until that moment just a few weeks ago that I’d passed my three year blogging mark. And I found out by accident! Well unless my subconscious was smart enough to guide me to piece it together. I remember celebrating becoming a Yakezie Member way back then and then reaching my 1 year blogversary. I was having so much fun I lost track of time after that. So I was so thrilled when it registered in my brain that I blew right past year 2 and now 3. I sure didn’t think I’d make it this far when I first started.

It’s such a joy to reach goals and milestones, and we should celebrate more of them. After all, why work hard if we don’t give ourselves a pat on the back and do something fun to reward ourselves once in a while! :) 

Thank You Yakezie!

I want to take a moment to thank Sam and everyone involved with Yakezie, because my experience as a blogger wouldn’t be the same without you guys. Thank you! The Challenge is such a great way to start out and learn, the belts of honor system is so unique (I recently achieved Black Belt!), the forums are incredibly helpful and fun, and the support of the Network is priceless.

People and opportunities may come and go, but we should never forget those who have helped us along the way. I hope you are a happy blogger and that you love to write. To me having a love of writing is the most important reason to be a blogger!


It’s been over seven years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good passive and active income stream online now. My online presence has allowed me to pursue other things, such as consulting for various financial tech startups as well.

I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one. 

Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. You never know where the journey will take you! There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. 

Updated for 2017 and beyond.