The Frugal Blogger's Guide To...Blogging

Yes, there are ways to save money blogging. There are ways to make money blogging. There are ways to save money blogging while at the same time make money blogging. 

Some bloggers will tell you that you need to get off the free Blogger, a Google product and platform, and move to 

You've heard all this from me before. But if I can reach one blogger who gets swayed as I did and not really understand what they're getting themselves into first, it bears repeating.

Many of you know that I've gone from Blogger to Wordpress and back to Blogger. You know that in moving back to Blogger, I lost 1500 posts due to a technical glitch. 

Do I wish I hadn't made that move back. No. I'd do it again.

Yes, I lost 1500 posts. But hey, so what? It didn't slow me down. It didn't take me to my knees. And it didn't stop me from moving forward. 

I'm still just as enthused to wake up every morning and devote much of my day to my blog as I was over six years ago. 

There have been many pitfalls along the way. And if you read my blog regularly, you know about them. 

Taking things to the next level, as many Wordpress bloggers are famous for saying, really should not mean doling out money. How is spending money "moving to the next level." Shouldn't "moving to the next level" mean saving money?

You can make money with Blogger. Many big blogs are still with Blogger. Ever heard of Poppytalk?

"Founded in 2005, Poppytalk is a lifestyle blog dedicated to supporting the beautiful, the decayed and the handmade."
"Started in 2005, Poppytalk writes about design, DIY, handmade and vintage. With over 8 Million Pinterest followers, in June of 2014, Poppytalk was invited by Target to create a limited edition collection of "glamping" products.  We have also partnered with eBay, Roots Canada, Martha Stewart Living, Yahoo DIY and Etsy.

Poppytalk has been featured in House and Home Magazine, InStyle Magazine's "Best of the Web", in Canadian Living Magazine's "Best Canadian Blogs" and in was listed No. 7 in Times Online's "50 of the World's Best Design Blogs"and was also featured in an article in House and Home Magazine entitled, "Favourite Design Blogs".  Please see press section for more info.

Poppytalk also runs a brick and mortar shop in Vancouver called Poppytalk at 109 East Broadway, Vancouver, B.C."


I could go on and on telling you about well-known bloggers who have remained at Blogger. They are publishing books. They are known as very influential bloggers. Being on Blogger hasn't slowed them down.

In the year I was on Wordpress, I spent incalculable amounts of time on the phone with my host, trying to get something fixed, when I could have been taking photos or writing content. 

When Wordpress had a brute force attack hit, I was one of the blogs that suffered. That was truly a nightmare. Though I didn't move my blog back to Blogger for another six months, my blog was never the same after that breach. 

Yes, you are the boss on Wordpress. But you are also the tech engineer, the maintenance guy, the security crew (because everything must be constantly updated to be secure), and the one who goes looking for someone who knows code to help you out of a mess when you can't fulfill these needs. 

And, uh, your blog is down during this unfortunate time. 

Oh, and somewhere in there, you have to take photos and write blog posts.

So in essence, the frugal blogger's guide to blogging is to blog with as few expenses as possible. You don't have too much to worry about in terms of security because Blogger is owned by Google. And that says a lot. 

Yes, there are times when blogs are unceremoniously deleted for no known reason on Blogger. It happens. Sadly. But if you don't pay your hosting bill on Wordpress, your blog disappears there as well. If you're not paying, they're not hosting. 

I've been blindsided by a lot of issues and medical stuff in the past three years. Expensive issues. But my love for blogging has not abated. And I continue to keep on keepin' on. And managing to pay the bills.

There are ways to blog for free, and it isn't just on Blogger. You can go to as well. And there are lots of other platforms to check out. 

Put together by Stylecaster, here is a link to the 10 best free or less expensive blogging platforms today. 

You don't have to have money to blog. Truly you don't. You just have to carve out time and have a passion for what you love to do.

Content, content, content.

Moving right along...

Many bloggers start out in one niche, and then when they start blogging more to make money, they find they don't have a lot to say. So don't pen yourself into a corner. 

Write about other things. Book reviews, daily outings, recipes that your family loves, anything and everything. Just so you continue to write. And to give valuable content to your readers. If you do that, if you build it, they will come.

Moving right along...

I once fell into the trap of feeling like I needed to stroll down the aisles of Marshalls to find something new that I could show on my blog. That worked being married to a doctor. It does not work being on my own. 

And really, that gets boring after awhile. With enough money, anyone can walk into a store and buy things. I don't know about you, but I want to see bloggers come up with things on their own using their creativity and little else.

You know what, I had to get rid of so much of that stuff when moving. And you know very well I didn't come out even when I sold those things. I certainly did not see a profit.

So learn to look around you and repurpose what you have. Come up with new things to blog about that don't cost you money. 

Frankly I'm a little weary of seeing bloggers show something brand new every week. How many of us could keep up that pace? And please don't do it on a plastic card. That in itself is a deadly trap to fall into.

The new normal in this country is to scale down and minimize. De-McMansion-ize.  
I've been chastised for sounding negative about McMansions. So let me say right here and now: If you have the money and can afford a large home along with the upkeep, I have nothing but good wishes for you. 

If you'd mentioned living in a small home or tiny home 15 years ago, people would look at you as if you'd grown horns. Although if you go back to the fifties or sixties, a smaller home was the norm. Today, this concept has not only gained ground, but is spreading across the land at a rapid pace. 

It is becoming a mantra: Purge, downsize, live in a smaller home, and retire early to live at a leisurely pace. Maybe you want to stop the 9-5 grind and work at home. Maybe you want to downsize so you have less cleaning to do and can spend more time with your friends or hiking or whatever. 

Moving right along...

How else do we spend money blogging? Of course we need the equipment: a computer, a camera. I know many people swear by Apple's Macs, but I just can't afford it. So PC's are what I blog on. 

If you can afford it, great. If you can't, don't over extend yourself if you don't have to. And when you get a windfall or start making big bucks, then take another look at them.

If you're considered self-employed, as I am, then you pay dearly at tax time. So not only do you have to be frugal, but you have to save money for taxes.

If you're married and your husband makes great wages and you blog, you aren't in such a bind when it comes to money. 

So it really boils down to what station you're at in life. That should determine how frugal you must be in terms of blogging. 

If you are still struggling, write an ebook, lead online classes, write sponsored posts (many of us must do these things), open at Etsy shop. You don't have to sell "things." You can also sell services as well. 

Everyone has something they're knowledgeable about. Couponing, gardening, making crafts. Everyone has a skill they can sell online.

I think being frugal is just the smart thing to do. To me, bigger is not better. Spending more money is not better. 

Better is having fewer bills to pay because you're living smaller. 

Better is having peace of mind while doing what you love.


  1. Brenda, I am so glad you posted this. I was looking at other platforms today after hearing so many wanting to go over to Wordpress or Squarespace. I like Blogger and have had no problems with it (touch wood!), yes it takes a while to build 'a village' but isn't that half the fun. Also I agree with you on not buying something new each week to blog about. There is so much talent in the world to 'make do and mend' and these items will last so much longer than the new 'popular' trends. I will keep to my little corner of blogland in the Bloggersphere :-) Take care. Chel x

  2. You read my mind, Brenda! I've been working on a post about how my goal for 2015 is to simplify my life--quit my teaching job, fix up my house to sell, move to the other side of the state to be closer to my kids, etc.

    I agree with you about the types of blogs I like to read. I am more impressed with the bloggers who can make something from nothing than those who buy out an entire high-end store.

    Thanks so much for your constant inspiration!

  3. Great post for sure. I never had tge desire for a big house. The one we have currently wasn't a big house when there were 6 of us. Now with onky two it is. We are trying to downsize. Ofc the maket now for a rest. When we had our cottage of 750 square was too small for three . We heard it was for sale. My husband's face lit up when I told him. As far as Google is concerned , I am a small blog with a small following. I'm not brave enougb to venture out of my comfort zone. Great points Brenda.

  4. All very well said, Brenda! I know many blogs I have read for years are still on Blogger.

  5. My DIL to be was showing some of her colleagues my blog. They all wanted to know how I made money on my blog. They couldn't get the concept that I blog just to blog. I get that a lot from people.

    I had never heard of Poppy Talk, but I don't follow the "big girls" much. I like to read blogs of simple people who respond to my comments (no pressure meant there) and I get to know them a little as people.

    In 1997, when we downsized to our little cottage, EVERYONE thought we were nuts. We literally have the smallest house on our street, but people now understand why we went small. I have a lot more time for playing.

  6. I totally agree with you about Blogger vs Wordpress. I only blog for fun and more of a journal, but Blogger is so much easier to work with. If it ever decides to go, then I will pull out and save the posts that I care about.

    As a teacher blogger (retired now), I tried the Wordpress way for a while. I didn't like it at all compared to Blogger. There are tons of Bloggers out there and I love all of their sites.

    I love reading blogs, but I never want to be tied down to one myself. I think it is a great way to see and read things to motivate us, but it can also be a comparison trap. You have to be very careful not to do that to yourself. Life is different for everyone and you have to make the best of your circumstances. You have a great blog and I love seeing your photos.
    Have a great year.

  7. Gosh, I just :-{ it when you dog the platform I'm on. I was on wordpress before wordpress was cool. I'm in too deep now, so I'm staying, especially since I can make my own Headers now! Yipee!!!! To me there's good and bad about each platform. I feel it's an individual option. I look forward to your post about making money blogging, now I don't need to support myself (I worked hard for 42 years) just enough to cover my blog expenses. I love living in a smaller home, they are so cozy, and I don't shop NEW anything (maybe a bra or two). I love thrifting and recreating with those finds. bloggers who go out and buy new just bore me, wheres the creativity in that? Have a great day Brenda!

  8. I love this, Brenda! Thank you for the encouragement!

  9. Amen, amen, and amen. I belong to a network of bloggers that keep trying to force me to switch to Wordpress and a few messaged me and told me no. They won't lay off and turn their noses up at me but it just seems like a big headache. I just want to work on great content this year and switch to a .com when I've worked out the kinks. Thanks for truth.

  10. Awesome post. I love to blogg and make a little extra cash, but blogger doesn't seem to think I fit their profile. Maybe next year. I have changed my spending in the last five years also. I go to thrift shops and make some pretty cool things as DIY projects. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  11. Yep, there are lots of bloggers that are "big" that are on blogger and not WP. I don't think WP is the be all end all like people want to make out to be. I just had to go up in my hosting package because of traffic and I think the one thing they never tell you is that it just gets more and more expensive as time goes on.

    Talking about downsizing...I had 9 bins of Christmas decor!! I consolidated everything into 3 bins and the rest we took to Goodwill today Next is going to be my dishes! It's freeing having less stuff.

    I don't know how home decor bloggers do it. The constant changing up of rooms and the constant buying of new stuff just seems exhausting to me. That's also why I only post maybe 1 home decorating thing a week - if that. But at least we're in a new house and I have a reason for decorating. In my old house I literally could not get motivated to change up xyz room again! I told my husband, how many times can you paint a room a different color! I think I painted that kitchen 5 or 6 times!

    Happy New Year dear Brenda! I hope you have a fabulous year!

  12. Less IS more...and that is my mantra as I am decluttering the two bedrooms that I am redoing this month.
    It is freeing to take car loads of stuff that is only "chaos" to have. Just took eight bags of hubbies clothes to the thrift store. Funny how things can pile up over 20 years of being in one home. Feels good to organize, clean and paint.

    Great quotes!!

  13. Brenda, you know how this appeals to me. When I moved to my little duplex I had to downsize so much and it continues still. It is freeing and it's changed me for the better. When I first started blogging I bought and bought stuff...thrift shop stuff for sure but still stuff. I had to show 'something' on my blog. Now I still enjoy thrifting and sharing my finds, but I buy much much less and only things I LOVE. Something comes in then something goes out. I no longer blog according to what other bloggers do. I've found my niche and I love it. My followers/readers have become friends and that is how I like it. I've been blessed that I do not have to make my blog pay to continue so it is very freeing. I know you and others don't have that luxury but still you do things that are so attainable for so many of us. I love your living small and you have been a role model for me in the let it go department. Thanks for keeping it real. Oh and I'm a Blogger girl all the way and always will be.

  14. Brenda I am on Wordpress because that is how I started out so I'll stay that way. Having said that...I use a template / LOL..I am not one of the WP blogs with magazine layouts or anything fancy. I won't change that, either...because I prefer a blog that I hit on where I can just read one post and scroll through to another right below it rather than the latest way. I like just turning the page not having to do more than that.

    Having said that, if YOU had me having to scroll / jump through a hoop for your latest, I'd do so, but there are few out there that I care enough about other than that :) Truthfully, all of the bloggers that have decided to go pro ( or whatever they are doing ) have all started to look the same lol...SHEEP!

  15. Wow, what a well thought out informative post. You're very generous with your experience. Well, I've never really changed. The largest home we ever had was 2,000 square ft for a family of five. We also always had lovely old homes that were very well built but as I said old and not developments. Just plain old fashion neighborhood that the kids all walked to matter what the weather. As soon as we became just two we moved to a smaller home. It's absolutely liberating!!! I stopped reading most blogs because it seemed to become a contest of how much stuff people bought, over the top homes many were having built and just making life way more complicated than I care to get wrapped up in. I didn't do it when I was young and I'm now just thrilled to have a modest home that's cozy while eating a bowl of cauliflower soup.

  16. Great post Brenda! I always learn from you sharing your heart, insight and tips...thanks so much for always taking the time!

  17. Wonderful post Brenda. Over the last year I have worked on setting up frugal and inexpensive was to meet my hubby's up coming retirement. It has been fun really discovering ways to save yet still enjoy what we love.
    My etsy shop of 8 years not only gives me extra $$$$ but fills my 30 plus year career to decorative paint and
    create. Blogging for me is a way to share my ideas while advertising my shop. Lots of changes and challanges on the horizon here and your post is a huge encouragement.
    How's your ear?

  18. Thanks for all the great tips on making money blogging! I've blogged on Blogger, not to make an income, but to keep our customers updated on our vintage occasional sales. In between posts of sharing what we'll have for sale at our next event I post about other lifestyle topics of interest to me. But I always read with interest your "making money blogging" posts and you're tempting me to have a go at it!
    I also agree about how freeing it is to de-clutter and downsize. But we live in an unusual situation. We are Resident Directors in an historical 49 room mansion and live in one wing of it. We have a lot of space for "stuff" and I'll be doing a lot of de-cluttering this year. But we are retired and live in this beautiful big space for free so we won't be downsizing our home any time soon. Just feeling blessed to live here!


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