*Maybe this is just a rant, and maybe it’s a bit long, but I think it turned into something worthwhile.
What’s the point of this blog and why do I spend my time writing it?
I started this blog after discovering a few personal finance blogs, I think Get Rich Slowly was the first one I found. I thought doing this would help me get organized and get focused on getting out of debt and getting in shape.
If I’m being honest, I also thought that by writing a blog about getting out of debt I could find vast riches and end up paying off all of my debt just by posting those annoying little Google ads on the site and waiting for the dollars to roll in. Of course, as 99% of all bloggers have found, the money doesn’t come rolling in very fast and only a select few, such as J.D. at Get Rich Slowly, Darren at ProBlogger, Bob at Christian Personal Finance, and Leo at Zen Habits can actually turn blogging into a full-time job (see what I did there? I linked to all of those fancy bloggers hoping that I would get noticed—I can’t help myself!).
I started off fairly well here, I was up to almost 200 subscribers after only a couple of months of blogging. Of course, back then I was posting frequently and taking the time to comment on other blogs and link to other blogs to help get noticed. Shockingly, not posting frequently and not working to get any attention for the site caused the traffic to drop substantially.
And therein lies the rub…you have to work on your blog like it’s a full-time job, or at least a part-time job, just to get it off the ground and achieve even a modest level of traffic, all the while only putting a few dollars in your pocket- if you’re even lucky enough to earn money above your hosting costs. And that’s when blogging died for me*. I could spend that same time doing freelance work for real money as opposed to earning pennies per hour for my efforts here. So that’s what I did, and I earned a lot of money on the side and paid off a lot of debt.
*Not that I’m bitter, this is officially a hobby, not a business. At least that’s how it will be until the money starts rolling in, and that’s okay. Really, I’m not bitter. I think. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m not.
So where does that leave me and what’s the point?
I’m going to keep writing here and I’m not going to worry about the money or turning this into a job. I already have a ‘real’ job it’s pretty good to me, and I enjoy most of what I do there. I don’t need to add a second job to my already busy life. However, I actually enjoy writing, and I need to do more of it to improve my skills, so that is going to be the real motivator behind continuing to write here.
To be perfectly honest, I find the topic of personal finance rather boring—if you’re honest about it, don’t you think so too? I wish I had chosen a different topic. Once you figure out that you need to live below your means, you’re pretty much done with your personal finance education. That’s the 80% part of the 80/20 rule. The rest is just filling in little details, which can certainly be helpful, but your bang for the buck drops precipitously the farther you go.
I feel like I’ve made a lot more progress on the finance part of this finance and fat concept than I have on the fat battle. However, just like ‘live below your means‘ losing weight can be summed up just as easily- burn more calories than you consume. I don’t really need to learn more about fitness, I just need to get off the couch and exercise while eating fruit instead of donuts. Of course the concept is simple and the devil is in the details, but I think mostly we just like adding to those details so we feel like we are accomplishing something worthwhile when the answer is really just to get off the couch and go for a walk or do some pushups.
Well, I just told you that I think personal finance is boring and there’s nothing more to learn about it and I think the same concept applies to losing weight. I guess the cat is out of the bag, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing here and it doesn’t mean that I can’t provide anything of value here.
Frankly, I’m very jealous of this guy, Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity, and I want to try to emulate his model of blogging success. I don’t want to remain beholden to Google and AdSense, but I have to create something of real value first. That is of course my next task.
I do think I have something to add to the conversation and I think I can offer a unique perspective. I’m no longer going to share the same crap you can read on 1,000 other personal finance blogs. If I don’t have something at least somewhat unique to say, I won’t say anything at all.
I’ll continue to share updates of my own, real progress because people seem to like that. I think I can offer a little hope, being the average guy that I am who is actually making some real progress to improve my life…and I didn’t do it by finding the perfect money hack or buying the right e-book.
It’s just a matter of working hard and focusing your efforts in the right place. And that’s the message I want to convey and that’s where I think some real value can be created. That’s where I’ll be focusing my efforts and I’m going to do my best to come up with content that is actually valuable to you. And if you made it this far, you really deserve some valuable content! I promise it’s coming soon. Thanks for reading.