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Blogging In The Personal Finance Blogosphere

16 February 2010 8 Comments

It seems like there are new personal finance blogs popping up daily in the PFB (personal finance blogosphere).  I guess some people believe its a gold rush or a quick path to good money.  Most will be disappointed.  We bloggers love to throw around numbers of how many new blogs are created every day, but nobody likes to talk about how many blogs are stopped and/or destroyed each day.  For example, if you look at the tail end of the Top 100 PF blog list maintained by Wisebread, many of the blogs have not been updated for months – inactive blogs are basically dead blogs.

So, as the PFB seems to be one of the fastest growing segments of the overall blogosphere, I thought I’d comment on my thoughts about it as well as my strategy to carve out a little corner of the PFB for myself.

Types of Personal Finance Blogs

In the PFB, most blogs are broken down into the following categories:

  1. Basic Personal Finance – topics range from credit cards, 401ks, 529s, spending, budgeting, basic investing concepts like diversification and portfolio balancing, mostly common sense type stuff
  2. Getting Out Of Debt – these blogs typically focus on getting out of debt and commonly fall into the theme of “I have 100k in debt, read about my journey to get out of this hole”
  3. How To Save Money – these blogs can take the form of finding cheap products to coupon clipping to general expense management strategies
  4. Investing & Trading – this could and probably should be a separate topic from personal finance since you can get really indepth when it comes to investing & trading but I’ll include it for now
  5. Economic Analysis – Like the Investing blogs, this could be a category on its own
  6. Building Income – Blogs devoted to building income; these are not very common although the “how to make money online” category is very over-populated.  May or may not really apply to personal finance.

My Strategy For 20smoney.com

First, my goal is to not be a typical personal finance blog with common sense money strategies.  For the most part, that bores me and I think is really mostly about common sense.  Yes, I know most people lack common sense.  Anyways, I created the Personal Finance Manifesto for this reason, so that visitors can get a gameplan for the basic stuff, and then read the daily blog content for “more advanced” stuff for lack of a better term.

My focus is the following:

  1. Help people who are in good shape financially get to “the next level”
  2. Help people learn how to successful become an active investor/trader
  3. Help people develop additional income streams

Those three areas are my focus.  Additionally, I do comment on the economy and politics when it affects those three areas (usually with regards to investing).  As such, if you look back at the category list above, 20smoney.com tends to be a blend of the last three categories mostly and the blog dabbles a little bit in the other areas.

So, after reading that explanation, if you think this is a good blog for you, I suggest you SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED.

Planning To Start A Personal Finance Blog?

If you’re planning on staking your claim in the PFB, good for you, kinda.  I’m not going to encourage you or discourage you because hey, you might have something that millions of people need to hear, or you might have nothing that anybody should hear.  Who am I to say?

It is very possible to start a blog and gain readers and even make money.  With that said, I will give the following warnings:

  • The PFB is crowded – very crowded
  • Pretty much every topic has been discussed and to a degree of decent quality
  • Your story probably isn’t unique

If you’re determined to still move forward, I would encourage you to try and be specific and have a unique angle on something.  Share your opinion.  Don’t do how-to articles on basic stuff that you can already easily find on Google.  Share commentary, your opinions and maybe some examples of your own finances.

For more tips and information on blogging including details on my traffic and income I receive from blogging, check out the Blogging category on this blog.

8 Comments »

  • Jack Chambers said:

    Hey, really liking the blog, and great target market, especially with 20-29's being a lot more driven and financially aware nowadays. Will subscribe to the blog just to keep up to date with the huge array of stuff you are covering. I recently started up http://www.sharefundamentals.com and I am trying to push that towards indepth fundamental analysis, however at the moment I am just trying to work out a style of writing which works best.

    Jack Chambers

  • 20smoney (author) said:

    Awesome. I will check out your site. Let me know if you want any feedback.

  • Jack Chambers said:

    That would be great! Mainly just on layout or blog specific issues. Have you got any advice on getting your blog indexed? Not sure on permalinks or that kind of thing yet either.

  • FinEngr said:

    Two sections I liked – your strategy and notes on starting one.

    Before I started my own, it seemed like there were so many "common sense" sites out there. Or even worse, ones that simply documented the day-day living and earning of said blogger.

    Still new, the goal of my own site has been developing. On a public scale, I want to promote education and have people question their conceptions of money. On a personal scale, I'm much more interested in pursuing investment topics & strategies (like you said, helping stable individuals get to the next level).

    Few examples:
    1.) Wondering if there was a cyclical pattern to buying utilities based on the seasons (premise being the more moderate fall/spring would be cheaper).
    2.) "Buying the dividend" is generally frowned upon, but does it make sense in tax-advantaged accounts?
    3.) Not sure if you read it, but did a post on the Berkshire B split….that's turned out to be a missed investment.

  • Mark said:

    Thanks for your focus on helping people become an "active investor / trader." This is the next step now that I have increased my cash flow. Looking forward to more articles – subscribed to your RSS feed. Thanks.

  • Mirrored Furniture · said:

    money blogging is the stuff i like, you blog and make money at the same time, isn’t that great ,

  • crisis_today said:

    I don't know if the categories "How to save money" or "Building income" are really personal finance blogs, they just advance some schemes of saving or earning money and are really a bore:)

  • Herbert Zulauf said:

    The core of your writing whilst appearing agreeable originally, did not sit well with me personally after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you were able to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I still have a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one would do nicely to fill in all those gaps. In the event that you can accomplish that, I will surely be fascinated.