This whole beginner blogging thing has been a struggle.
You start out all wide-eyed and pumped-up, like — “Oh, I have so much to say, just try and stop me! I’m going to slay the blogging world with all of my intense thoughts and fresh perspectives on things.”
You pick a topic to write about — and you’re all gung-ho, ready to make a difference.
But then something happens, maybe six months into it, and you hit the proverbial wall.
You begin to question yourself. Your writing skills, your creativity, your topic of choice, your motivation.
Been there, done that?
Well for me, that time is right now.
So let me just say what I’m experiencing is not quite blogger burnout. There’s no way I should even be close to that point — because I haven’t blogged nearly enough.
Before you burn out, you at least need to have a fire started.
A kindling, a spark, or at least a few smoke spirals.
Right now, what I have the most of are — questions.
- Should I be blogging about personal finance?
- What can I offer to other people, when I’m such a financial screw-up?
- Did I pick the wrong topic — maybe I’d be better off writing about something else…
- Is sticking to one topic as important as everyone says it is?
Let’s see if my logical mind can work this one out — or at least make me lean in one direction or the other.
Here are my 5 arguments / explanations as to why I’m not a personal finance blogger:
Reason Number One:
My Debt — Yes, I have debt. That’s something I’ve been totally transparent about.
You can even say that since I have debt, it means I’m not good with money. Going a step further, you could say I absolutely suck at money, budgeting, and am all-around horrible at financial decision-making.
That’s something I’m currently working on.
So when we imagine the people who write about personal finance topics, is there an assumption that these people are actual experts?
I’d think yes. And if that’s an expectation, then that would definitely not be me…
I pay my bills on time, and always have just enough to cover what’s needed. I balance my checkbook, and pretty much always know the amount of funds available in my bank account.
But I won’t be retiring early. I’m not pursuing FI, and I have no investment gems to share with you.
I’m just a regular person … who has bills — many, many bills. And a mountain of debt.
Doesn’t matter how this debt came to be — because here it just is.
So I’m not really a personal finance blogger — I’m more of a “hindsight-is-20/20” debt blogger.
Reason Number Two:
I have no real plan. My only goal at this point is to pay off the debt, and go from there.
Personal finance bloggers are supposed to motivate. They’re supposed to set the example, to help blaze the path for others.
You might say the example I’m setting is “what not to do with your money”.
Don’t spend more than you earn. Don’t use credit cards. Make sure you have a budget and stick to it. Yeah, all those things have gone in one ear and out the other.
But I’m learning from it. I’m improving, and making changes going forward.
- Step one: Eliminate the debt.
- Step two: Don’t take on any more debt.
- Step three: Assess and create a financial plan that I can actually follow.
Reason Number Three:
My niche is all over the place (I know, that sounds like a personal problem, right?)
I set out to be a personal finance blogger.
Everyone says you need to “niche down”. Pick a blogging topic, and stick to it.
Without doing that, you’ll never gain steady traffic and your blog won’t have true direction.
Is that really the case? Who knows?
Honestly, many top bloggers do just fine with writing about several topics. Granted, they are often successful in general, therefore can write whatever they please and still have an audience.
But maybe that’s not how they started out — like maybe you need to pay your dues first, writing diligently on a very specific topic. Then once you’ve built your following, you can start to broaden your scope.
Or maybe not.
And to be honest, are there really “rules” to this whole blogging thing? Like, can you really say one way is the right way, and anything else is wrong? I don’t think so. Something that works really well for one blogger may not work for another, and vice versa.
Life is all about trial and error. Taking on a challenge, adapting to change, and learning from every opportunity.
Reason Number Four:
I have no following. In fact, most days, I’m fairly certain I’m the only person to set eyes on my blog.
Well no, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
But there are days that I check Google Analytics and only see 18 views for the day prior. (Gulp.)
Is it possible to blog about personal finance if no one is there to take your suggestions, to follow your recommendations, or challenge your opinions?
And if I blog about a tree falling in the woods, but no one reads it, does that mean the tree didn’t fall at all?
So essentially — if I write total garbage and no one is reading my blog anyway, then does it really matter?
Well, sure — because I’ll know it existed, and I’ll know it was utter garbage. And that does matter to me.
So I will continue to write — knowing it’s happening somewhat slowly, and knowing I don’t have a ton of people reading this.
But I will do my best, because — well, that’s what I do. And that’s what I expect of myself.
Reason Number Five:
I own an English bulldog — the most expensive breed of dog to own.
Ha. Yep, it all comes back to the bulldogs.
Is it a true fact that the bulldog is the most expensive dog breed to own?
Not sure — But if it isn’t, then it should be pretty darn close. (And by this I mean ongoing maintenance, not just purchase price.)
Our first English bulldog needed two ACL surgeries, two canine root canals, and had a UTI every other month for the last 5 years of her life.
Our next English bulldog required two >cherry eye surgeries by the time he was 4 months old. When he was 6 months, he developed an illness that left him extremely ill and dehydrated (and thank goodness he recovered.) And at 9 months, his medical issues ended but new behavioural issues began.
Bulldog number three has been pretty healthy so far. Although she did require cherry eye surgery at 3 months, and also gave us a scare at 6 months.
She’d chewed off and swallowed the nose of a large stuffed animal, and it wasn’t coming out the other end, if you get my drift. After an emergency vet visit to the tune of $800, she eventually (and thankfully) wound up passing the item the next morning.
Bottom Line – Dogs Are Expensive.
Especially dogs that are predisposed to certain genetic conditions.
Top that off with random personality traits that develop because of lord knows what, as well as normal things that puppies get into in general, and you can easily spend a cool thousand by the time the year is over.
Would a true personal finance guru own a dog that has all of these potential hereditary issues?
Would they even spend money on a purebred when the socially accepted and financially recommended way is to adopt?
Probably not. No — definitely not.
And I get it — if I could adopt every single dog in the shelter, and have them all get along, I would love to.
But I’m also in love with English bulldogs. And this particular one — my boy with the behavioral issues — he has my heart. He doesn’t get along with other adult dogs. So for now, I’m a bulldog mom and nothing else.
And whatever issues come our way, we will deal with them. Whether they’re medical, behavioral or otherwise (Dear Lord, what else is there? No — don’t answer that!) But we’ll be okay.
So there you have it.
The top 5 reasons why I don’t fit the typical mold of a personal finance blogger.
- I’m financially impulsive, short-sighted, over-extended and lack structure.
- I blog inconsistently, fail miserably at self-promotion, and have a super hard time reaching out to peers.
- Networking is not my thing — and I’m okay with that.
Will I build my own personal finance blogger tribe? Probably not.
But could I initiate a band of less-than-perfect, socially-hesitant collaborators?
You never know — the possibilities are endless.
Because there’s no way that I’m the only one out there.
The only one who questions myself, worries too much. Thinks, re-thinks and then thinks some more.
I’ve made mistakes — lots of mistakes. Mostly financial, but some otherwise.
But I’ve also learned from most of them.
And that, my friends, is the true end game. To have experiences, gain some knowledge and share it with others.
Put yourself out there. Make your mark. But above all, be true to yourself.
Opinions? Feel free to hit me up in the Comments.