Even if you are new to the personal finance blog sphere, it soon becomes apparent that there are lots of personal finance blogs out there and a myriad of bloggers to follow. From thinly disguised sales pitches to company and personal blogs, there are many different types of content. I’m going to concentrate on personal blogs here as I feel this is where I have the most interest. No apologies, I am just not interested in sales pitches, or building relationships with corporations.
Some personal blogs are mainly open journals (people share some fascinating things), some are very factual, some attempting to influence and there are lots with a mixture of content. You’ll find a wide range of people represented, but how do you decide which bloggers to follow and build a relationship with?
Should we connect?
We are all human. And as they say, connecting is one of the most basic human desires. We are ultimately a social species, which enjoys the company of other members of our species, albeit in different quantities depending on your level of intra or extra-version.
Yet money and personal finances have historically been very taboo, with few people openly discussing such matters in real life. Especially in the UK, money- along with politics and religion – is not a suitable topic for conversation over dinner. Nonetheless, I feel it is really important that we break down these barriers, and overcome the taboos, and start talking openly and honestly talk about money. And I’m not alone in thinking this way.
Hence the personal finance blog sphere has exploded recently, offering everyone a low-cost way to display their platform. That platform is on display to everyone around the world with an internet connection: from bloggers who interact with both their readers and other bloggers, to readers who interact or readers who merely consume. There are so many bloggers to follow, numbering well into the thousands.
How to decide which bloggers to follow?
So faced with an overwhelming number of options, how do you decide which bloggers to follow? How do you guard your precious and valuable time, while also taking time to read, learn and reflect on your beliefs and life plans?
When wielding that powerful “Follow” button, the obvious drive is for people to gravitate to people just like you. Perhaps it’s people with a similar family set up, occupation, country or religious belief. You read their blog and immediately think: this could be me. This is all so relatable.
Connect with people like you
So you do what comes naturally, and click the link to subscribe to people like you. Their stories, trials and tribulations are very close to home. You feel they are living your life. You share, you emphasise and you feel part of a tribe. It’s reassuring that your way of thinking and doing things is validated. One of life’s underrated pleasures is finding someone who is truly on your wavelength. You feel happy and safe, and therefore are much more receptive to any advice offered or guidance received.
Carbon Copies Don’t Abound – You are unique
But don’t be put off if you cannot find anyone just like you. It is unusual to find someone exactly like you in every single facet of life. You might be the only llama riding male democrat in his 50’s that loves opera. But don’t let this put you off connecting. There are plenty of other llama riders out there, just some may be republican. And plenty of other opera lovers – just some will be 20-year-old women. By concentrating on your commonalities, you can connect and find a new friend who also loves llama riding. Building bonds based on common interests allows you to expand your network beyond your usual bubble, with people you have at least one thing in common with.
Agree and Disagree
So once you find people you strongly identify with and have shared interests, this is where the growth happens. Don’t expect people to be absolutely like you in every way of their life just because you both are committed to animal rights and are strict vegans. Instead, leverage your shared passion and connection to learn more and ask questions. Making sure you keep things respectful, gently challenge and ask for the rationale for their beliefs. Don’t adopt the missionary approach and try to convert people, just accept that you are different but show a true desire to learn and understand their position.
Have many tribes
I’d advocate following and connecting with a wide range of people. As an example, here are how I’d categorise some of my tribes, people I have at least one thing in common with.
- Female high earning personal finance bloggers
- Strong feminist women – especially those on Twitter
- UK FIRE Bloggers
- Bloggers who run
- Blogger who garden and grow veg
But also connect with different people
And more importantly, I try to follow a few bloggers with differing views. This is the hard, but worthwhile bit. I know am guilty of aligning myself with people who think like me. Which could lead me to a little bubble, protected from all those non-conforming viewpoints. Although I find it strange that people have differing views to me, I am trying to not label them as wrong, but instead to listen and understand them.
Appreciate the perspectives – Build Love not hate
In my experience, building relationships with people helps me see them as people, not just a type or specific subset of person. And being able to listen to the other side’s arguments is necessary to demonstrate understanding, and to be able to challenge or confirm my own beliefs. Agreeing to disagree is one of the key constructs of civilised society. By learning to see things from others perspectives, and respecting those who differ we can grow as people. This is also a key skill in life, helping you get along with people who you don’t always see eye to eye with.
How to find more blogs
So if you are looking for some new inspiration, more reading material or some new viewpoints to challenge your existing beliefs, here are some places you can find them. Take your pick from:
Women who money is aiming to provide trustworthy personal finance advice for women. The editorial policy is women-centric, but not exclusively female. Some great female bloggers are involved, you can find some great bloggers to follow here.
FIREhub.eu focuses on the European continent, with FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) focused blogs. Run as a non-profit, this is free of advertising and sponsored content and aims to bring people interested in FIRE together in an open and inclusive way.
- FIREhub.eu blog directory, including the important language variable as many are non-English.
- FIREhub.eu feed
A new aggregator, CampFIRE finance focuses exclusively on FIRE focused blogs.
Note: CampFIRE finance has committed to diversity, to review the male/female representation and ensure it is balanced
Encompassing all sorts of money blogs, from debt payoff to frugal living to early retirement, Rockstar Finance is a good resource, providing you many different bloggers to follow. This is a for-profit enterprise.
The world is your oyster, and you have so many ways to connect with people from all around the world. It’s great to connect with those similar to you, but greater personal growth and understanding can be reached by going further. Follow someone with differing views. Respectfully agree to disagree, and ensure you are not staying in a carefully curated bubble.
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- How do you decide who to follow?
- How many of the people you interact with are just like you?
- Do you follow many people with opposing beliefs?
Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas – all are welcome.