People have a variety of reasons for starting a blog. Some of the oft quoted reasons are as a hobby, an outlet, community building or simply as a money spinner. After outlining my financial evolution, I want to consider why I started a blog.
Community & Influencing Opinion
The main driver for this blog, is that I want to encourage* other people like me to aspire to financial independence. And putting my platform out there to connect with any like minded individuals.
*By encourage, I mean this in a gently, this is possible type way. I’m not a big fan of trying to convert people, lecture people or forcing people to change. And to be honest, what’s right for me is not right for everyone else. We are all unique. So my version of encourage is by letting people see financial independence as a possibility for them.
Everyone deserves a voice, and blogging gives me the opportunity to get my ideas out there. They appear exactly as I’ve written them, without any filtering or alterations. This freedom of speech is immensely powerful, and makes me very grateful I live in a country with these freedoms. Having said that, I’m not going to change the world, and that is fine by me. I know that my viewpoints will always be a minority, and I’m comfortable with that.
Nevertheles it’s very liberating and exciting to have your own platform. And then know that anyone in the world can choose to read it. And moreover, linked into the community above the engagement on a blog is superb. It’s great getting feedback from readers, adding such a variety of insights and different viewpoints. So please, engage with me. Happy to take any questions, and I’m a tough cookie – controversy is allowed. I’m a firm believer there is no such thing as a stupid question, and welcome constructive feedback and criticism. You can leave a public comment below, or send me a private message. I promise to reply to them all, even those that disagree with me.
I see most writers have a blog. Especially aspiring writers, who are not yet published. It makes me feel in good company. Although now I have to admit my writing isn’t the best. Grammar isn’t my forte, and I tend to stick with the language I know. In which my mother tells me I use several words incorrectly. But mothers? Can never please them.
When I finished my Masters last year, I was so happy to be done with academic writing. I found the form very restrictive, and it came across as stuffy and formal. And the really long paragraphs were so difficult to read. Nonetheless I found I enjoyed trying to get my points across in the written form, and despite my bristling I did learn a lot from the process. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity to improve my writing here – my copy will never be amazing, but it sure can be improved.
Following on from writing, is the idea of exploring something new. I absolutely love new things. Think of a magpie’s attraction to shiny things. This could be formalised as a personal development mindset, but I much prefer the idea of always learning or continually curious.
Before starting the blog I knew nothing about SEO and how google worked. Yet I happily used google each and every day. So now learning how hard it is to get your personal blog on google, gives more perspective to my life. Can I trust the way google has presented my results? How have they been influenced? As I start my journey into SEO, I am learning you can buy all sort of things I never knew mattered. Like pageviews, search engine results and backlinks. I’m ironically proud that I’ve already had my first request asking what my rates are to add backlinks to my blog to some crypto site. It brings to the fore some questions I’d never even considered in my naivety before.
You know that random saying, variety is the spice of life? I actually really believe in this. Chores, and tasks I do for work get repetitive and dull, but different tasks awaken something in me that gets me excited. Hence I actually enjoy being creative occasionally. Especially when there is no expectation or pressure.
While no-one is going employ me for my graphic design abilities, I enjoy getting in touch with that side of my brain. I know what I think looks good, and this blog is a representative of that. Designing the site was great fun, I had a great time seeing all the possibilities.
I don’t ever want to be famous, but being regarded as someone with experience and expertise in an area is something I can aspire to. I’m seeing loads of bloggers making attempts at branding their sites, and it’s interesting to see which approaches appeal to me. Sports metaphors don’t do much for me, but a simple step process can work. Moreover I’m really just not that into what I see as gimmicks.
While I’m happy to joining mailing lists, however I’m getting kinda frustrated by the supposed freebies. I might just be ranty, and I’m sure beginners would appreciate these, but I don’t want a financial guide or spreadsheet. Similarly, some of the emails from blogs are really not pitched well, and I actually find them really patronising. But clearly they work, and I am not the target market. So I’m trying to avoid those items that grate with me personally, there will be no freebies or patronising email funnels here I’m afraid.
To monetise or not to monetise? [I am a Shakespeare buff]. I reserve the right to monetise my blog in the future, but it’s not a big driver at the moment. I have a six figure job, so I don’t need the money. And to be honest, even though I have an accountant, the tax headache of monetising seems hefty.
I am awe of the bloggers that have successfully made their blogs into a business. Some of these have done really well, and truly do add value to the community. However the number of bloggers making money on digital products (such as online courses) and then selling these to newer bloggers just feels a bit like a pyramid scheme to me. It does not feel like a sustainable business model, but I may be proven wrong. What is has generated however are so many new blogs following an identical format. These have some basic money advice and then a second post as how to start a blog, full of affiliate links.
And I won’t even mention some bloggers even have the audacity to display adverts that my ad-blocker isn’t blocking. I’m very anti adverts, mainly for aesthetic reasons. But also for financial reasons, I’m not comfortable hawking products or services that I have no control over. That people don’t need. Hence, I will not be monetising Ms ZiYou in the near future.
So after covering my reasons for starting the blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I will cover in this blog. I want to get the balance of sharing, learning from and promoting others in the community right, without coming across as spammy.
There are many, many personal finance blogs, from general content, moneysaving, getting out of debt to saving money, investing and FIRE. I’m definitely in the FIRE category here. The most popular blogs seem to fall into two distinct categories: Really interesting almost clickbait type headlines with lot of useful instructional content. Fair play to these guys, they are killing it, but teaching and repeating basic content is not for me. I’m much more into the other category of popular blogs; the personal touch. These guys have great unique selling points and are living their lives, and practise oversharing and creating a sense of community. When reading, I’m much more drawn to the second type, I love hearing about people and what makes them unique, it almost makes me feel normal.
So my aim is for this to be a personal blog about my journey to FIRE….it will get personal, introspective, reflective and at times questioning…..all while maintaining a core theme of frugality and feminism. Hence I’m going to link to cool items, and talk about my analysis and approach rather than paraphrase the infinite amount of content out there.
Over to you
- What are your reasons for blogging?
- How do you feel about monetisation?