I started this little blog back in December 2016 and managed to produce an article a week until the beginning of March. You’re probably thinking ‘Why on Earth would you need a break, you only kept it up for two months?!’ Well let me tell you why I needed a break from blogging. Mainly, it brought to the surface a lot of weird, people-pleasing tendencies and self-doubt, because really, who am I to tell people anything about finances?
Financial Idiot Turned Finance Blogger
Until recently I was an absolute financial train wreck. Splashing out cash like Kanye, with no savings (retirement or otherwise) and hitting the maximum on my credit card every month while barely being able to pay it off. The limit on my card was $5,500 so we’re talking about a lot of spending here (and it even turns out you can actually over spend your credit card limit – but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it).
So yeah. Financial idiot turned finance blogger was a self-doubt filled transition. The more I read and learn about personal finance, the more I realize I know very little. I can speak quite a bit about my little niche of finance – paying off debt with a higher than average income, renting instead of owning a home, saving money when you don’t earn a salary, planning for a retirement as a 30-year old and what it takes to save over 50% of my income.
Outside of those topics, I’d have to do some research. Probably a lot of research.
For example, recently I started to have an inkling my retired grandparents were overspending. After going through their expenses I realized they were on track to actually run out of money – soon. Not only was this serious but I had no idea how to help them. Hours of googling research didn’t provide an answer and my personal-finance-blogger superpowers were nowhere to be found. In the end I reached out to an older and wiser personal finance blogger with a background in financial planning. He provided the name of a fee-only advisor in their city – because they need PROFESSIONAL help. As much as I wanted to help, it was beyond my ability.
Sometimes Success is Poison
The second article I ever wrote was published on Rockstar Finance. It was an unreal feeling to open my inbox for my daily Rockstar email and find my own article. But when I started this blog, accomplishing that feat was on a six month timeline. Overnight my daily readership jumped from 2 (thanks mom) to over 6,000. That daily visitor number was all I could focus on from there on out. Some people stuck around (you guys are the best!!) but lots didn’t, and it was incredibly demoralizing.
I could no longer write without thinking about whether this was something people would want to read. Which was so far from the reason I started this blog (to become a better writer and maybe share some financial nuggets along the way). I couldn’t get out of my own head long enough to write something worth publishing, so I stopped writing. I told myself it was because I was busy, but it was really because I was paralyzed by caring too much what other people thought.
What Every Good Blogger Does
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, you can find a million how-to’s by a lot of different bloggers. Sign up for WordPress, host on Bluehost, pop in a pretty template and you’re good to go. There’s also a pretty standard ‘next steps’ list for new bloggers – get someone artsy to design your logo, start commenting on other blogs so people know you’re out there, guest post often, get on Twitter.
Following the ‘New Blogger To Do List’ made me feel like a fraud.
- I don’t want to be on Twitter. I’m not a big fan of social media in general and the constant, in-your-face nature of it makes me hate it.
- I barely like Facebook but I made a page for Two Cents Together where I publish my posts and that’s about it. I do however use Facebook in my personal life, where I’m a member of Jessica Moorhouse‘s Money Life Balance FB group, which I think is an outstanding resource with a great vibe and lots of active members.
- Commenting on other people’s posts so it’ll ping back to my blog is disingenuous. I read a lot of finance blogs every day but now almost never comment. Mostly because I feel if I can’t add something then it’s not worthwhile. This is probably within some sphere of self-doubt but regardless, not something I’m doing anymore.
So to sum it all up, I’m getting back to blogging – but I’ve laid out some ground rules for myself. I’m no longer going to worry how many people are reading this and instead try to provide valuable content around the topics I know. I’m going to keep my interactions with other bloggers genuine and not worry about getting that artsy logo. Also, I’m saying goodbye to Twitter – I never liked you anyway.