Happy Saturday and welcome to the 27th episode of the ‘Blogger Confessions’ interview series on the blog. Today, I’m bringing in Jake Jones from ThinkHub.co to talk about blogging and how they’ve managed to keep everything straight as a personal finance blogger. 

Jake, take it away.

Blogger Confessions with Jake Jones from ThinkHub.co

1: In at least 100 words, describe the target audience of your blog.

Anyone in the personal finance space who needs direction, encouragement, or detailed information. There are all kinds of people in different places in their personal finance journey. Some are close to retirement and others are just getting started. I believe my content is best for those who are where I am or earlier steps in their journey. 

Currently, I am paying off debt so that I can increase my monthly cash-flow. After that it is onward to investing, saving, and paying off my house. 

2: What makes your blog different from other blogs in the PF blogosphere?

I truly feel that the level of research for the content in my posts is apparent when compared to a lot of other blogs of my size. Not all, but many. When I take the time to create a post to help people I feel responsible (at least in part) for the outcomes. So doing a lot of research is necessary in order for me to feel good about what I am posting. 

Second, I put a lot of time into the layout. Currently I have no ads and a lot of white space on the site so it is easy to navigate. There was also a significant amount of time that went into font, spacing, and structure of the posts in hopes to make the content appealing to the eye and easily read.

3: What’s the thing that you’ve struggled with the most since starting your blog?

Consistency and choosing a topic.

When I first started choosing a topic to write about seemed overwhelming so I essentially decided to write about whatever interested me. Usually self development which is broad in itself.

However, as time went on some things in my life changed. Eventually, I started realizing that my finances were not in order and I was not setting myself up for success.

Then, I decided it was time to get it together in December of 2017, it was about 5 months after that I started writing about personal finance. 

When I was not certain what I wanted to write about, how to monetize my site, and how to make my blog work for me it was hard to stay motivated. After starting to write about personal finance I think I found my passion. Or at least one of them. 

4: Do you publish your net worth on your blog? Why or why not?

No. Honestly I just have not got there yet. I do not care about keeping my financial information hidden from others, I just simply have not taken the time to create an article on net worth. That being said, I think once January comes I will be hitting the perfect time to start sharing, especially with everyone resolving to make changes in their lives.

5: Have you monetized your blog (ads, affiliate marketing, etc)? Why or why not?

Yes-ish. I am currently focusing on providing value and growing an audience. However, if one of my articles starts to get traffic I will go back and monetize it. I have only 1-2 posts that are monetized at the moment. One day I plan to do more, but for the moment I will just follow this route and focus on providing value to my readers. 

To add, the only montization I currently use is affiliate links. I think that if I want to grow, my site needs to look as appealing as possible. Because of this I do not use any ads on my site at this time, that may change in the future. 

6: Would you rather be loved, hated or controversial? Explain, please!

I believe I would like to be all 3 at the same time. Having all 3 would show that I have people who love my content whom I am helping. Then I have those who hate me because people do not particularly like seeing other people do better than them, so I know I am moving in the right direction. Last, controversial because it would drive people to talk about me and only increase awareness of my content. 

Even though I would like to be controversial, I would only want to be controversial for the right reasons. Doing the right thing, sticking to my guns, and sharing my honest opinion.

7: Who would you be horrified to know read your blog?

I do not think I would be horrified by any one person reading my blog.

When I first started I was super self consicous about it and really wanted to hide it from some people, especially coworkers.

Then as time went on, I dealt with that fear by intentionally posting where coworkers could see it. Eventually, the fear started to go away.

Now it is much less of an issue, the fear still comes up, but I will not be horrified becuase of an individual reading my blog. 

8: What’s your most favorite, least favorite and most embarrassing post on your blog?

So my least favorite post is actually my post that happens to get the most traffic. It is a list of alternatives to Mint. I have never particularly liked it, but I continue to update it hoping one day it will rank well on Google and generate income. 

I am not certain which post is my most favorite. One post that I put a lot of time into and I am quite proud of is a massive post I created about 401(k)’s. As far as research and writing go, it was the most work i have put into any post to date. 

My “Is College Worth it?” is the worst one, but I did have several more embarrassing posts, especially early on. Short posts with no real call to action or depth. I do still have some personal development stuff up as well that I need to set up redirects for, I guess that should be embarrassing too.

9: Explain your writing process

At this point, I wake up between 4:30am and 5:00am each morning during the week in order to work on my blog. Sometimes the time has to go to work or to doing something around the house, but mostly it goes to the blog. Beyond that time, I go to Starbucks once per week on a Sunday in order to get some time away from the wife and kids to focus. 

Generally, I will come up with a topic that interests me, do some quick keyword research, then an outline. After that comes the writing and the research (which I do as I go). Once completed I create my images and have my wife read over my post, then edit. 

That’s it!

10: What is your favorite blog in the PF blogosphere (other than your own!)?

My favorit has to be Get Rich Slowly. The content that J.D. creates there really inspires me to try to do better for myself and to have a pricipled approach to helping others financially. However, I do also enjoy Rich and Regular , Budgets Are Sexy, and The Frugal Fellow.

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