Happy Saturday and welcome to the 42nd episode of the ‘Blogger Confessions’ interview series on the blog. Today, I’m bringing in Jerry Brown from Peerless Money Mentor to talk about blogging and how they’ve managed to keep everything straight as a personal finance blogger.
Jerry, take it away.
Blogger Confessions with Jerry Brown from Peerless Money Mentor
1: In at least 100 words, describe the target audience of your blog.
The target audience for my blog is people struggling to escape the not so secret group of Broke Phi Broke. A group whose chant is, “We ain’t got it Broke, Broke, Phi Broke! We ain’t got it. Broke, Broke, Phi Broke!”
This group of people has the income necessary to escape being broke, but like myself; they have made foolish financial decisions in the past.
They may have purchased a car they could not afford, cosigned a car loan for an ex fiancée, or financed too many toys on their credit cards.
Regardless of their past mistakes, they are now looking to turn things around by applying time-tested financial principles to their financial life.
2: What makes your blog different from other blogs in the PF blogosphere?
What makes my blog different from other personal finance blogs is my story. Anyone can parrot financial information, but it is one’s story that sets him or her apart.
When I told my story about growing up in the ghetto on my blog, many people reached out to me thanking me for sharing that part of my story. In the words of one blogger, it was “honest, personal, and well-crafted”.
I hope to continue creating deeply personal and compelling blog posts by combining my love for hip-hop, philosophy, and of course, personal finance.
3: What’s the thing that you’ve struggled with the most since starting your blog?
The one thing I have struggled the most with since starting my blog is focusing on one thing at a time. When it comes to blogging, there are so many different subjects to master.
I wish writing were the only thing I had to concern myself with but that is not the case. You have to learn content marketing, digital networking, WordPress, and so much more.
Where I usually mess up at is trying to master all these things at once. As a result, I usually become overwhelmed, and end up getting nothing done.
For a nanosecond, I considered ordering some medication or taking pills to help me focus. Instead, I have decided to remember that doing everything at once is impossible and not a limiting belief.
4: Do you publish your net worth on your blog? Why or why not?
No, I have decided not to publish my net worth on my blog.
Some of my readers are family members, and I do not want to overwhelm with a million text messages asking for loans.
All jokes aside, I do not publish my net worth on my blogs for safety reasons. I do not want someone who knows me trying to break into my home.
5: Have you monetized your blog (ads, affiliate marketing, etc)? Why or why not?
When I first started my blog, I installed Google AdSense. After a year of hearing from a close friend how ugly the ads made my blog look, I recently uninstalled it.
Another factor that influenced this decision was the fact that I only made $55 from ads the entire year, which is well short of the $100 Google requires you to have to cash out.
The ads were not adding value
As far as affiliate marketing is concerned, I have learned that I suck at it. It does not make sense to me. For a minute, I thought about adding a personal capital link in my bio but figured it would take away from the uniqueness of my blog :-).
6: Would you rather be loved, hated or controversial? Explain, please!
I started my blog with the intention of being loved by everyone. However, after writing a weekly spending assignment for Business Insider, I quickly realized that is an unrealistic goal to have.
The reality is this: when you publish content on the internet, someone is going to hate you.
I did not state anything out of the ordinary in my weekly spending piece, but that did not stop someone from creating a live YouTube video criticizing me harshly.
Here are some of the mean things said:
- His income is not high enough for him to give financial advice
- He only cares about himself
- He should not be eating a slice of cake from Whole Foods (I agree with this)
- This guy is so delusional to think that he can kill debt to build wealth
- Why is he reading The Millionaire Next Door (I thought this was a fantastic read)
Now that I have encountered such hatred, my goal is to be my peerless self.
It is up to my critics to decide whether they hate me or love me. That is none of my business.
7: Who would you be horrified to know read your blog?
I would be horrified to know that my ex-fiancée read my blog.
I have mentioned several times what a foolish decision it was to co-sign for her car loan. If she read it, the worst-case scenario would be her refusing to make the last car payment just to spite me.
8: What’s your most favorite, least favorite and most embarrassing post on your blog?
My most favorite blog post would be my first Rockstar feature: From Broke Phi Broke to Financially Woke. I will never forget the day I was
On the other end of the spectrum, my least favorite post is Samsung Pay Rewards Hack. The post is obviously clickbait. I just describe my experience using Samsung Pay. Maybe I should delete it or change the headline, but I still get some organic traffic to it every now and then.
Last but certainly not least, my most embarrassing post to date is Peerless Money Mentor $25 Southwest Gift Card Quiz. The reason why I am not proud of this one is that I created it when I had very little content.
Instead of listening to J Money’s advice about not worrying about marketing, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to do give away a gift card to the person who answered a quiz about my content.
To make a long story short, a close friend ended up earning the prize. I learned my lesson the hard way.
9: Explain your writing process
My writing process varies, but here is what I do most of the time.
The first thing I do is start with constructing a headline (I have 100 or so in a Google Doc). Afterward, I outline the blog post in my mind.
This helps me write the post as quick as possible. The writing process itself usually takes between 2-4 hours, depending on the complexity of the topic.
I usually proofread the post a few times and then hit publish and hope for the best. A close friend or blogger will usually point out any egregious grammatical errors.
Once a blogger emailed me to point out a funny mistake. I accidentally wrote that I am usually the groom and not the groomsman, which means I would have several wives.
10: What is your favorite blog in the PF blogosphere (other than your own!)?
My favorite blog is DiverseFi. Doc G does a wonderful job of producing thought-provoking content daily. As someone who aspires to achieve financial independence, I look to him to tell me what that looks like from a psychological and philosophical perspective.
He writes a lot about front-loading the sacrifice, the achievement treadmill, and money apathy.
I find myself thinking about these topics while I am walking around the lakes or embracing the serenity the flow of the Mississippi water brings.
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Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.