Happy Saturday and welcome to the sixth episode of the ‘Blogger Confessions’ interview series on the blog. Today, I’m bringing in Othalafehu to talk about blogging and how he’s managed to keep everything straight as a personal finance blogger. 

Othalafehu, take it away.

Blogger Confessions with Othalafehu

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

I think, honestly, that I write for myself.

I write the blog I would want to read. There is zero chance that someone else also happens to be a FIRE seeking lawyer, who likes prepping and gold, was in the navy, believes in the oxford comma, and holds true with the old gods. I get it. I just figured that I would put it all out there and see who came in from the cold to read my stuff. It seems there are some takers. I am happy.

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

I ooze out sideways into several different interests that are not common for a PF site.

First and foremost would be my interest in Prepping. I am kind of ‘that guy’ and it pops up time and again in my blog. I am also a practicing pagan and that rears its strange head into my writing fairly regularly.

I also like precious metals which is an unpopular position in the FIREverse. Lastly, I share a lot of legal tales and military stories because of my time in each of those worlds.

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

My biggest issue is building steady traffic. I have plateaued now for a while at around 4,000 views a month. Without features on some larger site, I am steady but not really increasing. I was never out to conquer the world, but I would like to reach more people over time. Slow and steady wins the race, but I have seen a recent social stalling at the 2-year mark.

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

Yes. Part of the reason I blog anonymously is that I am very forthcoming with my numbers. I started out lurking in this community to live vicariously through other people’s net worth numbers.

It was this that made me want to step up and provide my own naked truths for your voyeuristic pleasure. I feel like that providing the actual numbers is important for a net worth blog because it allows the reader to truly identify/compare paths.

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

No, I do not intend or foresee any monetization of my blog. I am happy with my day job and do this as more of a vanity project. If along the way I make some genuine connections and help a person out now and again, I will consider that the mark of success.

I feel that if too many of us are simply recycling the same information for the purpose of affiliate ads we will water down the purpose and strength of this social phenomenon.

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

I want to be loved, I would settle for being hated.

I have been in both positions before, they have more similarities than differences. Mostly I would like to be read and thought about. Stimulating discussion and influencing decisions (one way or the other) in people’s lives seems like a very valid pursuit for a blogger.

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

Co-workers. One great thing about being anonymous, I am open to the point of fiscal vulgarity. The other side of that is that I would feel way too exposed if people I actually knew read the blog. My friends and family have some notion of my opinions and bank accounts, it would just be details for them..

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

I have one shit post on my blog. I keep it there to remind me that I do not want more.

I think I made the post mostly because I had some good pictures for it. It actually says nothing and represents what I hate seeing in others posts. I dislike it so much I amended it to contain a ‘real-life’ example of how to address a fiscal problem so that it at least finished on a high note.

I am most proud of my ‘Army of Loyal Henchmen’. It was featured on Rockstar Finance and represents a fun and creative way to think about passive income. I was a little disappointed that people did not follow through on naming their own henchmen, but it is a solid concept.

9: Explain your writing process

I tend to write in batches. By that I mean I will crank out 3 posts at a go and then nothing for weeks. I store them up and release weekly or as needed if a relevant opportunity arises.

I have only 2 regular posts that repeat throughout the year, monthly net worth updates and seasonal blog updates.

My process is generally to puke out my ideas and go back over them tweaking until fit for duty. The rough draft is usually done in 15 minutes. I choose pics based on my infatuation with popular culture. I do not worry much about trademarks because I make no money off the site. I will reread and proof about 10 times before release.

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

I like the Money Commando for his net worth updates, I am jealous. I like Bitches Get Riches for their writing style and nerd references. I also read Lily at the Frugal Gene regularly, she writes a great post.

Actually, this question is too large for me to answer. I am one of those bloggers that still have a blogroll.

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