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

My Early Retirement Journey, take it away.

Blogger Confessions with My Early Retirement Journey

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

My blog is for single women who aren’t waiting for someone to rescue them or take care of their life and finances for them.

I write for me and people like me. I write for ordinary women who are still trying to figure out what the heck to do with their lives when all their friends have chosen the beaten path. I write for women who aren’t renting until they find a husband and start a family.

They’re renting until they can decide what settling down even looks like. I write for women who don’t feel as if there is a piece missing in the form of a person but in the sense of a purpose. I write for women who are looking to live a life more intentionally and need their finances to support that goal.

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

As I have in my About Me page on my blog, I read many a FIRE blog one day during the lull of the holiday season at work. The one that stuck out the most was rootofgood.com.

His path was clear and concise and although he began writing after he reached early retirement, he left some good breadcrumbs. Other FIRE blogs I came across had similar themes and varied themes from extreme frugality to those with higher incomes who were able to save more and thus retire faster. Almost all were men with wives and children.

When I thought about how my blog would be different, I started there. My blog would be a space for the actual journey of one single 30-something woman on the way to early retirement.

I know now that women are indeed part of the financial independence movement, but they are still hard to find. My blog is still evolving because humans are complex, and as it turns out I am a human.

I will say that the most salient difference I’ve found after six months of blogging is that I share more personal stories in between the financial milestones. After all, there are only so many ways you can save on your next utility bill. I like to say I put the personal in personal finance.

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

I have struggled most with how much marketing and networking needs to be done to get your blog in front of an audience. I initially thought I would not be bothered by this but when you create something, there’s so much pride there. You want someone to appreciate what you created!

I was not on social media before this and I have been sans cell phone for going on 18 months. Six months into blogging, my blog profile is on at least four different social media platforms and it seems it’s not enough just to be signed up for these networks. You have to actively engage. Constantly.

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

I have chosen to publish my savings and investments and income and expense on a quarterly basis. Financial updates were and still are one of the most intriguing things about reading personal finance blogs.

You hope their story is true, but either way, the progression is still an awe-inspiring thing to behold. I like them all from six-figure portfolios to six-figure debt repayment.

There is also something to be said about the fact that I am aware of the financial wellbeing of complete strangers and have no idea of the financial stewardship of my family and friends. I don’t know that I necessarily need to know the financial history of all my family and friends, but I think there are some reasonable conversations that could be had. And thanks to blogging, I have started to have those conversations.

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

I have chosen to monetize my blog with ads (via Adsense) because I do hope that it does become profitable one day. However, it’s not an aggressive goal because I don’t want to change the parts of blogging I already enjoy.

For example, I really enjoy creating content and writing about different aspects of my personal life. They don’t always relate to money and are not ostensibly how-to guides on personal finance topics.

I don’t have any novel or remarkable money savings tips or investment strategies. However, when I do read other blogs, the personal stories are to what I find myself continuously drawn. So I write what I like to read.

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

I would rather be myself.

I don’t know that I need to be any of these things all the time. I think being everlastingly loved or hated is a burden unto itself. Being loved to me comes with an expectation of doing things that please other people. I am not that way in my everyday life.

I don’t care to pander to others for the sake of keeping the peace.

However, being hated is not a place a sane person would want to be either. I think of the three being controversial at least gets people thinking and shakes things up a bit.

Though, after while a contentious personality, I think, just rounds down to being hated. So, I would rather be myself and I don’t think there’s anyone who is loved or hated by everyone all the time.

Even the world’s most notorious had fans.

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

I would be horrified by ex-cons or current cons (is that a thing?) I suppose. I think it would be easy to probably seek and find me and do bad things.

To clarify, I have been spending a lot of my free time (when I’m not blogging) catching up on Investigation Discover, and it seems just about everyone is one chance meeting away from being victimized.

I know this wasn’t the answer you were probably looking for, but that’s where my mind took it. I don’t know who else I would be horrified to know read my blog. It’s public.

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

I really enjoy all my blog posts, so let me think about this one.

I am most hesitant to share my posts about my hysterectomy since most of the PF blogosphere is dominated by men. I just don’t think they get it. At the same time, money is such a taboo subject so to talk about it so freely makes me think nothing is off limits.

I never tire of reading my comics. They are the coolest things I have created for my blog so far. One day I never knew I could make a comic and the next day I was a comic-maker. As silly as it sounds, it was life-changing.

I realized I still have some left and I haven’t been taken over by my corporate drone lifestyle.

For the sake of completion, I would say I tend to skip over some of my earlier posts. They lack focus and are a little emotional. I don’t want to delete them because I want to document all aspects of my journey. That was the whole point – I don’t want to just share my future success. My objective was to capture all parts of my financial independence journey!

9: Explain your writing process

My writing process depends on what I’m writing.

I have gotten my weekly round-up posts to as little as 20 minutes when I’m really focused. I pen my weekly life update posts throughout the week; finalize them on Fridays; and, try to spend less than an hour editing and formatting.

Some of my really meaty and substantial posts that either recall old memories or require compiling data from different sites take about 3 hours. So I would say on average 1 to 3 hours to compile a first draft. Anything other than a present-day stream of consciousness narrative generally takes about 3 hours to draft.

My editing process consists of letting it rest overnight. Then I trim and edit. Let it rest some more and then search for an image, finalize, and publish (or schedule).

I will say though a lot of times I start the idea or a quick outline right when the idea pops in my head either on paper or in an email or in a draft post depending on whichever is closest. Then I come back to it when more ideas come or when I have more time to flesh it out.

Some never get fleshed out because something juicier pops to mind. I am often inspired by people in the workplace; my family; my personal history; or reaction to something I see in the media to include television programs, news stories, or other blogs.

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

Hmm. I hope I don’t make enemies, but I started with rootofgood.com and I would say it’s probably the one I check in on most consistently.

…primarily because he doesn’t post that often and it’s a cool mix of personal and finance.

Additionally, I hope to attain at least his level of income at that level of (apparent) effort. I aspire to have a culminating project and platform to share my life as seen on Frugalwoods. Maybe not that many followers though.

I’m a small town girl at heart. I’m okay with only a few people knowing my name, as long as it’s the right people. Again, I really want to create a space for single-on-purpose women that don’t feel the need or desire to share their life (or womb) with a partner.

I truly don’t know anyone like that in real life! There has to be someone else! So, ultimately, I suppose my blog is self-serving. Thanks for listening!

Want to participate in Blogger Confessions? Click here to find out more about how to submit an interview.