Blogger Confessions #2: Nick from Your Money Blueprint
Happy Saturday! Today is the second of the 'Blogger Confessions' interview series on the blog, and I'm bringing in Nick from Your Money Blueprint to talk about blogging and how he's managed to keep everything straight as a personal finance blogger.
Nick, take it away.
I'm a 38-year-old, married, father of one daughter. Full-time corporate slave with dreams of growing my financial coaching business. I discovered financial independence only 4 years ago after experiencing a bad back injury. After a financial U-turn, I have plans to retire before the age of 45 so our family can focus on spending time on our passions, instead of working for someone else. I blog twice a week at Your Money Blueprint.
Blogger Confessions with Your Money Blueprint
1: In at least 100 words, describe the target audience of your blog.
My target audience is quite wide-ranging. My niche is financial freedom. This could be male or female. Young or old. High income or lower income. Anyone that is looking to make better decisions with their finances and get ahead, will find value in my blog.
2: What makes your blog different from other blogs in the PF blogosphere?
I feel I have a unique voice in that I have a daughter and we are low income when compared to the national median.
A lot of bloggers are high income. This is no disservice to them, though. High-income earners can still be broke, so to achieve financial independence at a young age is still a huge achievement. I think this makes me quite relatable to those on lower incomes, as I don’t know many financial freedom writers in that space.
3: What’s the thing that you’ve struggled with the most since starting your blog?
Connecting with other bloggers. I have a .co.nz domain and a few of the blogger websites don’t accept my comments. I also struggle to find the time to comment a lot on other bloggers work.
I am still new to social media, including Twitter. I am trying, but this has definitely been the most difficult aspect to my new blog. Blogging itself has been fine. I enjoy it immensely.
4: Do you publish your net worth on your blog? Why or why not?
I don’t publish my net worth. I live in a low cost of living area and I am not an anonymous blogger. Someone could easily find out where I live and for those reasons, I’m not comfortable sharing that information.
If someone were to read most articles on my blog they could probably work out my net worth to within a degree of accuracy of 10%. In some of my blog articles, I give examples of my expenses, income and savings rate, so it wouldn’t be too hard to deduce my net worth from that.
5: Have you monetized your blog (ads, affiliate marketing, etc)? Why or why not?
I haven’t monetized my blog. I have however, monetized my website.
I don’t want my blog to be overrun with ads. Because I am new to the scene, I’m trying to gain a larger audience and I feel not having ads will help. Not only with a better reader experience, but also with my integrity as a blogger.
My website is monetized in the sense that I have set up a business. I am a registered financial adviser, offering a service as a financial freedom coach.
I have a bunch of free stuff on my website including my blog and 20 free excel spreadsheets
I have not yet monetized this blog. I’ve been waiting until my traffic reaches a higher level.
6: Would you rather be loved, hated or controversial? Explain, please!
I'd rather be hated.
The majority of people don’t save. The majority of people don’t have an emergency fund. The majority of people are living paycheck to paycheck. The majority of people don’t retire early. The majority of people worry about money. The majority of people follow the herd.
I don’t want to be like the majority of people straddled in debt and struggling. I want to be different. If my blog topics are hated, then that means I am doing my job and upsetting the majority.
I would much rather be loved than either of the other options.
7: Who would you be horrified to know read your blog?
My boss. Although I am not an anonymous blogger, my website is not really big enough to have hundreds of readers a day. If my boss was one of the 70 a day who read my blogs, then I would be shocked.
I haven't written anything detrimental with regards to my full-time employment (I don’t think so anyway!), but they may not see my views on financial freedom and not wanting to work my full-time job in the same way.
I am not quite in the position to pull the plug on my main source of income yet, and I would hope my employer reading my blog would not affect my job security
There isn't a person that I would want to not read my blog. I’m not anonymous, and I stand by everything I've written, even the not-so-good posts, as you'll see below.
8: What’s your most favorite, least favorite and most embarrassing post on your blog?
My most favorite blog article is actually a guest article I wrote for ESI Money.
It was a controversial article that suggested it is better to invest than it is to pay down the mortgage. It drew a lot of comments. I guess the majority of people think it is best to pay off the mortgage than it is to invest.
It's my favorite because it was fun to write something that goes a bit against the grain, and because of the interaction with the readers in the comments section. That is why we blog after all, for the interaction.
My least favorite article is The Beginner's Guide to Retirement.
It is such common advice that it didn’t really add too much to the conversation and it didn't offer a unique perspective. It's not a terrible article, but it is my worst effort to date.
My most embarrassing article is my very first article that I launched into the world wide web.
It's an article about goal setting. It’s not embarrassing in the sense of bad content. It actually has some good advice. It’s embarrassing because the very first sentence of my first blog article tags J Money. The legend of personal finance himself. I had no one reading my blog and I thought I could get the attention of J Money in my very first post.
9: Explain your writing process
Once I have chosen my topic, I will just start writing in Microsoft Word.
I can push out 1,500 words in about 1-2 hours. I don’t have an outline or anything like that. I just write. I like to use Word so that I can pick up grammar errors.
From there, I copy and paste my article from Word over to my website platform. I do a re-read here, fixing any grammar errors, and redoing any sentences/sections I may not like. This is where I also add any links. This takes about 45 minutes.
Because I am a couple of months ahead of posting schedule, I review the post again the week before it is to be published. Again, picking up any grammatical errors. This takes 15 minutes.
Total time per blog article is about 3 hours. Longer if it is a particularly long article or one that needs research. My favorite blog post took about 8 hours as there were a lot of data calculations and I wanted it to be right for the host website that offered their platform for me so graciously.
10: What is your favorite blog in the PF blogosphere (other than your own!)?
There are so many, its hard to pick just one.
I will choose Mr. Tako from Mr. Tako Escapes. He is relatable to me in the sense that he has children, and his writing style is very fluent with a good sense of humor. I see he comments on a lot of your articles Steve, so I also know he has good taste. Speaking of taste, he posts amazing pictures of homemade food that makes me drool over my laptop.
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