I was listening to The Millennial Money Minutes Podcast the other day – specifically the interview with J. Money.
For those of you who don’t know – J has been blogging FOREVER.
(OK, only nine years but that is super old in personal finance blog years).
This means that J has seen the coming and going of many personal finance blogs.
Not All of Us Make It
If you haven’t noticed, not all of the shiny, new personal finance blogs make it.
New bloggers typically start out with a bang, pumping out content multiple times per week.
Then life happens and some of them lose their steam and fizzle out.
Then a rush of new bloggers come in to fill the void and repeat the cycle.
New Blogs Are The Realest
J made a comment in the podcast episode about how new blogs are often the realest.
It seemed he attributed that to blogs jumping into money making enterprises as they mature.
It’s a bummer that some of the realness is lost in the desire to make money and bring in more traffic.
(I highly recommend you check out that podcast episode if you are a blogger. J is awesome and has a great perspective on blogging).
Why I Stopped The #RealTalk
I remember when Millennial Boss first launched.
I had that new blog steam but also that new blog confidence.
I was a tiny blog and anonymous, so I put my heart out there, in every single post.
I remember some of the first few comments I received from other personal finance bloggers, who lauded my openness on difficult topics.
Their support encouraged me to post more often.
Millennial Boss has since grown. Sometimes I receive up to 60,000 page views per month.
I don’t share my blog with family and friends.
Because it’s awkward.
For three reasons –
- Personal finance bloggers tend to have opinions on money that 99% of America does not agree with and consider normal.
- Some of my “best posts” were about very sensitive and difficult topics that I probably wouldn’t talk to other people about – especially my list of Facebook friends.
- I had a very humble upbringing and I’m very drawn to down-to-earth, non-materialistic friends. Now, these friends know that I write a blog dedicated to money and perhaps that casts doubt about how non-materialistic and down-to-earth I really am. I don’t blame them.
Your Overshare Has Helped Me So I Overshare
Have you ever googled something specific – got to the page – and then realized it was the most generic article ever and you didn’t get any details or actionable advice?
I’ve done that many times and I never wanted this blog to be like that. I wanted to provide readers step-by-step instructions on how I do different things and also provide my unfiltered thoughts and emotions about money so others can relate.
I know whenever I’ve found a real article where someone has openly shared the nitty gritty details or put their emotions and opinions out there – I’ve really appreciated it.
In fact, my first-ever personal finance blog discovery was the debt payoff blog No More Harvard Debt and it’s written like a diary of this guy’s life over 10 months of paying off debt. It was real and it was super actionable for me.
My fellow financial bloggers – your overshares allow me to set realistic financial goal posts for myself and motivate me to achieve big things. I like the Glassdoor nature of personal finance blogs. (Glassdoor is a website where salary and interview details are shared by company and job title).
PS – Our Next Life advocates that personal finance bloggers have transparency obligations to their readers.
One Reason I Share Is To Help Women
One reason I share details is to help and encourage women.
I’m not sharing complete specifics but enough to be actionable and hopefully help people.
In the past, women I know have shared details with me that have encouraged me to ask for more, negotiate my salary, and take career risks.
Heck, at my first job out of college, the person leaving the position told me her exact salary in the interview and told me to not accept anything less.
(There is a backstory that she was paid unfairly compared to her peers and it took her two years to even it out).
I took her advice, asked for more, and got the money. Thank you to her!
I’m Not Ready To Share Everything
I’m not at the point where I want to be completely open about my life and don’t think I’ll ever get there.
And that’s OK.
So I’m Going Back Into the Blogging Closet
I aim to stay an anonymous blogger.
Trust me, I love blogging – It’s one of my favorite hobbies – But unless 1000 of you sign up to track your net worth with Personal Capital this month, I can’t put all of my eggs in that basket.
Update: As of January 2020 I am no longer anonymous! Although I did stay anonymous for awhile.
So Why Are New Blogs More Real?
Going back to J. Money’s comment in the podcast – I think another reason that new blogs are more real is that they are anonymous.
New bloggers don’t have concerns over who will read the article and what they will think and how they need to approach the subject next time they see that person.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m typically someone who readily shares my opinion in the real world – but I also have the EQ (emotional intelligence) to know that you don’t just drop your net worth at the dinner table.
In all seriousness – If you’re not tracking your net worth with Personal Capital yet, you need to get on that. I check that app on my phone almost daily and it’s free.
I’m looking to hear from bloggers and readers alike. Do you think it’s possible to grow your site and stay anonymous at the same time? Do you feel conflicted when posting overshares?
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