First off…yeah I know…weird title right. Stay with me for a bit – thou shalt be inspired!!
My own contributions to the PF blogging world are usually in the form of a story, but once in awhile when I feel strongly about something, or think it might be helpful to others, I’ll put the storytelling aside. If you did come by for a story, check my latest out @ Cheap Bastard. Oh, and if you’re new here and the domain name above ^ has your finger moving towards the back button, you might want to read Sleeping With The Enemy before you make any harsh judgements. This website is about avoiding predatory lenders and rebuilding broken credit ratings (and broken lives).
So back to the fun stuff! *Inspiring You* Digital granite, ego-mileage, and forever jewelry.
Last week I did something I’ve never done before. I went browsing through personal finance blog directories to learn more about the PF blogging community at large (after all, I’m still a rank newbie myself with only a year under my belt).
Wow. I knew there were a lot of PF blogs out there, but I didn’t realize to what extent.
I found a lot of jewels, but what really stuck out for me was how many were gone.
Every time I clicked on an abandoned blog to get the old “nothing here anymore buddy” error page (404), it gave me a wee tinge of sadness.
At one time somebody had a dream. They bought a domain name, learned how build a site using some kind of blogging platform, and said, “Hello World!”
I’m sure they were really excited about it too.
I know that feeling. It’s great! You’re in full-on creation mode right from the get-go when you invent a domain name, and all future work on your domain is a creative expression. When I met Chris Somerset (manager of the WFL Project Awards) we hit it off right away because of something she said, “A blog post is a work of art”.
I couldn’t agree more.
So when I see these abandoned PF blogs, it reminds me of the people who quit. The people who had a dream and for some reason they decided to give up on their dream; and I don’t think anyone fires up a blog without being excited about a dream.
So what exactly is the the most common dream these new PF bloggers have. Good question, and the answers could be (short list);
- so they can make some extra money blogging
- so they can make a full time living blogging
- so they share helpful information with other bloggers
- so they can help people struggling with money issues
- so they can make a personal finance journal for themselves
- all of the above
My best guess for most successful PF bloggers is #6. If you’re motivation is only #1 or #2 and you’re just starting out, you will become frustrated on your new journey. You might even get so frustrated you end up quitting. If you’re frustrated at the moment, PLEASE read this entire post all the way through.
So why would PF bloggers give up and quit. Maybe they;
- didn’t have enough time
- found out they didn’t like the work
- found out it was too much work
- didn’t think they were very good
- frustrated with not making serious money
- had some bad reviews
- had a bad experience on social media
- frustrated with how long it takes to get traction
- frustrated with very little traffic growth
- intimidated by established bloggers
- their family or partner wasn’t supportive
- couldn’t afford domain and hosting costs
- just don’t care anymore
- they died
- all of the above
I don’t think anyone would (or could) answer #14.
Whatever their reasons for quitting may have been, they just gave up on their initial dream.
So back to the main theme of this meandering post;
Your Ideas Are Digital Granite
I know….I’m taking my sweet-ass time getting to the point, but I’m glad you’re still with me. If you’re frustrated with your level of blogging success, this is the important part of the post. I’m writing this for all those personal finance bloggers (I suppose any blogger actually) including myself.
When I was a kid growing up I had a strong drive to somehow achieve immortality (my shrink told me it was because I had deformed legs and was bullied – I’ll show those bastards!).
It’s an insidious and ego-driven emotion, and I was completely unaware of how it was affecting my choices in life. It wasn’t until I read books like the great Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, that I became conscious of my own mind and ego. When I finally realized how massive my ego truly was I felt nauseous. From then on I’ve been able to watch my ego from the outside, and see how it’s constantly trying to take over my mind, my words, and my actions.
I understand there is a large portion of the world’s society that doesn’t grow up with a huge ego, and to those people I say, “…thank God you exist to keep the us wack-jobs in check and make this a better world to live in”. But everyone has SOME ego they have to deal with. There is no such thing as a human without ego (if they’re still breathing air).
At one time when I was growing up I thought I wanted to be an architect because I was in awe of the great stone building and structures of the world. The list of these structures would take me on yet another tangent you don’t want right now, but I was especially awestruck by structures made of pure granite or marble. I still look at these famous structures as massive pieces of “forever jewelry”.
And so my young ego thought, “If I couldn’t live forever, then at least maybe I could create something that would live forever.”
And here is my VERY small list of different ways some humans think they can achieve immortality – being;
- an author
- a musician (my choice)
- a politician
- an artist
- an architect
- an athlete
- an actor
- and you get the point
I know now there really isn’t such a thing as true immortality because eventually everything will soon be dust. We humans are just a very recent species living on this big beautiful blue marble spinning in our galaxy (one of billions). The earth has been here for 4.543 billion years (at the time of this writing), so no matter what we can achieve in our short life span doesn’t matter all that much. If you find that statement to be sad and distasteful, that’s just your ego saying something like, “Hey wait a minute buddy – I’m special and you don’t know shit”.
That includes all of our famous heroes too. Thousands of years later if the human species hasn’t blown itself up, melted itself down, vaporized, or Mother earth hasn’t decided to just be done with it and end us; there might be some digital information floating around about all of our great accomplishments and failures. And that includes your great accomplishments and failures.
And our egos say to that, “Hey, hey, hey, wait a minute! That’s some quality ego-mileage there! Immortality baby!”
All the great celebrities will still be searchable on the future search engines (probably won’t be Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Duck Duck Go). If the human race survives on planet earth we might even have some ancient structures still standing too. The architects will have some serious ego-mileage there!
This is great news for our human egos. Because of the digital world we’ve created, we can live on for hundreds of years. Maybe even thousands. Maybe even forever! (yuck….that means everything else will too – looking at you Helix)
Whatever your reason was for creating your personal finance blog, there is one thing for sure. Your blog and all of it’s unique and special posts are going to be around for a very very very long time.
“Well as long as someone in your family keeps a hosting account live”, you’re thinking.
My guess is there will be a ginormous archive (maybe already is – enlighten me in the comments) that will keep your entire blog alive forever, even if your family members don’t maintain a hosting account. The search engines don’t keep such a “forever archive” because they shed pages all the time, and I’ll bet they’ll be shedding more in the future.
And this is a beautiful thing. We can create a piece of content (good, bad, or ugly) and it’s digital granite. Then you can create another, and another, and another. Over time you’re personal creations will get better and better, and some day you’re going to create a masterpiece. At the very least, some day you’ll be creating posts that no other writer could ever write.
Not Just Ego-Mileage
If you’re goal is immortality (ego-mileage) mission accomplished. If your goal is to help people out with their finances, mission accomplished. If you just want to make money it will take a few years to make anything serious, but that can come. For sure you’ll make good money if you fall in love with the feel of your fingers tapping a keyboard and the creative process – your mission will be accomplished. If you just want to leave a private journal of ideas for your kids and grandchildren, and their grand children – mission accomplished.
And here is some more GREAT NEWS!
You can quit! Hell you can quit as many times as you want!
Just DON’T kill your domain. It’s there for you again when you feel inspired. All your hard work and building blocks won’t degrade, and you can pick up where you left off. Taking a break might be the best thing you can do.
Just write when you feel inspired to write. Try NOT to get frustrated with the lack of money and/or traffic currently coming in, and focus on inventing your personal style. Everyone of us humans has a style and story to tell.
I’ve visited hundreds of PF blogs now, and every writer has their own finger print – they’re own textual and visual DNA. Never think that your content DNA isn’t special enough to “put out there”.
Don’t get hung up on spelling (use spell check), grammar, structure, etc., because you don’t need any of that to share your ideas. If English is your second language don’t worry about it – your core ideas will still be there for all to see. You can always write in your fluent language and publish an English version. Some of my favorite PHP coders still write with badly broken English, but it’s never stopped them from becoming pillars in the coding world.
The next time you get frustrated with your blogging progress, just walk away for awhile. Stay off your social media accounts and enjoy your time off. Stop putting pressure on yourself to come up with “worthy ideas”, and enjoy just watching (like Chauncey Gardner in the great Peter Sellers movie “Being There”)
And speaking of “worthy ideas”, never assume that any of your ideas aren’t worthy, or interesting. Each post is another opportunity to practice sharing your ideas in an informative way and/or an entertaining way (if you think that a personal finance post can’t be entertaining, you should check out Budgets Are Sexy, The Lady In The Black, Freedom Is Groovy, Dear Debt, The Retirement Manifesto, Life Zemplified.
And if you wanna get your hair blasted back, check out those crazy-sassed, word wielding, PF slayers over at BGR (that’s BitchesGetRiches for my newbie droogs).
But let this be my WARNING to all you misogynists and metaphor molesting trolls lurking on this page: *Approach With Caution* — those bitches will scorch your lilly-white ass before you have a chance to spew a hateful syllable or an unkind Tweet. (just kidding – Kitty and Piggy would never do that)
Just kidding in the brackets.
(100% editorial control is a beautiful thing – can’t believe I’m getting paid for this ;^})
Oh, and if you haven’t watched the movie “Being There” yet…….I envy you, because I’ll never forget the impact it had on me when I saw it for the first time. The producers and writers of Forest Gump were heavily influenced by Sellers’ genius.
Get some popcorn and curl up! You’re gonna love it!