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Inspiration For Bloggers: “Digital Granite” “Ego-Mileage” “Forever Jewelry”

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.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial – Granite and Marble – Image License

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);

  1. so they can make some extra money blogging
  2. so they can make a full time living blogging
  3. so they share helpful information with other bloggers
  4. so they can help people struggling with money issues
  5. so they can make a personal finance journal for themselves
  6. 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;

  1. didn’t have enough time
  2. found out they didn’t like the work
  3. found out it was too much work
  4. didn’t think they were very good
  5. frustrated with not making serious money
  6. had some bad reviews
  7. had a bad experience on social media
  8. frustrated with how long it takes to get traction
  9. frustrated with very little traffic growth
  10. intimidated by established bloggers
  11. their family or partner wasn’t supportive
  12. couldn’t afford domain and hosting costs
  13. just don’t care anymore
  14. they died
  15. 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

Lincoln Memorial – Granite, Marble, Limestone – Picture by Dave Dibert

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;

  1. an author
  2. a musician (my choice)
  3. a politician
  4. an artist
  5. an architect
  6. an athlete
  7. an actor
  8. 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!

 

 

Brent Truitt is the author of Heroes & Villains of a BANKRUPT BULLSH*TTER, and a personal finance blogger at DebtFiles.com

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13 thoughts on “Inspiration For Bloggers: “Digital Granite” “Ego-Mileage” “Forever Jewelry””

  1. Awww. This is so great and so very true. The Lady in the Black just turned 1 year old. I didn’t make a big hubbub about it because I felt my recent blogging efforts didn’t warrant a celebration. Unlike when I started, I now post only occasionally, must usually when the mood strikes me (despite a billion solid post ideas floating around my head.) In the past year, I’ve pinballed from “I”m totally going to rock the blogging world” to “I’m addicted to the internet and that can’t be good” to “I’m too busy” to “let those who work there tails off have the limelight” to “how can I want to make money from those struggling with finances, that’s lame” to “I still hope my words help someone” to “I love to write” and back again. As a professional freelance writer in my non-blogging life, I make a very decent living from writing but all my words are used for products, some for people I don’t respect. My blog is the one place I can write in my own voice and that, my friends, THAT is the true granite. If you have something to say, you have a voice. It’s your voice that resonates with your audience (perhaps more than your message.) I encourage any new bloggers to not only use their voice but to really cherish it. Be genuine and enjoy telling your tale in a way that is uniquely you. And if you think no one is listening, you might just be surprised who is out there lurking. You MIGHT even get a fellow blogger to love your voice enough to call you out in his profound love letter to the art of PF blogging. Or maybe he just likes that you flirt with him. (wink, wink)

  2. Lady! I sure hope you’re writing down those ideas floating through your head!

    That’s the best part about having your own blog (a domain you own personally) – you can take time off to live and muse off your experiences, then spew when you have an idea you’re excited about.

    I envy bloggers who just keep writing and writing on some sort of schedule. That would kill the fun of it for me. Even if I make my own schedule, within a week I’m finding ways to rebel against it.

    And there is no hard fast rule that you need to publish a certain amount of posts to become a high traffic site. A good example is Brian Dean’s blog (backlinko.com) which is a massive traffic site (with big profits too) and he only has around 35 posts on it.

    His theory is you work every blog post until it’s the best post on that subject, and you keep coming back and adding to the post. Not something I would do, but it shows how quality is much more important than quantity.

    B

  3. Thanks for the mention and inspiration! We’re sitting in McDonalds using WiFi. Locked up the house for the last time and waiting for the closing. Haven’t forgotten getting your post published, just very scattered. At least we have moving stories to write about because getting the energy back up to blog is going to take a little doing. At least for me. Mr G is rearing to go.

    1. Hi Mrs. Groovy,

      Hope the move is going well. How exciting. Bet you’re looking forward to getting settled in to the new Groovy pad. Mr. Groovy is one of the lucky ones who never runs of good ideas to blog about (so it seems anyway).

      And yeah! I’m excited to see “The Mysterious Ways of Frugal Father Jamison” unleashed on the world. I bet you’ll have some more posts and pictures about your moving adventures ;^}

      B

  4. Thank you, Brent, for this genius piece of encouragement. We need this. I need this.
    I am pretty new in this blogging playground. I was not even sure to start at all. I was procrastinating the kickoff for almost a year. Then I found some encouraging words and here I am ;). Also, have to admit that I had some selfish intentions. Mainly I started to blog for learning about this whole world (both blogging and personal finance, and to practice English) and to establish relationships with like-minded people who will help me stay on track with improving my life. Interestingly I found the joy of creation and yes, I found the struggle when I forced myself to be a “good” blogger and follow the recipes. I almost quit after a couple of months but then realized that it is not a problem if I don’t follow the playbook. Becoming a huge influencer and creating a money cow was never among my goals. I don’t think my blog will ever become a financial success. But I like to believe that I shared some (financially and otherwise) interesting stories which fall into the category you mentioned, no one else could have written that (and yes, I hope those helped someone, even with a slight smile on their face on a grumpy day). I have seen also that what can happen if I really put in the work and effort into writing a post which is special on a way (if you haven’t so far, check out “Pirates of the Cryptobbean”). I know that I could get better over time and I am on the path of learning. Same time I accepted that currently, I am in a phase of my life when I can not invest a huge amount of time into this hobby. But I am sure that the time will come and all I need to do is to keep at it. Saying this I just prolonged my domain registration for another year 🙂 So thank You once again 🙂

    1. Hehe – HCF – Been on your blog lots of times and you too have your own unique “content DNA” – you’re gonna lay some great pieces of granite in the future too

  5. Thank you for not mentioning us in this post as we aim for strictly informational, educational content. Our work has no entertainment value, and we would be offended if it was identified as… amusing.
    Also thank you for the weird and awesome inspiration. The headline was worth it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Piggy and I’m glad you mentioned your desire not be published on a purely “entertainment” type blog post. I’ll keep that in mind and pass this along to Brent as well.

      He only does “weird” 😉

      1. Uh Chris…….I think Piggy is being sarcastic 🤓 their work is WILD and extremely entertaining!!! Talking awesome. I feel terrible I didn’t include them in the sample list of *entertaining* bloggers. I’ll fix that!!

  6. I’m not sure which is sadder though, a domain that no longer exists, or a blogger you used to love and follow who sold their blog and it’s still there, but the posts are no longer written by them. I do think it’s awesome that they get paid for selling their blog, don’t get me wrong, but I’m always bummed that there’s no longer any new content to read.

    1. I know what you mean. Rockstar Finance is sort of like that. Site is still there, but it’s not the same without the original people posting.

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