Why Blog? Find Out What Made These Bloggers Share Their Stories - Elizabeth Stapleton
Elizabeth Stapleton
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Why Blog? Find Out What Made These Bloggers Share Their Stories

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Blogs are started by all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons and on all kinds of subjects. Even in the personal finance blogosphere, there are tons of reasons why personal finance bloggers got started. Every blogger’s reason is a little different but many had some reasons in common.

Personally, I started Less Debt More Wine (formerly Friday Night Shenanigans) back in 2014 to help me stay accountable and to try to help others in similar positions. I really want to wake people up about student loan debt and the uncertainty of these flexible repayment plans.

Personal Finance Bloggers <3 Accountability

Accountability is a powerful tool. There is nothing like sharing your progress with the world, to motivate you to keep making progress. No one wants to publish a debt update with little to no progress. Some bloggers started in other areas and transitioned to blogging about personal finance because of the Accountability aspect, like Emilie Burke of BurkeDoes who is working to pay off over $22k of debt.

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents said she started blogging about personal finance “because it was what I was struggling with. I also have three finance-related degrees, so talking about money just came naturally to me.”

Accountability for debt is by far the biggest accountability reason, I don’t see as many bloggers blogging to stay accountable to their budget. Claudia Pennigton of Two Cup House shared, “Initially, we started our blog to hold ourselves accountable as we work to pay off debt.”

Debt Accountability Especially

Though Stephanie Jones of Six Figures Under had a list of reasons and while debt repayment accountability was at the top of it, keeping themselves motivated with all the other aspects of their money was their second reason (BTW, they just finished paying off their six-figure debt).

One of my favorite personal finance sayings is that personal finance is personal. With that comes the realization that you shouldn’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle. Personal Finance Bloggers are of all ages and stages of life, Colin JS of Rebel With a Plan (I love the name!) got started blogging at just 21 and did so “because I was confused and didn’t know how to manage my money. I wanted to be more accountable towards my debt repayment.”

Accountability for Big Goals

Sometimes, the accountability of a blog is key to achieving a very ambitious goal. Like say being debt-free after three years? That is what helped Zina from Debt Free After Three to get started blogging, “I wanted to keep myself accountable and inspire others to do the same.”

Being open about one’s experience with money, hoping to inspire others and to make something positive come out of something negative is another common response I got when I reached out to the personal finance blogger community to find out why they started blogging.

Interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Page for tutorials and a list of all the tools I use.

Share Their Experience in Hope of Helping Inspiring Others

Melanie Lockhart from Dear Debt started her blog, “because I was sick and tired of being depressed about my debt. I needed an outlet to create something and turn my negative emotions into something positive.” And positive she did, not long after paying off over $81k in debt, she recently published a book about breaking up with debt. I have to say following along with Melanie’s journey to debt freedom has been inspiring. It helped to motivate me to keep going with what I’m doing about my debt.

Everyone has a story to share, something that others can learn from. Rachel from Adventures in Mobile Homes started out emailing friends and family about her real estate adventures but eventually decided, “to start a blog to share my experience with the world.”

Because The Fastest Way to Learn Something is to Get Some Experience

Experience counts for a lot, it is probably the quickest way to educated on anything and once you’ve gained some experience it can be great when you want to share it, which is what Grayson Bell of Debt Round Up decided to do when he started his blog. “I started [blogging] to show others how I paid off over $75,000 of consumer debt. It was a month after I paid off my last credit card, so the journey was still fresh in my mind”. Grayson continues to help others, be it with debt or blogging problems.

Meanwhile, Taylor from Define Financial, “started blogging and writing as an effort to reach a larger audience and help them make smart decisions with their money.” No one is perfect is money, no matter how educated you are, everyone makes a mistake at some point, we’re all only human.

Honestly, I think posts where bloggers share their mistakes and how the rectified them are the most inspiring. It’s probably why I love getting out of debt blogs so much. Not only do they inspire, but they make it ok to talk about debt. As well as the mistakes we’ve (or maybe it’s just me) all made. Creating a safe place to talk and share is why these next bloggers decided to get started.

Creating a Safe Place

There is a lot of different emotions that surround money and Amber from Feel Good Finances recognized that “I started blogging to learn more. But when I saw the turmoil and emotional distress people were experiencing, I felt called to address that. I’m still budding but the goal is to create a safe and supportive space to discuss challenges.”

If you’re lucky and knowledgeable about finances you might just be a little less stressed than others when it comes to money and there is value in sharing that too. Erin Lowry of Broke Millennial “realized so many millennials felt stressed about money instead of empowered just because they didn’t understand how it worked. I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a financially literate household where money wasn’t taboo. So I wanted to create a safe space for them to learn by weaving a humorous tale. I joke it “tricks people” into learning about personal finance.” Personally, I find learning to be most enjoyable when you don’t realize that it’s what you’re doing.

Interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Page for tutorials and a list of all the tools I use.

I also found the more I blogged about money, the more comfortable I became talking about it real life. I forget that others may not be as open to discussing their money as me. But for me, it has helped to talk about it.

As Sarah Cain from High Fiving Dollars points out, “talking about my experiences more openly, was a cathartic experience.” She is hoping to “get more stories [from others] and open up a can of worms with people and their money experiences.” It’s great to see other’s experiences, but sometimes you can’t find someone you relate to all that well. These next bloggers started blogging when they saw a gap in what was out there.

Filling a Gap

A small part of the reason I started Less Debt More Wine was because I couldn’t find a blog where someone single was working towards that goal of debt freedom. Turns out I wasn’t the only one that wanted to help fill a gap. Jessica Garbarino from Every Single Dollar “wanted to be the resource in the market that wasn’t there for me when I was getting my finances in order – someone who focused on single women.” I think that women and money can be especially taboo. So big ups to the bloggers making these conversations happen.

Helping Others to Relate

Kara Stevens of The Frugal Feminista (what a great name!) started, “because I felt there weren’t many young women of color talking about money in a way that I could relate, so I created it to share what I learned via my student loan elimination journey.” If I had any clue how to do emojis, I’d totally insert a clapping hands emoji here.

Gaps can be found everywhere. Adam Minsky of Boston Student Loan Lawyer started his blog, “about student loans because I graduated law school with student debt, had a problem with one of my loan servicers, and could find literally no one to help me. I started the blog – and my law practice – as a side project to help student loan borrowers.”

You guys know I love student loan bloggers, especially the law school loan bloggers. Why is law school soooo expensive?!

Stepping back from the gap of student loan issues. Elle Martinez from Couple Money started blogging about personal finance, “because at the time I couldn’t find a resource that addresses the finances AND emotions of married finances.” I definitely don’t know what married finances are like, but I like that you’re filling that gap.

Interested in starting a blog? Check out my How to Start a Blog Page for tutorials and a list of all the tools I use.

Blog tools & resources I recommend

Convertkit (for email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. 

Making sense of affiliate marketing (for monetizing your blog) Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Tailwind (for automating pinterest) Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.

SmarterQueue (for automating other social media) SmarterQueue is a lower cost alternative to meet Edgar, SmarterQueue does pretty much the same thing but it costs about $20/mo for up to 4 social media accounts. They have a free 14 day trial but if you use my referral link you get a 30 day free trial.

Thrive Themes Membership (for theme, opt-ins, and tons of other stuff)I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Theme, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.

About the Author Elizabeth Stapleton

Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.

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