Building a Personal Finance Blog

March 23, 2006

I was visiting some different personal finance-related blogs tonight (some of the younger blogs) and noticed that some bloggers are looking for tips on how to get traffic and revenue. Here’s my advice:

1. It takes TIME! I have been blogging for nearly a year and half and I’m just now starting to get decent traffic and revenue (although I don’t want to be specific, let’s just say that I qualify to get an Adsense check each month). It is virtually impossible to build a blog and expect it to generate traffic overnight.

2. Blog! By posting to your blog on a regular basis, you give readers a reason to come back. Return visitors = traffic.

3. Link to other blogs. If you are just starting out blogging, don’t email other more experienced bloggers and ask for a “link exchange.” Rather, if you find a blog that you like, link to it. The blogger you have linked to WILL figure it out and will most likely link back eventually.

4. Comment on other blogs. Make sure you leave comments that add to the dialogue. If I detect that a comment is spam, I’ll delete it. If you want to build a blog, it’s best not to spam other bloggers!

5. Visit forums and post comments there. Once again, make sure you are adding to the conversation. Forums do not like spammers.

6. Take part in carnivals. FreeMoneyFinance has used the carnival method a lot more than I have. Submitting your posts to a carnival helps you because the host has to link to you and you have a lot of eyeballs looking at your material. Over time, this can really help build traffic.

There’s other things you can do to also build your blog. I’ll discuss more in a later post. The main thing you need to realize is that it takes time to build a blog so be PATIENT. Good luck.

20 responses to Building a Personal Finance Blog

  1. Some great advice, as a newbie blogger myself it is great to see so much support for the new commers. There is a great sense of community within these blogs!

  2. Agree with you wholeheartedly – I think a lot of people think that it’s just a matter of building a site and the money will come rolling in.

    I’ve been running my personal finance blog for about a year now, and although I make a little each month, it’s still not enough to make me think all the time I spend on it is worthwhile. I’m hoping that the time spent now might mean more money in the future, but who knows.

    As long as it is something you are passionate about then that’s a good thing.


  3. If you don’t really love the stuff you write about and are just doing it for profit you will likely fail in that goal. If you really do love it then you won’t care if you’re not getting a ton of traffic… 🙂

  4. #1, #2, #3, #6 are probably the first pieces of advice. You have to spend time creating good posts that are on-topic for carnivals. Making something interesting to read isn’t that hard if you follow Steve’s advice and write about something you love.

    I am still utterly shocked sometimes that people regularly want to read what I have to say. I know that my RL friends read my blog, but complete strangers do too, which is really flattering. A little humility goes a long way. Don’t forget to thank your readers and write about stuff that interests them as much as it interests you.

  5. Good advice, I am still an novice in this area, but I have added my input to some odd Carnivals and have found some very interesting traffic bumps from them.

    I agree about writing about what you care about. It shows if you don’t care about what you are writing about!


  6. This is excellent advice. I agree with all of it, especially #1 and #2. I think #4 is important because it’s a way of introducing yourself to other bloggers. If you leave value added comments, they get a glimpse into your way of thinking, which peaks their curiosity about what you write in your own blog.

    Furthermore, I think a blogger should write about what they love for several reasons:

    – Doing it for profit makes it boring and time consuming

    – If you write because you love it, you won’t even realize the time you spend doing it.

    – You’ll do more research to educate yourself on topics you’re already passionate about

    – Your research will help others who are [or have been] in your shoes

    – You attract like-minded people

    and last but not least…

    – It makes blogging fun! 😉

  7. Thanks JLP! I’m fairly new to this, but I’m definitely not in it for the money. As my mom pointed out when I told her that I’d managed to sell some old books on, I get paid a decent wage at work. So, I should definitely stick to my day job. But it’s gratifying to be able to write about stuff that I care about and that other like-minded folks seem to care about as well. My best friend’s eyes start to glaze over when I talk about personal finance 🙂

  8. Terrific stuff. One question. What forums would you recommend? I haven’t found nearly as many personal finance forums as there are blogs.

  9. #1: Patience truly is a virtue. We can DO all the other things to make our blog successful, but we just have to wait to let it take hold, so to speak. Blogging is a time consuming process, which most people don’t realize when they start. There are a lot of abandoned blogs out there. It is worthwhile to check our links regularly to be sure we’re not supporting “dead” blogs. JLP is the epitomy of a consistent, dedicated blogger.

  10. Honestly, I haven’t made jack off of my blog yet, but it has only been about 3 months, and I feel like I have pretty decent traffic. I usually gauge my traffic not by the numbers, but when I see a total stranger comment on my site. That’s what makes me smile.

    I totally agree that being passionate about personal finance (even though that sounds weird to some people) is the best way to build a successful blog. The tone of your posts will dictate whether you truly want to help people, or you’re just looking to generate traffic.

  11. Great Tips JLP. Sometimes if we want to stand out from the crowd, I think we must do more than what you list down here. Do something special and the results will be different

  12. Sounds like good advice for building blog traffic in general. Personally, I write my blog because it amuses me. I don’t ever expect to make any form of money off of it. Heck, I’m satisfied if I can get people to comment and talkback to me (which is a real rarity). Of course I think my blog is general to make any money. I think if you want to make money blogging you have to pick a subject (like personal finance) and focus on it.

  13. Very good advice, I’ve been trying to follow the majority of the points you’ve put up. I never heard of Carnivals before. Starting a successful blog takes a lot of time and effort and anyone trying to make a quick coin off of one is not likely to succeed in any way shape or form.

  14. Just stumbled onto this post and your blog. Thanks for the info. As a new blogger myself, I can use all the help I can get. I would agree with what Steve commented; you really have to love what you’re blogging about to make it interesting. People can tell when you’re faking it.

  15. Thanks for the tips. I’ve written my own journals for years but have only recently decided to blog for public perusal. Your tips are very helpful.

  16. Great article. I’m a newcomer to blogging, but have been reading financial blogs for awhile now (blogs of other genre bore me). Writing is not a strength of mine, though I would like to use writing to share what I have learned along the way in managing my own finances. Screw the banks, don’t hold your breath on credit unions, and most importantly take control of your money, or it will take control of you!

  17. Gotta start somewhere! Thanks for the advice, hopefully I can get a good start!

  18. I am agree with you, it is a great advice.

  19. I’m coming back. I can tell you guys that this tips works. I tried it and it’s fantastic

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