It is hard to believe that I started blogging ten years ago today.
I remember going to lunch with a group of men from my church. After lunch, I came home and set up AllThingsFinancial on the blogger platform.
Why did I start blogging?
I had read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a guy who set up a private blog for his extended family so that they could keep up with all the happenings of his kids. I got to thinking that it might be cool to use the same platform to talk about personal finance.
When I started blogging, there were literally only a handful of personal finance blogs. Mine is one of the oldest (especially when you consider those who started personal finance blogs and then sold them).
Blogging was fun and exciting at first. It was such a new platform that it wasn’t hard to get attention from the media. Every month I kept track of my growing traffic and revenue from Google Ads. It was fun to watch it grow.
Then something changed in 2008.
My dad passed away. My traffic inexplicably started dropping. Other blogs were passing AFM up in popularity. Revenue started dropping (I never cared for all the control Google had over ads. For all I know, they could have cheating me out of ad revenue). My motivation dropped. I simply wasn’t willing to do what was necessary to keep my blog’s audience growing (posting meatloaf recipes and how to make soap and such) or to boost revenue by hawking credit cards.
It wasn’t fun anymore. How many articles could I write about budgeting or saving for retirement? I grew bored with personal finance issues and started getting more into politics, which drove some people away. I remember people emailing me to tell me that they were no longer going to ready AFM. It’s easier to like someone when you don’t know that they vote differently than you do. But, there was so much to write about: elections, the housing crisis, the bailouts, food stamps, welfare, etc. I enjoyed the banter back and forth with AFM readers and I always took pride in the fact that we could express opinions without insulting each other.
So, here I am ten years down the road…
A lot has changed. I was nearly 35-years old then. I’ll be 45 in two days. My daughter was only a few months old then. Now she’s a fifth grader. My boys were in 2nd and 3rd grade then. Now one is a freshman in college and the other is a senior in high school. My dad was 58-years old. Now he’s been gone over six years. My wife and I had been married 11 years. Now we just passed our 21-year anniversary. We had been in our house a little over five years. Now we are in a new house after having lived in our first house nearly 15 years.
Where do we go from here?