It’s been awhile since I’ve had a couple of good topics to both Rant and Rave about. Today’s Rant is brought to you courtesy of the FinCon Facebook group I joined. Let me preface this: I’m very excited to go to FinCon and I cannot wait to go learn a ton of really great stuff and meet lots of great people. However, I will say this: some of my fellow bloggers are hella intense. If you are a blogger who does any of the things I’ve listed below, please take this in the fun spirit I intend and don’t get offended. Keep on doin what you’re doing. The posts do look very lovely and polished.
Welcome to today’s Rant!
The finalists for the Plutus Awards were announced recently and I noticed a common theme among the top blogs. All of them had images like the one above. Pretty background, title of the post, and their URL at the bottom. Had some common standard happened while I napped? Actually.….. kind of.
There is a blogger (or two) that does the meta thing and posts ‘How to Start a Blog’ and ‘How to Increase Your Traffic’. There are also a few Pinterest experts who will help you utilize the site to increase traffic. Turns out, Pinterest is actually still used by people. A lot of people. And if you have these cute shareable images, those hoards of people perusing Pinterest will flock to your site and you’ll make tons of money! Enough to quit your job! And then you get to link to an article you wrote called ‘How Blogging Helped Me Quit My Terrible Cubicle Job!’.
Isn’t there more to blogging than exploiting your reader base for a living?
No? Ok then. Here’s another pretty shareable picture.
Let’s learn how to stack your savings together with one easy step! Title of the article? Check. Somewhat relevant picture? Check. (That came from my trip to Maine this weekend. Can you see the tiny lighthouse in the middle of the background?) URL at the bottom? Check.
I, too, can drive all the traffic to my blog and make millions of dollars! All you have to do is click on all the affiliate links scattered around the post and the money will start pouring in!
I’m really ranting today. Just getting started.
I started blogging to share my story and hopefully inspire other millennials that this crazy FIRE lifestyle is not only possible, but incredibly easy to do. I didn’t set out to get a full time job. I didn’t set out to make a nice stream of passive income from other people clicking links every other sentence. I suppose I’m lucky in that I don’t have any debt playing gorilla on my back so I don’t have to do any of the typical blog stuff. Like another picture!
I have no idea why anyone would want to make their life like a pine tree, but apparently people love pretty images. Sidenote: that was the sky one morning as I went to work. I love living in the Midwest sometimes.
One reason I don’t want to have ads and affiliate links on my blog is I feel a bit like I’m selling out. What is my motive to blog? Is it to help people start their path to FIRE? Is it to show it can be done?
Or is it to earn money?
I already do something every day to earn money and I hate it. I hate being obligated to my employer to work on their stuff.
I don’t want that to happen with this blog. This blog is an escape for me. A relief, even. Here I can be myself and say whatever I want to say. Poke fun at my fellow bloggers? Check. Swear? Sometimes. Share amazing pictures and stories of my experiences? YOU BETCHA. I’m afraid of my style being cramped. Of having someone tell me “Don’t do that or you won’t get any money this month.” I don’t want my blog to look or feel like everyone else’s. It can be difficult because there’s A) lots of people blogging nowadays and B) we have somewhat of a limited topic.
I’d rather put in 80% of the work and be happy with the results I’m getting. I could always, always push for more, but the rabbit hole never ends. When is enough enough? Never. This is where I want to be and if my traffic stays at roughly 70 views per day, then I’m happy to be writing for those 70 people. Or 3 people reading a lot of my posts at once. Or some combination of the two.
Now for an actual serious Rave.
I’m so happy!
I got my new Chase Sapphire Reserve card last week and it’s beautiful!
Check it out for yourself:
I managed to score one of the fancy bonded metal cards. It’s been so popular they ran out and had to give out plain ol plastic cards!! Chase has said they were absolutely blown away by the response, but it’s not every day they give out 100k UR points so I don’t know why they’re so surprised.
I got it just in time to prepay my rent for the next few months and to be able to pay for anything on my trip to Maine. (Not that I spent a lot of money whilst on the trip woot woot!)
I will have a more in-depth post on what this card means to me and my churning goals, but for now I’m just celebrating how awesome this card is. I’ll get my Prestige Pass in the mail sometime this week, which means I’ll be able to enjoy fancy lounges on my trips to FinCon and London! I love free WiFi and snacks. I didn’t get the pass in the mail in time for my trip to Maine, but I had the USO to go to so I made it through the trip just fine. Minus the small intestinal problems from eating the free snacks full of gluten haha.
Now I just have to face the fact I’ll have to pay off everything at the end of the month 🙁 The dark side to putting everything on your card, I suppose!
Do you like the pinnable images above? Do you have a rant or a rave to share? Let me hear it!
Gwen, I love these photos even if you only made them to make a point.
I’m sure it took courage for you to write this post. Good on you for sticking to your guns.
I’m happy to be one of your stable page views. 🙂
I had to laugh, because I saw that preview image and thought, “Oh god, here we go. Branded title images.” I’m glad you hate those trademarked generic images as much as I do.
I’l have to make a note of that Chase Reserve card. I knew it was out there, but I didn’t know they were doing a 100k bonus! I should be doing an app-o-rama for myself soon, so I might add that one.
Julie @ Millennial Boss says
I am learning so much from you about this card — I just signed up for the pass! Thanks haha! I didn’t realize you had to opt-in to that feature separately. I also still have Global Entry and TSA Pre Check sign ups on my list of to-dos. Regarding the blogging stuff — you are totally right and I am prime example! I started out with a personal blog documenting my debt payoff and journey to FI — hosted on WordPress which is blogger blasphemy! It was debtalbatross.wordpress.com. Then I switched over to self-hosted with Millennial Boss. Then I added Pinterest images (you should do 1000×1500 vertical images if you want pinnable images BTW ha) and recently, I have taken Michelle Schroeder’s course and added affiliate links. Personally, the blogging journey has been just as much fun as documenting my debt journey. Figuring out blogging strategy is something fun to look forward to when I come home from work at the end of the day. I still keep my posts true to my opinion about career and debt and hope that they can help people. I totally respect you though for keeping your blog away from all of the monetization. I used to be really critical of that world but not so much anymore.
Part of me really wants to be one of them, while a larger part of me wants to punch the first part of me…
Then of course there’s a third part of me that wants to just experiment and see what other kinds of weird images gets clicks. For science, of course!
I decided that in order to start writing again after a long hiatus, I would write what I wanted, when I wanted. If it means my post sonly 200 words and grammar is not perfect, and I don’t include pictures, so be it. I already have a full time job. My blood if my hobby.
SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted…Active Lifestyle Battle
steve poling says
i like your take on monetizing blogs. i think the proper, sustainable approach is to balance the right amount of monetizing with the rest of your content. too far one way and audience departs, too far the other way and motivation to do the blog departs.