Back to the basics of personal finance
Lately, it seems like more and more people are turning to the internet to obtain their financial advice, and the growth in the number of personal finance blogs can certainly attest to that.
Most personal finance blogs have defined their own niche, from sharing different ways to save money, or learning how to invest your money. Some bloggers dig a bit deeper and explore more specific topics like retirement planning, dividend investing, or real-estate.
Standing out from the crowd
To stand out from the crowded space that is becoming the personal finance blogosphere, many bloggers try and avoid basic topics that have already been covered to death on other blogs. They look for new ideas to share that are both thought-provoking and controversial to help get them noticed.
There’s nothing wrong with presenting contrarian views, it wouldn’t be much fun if we all just agreed on everything without debate. But the problem with avoiding widely covered topics is that you’re ignoring 90% of the pillars that make up personal finance. Good financial advice starts with the basics of not spending more than you earn, having some short term and long term financial goals, and then saving a portion of your income to help you achieve these goals.
Yet we often believe as personal finance bloggers that most of our readers already understand the basics so we feel we need to give them something more. I can see why they feel that way since most new blogs are typically only read by other bloggers until they build a following of other readers. It’s understandable to want to show other bloggers that they’re not just rehashing standard personal finance advice that can be found on every other blog.
Getting back to basics
As I said earlier, more people are looking online for financial ideas and advice. They are looking for answers to solve a specific problem. If you have written helpful articles that solve their problem they will likely find your article in their search engine results. If they enjoy your unique point of view, they might stick around and become regular readers. People probably aren’t searching for what kind of superhero costume you think your favorite blogger should wear, or why your investment account is like molten lava.
True, there might be thousands of articles written about how to save on auto insurance or why you should cut television out of your life. But none of them were written by you with your own unique interpretation of the topic.
Let’s face it, articles around the internet that get the most engagement from readers are about basic personal finance topics that people are still divided on. Joint or separate finances for couples, how much should you have in your emergency fund, and how to save on your grocery budget will always be more popular than how to invest in Chinese paper companies.
I guarantee that you have an opinion about the best way to approach even the most basic personal finance topic. If you want to be controversial and stand out, take one of those basic topics and share your own opinion on how to do it better, or explain why it’s a waste of time.
Be unique, but don’t ignore the basics of personal finance. We’re all looking for ways to improve our finances, and some of the best ideas are often the simplest ones that we overlook.