One of my goals for My Financial Reviews is to highlight personal finance blogs and sites that I think can help you with your finances. I’m excited to have Baker from Man vs Debt answer a few of my questions about the blog behind his mission to become debt free.
From a purely blogging standpoint, I want Man Vs. Debt to be able to support the most basic needs of our frugal traveling. For us, this currently equates to around $2000-$2500 per month in profit. That being said, I’m not willing to “sell-out” to get there. I’m not sure I will ever run ads on the site. I want to be able to create specific, quality-focused content that will help fill the needs of the readers. I’d much prefer a ChrisGuillebeau.com approach than a standard blanket of Adsense ads.
Who is your target audience when you’re writing on your blog?
You know, I don’t really have one. My target audience is really me, I guess. I right what I’m passionate about and what I would want to read. I don’t know whether this is selfish or genuine, but it’s really what I do!
That being said, I love interacting with readers, commenters, and other bloggers. Some of my best posts and ideas have come out of these discussions!
How long have you been blogging?
Just a little over two months. I started on March 22nd, 2009. I had been wanting to get going for a long time and really regret not doing it sooner. If you are thinking about starting a blog… stop what you are doing and DO IT NOW! It’s a blast and the community is freakin’ awesome.
What’s your blogging schedule?
I usually wake up around 6-7 a.m. and reread the day’s post before it goes live. Sometimes I find more typos or am able to cut out sections. I try to post around 8 am EST. From 8-10 or so I will clear my inbox, network on twitter and gchat, read through the mornings RSS, comment on blogs, and network some more. I almost never write in the morning… so much going on!
Arounf 10-11, things start to slow down and I start to work on the next few days post. Often times this is finalizing tomorrow post or putting together a carnival, whatever. I have tons of ideas for posts and between 5-10 outlines, but I rarely get the WHOLE post done much sooner than 24 hours. I really would like to work on this though.
I usually get some writing done after lunch, before doing some more reading, networking, etc… around 3-4. By this time the multi-posting blogs have other stuff up and a couple more people are interacting on twitter, etc…
I try my best to take the evenings off, however once my daughter goes to bed around 9:30 p.m. I have been known to stay spend a couple hours at night finishing work I should have already had done from earlier. It all depends on the day and how flexibile my wife is being ;-)!
Do you batch write your posts or do you work more on the fly?
I work much more on they fly. I batch post ideas and even outlines most of the time. But when it comes to actually writing them, I rarely bang them out one after another. I would like to get into more of this style of writing. My wife is currently trying to help me transition into this mode, by creating a system/schedule for writing, etc…
As a blogger, what do you do that gives you the biggest bang for your buck in bringing in traffic?
My best posts always contain a couple factors. First of all, they are almost always written after personal experiences. Selling my car, how we eliminate our debt, attending Town Hall for hope, how we protect from ID theft, Our Australia trip, etc…
Second, they are almost without questions posts that I put a lot of time and passion into.
Third, they all have been linked my a major personal finance blog or social media site. Early on, a link like this can really skew your data on your “best” posts. However, I’d like to think that speaking from personal experience (rather than from an ivory tower) really helps connect with other bloggers to receive links. In addition, I feel that they can see that I’m very genuine and very passionate about the topics. This can’t hurt either.
What’s your most popular post? Why do you think it has become a hit on your site?
Haha, well my most popular post by about 100x is 67 Ways NOT To Sell A Car… a little weird I know. The kicker with this post is it actually hit the front page of Digg.com! That’ll skew your data for sure!
However, once again this was a list (easy to read), was based on a personal experience (selling my Nissan), and was genuine and passionate (I tried to add humor, as well as make fun of myself for my stupid mistakes). I think a lot of people could relate, which gave it the push it needed.
Do you ever see yourself being a full time blogger?
Absolutely. I’m still very young in blogging and have a lot to learn, but I really feel I could be a successful full-time blogger. There are a lot of factor that are involved, but I am intent on learning the ropes as fast as possible!
Thanks again to Baker for taking time for this interview! If you haven’t checked out Baker and his family on their journey to becoming debt free please visit Man Vs Debt or chat with Baker on Twitter.