Sunday, January 8, 2012

When Personal Finance Blogs Become Commercial

My pet peeve is when I really like a personal finance blog and the blogger decides to try making a lot of money from their blog.  I can usually tell pretty quickly because the posts start to lose the personal aspect and become a guide for how to effectively manage money.  They will start to have very generic posts on the best way to save money on travel, invest for retirement, etc. 

I dislike it because I can find this stuff anywhere on the internet written by professionals.  I can find it on MSN Money or Yahoo.  I like personal finance blogs because I like the personal part of it.  Yes, I'm interested to know how you will find the money to repair your broken down car.  Will you pick up extra work, take it from savings, cash in retirement or put it on a credit card? 

I can think of quite a few blogs that I've slowly stopped reading as they become commercial.  I don't feel like I know the blogger anymore but they are still cranking out blogposts 3 times per week on random stuff that they are now experts in.

Can you tell when a personal finance blog is no longer personal?  Am I the only one that is annoyed by this?

19 comments:

  1. I feel EXACTLY like you... I like keeping up with my fellow bloggers, I feel I know many of you, enjoy hearing about the day to day stuff. I too will delete the ones that are too commercial as I have no interest in that kind of stuff...

    Well said :-)

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  2. Agree 100%! I've had so many offers on my blog asking me to put up this ad or that ad, this post or that post, but it's not ME, and not something I personally want to do. I don't ever read, nor comment on sponsored posts, if I wanted to read about car insurance from Joe Blow I'd go to his blog. ;) lol!

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  3. Struggling with that right now. I would love to earn some extra $$ but I'm not too enthusiastic about the way ads look, especially the pop up ones, or the flashy ones.

    I have to think about why I blog in the first place...it's really to connect with others like myself, and have a forum to discuss finances.

    I hope to find the right balance between both, but I'm still leaning against not.

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  4. I chose to keep mine a personal blog without ads. I know I'm not an expert on anything and couldn't fake that if I tried. In November I was surprised to find myself linked to an article on a more professional site (I'd never been to before), which was fine, but I was hammered by one of the commentors. I think the commentor thought I had submitted my blog entry as an 'article' about personal finance to this site, instead of the reality of someone random just linking me without my knowing. The commentor particulary hated that my blog had flowers :-) I'm just a regular girl who writes about regular stuff.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean. I also hate it when ads are half of the person's blog all of a sudden.

    I did just start putting more adsense on my blog, just to see if I would actually earn anything, but I'm only getting like a penny, so I'm thinking about taking them back down.

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  6. I agree. I read a few monetized blogs that I still like, but they are the exception. I also like to read the real life struggle, and usually those bloggers talk about how they make thousands in side-income and are about to quit their full-time jobs...I admire it, but it stops being relatable for me.

    And Jolie, what's wrong with flowers? People need to calm down.

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  7. I don't have ads because I consider my blog kind of like my on line journal. Wouldn't it be horrible to have ads popping up in our lives?

    I understand that some bloggers have them and I don't mind the ones that have a few but the ones where I can't find what they wrote because of the ads drive me insane.

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  8. Ads don't really bother me. It's when the content of the blog has completely changed.

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  9. I do accept ads on my blog but I feel like I keep my content the same. I don't really have posts about 10 ways to save money, but I do write about ways I save money. I feel like if I don't have a personal connection to my "advice" then I don't write about it. You could be talking about my blog, but I do feel like I keep it rather personal. I also don't hide the fact that I have been making income and if anyone wants suggestions and advice on doing the same I very willingly tell them what I do/did.

    I do feel like it is a weird line to straddle though. I don't want to alienate my hard core readers like Sharon, Carla, Jane, and JPKittie. I feel like these people are my friends and have been reading my journey from the beginning and I love reading their journeys too. I really try to be myself and hopefully bring in some extra cash too. :)

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  10. Niki, I was not talking about you. I feel like I know who you are through your blog. Its not about making money but becoming commercial about it through your content. It is interesting to me how you save money. However, when you give a list of 50 generic ways to save money on your blog, that would be too much for me. I wasn't referring to any blogs on my blogroll or any others that I comment on regularly.

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  11. ND Chic, I just wanted to let you know that I took no offense to your post. I am not quite sure if I my comment made you think that, it's so hard to tell in print. I agree with what you are saying, I would much rather read about people and money than just about money.

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  12. I hear ya! I find commercial blogs bland and generic. I would much rather read about day to day experiences than just recycled lists. I don't mind ads, but content is key.

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  13. Can't deal with blogs that are loaded in Ads, if I wanted to be bombed by ads I would watch TV!!

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  14. I am with you!!!! I delete the blog when it hits that point... it is sad at first because I had really enjoyed their blog but then when I see ads for everything & I read stuff that doesn't seem like them (just to get more hits on the blog) blah!

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  15. I hear you on content that doesn't make sense or becomes very generic stripping away from what made the blog interesting in the first place. I don't mind ads (I have a few!) but it's the content I read blogs for and if that changes I lose touch with the blog itself. I also like hearing how people deal with real life challenges. I don't need advice from blogs, but I love seeing how people make their lives work. Great post.

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  16. Didn't you have ads on your blog at one point?

    Cylinda

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  17. I definitely don't read the generic posts. I like to hear the personal stories, even if it is about something dry and they're just doing a spending recap. I still find those interesting! I guess I don't read the big blogs to notice anyone who's become extremely commercial. Usually, if someone has a post about asset allocation or diversification as their lead, YAWN!, I'm on to the next blog.

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  18. Anon, yes, I did have ads at one point. Ads don't bother me. It's only when the content of the entire blog has changed.

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  19. My blog brings around $2,000 per year just from text ads, links on my sidebar but I don't allow guest post or do links in the posts, the content still 100% me. I am no longer accepting new ads, I try to renew the ones I already have.

    It can be tempting, I get close to 10 emails a week asking me about advertising, I've raised the prices in the past and they agree.... some companies are willing to to pay 300 to 400 for a text link!

    HS

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