A Blogging Flameout/Meltdown
Perhaps some people who read this blog know my story: that I used to have my own personal finance blog called Broke Professionals.
I had started the blog in part as an escape from a job that I disliked. I have always had the passion, if perhaps not the skill, for entrepreneurialism. I thought the blog would be a great way to confront my wife and my six figure student loan debt and indicate the mistakes we had made to get where we were, and what we were trying to do to dig out.
I’ve always been creative and have a great love of writing, so I started the blog to have an outlet. I never knew you could make money blogging—I just thought it was an expense, but one I was happy to pay.
I eventually started and ran, over the course of just about six months, what I believe was a good, solid personal finance blog. It was honest, surprisingly well-read for a new blog, and I even scored a couple of big guest posts and also interviews of people for my blog—such as a Wall Street Journal Finance Editor.
About this time, my Wife and I bought our house. This was of course, yet another financial mistake. Now we had a mortgage to go along with our student loan debt. I started to see if I could make some money from my side-project. Eventually, I flamed out entirely, and sold the blog when money got real tight. All our money was tied up in the house and paying ongoing bills.
At that time, I was happy to sell and decided I would focus on a freelance writing side-job. I didn’t know how to make money with blogging, but knew people were willing to pay me for my writing. I took on a lot of clients, and began to feel overwhelmed. I have since cut it back significantly. I have also since quit the job I disliked to start my own business—which of course pays me less than before but at least I am happy.
So why am I telling you this story? If you’re a blogger or considering blogging, I think it’s important that you realize that running a good blog takes a lot of time. It can start to be overwhelming. Also, if you blog, don’t do it because you hope to get famous or make money. Most people don’t make much if any money from their blogs. Finally, you’ve got to have a financial cushion. I loved my blog and felt terrible having to sell it when I did—this led to a complete blogging meltdown from which I still feel embarrassed to this day.
I used to write a post every night for my blog. I was sort of addicted to the idea of getting more readers, more links, etc. It didn’t start like that and I’m not sure why that’s what it became. A mix of desperation, immaturity, and my own inherent personality defects, I suppose. I often wonder what might have come of my blog had I gone about things the proper way, and if I had maintained a better mindset throughout the process.
Getting Back in the Arena
I’ve been thinking recently about how much I miss having my own blog, and how much I miss the friends I made blogging. It’s not the same being a “lurker” on their sites.
So I’m going to continue freelance writing, and also started my own personal finance blog again. This time, for all of the right reasons.
How about you bloggers reading this post? Have you ever experienced the “dark side” of blogging? I look forward to reading your comments.