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GMBMFB Mailbag: answering questions

I’ve received a couple of questions via Formspring, so I thought I’d take the time to answer them here.

What advice can you give to someone who’s just starting out a blog? Were there times you just wanted to give up on your blog?

There were more than a few times where I wanted to give up on my blog. In fact, some of you might remember when I was still blogging anonymously, someone publicly outed my identity in a comment this blog. I couldn’t believe someone would be so cruel, and decided that I was going to kill this blog. I went and purchased a new domain name, and set up an entirely new website. I was seconds away from deleting GMBMFB. Thankfully, someone talked me out of it. Shortly after that, I started blogging as myself anyway, so it all worked out.

As for advice I would give someone who is just starting out – it takes a lot of dedication and time to run a blog. I wouldn’t say that I’m a successful blogger compared to everyone else out there, but I’ve been able to steadily increase my traffic and readership over the years. If  you’re looking for advice to make money, I’m not the right blogger to talk to. But if you’re looking to learn and grow and become a part of an online community, I would suggest connecting with like-minded bloggers by commenting on their blogs, as well as getting in on the conversation and connections happening on Twitter. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to chat! I can’t guarantee a particularly timely response, but I do try to get back to people within a couple of days if I can. :)

Have you thought about going on a year-long travel again?

Actually, I never stopped thinking about it. It’s something I really do want to experience. Recently, it’s been on my mind a lot. I’ve spent my whole adult life waiting for someone to travel with, only to be disappointed. And at this point in my life, I’m beginning to realize that if I don’t actually set a goal to do this trip – with or without someone, I might never get to do it.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m just going to pack up and leave tomorrow. But I do need to think about what I want over the long term, and I think doing Kiplinger’s 10 Financial Commandments exercise really helped me focus a bit more on what I want out of life, besides financial independence. :) So while I do like where I am right now, we’ll see what happens in the future.

GMBMFB Media Mentions

Just in case you missed it on Twitter or Facebook, this blog was mentioned a few times in the media over the past week. :)

October 12, Metro Newspaper (nationwide in Canada): “We all have to start somewhere

November 2011 Issue, Flare Magazine: Young, Broke, & Fabulous (download pdf)


October 11, Credit Card Assist: Best of the Best Blogger Series – Give Me Back My Five Bucks
I spoke with Bill Hazelton about student loans, credit cards, and debt. Check it out!

Financial Blogger Conference: 2011 Recap

After taking a couple of days to think about what the Financial Blogger Conference has meant to me, as well as reading everybody else’s trip recap, I can honestly say that this conference was one of the most inspirational events I’ve ever been to. I initially just went there to network and meet other bloggers, but now that I’ve taken a step back and reflected on what I’ve learned, I’m completely energized and ready to focus my attention on my freelance writing.

The trigger moments for me were listening to keynote speaker Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich), as well as Adam Baker (Man vs. Debt), and Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income). Truthfully, before I heard their presentations, I didn’t know much about them. But each of them were able to inspire me in their own way. And even though they all make huge amounts of money off of their blogs, brand, and products – it was their passion for what they do that really motivated me. I’m not interested in turning this blog into a huge money-maker, and realizing that the majority of people at the conference wanted to turn their blog into a business was kind of a shock, yet now that I think about it, not really unexpected. We’re personal finance bloggers, after all. :)

People at the Financial Blogger Conference were talking about sponsored tweets, selling products, affiliate advertising, creating e-newsletters – doing anything to generate more income from their blogs. Me? Even though I do make a little money off this blog, I’d rather earn through writing, and that’s where the majority of my freelance income comes from. Sure, sometimes I’ll post up some advertisements, and the odd time I’ll throw up a sponsored post. But this blog was created with the intention of holding myself accountable for my goals, and creating a community to share, laugh, and learn from our mistakes and achievements – not to become rich off of it.

Anyway, I also met up with some fabulous friends at the conference – Blonde and Balanced, Fiscally Chic, Finance Fox, Her Every Cent Counts, Punch Debt in the Face, Budgets are Sexy, as well as my Canadian pals, Dividend Ninja, Mike Holman, and my editor, Adam Mayers. I’m hoping that next year, more of my PF friends will be able to make it to the conference. It is truly amazing to meet the people I’ve been connecting with for the past few years online.

Also, seeing my editor again was great. He always has a way of motivating me to be better. I can be quite critical of myself and my writing (and perhaps with good reason), but when the person who matters the most actually thinks I have talent and believes in me, well it gives me the confidence to keep going, despite whatever negativity comes my way.

FINCON11 Spending Recap:
$515.13 flight
$45 checked luggage ($20, $25)
$150.39 hotel (3 nights)
$45 taxi rides
$62 miscellaneous (food, drink, tips, etc.)

TOTAL: $817.52

Considering my original goal was to stay under $1,000 for the Financial Blogger Conference I think I did fairly well. Drinks were free for the entire weekend, and there were always snacks available during breaks. Shout out to Eddie from Finance Fox for buying us all dinner on Friday night (so nice of him!), and Justin from AWeber Communications for picking up the dinner tab on Saturday night. :)

Thanks for the great memories, and I can’t wait to see everyone again next year.

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