As GubMints celebrates another banner month in readership, I want to say thanks to my readers and encourage you to start your own Blog. Why?
1) Your Readers will teach YOU.
I started GubMints to document and share what I have learned about Personal Finance
(PF) and Federal Employee Benefits, but what amazed me was how much I LEARNED from my readers. Examples:
- The FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act changed the rules for making a FERS Military Service Credit Deposit (in favor of all Veterans who were commissioned through a Service Academy ). The 2008 NDAA cleared up the ‘fuzzy’ area regarding credit for Service Academy Time (it’s 100% creditable). H/T to Gubmints reader Brad D.
- Federal Employees and retirees eligible for FEHB are ineligible for ObamaCare. H/T to GubMints reader Chris E.
- There’s lots of ways to become eligible for VA benefits. H/T to GubMints reader Carl.
I enjoy learning from readers and updating the blog based on their input. Unlike a newspaper that prints retractions in tiny lawyer-font beneath the Obituaries, I’m more than happy to edit the original posts based on readers’ input. On some of my posts you’ll see strikethrough fonts and italics where I’ve made updates based on reader feedback and further research.
2) It’s pretty easy to make money.
Once you reach 6+ months of informative posts, it’s pretty easy to make the blog
financially self-sustaining. While it’s unlikely you’ll become the next Mr. Money
Mustache, it IS likely you can cover the costs of your webhosting fees and internet
connection. I’ve recently switched-on adverts from the ‘800 pound gorilla’ of online
advertising- A few thousand GubMints pageviews per month generates enough revenue to
pay for the web hosting. Once your blog reaches critical mass, you choose the level
selling out income you wish to generate via adverts, affilate links, and endorsements. Just make sure you disclose to your readers how you are compensated.
3) It’s Fun!
Getting comments and feedback from readers is rewarding. And this may sound cheesy,
but the first $1.68 I earned from Amazon Affiliates a few months ago gave me a rush similar to the first paycheck I received from my childhood paper route.
4) Nothing gets you customer service like the Bully Pulpit of a respectable blog
combined with a Twitter account (FreedomPop and their no-service department being a
I think Clark Howard was the first to mention this, but the same companies that ignore you with automated phone trees on their Customer Service 800 Number will crawl over broken glass to help you if you document your lousy customer experience with their product on Twitter. Guess you
whippersnappers Millennials are on to something.
5) As more people blog, “The Pie Gets Bigger”.
PF blogging is not a zero-sum game. Amazingly, other PF bloggers are more than happy
cheerlead mentor you and elevate your game. PF blogging is an economy where
‘The Pie Gets Bigger’ as more people join in- It’s not a competition between PF
bloggers to fight it out amongst each other and carve out a bigger slice from a
finite or shrinking pie. I’ve been offered guest posts or topical information from other PF bloggers because they recognize it would be better fit for my audience instead of theirs, and I’ve done the same.
6) As Traditional Media becomes less relevant, readers need you even more.
When was the last time you picked up a copy of US News and World Report? US News
does not have a traditional magazine anymore, they just publish the annual hysteria
er list of the most expensive er exclusive colleges to apply for.
In my opinion, traditional magazines and newspapers going away is either due to the
‘push’ of alternative media (bloggers) taking away subscribers (read:revenue) or the
‘pull’ of bloggers filling the void as traditional media publications disappear.
As an example, I stopped my subscription to the local paper (San Diego Union Tribune) a
few years ago when they fired all the local Finance authors and filled the Business
section with vanilla columns from the national Associated Press feed. One of the
authors I missed the most- Lynn O’Shaughnessy- Eventually went on to carve out a niche
with her own PF blog about making college affordable. Since I can now follow her posts
regularly on an RSS aggregator, I no longer miss the absence of her column in the the local
7) If you have genuine life experiences to share, you can write much better stuff than a 23-year old newspaper reporter with a quota.
When you’re passionate about something, you’ll be inspired to write- and the content
will reflect it. You’ll also write plenty of stuff in batches to fill out the ‘white
space’ in your editorial calendar (when there is no immediate inspiration to write or
there is a lull in the news cycle).
So go find something you’re passionate about and start writing!
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