Something has been coming across my mind recently and it’s making me think more deeply about blogging – I blog to share my experiences and our journey towards Financial Independence. But more often now, I see the professional FIRE Lifestyle bloggers out in force and I’m afraid my humble bloggings just don’t compete.
You know the type of blogs that are out there – there are loads of them on Twitter and the blogosphere in general. I’m not naming names or bad mouthing anyone but I do wonder what it’s all about.
My thinking of FI/RE was that I would work in my career, save money, invest that, when I’ve enough I would retire. But more recently my slow and steady plan has me thinking it’s not the fastest route to Financial Independence and I should get a few more side hustles to make things easier. I always thought slow and steady won the race!
The most common side hustles seem to be around increasing matched betting, going balls deep into Real Estate and monetising their blog – and I’m not sure I want to do any of these to be honest.
- I used to do matched betting in the past but I don’t anymore after a string of (moderate) losses. Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future.
- My feelings about Real Estate or Buy to Let investing (or people farming) are such that I won’t be doing it myself. I suspect that it’s a great way to lose your money – despite the government doing everything it can to ensure houses get more and more expensive so that every generation can dream of renting something half the size of what their parents bought for less! Besides, all amateur Kiyosakis have discovered is the power of leverage – you could just as easily leverage with spreadbetting on REITs and have probably a similar outcome (fortune or poverty) without all the hassle – and that would fit better with my idea of “passive income”.
- On the topic of blog income, I suspect that we can’t all make money from blogging to one another. Maybe 90% of blogs won’t make any money or even worse, lose money on hosting fees. Of the 10% that make money, maybe half will not make enough vs. say working at the minimum wage. Leaving a small fraction of successful bloggers who reap the rewards for being early, being good or being savvy. I’m none of those.
The darker side of blogging is that advising on frugality isn’t going to make you rich personally. But with things like dieting, some people make a fortune out of it. So my thinking is that many bloggers will end up giving advice for what is more in their interests than their readers. A case of do what I say, not what I do.
I’m not saying that others are bad but inevitably in any cultural-lifecycle there are a lot of Johnny Come Latelys who just jump on the band wagon and the immediate move is to monetise FI. Actually committing to something that will take you a decade or more (for truly passive FI) is something you should really only talk about once you are a good way along the journey. to reach FIRE takes years and years and some bloggers I’ve read feel like new jailbirds planning for early parole when they’ve only been in prison a few weeks. Will most of them be at it again in a few years time? Don’t count on it.
Having said that; GFF is not immune from his own hypocrisy. I too have some affiliate links but it’s always for things that I’ve done myself or can recommend personally. For example, I’m a fan of cashback websites and would recommend readers to use them – sure I’d love the referral bonus but I would rather have you ditch your TV.
The problem that I see is that if everyone becomes a self-styled FIRE guru, then there’s just too much noise out there and it becomes harder to read decent content. There’s too much out there already and more every day! I read one blog that listed about 100 blogs on FI just from doctors/physicians! Think about that for a second – there’s now thousands and thousands of blogs all spouting the same rubbish – it makes me wonder if it’s worthwhile trying to compete – I don’t have the time to be honest and if I did, I would spend it on other activities.
Thanks, rant over. GFF