My Personal Finance Journey

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WSJ Online Reviews Personal Finance Blogs

Contributed by mm | March 3, 2005 4:05 AM PST

WSJ Online's Terri Cullen published a great review of personal finance blogs in her weekly Fiscally Fit column. I, too, was interviewed last week by Terri and PFBlog was discussed in the article along with other blogs like MyMoneyBlog, Savvy Saver, The Budgeting Babe and Neville's Financial Blog in this article named Blogs Expose Personal Finance: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Non-WSJ Online subscribers: this link will be good for the next 7 days.)

When I started PFBlog, I considered this blog more or less individual murmuring -- I never imagined one day I can attract tens of thousands of readers every month. It is only in recent months when my website traffic finally take off that I realize blog can serve as a great grassroot medium for educational purposes. An interesting way to look at this (inspired by this analysis of blogsphere ecosystem): on average, each visitor spends 160 seconds on my site, consuming 2-3 pages. With an average of 1,012 visits per day in the last month, my readers spend about 45 hours per day on my site. Comparing this to my 1.5 hour on PFBlog on an average day, I am so glad that my little site can prove itself to be useful for many.

While I was certainly not flattered by Terri dubbing PFBlog as having "more advertising than the Super Bowl," I should say the article did a fantastic job of characterizing how personal finance bloggers work. Anonymity, openness about ambitions and personal finance details, and belief in educational purposes are all true reflections of at least what PFBlog is all about. (By the way, did I mention I love the phrase "financial voyeurism?") Without doubt, this is the most complete portrait of personal finance blogging I have seen so far. Thank you for introducing us to a larger community, Terri!!!

Back to the advertising, I recognize that you see more ads at PFBlog than at an average blog. I consider it somehow as a necessary evil. To my defense, I do have published standard of ad ethnicity and I adhere to that; I believe I did a great job of avoiding any influence of advertising on the content I write. To be honest, ad revenue does help me to pay a few bills every month (including the cost of hosting this site), and I almost consider it a disrespect to the purpose of PFBlog if I don't try to monetize my content -- after all, the site is about how to build personal net worth faster, and should I be telling people not to earn some fair money when possible? :-)

P.S. Best of PFBlog was just refreshed. Be sure to check out these newly recommended posts.

This Post Has Received 4 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


jim Commented on March 3, 2005

More Ads than the Super Bowl? I think she probably just saw the doubled up Google Ads and made that determination. Look at CNN, they smack a huge ad right on the page and WSJ has probably as many ads, the only difference is that some of the ads they put on their site are for their own products.


Tom Cunningham Commented on March 3, 2005

I have to agree with the author of the article. I love the blog, but the ads (especially the ones that split the contents of the posts or the front page) get in the way of reading the site and I think they interfere with your message.

That said, it must be hard to make ad revenue when your audience is made up of people interested in budgets and frugality.


mike Commented on March 3, 2005

I understand that the ads are necessary, but I agree that they do make it hard to read the content. Maybe they could be *separated* better.

Otherwise, great site.


Mr. K Commented on March 3, 2005

Seriously, as long as this site is free to read, I think you have the right to jam pack the site with ads. Readers will deal with the ads because the content is worth the 'inconvenience' of the numerous ads. This site is a business, and businesses strive on revenue. Until readers contribute to the revenue stream, they can deal with it. Keep up the great work.


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