Save. Spend. Splurge.

Want to know why I don’t read 95% of PF blogs and posts out there? Because it’s a waste of my time.

Blogging community, listen up! We need to change.

I know I already ragged on you last week for being mean to others because of their lifestyle choices — be rich, don’t be rich, make stupid decisions, make uber-frugal decisions — I really couldn’t give 2 rat tails because I don’t care —  it’s not my money or my life.

But I’m going to give it to everyone AGAIN.

This is not in regards to being frugal, or spendthrift, or any kind of crap like that and I’m not trying to purposefully be mean (okay, maybe a little..), but I am desperate to read quality writing on a regular basis.

This post is about the QUALITY of the work that you put out in the blogosphere, which in general, has been sorely lacking.

We need to do something because I can’t stand going through my Google Reader, marking about 95% of these posts as “read” when I barely skimmed them.

Before you start on me, yes, I can just stop reading your blog (in fact, I probably already have, which is why I am not commenting any longer on something that doesn’t ask or provoke me into making a comment).


SOMEONE needs to say something.

I am all for being nicey-nice to each other, but this lack of originality in the blogosphere is going too far.

I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there who are ALSO sick of this, but don’t have blogs to write about it, and/or are way too polite/nice/sweet to do so.

I’m neither of the above, so here goes.

I’m going to civilly tell you why I’m not feeling it, as nicely as I can (for someone like myself), and you can just go ahead and blast me in the comments if you want, but my opinion STILL STANDS.


A stale, boring, listed post, or a long, no-breaks-in-between-single-paragraph about…. your cat.

Or whatever it is you’re writing about. Maybe what you spent that day (which by the way, I find extremely boring as well unless you have pictures, or a great story to go with how you got away with $250 of groceries for only $0.50).

You don’t have to use ALL CAPS LIKE I DO, or say mean things to each other to get a rise out of everyone, but you definitely, HAVE to put your personality in your blogging.

I can’t even tell about 75% of the PF blogs apart, all of the writing is so bland and one-note.

If I don’t know your name or pseudonym, it’s probably because it sounds like everyone else’s.

Frankly, if I haven’t met you in-person, and/or your writing is so similar to everyone else’s, I have placed you in my “junk drawer” pile of PF bloggers.

It’s when they write pieces so generic and boring, that I couldn’t name who the writer is because there is no personality to speak of.

I don’t even care if you all you write about is your cat. I mean, I read picture blogs on TEETH.


Even a TOOTH is more interesting than what I’m reading these days.

The subject is not the problem — the writing, and the lack of personality shining through, is.


Case in point: Valentine’s day. (Or insert any other damn holiday in there).

Know what I saw in my reader?

Lots and lots of posts about Valentine’s day.

Not unpredictable, but the majority of them were UNINSPIRED, unoriginal and/or not interesting.

  • How to save money for a cheap and frugal but fun date
  • 10 ways to surprise your loved one without buying anything
  • Why I hate valentine’s day
  • Why I love valentine’s day

Sound familiar? Or maybe not at all, because they’re so generic?

I basically clicked “Mark all as read” in my “General Money” folder in Google Reader that day, and went on to look at some style blogs instead.
(I have a separate folder for blogs that spit out good posts about 90% of the time.

I won’t be posting that list, but if I don’t link to you once in about 2 years, or leave a single comment on your blog, that should be a clue.)

Then I started thinking about buying clothes, but that was when I had to just log off altogether and eat some pie.


Sponsored links almost every other post.

I admit to doing this when I was young, green and naive, thinking that $30 was a great deal of money to write a post on water coolers, and I am not faulting you for wanting to make money.


Can we increase the standards for ourselves and our quality of work being put out on the blog?


Another thing I’m starting to notice as a trend — links to other PF blogs who write just as blandly as most of the other PF blogs who are out there.

Admit it.

You aren’t linking to them because you thought their 5th post on how you can hack your own frugal Kitty Litter was interesting, and inspired.

You’re linking because you bloody HAVE TO. Don’t you?

Peer pressure is a biatch, and you feel the need to say “Hi what’s up?” with a link to the people you’ve met at the PF blogger conference because they were just SO NICE.

Lots of people are nice. I think about 99% of humans at any given time, are considered nice.

But that doesn’t mean they can write anything worth linking to.

(Most of them live in Canada, I’m just a Canadian aberration of “niceness” because I’m writing these kinds of posts telling everyone off.


Not passive-aggressively.

I’d most likely even say it to these people face-to-face.. but ALAS…. if only I could tell them apart from the writings of the other Jane/Joe Schmoe Bloggers.)

Maybe you’re part of a network of other linkers, or you’re part of a festival, or a carnival of links (hey I’ve done those in the past), but if 75% of your posts are JUST about linking to other blogs that are JUST as boring… guess whose blog is about to get tossed into Unsubscribe From Feed, Google-Reader oblivion?

The highest compliment to other bloggers, should be that you loved their work so much, you WANTED to share their work with others and link to them without any ulterior motive of them linking back to YOU in the near future.

This compliment has turned into a disgusting, incestuous community butt-rub of sorts (as Stefan on Top Chef might say), where you’ve just ended up screwing your reader into clicking on a post that was absolutely NOT interesting in the least.

I don’t write interesting posts all the time. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

But I think of it as one of the highest compliments to be linked-to by some random blogger whom I’ve never interacted with (to my recollection or knowledge), and to see my post on their blog, even if they only have 3 readers, is of the greatest sense of acknowledgement to me.

That’s when I know I’ve written something interesting that other people liked.

Or hated SO MUCH, they needed to send people with e-pitchforks after me.

This butt-rubbing linking that’s happening? Not the same thing.


Seriously, copying a list word for word or a post idea is not work.

Copying a list, and then adding your own spin on it, with pictures, an experiment, something cool to interest your readers, is work.

I can safely say that most bloggers do work. Work hard? Meh, that’s up for debate.

But work, they do.

Everyone “works”. Even animals work. But whether or not that effort transforms into something readable  and engaging, is another story.

It’s like those people we all know at work. They work. I mean, they go to the office, come home, and get paid bi-weekly right?

But are they productive? Probably not.

Know what the difference is? Originality.


We’ve all heard the rumours/stories of people selling their blogs, making money, and some of them making it into the millions.

Those are the EXCEPTIONS. Not the rule.

As a result of this blogging gold rush, this produces a lot of low-quality, bullshit blogs that mention the word ‘money’, probably end up joining a link-fest network and start cheering over $5 a month from “doing nothing”.

First: most blogs, after 5-6 years of work, MAY sell for $10,000 – $50,000.

Don’t quote me on this total amount (it’s something like a multiple of 25X your monthly earnings), but it is actually not worth your time if you want to try and get rich off this blogging thing.

Second: Blogging is so far from “doing nothing”, I can’t even begin to tell you how silly that is.

Most bloggers do any or all of the following:

  • working a lot to write posts
  • spend your time thinking about them
  • commenting
  • thinking about what’s coming up
  • paying to attend conferences
  • etc etc etc…

..and it sucks up about 15-20 hours of your week, if you’re trying to do a decent job at it.

At the end of it all, what do you earn?

For me, it’s about $30 in Google Adsense dollars per month if I get about 1000 pageviews a day.

What’s that? A buck a day?

Wow. I earned a buck a day.

That’s $7 a week, for 15-20 hours.

I’m currently on par with most Third World country earnings, in that case.

Third: Know what 15 – 20 hours a week at minimum wage in Ontario, Canada ($10.75 per hour) gets you in a month? 

$153.75 – $215 a week or $645 – $860 a month.


You mean I can do the SAME AMOUNT of work but just put on clothes, go outside, interact with live human beings instead of internet personas, and make about 21X – 28X more money than what I do blogging?


Maybe not if you live in the U.S. where their minimum wage is so backwards, it’s practically slave labour at $7.25 an hour, but this is why Canada was the country I chose to live in.

I think about 50% of PF bloggers out there would be better off working at a minimum wage job, rather than trying to make this PF blogging hobby into a career.

You may be working hard, and I applaud your drive to work, blog, make money and build another income stream…. but maybe, JUST MAYBE you’d be better off picking up another part-time job.

Whaddya think?

Don’t repeat the above to me either, I KNOW ALL OF THE ABOVE ALREADY.

I have already done the math that I would make more money flipping burgers than I would blogging.

I do it, because I find it fun and therapeutic.

I don’t do it for the money, because if I did, I should really go out there and get a job folding sweaters at the Gap.

The main thing that keeps me blogging is that people actually find my rantings and ravings spot on at times.

I write these posts, because as a READER I’d find them interesting enough to give a second glance to, and to READ them.

You will notice I tend to stay away from canned, boring, spam-mystery-meat-like posts such as “10 ways to have fun without spending money”.

I not only work hard, I actually try to be original.

So maybe not all of my posts are golden gooses, but I’d like to think that each post I write gives someone SOMETHING to think about, get mad or angry about, or just love enough to write a comment to tell me so.

I can’t say the same thing for the majority of PF bloggers out there.

I can see the work that DOES NOT go into writing those canned posts, because what I see is a lot of linking back and forth to canned crap that just generates more crap like some PF-writing disease.


(Look I even said “Please“, this is as close as I can come to being “Canadian”.)

I CANNOT be the only person who is thinking this.

I just simply cannot be the ONLY ONE.

I may be the most vocal about it, but I SIMPLY CANNOT be the only one.

I don’t even care that you don’t know the difference between these words:

  • affect, effect
  • heal, heel
  • their, they’re, there

I can forgive lots of typos and horrible spelling because I DO IT TOO. I write things in haste, and I can sympathize, but as long as you have:

  • Originality
  • A personality
  • Interesting thoughts/ideas (even if I don’t agree with them)
  • None of this bullshit link-to-each-other-all-the-goddamn-time every post
  • … then you’re an interesting blogger to me.

You don’t even need pictures or anything beyond the above. I like visuals, but I’m not hung up on them. I’m more interested in thoughts, the words and the style of writing.

So have at me. 

Go nuts in the comments, tell me off, get all huffy and angry that I am AGAIN bashing the PF blogging community, but I am 100% .. .nay, 100000000000000%* … BEGGING YOU TO INCREASE THE QUALITY OF YOUR POSTS.

*Anything above 100% is not mathematically possible, but who cares?

As a PF community, when did we become so picky about BASIC MATH?

I mean, we’re in North America, and we couldn’t care less about going $100K into debt for student loans but only earning $20K gross upon graduation in some white-collar job even though a blue-collar construction worker out of high school could make $35/hour ($70K a year), and an option of $55/hour in overtime ($110K a year).

True story & numbers, by the way. I read a whole article about how kids from Ireland are moving to Canada to make big bucks in construction in the Metro Toronto News the other day, sometime last week (Feb 2013).

As a reader, as a fellow blogger, as someone who desperately wants to read INTERESTING, personal and lively posts, please think before you turn into a blogger for the money, or hit Publish.



  • Dunny

    I agree with this post completely. So much drivel, researched and stolen from other blogs or online sources, obviously with no knowledge or personal experience.
    Please tell me the name of that book you mentioned in one of your posts — an expose of the PF blogging community. I saw it but can’t find it now.

  • Kathy

    You do know what you’ve started, don’t you? 😉 Here’s my items for your list. 1. If you are going to blog, post regularly. Whether it is daily, weekly, or something else, just do it regularly. I hate it when I find a blogger whose writing I enjoy, then I don’t see anything new for a month. I end up deleting them from my favorites list even though I might miss a really great article. 2. Design you page so advertising doesn’t overwhelm the content. I’m fine with you having ads, but when I have to search around them to find the article, I get frustrated and move on. 3. I do expect proper English. Just the other day I read and article where the author kept saying “me and (husband’s name). So I disagree with you when you indicate you don’t care about word spelling. I feel if you are earning a living through writing, a writer should write properly. Finally, 4. Don’t invite comments, then allow a commenter to be beaten up on by other contributors. I assume that bloggers expect there will be a variety of opinions. When someone puts theirs (notice I used that correctly?) out there for the world to see, they don’t want to be waylaid by those who don’t show respect when they disagree. As the owner/host the blogger can call upon a commenter to tone it down, or even delete the comment if it is totally disrespectful.

  • La Tejana @ Debt Free Tejana

    I love love love this. I was reading this before I went to bed and seriously was laughing so hard it scared the dog. I then thought about it this morning when I work up and started laughing all over again. You called it straight- there definitely is way, way too much butt-rubbing going on. If we’re all butt-rubbing I’d at least like to get the full massage to go with it 😉

  • B. (Below Her Means)

    Church! I agree. These are the reasons I turned down a spot in the Yakezie Epsilon class.

  • Marti

    But my cat IS interesting!
    But seriously, some people are interesting and some are just boring. I’m probably one of them, and that’s ok with me. I think a lot of people see the “formula” that is working for other bloggers who ARE wildly successful and they try to emulate them. And so we see a repetition of the same type of posts.
    Blogs have changed over the years, especially in the last year. There are at least five times as many ad posts, linky parties, and giveaways as there were even a year ago – all in the quest of the almighty buck. But you know what? People still flock to those blogs. I don’t get it, and somehow manage to skip over those posts without a blip on my blood pressure monitor. Mixed in with the ads, the snowball debt elimination formula, and how to build something out of an old pallet (which looks amazingly like an old pallet), there are intelligent, heart-warming, and inspiring posts.

  • Melete

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! Great, great rant!

    This is exactly what I’ve thought for the past two or three years: there are only so many ways you can say “get a halfway decent job, work hard, get out of debt & stay out of debt, live frugally, and invest your money.”

    I’m afraid my blog, Funny about Money (how do I hate Disqus, which will NOT let me post as FaM? Let me count the ways…) no longer covers money issues very much. It’s become mostly a kind of lifestyle and naval-gazing site. My son, when he heard how much the thing is earning, expressed his extreme flabbergastedness with, “But Mom…you’re not even writing about ANYTHING anymore! It’s all just maunderings.”

    Yup. But at least it’s not “get a halfway decent job, work hard, get out of debt & stay out of debt, live frugally, and invest your money.”

  • Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget

    So I’m slightly creeped out that you might be hiding in a closet in our house. Because this is nearly verbatim to the conversation that my wife and I have had since joining the PF blogger parade. Luckily, we didn’t know much about the community beforehand and only followed two or three good, funny, original PF blogs. But since joining, we’re kinda ashamed to be a part of “the community.” It’s incestuous.

    When I look at other blogs and see that 90%+ of comments come from other bloggers, I have to wonder: who are we writing for? Is your audience Google Search Results? Is your audience other bloggers who scroll to the bottom of your post, read the question, and give a one sentence answer that’s blander than a vanilla wafer?

    I know we’re noobs, so we probably don’t have a lot of room to speak. But this resonated. Hardcore. Thank you.

    • mochiandmacarons

      I’m right behind your winter coats and gifts you have never opened. (Just kidding.)

      You’re welcome! I am just pleased it resonated with you. If we aren’t writing for readers, who are we writing for?

  • Mochi & Macarons

    Update: An anonymous cowardly troll (aren’t they all the same?) emailed me the following rebuttal to my post.

    He (or She), apparently wasn’t brave enough to leave a comment (you can leave Anonymous ones too), and felt the need to sneak behind to give me what they thought was a good “eff you, bitch” email.


    From: get over yourself
    Subject: LOL

    Message Body:
    Just skimmed through your post about financial bloggers. I can see why you don’t allow anonymous comments. What a joke. First of all, blogs are not all written for some cookie loving biatch’s entertainment. People do start blogs to make money. Just because you can only manage $30/month doesn’t mean you should be so bitter towards the one who make much more than that. Those bloggers don’t need some egotistical whiner to like them. Sounds like you’re pretty bitter over their marketing strategies too. No wonder your blog has progressed so little despite running it for a while. If you don’t like blogs, don’t subscribe to them. If you’re reading financial topics don’t expect them all to be bursting with personality and life stories. You’re fucking clueless.


    And there you have it.

    I’m bitter, clueless and not very successful after having started this blog a year ago, and apparently I’m a clueless, cookie loving (?) biatch who expects a little too much out of bloggers as a reader.

    I have a feeling I know who wrote this email, and even though he doesn’t have the guts to do any of his rude trolling publicly, I can forgive him, because he obviously fears some kind of backlash from the community who worships him and his network.

    I totally understand. You need to feel like god. Doesn’t everyone?

    • Melete

      {snarkle!} I have some leftover troll kibble we could feed him. Maybe he’s cranky because he’s hungry…

  • Afford Anything

    This is a fantastic post. It hits the nail on the head. I can’t stand generic blog posts that don’t tell me anything new. I don’t want to read about “12 ways to save at the grocery store” or “What’s a Roth IRA?” I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about compounding interest. Why on earth would anyone think that their readers do?

    Fortunately, there is so much mediocrity out there that standing out simply means being unique, creating awesome content, having a personality, and speaking from the heart.

  • Kerry

    This is basically why I quit PF blogging – I realised I didn’t have anything new to say and I was forcing myself to write a boring, derivative post twice a week. It was shit. DON’T DO WHAT I DID, KIDS, WRITE WHAT YOU ACTUALLY LIKE (which is what I’m doing now)

  • Jose

    Wow, Tell it like it is! I’ve been blogging for two months and spend an inordinate amount of time writing and coming up with ideas to write about and you can double that for time I spend reading other blogs and commenting. I haven’t done a link back post because quite frankly, I don’t have the time. I plan on doing one at the end of the month and will link back to articles I really found interesting (like this one). I’ve been trying to personalize my posts as much as possible. Where I find that extremely difficult is when writing about technical financial topics. You can only create so much excitement and curiosity around terms like P/E and the like. Thanks for a good read!

    • mochiandmacarons

      Technical posts are harder to make them sound cool, but still possible. I’m trying my best with the Investing Series to see if it’s something I can overcome. An interesting challenge. 🙂

  • Andrew @ 101 Centavos

    Infographics, eh? I’ve hosted one so far on my blog, and then only to poke fun at its subject matter (easy “retirement” in Asia). Even so, I received emails from the “authors”, asking for the next placement. I suspect they didn’t read the article.

    Regrettably, some of the blogs I used to consider worth reading have either gone dormant or adopted an outsource model. Pity.

    • mochiandmacarons

      Well all they care about is the link 🙂 I think in their position, I wouldn’t care if you wrote about how stupid I was as long as I got my link.

  • hereverycentcounts

    Also – your blogs are always crazy good, and they don’t fall into that trap of being like everything else out there – yet you also clearly have a huge following. Not that I really care about getting a huge following, but I’m curious how you built up such a strong readership. Was it just the topics that you cover and your style of writing, or did something else help? I enjoy comments on my blog, heh, so I write for comments and discourse, not the $$$.

    • mochiandmacarons

      I only have one blog, now, singular. I can’t really count my website to post my traveling photos [] as a blog (I don’t write on it).

      I don’t know if I have a huge following per se compared to what I had before but I enjoy writing as a hobby to get out all of these thoughts that are running around in my head, which I hope comes through in my posts.

      I have a feeling that it’s my writing style only because a lot of people write in to tell me that they like the way I write, which is both ego-boosting and interesting to keep in mind. Apparently I am recognizable with my CAPSLOCK ALL OVER THE PLACE JUST LIKE THIS!!!!!

      I don’t think it’s the topics, as much. I like to challenge myself to see if I can make boring topics (e.g. investing) interesting, because if I wouldn’t read my own post on why I want to invest in index funds, then why would anyone else?

  • hereverycentcounts

    Right! There was a time, a few years ago, when the really strong group was blogging. Meg was awesome even though I didn’t always agree with her – she had a unique story to tell and I always enjoyed her posts. It’s getting harder and harder to find the good bloggers. Maybe we should start some sort of group of “not crappy PF bloggers” and invite people into that group — or find some other common theme around not being all basic cliche financial advice. Just a thought.

    • mochiandmacarons

      Too hard to do.

      I don’t think I’d fit in that group at all to try and be a “not crappy PF blogger” all the time.

      I come up with duds about 90% of the time, but sometimes I write posts that hit a chord I never knew existed, but it was just a rant or some passing thought.

  • hereverycentcounts

    This whole personal finance blog world has definitely taken off in the last few years. More people are in it to get rich. I’ve read posts about how people started blogs a year ago and are making serious money through advertising. And they’re writing those generic “10 ways to save $1000 a month” posts. Sometimes I consider writing something like that on my blog, but it just doesn’t fit. My blog is a personal personal finance blog (PPFB?) which is different than a PF blog. I learned this at the first personal finance blogger conference where most of the sessions were dedicated to learning how to generate more traffic and make more money. The advice spewed there results in the types of posts you hate. I’m honored that you still read and comment on my blog, and now I understand why. I don’t limit my blogging to just money — which, after a while — you kind of run out of unique things to talk about, unless you’re day trading or dealing with rapidly changing life situations like having kids or buying a house. I think it would be interesting to have more joint brainstorming on topics to write about on our blogs, kind of like a mini carnival where personal finance bloggers provide their opinions on the same topic. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing when I feel like it and when I have something meaningful to say. I didn’t start my blog to get a lot of readers or make any money, and while I run google adwords for my $10/month (lol) I really write for myself. If people enjoy what I have to say, all the better.

    • mochiandmacarons


      I think what comes through is a genuine honesty and need to be a good writer. Not some plastic mold of what a good PF blog should be.

      I don’t just stick to money topics, which I think helps, but I do try and bring the angle back to money in some way even if I go off the beaten path.

  • Budget & the Beach

    I do understand where you are coming from, because I have felt the same way about a lot of articles, but regarding myself when I say this, “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Basically, while being frustrated with the repetitiveness of some blogs I read, I’m “guilty” of doing some other things, like like love on my blog. All I an say is I do my best with what I know and continually try to improve my blog with what I hope readers might like…or I should say what I like FIRST, then what readers might like. Because in the end it’s still a hobby, and I have to make sure it’s enjoyable to do. And I walk that delicate balance right now with enjoying some income from it, without “selling out.” As I go, I see what’s working, what isn’t, and change things up. I think one change is doing link love on Fridays. While I’ll still probably do this, it’s going to start to get much shorter. Anyway, I’m still learning and growing…and that’s all I an do!

    • mochiandmacarons

      Good point, which is why I also mentioned that I don’t write amazing posts all the time, but I do try.

      A lot of people don’t try. The worst is NOT TRYING. The worst for me is copying lists and then throwing an image up and calling it a post.

  • Chase

    Thanks for writing this, you just got a new subscriber.

    I can’t stand most PF blogs anymore. Especially the comments section. It seems like a day in the life of a PF blogger is:

    1. Publish mediocre article
    2. Go around to every other PF blog and leave short, boring comment so that I can get people to come read my boring blog.
    3. Begin writing next mediocre article

  • Tim Stobbs

    First off let me say – I didn’t realize for the last year you had this blog. I nearly died from happiness when I realized you had a new one this afternoon. So thanks for writing.

    Now to your post. I started reading your posted and my head kept going up and down as I agreed with everything you said. Then the guilt started in creep in…I was guilty of doing at some point or another just about everything you mentioned. Shame…oh yes.

    Yet if I don’t write at all I seem to miss out on some of my ‘great’ posts. The ones I feel totally nail a good point, they happen at the oddest times. So perhaps what I need to do is get used to silence. It’s ok to not write anything when I don’t have much to say.

    Thanks for inspiring me to do better.


  • Michi86

    Amen sista! And not just for PF either, blogs in every genre. I’ve been removing blogs from my reader that (1) never post any original images or content, just a bunch of copied images from Elle Decor or unsuspecting bloggers (2) write with no personality (3) tell me how to market and sell without telling me what they’ve actually marketed or sold other than their how to advice on marketing & selling (4) never put up a post that isn’t part of some sort of networking activity with other blogs and involves a badge of some sort (5) constant automated posting of the same IG shot across all social media outlets AND as a wordless blog post (I have no issue with using iPhone shots on blog posts, I do it all the time but add some value to it, I also don’t mind a wordless beautiful photo but I don’t want to see a blog that is just like viewing your instagram feed).
    I’m not judging any of these bloggers by any means if that is what floats their boat, it’s cool. We all have a different focus and different goals.But, I personally want to learn, grow, laugh and be inspired by what I read in my precious spare time.

  • fabulously frugirl

    I agree that sometimes it’s hard coming up with new ideas. Writing is such an outlet for me that it can be hard to juggle writing more creative stuff, and using my blog to keep me accountable. Hope I made the cut! 🙂

  • femmefrugality

    Love this! I suppose I’m sometimes guilty of falling into the trap of being unoriginal, but I truly try to come up with my own content and write about it in a way that is either informative or presents an argument of some kind. I may be of a different opinion that some other commenters, but the posts I appreciate most have some type of utility. I can apply them to my own life in some way. I love networking and the opportunities it presents, but it seems like lately it’s led to a lot of sponsorships/giveaways that have everyone writing about the exact. same. things.

  • Suki

    There are so many other genres of bloggers who have these problems too. The great thing about it is that if I don’t like someone, I don’t have to read them. There are plenty of other options out there and I’m not going to miss out on some fantastic idea or tip by not following that blogger.

    I don’t read any other PF blogger besides you. Most others I have come across are blah blah blah. I haven’t really looked for any others. I am content.

  • Liquid_Independence

    This post is very true on many different levels. I have a folder in my reader for interesting blogs like yours, and another folder for boring blogs. A good indicator of quality and originality is how many other bloggers visit a blog compared to the number of average internet users without blogs of their own.

  • Nicole

    Wow – timely. I have read, then browsed, then clicked over many blog posts lately. Posts like these make me read – whether or not I am in agreement – the whole way through. When I get too bored, or totally disagree with something, then I unsubscribe. Kudos for this post.

  • alwayshungry4

    I’m really drawn to PF blogs because it’s all really new to me – it’s interesting to read about other people’s experiences, motivations, tips, stories, etc. I’m fairly late in the game with getting my stuff together, so I’m reading them with great interest so I can learn and grow. But, I can see how over time, it will be like my Runner’s World subscription – primarily the same ideas repackaged in a new article. For what it’s worth, your investing series is a great read, so thanks for that!

  • Jacq

    First up, and most importantly – yes, claim your moving expenses. It’s against earned income in the new location so it counts. You could be an itinerant worker and move a dozen times a year and still claim moving expenses.

    On the topic at hand – well, you know my thoughts although I’m too polite to say them. 🙂

    But I have the luxury of not having to be paid for my time writing, lots of people don’t have that. And some people feel the urge to talk or write much more than I do. I feel badly that I’ve been phoning it in lately, albeit rarely. Yet this very perfectionist tendency of not wanting to write unless it’s half decent or says something even vaguely original means that I won’t write at all since I got out of the routine of writing every morning. It just took too much time away from other things that could actually improve my life in tangible ways. 90% of what I wrote, I threw out which is ok when you write a lot but not when you don’t write at all.

    Plus I’m more obsessed with the investing stuff lately and most people can’t relate to that, yet I don’t feel I know enough to give advice in that area – great for other people that will read one or two books and then expound like experts, but I feel that’s not appropriate for me.

  • PK

    Great post, although I find it hard to rectify with your previous rant against people telling people they aren’t sufficient dedicated to their finances. In my mind (at least), I’d rather see people having a debate about what spending is legitimate versus what spending is superfluous. I figure once it’s up on the internet it’s fair game; if you want anonymity start a diary. That said, I post about my finances maybe once a year, so my opinion is irrelevant, haha.

    I digress – that comment may be better suited to the last post. I agree completely with this post. Even blogs which started off with a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step have devolved. I’ve slowly watched everything be outsourced – writing articles on your own site? Submitting to carnivals? Leaving comments? I don’t want to know your VA, I want to know you.

    And comments- wow, comments! The dearth of any critical reasoning or semblance of an argument is embarrassing. I’m not saying people used to write Shakespeare, but a 1,500 word complexly argued article begging for input doesn’t need you to write “Thanks!” just to get your site a trackback. And when I write a 500 word comment (as I am apt to do) after your nuanced reasoning on a complicated subject, don’t shut down our discussion with an “I agree, I maybe sometimes do these things but you’re right – sometimes I shouldn’t do those things maybe definitely.” Why do people write, if not to hone their ideas? Steel sharpens steel – and my blog isn’t a diary, and it isn’t a barren information dump. I want people to challenge my held beliefs, and a “Thanks” isn’t doing it for me.

    Of course, I’m part of the problem, even if a small part. Bloggers shouldn’t be your audience – and I am sure they aren’t mine (550 articles, only 2,700 comments, haha). Your non blogger readers are worth their weight in gold. As much as we cherish a new blog linking, I am way more excited when forums post my links – especially if I have to use Google Translate just to see what they said about my piece. Well, that and major publications, but that goes without saying.

    Thanks for giving me a forum to post this, haha. Next time, let me know if “Thanks, great piece agree completely!” would make you feel better about writing that epic essay.

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter

    How timely – I have been unsubscribing from several RSS feeds as of late. 🙂 I think a lot of it is related to what I’m interested in at this point in time, there is likely still an audience for things that I am not interested in reading myself.

  • Sarah Li Cain

    I agree, and this doesn’t just apply to PF posts as well. Some blogs worry about how much they write rather than what they write. One thing to add to this: blogs that ALWAYS have giveaways just to try to get readers to their blog. Even more irritating is if you HAVE TO follow them on facebook/twitter and there is a list (!) of other blogs you have to follow too! argh!,

    • Mochi & Macarons

      Annoying, AMIRITE?

      Actually I don’t mind doing all that. I think my chances of winning their money is higher than a lottery, so I might as well take a shot at it. 🙂

      I just don’t like it when it’s 200 blogs……@$!%&@!*&%*!@(%&(!*%

      • Sarah Li Cain

        yes, that is exactly what I am getting at! One giveway had FIVE LISTS!!! Each list had like 5-10 twitter names!

    • eemusings

      Ugh, those group giveaways are the worst.

  • eemusings

    You know I’m fully behind this. Touched on some of this in my post
    about being yourself online, and called out some of the social media BS
    in this post

    loves: I’m guilty, but do it because I genuinely read quite widely and I
    like to spread the word about good reads. As you say, because I WANT to
    not in expectation of any recognition. If I did it for SEO, I would be
    doing those posts quite a lot differently (in terms of headlines,
    content types and presentation). Links SHOULD be precious and a
    compliment, NOT a commodity IMO. I have had people comment over the
    months how much they enjoy my link roundups, which is gratifying.

    Valentine’s: I did a hater post. Yeah I did. (You did comment though so assume it was sufficiently ME and original? Hope so!)

    stuff: I am trying to monetise more (for reasons that will become clear
    this week), however I turn down a fair few sponsored posts because the
    topic and style doesn’t align well enough with me. (It’s got to be about
    content as much as price – I’m not going to completely sell out). I try
    to integrate sponsored links as well as I can and create good content
    when I do run paid stuff, and I refuse to run prewritten posts without a
    byline under my name.

  • Ariana

    I like your blog because it is a good quality blog. I blog for therapeutic purposes nor I accept ads or sponsors for it. For all of the bloggers who cannot write well or interesting topic, they might as well practice how to write.

  • Bridget

    You’re not the only one. Btw, I’m glad I pass your test 😉 Except I do make the odd spelling/grammar mistake haha

    Most bloggers just aren’t good writers, period — and there’s no escaping the necessity for that talent in trying to establish a successful blog. But from a distance I think blogging looks amazing: you write online and you get tons of money. In reality its a lot of push and pull. Readers demand a lot of you.

    As with all things, money isn’t free. If you’re not working hard, there’s going to be no reward.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      You do pass my test! 🙂 But apparently I am demanding too much of you as a reader, as I was just told about how I shouldn’t expect any kind of quality from financial articles.

  • Boomer and Echo

    It’s awfully tough to find an original idea about money when you have 50 to 100 pf blogs in your Reader. Maybe you’ve exhausted everything you need to know about the subject?

    The more non-blogger readers you get, and the more you find what type of content works for your site, the less you’ll care about what other bloggers think of your work.

  • Deena Dollars

    I agree. This shit is all getting boring, and a lot of the bloggers that I have even liked to read over the years are bored of it and don’t want to write anymore. Thank you for this post.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      It gets boring if we just let it languish and BE boring.

      Money is such a broad topic.. I mean, I even manage to make it into all about what I buy each month and spend my money on. That is a FAR STRETCH from money management, but it’s somewhat related.

      I want people to find ideas of rehashing and presenting old content as new, and to STOP THIS GODDAMN LINKING to crap posts.

      Pick and choose quality over quantity, PLEASE.

  • Leslie ♫ Beslie

    I would have written this post but since I don’t write for the pf community, I have to imagine my writers could absolutely care less. But i do share this sentiment and complain on twitter about pf bloggers “jerking each other off” with all the link love posts. I don’t need to see a bunch of posts every Friday recommending me 30 (!!) posts all about boring pf content.

    The worst, imo, are guest posts. They bring nothing to the blog, are usually about unoriginal topics, and are very confusing for the reader.

    Lastly, this is why I don’t advertise on my site. I have thought about it but I know there is little money in it so I would rather just keep it as a hobby for now than worrying about it being an income.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      Guest posts … I think I read ONE that was good, but it was the rare one where I went: WOW! Excellent. I like this person. Who is he/she?

      Otherwise, I see “Guest” or “Sponsored”, and it’s “NEXT” for me.

  • Cait Flanders

    I agree. I hardly read anyone’s blogs anymore; it’s not because I don’t care about them but because I don’t want to read another list of things I should/shouldn’t do with my money. And the link fests… great for SEO, boring for readers.

  • addvodka

    There are a few different types of blogs that seem to settle in the PF Community:

    -Boring, generic, “how to” advice type blogs like you’ve listed here

    -Super personal blogs which outline the choices that the writer make (I think mine falls in this category.. maybe with a bit of the generic mixed in, though I didn’t think so)

    -Blogs that pick on other blogs and don’t come up with any original material of their own

    -Decent, interesting blogs

    I’m in the camp that thinks finance is boring (unless it’s my money, hence why I do blog about about it half the time). So, I really don’t read many of the posts in my reader that cover finance unless they look interesting. I don’t care about the generic posts though, because when I was younger and just figuring out money, I gobbled those up!

    I think that it just depends on your audience. If you are targeting young, money newbies or college students, I think generic can work. The audience of that blog might just want some quick, easily actionable money tips.

    If your audience happens to be made up of those who are more “financially savvy”, things need to be a little more interesting to cut through all of the noise.

    The generic finance blogs can actually make quite a bit of money aside from adsense (affiliate, sponsored posts/sidebar links etc) — in fact, I’d venture to say that they probably make MORE than the more personal blogs, because there are more opportunities for them.

    This comment didn’t really have a point. Except to say that I neither agree nor disagree with you (so, pretty much, I’m babbling).

    • financialuproar

      If you think finance is boring, then why are you a finance blogger?

      • addvodka

        Mochi: I guess it was a bit of a blanket statement on my part to call personal finance boring. I personally am not interested in lots of it, but there are some parts of it that are very interesting. I think you’re absolutely right that the way information is presented is what draws people in, not the topic itself.

        This is why I do subscribe to quite a few finance blogs and do enjoy their writings. Yours included. I think what I was trying to say is that I can only hope that bloggers are writing for their audience or (at the very least) with their end goal in mind.

        If the goal of a particular blogger is to master their SEO technique and build up a good back linking strategy, and make money from sponsored posts and Adsense and affiliate income, then maybe generic, boring posts are the way to go. Same with the link loves and the stroking of other bloggers egos. These things all increase exposure and number of links, which Google cares way more about than quality, unique posts.

        If the goal is to create a large readership and gain authority on a particular topic to eventually sell a product (an ebook, a tool like yours) or just help people, then certainly less generic and more interesting, story-telling posts are going to be more beneficial.

        So, it depends on the goal, on the strategy and on the audience of the blogger.


        I don’t know that I even consider myself a “finance blogger”. I blog about a lot of topics. I have always seemed to be part of the finance community of blogs (I started blogging 80% of the time about finance, 20% of the time about school. I was trying to get through the last half of my degree while living on my own without taking out loans, so it was fitting and very interesting to me at the time, so I seemed to stick with the finance community ) but finance is just one of the topics I write about – careers, beauty, and just life in general. I have certainly had a few posts on WLGYL that were financially how-to in nature, but the rest of it is about MY money particularly.

        My most popular posts and the ones that I have felt the most passionately about have actually been about careers. I may read some finance blogs and network with a lot of PF bloggers, but I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a personal finance blogger exclusively.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      I think personal finance is really interesting as a topic.

      Then it’s up to the writer to make it interesting, to draw people in and tell them something they didn’t know.

      Take for instance science — I can’t say I love chemistry, but my teacher was excellent. She drew me into the subject and made me love and understand it to the point where I actually liked it before I realized I was not fit for such a subject.

      THAT is what I want to achieve and what I want others to achieve, which is something I’m working pretty hard on with my Investing Series.

      It is a fine line to walk between being accurate (technically or otherwise, which I sometimes drop the ball on), and being dry and boring about it.

  • Shovellicious

    I started my own blog but I don’t write often, not to say that I almost don’t write at all. But I didn’t start it to become a proud member of PF community or earn money on AdSense. I started it believing (yes, yes, call me naive) that if I write something, somebody will read it from time to time, then I’ll be motivated to achieve that. Or keep trying to achieve that. As you said, when I see “10 frugal ideas for Valentines” I just hit “read” but when you want to share how you spent that day, I’ll stay. I don’t mind if you use WordPress, Bloger or maybe you spent a lot of money on nice web design. I make mistakes all the time, English it’s not my mother tounge but seriously, you can write your posts using bright pink color and I’ll stay and read if you want to share YOUR story with me. I like reading monthly goals, spending posts, etc. Yes, they’re quite boring but it’s your life, it’s personal so I’ll read it. Sponsor posts are not personal. What I can’t stand is when somebody has RSS but doesn’t share the whole post. I need to click on the link to be directed to his web site. Do you care more about your statistics than my comfort thinking your stuff is so great that I’ll get there anyway? Kiss my ass then. Another thing I’m alergic too is when I spent a lot of time to leave a comment, checking needed details in internet, I want to share another point of view from somebody from the other part of the world, asking questions, taking part in discussion. And then he/she/they don’t respond because I don’t live in USA and they can’t sell my their lovely stuff from Etsy shop. I don’t consider myself as a bloger. But I’m a reader. You don’t have to be original to me. Or funny. Or super educated in pf. I just need to know and feel that what you write is personal. Not sponsored.

  • Big Cajun Man

    The problem now is it’s cool to call financial blogging a load of horse shit and bloggers idiots who don’t have original ideas (I know, because I have been doing it for a while now). I could make $39 a game ref’ing basketball games (2 hours work), and actually have less stress and folks questioning my intelligence.

    For those reading this that want to wander over to my site and start ragging on me about what font I use, how I am a sell out, or how I am too polite (remember for Canadians that is actually a compliment), remember this, “Go fuck yourself”, because you are even more pathetic for making that comment!

    By the by, good rant, made my day (but it was a Sunday so doesn’t take much to make my Sunday either).

    • Mochi & Macarons

      I’m going to have to take it to the next level, eh? Maybe something ruder.

      Just kidding. 🙂 (Sort of. I’m thinking of how rude I could get.)

      I found this post of mine pretty rude, but maybe that’s looking at it through my maple-syrup-coated glasses.

      Yeah I was hoping to pop some people out of their Sunday Slumps, glad you liked it enough to comment.

  • financialuproar

    This is the post of the year so far.

  • Mrs PoP @ PlantingOurPennies

    In my reader if something doesn’t engage me relatively quickly, I definitely don’t click through. But, I am of a mixed mind about sponsored posts and infographics. (Don’t get me started on infographics!) We’ve never done either, but I see that others tend to look at hosting them as easy money, not to mention a break from writing original content.

    Like Emily, some of our stuff is niche (a decent amount of RE and correct math!) but it’s real stuff that we deal with on a daily basis, so at least I feel like we’re not just echoing the crowd out there. That said, maybe you think our site sucks, too – since I don’t think you’ve ever been to it (or at least never commented). Either way I’m not really offended since I agree with a lot of this rant.

    Part of what might be worth noting is that our blog has helped focus us on our goals – for money and life in general. And if other bloggers are getting the same thing out of their site by writing list posts, who am I to judge? But it doesn’t mean I’m actually going to read it.

    • eemusings

      I don’t enjoy monthly goal posts or spending posts (both of which I used to do myself nonetheless for my own purposes). But I’ve pulled back on both of those – not because of that, just because I am not finding it useful or a good use of my time at the moment. I do plan to get back into spending recaps this year – have fallen off the bandwagon a bit this summer.

      • Mochi & Macarons

        Ditto. I don’t like monthly goal posts, but as I said, I give everyone a month to prove themselves on their posts, and then I throw them out of my reader if I can’t connect.

        Sometimes bloggers change their tune and then I’m interested again.

        • Leslie ♫ Beslie

          Ah! This is why it makes me nervous to bring back the monthly recap posts. As a reader, they bore me to tears but I received positive feedback from my own readers, so I’m a bit conflicted.

      • hereverycentcounts

        monthly spending posts are the hardest to write because I have to be honest… and I have a lot of people who yell at me for spending too much on things. It definitely helps keep me on track. And I do really need to move my bank account so I stop getting charged $14 a month for my checking account. 😉

        • mochiandmacarons

          Meh. I don’t care. You can yell all you want (a good blogger friend wrote in to tell me my spending posts gave them heart attacks), but ultimately it’s my money and I’d like to see what a real person does with their money.

          I’m interested in the imperfections of human behaviour, not the perfect. I already know what perfect looks like, and it’s NOT ME.

        • mochiandmacarons

          Also, that $14 charge per month is making me really sad. You HAVE to switch it out, you’re pretty much BURNING YOUR MONEY in my eyes, for something that is really simple to do with just a bit of effort.

          This is your official kick in the ass to do so.

    • Emily @ evolvingPF

      I like your detailed math and sharing of your RE strategy even though I don’t comment on those posts. It’s not relevant for us right now but I’m keeping your blog in mind as a resource in the future should we go in that direction.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      I like infographics people make for themselves. I made one and it took a serious amount of effort. I almost gave up halfway through.

      It was fun though. But not something i can do regularly.

      Re-posting GOOD infographics I haven’t seen before is all right for me, it depends on the topic.

  • Emily @ evolvingPF

    I’ve been unsubscribing from a lot of blogs recently for some of the same reasons you outlined – continual dry lists of “tips and tricks,” frequent sponsored posts and text links, and dilution of the founder’s voice/personality by the inclusion of staff writers.

    I’d like to think that my blog has more of the originality that you desire (more than average, anyway), but you’ve only commented on one occasion so you probably disagree. 🙂 There is a tension, of course between fresh and original topics and a demanding posting schedule, and sometimes the posting schedule wins on our blog.

    The topic that is most interesting to me right now – grad student taxes – is rather niche and draws more comments and searches from “regular people” than fellow bloggers. Hardly any bloggers have universal appeal, especially if they let their personalities come through, because of being in a certain life stages or having one type of goal. Our blog is mostly about keeping lifestyle inflation at bay through life transitions, so I don’t think it would be appealing to people relentlessly pursuing financial independence or debt freedom or extreme frugality or complex investing strategies, and that doesn’t bother me.

    Thankfully after more than a year I still love writing posts and reading other people’s blogs – I promote other’s posts because I genuinely thought they were high quality, not as a scheme to get a link back (although I do link back when others mention my posts). I don’t act under compulsion that others might feel from fellow bloggers or advertisers.

    • eemusings

      I don’t subscribe to your blog – it’s one of those I visit through links from elsewhere. That said, yours is definitely among the better (I admire that you always seem to have an original or interesting take on topics) and I probably should subscribe at some point soon since I come back quite a lot!

      • Emily @ evolvingPF

        Thanks for saying that – and I appreciate the comments you’ve left on our blog. RSS subscription is my highest level of interest but I follow a lot more people on Twitter so I can click through to those occasional posts that I might find interesting, like you do for ours.

      • Mochi & Macarons

        Yeah I have her in my RSS reader. 🙂 I just don’t comment if I am not being useful.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      If I commented at all, it means I liked you enough to keep reading.

      I lurk and only comment when I have something to share, not just for the sake of commenting. 🙂

      The thing I also keep in mind, is that sometimes a blog.. is just not for me.

      A blog with a very strong religious tone to it for instance, is not for me. Nothing against them, it’s not what I want to read.

  • Kris

    I’ve gotten there myself, really. 10-15 that I really enjoy reading anymore. Yours is one of them.

    • Mochi & Macarons

      Hopefully I can stay that way. If I don’t, feel free to write in and tell me off.

      • Kris

        Ha ha! You haven’t disappointed yet, but will do.

        I keep a blog myself, but for personal reasons. Posts are sporadic (when I have time), only when I have something to say (not just to keep a schedule), and I don’t stick to a blog topic. That I have any followers at all perplexes me because that’s not why I write. For reading, like you I prefer honest blogs with personality over the canned stuff!

  • Guest

    I’m not a PF blogger but I do read a few PF blogs and have unsubscribed from more than a few due to a lot of the things you highlight in this post. I don’t always comment often on PF blogs, but one day as I opened up Google Reader and looked at the bevy of unread PF blog posts I decided that if, after several weeks of reading their blog, I couldn’t think of anything I associated with them as a blogger aside from “they run a personal finance blog” I would unsubscribe from them. The ones I have in my reader now I like to read because they’re interesting. They’re opinionated, they put their own spin on topics that have been run into the ground in the blogosphere, and I actually know enough about them/their blog to know who they are out of everyone else in the blogging world.

    (I do this with other niche blogs too, although not so much with food blogs. I mean, a recipe is a recipe! I’m only going to unsubscribe if I try out a recipe from a food blog and it tastes horrible, which has only happened once. :P)

    Hell, I do it with personal blogs too, which is the category I fall into. If a personal blog only has dull, dry posts then I’m not going to subscribe. If I’m not interested in reading about the mundane details of my own life (which is why I try to keep my blog as interesting as possible because the dull moments, of which there are plenty, don’t make the cut, but who knows if what I find interesting is what someone else finds boring) then I’m not going to be interested in anyone else’s. Or if someone blogs about something in excruciating detail and there are way too many names, places, backstory, or whatever for me to need to keep straight in order to get the “point” of the blog entry.

    (Whoa. This was long. Sorry for the essay!)

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