When I first started getting into blogging several months ago (keep in mind that last summer I didn't even know what a blog was….yes, I'm serious), I spoke to another Certified Financial Planner who had been blogging for about a year. He gave me some good tips and told me to have a successful blog that you have to network with other blogs. One of the blogs he told me to check out was Moolanomy. At first, I was like Moo-Law-Uh-What? But then I finally got to check out Pinyo's blog and I was really impressed. He has tons of great information on personal finance and incorporates very useful and easy to read charts to illustrate his points effectively. Here's our interview:
You stated that one of the reasons for starting Moolanomy was to build an alternative income stream to make up for your wife’s income. You even mentioned that one of your goals was to fund your child’s 529 plan. Have those goals grown as expected?
I see you've read my blog quite thoroughly — I am impressed. As for alternative income streams, I had a few web sites before Moolanomy and knew how much work it takes to run a successful web site. All I can say is the blog has done well beyond my original expectation. Before starting Moolanomy, we relied on part of my wife's income to cover our expenses and planned savings. To accommodate her maternity leave, I would either have to (1) earn more, (2) spend less, or (3) save less. I certainly didn't want to save less, and I was sure that we would be spending more after the baby is born. So the only option left was “earn more”. In retrospect, I am glad I started Moolanomy. This year, I believe that alternative income from all of my web businesses will be about 17% of my total income. By the way, my wife is back working so the extra income is really nice, especially in this economy.
As for 529 Plan, it was doing well until the stock market went south. However, I am currently sticking with my original plan to contribute $425 a month to the plan. Once I have a chance to re-evaluate our financial goals, I may be adjusting this number after the new year.
Do you ever foresee blogging being able to be a full time profession?
I am a strong believer of diversification, including income diversification. I don't think I would quit my current job even if my blog income exceeds my salary. As much as I like blogging, it's based on a technology that's changing fast. Think about it. Where was blogging 5 years ago and where do you think it will be 5 years from now. Would you risk your career and marketability on something that could disappear tomorrow?
I enjoy the extra income and could probably blog full-time between jobs. However, I think I would soon find another job, or start some sort of business on top of blogging. So no, I don't see it as full time profession for me.
Knowing what you know now about blogging, what are three tips you would give a new blogger that wants to become the next “Moolanomy”.
As mentioned earlier, making money blogging is conceptually “simple”, but it's not “easy”. If I count all the hours I poured into Moolanomy, I think I am still making just above the minimum wage. However, once you get it going, the income is semi-passive and you'll eventually recoup your investment. As for three specific tips:
- Make sure you love the subject you're blogging about. You'll be writing a lot of articles about the subject, so don't write about something that will turn blogging into another “job”.
- Make a lot of friends. If you think networking is important for success in real life, it's even more important for blogging.
- Look at blogs you admire and ask the blogger specific questions. I think this is by far the best way to learn. Sure, there are a lot of information out there, but it's confusing. However, a few good friends can bring you up to speed real quick.
I have a blog about blogging that you can peruse if you are interested in starting a blog. It's called Blogthority. Here are the two articles that will help you the most:
• How To Start A WordPress Blog in 9 Easy Steps
• How To Grow A New Blog Efficiently
With the creation of the M-Network, how has that helped you with growing your readership on your blog as well as increasing your knowledge in personal finance?
I think creating M-Network was one of the main contributors to my success with Moolanomy. Initially, we did a lot of linking back and forth among each other which really helped build our readers base. We don't do that as much now, but we are still doing a lot of information sharing and work together on a few initiatives. For example, we recently released a free eBook called Money Saving Tips for the Holidays Guide eBook and we recently just released The 12 Days of Christmas – Personal Finance Style 2008 series. Other than that, the main benefits are the the teaching, ideas, leads, and intels that we offer each other. Also, it's great to have a group of supportive people that you can bounce your ideas off, or help you get out of tight spots.
Lastly, we are planning to launch a network feature in 2009 that I am really excited about…stay tuned!
What’s your goals with “Moolanomy” in the next year?
Honestly, I have been slacking in this area. I haven't set a goal for my blog for a while now, especially because I have been more focused on my job and family. I know that I want to keep blogging in 2009 for sure, but I may be slowing down my pace and supplement my content from other contributors. In fact, I just quietly added the Contribute feature to my blog.
I guess, the only SMART goal I have is to have 35% of my total income coming from Moolanomy in 2009.
Since your creation of “Moolanomy”, what has the been the most pleasant surprise and/or surprises?
I think the biggest surprise is that I can actually earn serious income with the blog. But I think the best thing about this experience is the opportunity to meet a lot of people and establishing a few good friendships along the way. Even if I stop blogging now, there would be a few people that stay on my list of friends into the foreseeable future. Additionally, I learned a lot about financial concepts and ideas over the year and a half blogging about finances. I guess you'll can't help but learn a few things by writing about a subject every day.
Thanks to Pinyo for taking time to answer my questions. If you haven't checked out his blog yet, you must. Here are some of my favorite posts from his blog: