The Canadian Capitalist announced last month a re-branding of his site and a partnership with MoneySense magazine. I wanted to let the immediate reactions die down, but thought there were a few interesting reactions. Some readers were unenthusiastic about the change, while bloggers were pretty unanimously supportive. One of the more interesting comments seemed to suggest that support from other personal finance bloggers was somehow self-serving.
I don’t think support from other bloggers came from some sort of collusion or our own plans to “sell out”. For the record, I think the partnership was 100% a good thing for the Canadian Capitalist, his readers, and MoneySense. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say so, but this is a good thing. Bloggers (at least the ones I know) are about as far from “unconditionally supportive” as it’s possible to get. If we disagree with what another blogger is saying or doing, we say so!
- Mr. Cheap disagrees about insurance with Thicken My Wallet and Riscario Insider
- Mike tells the Baglady her ads are annoying
- Mr. Cheap and Mike disagree about a real estate investment strategy
- The Canadian Capitalist asks me what was I thinking when I went 58% on margin
- Mr. Cheap spends a whole post telling Squawkfox why she’s wrong about debt (then hits on her and makes comments about her underwear)
- Potato tells Rat “You’re Nuts!” after Rat details his leveraged investing strategy (many other bloggers pour into the discussion and dump on Rat)
- Mr. Cheap and the Canadian Capitalist disagree about children
- Big Cajun Man calls Mr. Cheap a hypocrite (to be fair, I think he’s joking)
Few things amuse Mike or I as much as the other one being on the receiving end of a blistering attack. My favourite e-mail off all time was in response to Mike’s post on “The “Myth” of Weekly Mortgage Payments” and read: “What’s wrong with paying mortgage off faster. Fuck off you dumb, fat, fucking pig.” I still giggle every time I read it.
The reason why we were so supportive of the Canadian Capitalist is we realize that we all have multiple reasons for blogging. Even if our “mixture” of these reasons is different from the Canadian Capitalist’s, we understand why he did what he did and why it’s a good thing for everyone: CC gets some money, MoneySense gets some exposure, and readers keep getting free content.
Some of the reasons why we blog include:
An Independant Voice
Some blogs certainly exist to provide a counter-point to traditional media. The Canadian Capitalist is an excellent example of this, and even it he has some other reasons for blogging, that doesn’t discredit the work he’s done on promoting passive investing, explaining new Canada-specific investment vehicles and skepticism about certain real estate and dividend investing strategies.
Consumer Reports, NPR and PBS all try to avoid advertising, but instead you get regular “pledge drives” where people consuming the content are expected to pay for it (or subscription fees). Personally I’d prefer CC to re-brand his site with MoneySense instead of starting to guilt-trip us to send him a few bucks (which he has never done).
Part of blogging is for money. Often this will be pitched as “to cover hosting costs”, but the reality is that hosting is pretty cheap (there are a number of free options) and many of us are making money above and beyond hosting. Are teachers, doctors and firefighters not helping society because they draw a pay check at the same time that they do their worthwhile jobs?
I make $20 / post here at Four Pillars, and *I* think I’m worth every penny of it. I think Million Dollar Journey is making the most in blog revenue out of Canadian PF blogs and I don’t think any of us resent him for it: we try to learn from him.
I don’t think cash is the entire motivation for any of us. I can make far more than $20 programming in the time it takes me to write a post, but there are other things I enjoy about blogging that make up the rest of the incentive. I suspect this is the same for all other bloggers too, even the ones who are doing much better financially.
Every blogger has their own perspective on ad styles, sponsored posts, donation requests, specific advertisers and where to draw the line.
Blogging can get your name and ideas out there and sometimes lead to further non-blogging opportunities.
SquawkFox and Preet both leveraged their blogs into other opportunities. SquawkFox used her blog to help her get a book deal, while Preet used his to help him get a TV show. Good for them!
I’m a total comment whore (and will be quite sad if, at the end of the day, there aren’t any comments on a post I’ve written). Part of the joy of blogging is to get immediate feedback on the ideas you’ve written, and to be able to interact with readers. I don’t always respond, but I read every comment left on a post I’ve written. Beyond commenters, it’s interesting to see your page views and realize that a ton of people have taken time out of their day to consider what you have to say.
This post got too long. Come back on Tuesday, May 4th for 5 more reasons why we blog.
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