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What topics are trending nowadays in the personal finance blogosphere? Let’s see:
- Steps on how to get out of debt;
- To pay off debt or save for an emergency;
- How to save on utilities;
- What is more efficient a debt snowball or snowflake (would anyone like a snow shovel?)
- Why saving for retirement is important;
- How to stick to a budget.
The more I read, the less I believe that not eating out will increase my retirement savings and will help me stick to the budget while saving on utilities. You get the picture, right?
I believe that because of the enormous surplus, the constant flood of so many blog posts, our writing has become boring. It has become a substitute for Ambien.
I am tired of reading feeble, repetitive blog posts that do nothing but tell me what I already know. Aren’t you?
When I scroll through my reader, my eyes glaze over, and I shut the reader down because I can feel that a painful longing is building up inside me. I long for something inspiring. Exciting. Different. Something that makes me want to comment, that makes me think, question, laugh out loud. Something that is real.
Do We Think That Our Readers are Stupid?
Sometimes I think that we, bloggers, are fearful people. We are afraid of ourselves. We are afraid to be honest, different, opinionated. We are afraid to express. We are afraid to step up to the plate because we think that our readers won’t understand it.
I have huge respect for my readers. I believe that they are smart enough to figure out by now how to create a budget, how to save money, and how to make sure not to get into debt over a six pack of beer.
The personal finance blogosphere is not teaching anything new anymore. We present repeated information, and bundle it with unnecessary words. And we think we are doing great. At some point we stopped caring, stopped being passionate about what we write. We became the perfect embodiment of cliche:
a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.
Even if our readers are beginners in personal finance, believe me they are not stupid. They have life experiences that taught them many of the rules that we keep broadcasting in our blogs. I don’t think there are people out there who do not know what a budget means or what saving for retirement involves.
We undermine our readers’ intelligence, trying to explain to them how to save money on groceries by clipping coupons, reduce gas consumption by using public transportation, and save money for a rainy day because “stuff” happens to people. Most of all, we are wasting their time, and this I consider unforgivable.
No Fresh Ideas to Write About
When we become sterile and sanitized in our writing, we simply run out of ideas.
If you ever have tried to write two-three times a week (or more), you know how difficult it is to come up with something entertaining, educating and refreshing at the same time. It is much easier to take the same old ideas and give it a new spin. The problem is that that spin we are giving is neither original nor fresh.
As an avid blog reader myself, I have to admit that I keep returning to those blogs that have a story and personality behind them. Those blogs show emotion. They are engaging. They are full of life.
Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Embrace your flaws and insecurities. Start showing us who you really are, and you will be surprised by the abundance of topics that will start pouring out of your head. Life is much more interesting than any textbook.
Smart can be boring. Personality and effort matter. Try it!
I am going to stop here. Maybe my expectation threshold is raised to a high level by the number of blogs. Maybe I am just tired. In any case, consider this post my rant of the month.