Monday, March 02, 2009

Claiming My Niche: a Two Year Anniversary

The very first post on Money and Such was published on February 27, 2007 - two years already. Time flies when you are having fun... and what a couple of years to be writing about personal finance, am I right?

My first post was about my investment philosophy, i.e. buy-and-hold index investing. Over the past 18 months that was quite a painful philosophy to stick to, but we're staying the course believing that in spite of all the pain, and possibly because of it, this strategy will yield the desired results in the long run. If you're worried about the market just remember: "past performance is no indication of future results"...

Money and Such has not taken the world of personal finance blogging by storm, nor did I expect it to (although I might have secretly dreamed that it would). There are many personal finance bloggers out there and many of them crank out high quality materials and do a killer job of getting the word out about deals and bargains and are simply fun to read. Still, even though there are hundreds of personal finance bloggers out there, I believe that Money and Such fills a relatively under served niche in the blogospehre. The way I see it, most personal finance blogs focus primarily on the basics of educating the public on how to start taking better care of their personal finances. The topic is well covered by well informed, talented writers, whose blogs are far more popular than Money and Such will ever be.

At Money and Such, I write about the topics that are of interest to me, which tend to be slightly more complex than what I find on other personal finance blogs. Yes, I write about investing, but I try to tackle a little more advanced topics such as diversification strategies and the impact of dividends. I write about the economy and economic policy. I am not an economist, but I am a lawyer and MBA by training and my views are colored by my industry experience of what works and what doesn't. They are also colored by my bias against government intervention in the markets, except for by means of well crafted regulation - which is why I recently spoke out against government imposed salary caps

At least once a week I typically write a post about career planning - my career is important to me, and I devote a lot of time to thinking about it and analyzing it. I also try to observe the careers of those around me to learn what works and what doesn't. This type of observation led to such posts as the true value of two incomes and avoiding dead-end career paths. Oh yes, occasionally I have been known to go on a little rant that's completely off topic. That's one of the privileges of having your own blog... 

So what to expect from Money and Such? Pretty much more of the same. I like the way this blog has been evolving and the topic mix so far. I expect to continue posting 3 or 4 times a week. How long will Money and Such be around? Don't know. I fully expected it to disappear after a few months, but it sort of became a habit. It's still fun and it will keep going as long as it is.

With that little monologue, let me solicit your input. Any advice on where to take this blog? Things that you would like to see less or more of? New topics that you would like me to cover?Should I finally get my own domain name, and if so, how the hell do you set-up your own website? Let me know by jotting down a quick comment. Thanks for stopping by and please come back soon!

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Dana said...

You should definitely get your own domain and hosting, and get out of the blogger setup.

Like many people, I would suggest Wordpress, since you can easily customize your site with a number of plugins that will make it more unique than the ubiquitous blogger template. Most bloggers are working off of Wordpress, so you can see what is possible out there by clicking on a few popular blogs (most of what's on your blogroll).

I was able to set up and go with Wordpress in about two weeks with my current site (not that it has reached anywhere near its potential).

Also, owning your own domain name is a good idea after renting from blogger for two years, a milestone in your blogging career, perhaps? Guides for acquiring domain and setting up Wordpress are only a few google keystrokes away. Otherwise, let me know if you want any pointers, I can pass on what I know.

Lastly, congrats on your two-year anniversary. I like how your blog stands out with its professionalism amidst the personal finance bloggers, and think you could benefit a lot more people with more exposure.

Matthew said...

Congrats on the anniversary Shadox. The surest way to improve your blog's popularity is to pander to the lowest common denominator. I'm glad that you don't.

This blog fills a niche that isn't heavily populated. I tend to gravitate to the "white collar" PF blogs like yours rather than all the "blue collar" blogs that focus on debt reduction, savings, and frugality.

Keep up the good work. You've officially bested my tenure... I though in the PF blogging towel after a year and eleven months.

Shadox said...

Dana, thank you for the kind advice and for your kind words. I think it may be time to jump into my own domain. Now there's just the small matter of finding the time to get into this thing.

Matthew, periodically you will notice a lull in my posting schedule (the most noticeable being in early 2008). Sometimes I grow a bit tired of blogging, but for the most part it's still really fun. I appreciate the compliments.

What can I say, I have never been in debt. Never believed in it. So, I have very little to teach folks about getting out of it. I also think that the benefits of frugality, for the most part, are overblown. It's not skipping that cup of coffee that will improve your financial lot. Getting to a more financially stable position probably has more to do with the house you own / rent and the car you drive than with your morning latte... I think I'll write a post about that at some point.

frugal zeitgeist said...

No real recommendations; I love you just the way you are. Congrats on hitting the two year mark. May there be many more to come.

The Digerati Life said...

I love how you have such intelligent arguments and make me think twice about my position on some things. Keep up the awesome work, Shadox! I think if you're serious about blogging, and thinking you'll be doing more for a long time, then getting your own domain and using Wordpress are great ideas. By doing so, you can accommodate traffic growth.


Mr. ToughMoneyLove said...

Congrats on the two year anniversary. Moving to your own domain is change and sometimes change itself is a good thing. Keep up the good work.