Blogging Your Way to Retirement Goals
Some companies promote their books, DVDs, and products by sending them to well-known bloggers in hopes they will write about them online. "Sometimes when a company comes out with a new product, they'll actually tell bloggers ahead of time and use buzz marketing to promote their products," says the author of My Money Blog. "A lot of book publishers have contacted me so I can review" works about to be published.
Creating a new kind of community. Many personal-finance bloggers link to one another's websites and regularly comment on other blogs. Some even talk on the phone. "It gives you a conversation that you might not be able to get otherwise," says the author of My Money Blog. "A lot of strangers know me better than some of my coworkers."
Bloggers may discuss investment decisions they are considering, and commentators aren't usually shy about giving a thumbs-down on what they think is a bad move. "If you get something wrong, people will let you know," says the Free Money Finance blogger.
The conversation can involve people all over the world. "I try to make it interactive and make people want to come and share ideas," says Jeffrey Pritchard, 37, a financial planner in Beaumont, Texas, and author of All Financial Matters. The author of Consumerism Commentary, a 30-year-old man who works for a financial services company in central New Jersey, says, "I ask questions, and people can visit and give their suggestions, especially about retirement."
Saddling yourself with a lot of work. Blogging daily can be a big commitment. Many bloggers write enthusiastically for the first several weeks, but the blogs that make money and receive lots of comments have fresh content every single day. "It's not easy to talk about money every day for everyone," says the author of My Money Blog. Says Jeff Hanson, 42, a partner with Ohio Innovation Fund in Omaha and the author of Your Way Ahead: "Find a subject that you feel passionately about, and don't focus as much on making money. I think if you go into it with the intention of making money, people will see that."
Lori Woehrle, 48, the Washington, D.C.-based author of Tuna on Rye, a blog about "the sandwich generation" of people who are struggling to raise their own children, care for elders, and plan for retirement at the same time, faithfully sets aside an hour between 9 and 10 each night to blog after her daughter is in bed. "Finding the time to really make a commitment to it," she says, "can be a challenge."