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Celebrating 3 Years of Blogging

3 Years of blogging about personal finance.  Significantly more than 300 articles.   It’s a big milestone we’ve just crossed with Full Time Finance.  Today I want to take the time to reflect on those 3 years.

It All Started Looking For Someone to Talk Too

Way back in September of 2016 I started this site with the intention of finally finding people to talk about finance.  My wife was tired of hearing me wax and wain about the latest tax law or investment opportunity.  The site was an opportunity for me to find like-minded people, learn, and talk about something I enjoyed.

Major Life Changes

Over the years my life has changed greatly.  My wife became a stay at home mom.  Then she became an entrepreneur while also remaining a stay at home mom. I changed jobs twice and increased my pay more than 30%.  Our net worth broached what some in the community would call barista fire, albeit that is not my goal.   IE. we have enough assets we could live on the bare minimum indefinitely. We started fostering children.  In other words, life has moved on considerably in ways I could never have expected.

Posting as the One Constant

And through all these life changes I have continued to post.  Essentially 3 times a week for the first year and 2 times a week ever since.   Topics have ranged from Market Analysis to Career Guidance to things like Credit card hacking.  You name it I have gone there based on my own interest.

Now here we are at the 3 year mark.  It’s an odd year so it may not seem as significant to some, but honestly, this one is big for me.  Why?  Frankly, when I started this blog I set a goal I never posted about.   That goal was to blog about personal finance for at least 3 years.

The 3 Year Goal

Why 3 years?  Well, it was a bit arbitrary but essentially when you purchase a hosting service the long term deals tend to be at the 3-year term.    So I signed up for 3 years, and being stubborn I committed myself to blog for at least 3 years.    I wasn’t going to pay for something I didn’t use.  

Bloggers Come and Go

To get started out of the gate I wrote 30 post drafts before I posted the first article.  So technically we are a little beyond 3 years at this point.  Over that 3 years I have seen many who started blogging with me disappear.  Some of them were even much more successful than I, and yet they just faded away.  Even posters that guest posted here have disappeared. I’d guess 3/4 of the bloggers that started with me are gone, and many that remain dwarf this site’s readership.  I’m looking at you POF.

It’s About the Community

But I digress.  This site has never been about making a side hustle income or having the biggest audience.    I set some moderate goals on-site readership early on which we have exceeded sometimes but not every month, and then at some point, I just stopped caring enough to measure.    I have just been happy to be accepted into this wonderful community and enjoy the discussions over the years. 

FinCon 2019

 In fact, as this gets posted I will be preparing to leave for the big finance conference Fincon where hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to finally meet some of you in person after so many years of corresponding.     In the spirit of that event, I do want to thank all those that have joined me in conversing over the years, it has given me great personal enjoyment.  Note there will be no post on Wednesday this week while I attend the conference.

Will Full Time Finance Continue?

So what are we doing now that my 3-year blogging goal is complete?  Is this the end of Full Time Finance now that I don’t have the extrinsic motivation of a prepaid hosting fee?  Well, no.    So first I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  At some point, blogging shifted from a sunk cost motivation to an intrinsic motivation situation.   First, the sunk cost motivation died.  Why?  My wife’s business needed email and a hosting service.  So the need for hosting is now a permanent thing blog or no blog.    

In fact, we changed hosting companies last week and set-up for another 3 years of service.  There is no sunk cost.  Now I will note this blog does offset the server cost and buy me a couple of cases of beer a year.    But honestly, I put more money into savings from a single work-day of my W-2 job then this site makes a year.  So nothing I’m doing here is about the costs or revenue.

Intrinsic Motivation Keeps the World Moving

Meanwhile, I’ve met so many great people and had such great conversations I have no desire for that to end.  So basically the intrinsic motivation of the blog is really what keeps me going.  Now I’ll be honest, I have periods where my life gets hectic and it’s hard to find the time to write.  Sometimes during those times blogging becomes like a chore.    I had one such time in April of this year, and I found a great solution.  I reached out to this wonderful finance community and received some great one a week guest posts to help me while my regular work life settled down some.  It was a life-saver, and again a big thanks to those who contributed over the 2 month or so period.  

Goals and Planning Still Required

I also have times where I hit writer’s block, which can be a struggle.    When these occur I sometimes wonder if it’s time to stop blogging.  So far though I have managed to push through and the enjoyment has returned.      So despite the intrinsic motivation, I do need to set another goal for blogging length to keep myself moving the next time things go a bit sideways.  I guess that’s the takeaway from this post, as I do always try to have one with every post.  Even if you are intrinsically motivated, goals have their place when things don’t go as planned.

I won’t tell you what that new length goal is except to confirm it’s measured in increments greater than months.   I will also confirm while I no longer have 30 drafts waiting to post, I still have 15.  So the topics will continue to flow.   I hope you will continue to read as we move into this new time frame.    It’ll be interesting to see how life changes as we move forward.

Thanks again for reading!

Should you decide you want to start your own blog, and my story doesn’t scare you, I’d greatly appreciate if you consider purchasing your hosting service via the below affiliate link. I now use Siteground based on fantastic reviews by others of the service. Should you choose to purchase via my link I may receive some remuneration from the hosting company, maybe an extra case of beer.

14 Comments

  1. Liz@ChiefMomOfficer
    [email protected] September 2, 2019

    Happy three years FTF! My three year anniversary is coming up next month. Like you, it’s been sad to see so many sites just disappear over the years. And POF dwarfs us all. 😃 Looking forward to meeting you in person in just a few days!

  2. Kari
    Kari September 2, 2019

    Congratulations! I’m only 4 months into the blogging journey and it’s so encouraging to read others who have taken this path. And a fellow Gen X!

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 3, 2019

      Welcome to the world of blogging. Stick with it. It is a worthwhile endeavor.

  3. xrayvsn
    xrayvsn September 2, 2019

    Congrats on the 3 year mark. Those who have never blogged truly cannot fathom what an achievement of making 1 year of blogging is, let alone three.

    It is sad when a fellow blogger disappears, often without advance notice. When you visit a site weekly or more you develop a bond with the blogger behind the website and it feels like a loss when they vanish.

    The average blog lasts about 6 months because people who think blogging is easy and a huge money maker will be severely disappointed with the results.

    Like you I had a stash of articles (I believe 30) I wrote the month before I went live. I am fortunate that I still have a decent reserve of posts so I don’t feel pressured to have to write something if something does pop up.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 3, 2019

      The backup stash really does make it much easier. Rather than pop out a post just to fill a spot I can wait a week until the spirit moves me. Then I just right 3 posts instead of 2. Look forward to meeting up later this week.

  4. Joe
    Joe September 2, 2019

    Congrats! It’s not easy to post 3x per week. That’s a lot of work.
    I’m sad to see blogs disappear too. It’s hard to keep going if there are no rewards.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 3, 2019

      Thanks Joe. How many years are you at? I know you predate us by a long time.

      • Joe
        Joe September 6, 2019

        9 years! Time really flies.

  5. { in·deed·a·bly }
    { in·deed·a·bly } September 3, 2019

    Congrats FTF, I applaud your persistence.

    I look forward to following along vicariously, so long as you’re finding enjoyment and value in continuing.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 3, 2019

      Thanks. One step in front of the other, or one day at a time.

  6. Erik @ The Mastermind Within
    Erik @ The Mastermind Within September 3, 2019

    Congrats on 3 years! I’m looking forward to chatting with you this week at the conference, and have enjoyed your content and stories over the past few years 🙂

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 3, 2019

      Look forward to seeing you there!

  7. Happy anniversary! Glad to hear you are still going. I am at 1.5 years though, I did recently rebrand. I understand a lot of what you wrote about – intrinsic motivation, the community, writer’s block & doubt. However, I keep pushing on because I feel called to it.

    Hope to meet you at FinCon!

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance September 8, 2019

      It was great meeting you, even if it was the last night!
      Keep on pushing and perhaps our paths will cross in the future.

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