You can see the questions highlighted below and then the responses taken directly from *Clever Dude* .
Why did you start blogging?
I started in June 2006. I didn’t even know really what a blog was until my friend (Nick from Punny.org) told me about his site.
How long have you been blogging?
20 months now
Are you a part time blogger or full time blogger?
Part-time, but it feels like full-time hours sometimes
What keeps you motivated?
I was just thinking of writing about this, but I’ll leave the short answer here. I enjoy sharing and educating others through my stories. I’m not known to be a good story teller, and I don’t always do enough in-depth research, but I think my honesty is what brings people back day after day.
Do your loved ones know about your blog?
Yes, they all know, but I don’t advertise out the URL anymore. As I write more about my background and experiences, I learn that I don’t want my family, coworkers and new friends to really read what I might write about them. Also, sometimes they read into a post that has nothing to do with them and think it’s about them. It can get dangerous personally.
Do you disclose real numbers on your blog?
Yep. My debt is my real debt. My traffic is my real traffic. Since some of my coworkers know about my site, I don’t reveal my actual income.
Are all the posts true events or do you make up stories?
I had considered making up stories when I had a tough time coming up with ideas, but I quickly shot that idea down because I want to stay honest. Honesty and openness are very important to me, and they’re not the same thing.
What three bloggers inspire you the most?
Nick from Punny.org definitely. I love his humorous tone, even though it can get rather raunchy. He reminds me of Dave Barry who used to write for the Miami Herald and has many books. Nick has admitted to Dave being his own inspiration.
Next would be SVB from The Digerati Life (http://www.thedigeratilife.com/) because she just has a great presentation to her articles.
Lastly, and as much as I hate to say it, would be John Chow (http://www.johnchow.com). I think you would also agree that he’s a help to us bloggers in making money online. I usually only like 1-2 articles per week of his and skip right over the rest, but I like his honest style. Is there a theme here with honesty?
What is the most important thing you want your readers to take from your blog?
That I’m not a total idiot…all the time. They may come to my site thinking I’ll be like Lifehacker or something since I call myself Clever Dude, but that name means nothing. I want people to walk away reflecting on my mistakes and learnings and seeing how they can apply it or change something in their own lives.
What do you wish you knew before you started blogging?
Well, I guess I wish I had a clear focus about my intentions with the site. Perhaps a business plan of sorts. However, the site was never intended as a business. I just wanted a hobby and I threw up an Adsense unit. Now I’m actually making thousands of dollars per year off the site, so I actually need a plan for it now.
What is your favorite money management tip?
Hmm, probably “Have a financial plan”. There’s a lot behind those 4 words. Don’t just spend, spend, spend and then try to figure out how to cover for all that spending. You need a plan and start with monitoring, documenting and understanding your financial inflows and outflows is the foundation to that plan.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Knowing that people are half-interested in what you’re saying.
What is the worst thing about blogging?
Knowing that people are only half-interested in what you’re saying. Oh, and coming up with articles during my slower periods.
What would your readers be most surprised to find out about you now?
Well, I’ve been pondering how to write an article that has been nagging me since the beginning. It’s something in my life that only a few people (and now a couple bloggers) know about. It’s something that would very much surprise people, and I want to use the opportunity to convey the proper message and education about the issue. Sorry to be so vague, but hopefully someday soon you’ll find out.
What are your plans for the blog in the next 12 months?
I guess this gets back to my problem of not really having a plan in the first place. I might set it up as an LLC, but I like the path I’m on with it for now and I don’t plan any big changes. I really want to get my wife writing more for her site, BuildingNutrition.com, which is why I’m not planning anything big for my own.
Thank you *Mike* for answering all of the questions. It was very interesting for me to find out these things about you since I follow your blog and I now feel like I know you better.
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