Welcome to Meet the Blogger Mondays. Last Monday we featured *Clever Dude* and today’s post features *Stephanie* from *Poorer Than You*.
You can see the questions highlighted below and then the responses taken directly from *Stephanie* .
Why did you start blogging?
I had been reading personal finance blogs for a few months, and I was already a long-time personal blogger, but it didn’t really occur to me to start a blog about my finances until I hit rock bottom, when I dropped out of school due to the financial strain.
How long have you been blogging?
I’ve had personal blogs with odd musing and rants since I was 14, so it will be 7 years this April. I started my finance blog just over a year ago, in January of 2007.
Are you a part time blogger or full time blogger?
I feel like my finance blog has helped keep me motivated in my life – in more than just my money matters. I know if I continue to write for it and build it up, I can also achieve my other goals. Also, the feedback I get from the site is irreplaceable – I have no idea what I would do without my readers to bounce ideas off of!
Do your loved ones know about your blog?
Nearly everyone in my family and all my friends know about my blog, but only a handful of them read it. I take my blog as seriously as other activities in my life, such as school, work, and clubs, so it’s not something I would want to hide or stop myself from talking about – it’s a big part of my life right now.
Do you disclose real numbers on your blog?
Yes, absolutely. It keeps me honest. And, frankly, I don’t have the energy to make things up!
Are all the posts true events or do you make up stories?
Most everything is true or is a dramatization of a true story or conversation. I sometimes combine conversations I’ve had with several friends as if I just had the conversation with one person, to make it easy to read. I find the best lessons come from the things that really happen in my life.
What three bloggers inspire you the most?
Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar. He manages to so consistently write so much good, useful content, that I’m always amazed.
Seth Godin has a huge knack for headlines that I wish I could emulate – I don’t think there’s an article of his that I ever skipped, based on the headline.
Trisha from Blogging Away Debt was the blogger that made me realize I could write about my own personal finance journey and have it be interesting to other people. I’m still enthralled by her story and her drive to completely eliminate her debt – I’m cheering for her every time she posts!
What is the most important thing you want your readers to take from your blog?
That money management is worthwhile. I have so many friends who don’t bother, don’t want to bother, and don’t see the benefit at all. And while that’s a choice that everyone is free to make, I want to at least show people how it truly has changed my life, and it really hasn’t been a big effort at all. Just knowing what my money is doing has made all the difference in the world.
What do you wish you knew before you started blogging?
I wish I’d known that my full name would become attached to my personal finance blog. It’s not so much that I mind, or would have written things differently, I just felt unprepared for it.
Track what you spend! It’s the simplest, easiest thing to do in the world, and it makes all the difference. Everything else in your financial life will be easier and go better if you just keep track of how you spend your money.
What is the best thing about blogging?
The greatest thing about blogging is the very nature of it: instantaneous publication. It used to be that finding a way to get your writing out to people was a big deal. Now, with some very simple setup, you can reach large numbers of people as often as you can put out content! It removes a huge barrier for writers.
What is the worst thing about blogging?
The instantaneous nature of it, and the fact that it’s limited to the written word can often mean that things get misinterpreted. What you mean may not always come across in what you say, and sometimes we tend to forget that any post we write might be the first post someone reads – they won’t have the background information from the rest of the blog. It can be frustrating at times.
What would your readers be most surprised to find out about you now?
How truly wacky and insane I am. Just like people in real life are completely surprised to find out I have an interest in (and write about) personal finance. “You? But you’re such a nut! How do you sit still for long enough to write about that?” I’m largely considered the “clown” in most groups, but I don’t think I come across that way in my blog!
If anything, I hope to become better at merging those two parts of me in the blog as I continue to write. I’ll probably never be like Nick from Punny Money, but I hope to be able to inject a lot more humor into my writing.
What are your plans for the blog in the next 12 months?
I’m hoping to grow an active college-aged audience. More than anything I hope for reader participation – my favorite posts are the ones were I answer a direct question, because I know that I’m benefiting that person, and everyone else that’s wondering the same thing. But mostly, my goal for the blog is to continue to learn how to manage my own financial situation and to keep writing about it. To stay the course – that’s really my goal.
End of Interview
Thank you *Stephanie* 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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