Today, Elementum Money celebrates it’s first blogiversary. In all honesty, I have started many things in my life and left them half way. With Elementum Money, considering it is my third attempt at blogging, I was sceptical initially. But, after a year of having done this, I just feel far more committed to the blog than what I did initially.
Why did I start blogging?
I have now been a marketer for the last 8.5 years, with the last almost 5 years of marketing being in banking. It was while being in banking that I started getting more interested in all things personal finance – not just the conventionally adrenaline-pumping world of investments but even the often considered boring products like Home Loans. After some research, I realized, Certified Financial Planner was a course that seemed right up my alley.
Between the third and fourth exams in CFP, I knew that this would be all in vain if even after clearing there was no outlet for the pent-up personal finance passion. One of the first personal finance blogs that I had ever discovered was Budgets Are Sexy (It still remains a favorite). It sort of opened the floodgates to the world of personal finance blogs that I saw flourishing in the US.
I started researching and tried to see at least some equivalents in India. What I found were blogs that were either too technical or poorly written or badly veiled sponsored content. For me, Elementum Money was born out of what I felt was a gap in Indian content and a need to keep close to my passion for personal finance while keeping my marketing day job.
What has the blog done for me?
Blogging is not easy. Even with enough time, effort and resourcefulness, your results can still make you feel inadequate at times especially when you compare it to the amount put in by others. But, with 130 posts under my belt, irrespective of the numbers, blogging has been a fantastic yet a humbling experience for me.
My writing has improved
Hands down, this is one of the best results to have come out of my consistent blogging schedule. I know bloggers are divided down the line between a fixed schedule and publishing a post when it is ready irrespective of the number of hours it requires, but the only way my blog hasn’t become dormant is a fixed schedule. A schedule is what has forced me to even wake up at 4 in the morning to put the finishing touches before publishing this post before boarding a 7 a.m. flight. A schedule is what has made me write and publish 130 posts with an average of 1321 words each and a total of 171,687 words! If that doesn’t make me a better writer, not sure what would :-/
I am a part of a global personal finance blogger community
It’s an open secret that most Indians crave for global work exposure. That’s why getting job opportunities overseas feels like a dream come true to so many of us. For me though, Elementum Money has been a win-win in that matter. While being in India, I feel like a full-fledged part of a global work community. It has led to some delightful Twitter conversations, drooling about Fincon, great digital friends and a wonderful collaboration with these ladies for Women’s Day. While sometimes the balance between not letting social media take over my life and being able to socialize with the global community can be tricky, it has made the journey for Elementum Money real sweet.
My reading has gotten an impetus
I have always been a reader. But sometimes, life takes over and reading can be relegated to a sideline. Elementum Money and my decision to have a dedicated Book Babble section has given me a very strong impetus to keep reading. Also, with this category, I end up using the Feynman technique of trying to compress complex books into simple to understand posts. It is a hell lot of work as it often requires two levels of note making but it’s also a refreshing and enriching task for my brain which I end up really enjoying.
Top 5 posts
Within the 130 posts written so far, some fare better than the others. I see that pattern in my posts too. Here are the 5 posts which have brought a lot of people to the site so far. Click on any of the titles to read the posts.
It might seem odd to see a post warning about social media addiction as the top post on a personal finance blog. However, the newly crafted personal growth section caught the attention of Drew from FI Introvert when he donned the hat of Guest Editor at Rockstar Finance and this post got me a Rockstar Finance feature! The good thing is that it’s also one of my favorite posts as the topic is something I am very passionate about. My deliberate attempts to disconnect from social media continue.
This post became quite a favorite for me as it unconsciously taught me a thing or two about SEO. I remember a few months back when I kept seeing this post in the pages visited even though it was published in November last year. One day the numbers got quite crazy and Search showed up in a big way in my referrers. I squealed in delight (yeah, I sometimes do that) while at work and called my team member to search on Google for “why retirement planning” and there in the top 5 results was my post. It was one proud moment for me!
This was one of the first posts which suddenly zoomed up. Written in April, it was one of the quirky personal finance posts that I like to write from time to time. One Sunday evening in May, while in a mall with my husband, I got a WordPress notification that my stats were booming. When I checked I realized that the pin for this post had been picked up by a Pinterest influencer with 100,000+ followers making my blog a beneficiary of her generous act!
“Pay yourself first” is probably a done to death concept but I still think there is huge merit to talking about it, especially in India where personal finance is nascent and just beginning to wake up. While I am still not very certain as to the major sources of traffic for this post, it’s been a good mix.
Who doesn’t like to save money? Between earning or saving more, this is the easier path to wealth which explains the behemoth of frugality and money saving blogs. In this post, I talked about 7 areas where small measures had helped me save money. Like a lot of saving ideas most of these were relatable and easily implementable, leading to its popularity.
What does next year look like?
For starters, I am working on a professional design on the website. While I thought I had planned to have it live by the time of the blogiversary, looks like it will be somewhere close to my birthday later this month.
Apart from that, I am looking to continue with a comfortable schedule of posting a Personal Finance post on Mondays and Personal Growth on Fridays.
While thoughts of monetizing the blog cross my mind at times but then the amount of work it would take to do so make me disembark that train of thought. In the foreseeable future, my life could get more hectic with a longer commute for sure. I would rather focus on the core activities of the blog, which includes research and writing good content while engaging with other bloggers and readers.
If you have followed this journey for even a short time, I would love to hear from you. If there are any suggestions for what you would like to see on the blog next year, that would be welcome too.