Retirement Investing Today is also meeting the Objectives personally set which includes:
- Holding myself accountable. By publishing my philosophy, strategy and progress measured against these I have to stay the course and can’t stray from the path. This reduces the risk of my failing to achieve early retirement.
- Continuous learning about economics and personal finance. To be able to publish unique up to date content regularly I am “forced” to continually data mine and expand my knowledge base.
- Share what I have learnt over the years, including my mistakes, so that you can conduct your own research and learn about unfamiliar topics which might affect your wealth creation. The emails and comments I receive tell me this is occurring.
- The reciprocal of point 3 which is to gain information from you that force me to go off and do more research about a topic I clearly don’t know enough about. I can definitely confirm that this is occurring.
To achieve the site you see and meet my objectives I typically invest 12 to 15 hours per week. This covers data analysis, writing the posts, publishing the posts and keeping the site free from the continual spam attacks which you hopefully don’t see. My daily commute plus day job currently then fills around 60 hours per week. The two combined leave me with little time for further published content if I am to keep my current day job pace (which is necessary as it forms part of the Save Hard portion of my philosophy) and also allow some time to spend with my family.
Which brings me to the point of this post – Blogging for Money. I already earn a very small amount of revenue which covers the costs of running the site but it’s not enough to give me a “salary” of any description. It doesn’t cost you the reader anything but is achieved via:
- Adsense. If you click on any of the AdChoices in the right hand side bar I receive a small amount of revenue.
- Amazon. If you click on any of the links within The Books That Helped Me tab below the main site banner and then go on to buy something with Amazon I receive a small amount of revenue.
- Sponsored Posts. I post a very occasional Sponsored Post which has been written by a Freelance Writer working with an Agency. Unlike most sites I clearly label these as a Sponsored Post so that you the reader know what you are looking at.
Now to my dilemma. This site is a hobby that I love. I enjoy the research, the data crunching, the writing and the engagement with you the reader through the comments. It would be a dream to expand the content published and grow the site even further however I’m not prepared to spend less time with my family to do that. What I am prepared to do is try and reduce my day job however I also do not want to sacrifice my early retirement target which is now due to be with me in a little over 3 years. The one option I see is to try and increase the passive revenue earned by this site. This would be achieved by something behind the scenes that you don’t currently see. In addition to the great emails I receive from readers is many requests from Agencies to publish information on the site in exchange for money. Today 99.9% of these are not taken up with these requests taking a number of forms which would include:
- Sponsored Links. This is where I write a completely original post as you would expect to see today but somewhere within the post I carry a link to another site. These would be clearly labelled as such.
- Sponsored Posts. This is what you currently occasionally see published and labelled as such already. There would just be more of them.
- Banner Advertising. These would be advertisements published in the sidebar and possibly at the base of posts. Again they would be clearly labelled as Advertising.
I acknowledge that blogging will never make me rich and I have no intention of turning the site into one big advertisement as this would destroy all of my objectives for running the site listed above. At that point I might as well shut the site down. My fear is that if I did start to ramp up the advertising a little that I would alienate you the reader which mean I keep objectives 1 and 2 but would destroy objectives 3 and 4.
This is where I’d like to turn the post over to you. If I was to increase my passive revenue while clearly labelling when something is not wholly my work would you stop visiting Retirement Investing Today? Would you lose respect for the site and not trust what was being presented? I am nervous of heading down this road because having running this site for over 3 years I’m very aware of how much of the mainstream media is in my opinion now thinly veiled advertising presenting content from vested interests. I’m also very conscious of many so called personal finance blogs run content which is really not much more than a continuous stream of sponsored posts. Neither of those things is what I or Retirement Investing Today is about. It would be great to hear your thoughts.