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Monday, May 1, 2017

What Makes a REALLY Good PF Blog?

Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 2, 2007

I love personal finance (PF) blogs. I really do. I just realized a while back I can’t keep up with all the new ones. So unless I get a link from someone I or I see a link on a blog I do read, I don’t explore much. Yet that other night I came across a reference to The Simple Dollar and I went over the site to read a post. About 30 minutes later I added the blog to my blogroll and subscribed to the feed. The content was THAT good.

So that got me thinking what makes a good blog? So far I’m still working out the details of what seems to work and what doesn’t, but generally here is what I noticed.

Good blogs:

  1. Tell stories. The just don’t write a general how to post, they infuse it with their own style and experience to change a normal post into something more.
  2. Cover the PF from the dark side. Some bloggers know debt and hopelessness intimately, so they can motivate other to change because they understand where they are coming from.
  3. Cover a wide band of information. Yes they do the hardcore PF topics, yet they also cover the more obscure ones that are barely related to PF. Life is complex and so blogs should reflect this.
  4. Don’t go over the top with technical details. They keep each post down to earth so anyone can get it.
  5. Are about the topic and not about the writer. They may use the writer as an example, but the blog isn’t about the writer’s life.

That’s my thoughts on what makes a REALLY good PF blog. I know I have a long way to go myself, yet it is nice to see others doing well and inspiring me to keep working at this blog. If you have anything to add to the list please leave a comment.


7 Responses to “What Makes a REALLY Good PF Blog?”
  1. guinness416 says:

    My big one (as a reader, so I don’t really have a dog in the fight) is the quality of the comments section. Which is probably one thing a blogger can’t control. Many (most?) bloggers are ordinary joes and janes, so I like to read the comments for corrections, devils advocate positions, experiences, how it works in other countries, etc. The Simple Dollar’s content is okay, but his experience is limited and it often shows, but I think a lot of his comments threads are really excellent.

    I also like good writing. There are several moneyblogs in my reader simply because they’re such good, entertaining writers.

    And god yeah, I think your point 3 is key.

  2. telly says:

    I’m going to strongly agree with guinness on the comments section as well.

  3. SavingDiva says:

    I really like pf bloggers that are extremely open with their own finances. I also love charts, end of the month expense reports, and increasing net worth.

  4. The Simple Dollar is also good b/c he has a format/template and he sticks to it. Gives the blog predictability.

  5. mariam says:

    The Simple Dollar is “beyond” a normal blog. He’s just a machine. I don’t know how he keeps on churning those articles out and all are very well thought out but tackled with a different angle. And he’s not a “nuts and bolts” kind of guy which appeals to the masses. I think if people want that, why not just go to a real financial advisor? Bottom line, I think people want the humanity.

  6. Canadian Dream says:


    You have a point. Comments are really completely beyond the control of the writer. Some times we get a good debate on a topic and sometimes we don’t get any feedback at all. I suppose really good blogs also develop a sense of community that you can’t just create overnight. It has to grow.


    Some bloggers can do that. I really don’t know how. Some days it’s a pain for me to just come up with five posts for a week.

    Thanks everyone,

  7. FourPillars says:

    I think the comments are important too. They are one of the big reasons that I started my blog.


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