March 17, 2010, 6:48 am

What is So Wrong With Making Money?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online
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Last week, Canadian Capitalist announced the merger of his blog  partnership of his blog with the well known finance magazine Money Sense. I was actually quite happy for him as I know how many hours Ram puts into his blog and the passion and dedication it requires to keep up a blog alive (posting 5 days a week) for the past 5 years.

In fact, it was the very first time where I felt that I was doing something right with The Financial Blogger and what kept me going was to get mentioned on his blog and to see the amount of traffic it had brought me. This is when I realized I could become a “real” blogger and make my site grow. Canadian Capitalist was literally the spark plug for my “blogger career”.

Unfortunately, there are some readers who complained both on Canadian Capitalist and on Four Pillars (where the author mentioned that he was supporting Ram). Readers claimed they were disappointed, that they thought Ram was an independent blogger, that they didn’t like the feel of having the aura of Money Sense around their (his?) blog. To those people, I have only one question to ask:

What is so wrong with making money?

I just don’t get it. When I started The Financial Blogger, I wrote it in plain black & white that while I was passionate about finance and while I want to improve my English writing skills, I was also there to make money. It has always been one of my goals over the past 3 years and I am not ashamed about it.

I run a few ads, I plug a few products (which I think are good) once in a while in order to help me reach a higher level of financial independence. I’ve always mentioned that I would never want TFB to become like a Nascar, but a few ads is the compromise I am willing to live with.

Blogging requires a lot of time

I think people sometimes underestimate the amount of time it requires to maintain a single blog. In my case, I wake up every morning at 5am, spend 30 minutes while having breakfast to look at stats, comments and emails. Then, I jump in the bus and write non stop for 45 minutes. During the day, I use my Blackberry to keep track of what is going on. After my day shift at the bank, I get back in the bus to write for another 45 minutes. Then, I come home and take another 30 minutes to clean-up my emails, check stats and comments.

I work at the bank 4 days a week and use fifth business day to work on my blog. I have subscribed to a few newsletters and money magazines to inspire me and I also spend time over the weekend to do ramblings or discuss with other bloggers.

I am not writing this to complain or in the hopes you pity me. I have made the decision to live like this and I enjoy it; Big Time! Having said that, you may try to appreciate that if you spend a minimum of 2 and a half hours  per day on something, you would definitely like to generate a few bucks out of it.

I know for a fact that Canadian Capitalist refused several advertising offers because he didn’t think they were a good fit with his blog. Today, I now trust his judgment while deciding to merge with Money Sense. I would have probably done the same in his position!

Final thoughts

I am truly honoured to be read by so many people and I am flabbergasted each time you comment on one of my articles (I actually wish for even more comments 😉 ). I am doing my best each day to provide quality and entertaining articles so you will come back and read my next article tomorrow. However, I think it is my right as a blogger to decide if I put in a few ads to make a couple of bucks from my passion.

So congrats on Canadian Capitalist for making a great business move!

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I agree. Those whiners should have at least let Ram publish a few posts after the joint venture before passing judgement.

TFB, I really love your blog. Every morning I sip my “Starbucks” Non-Fat Grande Cappuccino and read your blog. Yes, continue on making money I am really inspired by your story, your advices and tips, your work, your live and your family stories!! Continue on your great work!! And congrats to Canadian Capitalist 😉

N.B. forget the whiners… it’s not worth it!

Thanks for the vote of confidence FB. I personally feel that readers will benefit from the partnership. It allows me to focus on writing the blog and less on the back office work involved in running it, which as you know is substantial. I know the readers will come around to my point of view eventually. Cheers & thanks.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 17th, 2010 (9:26 am)

@ CC,
Having to manage several blog on my own, I can appreciate the time and effort included in the back office of a blog!

I am pretty sure that you will have time to write even better quality articles!

I’m with you on this one.

I don’t think that anyone can argue with your points, but you can also understand their original concerns. 1. potential bias. 2. Complete design change. 3. Ads now overshadow content.

It would be nice if I could blog for free but the economics of the time involved mean I need some compensation for it. If people knew what I earned PER HOUR that I work on my site they would realize I get paid less than minimum wage. Its a labor of love but love that gets financially compensated.

I would love the day where I could truly do this as my full-time job. The only way that could happen was if I was paid. Some people don’t want that.

I can see where there might be some conflict of interest but truly its a rare thing for someone to give out a product for absolutely nothing.

If I only had to worry about content then I would have an even better site! I can’t speak for anyone else but I’m sure many would like that as well.

Amen. I used to agonize over making money off my blog – “will adsense make me look cheap” – etc. It took me years to realize that providing this content is hard work and I shouldn’t feel even vaguely guilty about attempting to be compensated for it.

It is true.. blogging takes A LOT of time. Nothing wrong with earning some money from one’s hobby.

I just tend to click off when bloggers just talk about affiliate products, or sign up for this 0% credit card etc. Boring stuff.

Chances are, anybody with a pulse within the Canadian personal finance blogosphere realm heard of CC’s partnership with MoneySense. I won’t say too much b/c I’ve already commented on it on his original thread but like TFB said, this is a cat who has literally grinded it out for years publishing post after post. The guy never even had a chance to get used to the new branding in his own skin and people were all over him. Sure, there are ads but if I recall correctly, his site was a 2-column before the transition and I don’t think there should be an issue in making some money if it can be done. i think a lot of the original structure is still well intact.

Whether its Four Pillars with a great archive dating back to 2007, MDJ with over 10,000 readers, or TFB owning several blogs, I think every blogger brings good elements to the table one way or another and ensuring that solid personal finance related information is being published to the masses on a regular basis. If bloggers can make a bit of money doing it, what’s wrong with that? We start off independent, and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with seeing another brother get ahead so to speak.

Wow, I didn’t hear about the merger until now. I like the new look with moneysense. I respect moneysense as a financial magazine- it’s one of my favourite reads. I agree with you that he shouldn’t be criticized.
Blogging is really really time consuming (I spend 2.5+ hours daily too! And that’s only with 3 posts per week- don’t know how that happens, but it does haha), and I think it’s okay to try and get compensated for the time you put in, ESPECIALLY when you’re just starting up (or at least hope to get the money you put into maintaining the blog, back!)

Thanks for putting the word out and standing up for your friend. =)

My take on this is that when people who are used to one thing, get surprised with another, they take one of 2 sides: for or against. Personally, I don’t think its about the money at all. Perhaps, some of the commenters felt such a close connection with the Canadian Capitalist that the news of the partnership with MoneySense took them by surprise and maybe they felt a little left out not knowing about it in advance? I think, much like Ram’s comment above, that people will eventually get used to seeing (or maybe even tune out) Canadian Capitalist as one of the MoneySense blogs and this will be a non-issue going forward. Just my two cents….

by: The Financial Blogger | March 18th, 2010 (4:32 am)

I understand that some readers may be worried to read more “sponsored posts” or see biased opinion. However, I think it was a premature reaction since nothing changed so far (besides the layout).

Speaking of which, it doesn’t hurt to see a few colors on this theme 😉

I want to clarify that I have a partnership with MS, not a merger. I continue to own the blog and all its contents.

Re: the issues that Brian has raised:

1. Potential Bias: If anything I have less bias than before. If I never ran ads before, you have a point with bias. But I used to run ads and as any blogger will tell you, you get requests to write about certain topics. My response always has been: “no”. It’s exactly the same now except that I don’t even know who the advertisers will be. The advertisers deal with MS, not with me. And I retain complete freedom to write what I want in the same manner that I did before.

In the blogging world, all I have is the reputation I’ve painstakingly built over the years and do you really think, I’ll be risking that by claiming something that I can’t deliver on?

2. Ads and Design: Yes, the design has changed. Yes, there are valid complaints and yes, I’ll be working on fixing as many as possible. You should already see improvements and RSS and email subscribers won’t even see any change.

Its just their silly sense of entitlement. They think that they read the blog and somehow they are the kings/queens that have to be satisfied. Little to they know that it is the blogger himself that has the right to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 18th, 2010 (12:20 pm)

@ CC,
thx for the clarificaiton, I’ve just updated my article to reflect the partnership, not the merger!

Well said. Congrats to Ram for “making it big”. He’s certainly an inspiration to me, a very small-time blogger. Very true, blogging does take time and even more to be well-written, knowledgable and credible. Nothing wrong with earning some money from your hobby or passion for that matter. Congrats again Canadian Capitalist…which reminds me, I need to read your blog today! Cheers!

Very interesting… I’m considering this very thing… like who to advertise, why, etc. I’m trying to remain completely independent at this time, but I see the benefit of promoting things I believe in and to receive a little help would be nice (for my time). We’ll see… any recommendations of who’s easy to work with, etc.?


by: The Financial Blogger | March 24th, 2010 (4:27 am)

@Doctor Stock,
It depends on what you want to do with your site. For your site, I would go with Adsense and INO, they should be good seller 😉

if you have more specific questions, drop me an email a thefinancialblogger(at)gmail

Thanks so much… I may do so soon!

Its service to people that the blogger provides. You work in a bank, so you are sharing your knowledge of money physics to us. And its entertaining. Learning money is entertaining.

I hope to starta blog soon about investing in stocks soon, once I get my thoughts together.