Category Archives: BLOGGING TIPS

All things blogging-related!

How to Start a Blog, Write Great Posts, and Get Noticed

I started FinanceSuperhero a little over one year ago. One day I was a personal finance super fan who read a dozen finance blogs, and the next day I was a personal finance blogger myself. It has been a wild ride full of success and lessons learned the hard way, but my choice to start a blog of my own was one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

There are hundreds of guides on the internet which will teach you how to start a blog of your own, and most of them are good. I read several of them myself before launching this site.

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own blog, plan to start one soon but don’t know where to begin, or simply find yourself curious about the process, I want to offer you something different: a step-by-step guide which will show you how to start a blog AND write content that will get noticed by readers.

In the space that follows I will share with you the exact steps you can take to start a blog of your own using WordPress, one of the most popular platforms available today, and Bluehost, the web host I use to run FinanceSuperhero. Once we get your site up and running, I will also walk you through the process I used to create a static home page, my About page, the thought process I use to write much of my content, and how I share new content with readers.

Many bloggers create watered down guides like this with the goal of boosting their affiliate income. Some bloggers charge hundreds of dollars for similar step-by-step guides. But in the spirit of paying it forward, I want to provide it for FREE. If you’re ready to start a blog and get noticed, let’s get started!

Want to start a blog? Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the technical aspects, teach you to write great posts, and get noticed by readers fast! Learn about the best free plugins to install right away, how to write great posts that will grab readers' attention and keep them coming back again and again, and share your content with confidence and skill using Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest! Other guides hold your hand through the tech process and then leave you on your own. We'll show you EVERYTHING you need to do to get started the right way.

STEP 1: SET UP YOUR BLOG

The first step to starting a blog is choosing a basic web host to run your blog. Many people opt to start with free options, but I recommend starting with the most affordable package with Bluehost from the very start. You will avoid the major headaches of transferring your blog to self-hosting if you avoid free platforms. And Bluehost offers a 30 day money-back guarantee if you decide to change your mind.

If you follow this link, Bluehost will provide you with a free domain name for one year just for signing up. Selecting your domain name can be a challenging process, but if you have a strong vision for what you want your blog to focus on, it can go reasonably quickly. Bluehost offers a helpful tool to help you choose your domain name.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

For example, suppose you are a young mother who is into spreading the message about the benefits of minimalism. Using key words that relate to your idea, we might decide on MillennialMoneyMom. It’s incredibly catchy, uses alliteration (which is always good), and honors the rule of the threes. But it might be a bit challenging for some readers to spell correctly, and it is a bit long.

After putting the name in the Bluehost domain checker on the left in the screenshot above, I was given a list of alternative suggestions. It turns out “themillennialmoneymom.com” is available, so let’s use that for our ongoing example. Again, I would stick with all of the basics, but if you want to protect your identity as the owner of your new website, the “Domain Privacy Protection” is a worthwhile investment at a very low cost. Site Backup may also interest you, but free plug-ins can do the job just as well once you’re up and running.

After you complete the information form, you are officially a website owner!

STEP 2: INSTALL WORDPRESS

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticedThere is a reason that WordPress powers a majority of the world wide web. It is quite user friendly, reliable, and customizable.

To install WordPress after setting up your hosting with Bluehost, go back to the Bluehost homepage and login using your domain name and password that you set-up during registration. Logging in will take you to the  control panel, or cPanel. Once there, click on the WordPress icon under Website Builders to install WordPress.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

Next, click the Start button.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

In our case, we want to install WordPress on a new website, i.e. the new domain we just set up. Choose your domain and click Check Domain.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

After the installation is complete, you’ll be taken to this screen:

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

Input all of your information for your new blog in the windows shown. Be sure to leave the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” option checked, then click Install Now.

Congratulations! WordPress is now installed.

STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR THEME

One of the distinct advantages of running WordPress is access to several high-quality themes to make your new blog look great from the start. Many free themes are easily customizable using plugins (more on that later), but you can also opt to choose a paid theme through Mojo Marketplace.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

Once you have browsed available themes and selected one, navigate your way to the login page and sign on. (You can also reach this page anytime by visiting www.yourdomainname.com/WP-admin) This will take you to the Dashboard for your website. At first, the Dashboard may appear a bit intimidating, but you’ll get the hang of it in little time. This YouTube video is helpful if you want a quick tutorial.

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

 

From the Dashboard, you can create Pages, write Posts, upload Media, customize your site’s Appearance, and add Plugins.

Congratulations! You are an official blog owner!

STEP 4: LAYING YOUR BLOG’S FOUNDATION

Now that you have your blog set up, the real fun begins! It will feel like you have so much to do to get your site up and running, but remember: nobody knows about your site but Bluehost and you! You have time on your side.

Most “how to start a blog” guides take new bloggers up to this point and leave them to figure out the rest themselves. I’m going to go several steps further to help you build an aesthetically sound blog that will get noticed.

At this stage, I recommend navigating to Plugins and downloading and installing the following basic, free plugins for your site:

  • JetPack (Monitors your site for free, among many other features)
  • Akismet (Blocks SPAM comments on your posts)
  • HTML Post Editor (You won’t want to use this right away, but it will come in handy later.)
  • Image Widget (Useful way to add images to your sidebar)
  • SumoMe (The easiest way to help readers subscribe to your blog in the early stages)
  • Social Media Feather (Allows readers to share your posts on social media)
  • WP Super Cache (Helps your site load faster – a big factor for readers and your ranking with Google)
  • Yoast SEO (The best way to make sure that your posts are SEO friendly)

Other bloggers may suggest other plugins, but these should be sufficient to help you get started with most themes.

Next, go to the Settings menu and select General Settings. On this page, you can be sure your site name is listed as you wish it to appear; you will also want to select a catchy tagline to let readers know what your site is all about. In our case, we might go with this:

Site Title: The Millennial Money Mom

Tag Line: A Minimalist Approach to Money and Motherhood

You will also want to take this time to update your e-mail address, be sure that the box “Anyone can register” is unchecked, set your time zone and date preferences, and click Save Changes.

At this point, you should shift gears and create a simple header graphic to display in your header (i.e. the top portion of your site). A simple, clean logo in your header lets readers know that care enough about your business to invest in your site’s appearance. In your Dashboard, navigate to Appearance, then Customize, then select Header Image. My theme recommends a header image of 1600×230 pixels; your theme may be different.

I created the logo for FinanceSuperhero using Canva, a free platform which allows users to create eye-catching graphics. Start by visiting the site and creating a free account. Next, click Create a Design, then select Use Custom Dimensions in the upper right corner of the page. I spent five minutes choosing a friendly color scheme, testing fonts, and creating the header image below:

how to start a blog, write great content, and get noticed

When you are finished with your design, download it as a PNG file from Canva and upload it as your new header back on the Customize page.

STEP 5: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH READERS RIGHT AWAY

Now that you have built a visually-appealing website which welcomes readers, it’s time to build upon that and create an unforgettable first impression. This is where many “how to start a blog” guides leave new bloggers wondering to do next.

Other bloggers may disagree, but I believe creating a static home page which welcomes readers and introduces yourself in a personal way is the best way to build trust and rapport with readers and create a blog that gets noticed.

Why does this matter? The odds are very high that what you are writing on your blog has already been written before by someone else in the past. You aren’t plagiarizing, but you are offering your own ideas on your topic based on your unique life experiences. That is the value you offer your readers, and if you don’t help them get to know you early on, you’ve likely lost a potential reader.

To set up a welcoming static home page like the one I created for FinanceSuperhero, navigate back to the Appearance menu, then Customize, then select Static Front Page. You will create a new page to serve as your home page. I recommend adding a picture of you and your family (if applicable) to help your readers know that you are a real person. It’s OK to be open with your readers about your experiences, struggles, and triumphs. Transparency is key!

When you are finished with this page, reuse a majority of its content to create your About page. Not all readers will find their way to your static home page, so your About page will serve as a resource to help readers who find your site in other ways get to know you.

STEP 6: CREATE AND SHARE CONTENT

In the earliest stages of blogging, I remember many of my friends using their blog as a sort of public journal. Blogs were a place to put your stream of consciousness into written form and share it with others.

While some bloggers are very successful with this approach, bloggers in most niches should strongly consider taking a different approach. In the year that I have written on this blog, I have noticed a strong trend: posts that tend to be all about me are not very well-read and shared, while posts that are geared towards entertaining or helping readers do very well.

Please don’t misread this. I’m not suggesting that you write dry, instruction manual-like blog posts. You should mix in a steady dose of personal stories, opinions, and humor. But your readers most likely have one question in mind when they’re reading your blog – “How is this going to help me or make my life better?” If your post doesn’t do those things, readers will look elsewhere.

Is great content really that simple? Yes and no. In my opinion, great posts help readers but also provide concrete steps and motivation to take action. In outline form, an awesome post might look something like this:

  • Interesting story, statistic, or question that introduces your topic
  • Central idea or action statement
    • Supporting idea or step #1
    • Supporting idea or step #2
    • Supporting idea or step #3
  • Conclusion with summary of ideas and a final reminder to take action

Add in an attention-grabbing post title, and your post is nearly complete!

The final step to start a blog that will get noticed is to actively share your content with others through social media. In general, Twitter is the best way to connect, share, and collaborate with other bloggers. Facebook is a sound way to build some early momentum by sharing your blog with your friends and acquaintances on your personal Facebook page and inviting them to “like” a page created specifically for your blog. In my opinion, Pinterest is the single best way to reach people all around the world with your blog. Combined, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest a powerful triple threat that will help you get noticed.

If you’ve started your blog, use these links to  connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

START A BLOG AND GET NOTICED TODAY!

If a teacher/realtor like me with slightly-above average tech skills can start a blog, experience success, and even make money, so can you! The steps above are lengthy, but if you follow them I am confident you will start a blog that reaches readers, helps them live a better life, and provides you with a great sense of purpose as a blogger.

If you’re ready to start a blog for yourself, get started and grab your free domain with Bluehost today!

Want to start a blog? Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the technical aspects, teach you to write great posts, and get noticed by readers fast! Learn about the best free plugins to install right away, how to write great posts that will grab readers' attention and keep them coming back again and again, and share your content with confidence and skill using Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest! Other guides hold your hand through the tech process and then leave you on your own. We'll show you EVERYTHING you need to do to get started the right way.

FinanceSuperhero Turns One – 10 Blogging Lessons From My First Year

This is not an April Fool’s Day joke! FinanceSuperhero.com celebrates its first birthday today, April 1, 2017. I can hardly believe that I started blogging one year ago. It has been quite a year of ups and downs, successes and failures, and lessons learned for both me -the author of this site- and you -the reader (at least I hope you’ve learned a few useful things to help you Take Back Control of Life and Money).

I started this site on a whim after finally listening to the encouragement of my wife, Meg, during the last week of March 2016. “Why not?” I figured. I had plenty on my mind about money that I could share with others. Starting a site was really inexpensive, so I had little to lose. And I already had a few adoring fans – I could count on my wife, mom, and a couple others to read my blog!

Since then, working on and building FinanceSuperhero has been a wild ride. At first, I set out to “Restore Order to the World of Finance” but I realized I wasn’t really sure what that even meant. But I kept writing, continued learning, and eventually refined my focus. I wanted to quit and shut down this whole site a few times – and I almost did once or twice – but I’m glad I pushed through the dark times when it felt like nobody was reading.

Today, I am more committed than ever to helping as many people as I can to “Take Back Control of Life and Money” one post at a time. I still don’t have all of the answers, but I now know that I do have the ability to help readers form a game plan to win with money.

The 10 Biggest Blogging Lessons I Learned in Year One

In the one year that FinanceSuperhero has been live, I have learned a lot about blogging. I’ve learned through trial and error, seeking feedback from more seasoned bloggers, and a few helpful guides and courses.

If you’re a newer blogger or a veteran blogger who feels like you’re spinning your wheels, I hope the following lessons I learned will help you.

1. Never be embarrassed to tell others about your blog

Some people prefer the anonymity that blogging allows, and some people are just plain too shy or embarrassed to tell others about their blog. I found myself in the second camp for the first several months after launching this site. Now I tell almost everyone I meet about my blog, share a short elevator pitch, and move on to other conversation unless they express interest.

I spent far too long keeping FinanceSuperhero a secret and trying to be somewhat anonymous about my identity. A certain amount of mystery works and is even charming for some bloggers (like Mr. 1500 at 1500Days), but it’s not for everyone. Your readers want to connect with you, and if you’re going to build a relationship with them, a name and a face are a great start.

2. Other Bloggers Are Your Friends, Not Your Competition

Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but collaboration and helping others has always come naturally to me. But I have seen some bloggers fail because they kept to themselves too much. There are two reasons why I think this is a major mistake.

First, you probably aren’t writing anything that hasn’t already been written. So keeping everything to yourself and never engaging with other bloggers isn’t helping you keep any grand secrets. It just makes you look anti-social.

Second, the internet is a vast, massive frontier. There is more than enough space for everyone. So you should be selflessly promoting the heck out of others’ work even if they don’t do the same for you. People will notice your altruism, and eventually people will help you, too. And if they don’t? You’ll still be a better person.

3. Have Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

When you start blogging, few people will get it. Don’t let them squash your dreams. You should create a list of short-term and long range SMART Goals to help you stay on track. Some of your goals should be attainable, but a few big stretch goals are good, too.

Related: The Power of Setting Financial Goals

4. Writing is Only Half the Battle; Marketing is the Other (and More Important Half)

Here’s a riddle for you:

If a blogger writes the best blog post ever and nobody is around to read it, does it really matter?

Maybe the riddle doesn’t exactly parallel the philosophical though experiment of the tree falling in the woods, but you get the idea: People won’t find your blog on their own. You have to help them find it.

Social media is a blogger’s best friend. Use Twitter to connect with other bloggers, make a Facebook page for your blog, and join as many blogging groups as you can on Facebook using your own personal account.

And please, don’t make the mistake I made for about the first 9 months of this blog’s life. DO NOT NEGLECT PINTEREST. Learn the ropes right away. Create beautiful pinnable images for each of your posts, join group boards, and help others share their content, too.

Small Business TipsWhen I first started using Pinterest, my pins were atrocious (see the image to the right). I probably thought pins like this would appeal to Pinterest users. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if you can’t even read the text under the main title on the image to the right. And the color scheme is ridiculous. And you’ve probably seen that stock photo in the background a million times.

Today, my pins have improved greatly. I search far and wide to find unique and relevant images for my pins without violating any copyright laws. All of my pins use complimentary colors, text overlays, and are fully readable (see the pin below). I create my pins using Canva, but you can use PicMonkey, Powerpoint, or any other program that suits you.

With Pinterest, you only have two or three seconds to make a good impression and convince a would-be reader to click your pin and get them to your site. If you have attractive pins and awesome content, you have a good chance at landing a new subscriber. If you pin awesome content to solid group boards – I recommend BoardBooster to help with this – you will gain new readers every day.

The first year of blogging is the hardest. These 10 blogging lessons will help you grow and build your site whether you're a new or struggling blogger.

5. Your Site’s Appearance is Important

Many bloggers, myself included, tend to focus a lot on content, which is good. Strong content will keep readers coming back for more. But your site’s appearance is just as important – if not more important – as the quality of your content.

Spend time creating a logo. It doesn’t require any fancy skills to create one using Canva. It will likely be the first impression you make upon your readers.

My first logo and tag line were very vanilla.


Several months later, it got a little better.

Today, it has improved even more.

Also, be sure to spend some time working out your navigation menu. If doesn’t make sense to new readers and help them find what they’re looking for they will never come back.

6. Find Your Voice

Every blogger has their own unique voice. Find your own voice as soon as you can and stick to it. Don’t try to emulate other bloggers. Most of us have done it here and there, and it’s not helpful. Be yourself.

7. Give Your Readers What They Need

When a reader visits your site, they are usually looking for one of two things: to be entertained or to find solutions to their problems. If you’re not providing what they need, they’ll move on to find it elsewhere.

For example, if I spend half of a post talking about myself without providing awesome entertainment or a good reason to keep reading until the practical advice payoff point, I’m failing my reader.

8. Write for the Right Audience

On a related note, be sure you are writing to the correct audience. It is important to know to whom you are writing, how they need help, and how your experience and knowledge bridges that gap.

9. Find Your Focus

When you start a blog, it is important to find exactly what you want to write about. This may take a while, but for me, writing became a lot easier once I realized that I want to help people Take Back Control of Life and Money by helping them Save Money, Make Money, Invest Money, and manage all of the complexities of Life and Money.

10. Remember That You’re Always Helping Someone

Even if it seems like nobody is reading, you need to remember that your blog is always helping someone. You never know when you’re making a difference for someone who is reading your blog.

Over the past year, I have had many friends, family, and strangers reach out to share that something I have written helped them win with money. In the first year of this site’s existence, people from over 150 countries on six continents visited and have read articles. The internet is amazing.

You Have What it Takes to Start Your Own Blog

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re not a blogger. I was like you for a long time. I read sites like Financial Samurai, Mr. Money Mustache, Budgets Are Sexy, and a few others and often wondered if I could do it myself. (Then a few months later I was featured on Budgets Are Sexy.)

If you’re not a blogger but think you have something to offer the world, don’t wait to start your blog. Do it right now. It's easy and it only takes 20 minutes. You can choose a domain, set-up hosting with Bluehost, and integrate Word Press and start writing today all for less than the cost of your weekly breakfast at Starbucks.

The Journey Continues

Blogging is one of the most rewarding projects I have taken on so far. Starting this site helped me recapture my love for writing, find purpose, and fill my desire to help people Take Back Control of Life and Money. The journey is just getting started here at FinanceSuperhero, and if you’re still reading, I thank you for being a part of Year One. And if you’re just getting started with your blog or struggling to gain traction, I hope the blogging lessons above resonated with you and helped you realize that YOU CAN DO THIS!

Here’s to an exciting and eventful Year Two,

David


Bloggers, what lessons did you learn during your first year blogging?

The first year of blogging is the hardest. These 10 blogging lessons will help you grow and build your site whether you're a new or struggling blogger.

It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees!

This post, “It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees,” is a review of author Cara MacMillan’s book by the same title. This review is not sponsored by the author or Halcyon Consulting Publication, and all opinions contained in this review are mine. However, Finance Superhero did receive a complimentary copy of the book. To purchase your copy of the book, visit Amazon.


The odds are good that you heard the phrase often as a kid:

Money doesn’t grow on trees!

 

Cara MacMillan challenges this notion and countless other money assumptions throughout It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! Inspired by interactions with two of her college students, MacMillan crafted the book in the form of a narrative which takes place in a college classroom. A fictional guest professor, Catherine, leads students through a multi-day discussion surrounding money and its wide-ranging impact upon life.

"It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees" provides a close look at common money assumptions and challenges readers to think critically about building wealth.Chapter One illustrates an important idea which rings just as true in the real world – we all have our own unique views and definitions of money, which tend to come from our parents and other cultural influences. MacMillan clarifies a strong basis for the remainder of the book: money is simply a resource that we all use for exchange purposes. Though this idea is simple at its core, money remains a complicated subject.

As classroom discussion unfolds in each chapter, a wide variety of financial worldviews are explored and challenged by the students. Each step of the way, the characters in the story connect their beliefs on money to their personal values. The conversations flow naturally even as characters explain foundational financial concepts such as bond grades, mutual funds, and dividends. MacMillan carefully navigates discussions of faith and finances and presents characters’ beliefs with care. The students and professor discuss universal concepts and find common ground.

Throughout my reading of It’s Only Money and It Grows on Trees, I found myself asking many of the questions MacMillan intended for readers to consider:

*Why am I not rich?

*What do I need to learn?

*Do I need to change my thoughts and actions?

*Can I do it?

*Where can I go for answers?

*Can I balance my money and climate change?

"It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees" provides a close look at common money assumptions and challenges readers to think critically about building wealth. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about managing money the right way.As Catherine and her students explore financial topics such as needs vs. wants, frugality vs. cheapness, budgeting, and starting home based businesses, most readers will naturally identify with some characters and disagree with others. At the same time, the discussions consider various viewpoints and will challenge readers to question their own assumptions and deeply rooted financial beliefs.

Readers who spend considerable time reading and think about their finances may find It Is Only Money to be basic at times, but this appears to be by design; MacMillan strives to illustrate that personal finance need not be complicated whenever the story allows. As a result, her work is likely to appear to anyone who is interested in building a better financial future and open to changing patterns of behavior.

Overall, It Is Only Money is an entertaining look at financial beliefs and paths toward building sustainable wealth. Most readers will find new inspiration to seek better management of their finances. As Joshua, a student in the class, says, “Financial management is a gift we give ourselves, and when we get to wealth, we can give back even more. We can give back our time and our skills to really make a difference.”

For more information, please visit CaraMacmillan.com. When you buy your copy of It Is Only Money, 10% of the proceeds will go to support refugees of Climate Change.


Have you read It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees? Share your impressions or any questions you may have in the comments below.

September 2016 Blog Report

Today’s post is the sixth monthly blog report on FinanceSuperhero. So it only seems fitting that we celebrate with a half-birthday cake.

A blog report for FinanceSuperhero.com for the month of September 2016, including reflection, statistics, and a look ahead to the future of the website.

It is hard for me to come to grips with the fact that this little website has been around for 6 months. I launched it rather reluctantly at the urging of Mrs. Superhero on April Fool’s Day 2016. In spite of what some may think of the articles, this project has not been one big joke to me – I have loved every second of time spent on crafting articles, engaging with readers and other bloggers, and learning new things about the world of finance.

If you are reading this, thank you for your interaction, kindness, constructive criticism, and support, all of which have helped this little blog grow. I began this website with a lofty goal Restoring Order to the World of Finance – but also for my own personal entertainment and enjoyment.

If I have helped even a small handful of people restore order to their financial world, I consider my mission accomplished. Yet, as Oprah Winfrey said, “This is a great day, and we’re just getting started!”

September in Review

Back in early September, I established a simple and singular goal for the blog:

GROWTH.

I didn’t shoot for any specific numbers, dollar amounts, or new subscribers. I just wanted to see growth. The concept of setting such a vague goal was very uncomfortable for me, yet it just felt right.

On September 1, FinanceSuperhero’s Alexa ranking hovered around 490,000 globally. I was very happy to see this number grow organically over time. To be quite honest, I didn’t think it would be possible to reach that ranking level without a feature in Forbes, Business Insider, or Rockstar Finance. So I really didn’t expect to see that number improve much.

As of October 4, FinanceSuperhero’s Alexa ranking has improved to 326,929 globally and 49, 978 in the United States. Cheers to growing in popularity within a country well-known for its mishandling of money, I guess! Again, this occurred without any of the aforementioned features. On a side note, on the off chance  you’re a Forbes editor and you’re reading this, let’s talk!

via GIPHY

In other news, FinanceSuperhero continues to be profitable. I’m not ready to quit my day job or evening job at this time, but I’m pleased with the income generated by this little project. And as Matt at DistilledDollar has so eloquently pointed out time and time again, I have profited financially from this project in ways that are in no way related to blog-based revenue.

Looking ahead

For October and beyond, I’m going to stick with what is working: I hope to see more GROWTH. I hope to keep learning more and more each day. And I hope to make you, the reader, think a little bit differently about life and money.

In the next week, I am counting on inspiration to strike while Mrs. Superhero and I enjoy a much-needed respite in Las Vegas. If I don’t gamble away our life’s savings –OK, who am I kidding? That’s about as likely as Donald Trump releasing his tax returns today– I should return next week with a slate of new articles. By the way, make sure you come back Friday for an intriguing guest post!

Here’s to the future of FinanceSuperhero and Restoring Order to the World of Finance!


How was your September? Did you accomplish your goals? What goals do you have for October and beyond?

The Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 8

Each Saturday, The Legion of Super-Posts chronicles a number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

The Legion of Super-Posts

In this week’s issue:

The Lucky Ones – Grizzly Mom and Dad

I am always on the lookout for new bloggers to follow, and thanks to Pete at Mr. Money Mustache, I stumbled upon a new blogging couple fairly early into their journey. Grizzly Mom and Dad are a couple who grew up in middle class families, received college educations, and earned high paying jobs. They wrote,

Most people are idiots, and we woke up to this fact over the past year and a half. Our jobs, our high salaries, our house, our cars, our stuff – nothing but a ever growing pile of chains. Golden chains but chains nonetheless.

Top 5 Productivity Tips: Add More Hours to your Busy Day – Aaron at Income Honcho

Time is the great equalizer which levels the playing field in many ways. In order to do more, it is necessary to increase productivity. Aaron provides excellent tips to do exactly that.

What I Learned By Donating And Giving Away Nearly All Of My Stuff – Michelle at Making Sense of Cents

Based on twisted Western logic, most people subscribe to the idea that more money = more stuff. Michelle is one of several bloggers who rejects this idea despite earning a king’s ransom through her blog. She wrote,

We don’t miss anything, we don’t feel like we need anything – we are happier and much more carefree now by living with less stuff.

Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer – Mr. Crazy Kicks

Mr. Crazy Kicks shares a fascinating story about his purchase of a bike and its long-term impact on his thoughts and life.


Have a great weekend everyone!

The Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 7

Each Saturday, The Legion of Super-Posts chronicles a number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

The Legion of Super-Posts

In this week’s issue:

Risk Appetite – Don’t Consume the Sh*t They Feed You – The Code to Riches

Paul writes, “Any financial advisor worth his/her salt is going to discuss risk appetite with you.  They’ll sit down at your dining room table, with a fancy briefcase and slight air of superiority. . .

And then they’ll talk about your investment options, expected return vs. reward, yaddah yaddah yaddah.  And then they’ll tell you one of the most detrimental things your finances will ever have to suffer through:

“Whatever investment choice you make, you have to make sure that the amount of risk you’re taking willallow you to sleep at night.”

…and that’s where they’ll get you.

3 Things EVERY Financial Plan Needs – Hope and Cents

Alaya writes,

There are many different worthwhile financial goals one can pursue.

And for each one of those goals, there are various paths that lead you there. Whatever your big-picture goal is, and whatever method you are using to achieve it, there are three essential things your financial plan needs.

In fact, I will be as bold as to say you likely won’t meet your goal UNLESS these three things are incorporated into your financial plan.

5 Things I’ve Learned About Successful People – Millennial Money Man

Like only he can, Bobby lays out what he has observed about successful people and how he aims to implement in his own businesses.

The Time Has Finally Come – The Mad Fientist

In an oldie-but-goodie, The Mad Fientist writes about his feeling on the precipice of leaving his job. “Even though it feels like finally crossing the finish line on this journey to FI, I realize this is only the first stage of a much bigger voyage. A self-directed life of freedom and unlimited possibilities begins for me on August 1st and I have to say, I’m very eager to get started.”


Enjoy the weekend everyone! I’ll be enjoying a relaxing weekend on vacation with Mrs. Superhero and our friends? What are your plans?

Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 5

Each Saturday, The Legion of Super-Posts chronicles a number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

The Legion of Super-Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this week’s issue:

How to Build a Stronger Brand For Your Business, Blog, or Career – FinancialSamurai

Who am I kidding? There is no way you missed this post! On the off chance that you did, Sam has crafted the “How to start a blog/business/enterprise” post that every business-minded person has always waited to read.

I started this blog after lurking on Sam’s site for years, and I am consistently amazed by how he continues to give back to the blogging community.

6 Tips For Teaching Your Kids The Real Value of Money – Kara Masterson, Guest Post at ThePracticalSaver

The educator in me will always have a soft spot in my heart for kids. Youth are truly our greatest societal asset, yet here in the United States, most school systems and parents teach their children virtually nothing about me. Kara suggests six very wise tips to teach kids the value of money in hands-on ways.

Investment Risk is More Than Losing Money – Apathy Ends

When I look at my investment performance from time to time, I am reminded of a family member who feels that investing is too risky. Her fear has led her to invest money solely in CDs and savings bonds – yes, you read that right: savings bonds! I wish I could convince her to read this excellent article by Mr. AE, as it captures the real heart of assessment risk.

7 Priceless Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Money – Michael at Financially Alert

In a very inspirational post, Michael shares how his father, a CPA, slowly yet surely taught him to manage money wisely. Because of his father’s wisdom, Michael was able to retire early while only in his mid-thirties.


Enjoy the three day weekend, everyone. Happy Labor Day!

 

 

The Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 4

As part of the qualitative shift and related goals I established in my July Blog Report, I launched a new weekly feature in August here at FinanceSuperhero:

The Legion of Super-Posts

Published one day later than usual, this post chronicles number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

You can review previous issues here:

Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 1
Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 2
Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 3

In this week’s issue:

Making Smart Decisions – A Short Version of the Process! – Vicki at MakeSmarterDecisions.com

I find myself returning to this pillar-like post by Vicki from time to time when I have decisions to make. Though I haven’t encountered too many difficult decisions lately, I anticipate several will arise in the next year or two – as a result, I am aiming to prepare myself to undergo the process that Vicki has so eloquently explained. If you haven’t read this oldie-but-goodie, what are you waiting for?

1500 Days: Bringing Out the Worst in People Since 2013! – 1500 at 1500days.com

A short excerpt is all that is needed to convince you to check out this outstanding and hilarious piece:

My buddy Jim wrote a post last Tuesday about trolls. He was inspired by an article about us that went viral and showed up on Yahoo!. Like every other personal finance success story, the trolls came out in force. No bother, seasoned bloggers know not to look at the comments.

While I don’t entertain their vitriol, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the trolls. I mostly feel sorry for them. One of my goals for the blog is to inspire people to live a better life. However with some people, I’ve only succeeded in inspiring them to reveal the ugliest parts of their personalities. Most of the trolls are probably OK folks, but the anonymous nature of the internet brings out the worst.

The Problem with Simple Living – Kallie at PretendToBePoor.com 

Kallie writes:

Simple living used to be a euphemism for resisting over-consumption. Living on less certainly makes life easier. Cutting the stuff we don’t care about, like pedicures and elaborate birthday parties and toddler tee-ball, saves so much time and money. “Simple living” in this sense allows us to be a one-income family and do volunteer ministry.

Recently, the terms simplicity and minimalism seem to encompass all of life—your time, experiences, relationships, possessions, work—everything. I agree with so much of this thinking. Cultural trends to over-schedule kids in lots of extracurriculars, stay hyper-productive at all times, or work crazy hours to pay for crazy stuff are bogus and need to be challenged.

But why do I leave the simplicity articles feeling frustrated by my not-so-simple life?

Our 5 Favorite Money Saving Travel Tools – Greg at ClubThrifty.com

Mrs. Superhero and I are currently deep in the planning stages for an October trip to Las Vegas (our first!), so when I came across the above headline in my inbox, I was very intrigued. I have checked out all of Greg’s suggestions and am happy to share that his words of wisdom will save us money on our trip!


Have a great Sunday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

The Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 3

As part of the qualitative shift and related goals I established in my July Blog Report, I launched a new weekly feature in August here at FinanceSuperhero:

The Legion of Super-Posts

Each Saturday, I will chronicle a number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

Related: Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 1 and Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 2

In this week’s issue:

This One Simple Act Gave Me Control of My Finances (and Left Me Debt-Free) – Francis John at MyBreadMoney

Francis John writes:

Many of us have taken the backseat in our financial journey and have placed money (the unconscious driver) in control, to manage itself. Can you really get to your desired destination with this approach?

55 Fun and Fabulous Fall Date Ideas that Cost Less Than $15 – Becky at FrameToFreedom

In a recent goal setting post, I set a goal of spending more time with my wife and being intentional about taking her on one date per week. I was thrilled to find a notification about Becky’s post in my inbox this week and genuinely found her recommendations to be unique and interesting.

What My Orchard Teaches Me about Investing – Preston at TheDrunkMillionaire

Preston shares the four lessons he has learned about investing from starting an apple orchard.

Work-Life Balance – The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman and the Banker – Jon at BeNetWorthy

I’m not very good at work-life balance. I tend to tip the scales heavily in favor of work. Reading Jon’s piece led me to pause and think about my choices, and ultimately showed me that I am doing what is best for my family. He writes:

Parables are not about real events, but merely stories intended to illustrate an underlying truth or to provoke thought. In the context of a business school setting where people are making major life choices, this parable was particularly relevant and I think it’s relevant to any discussion of personal finance issues.

The fundamental issue it raises is, how to know when you have enough and can start to focus more on family, friends, and community instead of just focusing on your career and making another buck. There’s no easy answer and many people have gotten it wrong.

Money, Achievement, Fame, & Suicidal Ideation – PhysicianOnFire

PoF crafted a fascinating examination of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time. He writes:

The comeback story is impressive. His talent and resolve are remarkable. But to me, the victories and medals aren’t the story. It’s where he was two years ago, and how he ended up there.

5 Simple Rules We Live By To Stay Debt Free – Mr. CBB at CanadianBudgetBinder

In response to an e-mail he received from a reader, Mr. CBB provides a shot of motivation and clarity. He writes:

You can take a large debt and turn it into a debt free empire that will free you from the number one worry most people in this world are slaves to, money.

When you become debt free you automatically have created money rules that you’ve lived by over the years and know they work so you will continue to live by them. Why change something that isn’t broke, right?

Take Advice From People Who Have What You Want – J. Money at BudgetsAreSexy

J. Money, in his usual style, offers straight-up, non-sugar coated advice:

You gotta surround yourself with people DOING the stuff you want to be doing! And *actually* doing it too, btw, not just talking or blogging about it 😉

$2 Worth of Plastic Bags are Teaching Me about Breaking Bad Habits – Emily at JohnAndJaneDoe

I read many, many blogs each week, but Emily has clearly emerged as one of the most introspective bloggers I have encountered. In this piece, she shares how she made meaningful changes in response to a small mistake that many of us would easily gloss over without much thought.


Enjoy these posts, and have a great weekend!

 

 

The Legion of Super-Posts – Issue 1

As part of the qualitative shift and related goals I established in my July Blog Report, I am excited to launch a new weekly feature here at FinanceSuperhero:

The Legion of Super-Posts

Each Saturday, I will chronicle a number of posts which piqued my interest due to their uniqueness, insightful analysis, or emotional impact. I hope to share articles which you may not have read during the week while enhancing a sense of community and promoting other bloggers.

In this week’s issue:

I Got Married! And I’m Still Debt-Free – Alyssa @ Mixed Up Money

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Alyssa and her now-husband were able to pay for their entire wedding by saving for six months. In her words, “We worked our asses off. And it was worth it. Every penny.”

The article is superb, but honestly, it’s worth reading just for the GIF alone. Trust me. And while you’re there, offer Alyssa and Mr. Mixed Up Money (that’s what I’m going to call him from now on) your congratulations.

Redefining a Middle-Class Lifestyle – SKA @ The Jolly Ledger

This article asked all of the right questions about a very difficult, even touchy, subject. An excerpt:

Over the past century, this dream has warped into an expectation about owning things and making money. It might be defined as being middle-class, complete with all its trappings. When you are middle-class do you have to buy a house? What kind of car must you drive? Do middle-class adults have to fund the college education of their children? Do their kids join every sport, league or club and pay the associated fees? How must you dress? How often must you eat out? What is the cost of being middle class? Why are we so emotionally attached to this idea of buying our way into a “successful” life? 

Avoid the 4% Rule to Stay a Millionaire in Retirement – Financial Libre

Up until a few weeks ago, Financial Libre was the best PF blog I had never read. Now, I’m always eager to read new articles as they are published.

In this post, FL writes

The allure is intoxicating: A simple calculation that tells you precisely how big your doughy nut has to be in order to retire…and never fear running out of funds.

But the siren’s wail has a dark side as well, and if you’re not careful with heuristics like the 4% Rule, your doughy nut can run across some pretty gnarly rocks in the economic seas. And nobody likes gnarly rocks on their nuts.

So many balls thrown at my face, and it was fun! – Steve @ ThinkSaveRetire.com

Steve touches on the finer points of everyone’s favorite childhood game and draws a powerful moral lesson in the process.

Tailwind and Boardbooster: Why You Need Both – Latoya @ Life and a Budget

This article will be very valuable to any blogger looking to learn the finer points of using Pinterest as a marketing tool. Prior to reading this article, I knew very little; now, I’m learning more every day.


Have a great weekend, and Go Team USA!