The Money Maniac (TMM): You are famous among personal finance bloggers with a fantastic name ‘Nickel’. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Nickel: I’m in my mid-30s, I have a full time job, four kids (all boys), and I’ve been blogging since 2005. I like candlelit dinners, long walks on the beach, and… Oh, wait a minute. Wrong interview! 😉
TMM: Like me, those who interested to personal finance cannot avoid your classy blog www.fivecentnickel.com , one of the best personal finance blog today; we are very interested to hear a little about your blogging flashback. Taking to your old days of blogging, could you share when and how did you got into blogging and what are the inspirations behind to be a successful personal finance blogger?
Nickel: I actually got started blogging after reading a cover story about WordPress in a magazine called Mac Addict (I’m a diehard Mac user) back in early 2005. To make a long story short, I downloaded it and started messing around, writing a few posts, etc. After a few days, I realized that the main thing that I like writing about is personal finance, so… I decided to launch a site where I could focus on just that.
TMM: At your early years with fivecentnickel we can realize that you may have worked very hard to establish your blog. As most of us know, personal finance blogging is not easy compare with any other subjects, because of its nature of a serious subject. Writing article to personal finance blog required fantastic knowledge to get attention from readers worldwide. Your blog seems to be done it well. What is your experience in finance industry and how do you keep coming up with articles? I seem to struggle sometimes to come with different articles in my blog. Do you have any posting timetable? Also, how do you keep updated yourself to provide most relevant information for readers?
Nickel: I don’t have any directly relevant professional experience. I just really enjoy reading, learning, and writing about financial topics, and have always been good with money (thanks Mom and Dad!). As far as topic ideas go, it’s a mix of things. I frequently write about things that are going on in our financial life, and I also read widely (both online and in print) so I get a lot of ideas from that, as well. I typically try to post at least once per weekday, though I often manage to publish two posts per day. I mostly take weekends of from publishing, though I do often write an article or two over the weekend for the upcoming week.
TMM: Are you a full time blogger? If not, how do you find time to blog and how many hours per day?
Nickel: No. I’ve considered it, but haven’t pulled the trigger. I have a good job, and I also have a wife that stays home with our kids, so I’ve decided that it’s just not worth the risk, especially when I can keep things going on the side. It’s hard to put a firm number on the time I spend doing this, because much of it is done while I’m watching TV with my wife, etc. I don’t really set aside time dedicated to just blogging.
TMM: At present, lots of new entrants are there in personal finance blogging space. In my experience, most of them not last more than one year. They stop blogging later by either losing interest or by not getting the income as they expected. In this context, could you share your major experiences as a start up personal finance blogger to know us how did you manage yourself to succeed by overcoming all the obstacles like establishing blog, creating your network, income generation etc? We also like to hear any personal tips that you may have for new bloggers?
Nickel: Yes, an awful lot of bloggers get started, do great for awhile, and then just fade away. I don’t really have any secrets to prevent that from happening other than to encourage people to choose a topic that they’re passionate about. I keep doing this because I like it. If I didn’t, I would’ve quit a long time ago. As far as other tips go… Don’t get too obsessed with your stats (I’m still guilty of this myself), be patient, and make genuine connections with others. Regarding this latter point, don’t just e-mail people asking for a link. Make good, insightful comments on their site, ask for their advice on specific topics, etc. Also, when people visit your site and leave a comment, respond to it. Doing so dramatically increases the chances that they’ll come back. Finally, income generation… I don’t really have any secrets here, either. The main thing that you need to do is focus on creating great content. Everything else flows from that.
TMM: How much your blog influenced to your own personal finance? Do you suggest some best posts from your blog for our readers?
Nickel: My site is largely a reflection of my personal finances. It’s hard for me to say how much my situation has influenced the site vs. the site influencing my situation. As far as some suggested posts… My most “famous” post is probably “Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math.” I’m also pretty happy with my recent post on “How to Get Out of Debt.” Another fun one from awhile back is “How Much Does a Million Dollars Weigh?”
TMM: What are your goals for this year and for coming years?
Nickel: My primary goal is, as always, just to keep growing. It’s very gratifying to see my traffic and subscriber numbers increase, as that means I must be doing something right. I don’t really set specific growth or content goals — I just keep plugging away and working to improve.
A final word to TMM readers: ‘Five Cent Nickel’ considered as one of the best personal finance blog in the world. TMM highly recommend people should visit and get maximum knowledge on personal finance from numorous qualitiy articles from this blog and get benefitted from the extreme knowledge of Nickel. New bloggers have lots to learn from him by following his path to enjoy huge success in life through hard work, dedication and passion.
My sincere thanks for the time he have spent for TMM to complete this interview.