Brit FI Rules OK

There seems to be lots of FI blogs out there now from all over the world, especially the USA.

When I initially found FI I couldn’t read enough about it, and subscribed to virtually every blog I came across.

As time goes by, I’m finding it quite difficult having the time to keep up with all these blogs, and often feel that many are simply trying to get reader stats with clickbaity titles such as “10 ways to riches…” or “25 ways to optimise your life…”,  etc. etc. The content is often regurgitated from other sources and pretty generic.

I know we probably all do a bit of this to some extent, and I am by no means a blogger who comes up with original ideas. But neither have I tried to monetise my blog. It doesn’t interest me.

Being British, and therefore quite cynical, another thing that I have trouble with is that the FI community seem to be becoming victim to a sort of groupthink consensus. We all have to be practising ‘gratitude’ or ‘journaling’ or some such similar thing apparently. Well no thanks. If there’s anything more that makes me want to be miserable is someone telling me to be happy!

As FI and ideas/opinions around it become more mainstream my natural tendency is to travel in the opposite direction.

I have absolutely no issue with FI and I want to achieve it for myself, it’s just that the soundbites around it seem to be repeated and regurgitated by many in order to get traffic. Do they really believe the things they write about, or is it just that they think that this is what they are meant to say and think. Does that make sense?

The blogs I most enjoy are the ones who tell a story about themselves and what is going on in their lives.

I am finding most of the UK FI blogs are less commercialistic (is that a word?) than many US blogs and I am tending to rationing myself to these blogs due to time constraints.

Yes, there are some fantastic US blogs, and I will continue to read those, especially the ones that have been around for many years.


What about you?

Do you suffer from blog fatigue or can you not get enough?

Am I being too cynical/British?

Do you find it difficult to keep up?


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11 Responses to Brit FI Rules OK

  1. Dr FIRE says:

    Since starting my own blog I’ve realised just how many personal finance and financial independence blogs there are! It’s crazy, and obviously impossible to keep up with each and every one of them. I also find myself sticking more to British blogs at the moment, mostly because they are more relevant to me and, as you said, they typically don’t seem to be trying to sell as much. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I do intend to stick the occasional affiliate link on my site, and may write the occasional clickbaity “top 10 whatever,” but I’m also going along with the common advice of “write what you’d like to read,” and the blogs I like most of all are those with long interesting posts, or offering an insight into that blogger’s life and unique experiences.

  2. SavingNinja says:

    I agree with you, I actually hate reading “top 10” posts, they don’t provide me value. The blogs that read like MMM are the most interesting, you can really get to know the blogger if you stick around for long enough.

    The problem is; the posts that aren’t “top 10 blah blah” are much harder to rank in SEO. People generally search for things like that. It’s actually promoted as a way of improving SEO by lots of bloggers like making sense of cents. You’ll also see that basically all of the popular finance/money saving (non-FI) UK blogs are doing this. They’re also really easy to do.

    I’ve not actually done any articles like this, but I was thinking that I probably should start. If you want to reach a global audience and be very popular, it seems that’s what you have to do. You’re then free to write all you want after you’ve got 10k subscribers 🙂 Unless you’re MMM of course!

    I could be totally wrong, but this seems to be the general advise when listening to ‘get lots of traffic’ podcasts or reading about it. I’ll probably try a few of each eventually and see what happens 🙂

  3. weenie says:

    Hey FIUK

    Good to see you posting again – have missed you and Mrs FIUK!

    I think I will have really run out of things to write about if I start doing posts with ‘top 10’ whatevers and ‘5 ways’ to do something or other in the titles!

    Although I do have some overseas readers, my ‘audience’ is essentially British and as FIUK points out, most Brits are a bit more conservative (I don’t mean politics!) but you know what I mean – the selling thing in your face wears very thin after a while. I try not to put stuff in my blog, eg intrusive pop ups, which annoy the hell out of me when I see them on other blogs. I’m not bothered about traffic, although I was in the very early blogging days, when I didn’t know any better!

    FIRE blogs tend to be less ‘commercial’, but many of the popular personal finance/money blogs (including UK) have this same formula so I don’t tend to read many of them as it’s the same old recycled stuff.

    I do follow some non-UK blogs but pick and choose which articles to read, rather than read each one religiously.

    There’s been a raft of new (very good) UK FIRE blogs and I’m struggling to keep up with those (including Dr FIRE’s and Saving Ninja’s) 🙂

  4. weenie says:

    Sorry, I meant to say Mr and Mrs FU…too close to my bedtime, shouldn’t be reading blogs now!

  5. As a new blogger myself, I totally get where you are coming from in this post. I have had RSS feeds subscribed for years of 100 or so blogs. How many of their blog posts get the ol ‘marked as read’ treatment? The majority. Especially those in the USA – very generic and can sometimes feel written for affiliate linkage without any authenticity or character in the content.

    My blog is hopefully something I can use as a reference point. In work, I have an email I wrote of my favourite things to do in New York and have it saved. It was the result of being asked that question several times. Hoping to use my blog as something similar but for finance. For example, i am looking to buy a house, so no doubt my content will follow that journey for a while.

  6. reckless saving says:

    2018 has been a been a good year for new FIUK bloggers, couple of years ago looking at my feedly FIUK list on a Saturday there would be Monevator roundup post and 5 other bloggers posting the same ‘guest’ post, oh the disparse.

    I never bookmark blogs, too much of a management hell, I’ll just have my own curated list I add to in feedly as it’s easy to see what’s new from their apps. I have a list for global list but I’ll only look at it once a quarter, I don’t relate to alot of it and they’re overly in it for the monitorisation, I get the same feeling from the UK debt/bargain type blogs so don’t follow these, alot chasing a uk money bloggers award 😉

    Difficulty is finding the new bloggers as they don’t generally appear at the top of search results, most come by reading the comments, a good sign of a good blog is readers willingness to comment. Everything so often I’ll check out the financial blog directories of rockstar and for anything new in UK.

  7. I think it depends on the motivations of the individual blogger, more so than their nationality.

    Are they writing to get ideas down on paper? Are they writing to influence or educate an audience? Or are they simply churning out content farm written high frequency/low quality content to “build their brand” and hopefully fatten their wallets?

    Listicles, sponsored posts, sales funnels for e-books/courses/coaching, etc are simply a revenue raising mechanism. It is marketing 101 stuff, the more click-baity the title or alluring the message, the more likely a gullible punter is to take the bait. The media have been successfully applying the approach since the invention of the printing press, the sensationalist headlines and the leading with stories focussed on blood/boobs/(foot)ball.

    When you think about it, the whole FIRE concept is very much selling a dream. The notion that somebody may not actually have to work until they were old, grey, and ready to sign up for pensioner bus tours is the ultimate dangling carrot.

    There are certainly a lot of folks selling into that dream, on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond!

    Personally, I use feedly and twitter to be made aware of new content by authors I am interested in or curious about. However I’m fairly Darwinian about who I follow, so if their quality or content falls off then I tend to vote with my feet.

    One big time saver I discovered is avoiding the podcast trap. I can skim a post in 30 seconds to quickly discern the gist of it, and determine whether it is worth investing the time to read properly. That just isn’t possible with a podcast however, even listening at 2x speed with the intelligent pause reduction feature turned on.

    Most of the good stuff on a podcast will have been written up in previous blog posts, so I rarely find myself missing anything important!

  8. YoungFIGuy says:

    Great to see you posting again Mr Fu. I hope Mrs Fu and the Little Fu’s are doing well.

    I think blog fatigue is definitely a thing and something I go through. I find it worse for podcasts (as Indeedably mentions), so I’ve trimmed back on those significantly.

  9. Team CF says:

    You should check out my latest blog post 😉 Think you can appreciate it!

  10. Marc says:

    My top 5 reasons for blogging about FI! 😉

    #1 – I want to reach FIRE before 60
    #2 – I love writing
    #3 – I love sharing knowledge about investing/saving money
    #4 – I like to learn
    #5 – I’d like to earn

    In that order. If people value what I write, they’ll come back. Maybe I earn a bit, maybe not. But it’s not important. I’m a creative. I have to create. Write. Share. Learn.

    I may publish a few ‘top 10 reasons’ posts, but not many. And if I do, I want it to have original content. Not just rehash what others have written.

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