Kali Hawlk

Financial Writer & Millennial Mentor

5 Blogging Mistakes I Made (and You Can Avoid)


Want to start earning side income? Almost any gig you take on can benefit from an established online presence. When people want to find or know something, they fire up Google — and with time, best practices, and a little know-how, a Google search can lead straight to you.

(That’s why Googling financial writer for millennials is so fun for me, by the way.)

You can hang your digital shingle with a static website that covers the basics: about you, what you do, who you do it for, etc. But you can earn yourself a gold star if you take it one step further and start a blog.

A blog is a powerful tool for growing your reach, establishing your expertise, and allowing people to connect with you. It’s extremely simple to set up a blog on your website and start sharing your thoughts, tips, and tidbits with the world.

It’s also extremely easy to screw it up, too.

I’ve made my fair share of blogging mistakes — and I continue make them. There’s nothing like learning by doing, but if you’re interested in starting up a blog to help grow a side hustle, gig, or business, please feel free to learn from my errors.

Here are the 5 biggest blogging mistakes I made when I started, and, knowing them, you can now avoid with your own blog.

1. Starting Without a Plan

Many people ask why I started blogging, and I always struggle to answer this. I don’t have an inspiring, I paid off a gazillion dollars worth of debt while feeding my family of 8 and running a nonprofit to save the polar bears story. I’m not an investing guru (but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to invest) and I don’t want to quit my job to become a full-time blogger.

I started a blog because I wanted to write. I decided to write about personal finance because money has always, in one way or another, fascinated me. Whether it’s not having enough of it, trying to figure out how to make it, wondering how to stretch it farther, curious about how to make it go to work on its own — I wanted to share what I knew about money and I wanted to learn more.

But I didn’t have a plan. I flew by the seat of my pants for a long, long time.

This might not have been such a problem if I was only interested in money — which I thought I was. As it turns out, I’m interested in just about everything. I’m totally guilty of that squirrel! mentality.

So every time something caught my attention, it showed on the blog in some form or fashion. I didn’t have a plan, and I didn’t have to tell anyone that for everyone to know. It was obvious.

Before starting a blog, take a few days to think. To brainstorm. To plan.

Think about what purpose your blog serves. Who will you write for and why? What do you want to achieve and what value do you want to provide?

You don’t need to create a full, formal business plan. But you shouldn’t crank things up and come out guns blazing if you haven’t given a single thought to what you’re going to write about in six months down the road.

Before you start, have a plan.

2. Working Without a Strategy

On a similar note, I meandered around without a strategy for far too long. I didn’t post on a regular basis and I didn’t keep an editorial calendar.

When I started, I posted whenever I felt like writing something. Sometimes I posted new content every day for three days straight — and then radio silence for three weeks.

Not only is this hard for you as a writer to keep up with, but it’s annoying as hell for anyone reading your blog. If someone is reading your blog and enjoying what you write, you have yourself a precious little snowflake there. That person is AMAZING! They like what you’re doing! Can it get any better than that?

No way. It doesn’t get any better than someone who previously existed as a perfect stranger coming across your blog and forming a connection via words you wrote. Holy cow! What a compliment.

So do that person a favor and create a strategy to keep your blog on the rails. This means:

  • Choosing a posting schedule
  • Creating an editorial calendar
  • Determining content pillars, or 3 to 7 major topics that you blog about

Creating a strategy for your content means your readers know what to expect and when. It’s the least you can do for people who are kind enough to pay you an online visit to hear what you have to say.

3. Writing for Other Bloggers (Not Your Audience)

Of all the blogging mistakes I’ve made, this is one I corrected fairly quickly. But it’s a common one that seems hard to avoid for most people.

When you first start blogging, you want to grow your audience and get a foothold in a blogging community, right? You want your posts to be shared hundreds of times, you want a big loooong discussion thread in the comments, you want new traffic flocking to read your words.

And that’s why this is a hard mistake to steer completely clear of. You want to feel like you’re part of that inner circle of bloggers who always comment on each other’s posts or shares each other’s content. You want to be seen and heard!

But you can take it a step too far.

This happens when you start writing for other bloggers, and not for your real audience. (Of course, if you’re writing a blog for bloggers, that’s another story.)

When I wrote for other bloggers, I did link roundups as a way to try and say “thanks” when those same bloggers included me in a roundup. I wrote “monthly goals” posts because lots of other bloggers did and that content seemed to generate engagement in the blogging community. I wrote really generic, blah stuff because I saw other bloggers writing and sharing that kind of content.

I went through and deleted most of those misguided posts when I rolled my financial blog, Common Sense Millennial, into my new site here at KaliHawlk.com. They were that bad.

When I wrote for myself or for my audience,  my writing made a statement about who I was and what I believed. It wasn’t concerned about what others in the community might think, or whether it would get shared by other bloggers X amount of times.

I went on a rant about why Dave Ramsey drives me crazy, I explained how Lord of the Rings could teach us a thing or two about money,  I opened up about why I’m not interested in having kids, and I advocated for everyone to consider a go to hell fund.

Not everyone will like these posts when you write what you’d want to read, or when you write for your audience instead of other bloggers. That’s okay.

Remember who you’re writing for and why — and don’t be afraid to be a little different.

(Bonus: you could also add “blogging for Google” to this list of blogging mistakes. Same idea, different entity. Blogging for Google means you’re only writing with SEO practices in mind and not writing for people.)

4. Being Scared to Flop

Speaking of being different, going out on your own special limb is scary. You don’t know if anyone else is going to be out there waiting for you. What happens when no one picks up what you lay down?

I admit, I started letting this fear take over for me a while ago — and like all these other blogging mistakes, it showed! I started writing things that were dull, generic, and formulaic. The information was accurate, but it wasn’t compelling. It might have been educational, but it didn’t make anyone sit up and take action.

Being scared to write something that flops is natural. But if you fear hitting that “publish” button, you won’t write as often. You won’t share amazing stories and funny commentaries and life-changing ideas.

You’ll hide away all your best writing for fear that it will miss the mark and people won’t get it, or you.

The fact is, you will flop sometimes. You’ll pour a lot of energy and creativity and you-ness into a post and you’ll be met with cricket noises. You might even get a negative comment or two.

But you know what? You need to own your corner of the internet! It’s the only place you can write and not have your work edited or trimmed down or fundamentally changed before it’s published. Don’t waste that amazing opportunity to take a running leap into the ideas that you want to share.

5. Censoring Your True Voice and Tone

I saved the very worst of my blogging mistakes for last. It was only recently that I realized how big of a mistake this one was — that I realized just how much I had smothered my own voice and tone in my writing. Even on my own blog!

It started innocently enough. I increased my freelance writing work (a good thing) and found myself writing for more major outlets (another good thing). These major outlets and big clients came with professional editors. They had MAs in English and journalism and they knew the AP Style Guide, the MLA Style Guide, and the Chicago Manual of Style by heart.

And all their guides sniffed and turned up their noses in places where I tried to let a little sass shine through in my writing. They clucked at long, complicated sentences even when that long, complicated sentence was used to make a point. Or to tack on some humor. Or to change up the rhythm of a paragraph.

I started slashing adverbs in the pieces I submitted. I stuck to short, simple sentences. I cut out funny little rambling asides and attempted to shield my work from any form of the “be” verb.

(It always finds my writing, though, because sometimes you just need to say, “This is how things have always been, so if you could cut me some dang slack I would appreciate it.”)

In my effort to follow the rules and appease faceless editors, I whittled down my writing to the bare bones. When I threw out every last “bad habit,” I accidentally chucked my voice out too.

My writing was technically better, but emotionally? It sucked.

Something I should have been so incredibly proud of — the fact that you could pick out an article I wrote even when my name wasn’t on it, because of the humor, the sass, the snark, and the overall tone — disappeared before I realized what happened.

I’m working on correcting this mistake, but it’s a big one to recover from. The only fix: get inspired, get motivated, and write a whoooole lot just for yourself. Experiment with words, find new ways to get creative, and capture new ideas. Do a lot of free writing — and put away the computer from time to time. Write out something by hand.

These are good exercises to practice no matter what. They’ll help you fine, hone, or rediscover the voice and tone that is 100% YOU.

Avoid Blogging Mistakes and Get It Right the First Time

I’m a good writer. I’m not a good blogger. These are just some of the mistakes I’ve made (and continue to make)!

But that’s okay. They all provide learning experiences for me.

Hopefully, sharing my errors helps you avoid making the same missteps if you want to start a blog (or improve the one you’ve got).

If you want further tips from someone with more experience (and blogging success) than myself, Donna Freedman may have something for you. Donna has more than 18 years of experience working as a journalist, freelance writer, and blogger. She’s part of the FinCon community, which is where I got an opportunity to preview her new program called Write a Blog People Will Read.

Donna created Write a Blog People Will Read to help show people how to improve their writing in order to cultivate a bigger audience for their blogs.

“Currently the blogosphere is top-heavy with sites that are dull, wordy, badly organized or irrelevant,” Donna explains. “Why should someone take time out of his or her busy day to read this kind of thing? To be worth following, you’ve got to be worth reading.”

She allowed me to check out the first few lessons and I had so much fun reading through her advice and instructions. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can do so here. (Full disclosure: that is an affiliate link.)

Happy blogging!

Do I Have to Pay Taxes If I Earn Money on the Side?


The end.

No, just kidding. (It is April Fool’s Day, after all.) I promise there’s a whole informative post waiting here for you — and a more in-depth answer to the question, “do I have to pay taxes?”

Before we dive into this basic tax overview, I want you to get two important concepts straight right away: side income still counts as income, and even if you don’t make enough to owe taxes, technically the IRS still wants to know about it.

While you may not actually need to pay taxes, you should be prepared to report your income.

Here’s the second important concept: I am not an accountant, I am not a tax professional, and I am not a lawyer. (If you need a financial professional, get yourself over to XY Planning Network.)

My intention is to provide you with basic information that you need to know if you earn money on the side so you can feel confident about tax season and understand what the IRS expects from you.

I do not advise anyone here engage in any shady bookkeeping, and if you are unsure about something or are confused, please do not hesitate to take a specific concern to a tax professional.

Got it? Good. Let’s begin this basic tax overview for solopreneurs, side hustlers, and anyone making a few extra bucks on the side.

Do You Run a Hobby — or a Business?

First thing’s first for side income earners: are you going to be a hobby or a business? Your answer does matter, and personally, I think there’s a right answer here that you should choose. Here’s why.

The IRS makes a distinction between a money-making hobby and a money-making business. If you are for profit, you are a business to the IRS. And you’re all about making a profit, right? Of course!

Whatever you consider yourself, if you make money from your activities for at least three out of the last five years, the IRS will label you a business. That gives you some special hoops to jump through.

Let’s continue on with the assumption that you want to make decent chunk of change from whatever it is you do on the side. We’ll also say you want that income to be sustainable over a period of years.

Regardless of why the IRS says there’s a difference between a “hobby” and a real business, there’s another factor here to consider. It’s important to take yourself seriously! If you want to create a side or small business to continue earning money in a big or more professional way, you need to treat things that way from the start: as a business.

Having the right mindset will set you up nicely for success. If you take yourself seriously, as a real business, then other people will too.

One more important reason we’re assuming you consider yourself a business: if you don’t file your taxes that way, you’re limited on what kinds of deductions you can take. You can’t claim more than what you made if you’re filing like your side gig is a hobby that happens to make money, and that’s a big deal when you’re starting out.

If you’re a business, you can claim all your expenses and take the deductions you’re entitled to as a for-profit, money-makin’ entity on your tax return. Just want to consider your side gig as a hobby? No such luck, because you can’t claim more than you make if you declare your activities to be a hobby instead of a business.

Let’s look at an example to illustrate that point. If you paid $150 for hosting your website (to promote what you do), another $50 for your site design, and $100 for an educational course to help you grow your side hustle — but you only made about $75? If your side work is a hobby, you don’t get to deduct $300 worth of expenses. You get to deduct $75, and all the rest you get to pay the full taxable amount on.

As a business, however, you can deduct the full cost of all business expenses. This is a big deal once you start making a significant side income. Being able to report all your expenses helps keep your taxable income lower, which means a smaller tax bill and more money available to reinvest in your work.

Keep all these factors in mind when determining if you’re a “hobby” or a “business” for tax purposes. Don’t feel intimidated by the idea of calling yourself a business. Remember, you don’t need to do anything fancy to be a business if you don’t want to. You can simply be a sole proprietor. I am and I’m happy as a clam that way.

Do I Have to Pay Taxes?

“Do I have to pay taxes on [your money-making side gigs], even though I only made X amount?”

Again, the answer is probably YES. You have to pay taxes — and regardless of whether you owe or not, the IRS expects you to report all income (no matter how small).

This means keeping careful records is critical. You want to claim every deduction you qualify for and write off expenses where you can to ensure you keep your tax bill as low as possible.

So, just to drive this point home, here’s a little something from the IRS about taxable income:

While most people are aware they must include wages, salaries, interest, dividends, tips and commissions as income on their tax returns, many don’t realize that they must also report most other income, such as:

  • cash earned from side jobs,
  • barter exchanges of goods or services,
  • awards, prizes, contest winnings and
  • gambling proceeds.

What should this tell you? The IRS wants every source of money it can get. (Of course, right?)

Just about anything you make is taxable according to the IRS. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll owe money, but it does mean that you can’t say, “oh, I didn’t make enough for anyone to notice me. I’ll just throw this in my bank account and only worry about my W2 income when I file.”

Sorry Charlie, but you’re responsible for telling Uncle Sam what you made and how you made it. The best thing to do is to do your best to be accurate and honest when filing.

Logically, the next question solopreneurs and side hustlers ask is something along the lines of, “okay, I have to report my income and I may need to pay taxes… but how much do I need to pay in taxes?”

I’m so glad you asked.

Understanding What You Owe Come Tax Time

Here’s an excerpt from the IRS’ site on folks who are self-employed. If you “work for yourself” in some capacity, which does include work you do on the side to earn extra money, that means you!

As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly.

Self-employed individuals generally must pay self-employment tax (SE tax) as well as income tax. SE tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. In general, anytime the wording “self-employment tax” is used, it only refers to Social Security and Medicare taxes and not any other tax (like income tax).

You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. If your net earnings from self-employment were less than $400, you still have to file an income tax return if you meet any other filing requirement listed in the Form 1040 instructions.

This is why the answer to “do I have to pay taxes” is almost always yes. Even if you only work part-time for yourself and full-time as a salaried employee somewhere else, the side gig part of your income qualifies as self employment income.

Self employment tax is how the government makes sure it receives the social security and medicare taxes that are normally paid by an employee and an employer. Here’s the fun part: since you’re not an employee, you are your own boss and have your own business going on, you’re responsible for paying both the employee and the employer portions.

Self-employment tax must be paid whether or not you owe any federal income tax.

It’s hard to provide an exact answer on “how much.” That depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Your gross profit
  • Your expenses
  • Your deductions
  • Your state (for state income tax)

As a general rule, I immediately take 28% of my gross earnings and set that amount aside each month for taxes. I established that percentage after discussing my situation with a CPA, and if you’re making a significant amount from your side work I suggest you do the same.

Again, many of my friends at XY Planning Network hold CPA designations and specialize in serving entrepreneurs and freelancers.

I know hiring a pro can feel intimidating, but it’s the best investment I’ve made in my business. I know I don’t understand the tax code and how to ensure I’m following all the rules. And lacking knowledge can cost you far more than paying a professional to help keep you on the up and up.

In fact, I have to admit I screwed up my SEP IRA contributions for 2014! I contributed far too much and could face a stiff penalty from the IRS — but I’ve alerted my CPA and we’re working through the issue so that I can avoid getting into trouble. That’s the value of having someone who does this full-time and for a living on your side.

How to Handle Estimated Taxes

As a self-employed freelancer, consultant, or general hustler, if you’re making a good profit you’re more than likely going to pay estimated taxes.

Since you don’t have any taxes deducted from your side income, you need to lob a check over to the IRS every quarter. The due dates for estimated taxes are April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 15 (and generally there are exceptions or extensions for stuff like holidays).

If you don’t pay your estimated taxes in a timely fashion, you may owe an additional tax penalty. But before you panic, know that if you didn’t have any tax liability in the prior year, or if you don’t expect to earn at least $1,000 in side income this year, you may be able to avoid paying estimated taxes.

But, because this is all about learning new stuff, let’s assume you need to handle estimated taxes.

Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals is used to figure these taxes. You’ll use the worksheet found in Form 1040-ES to find out if you are required to file quarterly estimated tax.

The form also contains some handy blank vouchers you can use when you mail your estimated tax payments or you may make your payments using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

A quick PS on this: Form 1040-ES can be scary. Here’s how I figured my own estimated tax payments when I switched to self-employment full-time last year:

  • Looked at my income from January through March
  • Multiplied that by 4 to get an estimated gross total for the year
  • Multiplied my total by .28 to get a guess of what I’d owe in taxes for the year
  • Divided that number by 4. That’s how much I should send off to the IRS each quarter

So as an example, let’s use a (nice, round) real number:

  • Let’s say my side income was $10,000 from January through March
  • I multiply that number by 4. I estimate I’ll make $40,0000 in side income for the year
  • I multiply $40,000 by .28, because I want to set aside 28% of gross earnings for taxes. I estimate I’ll owe $11,200 in taxes for the year
  • I divide $11,200 by 4. I will send off $2,800 as my estimated tax payment each quarter.

Note the keywords here: ESTIMATE. GUESS. This isn’t a scientific process but it’s straightforward and easy and helps me keep the IRS happy. I may owe when I file my taxes, or I may have overpaid. It all depends on what my actual gross income (and expenses) work out to be.

Additional Resources for Your Financial and Tax Needs

For all its annoying faults, the IRS does try to provide lots of information on their site. If I didn’t cover something you feel you need to know here, check out IRS.gov.

My friend Carrie Smith of Careful Cents also has a number of resources on finances and taxes for solopreneurs and freelancers. You can get a tax checklist freebie when you sign up for her newsletter, and she created a digital course called Solopreneur Finance: Managing Money on Your Own Terms

Finally, to make this blog post a little more portable for you, I’ve created a downloadable ebook that you can grab when you hop on to receive my monthly newsletter. The Tax Starter Kit for Side Income Earners covers everything we detailed here — and also includes notes on lowering your tax bill and managing your business finances beyond tax season.


Around the Web: March 2015

How did the month of March treat you, friends? It was another full month, but in a I-had-a-ton-of-fun way instead of I’m-buried-under-work-send-help way.

I’m extremely excited for the start of April next week, as I have some big things lined up and in the works. We’re moving to our new place soon (exciting! exhausting!), and in a little over two weeks I’ll head out to Las Vegas for a week to hang out and soak up some new knowledge at New Media Expo.

Once we settle into the new place, I’m also planning on focusing on some big projects that got pushed to the back burner after we started dealing with our move. Some are personal, and some are for business. I’m thrilled about them all!

What do you feel excited about right now? What was your favorite part of March — and how do you plan to make April amazing?

What I’ve Written Around the Web

Where I’ve Been Featured Around the Web

What I’ve Loved Reading Around the Web

How to Make Time for a Side Business

Make Time for Your Side Business

When people ask how I made room and time for a side business, I’m not always sure how to answer. I want to respond, “I sat down and did the work.”

Simple as that. There are no fancy tricks or complicated tips that made it any easier. It was hard, and it was work. A lot of hard work.

That’s what it feels like sometimes, that it really is that simple and there’s nothing else to it. And in some ways that truly is the big secret to any success. People who do big things do the work.

But there is more to it than that. Because “doing the work” involves planning, time management, prioritizing, learning efficient systems and processes — and for me, many, many times it involved someone to lend a helping hand.

If you’re wondering how to make time for your side business, use these tips to help get you started:

  • Cut off the TV. If you want to make time in your life limit yourself to a Netflix subscription or an antenna (if you can pick up channels where you live). Get rid of your cable package and you’ll save yourself hours of time plus plenty of money each month.
  • Put time limits on tasks. Work takes up however much time you allow it. Set yourself 15, 30, or 60 minutes to accomplish a task — and then get it done. Don’t multitask. Schedule a time for everything and stick to it.
  • Hack your productivity. Try techniques to increase your efficiency and productivity to get more done in less time. Try crossing off your most-dreaded to-do list item as soon as you sit down to work on your side business (in other words, swallow the frog). Or make a list of 3 things to do each day; things that if you get them done the day will be a “win” no matter what else happened. Or try something that I’ve been using lately: the Pomodoro technique.  (As fanatic as people are about this I feel a bit like I’ve joined a cult by using it myself.)
  • Prioritize and write it down. We all have limits, so the reality is that we won’t get to every single task every single day. But you can prioritize what must be done and what’s truly important to you. Then write it down; stick it on your calendar; put it in a planner; schedule everything out. My Passion Planner helps me with this. (And to be honest with you, I have two planners. A small blank one that I use to scribble all over and make sure I write down all tasks, and the Passion Planner which is how I schedule and prioritize all the scribbles.) You can download and print pages from the Passion Planner for free if you want to give it a try.
  • Replace unproductive, unfulfilling activities with meaningful work. Before I started developing a side hustle — and then a side business — whenever I would get bored I’d seek out something to occupy me. Instead of doing something constructive, creating something, or learning something new, I would do something completely meaningless just to fill up my time. I would go shopping and spend too much money. I would hang out with toxic people (who were probably just as bored and unproductive as I was) and gossip. I would get sucked into Pinterest or blogs for hours. This didn’t make me happy and at the end of each day I’d go to bed frustrated that I didn’t make anything useful that day. If you can identify with this at all, replace those activities with a few hours of making. Write. Draw. Play an instrument. Develop a business plan. Outline a course you could teach.
  • Reach out for help. Don’t be too afraid or proud to ask someone to help you when you need it. This might be outsourcing parts of your business to someone else who could do a better job than you could. Or it could be accepting a meal your spouse cooked for dinner because you were working away. I’ve done both and am extremely grateful for all the help I’ve received (and continue to receive). I could not manage a side business without the many helping hands that have supported me.

We tend to put importance on a sense of “busyness,” on displaying our flurry of activity to prove something. (I’m not sure of what.) We may think that there’s a correlation in value and an outcome that is more elaborate, more complex, or just more — more to read through, listen to, see.

That’s not the case, though. More is not always better.

Sometimes, you make time for your side business by cutting the fluff and getting down to the point.

You take advice on managing your day to squeeze just a few more minutes out of every hour. And then you do the work.

Stop Competing and Start Collaborating

Start Collaborating!You want to know my favorite thing about working in the digital economy? The internet makes it possible to connect with anyone, anywhere. That means you cannot possibly serve every potential client you can reach. For practical purposes, your pool of potential customers is endless because it’s no longer bound by physical location.

And that’s a very good thing, because it effectively kills aggressive competition. Think about it: with an infinite source of business (i.e., more customers than you could ever possibly serve all on your own), there’s enough for everyone.

You Can Start Collaborating and Still Succeed in Business

Traditional ways of doing business say to watch your competition with suspicion, and protect your products and ideas from the competitor. They might steal those ideas, become more profitable than you, and take away all your paying clients! They may cause you to fail!

This is an outdated way of thinking if you’re a freelancer, a solopreneur with a digital business, or even a professional trying to get ahead. And it’s just not true.

Again, we’re talking about infinite pie here. Everyone is welcome to take a slice all their own because of the sheer volume of people out there. Still not convinced? I regularly refer people to my “competitors” because I know someone else will be a better fit for that potential clients. And my “competitors” do the same for me.

You no longer need to feel fear, jealousy, or frustration when you think about other people doing the same job in the same industry. They are not a threat to your business or your side hustle.

If anything, they are assets that can share experiences, lessons learned, and advice to help you grow and find even more success. But only if you stop competing with them and start collaborating instead.

The Collaborative Power of Smart Women

Nothing proves this to me more than the women in the financial blogging space.

I started thinking about this earlier this month, when my friend and talented blogger, financial planner, and podcaster Shannon from Financially Blonde created a post to celebrate women she admires. She created an amazing movement in the financial blogging world last year with her Women’s Power Wednesdays series and I loved taking part in that. (Unfortunately, my 2014 WPW post was deleted due to a malware threat just weeks after I posted it.)

This year, she’s continuing the support of her fellow smart and talented ladies and encourages others to do the same.

This sort of collaborative project that shines a spotlight on people you admire — people who, arguably, could be seen as “competition” — is only possible we focus on collaborating together instead of jealously guarding our resources, client lists, ideas, and experiences.

As further proof, consider the photo above in this post. From left to right, that’s me, Melanie from Dear Debt, Cat from Budget Blonde, Erin from Journey to Saving, and Carrie from Careful Cents. We got together last year at FinCon as part of a Careful Cents team meetup.

We all had experience working for Carrie — but Erin and Melanie were also invaluable members of my own biz team and Cat was a fellow writer the freelance arena. And we all run blogs that produce financial content in one way or another.

I’m proud and honored to call these women friends and I’ve learned so much from each and every one of them. In fact, I continue to learn from them and grow because they inspire and help me today.

Do More with Your Work by Working Together

I can’t call out all the women who have helped me over the last few years as I’ve ventured into the world of blogging, freelance writing, marketing, and running an online business. Undoubtedly, as thorough as I may be I would leave a name off the list — that’s a testament to how long and full it is!

I can say that I never experienced the kind of friendship and kindness from other women that is present in the financial media space before I started writing and blogging. The women who constantly impress me with their business knowledge, inspired ideas, and spot-on thoughts about how to do more with money also blew me away by how willing they were to help, support, and encourage everyone else around them.

To each and every one of them, I’m channel my inner Leslie Knope on this Women’s Power Wednesday to say:


You’re wonderful, ladies. Thanks for inspiring me and for showing how much more successful we ALL are when we stop competing and start collaborating.


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