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I've always had a slight obsession with, every now and then, doing a ‘complete' review of something.  Over the years I've done things like:

  • Read every book in chronological order from a particular author
  • Listened to every single CD in my collection
  • Played every video game I owned for a particular console.

I think I do this because I always find something interesting when I do so.  I'll rediscover a book that I had forgotten about, I'll realize that I really like a particular CD (or sometimes realize I made a really bad purchase), etc.

So, it was with the same background that I decided last year to go visit ALL of the personal finance sites.mb-2015-10-notebook

And, while I realize that there's no way that I could possibly uncover each and every one, I did get to 1,132, which is a pretty good chunk, I'd have to expect.

Here's some of what I found:

How I Found All 1,132 Sites

There are a few different sites out there that have, over the years, compiled a list of personal finance sites including my personal finance blog.  Many of these are by submission, and it was a good way to get on a central list.  The owners would benefit by getting a lot of traffic.  I decided to focus on two lists:

  • Money Crashers – They had the most in their list, over 700 in total, but the unfortunate part was that the updating appears to have ceased sometime in last 2013.  Still, this provided a really good list of blogs.
  • Modest Money – This one has fewer entries (around 550) but is kept up to date, so I decided to use this as my second source.

I first went through the Money Crashers list, and then added the Modest Money entries.  I filtered for duplicates and was left with 1,132.

My Objective: Find Cool Blogs To Read

To start off, what I really was looking for was to find blogs that I wasn't reading that I should be.  I am a personal finance blogger, but I really love reading blogs above all.  With so many new bloggers hitting the scene, I realized that I was probably missing out on lots of good blogs.  And, as it turns out, I was!

Now, I subscribe to a lot of blogs.  I love reading them and love leaving comments.  However, I have some rules that are just mine, but it fit into the categories below.

Personal Finance Blog Categories

  • Abandoned – If a blog hadn't been updated with original content in 3 months or more, I considered it abandoned.
  • Not Interested -I like reading about the personal side of personal finance.  Many blogs have great topics, but they might not be up my alley..
  • Found A New Blog – If I liked what I saw, I subscribed and am now a reader!
  • Already Reading – If a blog was in this category, I was already reading it beforehand.
  • Partial Feed – In order for me to read a blog, an absolute must is that the blog has to publish a full RSS feed.  I subscribe to a lot of blogs, so I want the full article available to me in my RSS reader. This is a nitpicky thing, I know, but it's always been a rule of mine.
  • No Feed – RSS certainly took a big hit a few years ago when Google shut down their Reader service.  Apparently a lot of the newbies have decided that RSS is too old school, and don't have a feed on their site.  The hot thing now is to direct people to an e-mail list, which again, is all and well, but I don't have time to wade through an inbox full of e-mails.  I prefer the one-stop shopping approach.
  • Suspicious – There were some sites that my firewall or browser blocked and marked as spam or suspicious.  I wasn't going to dig deeper to find out if it was true or not.
  • Thief – I went to one site and found one of my own articles posted word for word on the page.  This dummy didn't even remove the copyright notice. In fact, he didn't even care what he was stealing, as he even posted an article called “A New Look For Money Beagle”  Unscramble and search for “Bugdet Ym Wllaet” to  see if you've been scraped (I'm listing it this way because he deserves zero links or even mentions for Google to find).  He's at the bottom of the list here, exactly where he deserves as people like this are just the worst.

Personal Finance Blogs By The Numbers

So, with that in mind, here are the numbers:

  • Abandoned – 445
  • Not Interested – 397
  • Found A New Blog – 95
  • Already Reading – 90
  • Partial RSS Feed – 55
  • No RSS Feed – 39
  • Suspicious – 10
  • Thief – 1

Lessons Learned

This process took a few months.  I'd go through and check out a few sites a day and log the results, until I was all done.  What I've learned since is that there are a lot of great blogs out there.  I'm really GLAD that I did this.   I'll probably do an appended form again at some point.  This means that I will probably aggregate the lists, and  skip over the ones that I've already reviewed.  Either way, I will certainly find new blogs.

So, if you've recently seen me start appearing on your blog or putting your stuff out in social media, chances are this is how I found your blog.  Blogging is a great community, and I've found that most personal bloggers discover very early on that working together is the best approach.  Visiting, promoting, and commenting on other blogs doesn't take anything away from your blog.  Most of the time it's just the opposite!

Readers, how did you find Money Beagle, and how do you find fun new content to read?  Do you have any ‘must have' rules for a new site?