Personal Finance Bloggers Cause US Retail Sales To Plunge!

May retail sales drop 1.2% or the most in 8 months as more and more people turn to personal finance bloggers for frugality advice! I'm pretty certain nobody has ever come up with this statement, but think about it for a little bit.

The Rise Of Personal Finance Bloggers

Why is it that the public should take personal finance advice from BusinessWeek, for example? The articles are written by relatively well-paid writers who are on a mission to report the news. 

They do a fine job at that, but perhaps not as fine a job making things visceral like the personal finance community. What's more personal than a real person like Jeff delivering pizzas to get out of debt? Not much!

It's very hard for the mass media to compete against a team of personal finance bloggers such as the Yakezie.  We're real life people responding to comments and putting ourselves out there. There's a two-way street with us. 

If I were Editor in Chief of any mass media publication, I'd go out and hire an bunch of influential personal finance bloggers and put them on my payroll. $75,000 a year will do or perhaps $150,000 a year if you want us to write an article a month exclusively for you. By doing so, the Editor will inject new life, new readers, and therefore a wealth of new advertising dollars to the publication.

As evidenced by May's retail sales figures, we are creating the news with our frugal ways instead of just reporting the news. There's a movement underway, can you feel it? Maybe we'll band together and talk about how we should never buy new cars again, causing June's new car sales to dip. 

Or maybe we'll discover how amazing one person's unsung journey is to fight poverty in Uganda and direct millions of dollars their way. That counts for something. Let's make a palatable difference with the words we write. Someone is out there listening.

Further Reading

Passive Income X Factor – Starting Your Own Site

It's been around six years since I started Financial Samurai and I'm actually earning a good passive income stream online. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic. The average age of the top 1% posts is 2.3 years old.

In other words, after putting in the hours to write some very meaty content over two years ago, 10 posts consistently generate a monthly recurring income stream that's completely passive. The posts probably won't continuously rank high in search for years due to tremendous competition, but that's partly why I continue to write 3-4X a week.

I never thought I'd be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build.

If you enjoy writing, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. It's cheap and easy to start.

If you're looking to start a blog of your own, click the link as I put together a 3,000 word free tutorial on how to do so.

34 thoughts on “Personal Finance Bloggers Cause US Retail Sales To Plunge!”

  1. novatedlease calculator

    As those blogs plays a major role on influencing the readers, I think it would be just great eye opener for them to see the real world and be free of those unworthy expenses.

  2. Sam, really relevanat post. I have read the traditional media for years, and the personal finance bloggers for a much shorter time period. I learn from both…. it is amazing the caliber of writing as well as the level of insight of the personal finance bloggers. I am regularly amazed at the professionalism of the blogging community ESPECIALLY THE YAKEZIE members. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Barb

  3. you strike a cord here. you are totally right and this is a HUGE problem. over the past 2 years many of the top news stations would tell stories about stocks or companies. Since most people don’t read the WSJ (wall street journal) or Forbes or even the local paper but just watch “Fast Money” or any of these cable TV shows they think they got a hot tip and go for it..

    this is why so many people got burned because they were acting like sheep and simply followed the leader vs. doing their own research.

  4. Aury (Thunderdrake)

    It would seem that we’re having a significant impact on the financial world… And rightfully so. After all… We’re all about affecting the dosh that’s circulating around the world, no?

    From warriors, cartoonists, fathers to dragons, it would seem our image as bloggers is growing in this particular niche. It’s a nice feeling, isn’t it? <3

  5. It is nice to think that we have such a big impact, but do you think we are really making enough of a difference to lower sales over 1%?

    I do think we are making a difference. I also hope that all of our readers are intelligent and take our advice and thoughts to heart.

  6. So—thanks to bloggers like us, retail is down. Fair enough.

    So, with stocks down, who’s buying what?

    Sam, this is a great group of smart people. I’d love to hear what people are buying (in terms of stocks) and why.

    .-= Andrew Hallam´s last blog ..How we keep beating the S&P 500 index—by a very wide margin =-.

  7. It definitely depends on who’s writing! There are real people in finance who I’d never want advice from. I know a woman that used her rent money to buy an LV bag that was “too amazing to pass up.” But I’m sure someone like her wouldn’t last a week as a personal finance blogger! Whereas your advice and actions are calculated, creative, and quite helpful. I’ve definitely learned a lot from your posts…thanks!

  8. Money Reasons

    Cool thoughts! The sky’s the limit at this point! I can’t wait to see what we look like 2 years from now!
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..Red Box Review =-.

  9. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  10. Hear. Hear. As a fellow pf blogger, I fully agree with you. New media is definitely changing and already a number of people get their news from social/interactive media and old media.

  11. cheapskate sandy

    I can imagine the headline saying something like, “Secret Yakezie Society Sinks Sales”. I’d love it!
    .-= cheapskate sandy´s last blog ..Real Life: Foreclosure Easier Than Loan Modification? =-.

  12. I think any one of the blogs I have read would be giving better advice than what the expert bankers and investment firms have done recently. Most importantly the bloggers are teaching people to think and do for themselves instead of convincing them into handing their money over to the big profit makers.
    .-= Carol@inthetrenches´s last blog ..In The Trenches – Are you grouchy today? =-.

  13. I think people would be greatly influenced by advice from “real” people. Maybe we should talk about having a “theme” week where each Yakezie writes a post on the same topic.

    Plus, there’s the side benefit of having fun!
    .-= Bucksome´s last blog ..Debt Collectors: I am not Antonio S. =-.

    1. Theme week is a great idea! And I hear you 100% on having fun. If I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t bother! Seriously great idea, where we can challenge ourselves to write about a similar topic and coming after it at all different angles.

    2. Mike @ Saving Money Today

      I like the Theme idea too. It would be interesting to see how so many different minds would approach the same topic.
      .-= Mike @ Saving Money Today´s last blog ..Book Giveaway Winner – Enjoy Your Money =-.

  14. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    If we did have that kind of influence, that would be phenomenal. Organizing a community is extremely powerful leverage, so who knows what our influence will be in the future. In terms of more visceral advice from PF bloggers compared to journalist, I typically agree with your assessment. If you have “been there…done that,” you have infinitely more credibility than if you are a “talking head.”
    .-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..Will the Economy Collapse In 2011? =-.

  15. Actually there is evidence out there that people have taken to couponing and looking for deals because of the recession. This happens at every downturn of course but seems more pronounced at this juncture and, who knows, maybe it is the personal finance blogging impact!
    If people just learn to get their money working for them rather than against them it would be a sea change for the country.
    .-= DIY Investor´s last blog ..BP Coffee Spill =-.

    1. I agree with DIY – that it seems much more pronounced. What would all the credit card companies do if everyone learned how to make their money work for them (the people) and not the companies? That would be a ton of money to do great things with.
      .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Friday Frugal Tips – Lawn Service =-.

  16. Money and Risk

    Oh Sam,

    I wish that was true about people taking advice.

    I read a blog recently where the young woman (30) has been unemployed for a year but she’s shopping twice a week at Whole Foods for her fix of coconut water plus a litany of other things. I’m sure that she will only stop once she runs out of money.

    I agree with Norman. Sales are down because there’s no credit left for many people as the credit card companies have been systematically shutting down limits.
    .-= Money and Risk´s last blog ..Can the IRS Roll Back Time on the Estate Tax? =-.

  17. $150,000 a year? I’m not sure you’re entirely familiar with the economics of publishing Sam.

    Ever met a rich journalist? ;) (Not a famous person who writes for a fortune – plenty of them!)

    Here in the UK some big media sites and papers have long been co-opting everyday people to write stories closer to the writer’s household finances or reader blogs or similar. Perhaps that’s why there’s seemingly less room for personal finance blogs here?
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Two new personal finance tools for Monevator readers =-.

    1. I am “taking the piss” as they say in the UK! Of course we didn’t cause a big decline in May retail sales, but one day, maybe we can affect change and create a hoard of frugal people in the world who save their money!

      I don’t think $150,000/year is too much to hire me to write a column a month for the Wall St. Journal. In fact, I think it’s a bargain! :)
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Emergency Fund Fallacy =-.

    1. You need to get Stewie Griffin on board – for the movie deal and for world domination!
      .-= ctreit´s last blog ..How to find cheap airline tickets =-.

  18. Chris Hooper

    Well someone has to tell the community to stop spending their money on useless crap. I don’t see the media stepping up to the plate.
    .-= Chris Hooper´s last blog ..Diversify Your Income Sources =-.

  19. Hey, I like your way of thinking! ;) The Yakezie is a great group of people. And yes, we should band together and strengthen this new movement. Cuz I feel it coming strong.

    Quite an awesome community of pf bloggers out there, Yakezie or not.

  20. Or it could be that May’s retail sales plunge is due to the fact that people have already maxed out their credit cards and they are at the end of their credit gravy train.

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