DR 083: How to Blog for a Living – An Interview with Bob Lotich of ChristianPF

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Have you ever wondered how professional bloggers get started and make a living? Blogs don’t just spring up overnight. They take months – even years – of hard work. But the work can be well worth the rewards, if you do it right.

The best way to learn about starting a blog is to talk to someone who has been there before. That’s why we’re talking today with Bob Lotich of Christian Personal Finance. Bob has been a full-time blogger for several years now, and he has a lot to say about how to start a career in full-time blogging.

Topics Covered in the Interview

  • Bob’s background as a business major and banker
  • The beginning of Christian Personal Finance
  • Taking the leap to full-time blogging
  • How a blog makes money
  • Secrets for professional blogging
  • Advice for new bloggers
  • A day in Bob’s life right now
  • Bob’s favorite personal finance books

Resources Mentioned in the Interview

Blogging Resources

Interview Transcript

Rob: Bob, welcome to the show.

Bob Lotich: Thanks Rob. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Rob: How you doing?

Bob Lotich: I’m doing great, yourself?

Rob: I’m doing fine. I just got back from a week long fishing trip in Orr, Minnesota which is not far from International Falls. I’m refreshed. I don’t even really like to fish.

Bob Lotich: Wow, really?

Rob: Yeah. The listeners, if they follow the podcast, know that about my rich dad and my poor dad because my poor dad used to take me bass fishing all the time. And I had done enough fishing by the age of 12 to last me a lifetime.

Bob Lotich: Gotcha.

Rob: But it was fun! It was fun – caught some good sized bass. So, I caught a 17″ bass, which is a lot of fun. So I go all the way to Minnesota to do this. I come back and the church…

Bob Lotich: How much does that weigh?

Rob: About 100 pounds. No, probably about three or four pounds. It’s a fun fish. Bass will fight you. They go deep sometimes, and then they come up, and they jump out of the water. We catch and release, though. We didn’t keep it.

I’m at church the day after I get back from this trip, all proud of my 17″ bass that I traveled all the way to Minnesota to catch. And a good friend of mine who fishes all the time was telling me about how he went down to Burke Lake, which is practically a pond by our home, and caught a 22″ bass. I thought, “Great, I went all the way down to Minnesota for a 17″ bass!”

Bob Lotich: That’s what fisherman do, right?

Rob: Yeah, he had a picture, so he had proof. So you hail from St. Louis, is that right?

Bob Lotich: Correct.

Rob: That’s where you are today?

Bob Lotich: Yep.

Some Background on Bob

Rob: Okay. Well, folks already know a little bit about you – that you blog at Christianpf.com. But why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into blogging.

Bob Lotich: While I was in college, I started working at a local bank near us. I worked in banking as a personal banker, and I helped people open accounts and stuff like that. I did that for a few years, and then I moved over to a brokerage firm. I worked there for about five years in a variety of jobs, a variety of different departments there. I just bounced around in a lot of operational roles.

How far do you want me to go Rob? Do you just want me to just come all the way up to present day?

Rob: Well, let me just ask you, what did you study in college?

Bob Lotich: Business. Well, I was a typical bounce-around student for a while. I actually started in architecture. I was an architecture major for a little bit. I really enjoyed architecture, but once I got in there I realized I didn’t want to do that for a career, so I moved over to audio production because I love music. I love making music and being part of the whole process. So I did that for about another year then I finally realized, “Alright, just get a business degree and be done with it!”

So that’s what I did.

Rob: Were you in college for what, seven or eight years?

Bob Lotich: It was actually only four. I took a year off in between. So I did two  years, then took a year off and went to Florida and hung out for a year, then came back and finished up my degree. So technically it was four years of school but over a period of five years.

Rob: You can’t tell, but I was smiling when I asked you the seven or eight year question. I know we’re talking today about blogging and your blogging success and how others might try the same thing— and we will get to that, but this is a personal finance show, so I have to ask you some personal finance questions.

Bob Lotich: Okay, let’s do it.

Rob: Did you graduate with any student loan debt?

Bob Lotich: Oh yeah! A ton!

Rob: A ton. What’s a ton?

Bob Lotich: Well, I mean for a business degree, it’s a ton. Not like a doctor or anything. I had probably $35,000 to $40,000 of student loan debt, which I didn’t need to have. I just took loans for everything because at that point in my life, I was not thinking ahead at all. I was just making a lot of stupid financial decisions, and that was one of them. So for me, and for a business degree, I think that’s a decent amount of debt.

Rob: Yeah, so how could you have come out of college with less debt?

Bob Lotich: Because I bounced around between these schools, one simple thing I could have done was go to community college for a lot of the courses. After I realized I wasn’t going to be an audio production major and jump over to business, there were a lot of credits I could have gotten at the community college for a fraction of the cost.

I could have spent a year there and probably saved $15,000. It’s as simple as that. Most kids don’t want to go to a community college because it’s cooler to say you’re at a university. In hindsight, I wish I would have done that.

Rob: I guess it’s not quite the same experience. Although, in Virginia, you can go to the community college system here for two years and if you get the right grades – which is usually not that tough, like a 3.0 or something— it depends on the college –  you get automatic admission to any state school in Virginia, which includes some great schools like William and Mary, UVA and Virginia Tech. You’re guaranteed admission to finish out a four-year degree. Did you grow up in Missouri?

Bob Lotich: Yeah.

Rob: Yeah. I don’t know how many other states offer that.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, that’s a great opportunity.

Rob: So, you were at a brokerage firm for five years, and did you go from there to blogging?

Bob Lotich: I started my blog while I was working there, which I’m really glad I did. I started the blog in 2007, and then in the summer of 2008 I got laid off. We got bought out by a bigger firm, and they just cleaned house. My whole department got eliminated because they had their own department that did what I was doing. I got laid off and got a severance package. I also got a little bit of a retainer agreement retention package to keep me hanging on until they really didn’t need me— until that last minute.

With the severance package and because we saved up for a few months, I decided to take the jump into full-time blogging even though we were not making nearly what I was making at my day job. It was something I just prayed about, that I talked to my wife about. We built up our savings like I said. We had paid off almost all of our debt at that point. All of those things factored into that decision to take that jump into full-time blogging.

Rob: Before we talk about that jump, what did you do at the brokerage firm?

Bob Lotich: I started in variable annuities in operational roles, processing applications and stuff like that. I did that for a couple of years. Then I moved up to our bond department. We had our own bond floor there. I was working in some support roles there. After that, I moved over to our trust company, and I was part of the team managing a money market fund that we had.

Rob: So variable annuities, aren’t those rip-offs?

Bob Lotich: I don’t know. I think with most financial products there is always somebody who they’re a fit for, and I think there are people who they’re not a fit for. Brokers are pretty well compensated for annuities. I think there are probably some people that got them or get them who maybe shouldn’t.

Rob: Yeah, I am just giving you a hard time. I had Tim Holmes on the show who is from Vanguard, and we talked about variable deferred annuities. They’re a complicated beast, but we tried to make our way through them. So what does a bond floor look like?

Bob Lotich: In our case, we basically had all the bond traders sitting in a big circle, maybe 50-feet wide. Well, actually, most of the bond assistants were sitting in a circle then the traders were on the floor. It’s this big circle that is maybe 100-feet wide if you can think of that as a diameter. Actually, it is a little bit more like a horseshoe, but you get the point.

And then they’re all yelling back and forth at each other, “Hey, I got these bonds that I want to sell here,” and then they’re on the phone calling Merrill Lynch and everybody else. That was what it was like. It’s exciting. I didn’t even know that we had one at Edwards— I worked at A.G. Edwards, that’s where I was until I applied for another job, and then I realized we had a trading floor here. So it was fun.

Rob: Is this just a floor in an office building somewhere?

Bob Lotich: Yeah, it was up on the fifteenth or sixteenth floor of our building.

Rob: And all the traders there worked for A.G. Edwards?

Bob Lotich: Yeah, they were all Edwards’ traders. But they’re all on the phone with all the other big brokerage houses swapping bonds back and forth and making deals.

Rob: I can try to picture that, but conceptually I just don’t understand how all that works, and I really want to. But maybe that’s a whole other podcast.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, well and I’m not the guy to ask either. Like I said, I was in more support roles.

Rob: Right, I want to go work on a trading floor, and I want to be one of those guys screaming and yelling. I don’t know exactly what I would scream or yell or how that would work.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, it just does seem fun— just being panicked and yelling. Like, in a frenzy all the time.

Starting Christian Personal Finance

Rob: Seems like a blast. The day would just fly by after I’ve traded a couple trillion dollars in bonds.

Okay, so, why did you start the blog? You are working at A.G. Edwards and I know they eventually merge with someone and let you go but you started the blog before that, right? So why did you start a blog?

Bob Lotich: Yeah. Well, because I was going through my own personal finance journey. I was learning so much. I had begun reading a bunch of personal finance blogs and books and everything I could get my hands on. I was really excited about what was going on in our own financial life, and how we were making so much progress paying off our debt and all this stuff.

I felt like I just wanted to share this. I can’t hold this in. The blog just seemed to be a great way to start communicating what was I was learning. Really, just start a conversation with some people about it  is what kicked it off. That’s what got me going. It’s just one of those things. I don’t know how I or why I continued— I guess I enjoyed it enough, and I was getting enough positive reaction to keep me going.

Rob: Did it start when you launched your blog? Well, first of all, did you know how to even set up a blog or were you learning from scratch?

Bob Lotich: No, completely learning from scratch. I’m not a very technical person. Over the years I have learned how to do a little bit of stuff with html and CSS and stuff. But no, when I got into this I didn’t know anything. I just had to figure out a lot as I went.

Rob: When you launched the blog were you thinking this was going to be a business or just a hobby?

Bob Lotich: In the back of my mind, I think I was hoping to make a little bit of money from it. As far as making a full-time income when I started… I knew of about two bloggers in the world who were actually making a full-time income, so it seemed like really slim chances. It was somewhere in the back of my brain, but I don’t know if I ever really thought it was possible, you know?

Leaping into Full-Time Blogging

Rob: When you decided to make the leap and blog full-time rather than going and finding another job, that had to have been scary.

Bob Lotich: It was terrifying, but kind of thrilling all at the same time. We were young. We didn’t have kids. It was the time to take a risk like that. We felt good about the decision. We felt a peace about moving forward with it. We did everything that we could to make it as wise of a decision as possible as far as getting as much debt paid off as possible, having a big buffer of savings and the severance package.

I was just going to give it a go for six to nine months, and use up all the severance money if that happened. Then I’d go get another day job if it didn’t work out. We had a plan, and everything was well thought out. But thankfully it did work out, and life has been perfect ever since.

Rob: Perfect, huh?

Bob Lotich: Yes.

Rob: When you made the leap, you said your blog was not earning the equivalent of what you were making at the brokerage.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, not at all.

Rob: Was it making 50%?

Bob Lotich: No. I want to say we were probably making just a few hundred dollars a month at that point.

Rob: Wow, that’s a big leap!

Bob Lotich: Yeah, it was a dramatic shift. It was a pretty big change to go into the whole thing. There were some months before that were I was making a little bit more. That previous month when I got laid off I think we made just a couple hundred dollars, so it was definitely a big stretch. But, we were able to take the risk, and I’m glad we did.

Rob: How long after you made that jump did you finally realize this is going to work— I  can do this full-time?

Bob Lotich: I think when I really realized it was when we actually made more in a given month than what I made at my day job. And that happened the following March— so March of 2009. Basically in nine months, we went from that couple hundred dollars a month to what I was making at the day job, which wasn’t a tremendous amount.

Like I said, I was in operational roles at an entry level. But it was enough to replace my income, and that was good for us.

Rob: What happened in those nine months? What did you do? How did you go from a couple hundred bucks to being ableto support your family?

Growing a Blog

Bob Lotich: Well, I worked my butt off.

Rob: Oh, so this isn’t easy? This isn’t like an hour or two a day?

Bob Lotich: No, it definitely wasn’t that in that phase. I tell people this a lot. What it looks like is that you went from June to that next March, and you took it from there to there. But really a lot of the work happened the previous year— that foundational period where not much growth was apparent and evident, but we were building a foundation with the site.

We were building a foundation of readers. We were building a foundation of links and all those different things. If it wasn’t for that previous year, I don’t think it would have been possible at all. That’s the hard part.

So when people talk to me about earning and how long does it take? The first six months I made a total of $100. And I thought that was a lofty goal. We made probably about a $120 the whole first six months. There was a lot of work involved. I mean, I was working part-time, but writing at least three blog posts every week, spending at least 15 or more hours on the site every week.

It’s a good amount of work to put in with little return, particularly in the beginning months and year. To get to where you are talking about— that was a really important part. Beyond that, I was now able to focus all of my time and energy on the site instead of just 15 hours a week.

One of the things that I do, and have always done, is guest posting. That was the thing that really helped me a lot back then. I would go write articles for anybody I could. I probably wrote one for you at some point back then. And any other site I could find, I would just do guest posts. So you’re getting links back to your site. You’re getting referral traffic. You’re creating a name for yourself and for your site. That was a really, really big important part of the whole growth of that nine month period.

Rob: You know my experience is very similar to yours. I think the first 6 months, I made about $100 bucks, too. You’re putting in ridiculous amounts of time, and you are putting the time in at weird hours of the day. Because you are working a job – I was, you were.

So some folks listening to this may be thinking, a blog might be something they’re interested in. But they’re wondering: how does a blog make money?

How Does a Blog Make Money?

Bob Lotich: There are a variety of ways. I can talk about what we’ve done. We have about three or four different revenue streams. So Ad Sense or other cost-per-click ads— those are just ads that you get paid for when somebody clicks on them. Those have always been a pretty big portion of our earnings. That’s one revenue stream.

Affiliate marketing, which is if you are talking about some brokerage firm on your site you might get a commission for talking about them if someone clicks a link and goes over and signs up for an account. That’s another avenue that we use.

Then we also do some CPM ads, where we get paid not per click, but per thousand impressions. So we’ll have different banner ads on our site that we get paid a few bucks for every thousand impressions. Those are our big three streams.

And now we are selling some books, so that’s another stream of income for us. But really, there are so many ways.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers who launch big consulting businesses just from their blog as well. And, to be honest, you can make a full-time living a lot quicker if you are doing some kind of consulting or selling a course rather than doing the model I have taken – maybe a little bit how you’ve gone Rob – where we have to get a lot of traffic in order to generate a sizable income from it with our business model.

Rob: That’s the thing that I think a lot of people miss when people say, “How do you make money blogging?” And you’ve described a number of ways I use as well. But underlying all of that is the fact that you make money blogging by getting a lot of traffic to your blog. If you have a blog with a lot of traffic, there will be a way to make money.

I think you’ve outlined the more common ways, but as you’ve said, you could have a consulting business. You could create your own product, whether it is an informational product or whatever. There are other ways as well, but you’ve got to get that traffic.

I’m curious… You mentioned your book— I know you’ve got a couple about blogging, including one you just recently released. So let’s start with the first blogging book. I think came out a number of years ago, but you’ve updated it, is that right?

Bob’s Book on Blogging

Bob Lotich: Yeah, that March when I finally made more from my blog than my day job, I decided to write an article about this and just tell people what I did. Actually, it was going to be a 10-part series, and I just decided to turn it into one big long article. So it was probably about 7,000 to 8,000 words. A pretty long and thorough article.

That began getting popular, and we were getting a lot of traffic to it. A lot of people were sharing it, too. Maybe a year later, I had heard about Kindle on Amazon, and I thought, I’ll just release this as a Kindle book so people have an alternate way to download it.”

I was going to list it for free, but Amazon wouldn’t let me. They made me charge at least $.99 for it. I ended up putting it on Kindle and selling it as an Amazon book. That began doing really well over at Amazon, getting a lot of downloads, and I have since figured out a way to get the price down to free. So it is free now over at Amazon. You can download it for free.

Rob: Yeah, I am looking at it now. I know there are some ways you can do it free for five days, but is this permanently free?

Bob Lotich: It is permanently free. I finally got it to be free a couple weeks ago. I won’t go into a big long thing about this, but basically the short story here is that Amazon wants to be the cheapest on the internet. So, if you can list it elsewhere for free and then let Amazon know about it, they’ll drop the price.

Rob: What percentage of that revenue do you get to keep?

Bob Lotich: Well, I don’t get anything on it.

Rob: I’m just kidding.

Bob Lotich: What’s funny though is, what I wasn’t sure about, if your list price is $9.99 and they drop it to $7.99, they pay your commission based off that $9.99 price. So no matter what they drop it to, they pay you what your list price is. I was thinking, “Who knows, maybe they will give me a little bit for each one of those.”

But they don’t. Surprise, surprise.

Rob: I make fun, but I think it’s terrific that you are willing to give that book away for free.

Bob Lotich: Well, honestly it’s on the website for free as well. I just wanted to give people another avenue to find it.

Rob: That book is the one if someone is listening and they are a beginner or they have a blog that they have never monetized.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, it is very much the beginning. I tried to keep it as basic and simple as I could. That was my experiment into this whole book-writing Amazon world. I essentially took this big long blog post, turned it into a Kindle book. And it did really well. It was getting really good reviews and lots of downloads.

Rob: How many times has it been downloaded?

Bob Lotich: With the free promos, I think probably about 25,000. The free promos help. And now it’s completely free, but before that I could do free promos. Sometimes I would get 1,000 downloads from one free promo. So it’s been downloaded a lot.

Pro Blogging Secrets

Rob: Ok. And then you’ve written a more recent one that’s more advanced.

Bob Lotich: Yeah. The new one I wrote is a basically a follow-up to that called Pro-Blogging Secrets. And that is basically where I share a lot of the secret sauce and things I’ve learned over the last few years that I feel like have helped me really make this whole thing work. I’ve set my site apart as far as being a site that is actually making enough money to pay the bills versus something that’s not.

Rob: Well, I’ve read this book. And I’ve even reviewed it on Amazon.com.

Bob Lotich: You did, and I appreciate that.

Rob: I’ve got to tell you, the thing that really ticked me off about your book is that…

Bob Lotich: Tell me.

Rob: You know I’ve been doing this since 2007 as well. And while I recognize that we can all continue to learn, I figure I know a lot about this business and I found myself every couple of pages saying, “I didn’t know that,” and tagging that page on my iPad.

Whether it was a plug-in that you mentioned or a strategy, don’t take this the wrong way Bob, we’ve known each other for a while, but I was surprised that I took so much away from the book because you and I, we talk about this stuff. It underscored for me just how much there is that you can never stop learning.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, and that’s the thing— I am absolutely convinced there’s just as much I can learn from you, so you should probably write the next book. We all have different things that we’ve learned over the journey, and if we all share our unique things that we’ve figured out… I’m sure there will be some overlap, but I think there’s a lot that will be unique to each one of us, and there’s plenty we can learn.

Rob: In the show notes to this, I will link to both of those books, as well as you have an alternate page on Amazon as well. You know, I Googled you.

Bob Lotich: You Googled me?

Rob: I did. And a picture comes up. Like, who do you know at Google? I mean, a whole bunch of good stuff comes up. I get your name, founder of ChristianPF. Maybe it’s because we’re friends in Google+? Maybe that’s why it comes up.

Bob Lotich: I don’t know, I’m not sure.

Rob: You’ve got all of these images of yourself. You’re like, famous.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, if you want to call it that! Go for it.

Advice for New Bloggers

Rob: So, if someone wants to start a blog or take their blog to the next level, do you have any advice for them?

Bob Lotich: Well those are two different things. I’ll try to give some blanket advice. Like we talked about from writing the article a long time ago, I’ve gotten so many emails from readers and so many questions and so many, “I want to start a blog. What should I do?”

What I’ve found in talking to a lot of new bloggers is so many of them view this as a get rich quick thing. And it’s just not. Its fine if it’s just a hobby, and you’re not trying to make money from it or it’s just a little bit extra money as some icing on the cake. That’s fine. That’s great.

But regardless— if you want to build an audience – if you want to have a blog that’s getting read and that has the potential to make a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars a month, you’ve really got to work at it. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s not even going to happen in a couple months. If you really want to make it work, you are going to have to spend a couple years on it.

That doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be making a little bit of money in that process. It just requires a lot of upfront work and energy. I’m not at all trying to scare anybody away because I think it’s fun. If you’re writing about something that you really love and you’re excited about, you’re going to enjoy every step of the journey. Regardless of how much you’re making at the moment, you’re doing what you’re excited and passionate about. That would be my biggest advice. Or maybe ‘word of caution’ to new bloggers.

Rob: Well, the one thing I like about it is, it takes very little money. Hosting is cheap – a few bucks a month. The URL or domain name is $10 or $15 a year. WordPress is free. You could spend a little money on a premium theme which, for those that don’t know what that is, it basically helps the way your site looks and adds some functionality. You could easily start a blog. When I think of the blogs that have sold— there are blogs out there that have sold for millions, and they were started on a few bucks a month.

Bob Lotich: There’s no business that I know of that you could start as cheap as this.

Rob: The biggest investment is your time.

Bob Lotich: Exactly.

A Day in the Life of a Pro Blogger

Rob: Now that you’ve done this for a long time, obviously you written books and you’ve got your site, what’s a typical work day in your life look like today? What, do you get up at about 11:00 am?

Bob Lotich: No, I never really got up that late. I’ve got a new baby so I don’t really get to pick when I get up anymore.

Rob: Congrats.

Bob Lotich: At this point in the blogging career, I am a bit more project-oriented. I have a lot of help on the site. I have an editor who does a lot for me, and I have a couple writers who are writing for me. So there’s a variety of things going on where my role has changed a lot over the years.

At this point, I’m doing more projects, so I’m focused on shorter-term projects. Maybe a few weeks long. For example, this book I just launched— I spent probably the last two months working at least a few hours a day on the book – writing it. And it was self-published, so I had to do a lot of the work myself. Designing the cover, outsourcing and getting it edited and all of those different elements of book creation. That was a big project I was working on.

I’m going on vacation soon, so I’m not going to do anything, which is going to be nice. When I get back I’m going to work on a new email course. We have a handful of email courses on our site, and that’s been something that’s worked well for us. So, I’m going to create a new email course and that will probably take me another month or two, just getting all that worked out. So day-to-day it changes, it shifts. But I am more project-oriented at this point.

Rob: In terms of the content, when you go on vacation do things can continue to operate for a week while you’re gone?

Bob Lotich: Yeah, I’ve got some good help. And WordPress allows you to schedule posts in advance. So, yeah, I can step away pretty easily and take a break.

Rob: So you have an editor? I assume that your writers write and obviously edit it but do they upload it into WordPress?

Bob Lotich: Yep.

Rob: And they format it and everything, so they’re copyeditors as well, effectively?

Bob Lotich: Yeah.

Rob: Man, that’s sweet! I need that kind of operation.

Bob Lotich: You need one of those.

Rob: Well, I’ve had an editor in the past who was and is fantastic, but she wasn’t a copyeditor. So she would just edit the content. And sometimes if you experimented with having your writers input their articles in WordPress or is that just not good for you?

Bob Lotich: Well, I do. All the writers on my site have always put the articles on WordPress. I probably could have done a better job communicating and training them on the formatting. That probably would have saved a lot of time. But, I unfortunately never did. So we needed the editor to come back in and make formatting adjustments just to match the style of our site and how we wanted to do things.

Rob: And does your editor come up with the graphics too, the images?

Bob Lotich: No, that’s actually something that I’m doing right now. And it’s mostly because I enjoy it. I’m kind of a wannabe graphic designer. I’m mostly doing the graphics, like I said, just because I enjoy it. It’s probably not a good use of my time but I like it.

Rob: Right, well good. Anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have? What have I left out?

Bob Lotich: I don’t know.

Bob’s Favorite Personal Finance Books

Rob: We’ve covered it all. What’s your favorite personal finance book? If folks listening had time to read one personal finance book, besides of course the ones you’ve written which I’ll link to.

Bob Lotich: I mean, I hate saying this because it’s so cliché and he doesn’t need any more promotion, but I feel like Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover could help more people in America than most personal finance books out there. Just because it’s such a simple step-by-step formula. And it’s not a perfect formula for everybody – there’s a lot of people who could and who have been helped by that book. I still like it. I still recommend it when people in tough financial spots send me an email. That’s the one I’m recommending.

Rob: Well, he’s helped a lot of people tackle their debt and get out of debt.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, we should use that as a caveat. That’s what that book is good for – for people trying to get out of debt.

Rob: That’s his wheelhouse. That’s what he is. That’s the experience he had personally as he talks about it a lot with his own real estate business cratered on him. So he learned the hard way, I guess, as a lot of us do. Maybe not quite with the same numbers he had.

That’s a great book. I know it’s helped a lot of people. The folks listening know I’m not at all a fan of Dave when it comes to investing advice, but boy when it comes to getting out of debt, it’s hard to find someone who’s helped more people.

Bob Lotich: Well, I’ll just throw in another recommendation as well. I don’t know how often you ask this question, but I believe it’s called: Your Money, Your Life was just another fantastic book. It wasn’t step-by-step at all. Maybe some elements are step-by-step…

Rob: Is that Your Money or Your Life?

Bob Lotich: I think that’s what it’s called.

Rob: Yeah. Your Money or Your Life. Great book.

Bob Lotich: There’s just a lot of aspects of money management that they had some good ideas on. If you read that book and allow it to transform your thinking and your approach, I think your financial life will never be the same.

Rob: It’s a great book, and I’ll link to both those books in the show notes. The thing about Your Money or Your Life… It’s been a while since I’ve read it and this was me when I graduated from college— I saw money as a way to buy a lifestyle. To buy stuff. I’d get a nice car, a nice house, and that was a few decades ago. But now it’s just totally changed and to me, I see money as a way not to buy stuff but to live a life that I want to live. So it’s changed dramatically for me.

But Your Money or Your Life I think is a great book to help folks perhaps change their attitudes and their thoughts about money. Hey Bob, I appreciate you coming on the show. I will definitely link to your books. I should say too, we’ve talked about your two blogging books but you’ve also written: Managing Money God’s Way, obviously ChristianPF (Christian Personal Finance) so you intertwine your faith and personal finance?

Bob Lotich: Yeah, exactly.

Rob: And you’ve also written: How to Save Money: A 21-Day Challenge To Save $500 a Month. Another good book. I’ll make sure folks know about those. It’s not all about blogging, you’ve also got personal finance. You’re really making me feel like a lazy bum. I’ve started a book and I’ve even gotten some listeners to help me, and it’s just floundered a bit. I’ve got to get my act together.

Bob Lotich: Podcasting is a lot of work.

Rob: I need an editor and some writers. Well actually, I have a very good one. One of them that’s helping me, but she got a full-time job so she’s stretched pretty thin. But she’s done great. Alright man. Listen, I appreciate your time and thank you for sharing your story with us.

Bob Lotich: Yeah, it’s my pleasure. Thank you, Rob.

Published or Updated: July 3, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Ebenezer says:

    Hi Rob, great podcast! I have been a longtime reader of your blog, and I just want to thank you for the resources you have provided here. I started my own blog just recently and this is exactly the information I am looking for. Right now, my blog is still a hobby, but I am looking into monetizing it.

    I have read somewhere that to be approved for Google Adsense, a blog needs to have a minimum of roughly 40 to 50 posts with 500+ words each. But I have also stumbled across self-hosted blogs and websites with little content, yet they manage to have ads and banners already(maybe these aren’t Google Ads?). My questions are: How hard is it to get approved for these affiliate programs and Google Adsense? Should I not even consider monetizing my blog until I have “enough” content? What is “enough?” Thanks!

    • Rob Berger says:

      First, you should be able to get approved for Adsense and many affiliate programs, even with a new blog. As for when you should start advertising or otherwise monetizing your site, there’s no one right answer. That being said, I think the main focus should be creating great content and connecting with your audience and others in your space. I know some who waited a year to make money from their blog, and it helped them build a great community.

  2. Mike says:

    I searched “Bob Lotich” on Google and got no biography on him from Google+, so it must be because that your friends with him on Google+. Any ways, love this interview, it was crystal clear, and awesome.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Mike, you are absolutely right! We are in each other’s Google+ circles.

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