It Takes a Village to Raise a Blog

Two years ago today this intrepid soul launched himself on an unexpected adventure called the Dough Roller. I can still remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hit the publish button on my first article, as if anybody was actually going to read it.

Back then I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. I was new to everything, including WordPress, html, php, seo and everything else blog related. Just to give you an idea, check out 30 Things I Learned in My First 30 Days of Blogging.

To celebrate the second anniversary, I initially planned to talk about the most popular articles published here at the Dough Roller. Upon reflection, however, I thought it best to say thank you to the blogs and websites that have helped me along the way.

First, however, let me give a big thank you to the regular readers of the Dough Roller. Without you, this site would be the proverbial tree falling in the woods.

With that, here are some of the blogs and websites to whom I owe a big thank you:

  • 2million’s Personal Finance Blog: 2million was the first personal finance blog I remember reading, and the inspiration behind the Dough Roller. I spent a month reading 2million before launching this site.
  • MSN’s Smart Spending Blog: I owe much of the success of this site to Karen and Donna at MSN. They invited me to became a partner blog with them, and as a result, the Dough Roller has a far broader reach than it ever would on its own. On top of that, Karen is an incredible writer and editor. A typical email from Karen as she reviews one of my articles goes something like this:

    Yo, Dough! Did you really mean to say [fill in something stupid I wrote in one of my articles]?

    The simple truth is that working with Karen has made be a better writer, and I am eternally grateful.

  • M-Network: The M-Network currently is comprised of eight terrific personal finance blogs: Plonkee Money, Mrs. Micah, Cash Money Life, Gather Little By Little, My Two Dollars, Moolanomy, I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…, and Being Frugal. While the Dough Roller is no longer a member of the M-Network, my work with the M-Network improved the Dough Roller in countless ways. They truly represent a fine group of blogs and bloggers.
  • Get Rich Slowly: JD, the blogger behind Get Rich Slowly, played a big role in the development of this site, and he may not even realize it. Back in December 2007, when I was still trying to figure this blogging thing out, JD picked a Dough Roller article as an editor’s choice in the Carnival of Personal Finance. The article was called The ultimate guide to traditional and Roth 401(k) and IRA accounts, and as a result of JD’s pick, the article ended up on LifeHacker as Retirement Savings 101. Before I’d finished my morning cup of joe, the site had received about 10,000 visitors.

The Future of the Dough Roller

So where do we go from here? My goal for the remainder of 2009 and beyond is to have one word best describe this site–useful. Before I hit the publish button on an article, the question I’ll ask is whether the article will help you make more, spend less, or invest the rest. If the article won’t prove useful, it won’t get published.

And if you’re like me, you’re wondering just how useful this article is. Fair enough. So to make this article useful, here’s a site that helps you develop good habits of any kind, financial or otherwise–


Stickk is a free website developed by Yale University economists that allows you to set up any goals you want. You can put money on the line if you fail to reach your goal and determine who the money will go to if you fail. So, for example, if you are a Democrat, you could have the money go to Rush Limbaugh in the event of failure. Now that would be motivation (even for many Republicans)! You can also involve a referee (like a friend or family member) to monitor your progress. And you can enlist the help of supporters to cheer you on.

So if you’re having trouble sticking to your budget, saving an emergency fund, or any other aspect of your finances, you should check out Stickk.


Topics: Financial News

8 Responses to “It Takes a Village to Raise a Blog”

  1. Congratulations on building such a useful and successful blog!
    I think it was over a year ago that your wife mentioned you had started a blog, and I couldn’t believe it. (“Are you sure he made a blog?”) You have always claimed to be not that technical, but I won’t believe that any longer. Here you are with a WP blog you built from scratch, with all kinds of SEO experience, and a great collection of information here. On top of that, you’ve given a lot of good advice and level-headed voice to a topic that people worry about.
    I wish you well in the future, now get back to work on your next post…

  2. Shazon (a.k.a. “Dave”), it looks like you’re full of surprises! I’m looking forward to our next phone call so you can tell me all about your new project. Maybe DR readers would like to hear about it.

  3. DR – Nice summary article. Believe it or not, you’re one of the first finance blog I came across and I was really impress with your content back then. I am even more amazed now. Good luck with your journey, and I hope we can be there to support each other along the way.

  4. DR — I think that’s what the pros call a “tease” — I’m glad you noticed. 🙂 Yeah, I’d be happy to talk about Shazon, and we can figure out the best way to tell your readers about it.

  5. TStrump

    Congrats on your blog.
    I, too, remember the very first post I ever did.
    I still get nervous sometimes – sometimes the thought, ‘should I say that?’ crosses my mind.
    Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply