“My approach however is more along the lines of a cactus, you store and protect your money so you always have a supply if things get tough.”
With so many blogs out there, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of personal finance posts. However, Shaun is one of the most consistent bloggers who gives excellent advice and wealth creation resources each and every time. Money Cactus is one of my favourite blogs, and even when I find it difficult to visit other blogs, this is one blog that I visit on a regular basis.
Here is my one-on-one interview with Shaun of Money Cactus.
Even though this question has nothing to do with Money Cactus, I have to ask it. What is it like living in Australia?
I think that Australia is a pretty good place to live, we don’t have a huge population so it isn’t too crowded and there is plenty to see and do. I’d say that our biggest asset is our beaches and the fact that we are generally pretty easy going people. I did a mini tour of Australia’s states and territories when I hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance a little while ago which provides a little more information for those who are interested.
Where did the name Money Cactus come from and why did you decide to join the blogosphere?
I started blogging because I saw what others were doing and wanted to get involved. It can be a steep learning curve, but I have really enjoyed learning some new skills and interacting with blogger from all over the world.
The name Money Cactus came about while I was trying to brand my blog. A lot of people go for a title that describes their content, but I thought I’d try something different in hope it was memorable. Basically I was thinking that what most people want these days is a money tree – a ready source of money that doesn’t run out. My approach however is more along the lines of a cactus, you store and protect your money so you always have a supply if things get tough. It was late a night and it seemed logical at the time!
Your tagline says “Wealth creation for everyday people.” Why did you choose this theme and how easy has it been to find content related to it and successfully portray your ideas to your readers?
I really like helping people and there seem to be a lot that need help with their finances. Most people just don’t seem to be able to manage a simple budget and write the concept off as too hard to manage. I really want to try and simplify that sort of stuff for anyone that is interested, just everyday people like me.
To be honest, most of my content tends to sit somewhere between personal finance and personal development. I’m not going to show you how to work up the courage to talk to members of the opposite sex, but I do want to help you develop a mindset that enables you to create wealth, no matter what your current situation is. Hopefully I’ve been able to achieve that and others have found it useful.
How do you stay motivated to keep working on your blog to make it better?
It can be really tough to stay motivated, I often get distracted and spend large amounts of time doing things that don’t benefit my blog. Sometimes it is because I only get to work at it during the evenings and I’m half asleep, other times it’s because I just don’t feel like writing, or don’t have the right idea. I think that I’d probably be a lot more successful if I took a more business like approach and really knuckled down on writing content, but it just doesn’t work for me.
What I did do that has helped was promise myself that I would post a minimum of one time per week (my posts are generally pretty long) and joined the Yakezie challenge which also helps keep me accountable.
How have you embraced social media to connect with your users? Has social media made it easier to get your message across?
I’m pretty terrible at the whole social media thing. My Facebook page gets very little attention and the only place I’m moderately active is Twitter. I like to listen (read) more than anything else, but when I do have something to say I usually just write an article on my blog. That and commenting on other blog articles that get me thinking, there are some great personal finance blogs around.
I know that you are one of the more popular Yakezie bloggers. How has Yakezie changed Money Cactus?
Popular is probably an overstatement, but I have really enjoyed being a part of the Yakezie community. There are some really clever bloggers in that group who have made big changes to their own lives through blogging and I’m really impressed by that. I think that the biggest impact for me and my site has been the accountability and goals imposed by the challenge. The number of participants really makes it fun to be a part of, because ultimately everyone has a common goal and most people are more than willing to help others in any way they can.
Your Yakezie Truth Serum article, certainly hit home with me. How do you balance interacting with your fellow Yakezie bloggers, blogging for Money Cactus and living life in general?
Poorly! I wrote that article because I wanted to show exactly where I was at that point in time, things have improved since then which is nice and I got a lot of really positive feedback from others about it too.
I would love to interact with more people online, but things haven’t gone too well lately. My wife and I have just had our second child and we are still getting a routine sorted out. We are pretty close now, so I hope to be a bit more active shortly because there are lots of great articles being produced by Yakezie members every week. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to write, but it is often what I read that gives me the inspiration to write my next article, so it is well worth the effort.
Where do you draw your inspiration from and what impact has this had on you?
These days I get some of my inspiration from the things I read online written by other bloggers, but other times it is things that are affecting me, or things that I think might be helpful to others. My favourite type of inspiration is from readers that ask for something in particular, those articles tend to turn out really well because it is very easy to keep your audience in mind when writing and deliver exactly what they want.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up on Money Cactus? What made you change your mind?
All the time. I’ve though about walking away, or trying to sell the site, but I’m pretty proud of it and most of the content too. I still feel like I have something to contribute, which will hopefully be helpful to others as well.
The other factor that helps is the small amount of income it produces. It isn’t always consistent, but a financial reward is pretty motivating. I try to use the money to further the site or buy tools to help me continue to blog – like the macbook pro I’m typing on now, it’s another thing that motivates me to keep writing because I love using it!
You are a big inspiration to me and I’m sure that you have many readers who feel the same. What advice would you give to people who want to enter the blogging world?
I’m really pleased that I’ve made an impact, even it is just one person, and appreciate it more than I can say.
For others that might want to get into blogging, I’d just say go for it. It has got to be one of the cheapest ways for you to create a presence and potentially build a business all of your own. I won’t go into the details, there is already a lot of information about this sort of thing online, but I would suggest giving it plenty of thought in the early stages and be clear about your goals, it will really help when you get to that point of wanting to quit (it happens to all of us at some point). The other piece of advice would be to write as often and as much as possible, it is something that I’d love to do more of and every time I do I can see the positive effect it has on my site.