Thinking of starting a personal finance blog? You have to be completely transparent.

I know this is only my fourth post on Dimes to Dough, but I’ve been following a lot of top personal finance bloggers and industry leaders for a long time. When I think about the people in personal finance I relate to and respect the most, I think of people like Pat Flynn, Mr. Money Moustache, and Dave Ramsey. What’s so unique about these three? They’re super transparent.

Pat Flynn started the highly successful podcast Smart Passive Income. He has a huge following, spends his day helping people create their own sources of passive income, and lives off of his own passive income. On his blog, Flynn publishes what he makes every month, where it all comes from, and hides nothing too close to his chest. His cards are on the table and he invites others to learn from his mistakes and successes.

Mr. Money Moustache also puts it all on the table. His approach is probably the most radical of the three, but that is what makes him unique. He doesn’t sugar coat personal finance. If you’re broke, stop it! Stop wasting money, sell your possessions you can’t live without, get out of debt as fast as possible, and above all else live below your means. Mr. Money Moustache tells it like it is, is very transparent, and has one of the fastest growing blogs in the personal finance nitche.

Dave Ramsey tells it like it is too, and holds strong to his Christian faith and biblical teachings on money. He devoted his career to creating a simple-to-understand method of getting out of debt that can apply to anyone, and he still hosts a 3-hour talkshow during the week, on top of leading his company. He uses his life story of going through a bankruptcy to help others and he isn’t ashamed one bit. The life-changing stories on his show are sure to top any financial struggles you’re going through, too. There’s some motivation for you.

Long story short, if you want people to relate to you or your personal finance advice, you have to be honest about your own financial situation. People relate to people, not just advice, even if it’s 100% accurate. Being honest, real, and just a person is all it takes. Comment on other fellow bloggers’ blogs. Start conversations. It’s really that simple.

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