Thank You Ninja & The Future of Punch Debt in the Face

Like many of you I have been reading Punch Debt in the Face for the better part of a decade, so when I saw his post about being done with Punch Debt in the Face I was completely bummed.  I actually found my first comment on the way back in 2010 in a post about optimism and stupidity.  So who am I? and why did I buy the site?

My name is Evan and I own and run MyJourneytoMillions an 8 year personal finance blog.  While I never gained the popularity or notoriety that Ninja did, I have always enjoyed blogging and couldn’t bear the thought of this becoming a landing page when the domain expired.

While I won’t be writing here that often I hope to share some other fantastic voices!  If you have a story to tell please contact me!

I guess this is Goodbye.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 10.54.16 PMIf it wasn’t entirely obvious, my blogging flame has finally flickered out. It’s been nearly six months since my last post and I’d be lying if I said I had a desire to write again. My season as a Personal Finance blogger has come to an end.

It’s been a wild ride and I’ve been fortunate to have many successes over my six year blogging career. Girl Ninja and I were flown to Chicago to appear on the Steve Harvey Show. I was featured in a print version of Reader’s Digest. Had a huge interview and feature on Forbes.com. And even won the “People’s Choice” award at the largest personal finance blogging conference in the world UNIVERSE, meaning a bunch of random people thought I was the best PF blogger alive!

Thanks for sticking around for so long. If you want to keep somewhat abreast (hahaha, I said breast) of my current life happenings, feel free to follow along on my latest hobby, furniture flipping. I started MidandMod.com (not so much a blog, but a showroom for my furniture, with an occasional random life thought), or on instagram at…

Midandmod (my furniture instagram)

or

B_patch (my real life, day-to-day, instagram)

Or you can always shoot me an email if you’d like to stay in touch (ninja@punchdebtintheface.com)

Also, Girl Ninja has another human/fetus/baby/thing inside of her, a Girl apparently. Due in May. Jury is still out on a name. Oddly enough Baby Ninja 1, Weston, was named by a random reader of this blog when I asked you all to help name him. Perhaps you have some gem of a name you’ve been saving that you wouldn’t mind us considering 🙂 If so drop it in the comments.

I’ll do my best to respond to any comments this post gets (within the two weeks before my anti-spam robot closes the comments section of this post), so feel free to ask any questions if you have them.

Oh, and our current Net Worth is like $420,000 (for those of you weirdo’s that would feel like you were left with a big cliff hanger if I didn’t do one last net worth update).

Well, I guess that’s all.

As the cliche saying goes…

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END. 

That end is here.

Adios,

Ninja

 

p.s. If you’re interested in buying my blog and the URL let me know.I guess I won’t have much use for it anymore. 

That time I did a video interview

Just came across this gem. It’s an interview I did at FinCon, the financial bloggers conference, in Denver last September. If you want to know what I sound like go ahead and give it a watch 😉

 

p.s. I didn’t realize how annoyingly I chew my gum. My apologies.

Hi ho Denver

I’ve tried not to be like every other personal finance blogger out there and bore you with information about this years personal finance bloggers conference (FinCon). The conference itself isn’t boring, but when bloggers take the time to write about it (especially when they do it multiple times), I start to wonder who their audience really is? Call me crazy, but I’m going to assume of the 2,100 readers that have subscribed to this blog, most of you aren’t bloggers. This leads me to believe, you would want to stab your eyeballs out with a pair of hot chopsticks if I wrote 20 different posts on the conference. For that reason, I’ll keep things lighthearted.

Every year, Budgetable, puts out an infographic on who bloggers need to meet at the personal finance conference. It’s suppose to tell you who the most influential personal finance bloggers are. Two years in a row, Punch Debt In The Face hasn’t made the cut. Well ya know what Budgetable? You can keep your infographic to yourself because this year I’ve made my own. Read it and weep suckers….

How ya like them apples? 

This years conference is in Denver. I’m skeptical of what the mile high city has to offer – aside from a lack of oxygen – but I’m trying to keep an open mind. I went to Copper Mountain, CO in college for spring break once and it was pretty underwhelming. Hopefully Denver wont be equally anticlimactic.

Oh and how is this for exciting…

I learned Sallie Mae is attending the event. I presume they will have a booth set up trying to convince us bloggers they aren’t as bad as we often make them out to be. If they pull me over to their table, I have a plan. Show them some of my stick figure art from the last couple of years. Like this…

or this…

or my personal favorite, this…

Do you think they’d get the point? 

I’ll catch y’all on the flip-side, but for now it’s time I throw on my PDITF shirt and pretend I’m more important than I really am 🙂

 

We gonna be on the TV

A few weeks ago I got an email from a “tv producer” asking if I’d be interested in being a guest on their “show.” Yeah frickin’ right. “There is no way this email is legit”, I thought to myself. Everyday I spend a good ten minutes weeding through my crap mail, guest post proposal this, partnership opportunity that. Spam, Spam, SPAM!

There was something different about this email though. First and foremost, it was written with proper punctuation and grammar. Further investigation – remember I am an investigator by trade – revealed the senders email address appeared to be from a legitimate domain and not something like producer19@hotmail.com.

“What the heck” I thought. I’ll take the bait.

After a handful of email exchanges, a phone interview, and a Skype interview, it’s official….we are going to be on TV. And I’m not just talking like local news; We are actually being flown to an NBC studio in Chicago next weekend for the interview.

How weird is that?

I’m pumped for a handful of reasons. The first being that Girl Ninja has never been to Chicago before and this was a free opportunity to take her there. How romantic of me right? We plan to run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to pack in as much “sightseeing” as we can in the few days we are there. Suggestions on places to go or eat are of course welcome!

Most people can make money from their blogs, but how many can say their sites scored them a spot on national tv? This totally has to increase my blogging street cred right?

While I would typically be pretty nervous for something like this, knowing Girl Ninja will be by my side makes me extremely excited. I might be biased, but I think we are pretty cool people and I’m stoked we have an opportunity to show the world personal finance doesn’t have to be boring. What’s more, Girl Ninja is a mondo babe and I’m super pumped to be the guy that gets to sit next to her on camera – cool by association is a thing right?

We really have nothing to lose, except the possibility of coming across as awkward, but a ton to gain. A free trip, exposure to the other side of TV, and a really sweet adventure that we can look back on in 20 years and say “Hey, remember that time we were on NBC? That was neat.”

Chicago, here we come!

Oh, and since you might catch us on TV, we figured it’s time for Girl Ninja to join me and come out from behind the black bar. Say “Hi” to her

(and yes…that is her natural hair color)

And another goal bites the dust.

As most of you know, my business partner Jesse and I launched a visual bookmarking website for guys, MANteresting, back in February. Aside from a few casual references sprinkled throughout some recent blog posts, I haven’t really talked much about it. Today I thought I’d give you a little insight in to how our first four months have gone, some of the struggles we’ve had, and where we are headed.

While I believed the idea of a Pinterest site – sans cupcakes, puppies, and weddings – would be successful, I don’t think Jesse or I quite realized just how quickly this thing could take off. When we first launched there was only one other site like ours. Now I know of at least five others. We are all jockeying for position to be the standout Pinterest site for guys. Fortunately we’ve managed to establish ourselves early and separate ourselves from the pack.

Our site has been viewed over two-million times, we’ve been averaging well over 200,000 visitors each month, our users have uploaded over 52,000 images, and as of Friday we can check off another major milestone: we were featured on the front page of CNN.com this last weekend (as of this writing we are still on the front page under the “tech section”).

After this latest mention, I can now say with relative confidence that we’ve been featured in EVERY major news media outlet out there. CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, MSN, CNET, CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Gawker, TechCrunch, and Washington Post. To be honest, it’s been surreal. 

As awesome as things have been, there have been times where Jesse and I get sick of it. We were bogged down, worn down, and beat down. Our site was constantly crashing due to heavy traffic. We struggled to scale properly. We switched servers and hired on a handful of independent contractors to help us out. We  grew tired of responding to interview requests, managing the social media, and interacting with users. After two months of no sleep, we needed a break. We were exhausted – both physically and mentally – so from late March to early June, we retreated and let things coast.

About a week we reconnected to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, but more importantly talk about where we want to go. Do we want to sell while we have a ton of great press? Do we take on partners to help mitigate our increasing costs and give us more free time? Do we suck it up and push on, maintaining sole ownership, in hopes of something greater down the road?

Right now, we are about $8,000 in to the site. We have another $4,000 left to spend to keep us at (or under) our $12,000 12-month spending cap. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to commit so much money to something we haven’t even tried to monetize. It’s also near impossible for us to put an accurate value on our site. Our we worth $10,000? $100,000? Or $500,000? When we think about all of the things we’ve accomplished in the last 5 months, and all the things we want to accomplish in the next five, we are moving forward; hoping our $12,000 investment rewards us handsomely.

F.Y.I. When I registered MANteresting.com, Pinterest was valued at $40,000,000. When we launched, Pinterest was valued at $200 million. As of today, they’re valued at around 1.5 billion. While we don’t necessarily think this site will make us millions we, at the very least, recognized the potential from a very early stage. 

 

Losing money like a boss.

Two thousand eleven was a great year for Punch Debt In The Face. I broke all sorts of traffic records, was fortunate enough to be featured in some pretty stellar articles, and was even able to turn $100 of expenses in to a $13,000 business. Not a bad return on investment eh?

This year, however, it appears as though I will be yet again, setting another record. Unfortunately, it’s not a record I necessarily want to set. I don’t know if it’s just my blog or what, but it seems advertising opportunities have pretty much dried up over the last two or three months. January and February started out strong, but since then things have taken a sharp decline. Google did some serious algorithm tweaking and instead of companies asking to advertise with me, they were requesting that I remove the ads they had already paid for (note to people who care, my PageRank actually went up during the recent change). Legitimate ad deals are few and far between now. It seems like the only opportunities I’m being pitched are crappy guest post submissions from people I’ve never heard of.

And that my friends brings us to today’s lesson: You need to diversify your income. This can all be broken down by an uber simple math formula I worked up last night…

You see how that works? The more income streams you have, the less devastating a loss of one income is. Last year, Girl Ninja and I were rocking Triple Income No Kid status, this year, looks like we will have to settle for being DINKs.

“But Ninja, I only have the ability to work one job, and I don’t have a significant other to support me through tougher times.” So the heck what! You ever heard of an Emergency fund? That straight up works like a second source of income in the event you get canned. Booya grandma, problem solved!

We hear people say all the time, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I’ll take it a step further, “Don’t settle on having just one egg.”

How diversified is your income? If you lost your job, how long could you get by without that income? For my fellow bloggers, have your advertisement opportunities been as limited as mine recently?