Dear Financial Influencers, Please Stop

Amanda Claypool
10 min readJun 15, 2023
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Back in 2019, I started a personal finance blog. I decided to call it Millionaire by Next Year. I thought by starting a blog I would finally find success as an entrepreneur.

Four years later, I’m nowhere closer to becoming a millionaire. And I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the “successful” bloggers I followed when I got started are actually making the amount of money they claim they do.

What I gained during that period of time, instead, is a wealth of knowledge. I learned how to build my own website. Write content. And even got a couple of articles to organically rank on Google without doing any SEO.

I want to keep the project going — to prove to myself I can build a successful blog — but I don’t have the heart anymore.

At some point in the journey, I realized the goal of a personal finance blog isn’t to show off your writing talent. It’s to sell products.

That’s the business I had gotten myself into. Not writing. Sales.

That wouldn’t be a terrible proposition if I believed in the products I was supposed to be selling. But I didn’t then and I still don’t now.

I may write a lot but I’m not a content mill trying to rank for an undervalued keyword. I can’t with good conscious continue writing that type of content for the purpose of convincing you to buy a financial product that will invariably do more harm than good.

When you think about it selling credit cards to debtors so they can take “free” vacations is like taking a recovering alcoholic into a bar. You just don’t do it.

This essay is an open letter to the personal finance community. It’s time we acknowledge that there is no such thing as purely “educational” financial content. Especially when that content is tied to a product or service that you have a vested interest in selling to an uneducated audience.

Stop telling me to get out of debt. I’m trying.

Personal finance first came to my awareness when I discovered Dave Ramsey in 2015. I had a mindless job at the time and would listen to his show in the background while I did my work.

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Amanda Claypool

I’m a writer & strategy consultant musing about the future of the world as it’s unfolding. Stay ahead of the curve: https://amandaclaypool.ck.page/reading-list