Last week, Heartland Boy was truly humbled to be nominated as one of the 3 finalists under the Category of “GoTo.com” at the 2019 SGX Orb Awards. Although Heartland Boy did not win, the nomination was welcome in many ways. It was the perfect opportunity for Heartland Boy to take stock on the short and eventful blogging journey that he has walked thus far. It also made him appreciate the current circumstances in his life and the reflection gave him more fuel to continue this passion.
SGX Orb Awards
According to SGX, the SGX Orb Awards seeks to recognize excellence in financial news and content in an evolving media landscape. It was first launched in 2018 and in the 2019 edition, Heartlandboy.com was chosen by the panel of judges to be a finalist under the GoTo.com category. This category goes to the website that empowers investors to make educated decisions with their money. Getting nominated in this category was indeed apt as this is exactly what heartlandboy.com sets out to be in the first place- a personal finance blog detailing the chronicles of a typical heartlander.
Why I Became A Financial Blogger
Before Heartland Boy started blogging, he was (and still is) a fervent but passive reader of the content produced by the local financial community. Reading the content put out by these seniors have benefitted him greatly and even awakened him to the concept of financial freedom. It was like a switch has been turned on and gaining financial independence early became one of the key targets that he aspires to achieve in life. Having taken so much from this community, Heartland Boy felt that he would like to play a small role by contributing back as well. However, this was merely an afterthought and never materialized until Heartland Boy went to Jakarta for a permanent job posting in January 2016.
Under the guise of a subservient woman helping her man to manifest his calling, the highly enterprising wife bought a domain name for Heartland Boy as a Christmas cum farewell gift. As a result, Heartland Boy was kept busy on weeknights working on this budding website with no time to think about the boisterous Jakarta night-life. Guess this is how you make a long-distance marriage work.
Commitments Of A Part-Time Financial Blogger
Even after repatriating back to Singapore in late 2017, Heartland Boy surprised even himself at how he has continued to blog. Juggling multiple roles as a full-time participant in the corporate rat race, husband to a budding entrepreneur, father to the cutest and happiest 10-month old and son to a pair of parents who have no retirement funds, Heartland Boy strives to produce quality content on his personal finance blog. Even though he is simply doing this as a hobby, he sets out doggedly to achieve the following:
- Produce 1 article every week, if not every 2 weeks
- Send a weekly newsletter to his subscribers informing them of his weekly whereabouts, the latest deals and promotions as well as the weekly best reads
- Reply to the various comments left on his article and to the emails
All these on top of monitoring the local stock market to look out for quality investments to improve his portfolio. This basically sums up his commitments as a part-time financial blogger. It is certainly demanding but equally rewarding in many other ways as well.
Benefits of His Personal Finance Blog
The benefit of writing is that he becomes even more knowledgeable about personal finance. As someone who takes pride in his work, he understands very well that everything that he puts out online must be as accurate as possible. This degree of accountability not only makes him more knowledgeable, it also improves his due diligence efforts on his investment. Moreover, from time to time, well-informed readers also leave comments on certain important perspectives that Heartland Boy may have inadvertently turned a blind eye to initially. This broadens his perspective even further and builds on what he already knows.
While it is true that his website generates some affiliate revenue from time to time, Heartland Boy knows very well that this alone would not have sustained him on this journey. Other factors such as passion about personal finance, the joy in writing and the desire to help others who are in similar stages of their lives are in fact more critical factors.
Finally, the other perk of writing is the opportunity to meet with others in the personal finance blogging community. As this is a small community, these regular meet-ups have reinforced the friendships that have been built over the years. The SGX Orb Awards was one such opportunity to meet like-minded folks. Unfortunately, a business trip caused Heartland Boy to miss the SGX Orb Awards media ceremony. Heartland Girl, who has been instrumental in the design architecture of his website, attended on his behalf instead. Besides having great food and drinks, at least she got to witness the fruits of his labour.
It is little irony that this blog post was written on a flight home after a very demanding business trip. As much as he would like to have gotten some well-deserved shut eye or to gorge himself silly with some movies, he was overwhelmed by the urge to write about this little milestone. Guess this is what will continue to keep Heartland Boy up at night.