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Home » Personal Asides

Why the Name of this Blog was an Epic FAIL… but that’s OK

Last updated by on 46 Comments

While chatting and enjoying a homebrew a few months back with personal finance blogging buddy, Mr. Money Mustache, I admitted the following:

“I seriously regret ever having named my blog 20somethingfinance.”

That’s not something that is easy to admit to anyone, especially a respected blogging peer.

And it’s even harder to admit to you – the loyal 20somethingfinance readers.

When I first started this blog over 5 years ago, I wanted to focus on readers my age who had a similar interest in optimizing their finances. I was in my late 20′s and somewhat shortsightedly, I thought to myself, “hmmm…. how about 20somethingfinance?”. Sounds great!

I didn’t know the first thing about blog marketing, branding, or capturing an audience, so I just went with it.

FailFast forward to present date, and I’m not even in my 20′s any more.

Many of you are not either (in fact, over 30% of the reader-base is over age 30).

And a large majority of the 7 million unique visitors (~4-5% of adults in the UNITED STATES?!) who came and left over the years haven’t been either.

I often wonder to myself, “how many tens of thousands of non-twenty-somethings would have stuck around and subscribed and contributed to the blog if only the name wasn’t age-disqualifying like 20somethingfinance.com is?”. Search engines and personal finance tips are age-neutral, but my freakin’ blog name wasn’t. Fail!!! But I digress…

The Shift in Focus

When this blog first kicked-off, I tended to focus almost entirely on the strategic components of personal finance. A lot of the content was targeted towards young professionals just starting out.

Over the years, I have started diving more in to the ideological side of personal finance – values, philosophy, passions, motives.

I’ve also gotten a little further advanced in the strategic and have come to realize that most of the strategic and ideological components aren’t just for “twenty-somethings” – they are for everyone.

Financial independence has become a top priority in my own life. And I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat. And this desire is not tied to age at all.

Yet – that “20″ name lives on and the blog has still managed to become too big to change now.

And the goal, strategies, and motivations are still the same.

What’s Next?

Alas, this post is not a swan song. It’s an affirmation.

If you…

  • seek financial independence & partial or early retirement
  • want to hack spending to extremely low levels
  • want to reduce consumption and minimize impact on the environment
  • like learning basic and advanced personal finance strategy and like sharing those ideas with others
  • seek to be healthy, wealthy, well-rounded, generous, and genuine

… then you are exactly who I want to write for and interact with. Regardless of age.

And if you know anyone else who meets any of the above criteria – please spread the word.

Even though the name of this blog was an epic fail, your support has been an epic success. THANK YOU for sticking around, subscribing, and being loyal readers and contributors.

I hope to keep bringing you ideas, motivation, and a little bit of entertainment. Even after you turn 30… or 70.

Discussion:

  • How old are you?
  • What would you rename this blog to?
  • What kind of finance related content/topics do you like reading the most, here or elsewhere?

Related Posts:


About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


46 Comments »
  • Ah, the big oops. This happens all of the time, but you are still making a success of it. I am about to turn 30, but your tips still apply to many that are not in their 20′s. It is hard to say what i would name it now, maybe Ageless Finance, but I wish you the best in building it bigger.

  • Jake Erickson says:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t think the blog name will be too much of a hindrance for you. That being said, I am 24 years old so I may not be the best person to ask. I like all of the topics you discuss and will read pretty much anything.

  • Greg says:

    I’m 30 now, but started reading your blog a few years ago, and have to say that the name is what originally drew me in. I was 27 (maybe 28) and looking for personal finance advice that would speak to me. Fast forward a few years, and I still come here for advice.

    I do like Grayson’s suggestion for Ageless Finance, though. Regardless, keep up the great work!

  • Chris in Boston says:

    I am 47 and enjoy reading your blog.

    I don’t think changing your blog name would really be much of a negative impact to you. You can continue to use the current URL with a redirect to the new site if you are concerned about people finding it. After a period of time you can stop using the old URL.

  • Phil says:

    I’m 22, and I just stumbled across this blog a couple of minutes ago.

    The way I found it was Googling ‘average working day USA’, which led me to your article: “The U.S. is the Most Overworked Developed Nation in the World – When do we Draw the Line?”.

    Incidentally, I loved the article itself and it was of great interest to me, as a working Brit seriously considering emigrating!

    The name of the blog hooked me even more though – so much so that I emailed it to myself so that I can read it when I get home from work!

    So I suppose while it may not be as relevant as your readership ages, it’s definitely worked in hooking me in – a 22-year-old working in TV in the States, where one of my biggest concerns would be personal financial stability.

  • Rob says:

    I’m 26 and have been reading your site for a few months. Admittedly, the name is what drew me in. I find most financial blogs to be focused on people later in their careers, and I was looking for advice to help me get started.

    Now that I am hooked, a change in name would not push me away. Consider the mission and vision for your blog, and pick a name based on that. A shorter, catchier URL could help with name recognition.

  • Amy says:

    Honestly, I probably would never have visited your website because of the name. However, I read your article at Mint.com and ever since then I am hooked. I try and read 5 articles per day from the archives and have a lot of catching up to do. I am 49 and have recommended your site to my friends and of course the first thing they said is “20 something?” I said just read his story and a couple of his articles retirement and you’ll see that it is all about achieving financial freedom.

  • G.E. Miller says:

    So a good faction of readers actually pulled in by the name… this is good…

  • Eric says:

    Another 20 something pulled in by the name! I can’t speak for those in the 30+ club, but I know when I saw the name I immediately associated it with “beginner” finance.

    A lot of sites are focused on super specific rules of retirement withdrawals, certain investment/account types, kids, etc, so I figured this one would be a good place to find the basics in a way that someone relatively new to the financial world could understand/relate to.

    Although there is a good bit of specific stuff here, it is a good place to get a hold on the basics, I vote keep the name! You can’t appeal to everyone, if you make it “ageless finance” then it won’t stand out as much to the 20 something crowd (and who knows, maybe not the older crowd either). You’ve got what appears to be a good niche going, don’t try to fix what aint broken.

  • pd says:

    I’m now 29, but started reading this blog probably about 5 years ago. I was out of college with a real job and cash in the bank, not sure what I needed to do (because the real world doesn’t come with a road map).

    Pretty sure I found it by Googling “20something finance”. The “20something” in the name definitely appealed to me. I can’t say if I would have clicked on a “ageless finance” link at 23-24.

  • G.E. Miller says:

    wow, lots of first time commenter, long-time readers coming out of the woodwork. Feeling the love.

  • CashRebel says:

    There’s a ton of pressure to choose a good name right at the beginning of your blog. It’s funny because most people don’t actually know what their blog will turn out to be at the beginning. I put off launching my blog 3 months because I couldn’t think of a good name, haha

  • Trent Shelton says:

    I first came onto your site after a friend sent me a link to one of your posts. I happen to be 26, but honestly, the name isn’t what keeps me here. I really enjoy the topics you choose to write about. In the past 5 years, I’ve read a lot about the technical side of reducing expenses. But there is only so much of that one can read. I like your more theoretical and “higher level” posts, as you analyze a general topic. Keep up the great work!

    Trent

  • Jared says:

    Didn’t start reading this until I was a 30something…although wish I had been a 20something… keep up the good work.

  • jim says:

    Where the hell did you get the notion that the name of your blog was a “fail”??????

    Sorry – it is so NOT a “fail”. 50-something talking here and the name of your blog was exactly what caught my attention. I happened to have had a new college grad who actually was 20 something. Your site was/is a GREAT way for “an old guy” to actually get his 20-something kid’s attention re: personal finance.

    I wouldn’t EVER call it a “fail”. I still happen to think it’s wonderful. And for all the real 20-somethings out there – with amount of student debt they appear to be in – I think this is a fantastic name for a blog – one that will get and keep their attention. Keep up the good work and don’t judge yourself so harshly.

  • jim says:

    p.s. I’m with Eric – don’t fix what aint broken.

    50-something here – and I tell ALL my friends with 20-something kids to get their kids to read your blog. They all have AND they’ve all read it for themselves too. Don’t change the name – it has served you and your readers well so far and it will continue to do so in the future.

    It is the 20-somthings that need the most financial advice.

  • Jon says:

    I am 28.

    Name change- smart finance.

    Started reading your blog 4-5years ago now. I’ve read daily ever since. I believe I found your blog through google search for personal finance blog. I get the daily emails and forward the topics that apply to my life to my wife (28) and sister (22).

    Keep up the great work. The blog is very helpful and informative.

  • Mary says:

    Also keep in mind that you likely pull readers in while they are in their 20s but then keep them with you as they age due to the broad nature of your content. There are more than enough finance blogs out there appealing to the mid and late-career set. The 20something tag is a great way to hook folks who may otherwise have no interest in a finance blog!

  • Gail says:

    I am mid-50′s.

    I think I found your blog by looking for websites that helped you learn how to invest.The name sounded like some good basic advice for an person who needed financial advice and it has definitely helped me make some wise choices.

    My life started over 5 years ago when my husband passed away and I needed to go back to college and try to figure out how to earn and save money big time.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Melissa says:

    I only came to your website BECAUSE of the name– I found it several years ago when I was in my early 20s (I’m in my late 20s now). I was very interested in investing, personal finance, managing money, etc. etc. (and I still am!). However, a lot of the things I was reading was geared to people with a job (I was in college with only a part-time job), lots of money, a stable retirement account – NONE of which I had. I needed a youthful voice to put it in terms I could relate to, and I couldn’t find it elsewhere.

    I found your blog as a link from another blogger, one I was semi-following but was writing for older folks. I only clicked your link because it said ’20something’.

    That said, now if you changed it, I probably wouldn’t notice and would continue to read it. You’ve hooked me! :)

  • Stephen says:

    I first visited this site a little over a year ago, when I was just getting out of college. Been reading it ever since. I must confess, I was looking for financial topics for 20 somethings. As someone just getting into the world of personal finance, I thought I wanted some more relevant articles to my age group. But your blog proved to me that personal finance is pretty much the same to everyone.

    From your blog, I’ve learned to fund my 401k, Roth IRA, got the best Amex card for groceries, and increased my withholding allowances to get the most out of my paychecks. Your blog has given me the best start to my adult life.

    All this because I googled “personal finance for 20 year olds”. I for one am glad you named your blog the way you did. :)

  • sphinx says:

    I was intrigued by the name too, I started reading when I was still in my twenties and am now past them too :)
    Another reason the name is a good idea is that if a blogroll is sorted alphabetically yours is always near the top because of the letter, so that’s just a useful bonus.

  • Hilary says:

    I’m 25, started reading about a year and a half ago, and the name is what caught my eye! I was wallowing in tons of internet advice on how to deal with student loans, and the name of your blog struck me as something that would be accessible, understandable, relatable. Don’t change the name!

  • Chris says:

    You lost me when you typed this “want to reduce consumption and minimize impact on the environment” Keep it to finances. We’ll go to hippie websites if we want to read about that.

  • Pamela says:

    I’m in my mid-40′s. I’m not sure how I found the blog, but clearly something resonated with me enough to subscribe. I have a comfortable income, and zero revolving debt, but I’m not a zillionaire.

    I find most financial advice is either geared toward people wanting to make a killing in the stock marketing, or people who are buried in debt and can’t afford next month’s rent.

    I like your blog because it offers practical advice for rational people in the middle. A name that appeals to that crowd might be worth considering.

  • df says:

    I actually think it is a perfect name. Many people in their 20s make a lot of financial mistakes. Towards the end of their 20s, they start to get serious about money and start to become financially responsible.

    The name of the blog is a perfect ‘funnel’ to capture an audience looking for financial knowledge. It does not matter that you are not 20 anymore or that readers are often older.

    20somethingfinance implies that:
    1. Not all financially savvy people are wearing diapers
    2. Money can be fun and interesting
    3. Working towards becoming financially independent can be cool
    4. Holy Cow! If a 20 year old is investing, why have I not started? Crap, I am behind!
    5. There are other ways a young person can get financially ahead (like being very frugal) than tying yourself to a desk and selling your life to a corporation (which will typically pay off after 20+ years of work).

    The names works well, so you should just own it.

  • Mona says:

    I am almost 60 and stumbled across a couple of your articles during a google search. They were very helpful so I subscribed. Your blog has useful information for every stage of life. How about cradletogravefinance.com? Just kidding. Thanks for publishing your blog.

  • Tom says:

    If anything the name of this article was a fail… :)

  • Veronica says:

    I also first came to your site because of the name. So many finance sites are geared toward older people/couples. I was glad to find a site with more information on the problems of the young… student loans, how to start out, getting married.

    I like the MMM blog but would hate it if your site turned into something of the same. Each site offer something different, and yours is more practical!

    For marketing, maybe you can create more sites/sections: 30somethingfinance, 40something… I’m sure people of every age range are googling these things.

  • Wendy says:

    I stumbled across your website today and after reading one article (on personal finance magazines) I immediately signed up for the email. Although I am 30, 20somethingfinance is what drew me to click on your link in Google. When a person is 20, they think they have all the time in the world to make money and save for the future…that does not change at 30. Okay, maybe we get a little more worried, but there are still the lingering thoughts of our youthfulness and the vast years we have ahead. After reading a few more articles, it is clear that the information presented is not age-based, but rather fits into multiple age groups and financial experiences. Don’t sweat it, it is fine. And maybe years down the road it will pop up in Google9.0 and the person will think what I thought, ”hmm, if a ’20 year-old’ knows this…maybe I should too.”

  • Greg says:

    I’m 31, though I have been reading your blog for years. I was a 20-something in graduate school and was definitely drawn in by the name. As a 30-something who finally has a ‘real job,’ your discussions are practical for me and will be for many years. I have re-read your posts on buying a car and your lists of good small cars several times in anticipation of my car dying (190,000 miles and still going…keep it up, Honda!) because regardless of my age, I’m going to struggle through the car-buying bit.

    I think you should keep the name for many of the reasons other commenters have already mentioned. It’s catchy, appeals strongly to a large and important audience, and doesn’t deter folks who are older. Perhaps you want to think about changing the subtitle instead to imply that it’s ageless advice from your 20′s through retirement?

  • Natalie H says:

    I can only echo what others have said. I’m currently in my mid-30s and I’ve been reading for a few years now. I didn’t even notice the name of the blog at first. An article of yours came up in a search, I read the article, enjoyed it and kept reading. After reading every article over a period of a couple of days I hit subscribe.

    I was drawn to the blog because it focuses on beginner finance for people just staring out from scratch, not those with a lot of debt baggage or nearing the retirement age (which is what I found everywhere else). I think the name echoes that focus and works fine. I used to run my own business and changed the name twice. Big mistake. People get used to a name and associate it with you. You will hurt yourself by changing. If you want to qualify the name, make a new tagline/motto: “Beginner Finance for Everyone” or something to that effect. It’s OK to have a target audience, you can’t please everyone.

    Through your site I’ve discovered other great blogs including ERE and MMM, and together reading and participating in your site and theirs have become a bit of a hobby. It has educated me and enriched my life. The knowledge and skills have become a part of who I am. Thank you! Keep up the good work.

  • jin says:

    the “big oops” my a##. big “fail” – again, my a##!

    you geting it yet?

  • Katherine C says:

    The name is what caught my attention. I’m 58, but like many above, I’m concerned about what is happening on the economic front to the young people, and this includes the 30 somethings. Some of my generation got the big ‘Ah-Ha’ about how crazy it was to get into the work/work/spend/debt cycle when the book ‘Your Money or Your Life’ came out 20 years ago. It spoke our language at the time and got me to thinking about how to get off the bandwagon. I was able to quit my ‘day job’ at 55 and am now doing what’s more important in life, which is figuring out how to grow food for the local population. This blog speaks to your generation, thanks for doing this and stop beating yourself up. Most older people have the capacity to overlook the name, eh? Having said that, I’m forwarding this to my 24 year old daughter, because she might be open to getting involved in it, because of the name…..

  • Raven says:

    I have just turned 21. I stumbled on this website because I was looking for a personal finance for a 20 year old. This has helped immensely, and honestly, I don’t think you should change the name. Every other finance blog I read seem to be directed to 40 year olds.

  • Elise says:

    I think I found your blog when I was 19 almost 20. I loved the blog title because I was looking for direction on how to manage my finances. I thought it was great that you understood what 20 somethings were going through, being naive and unschooled in personal finance. Now I’m almost 21 and I think even when I’m out of my 20s I will come back here as one of my top sources for financial guidance. It’s great that the info is helpful to all age groups, though. Kudos on that!

  • Dave says:

    I think your blog is an example of how to do it right. I’m 55 and your blog is one of the most useful blogs I read. I look to your style for inspiration.

    As for a blog name. Yours is still relevant and useful. It drew me in and I stayed. I can relate to all your topics in some way. A suggested new name might be “Millers Money High Life” but you may get sued for that one.

    As a fellow blogger, my choice of blog title was also ill conceived. As someone in their mid 50′s I started a blog called 50PlusFinance.com. It seemed appropriate that I would write age specific articles. It didn’t happen. I went general style posts with an age specific one thrown in now and then. In retrospect, I would’ve pick a more general name. I did start two other blogs and chose generic names, savealittlemoney.com and savingNspending.com.
    I’m more happy with those because I used the experience of my first one to do a better job.

    All I can say don’t change a thing on your site. Like I said before, your site is like a blueprint on how to do it right.

  • Shevonn says:

    I am 23. I was searching for blogs about personal finance and paying off student loans. I found a bunch, but your blog name made me think it would be more relevant. As others have stated, the name is what drew me in but the content keeps me reading. I think people who are not in their twenties might be deterred by the name, but “long-time readers” will keep reading as they get older.

  • Seth says:

    Hey G.E.

    I’m 25 years old. You got love from the twenty somethings man!

    But seriously, our household nets $4,000 per month; My wife, a teacher, myself, an Ad Rep for a local newspaper. Pretty average.

    I’d read Dave Ramsey’s books in college 2 or 3 years ago, and never really did anything with the knowledge from reading those books. Fast forward 3 years, about 3 career changes and the same money throughout and I find myself discovering Mr. Money Mustache’s blog, in turn, finding myself reading your blog. Both are excellent blogs which I check back weekly on, since you just never know what kind of knowledge you’ll get with you man. haha

    After a week of your blog, I cut cable, cut the grocery bill, and 2 months later I am waiting for my verizon contract to expire so I can go pre-pay.

    You sir, and yes Mr. Money Stache, have set my wife and I on the path to early retirement. So, thank you.

    If I had to rename it, it would probably be “A realist’s financial euphoria”, but then, this is why I don’t blog.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Household expenses $24,000 per year(total for 2). Working on $22,000 after a few loans paid off. Also looking for a job where I can bike to work(leaving us with 1 car).

  • AJ says:

    20-something here (25, been a reader since 22) drawn in by the name. Loyal because of the content. It works both ways, GE. Once someone reads a post they will probably make up their mind based on that. I’ve seen sites like this with names referring to age that were awful once I read the content, so you’ll be just fine I’m sure. You should write a handy book or something. You’ve got enough posts! (or an e-book…I dunno)

  • Dona Collins says:

    I’m 32 and I wouldn’t rename your blog. You were in your 20′s at one point, and now that you’re past your 20′s you can speak about your 20′s from experience. I think it just makes you more of an authority on the subject now.

  • Brian says:

    I don’t think you should worry about the name of the blog. The content is largely your story and focused around your life, but to me it suggests a lifestyle that most of us would be better off starting in our 20s. As such, 20 Something Finance should persist as a methodology for all the current and future 20 Somethings, as well as a journey beyond our twenties. It’s great to see how your story progressed and as future 20 Somethings find your blog they can see your journey and what their future could potentially look like. You may no longer be 20 Something, but this blog is entirely indicative of the period of your life when you turned yourself around and changed your future. We should all be so wise.

    My name is Brian. I am 30 and began investing by opening a Roth IRA when I was 19. I learned early on the importance of a secure retirement by watching my folks depend entirely on Social Security. Like everyone here I continue to seek new ways to “ensure” my financially independent future. I appreciate your message and would not change the title of this blog.

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