This newest addition to A Guide to Personal Finance Blogs provides a handy way to find bloggers who are writing about life situations most relevant to you. Want to only read personal finance stories from bloggers who are young, single income, with kids, and working in the United States IT industry? Want bloggers fitting some other esoteric combination of characteristics? Well, this is the place to find all of them. Similar to other parts of the Guide to Personal Finance Blogs, all the biographical data on over 1000 personal finance blogs are provided in a large table that can be sorted, filtered, and searched with direct links to all the blogs.
However, I wanted to go beyond a simple tabulation of all the biographical data. I wanted to add some way to sort through this huge haystack of information and help you quickly find “types” or overall categories of bloggers that you might want to explore. So, the interactive table also includes a “blogger type” column. Essentially this boils down all the information on age, gender, income type, kids status, and retirement status into common groups. It might be more accurate to call these “stereotypes” given any such grouping can’t describe every individual situation perfectly. Nonetheless, the graphic above provides a summary of one such blogger type: the so called “Young Family” blogger.
What’s interesting is that over 77% of the bloggers can be put into five relatively neat biographical categories. You could swim through all the data for a long time before these patterns became clear. So, the blogger types provide a much quicker way to focus in on groups of bloggers that most interest you. You can better understand each of the five primary blogger types with the full infographic.
The other complexity I tried to sort out is the issue of blogger profession. If you’ve ever read a few personal finance blog lists, you’ve probably quickly noticed that there are a bewildering array of professional titles and names used by bloggers and folks trying to list them. In some cases the descriptions are relatively formal or specific, while others are playful or generic. Perhaps you’re an expert in professional titles, but personally, I really don’t know the differences between a “project manager”, a “product manager”, and a “program manager”. So, specific professional titles don’t really help me figure out who to read next, and I’d wager most people would agree. Conversely, I understand the large-scale differences between, for example, an “Engineer” and an “Opera Singer”. The trick is sorting and grouping these professional names into categories that are meaningful for most folks, while understanding such groupings may gloss over details relevant to a few readers.
Accordingly, I resolved all these professional titles and names down to 26 general professional categories, which are defined in more detail on the profession definitions page. The resulting professional categories for every blog are provided in the blogger type data table.
I’d be very interested if anyone has any input on the utility of this analysis and supporting table or ways that I can further improve on the analysis. The whole point of the Guide to Personal Finance Blogs is to provide a useful connection between the reader and their not-yet-found favorite blogger. If you need something different to meet that goal, I want to know about it.