Market Meltdown

Let’s say you’ve quit your job to be a financial blogger, more specifically, a blogger that mainly writes about how to make money in stocks. Or maybe you’re planning on quitting your job to be an investing blogger. Please reconsider! With a 15%+ correction in the Dow Jones within three days, things are looking dicey.

We’ve seen a proliferation of stock market bloggers who’ve never worked in the industry and who’ve only seen an up market since they started within the past five years, give advice to thousands of readers. Some might not even have any formal college education. This is a very precarious situation for readers and blogger alike.

If you are an investing blogger, you’re going to face difficult times if you don’t diversify your content because people will just stop visiting your site if all you’re talking about is your latest stock purchase that is going down. When you’re losing money in the stock market, the last thing people want to do is talk about the stock market!

Further, a lot of people start wondering whether investing with a robo advisor is safe. Everybody starts to doubt everything when they are losing money! 


An investing blogger reached out to me with some confessions and concerns. He quit his job to blog full-time last year. Here’s a summary of what he said.

Sam, I’ve run out of things to write about. Every month I highlight my portfolio’s performance, and finally, I’m no longer able to mask the poor performance with savings contributions. Even if my portfolio was down or underperforming, I’d be able to contribute $3,000 – $6,000 to the portfolio to make it seem that I was still doing a good job. My readers are pretty unsophisticated, so they don’t realize what I’m doing.

With this latest stock market correction, I’m finally going to see red because my portfolio is down more than $6,000! I’m tempted to just lie and say that I was up again since they don’t know how much I really have. I just show them what I want them to think I have with my final total portfolio value in my post. But if this stock market correction continues, I’m afraid I’m going to lose a lot of credibility.

I’ve never worked a finance related job in my life. I also don’t have anything to show for my wealth because I screwed up in my 20s and spent all I had. I never even finished college. The way I’m making money is to teach other people how to build a dividend portfolio. But the dividends from my own dividend portfolio can’t even cover a third of my annual living expenses. It’s the advertising revenue I get from writing about investing that pays the bills.

I’m even teaching people how to day trade. You and I know that day trading is a zero sum game, and most people lose a lot of money. But, I can’t pull back now and tell everybody “just kidding” about day trading and following my investment advice right? My readers would find that fishy.

I’m really at a loss if the market continues to go down. Maybe I shouldn’t have quit my job.

There’s a saying by Warren Buffet that you only know who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out. If there is sustained volatility or downward movement in the stock market, a lot of investing-related blogs will disappear. No longer will whatever they say be taken as gospel. Readers will start to scrutinize what is actually being written.

We all know that most blogs don’t last over a year. But if you’re depending on your blog revenue to survive, then you better last for as long as possible.


In a bull market, it’s hard to do wrong. Whatever you buy will probably go up over the year, making you look like a hero. But once the hemorrhaging begins, you better at least outperform the market on the way down, or else what good are you? Teaching people how to just be frugal gets old after a while.

Recommendation For The Investing Blogger

The #1 thing you must do as a blogger is build a comprehensive portfolio of investing articles that go beyond just the stock market or individual stocks. Look to expand into real estate, entrepreneurship, fixed income, peer-to-peer lending, venture debt, structured notes, and alternative investments in order to demonstrate your investing repertoire. FLEX YOUR KNOWLEDGE MUSCLES so that your readers know you aren’t so one dimensional.

Talking about the next blue chip dividend stock everybody has heard of is not going to get anybody excited as the markets collapse. Instead, consider writing about the end game of investing, which is to have a better retirement and a better life overall. Build the community beyond just the basic money making opportunities.

With a diversified portfolio of investing related content, you not only showcase your range of investing knowledge, you also diversify your content to attract different types of readers from search engines. It’s always Yin Yang in the investing world. If some asset is going down, another asset is going up. Find that diversity. If you don’t have the skills to write about new investment opportunities, hire a freelancer who knows what s/he is talking about if you have to.

The next thing you should do is be honest about your experience. “Hang a lantern on it,” as they say. If you don’t have a large portfolio, say so. If you don’t have any professional investing related experience, talk about it. BE YOUR HARSHEST CRITIC so that nothing someone else says hasn’t been said by you already.

The more upfront you can be with your readers, the stronger the likelihood they won’t desert you if the markets turn sour.

Recommendation For The Investing Blog Reader

If you’re a reader of a financial blog, question everything because your money is at stake. Question whether the writer has the experience. Ask how their portfolio did before and after the financial crisis in 2009. Have they been through many cycles, or did they start investing in 2010?

Ask them what platform they are using to make trades and how much are the spending on each trade. If they are buying a new $1,000 position but spending $10 on a trade, that’s just nuts. Hopefully they’ll show you how to build a portfolio of stocks for cheap. Do they actually share screenshots of the actual amount they have? When the market is down 5% for the month, do they still claim to be up?

There is a lot of hokey pokey stuff going on in the investing space. Everybody likes to talk about their winners, but never their losers. It’s human nature. I saw this with individuals, and institutional fund managers during my time on Wall Street. Learn to think for yourself.

A lot of professional bloggers make money through products they recommend, including myself. Make sure they disclose in their About page, or in their Disclaimer about their financial relationships. Furthermore, find out whether they are an Authority Affiliate who knows the company, uses the product, and has even worked with management before. If there is no depth in their product reviews or product mentions, then you need to be wary.


Everybody should consider writing articles that may be of interest to readers in a sustained downturn. You’ll be able to build an authentic community who will stick things out with you when things finally recover. Readers have long memories, even though most don’t spend a penny on your content. They’ll remember the times you helped them through a difficult financial period and be your evangelist forever.

Updated for 2017. We’re 8 years into a bull market. Make sure you are properly diversified with your investments.