Blogger Spotlight: Married Bloggers Derek and Mandy Knight
Derek and Mandy are married financial bloggers.
Derek writes at Freeat33.com about challenging the status quo, and setting big goals for your life.
Mandy writes at MoneyMasterMom.com. She writes about spending your cash, time, and energy in line with your values.
1. How did you get into blogging?
We were often told by our friends that we needed to write a book considering we were mortgage free at 28. We didn’t pay much attention until co workers started telling us, too. Writing a book felt a little overwhelming, so we went with blogs.
2. Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes we are asked questions from people we meet. Sometimes we read articles in the paper or on other blogs and feel we have a different take on it.
3. What makes your blog(s) unique?
Part of our story is that we are both financial bloggers and we are married. One of the things that people first hear about us is that we were completely debt free including home mortgage by 28 years old. Although this alone is a task worthy of bragging about, it is nothing when considered next to where we were just 10 years prior.
What really makes us unique is that we had very different lives before meeting and marrying. Derek was kicked out of his home at 18, and became homeless. He was addicted to cocaine and in many ways had become hardened by life. He has suffered from many addictions and failures and yet he harnessed his incredible willpower and changed his life. He used that gift to get clean from drugs and cigarettes by quitting cold turkey and borrowed money to go to college. Within a year from being homeless and addicted he was in school and bought a home. He paid off his college debt before he even finished his first year of school and with that momentum began tackling his mortgage debt.
This is where I entered his life. I had a very different childhood as a daughter of a Christian family. I have never been drunk or tried drugs. I was taught financial lessons about how to stretch a dollar that matched perfectly with Derek’s ability to save money and pay down debt. We met and within a year were married. A few years later we had a child, then another and another. Yes, that makes three kids.
4. What is your biggest blogging accomplishment or your proudest blogging moment?
For Derek – When his site was just one week old, his story was heard by one person after talking for just five minutes in the hallway at FinCon12. That individual liked his story so much that during his time on stage he mentioned it. This made Derek realize that he did have a story that people wanted/needed to hear.
For Mandy – I felt awesome the first time I received a comment from someone who wasn’t another blogger or a family member. It was pretty neat to know that people were reading.
5. How do you let people know that your blog is out there?
We both try to write awesome content, and that is about the extent of our traffic driving knowledge. We have dabbled in guest posting, and SEO. Since FinCon other bloggers have been aware that we exist and occasionally have linked their carnivals to us. This has worked pretty well for us, but one of the best returns for us has come from reading and commenting on other blogs.
6. Do you have a favorite blog to read?
Currently we love reading Dollars and Roses which is written by Jeff and Mandy Rose. This site is about improving your blog. This is perfect for the two of us as we have much in common with them also. (Both Derek and Jeff have hot wives named Mandy! Coincidence?)
7 . Why do you attend FinCon?
The primary reason is to meet the community members. We understand the importance of a network, and the FinCon attendees are the best! Thanks again, PT.