Blogger Spotlight: Tahnya Kristina of My Diary Entry
Tahnya Kristina is a personal finance blogger and long-time financial services professional with over a decade of experience in financial planning. She enjoys helping people pay off their debts, set financial goals, and save for retirement. Tahnya Kristina blogs about her life on her personal blog My Diary Entry and her new book A Better You is now available on Amazon Kindle. You can follow her on Twitter @TKBlogs.
1.How did you get into blogging?
I have always been into creative writing but I started blogging in 2009 after the market crash as a way to supplement my income. I was working for a bank as a financial planner and when the market crashed I lost a large portion of my income. I needed to find a quick way to make money and I didn’t have time to learn a new skill because the monthly bills were coming due. So I combined my love of writing with my experience and formal education in finance to start blogging about money.
2. Where do you get your ideas?
Most of my blog post ideas come from my own personal experiences with money or from client stories at the bank. I like to think that if one client is experiencing a money problem or has a question about a financial product that my readers will too.
3. What makes your blog unique?
The first financial blog that I started writing for was Dinks Finance back in 2010. This blog is unique because it is specifically written by couples for couples without kids. My boyfriend and I have different financial priorities and constraints than couples with kids and I think it’s a great idea that we are targeting an often forgotten about demographic.
4. What is your biggest blogging accomplishment or your proudest blogging moment?
The biggest accomplishment that I have recently achieved on my personal blog My Diary Entry is that I finished and published my first book. A Better You is a compilation of my favourite/the most popular posts from my personal blog as well as other blogs that I write for; it is complete with reader comments and personal confessions.
This book is all about making positive changes in our money, in our relationship, at our job and with our family so that we can become a happier person and get the most out of life. When we are happy everything doesn’t seem so bad. We don’t have to be the best but we can always be better.
I also just attended the New Media Expo in Las Vegas thanks to Philip at PT Money and I saw Dennis Rodman while playing craps at Planet Hollywood – that was exciting.
5. What opportunities have opened up to you because of your blogging?
I recently landed my dream job in corporate communications with a financial institution and it was all due to my blogging experience. My employer was impressed with my writing experience, my ability to pitch ideas, work with multiple employers, and maintain a schedule while working within deadlines.
After over a decade of working in retail banking I finally quit and now I am a full time writer. I wasn’t gaining professional writing experience while working at the bank so I decided to start blogging, network my skills, showcase my writing talents, and gain writing experience. I have had the pleasure of working with some great financial companies such as H&R Block, Credit Karma and TD Bank.
6. How do you let people know that your blog is out there?
I use my personal blog as a way to showcase my portfolio of work. It’s a lot easier than sending potential employers links to several different websites. I attend several blogging and social media conferences throughout the year to promote my talents and showcase my work. I hand out business cards like crazy to let people know what I do and where to find me. I really enjoy public speaking (I know it’s weird but I have a background in broadcast journalism) so I try to promote my blog through workshops etc. I also read several blogs each week and I try to leave comments when I have something interesting to say.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other bloggers and ask questions about your writing and your blog. Everyone was a beginner at some time and the financial blogging community is so welcoming to new members it’s like everyone is happy to help. You could be the best writer in the world but if no one knows about your work you will never make progress. So get out to conferences and meetups and make your online presence known to everyone because no one will promote you if you don’t promote yourself.
7. Do you have a favorite blog to read?
8. Why do you attend FinCon?
I really wanted to attend FinCon because I wanted to finally put faces to the blogger names that I read around the web and I also wanted to meet my employers. It is truly amazing how quickly we can form personal bonds with someone who we never met. I think that meeting my blogging friends and my employers in person adds a nice little personal touch to the relationship. When people can see your smile and get a feel for your personality it’s almost as if they connect to you on a different level than when you are only communicating online. I also wanted to attend FinCon to learn the business side of blogging so that I can enhance and market my personal blog.
The majority of my blogging experience has been writing for other people’s blogs and I really wanted to learn how to take my personal blog to the next level of awesomeness. Jim Yih from RetireHappy.ca actually gave me the idea to finish my first book as “the best of” my personal blog. Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful taught me how to work with national brands to attract readers to my blog and gain more exposure. All and all (minus the elevation sickness) FinCon in Denver was a great experience for me both professionally and personally.