How This Former Wall Street Investment Banker Became A Personal Finance Blogger

Published: January 14th, 2023
Daniel Anderson
Founder, The Money Maniac
The Money Maniac
from New York, NY, USA
started March 2022
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, I'm Daniel Anderson, and earlier this year I started a personal finance blog called The Money Maniac to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to launch businesses, scale through digital marketing, and plan for financial freedom. I'm devoted to teaching people about the basics of business and personal finance, so they build a brighter future for themselves.

After several months of trial and error, the business has begun to find traction in a very competitive niche. Other bloggers and SEOs have taken note, which created an opportunity for me to provide consulting services. As a result, The Money Maniac now brings in more than $2,500 per month in recurring revenue.


It took me four months to reach 100 cumulative clicks. That is a grind. But it's reinforced the importance of being disciplined and taking the long view.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

In some ways, my story began during my time on Wall Street. I started my career as an investment banker working on specialty M&A transactions. Between the formal training I received there and the insights I picked up from top bankers, I gained a valuable foundation in business and finance.

However, I also quickly realized that Wall Street wasn't for me. The hours were grueling, the stress was non-stop, and I knew there had to be a better way. Before my second year, I left to create my first e-commerce business. After a few years in eCommerce, and the challenges of the pandemic, I grew disillusioned with paid media. Although it allowed for quick growth, costs were rising, the competition was at an all-time high, and I felt like I was on a customer acquisition treadmill.

That's when I came across blogging. I liked the idea of better understanding SEO and content marketing and the prospect of building a compounding asset. And I loved that it felt like an overlooked business model — a chance to zig when others were zagging. The only challenge was finding my niche. I needed a topic that I could write with authority on, research endlessly, and spend the next several years of my life learning even more about.

It wasn't until I was chatting with a family member that the idea clicked. I offered to help them create a budget worksheet, consolidate debt to reduce interest payments and spin up a side hustle for extra money. During this conversation, it occurred to me how difficult it is to find proper guidance on the basics of personal finance. It's not covered in school or talked about much in corporate America.

So, I decided to make it my mission to not only write about personal finance and entrepreneurship but also help people unlock the power of business and money to achieve financial freedom. And a few months later, The Money Maniac was born!

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

I really had no understanding of SEO when I started the business. I flirted with the idea of buying a small blog to better learn the processes and inner workings but then decided I'd rather start from the ground up my first time around. I began by signing up for WordPress and hosting, buying a domain name, and watching YouTube videos.

I hacked together a website using Kadence Blocks and wrote my first couple of articles on topics that I was personally interested in. Before long, I came across Adam Enfroy on social media and was inspired by his concept of "blogging like a startup." Despite the price tag, I signed up for his course, assuming it could take months off of my learning curve.

Sure enough, the course provided me with a clear 3-step blueprint: build your Domain Rating, scale your traffic, then monetize. While I had been stumbling in the right direction, Blog Growth Engine certainly helped me channel my efforts.

Describe the process of launching the business.

I suppose The Money Maniac technically launched when I set the website live and clicked publish on my first post. But sending content into the void with no audience, no marketing, and no hope of ranking didn't feel like much to celebrate.

Instead, I got excited two weeks later when I received my first organic click. As small of a win as it was, it felt like proof of concept. That one click put enough wind in my sail to finish building the website, create a few more articles, and sign up for Ahrefs. Between their marketing software and detailed blog, I slowly began to understand SEO and the rhythm of content production.


Whatever you choose to do, make sure it has a nonlinear relationship with your time invested. After all, that's your greatest asset.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

To start, I focused on publishing three pieces of long-form content per week. These blog posts are a mix of informative “how-to” guides, lists of ideas and resources, and product reviews. After establishing this publishing cadence, I have shifted my focus to building backlinks.

To increase my authority in the space, I reach out to prominent software businesses with blogs and offer to write an article for their readers. On average I have to send about 30 cold-emails to land a guest post, in which I include one link back to my own website. This is a tough process that requires using LinkedIn, email scraping tools, and an organized spreadsheet but it is beginning to pay dividends.

Through my personalized outreach I have landed features on CoSchedule, Zapier, Forbes, and more. These placements have given me validation in the eyes of other editors and content managers, paving the way for even more opportunities. I continue to tailor this process to build more contacts, provide value to new readers, and build my platform.

Each guest post offers me a handful of monthly clicks, as readers find me through a search or through the link in the article. From there, I have been focused on retention metrics like time on site, newsletter signups, and returning visitor rates. In 2023, I plan to layer in a combination of content upgrades, email sequences, and social media efforts to convert these new readers into long-term subscribers.


How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today, The Money Maniac is a one-person operation plus one part-time freelance writer. As long as I continue to not take a salary, the business is breakeven. But this is by design.

I generate a few thousand per month in backlinking and consulting fees, and pour all of this right back into growth. At any point, I could run The Money Maniac profitably as "necessary" costs only include a few hundred dollars per month in software and a few hundred dollars per month in content maintenance.

Instead, however, my current goal is to build as strong of a backlink profile as I can in my first year. And around April of next year, I intend to pivot all of my attention, energy, and resources to create the best financial content on the internet. My expectation is that this combination will lead to strong traffic growth, which can be further monetized through a combination of affiliate offers, display ads, and partnerships.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Oh, absolutely! To start, I have learned a ton about SEO in less than a year. I started off with only a vague understanding of what keywords are. Now I'm comfortable creating keyword clusters, decoding search intent, building high-quality links through guest posting, internal linking to maximize that link equity, and more.

I have also learned how to conduct cold outreach. Having operated in e-commerce previously, I was used to being on the receiving end of pitches from agencies and link builders. Now I find myself on the flip side, trying to stand out from the spam and break through to create a relationship. It's a challenge and a bit of a numbers game, but I've gotten comfortable using scraping tools and databases to expedite some of the more monotonous aspects.

Finally, I've come to understand that SEO is truly a long game. In paid social media marketing, the feedback cycle was quick. I've had new brands immediately flop and others do $100,000 in their first month. In either event, I understood the response from the market and could adjust accordingly.

With The Money Maniac, on the other hand, it took me four months to reach 100 cumulative clicks. That is a grind. But it's reinforced the importance of being disciplined and taking the long view. I remind myself that the "barrier to entry" here is not the ability to write or even the ability to write well, but rather the ability to stick to it for the long haul. So lastly, I have learned to celebrate the small wins and know that each incremental step is getting me closer to where I want to be.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The website is built on a free WordPress template and hosted by Blue Host. For SEO purposes, I use Ahrefs on a daily basis to monitor my progress, identify opportunities, and make content decisions. For content production, I use and SurferSEO. And for outreach, I am a little more barebones — with just a Google Sheet and the stater plan on to verify email addresses.

While I could probably benefit from a CRM, for now, I like the more personalized touch of manually handling my contacts. It allows me to customize each email and keep deliverability high. As for hiring, I am a long-time Upwork user. The platform is great for virtual assistants, but, unfortunately, seems to have less of a freelance writing community.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

As simple as it sounds, the Ahrefs blog has been extremely valuable for me. The in-depth resources there have helped me better understand how Google ranks content, and what I can do to put The Money Maniac in a position to succeed.

I also read about "The Skyscraper Technique" by Brian Dean, which was instrumental in helping me learn how to create content that stands out from the competition and organically attracts links. It's a relatively simple concept, but something that so few people are actually executing. I think the reality is that it is hard work. And as entrepreneurs, we often fail to do the simple blocking and tackling before attempting the new, shiny trick play.

Lastly, I love business podcasts of all kinds. Few are relevant to blogging specifically, but I find that they scratch my itch to explore new ideas. This helps me remain intellectually curious without getting distracted professionally. Lately, my favorites are My First Million and The Game.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to start or are just starting out?

I would give new entrepreneurs the same advice I would give my younger self: think bigger and think longer term. In terms of thinking bigger, recognize that you can never do it alone. And to attract other talented individuals your dream needs to be large enough that it allows for their dreams to coexist with yours. Fear of failure is a powerful motivator, so go big and use that in your favor.

In terms of thinking long term, understand that real wealth comes from compound growth. (Almost anyone who says otherwise has something to sell you.) But this applies to more than just money — skills, experience, customer bases, and more can all compound. So whatever you choose to do, make sure it has a nonlinear relationship with your time invested. After all, that's your greatest asset.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I am! The Money Maniac has seen great initial traction, but it is very much a work in progress. I am currently looking for a web designer/web developer who is an expert in WordPress for a complete website facelift. Plus, I am always looking for talented writers, white-hat link builders, and scrappy assistants. If anyone out there is interested, feel free to drop me a line from the website's "Contact Us" form.

Where can we go to learn more?

For more information on The Money Maniac's journey, check out the budding personal finance blog here and sign up for the upcoming newsletter. Otherwise, Twitter is the platform I plan to focus on in 2023. See you there!

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!