Skint Dad is written by husband-and-wife team Ricky and Naomi Willis. Sharing tips on saving money and growing wealth, the blog was recently ranked in the Top 10 UK Personal Finance Blogs. We caught up with Ricky to find out how the blog has become an accidental business, why making money is as important as saving money and how the pair work collaboratively with PRs.
How has your blog changed over time?
It’s definitely got more professional. It started off as a hobby blog using a free WordPress theme. We never intended for it to become what it has, and it was an accidental business that now supports both myself and my wife.
We now look to run Skint Dad as more of a community. We talk with our readers daily and they have a massive impact on how the site is shaped – it’s no longer just about us sharing how we cut back; we want everyone to be in financially better off.
How much do you plan your posts in advance?
We do, and we don’t. We write a lot of content based on what’s happening in the world of saving money right now, so we never know the next thing that will come our way. However, we do plan and research into longer guides in a lot more depth.
What’s the biggest takeaway from the Autumn Budget for our personal finances?
The rise in the personal allowance will probably make the biggest impact for most people as they’ll see the change directly in their pay packet.
Is it more important to save money or find new ways to make money?
It gets to a point where you’ve saved all you can save, so it’s definitely about looking for ways to increase the amount of money you’ve got coming in.
How do you work with PRs for the blog?
Most of the time, PRs and agencies reach out to us about new collaborations via email. We then just take it from there to see what they are looking to achieve and how we can work with them to meet their targets. It’s important for us that it fits with our core values and works for both parties.
What campaigns have you collaborated on that were really good?
We’ve worked with many different brands, from supermarkets to banks, on many different campaigns; not just producing content, but also video and supporting with media campaigns beyond the blog.
What’s best practice for when PRs contact you?
I’m not sure there’s a one size fits all approach. It’s helpful that they read our blog and know a bit about us before approaching us with an idea that might not fit. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look to brainstorm some ideas that may work.
I think, sometimes, PRs can just reach out hoping to get what they want, whereas we look to see if it will work for our audience too.
It’s not that we want to be overly picky, we just want to collaborate on things that will be genuinely useful to the readers and we believe in as well.
Do you think bloggers should have their own industry association?
I can’t see it working in the short term. There are so many different niches that nothing could really be settled. There are a number of blogging networks set up already if someone wanted to be part of a wider group.
Personally, I could see an association costing bloggers money to join, to get a newsletter once a month, but there would be little overall value.
I’m happy to be proved wrong.
What other blogs do you read?
I rarely read other blogs in our niche, to be honest, but do sometimes take a look at more technical sites like Search Engine Round Table and Moz to keep up with the fluctuations in the Google Algorithm.