FIRE is easy - FIREstarters blog

You have to acknowledge without envy that Sparkojote knows how to monetize his blog. And that’s fine - different people have different approaches when it comes to earning money. Plus, it’s clever as well. I’m also not a fan of affiliates, but some people are making a hell lot of money by using them.

On a side note: I’m not only looking at the Swiss market. I find it really interesting how some people are making from their internet presence (Blog, youtube channels, Instagram). It’s also interesting to look at other markets as well (US, EU - haven’t looked into other markets yet, but I just got another idea for a post :slightly_smiling_face:)

Well, you know my business idea already: JDCOIN :joy:

Just a note from an “experienced” blogger from both sides (reader and writer). After a while you have no idea what to write. You can see the same thing on many blogs. You’ll reach a point where you know 99% of the things that need to be known and wrote about it. You will then start interviewing or rewriting posts that can be rewritten ( “an update on …” ) and you’ll grow bored. If your audience is big enough, the traffic will keep going on. If you have a forum with good traffic, you are lucky because google will reward you handsomely (SEO-wise).


If you find a good solution for this problem which is waterproof I’d be glad to read an article about it :slight_smile: It should be legal in Switzerland without me having to disclose my name and private address but complying with the law against unfair competition (UWG) which regulates the imprint requirement, but also not too complicated and expensive. I guess foreign entities have some kind of maintenance costs and also tax authorities want to see some buck from companies I guess :slight_smile:

I also thought about it a lot and also about options to host something in Russia or China or whatever and then put something like Cloudflare in front and just never mention Switzerland or a Swiss product then nobody would probably ever guess or be able to find out there is a Swiss person behind it. But then it would be still not legal and when you monetise it you would have to pay taxes for the income so you would have to disclose the blog to tax authorities. Or you don’t pay taxes for it but then you end up breaking more and more laws, so it’s not a suitable option.

I really find it annoying that this law had to be introduced in 2012.

He also advertises Yuh next to Swissquote, telling that he has an account with both but what sense would it make to have accounts with both except for him to have more options at hand to generate income with multiple referral codes. I also don’t think it makes sense to have 20 apps and bank accounts except for when you want to promote referral codes for all of them.

Yes, that’s a very wise decision. I think the Swiss market is relatively small and at some point people who are interested in saving money will have read the blog already and the number of people is somewhat limited. That’s why I also think writing a blog in English and for a global audience makes much more sense.

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Thanks for sharing your experience @ma0 Much appreciated!
I agree that there might be a point where you don’t know what to post anymore. I hope this day is still in the distant future for me :slightly_smiling_face:

The thing is: I registered the domain more than a year ago. Now when I look at the name today, the thing which bugs me a bit is the word FIRE in the domain. Which somehow gives it a vibe of mainly being focused on finances - which I don’t plan to restrict myself to. So I’ll see where it goes. The good thing for me is that I have a lot of different interests, so as of right now I don’t think I’ll run out of topics. But that can only be me just being naive at the moment.

I have a waterproof solution, but that solution is not for free. We’re talking roughly 2k per year. Which doesn’t make sense to set up if you don’t plan to monetize the blog - unless you want to pay the 2k per year to have peace of mind when it comes to someone sueing you.

I think it’s definitely worth it at some point. In this case I’d probably wait with monetising until I have enough traffic on the blog to justify the 2k costs per year. As long as there is no monetising, no imprint is required.

Not sure how much traffic is required to generate income using monetisation options (Ads, affiliate marketing / referral codes/links, content marketing / paid content, etc.) to make up for the 2k costs and maybe infrastructure costs.

sorry, misunderstanding about feedback, what I meant was, I have no actual/particular feedback at this time, except the “general” feedback I gave via my comment above.

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You can have a look here to get an idea (even though it’s just a general “expenses” category).
Infrastructure costs are rather negligible when you start. 10$ per month should be fine - you might even get some cheaper options as well.

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I don’t think it’s bad to advertise good products, if there are no real downsides for both parties. IB f. e. gives tons of benefits to the referred one, while also providing value to the one who shared his link - win - win imho.

The same goes for Neon or Zak f. e. If you advise low cost or free solutions, It’s totally fine imho. Also: We need to be realistic… People need to make money somehow and referral links are imho much better than aggressive ads or something.

I don’t know it feels a bit dishonest. As mentioned, several finance bloggers advertise tons of products and many sites are full of referral codes which becomes quite annoying. Nobody would need so many apps and products, only the finance bloggers seems to need 25 apps and likes all of them. I don’t believe that. They need the app because with every app there is a new referral code to spread and a new blog post to make. There are countless app reviews on finance blogs, usually quite shallow, not more info than on the product page, so you notice immediately the whole purpose is only to spread the referral code. I usually leave sites when I notice the just try to refer tons of apps to me.

In addition to that, I never use referral codes and links anymore since I noticed that sometimes they share your real name with the referred / referring person. Some time ago I exchanged some codes with my wife so we benefit and then for example when she uses a link then it says: Welcome … (My Name) offers you a discount blabla … or also the opposite way around. When my wife used one of my codes to open an account for her and then I got a push notification: “Congratulations, (Firstname Lastname of my wife) has opened an account with your referral code. You get got now XY bonus.”. Since then I never use referral codes anymore from someone else nor do I share mine.

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What would be your suggestion then? A voluntarily donation possibility or ads?

I mostly agree with what you said, but I also think that people should get paid for their work (we can debate how much, but yeah)

And IB’s or Neons referral program f. e. is really nice (at IB you get more the more your initial payment (in IB stock) and at neon, you save the card shipping costs and get 10 CHF)

I avoid sites that are using ads.

I think blogs have one of the following purposes:

  • It’s a hobby for someone, they like writing, they can express their thoughts and also learn through the process of writing / researching. Most people don’t get paid for their hobbies.
  • You blog with your real name and see it as an investment to establish your brand as a thought leader in a specific topic. e.g. you demonstrate your extensive knowledge in a field and as such you’re a known industry expert and people in the industry know you because of your blog. Through that you’re able to land better jobs and higher salaries, higher ranks, get hired as an expert freelancer, speaker, whatever etc. because you have an expensive brand and reputation.

If you want to earn money create a business or a site with quality content, in-depth analysis of a topic etc. well-researched long form articles that add value to someones knowledge etc. I’m willing to pay for such sites, for example I pay for a quality newspaper subscription and also for a financial market info site which is like a blog where several industry experts write quality articles on it. I don’t see why someone should pay for articles where someone just copy pasted a few info from a product page of a banking app and add their referral code at the end.

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Ok I get that you are in general not a fan of such a format, but that was not the question.

If someone want’s a to have a hobby/side hustle in which he can earn some money + the end user get’s no real disadvantage EXCEPT if you straight up lie - but then again… You shouldn’t trust a guy on the internet to much lol…

So back to the question: What would you do in such a case?

And that’s a reason you shouldn’t? This has an envy aftertaste + doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. A lot of people that like their job would describe it as a paid hobby.


No actually I like the format. As I said I even pay for a subscription for a blog. But if you want me to pay a subscription then the content must be of certain quality and usually it has more than one writer and the writers are established experts in the field. Not just copy paste stuff from the product website and a referral code at the end with a bit of additional prose to make the text appear longer. Usually, quality blogs where you pay for a subscription have several writers because it is difficult as a single person to regularly deliver high quality articles.

I also like to read many hobby blogs. Many people write interesting articles but when the site gets bloated with ads, or I notice the author tries to push his referral codes on me, then I’m gone. I think we need to distinguish between a hobby an a paid project.

Most people as a single person cannot deliver high quality content on a regular basis but they only notice this when they already started, that maintaining a site or blog where people are willing to pay for is much more effort that one might expect. For example, the Sparkojote blog and Youtube channel mentioned above - he does this full time, not just as a side hustle and even there (I don’t follow the blog and channel in detail) when I look at articles / YT videos I get the impression that quantity is more important than quality.


@CHRad and @Patron thanks for the discussion and the input guys! I can understand both sides.

Personally, I also don’t like to pay for something if that person is just copying & pasting information which is common knowledge, and then puts a price on it which is not justified. On the other hand, it’s a very personal decision to judge what is justified and what is not. People in this forum/community are usually very sensitive when it comes to costs, which is ok. Still, there might be other people out there who are just starting and those might be happy to pay a small amount for information they would have to search for in different places. So in the end it’s about: is there demand for your offers out there, and are people willing to pay for it?

I think the hard part is to differentiate between our own opinion and values compared to others peoples values. Yes, Mustachians might not be the primary target for people like Sparkojote. But he’s clearly serving a demand, otherwise he wouldn’t be as successful as he is. He’s doing it full time, and he can live from it. That’s something which is inspiring, at least for me. I mean who has the better life: the person who’s still working as an employee, not really being satisfied while complaining about Influencers not providing any value (which most of them don’t - don’t get me wrong), or the person who is doing what he/she loves while earning money with it. Of course we shouldn’t forget morals, but that’s a topic for another day.


See, this is just a subjective judgement. Our economic system decides what brings direct or indirect value to our economy via money. Since they do get money, they MUST bring in value (mostly indirect through marketing, but still - more products get bought from other companies, so there you have your value.)

I have 0 problems when someone is referencing me to IB or any other provider, as long as there is no intransparent money making involved (you pay a higher price). Even if you don’t use a tool personally, It may make sense to promote it to someone in a different situation etc… Just don’t be a sellout and be honest and I think that’s perfectly fine.

No one cares what I, you or Patron think… In the end it’s your decision how you monetize your blog and that’s ok I think.

Yes of course - it is a subjective statement from a reference group with n=1 (me) :slightly_smiling_face:
And I agree it’s the economic system which decides if something brings value or not - in this case value in terms of money. Even though: some people are selling their farts or their bathtub water successfully. Value can be discussed for those ones - but if someone gets a joy out of it: why not?

I don’t fully agree with your statement (I am interested in what you, Patron or others in here think), but I know what you mean.

Yeah the statement was a bit too blunt, but the essence, that others shouldn’t dictate what you want to do with your project is nevertheless true. I wish you the best of luck!

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Same here! Do what you like and stay true to yourself, all the best! It’s just my very personal opinion: The internet is oversaturated with commercialized influencer BS. Basically, the internet consists of more or less elaborate advertisement, and porn. I’m sure you won’t contribute BS, so I salute you :clap:

Oh and regarding monetizing farts: natural gas is in high demand these days I hear. Thinking of my own business idea here: Why should we let our farts go to waste :crazy_face:?

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So what… I don’t have stupid cookie banners nor an imprint on my page. Didn’t bother anyone so far. Just because some old people that barely know how to use a computer believe it’s a good idea to have a mailbox like imprint on each page doesn’t mean it’s a good law or one that I’m willing to follow.

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