Interview with Peter Anderson, founder of Bible Money Matters

by Mike on March 18, 2010

The interview below is with Peter Anderson, founder of Bible Money Matters. Peter runs a well established blog in the Christian / Biblical personal finance niche and has gracefully agreed to this interview. It was a privilege to be able to pick his brain and I’m happy to be able to share the information with you.

Tell the readers a little about yourself?
I’m a 33 year old husband and soon to be father, living up in the great winter wonderlands of Minnesota. I’ve lived here in the Minneapolis area my entire life, and love the great quality of life we have here. I’m not a financial professional, but work at a local advertising agency. Personal finance is just a side interest and a hobby!

What prompted you to start Bible Money Matters?
I started Bible Money Matters at the end of January 2008 at a time when my wife and I were just starting to take our finances more seriously. Despite making decent incomes we felt like we were never getting ahead, never able to save and we knew something had to change. We started doing a monthly budget, reading books about personal finance, and after reading several other existing personal finance blogs I decided to start my own personal finance blog to talk about the things that I was learning. I believed that I could help other people while I was helping myself! In addition as a strong Christian I knew that my faith had to play a strong part in the things that I was writing about because for me my faith isn’t just something that is personal and that I never talk about. I believe I’ve been saved from my sins by a loving savior, and I’m so thankful. I need to share that Good news. I had seen a couple of other Christian personal finance blogs – especially, and they served as inspiration for me to start my own Christian personal finance site. In the long run it ended up being a good business move anyway because by choosing a sub-niche in the personal finance realm, it helped to set me apart.

You have a diverse set of skills, tell us about some of your other ventures (logos for websites, ebook, etc)
One thing that I’ve been writing about a lot lately is the need for people and families to diversify their income. In tough times like this it pays to not have all your eggs in one basket. Last week my staff writers and I posted the entire week with ideas for ways to make extra income for the family. I think quite often personal finance blogs focus a lot on the cutting expenses side of the equation, which is great, but you can only cut so much out of your budget. I think it pays to also focus on creating secondary income streams. For me that meant creating multiple income streams by doing things I was good at, and things that I would have done anyway – even if I wasn’t getting paid. My logo site, Logos For Websites, actually grew out of a small logo design business I had running 5-6 years ago while I was selling on eBay. I found that many other sellers had stores on eBay, but no real logo or graphic design for their stores. I started selling my graphic design skills to a lot of those eBay sellers. Fast forward to 2008 and I started designing logos and graphics for other bloggers after several of them asked me for help.

My blog is also a secondary income source that has grown substantially over the past 2 years. It started small, but has grown as I have learned more about how to find advertisers willing to pay for advertising on my site, as I’ve learned about promoting affiliate offers, and as I’ve learned about about all the various ways that you can monetize a blog. After receiving a ton of questions about how I make money with my blog, I decided to write an e-book about how I made my blog successful. It’s called “Blueprint For How To Make Money With A Blog” and it takes new and intermediate bloggers alike through the process of creating a money making blog.

When you become a blogger you essentially become an entrepreneur, and you have to have that entrepreneurial spirit to do things a bit different and think outside of the box. Take the skills that God has given you and turn them into something useful!

What can we expect to see out of Bible Money Matters in 2010?
One of my goals for Bible Money Matters is to make it one of the go-to sites on the web for Christian personal finance information. As part of that I have decided to hire some of the best Christian personal finance writers out there to continue bringing great content to the site 5-6 days a week. For almost 2 years I was the sole writer on the site writing 5 or more days a week, and it can be easy to get burned out doing that. But by adding 3 great staff writers it has really varied the kind of content we’re offering, freed me up to be able to give more direction to the site, and given me more time to create more e-books and premium information resources to offer to my readers. This year I also hope to be doing more contests, especially through our new email newsletter (sign up now and win $25 if you’re subscriber number #500!) and begin offering more video content!

I consider you one of the trailblazers in the Christian / Biblical Personal Finance Niche….what advice do you have for upcoming PF bloggers (like myself )?
Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say. My advice for upcoming PF bloggers is to just make a plan and stick to it. Success isn’t going to happen overnight, it will take a lot of time and hard work to even make your first dollar. Just know you’ll be working for less than minimum wage for many months. Read up on what other successful bloggers are doing, and try to emulate their success. Don’t copy them, but see what they’re doing to be successful, and do similar things to make your own site successful. Write a lot of content, and then write some more. When you think you’re written enough, write more! And of course, buy my blogging e-book. Wink wink, nudge nudge. 🙂

What is the single most important piece of financial advice you could give people?
I think the most simple advice is sometimes the best, and sometimes the most ignored. For me the best advice is to just spend less than you earn. Along those same lines, if you don’t have the cash to pay for something, don’t buy it! Save up and pay cash for the things you want. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people give in to temptations and spend money they don’t have, just because they want it and they’re not mature enough to delay gratification. They then end up going into credit card debt, having a hard time making ends meet. Also, if you want to have success, you’ll need to, on some level, create a zero based budget where you’re giving every dollar a name, and every dollar is attributed to a giving, saving or spending category before it even hits your bank account.

What is your favorite PF book?
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey was one of the first books that really got me thinking hard about my family’s money, and made me want to make a change for the better. It made me want to “change my family tree” and create a financial legacy for my future children. I also have loved the books by Thomas J. Stanley talking about the things that people who create real wealth do to succeed. His latest book which I really enjoyed is called “Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire“.

You recently published that your family is expecting your first child (congratulations) ~ how will this impact your blogging plan?
Thank you! Yes, my wife Maria and I are expecting our first child which we found out a few weeks ago is going to be a little boy. We’ve already named him Carter John, and we couldn’t be more excited to be new parents. I’ve always wanted to have kids, and now that I’m going to be a father it’s exciting and scary at the same time! How will it affect my blogging? I would imagine that my blogging activities will have to become more structured, and happen more in the early mornings and late at night. From what I understand new babies take a lot of time and energy! Thankfully I do have 3 staff writers creating content for my site, so that will help to lighten the load. (Thanks guys!)

When you’re not blogging, writing ebooks, or designing logos….what do you like to do?
To be completely honest I love the process of blogging, writing ebooks and designing logos – those things are my hobbies! If I didn’t enjoy them I wouldn’t be doing them! But other than those things, I love playing music – I play violin and some guitar. I also love sports of all kinds, I love playing basketball (I’m 6’4″), mountain biking, watching football, playing tennis and just being active. Which reminds me – I need to do those things more and take off some of this winter weight! Thanks for reminding me!

Anything else you want to tell us?
Thank you for your time, and for your interest in me and my site! I count it as a distinct honor that people continue to read my site and I love seeing the newer bloggers appear every day and make their valuable contributions to the blogosphere. I look forward to seeing your site grow, and working with you as we try to create a financially educated country and world! God bless!


Thanks Peter! Be sure to show him some love and appreciation in the comments below, then make sure you check out the latest on Bible Money Matters!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Connor July 21, 2012 at 1:43 am

Charming job, it’s a great post. The info is good to know!

2 Peter March 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

It just might be! stay tuned! (of course I’m not sure i can afford any more writers, i’m already paying 3 staff writers!) 🙂
.-= Peter´s last blog ..What Types Of Insurance Do I Need To Protect Myself And My Family? =-.

3 Bucksome Boomer March 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I second Jason’s comment about Peter. He’s very helpful to other blogger which is greatly appreciated by this newbie.

Peter, it was fun to learn more about you. Next time you hire a staff writer, maybe it’ll be a girl?
.-= Bucksome Boomer´s last blog ..My Inner Imelda Marcos =-.

4 Craig Ford March 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thanks for putting together this interview. I just subscribed and am looking forward to more of your articles.
.-= Craig Ford´s last blog ..Christian Blog Roundup =-.

5 PF Journey March 20, 2010 at 8:53 am

Thanks Craig!

6 PF Journey March 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

@Paul – I’ll watch hockey and skiing….does that count?

I’m more into Racquetball myself…though I haven’t played in a while.

Hmm…maybe a PF bloggers Olympics in our future? 🙂

7 Paul @ FiscalGeek March 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I’m in for sure!
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..Friday Round Up with Report =-.

8 Paul @ FiscalGeek March 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Great interview! It’s funny Pete and I could start the dream team I’m also 6’4″ although I’m more into Hockey and Skiing rather than basketball. I think like you Pete I’ve discovered a hobby that can actually make money rather than burn it at alarming rates as most of my other hobbies seem to do. And hats of to you PF Journey and here’s to your continued success.
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..Is a 15 Year Mortgage Financial Suicide? =-.

9 Peter March 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I can see it now, we can start a PF blogger sports league – ski team, basketball, tennis, you name it!
.-= Peter´s last blog ..A Great Way To Get Free Gadgets, Cash And Other Free Stuff =-.

10 Jason @ Redeeming Riches March 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Great interview Kita and Pete! Pete’s got a TON of great advice and is always willing to answer questions. He was one of the first bloggers I turned to for support and tips!
.-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..This Week in Personal Finance – March 19, 2010 =-.

11 Monevator March 19, 2010 at 11:16 am

I think having the logo design business is a great secondary income stream. While it’s obviously a little connected to the Internet, it’s not connected completely with blogging, which gives Peter extra diversification.

A lot of bloggers seem to think Adsense and Affiliate income on their blog count as two income streams. I disagree – if Google blackballs your site for some reason, for instance, you’ll lose both!

12 PF Journey March 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

Excellent point! Adsense is only the tip of the iceberg. Anyone that is serious about making a full time income from blogging will not put all their eggs in one basket. Besides Adsense there are direct ads, services, products and affiliates. Not to mention Adsense isn’t the only network!

13 harvestwages March 19, 2010 at 8:21 am

Hey Latika,
I love this interview. You’ve made me know another great personality. What i love most is that he is a Christian personal finance blogger. I think in the nearest future, i will relate most of my personal finance post with my Christian ethics.
i will recommend that you keep sharing such interviews at least once a week. I mean interviews with Christian bloggers.
.-= harvestwages´s last blog ..Top 5 Social Media Business Models For Entrepreneurs =-.

14 PF Journey March 19, 2010 at 9:13 am

Hello Harvest!

I definitely would like to feature more interviews….I don’t know about once a week though 🙂

15 PF Journey March 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm

@ Kevin,
You’re right, Peter has been an example and inspiration. He was the obvious choice for the first interview her on Personal Finance Journey. I’m happy he agreed to it.

Thank you all for showing your support and appreciation!

16 Kevin@OutOfYourRut March 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Peter, it seems your greatest advice IS blogging! By sharing the knowledge wealth, your best advice is showing people how to be entrepreneurs–along the lines of “teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. You’re advocating for ordinary people to step out and make things happen. We all need that push.

That’s no small thing in a very unstable job world that I suspect will be with us a lot longer than most of us care to think. You’re one of those people we’re all better for knowing, if only through the world wide web!

Detouring a bit…I think Lakita is showing us all a few things on her site, and I’m glad to “know” her as well.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Save for Retirement Now or Payoff Your Mortgage First? =-.

17 Peter March 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Thanks Kevin for your kind comments, it’s nice to know I’m making somewhat of an impact. 🙂 I do think people can “step out and make things happen” if only they just try.

I agree, Lakita is showing us a few things with her site, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites!
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Co-Signing Risks: Why Co-signing Is A Bad Idea =-.

18 Carlos Frank March 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Great interview Lakita! I’ve been quitely reading Bible Money Matters since the beginning of 2009 and have grown to appreciate Pete’s authentic writing approach. And have been even more impressed with his business savvy! Like many of us in the faith based pf world, I’ve used his service to create my logo for my blog and loved working with him.

I do have one issue with this interview though…… 6’4″? I guess since we only get to see head shots we don’t see it! Going to need a picture with a reference point Mr. Anderson!
.-= Carlos Frank´s last blog ..Bible Based Debt Elimination =-.

19 PF Journey March 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Haha right! Can’t tell 6’4″ from the head shot! I think that surprised all of us!

20 Peter March 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Nobody thinks I’m tall, huh! Here’s a shot of me and my wife at a friend’s wedding.. My wife is 5’10” – for reference:

.-= Peter´s last blog ..Closing My Account With Bank Of America: Low Interest And Bad Customer Service =-.

21 BibleDebt March 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Thank you for a little inside information on how you became successful! You are right, it does take a lot of work and take some time. How does one continue and keep going without getting discouraged? I think I write great stuff, but after a few months I start to get a little burnt out and start to doubt if it is worth all of the extra time. Thanks again and I look forward to enjoying both your site and Lakita’s!

22 Peter March 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Fighting burnout is just one of those things that you have to work around. I fight it all the time. That’s part of the reason I’ve hired several staff writers to help me out by writing content on the site. It allows me to not write quite as much, helping cut down on the burnout factor. The first 2 years of my blog, however, I was the only one writing 5-6 days a week, and sometimes you just have to take a couple of days off to refresh yourself. Most people won’t notice, and when you come back you’ll be ready to roll again. Otherwise, try also mixing up the type of content that you’re writing- with shorter news type posts mixed in with your longer pillar type posts.

Good luck!
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Do I Need A Long Term Disability Income Insurance Policy? What Do I Need To Know? =-.

23 BibleDebt March 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for the advice and encouragement Peter! I will fight through the burnout and persevere. I might have to hire you to design a logo for my site down the road. Good luck with your other ventures as well!

24 Joseph | March 18, 2010 at 9:26 am

Great stuff! Enjoyed reading this interview!
.-= Joseph |´s last blog ..Home School or Private School? =-.

25 Financial Samurai March 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

Pete, you’re taller than you look in your picture! You dunking the ball? 🙂
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..“Capitalism: A Love Story” DVD Review & Giveaway =-.

26 Peter March 18, 2010 at 9:29 am

I’m taller than I look? No, not dunking the ball much anymore. I’m starting to slow down in my old age, I don’t have as much ups as I used to. 🙂
.-= Peter´s last blog ..How To Learn Investing Without A Formal Education =-.

27 Peter March 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

Thanks for the opportunity Lakita, it was a lot of fun doing the interview!
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Co-Signing Risks: Why Co-signing Is A Bad Idea =-.

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