Joshua Rodriguez and Anamaria Martinez Hiking In OregonHey everyone, thanks for sticking by me through somewhat of a rocky transition. I've got quite a bit to announce today! So, if you've been a visitor of my blog for the past few months, you've probably noticed some big changes. I went from theme to theme and eventually added a custom logo. Then, all of the content on my site seemed to just vanish in thin air...I know that can be a bit frustrating and hard to follow and, some of it was intentional, some wasn't. None the less, I think I owe you a bit of an explanation as to why everything has changed...

Where And How CNA Finance Started

Well, years ago, I owned a website called JEM Credit Cards which, really wasn't much to be proud of for the most part. I made very little money and one day, started making some. From then on, JEM went down hill fast. Because I made good money, I wanted to go out and have a good time. I didn't want to focus on what I've built. But, then again, I've heard this happens to quite a few first timers in money. Anyway, a partnership went south and, the business quickly came to a screeching halt. Eventually, I built JEM back up only to have Google Updates kill my rankings. Fortunately for all of us, search has become much harder to manipulate.

Anyway, at the bitter end of JEM, my fiance (Anamaria Martinez), a friend of ours who prefers to remain anonymous and myself (Joshua Rodriguez) all sat at the kitchen table and started to design what we believed would become the greatest source of financial information online. We quickly scraped together a wordpress blog and a bunch of people who were willing to write for us for nothing more than profit share. A business in a box with no out of pocket expense.

There Were Only A Few Key Things We Were Missing

A Competitive Edge - The internet is full of financial information sources. Industry giants like Forbes, CreditCards.com and BankRate.com have such a grasp on this industry that I could only dream to have a company as big as theirs one day. What could we bring to the table that they couldn't? A Personal Approach - If industry giants had such a grasp on the market, simply put, I'm chasing after the wrong market. We need to bring a more personal feeling to our blog. The only problem is, it's absolutely impossible to do that if so many people are writing for the blog. Everyone has their own personality and because personalities tend to collide, the blog itself would never take on it's own persona so to speak. Captivating Content - The truth is, any Joe Schmoe on this lovely planet we like to cal Earth can do a bit of research and produce a masterpiece with a little effort. That's proven time and time again as thousands of new blog posts are published online every minute. But to really captivate an audience, you have to have a relatively intriguing story. One that can be followed and precisely understood through any course of action to come. That can't be done with purely informational pieces of content.

This All Boiled Down To One Thing...I Need To Be Me

Josh and Ana at Bagby HotspringsThis entire time, every one of the hundreds of posts I've written and, members of the community have written. This entire time, we didn't give you what you came to my blog for in the first place. We didn't give you a personal approach to the information that you're trying to digest. Let's face it, you go online to learn, great bloggers share great information coupled with amazing stories. We see this time and time again from bloggers like Jeremy at Modest Money, Cat at Budget Blonde, John at Frugal Rules, Tracie at Penny Pinchin Mom, the list goes on and on. So, I'm going to take what I've learned from these greats, the greats I follow, I need to just be myself!

So, Here's A Little Bit About Me

I'm Joshua Rodriguez. I'm no rich guy with a big business in the top of some skyscraper in New York City. Nope, I'm just a normal 25 year old guy with a really good job, an apartment, a beautiful fiance and, a Honda Accord which I love! I've had a lot of working experience helping people with debt. A while ago, Jason Mathis started a debt relief company called Growth Financial. I helped with everything from increasing sales to learning the fulfillment process to eventually bring it in house. In the process, I learned a lot! I mean, a ton of incredibly useful information about all types of debts. I also learned quite a bit about investments, credit card use, budgeting, ect... The general personal finance stuff. I've even helped over a hundred people to manage their debts and finally achieve financial stability. But, that's only relevant for the finance side of the blog. I'm also a regular guy. You know, I wait for the clock to tick on Friday to go have a drink. I've got my own financial pitfalls and, I'm sure the ones I've been through won't be my last. I've made stupid mistakes, I mean stupidity that was only surpassed by the excuses I made for the mistakes after the fact.

 And, Why Exactly Am I Telling You All This?

Josh and Ana at BeerfestWell, because I want you to know exactly what you're going to get when you read my blog. The bottom line is, you're going to get a human. You're not going to get some kind of mass content generation firm with the latest news on the hottest topics. Nope, I'm going to talk about what's important to me, you and the rest of my audience. I'm not going to use the money I make to fund my private jet and get a tax refund after being bailed out. Nope, I'm going to help my community. I'm not going to try and force you to choke down bland, informational pieces of content...I'm going to give you something worth reading.

My Goals With CNA Finance

The truth is, the only reason I have a fiance is because I can't quite afford to get married right now. I know, going to the court house and making it happen only costs a couple hundred bucks but, there's more to it than that for me. First of all, she deserves more than a courthouse wedding...everyone has their preferences and that's definitely not hers nor mine. And, it get's even deeper than that. I've got a good job, it's true. One that I actually enjoy and, make a decent living at. The only problem is, 100% of my income is in someone else's hands. I can't write my own paycheck and, being so young, I haven't had much time to pad savings. Although, I'm buckling down and getting started with that now. You'll see posts about it! Anyway, I want to feel secure before I get married. I want to know that my income is on it's way and, I will be able to provide everything any decent man should be able to. So, one of my goals is for CNA Finance to maintain my financial stability. Although, I think that no matter what happens, I'll always have to be part of the company I'm working for now, I would like for CNA Finance to eventually provide the brunt of my income. But, that's not the only goal. I've also had a strong passion for helping the homeless. Well, at least I have since I was homeless. I could have called family but, embarrassment lead me to bad decisions that well, I'm not proud of. But, I am human and so are the members of the homeless community. They are human beings that really need help. Many of them forced into positions that they cannot control. That being said, once CNA Finance is able to pay my salary which is $1,000.00 per week, the excess proceeds of this blog will be funneled into channels that help the homeless community. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to do this yet but, I'm sure I will find a way.

Thanks For Readin' Now, Whatcha Thinkin'

Thanks for taking the time to read the first article on the New CNA Finance. I'll be posting something new every Tuesday so, make sure to come back and read more. One of the big reasons for all of the changes I've made was to build more engagement with my audience. That being said, I'd love to know what you think of the direction I'm taking. Did you enjoy the informational corporate approach or do you like the personal approach more? Let me know in a comment below!
Hey everyone, I'm Joshua Rodriguez. I'm the founder of CNA Finance as well as several other sites. If you'd like to connect with me, follow me on or Twitter! I'd love to see ya there. Also, if you're looking for top quality content for your blog, please visit my new website, JRodWrites.com! Legal Disclaimer - The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from CNAFinance). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

66 COMMENTS

  1. Great post Joshua! I like what you are doing with the new site. I think we both are going in different directions with our site. You seem to be making your site more personal and I actually want to give a perspective from many different people and angles. No right or wrong its what ever works best for you. Good luck things look great so far.

    • Hey Thomas, thanks for your comment. I really like what you’re doing there over at YDF! Definitely different perspectives but, i really enjoy your blog and, you seem to really enjoy mine. Thanks for your kind comment!

  2. I enjoyed getting to know you. When I originally started my blog, I wanted it to be informational as well. While I’m sure many informational type posts can have different perspectives, it seemed to be a rehash of things other bloggers have written. Plus, as others bloggers were sharing their stories, I wanted to do the same. I don’t know which is better but I do tend to enjoy reading posts with some personal info as long as it is relevant to the topic you’re writing about.

    • Hey Andrew, thanks for your comment! I don’t think that either way is better to be honest with you. I think it’s more about what you’re trying to accomplish with your site. One of my big problems was that I wanted to accomplish making money, that was really it. But, there’s gotta be more to it or you get burnt out. Which, happened. I was so tired of writing informational pieces and wondering why I wasn’t making money yet. So, I decided to be part of the community. I’d imagine it will be much more fun and honestly, it’s lead to comments on my blog already so, something must be working! Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Great post, and thank you for sharing. I think that providing financial support to the homeless is such a wonderful idea and I really appreciate your honesty and down to earth on here. Looking forward to reading more about your financial journey.

    • Hey Ann,

      Thanks for stopping by and, thanks for your kind words. I’m looking forward to actually being able to help the homeless community. Hopefully those days come sooner rather than later. I look forward to seeing you in the future conversations here!

    • Hey Martin. The truth is, I work a full time job as well. I want to commit to a posting schedule and a marketing schedule and with me being so busy, once a week is really all I can commit to. I may have other posts throughout the week but, every Tuesday is guaranteed new content for the readers that follow my blog! Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hi Joshua

    I really like where you’re planning on taking this site.

    I find that I really struggle with faceless finance blogs – where you’re not quite sure if it’s an actual finance blog, or one that’s thrown together by a team of copywriters as part of an online casino’s SEO strategy…

    The personal touch makes you more likely to commit some reading time. After all, with so much content out there, you have to be sparing with it! So good for you that you’re giving it a face.

    I shall keep checking on Tuesdays!

    Jayson

    • Hey Jayson, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that you enjoy the new face of the blog and look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays. I’ll be setting up a subscription soon as well so that you don’t have to remember to come check. That should be up by the end of the day today!

  5. A personal touch is really essential! Articles written by drones are informational and helpful, but what keeps me coming back is the glimpses of the person’s personality and life. It’s much more interesting that way! Congrats on the redesign. I love how simple it is!

    • Hey Christine, thanks! I’m glad you like the new simplistic look. I’m really starting to learn how important a personal touch in a blog can really be. Thanks for your comment!

    • Hey James, it can definitely be a time consuming task at the very least but, I enjoy it. I look forward to seeing you in the future conversations!

  6. Congrats on the site redesign. I definitely like the minimalist feel. I agree with the other commenter…get some more blog posts up. I can definitely relate to being busy. Good luck. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if I can ever help.

    • Hey Hank, thanks for your comment. I really appreciate you stopping by and, your kind words. I’m thinking that I may reach out to some people I trust to see if they would be willing to guest post. Maybe I can run one guest post a week and one of my posts a week. Thanks again, I’m going to shoot you an email now!

  7. Hey Josh,
    Good luck on this blog as I am starting to blog again. I got the bug, although for now I am a bit anonymous as the wife will allow me to reveal some stuff but not who we are. Over time I have seen people start revealing themselves more online, perhaps I will head there.

    • Hey Charlie, thanks for stopping by and wishing the luck! I’ll swing by and check out your blog. I’d love to see you reveal yourself and, I hear it leads to return visits as more and more people feel a connection with you. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you around in conversation!

  8. Best wishes Joshua! Looking forward to learning more about you and your journey. Stick with it, create good content, help others and you will be fine. There are many other bloggers like myself who are along for the ride with you. Maybe we don’t need Google anymore if we all support each other.

    • Hey Free Money Minute, thanks for the tips and support. I love what you’re doing over there on your blog and, hope to accomplish much of the same. If there’s anything I can do to help you along your journey, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll see you around!

  9. awesome site! i like that you really took the time to explain your goals with the blog and give a little info about yourself. sounds like you have a great idea and i can’t wait to read more of your posts! and the thing about not getting married yet because your fiance deserves more? very adorable! 🙂

    • Hey Ashley, thanks for swinging by! I really appreciate all the kind words and support that the you and the rest of the personal finance community are showing on my first post. As far as the waiting to get married thing, it’s so worth it! Truth be told, I fudged the engagement so, I’ve gotta make it up some how. We’ll get into that story some other time! Again, thanks for swinging by!

  10. I love the new look and feel of the site, Josh. Nice job with the layout! I’m looking forward to reading more posts here in the near future. I completely agree with you that taking a more personal approach is the best idea. It helps the readers find something in common with you and will keep them coming back.

    • Hey Jake, I’m glad you like the new look and feel of CNA Finance. Thanks for commenting, I look forward to seeing you around the blogosphere!

  11. Hi Joshua! The site looks great and I’m excited to hear more personal stories from you! It’s easy to get pf advice almost anywhere online, but you can’t get the varying personal POVs or stories at those types of sites. I’m excited for what’s in store, I’ll be looking out for more posts!

    Also, I have a Honda Accord and I absolutely love it as well! I used to be #teamcivic but now I’m converted to #teamaccord haha

    • Hey Lisa, thanks for your comment and kind words! I’m hoping that being more personal will get more people to join the conversation. I learned so much in conversations on blogs like Modest Money and, I’d love to be able to do the same thing here. Gotta love the Accord!

  12. Great to see the new approach Joshua. I think this blog will do much better than the last version. It does suck that you lost all of content while trying to get your blog going in the right direction. At least it gave you a clean slate to really bring out your personal side in your blog. I’m sure it will do great with all of the solid advice you have to share. Also thanks for the mention and thanks for all the help on my blog. Good luck.

    • Hey Jeremy, thanks for stopping by. You were there for it all so, you’ve really seen quite the transition huh? I’m not too down about the content. Truth be told, I liked my site before but, this process has made me fall in love with it again! My pleasure on the mention, you deserve it! And for anyone reading this post, Jeremy has greatly helped me to understand online practices at a level I’ve never even known was possible. That being said, he provides site audits and other SEO services, just visit http://www.ModestMoney.com to learn more! Thanks again Jeremy!

  13. I much prefer getting information with a persona message. Like you said, anyone can do some research and type out information. I am much more invested when I know the writer a bit better. Best of luck, and I like that you hope to donate blog proceeds to charity at some point.

    • Hey Kim, thanks for stopping by. I’ve been a long time follower of your blog, even though, I just recently started leaving comments…I’ve loved the personal approach that you take, it really makes me dig into what I’m reading! So, if you haven’t been there everyone, head on out to http://www.EyesOnTheDollar.com for some great reading!

    • Hey Lidsey, I like the way you put that…New and Shiny!!! Anyway, I really appreciate the kind comment, I look forward to seeing you around!

  14. Love what you’ve done with the site, Joshua, and thanks much for sharing about your life! Looking forward to getting to know you guys better and exchanging PF info. I have a bit of a passion for the homeless too – maybe we can work together on that someday. Have a great weekend. 🙂

    • Hey Laurie, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! I look forward to getting to know you better as well. I’d love to do something with you for the homeless! Maybe in a month or two we can bounce ideas off of each other! Thanks again for stopping by!

  15. @Josh- I love the look of the new CNA Finance! I think its great that you decided to just be you! When I first started my blog, I thought about writing under a pen name but quickly decided that its better to just be me and write about my personal experiences, good and bad, about money! Good luck!

  16. This is my first visit to CNA so it was nice to get a primer on the landing page.

    I appreciate that you’ve shared so much about your personal life, it let’s someone like me feel connected to the words on the screen.

    I wish you well in your journey for stability and I hope you don’t let that stop you from getting married!

    • Hey No Waste, thanks for stopping by! I love first time visitors, I hope that you plan to stop by in the future too! I’d love to see ya around. I do plan to take a very personal approach. When it comes to the wedding, we will get married, it’s just a matter of time. I just want to make sure that, the one big night is a memorable one. I know I can make it happen! Thanks for your comment.

  17. I remember the one day a while back, maybe march or before I got an email from a Josh at CNA finance looking to do a guest post. Sure I took you up and months later you are still hanging around. Good to see the change and glad to see you back up with a new site design, I have been checking lately since I saw that other message up. Since you redesigned and lost other content, that link must be dead hmmm…. drop me a line if you would like to guest post again!! We would love to have you. Id love to know more about you and your job you are currently in. Growth caught my eye and Im interested now.

    • Hey Christopher, thanks for swinging by. I’m glad you like the new approach. As far as the dead links, I’m trying as hard as I can to get 301’s out as quickly as possible. I’ll shoot you an email to find out exactly what link it was, I’ll make a 301 fast. As far as another guest post, I’d love to! We’ll chat about that in the email as well. Thanks again for stopping by, I hope to see you around again soon!

    • Hey Rita, thanks for swinging by, I hope you like the big stuff that is soon to come…see ya around!

    • Hey Adam, thanks for your comment! There are many things us PF bloggers have in common. One of my favorites is what many would consider as an innate ability to just stick with it! Thanks for swinging by!

  18. Hey Josh,
    I love the new direction of the site!!! I am an avid reader of many financial blogs, always looking for good info on how to better my financial situation. Financial stability is quite the task in this day and age and the more accurate info I can get the better! From the looks of things you have already established a following, so you must know what your talking about when it comes to the industry. Is there any way I can post my questions to your site and you can help me out with your expertise???!??
    Thanks in advance,
    Mr Olsen

    • Hey Mr. Olsen, thanks for swinging by, I really appreciate your kind words. As far as ways that you can ask questions, thanks for the great idea! I’ll add a page for that in the upcoming week or so. Thanks again for stopping by!

  19. Love the new site Joshua & great post! It’s always encouraging to read about the real reason behind why someone started a blog and their desire to not only be heard, but help others. Thanks so much for the shout out, I really appreciate it and keep up the great work!

    • Hey John, thanks for stopping by! No problem on the shout out, you’ve really built something great over there, it’s just amazing how fast you did it! Thanks again!

  20. Congratulations on starting over – it would take alot of guts to decide you are better off starting again from scratch rather than leaving up all of your old content. At the end of the day it sounds like you’re doing it all for the right reasons though – I’ll be sure to check back as you start restocking the site with articles

    • You know, I don’t know if it’s guts, stupidity or just being tired of running a blog I don’t believe in sometimes. I had to do something to fall back in love with it and, scrapping all content and starting over from scratch just seemed to be the best way to go for me! Now, I’ll be writing content with personality, content that people can get into, content that I can stand behind. When I come to my website now, even though it only has 2 posts, I absolutely love it. I can envision what is going to happen over the next few months and, everything is just falling into place perfectly! I love it! Thanks for your comment!

    • I really am. Every day, I stare at the site for about an hour looking for a way to make it better. It’s challenging, it’s personal, and it’s a lot more fun! Thanks for your comment!

  21. Hey Josh,
    Nice to learn more about you! I’m so with you on the personal side. I like informational posts with some experience and personal stories shared to back up the post.

    Looks like things are going pretty well here. Congratulations!

    Cheers
    Debs

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