Five Lessons From My First Two Years of Blogging

I can guarantee that you’ve seen this title or something similar before. So sorry for not being original today. But these types of posts are some of my favorites because I love gaining insight into other writer’s blogging experiences. Blogging “success” means something different to everyone. And from what I’ve read people have a wide variety of successes and failures.

Here’s some important things that I’ve learned so far:

  • You Have to Commit: Discipline is actually one of my strongest character traits.  Whether it’s money, work, or fitness, I usually develop a plan and stick to it. But blogging has tested my discipline to an entirely new level. With a full-time job, a desire to workout, and a husband and friends that I want to hang out with, I’m often confronted with the choice of what to sacrifice in order to post consistently. (The sacrifice for me is usually sleep.)  The only thing I can really say is that you have to commit. Pick the amount of times that you want to post and stick to it. Even if it’s revamping a previous post, keep the writing juices flowing.
  • Your Traffic Will Fluctuate: Most bloggers focus on traffic. After all, a lot of traffic can lead to more opportunities and money. But from the fluctuations that I’ve seen on my site, it hard to really tell why in some months you’ll have twice as much traffic as others. You can review Google, Twitter, and Facebook analytics to see what people like reading. But with these types of endeavors you should focus more on cultivating an audience that likes to read what you write, rather than write what will get you the most readers.
  • Focus on Connections: A lot of people going into blogging thinking they will be the next big site and make lots of money from everyone wanting to read their stuff. But two years in, I haven’t made any money from the blog itself.  However, it has helped me gain credibility and connections for people willing to pay me for advice.  I’ve also benefited non-monetarily by getting to connect and develop relationships with people that I admire.  These connections have produced opportunities and experiences that I know I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
  • Practice What You Preach: I read this phrase from another CFP blog and it really struck a chord with me. Especially with advice or service driven blogs, you have to be able to follow your own advice. In my posts, I won’t ask you to do something that I won’t do myself. And by taking that approach, my blog has helped me stay accountable to the financial habits that I aspire to have.
  • Be Yourself:  There are so many blogs! And there are likely a lot of blogs that focus on what you do. Fortunately, there is still only one you. And with so much talk about branding and putting on the right face, it’s easy to lose who you are. You aren’t going to please everyone. And chances are you’re not going to be the writer that gets 10,000 readers your first month. That’s okay. Remember why you’re writing and be true to what you’re trying to accomplish. In the end, the blog will be what it is. And hopefully it’s something that you’re proud.

And on that philosophical note, I’ll end my week-long celebration of Brian Thompson Financial ‘s birthday. Thank you again for reading, commenting, and helping make the blog what it is. Your support means the world to me.