Last month was TheFinanceNerd’s three year anniversary. The blog originally started as a way for me to share my thoughts and experiences about financial qualifications in the hope of providing useful information to people thinking of levelling up their skills. However, over the months, this theme evolved to include broader topics such as personal development and education. This post is a summary of this blog’s journey and outlines some of the key lessons that I’ve learned over the years.
1. Content Choices
As I am sure that you are aware, all web traffic is recorded and platforms such as WordPress (which I am using for this blog) give visibility to the numbers of views that posts get. As the months passed and as I had the chance to compare the number of views, it became apparent which topics were of interest to readers. If you are are looking to start your own blog and you are planning your content, these are my suggestions for does and don’ts:
· Post about original topics, things on which materials out there are lacking.
· Tag your posts, this helps blog visibility on search engines.
· Post about topics which are relevant at the moment, think about the timing.
· Post about something generic or topics which have already been extensively covered.
· Post anything that can get you in trouble, when you are in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion.
2. Writing as a Habit
I can personally say that I have constantly fought against writer’s block since I started this blog. I realised the challenges of coming up with interesting content; originally my goal was to post at least 2-3 times a month, a goal which unfortunately I have failed to achieve in the past months. In hindsight, the mental process that has caused me to procrastinate is as follows:
1. I want to write a great post.
2. I need all the relevant information to write it, I need the perfect set up to put my ideas and research into words.
3. OK, I don’t have time at the moment, let’s review in a few days.
4. Return to 1.
The bottom line is that the first draft will always need editing; when we start by looking for the ideal, the biggest risk is that we will never find it. Start writing, no matter how bad something is, put your words down and start chiselling away.
3. Have a set of Goals and Principles
The “Why?” question is always important and arguably this should lead even before you start thinking about your content. Having a set of goals in mind will naturally guide you in your choice of themes. For the TheFinanceNerd, this is what I jotted down.
“To provide genuine, unbiased information regarding financial qualifications and programmes to help people make informed decisions”
As I write in my individual posts, I am not affiliated to any of the programmes/institutions that I write about and the views represent my personal ones as a consumer/student; the blog also does not promote or solicit financial advice.
There are more learning outcomes that I would like to share but for this post I will limit it to the above three key lessons. Despite a lot of the pitfalls that blogging might present, this has definitely been a very fun experience for me and if you are considering starting a blog, I strongly recommend it. A lot of the process comes from trial and error and I have no doubt that you will experience the same joy from seeing your readership expand over the months (years).