There are two lines that had resonated with me during the conference inDenver :
“Sorry my brand sucks” from Barb Friedberg
“Don’t slave yourself” from Ramit Sethi
Fortunately, Barb wasn’t talking about my brand… but still, there was something that hit me in this punchy line. It’s the fact that I’m not satisfied with my brand. Last year after FinCon11, I made several changes to TFB. I definitely think I’ve improved my site as I have since received several great comments from other bloggers during the weekend. However, something bigger hit me: I started my blog at the same time as J.D. started Get Rich Slowly. For the past six years, I’ve built an interesting website and a decent online company. During the same period, J.D. created a $1M+ blog and sold it to achieve personal freedom. Wow… It’s about the only thing I have to say about that! I can’t blame anybody but me for not being J.D. today. We have different backgrounds and aim for different goals. Nonetheless, this was the proof that I’m already taking too much time to build my $1M business. Way too much time.
The second line comes from Ramit. I just like this guy. I like him because he has a strong business mentality and I can relate to pretty much everything he says. During his interview (conducted by PT Money) he strongly suggested that we don’t slave ourselves into a blogging schedule. What’s the point of writing an article just for the sake of publishing from Monday to Friday? Are you really going to change someone’s life with a 500 word article about budgeting? That’s a pretty good point. Over the past 12 months, I’ve made an effort to write more epic stuff. Back then, I was inspired by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income to write more epic articles. I think attain this target once in a while and that I have improved my posts in general. But still, sometimes I have the feeling that I’m rushing a post because I’ve committed to publish something from Monday to Wednesday. Most of my articles are good, but they could have been awesome if I could have taken 1 more day to work on them and make them “perfect”.
We are now over 1,000 personal finance blogs out there. The competition is getting a lot tougher to keep our reader’s attention as they are bombarded with new and interesting articles from the blogosphere. This is why you can’t just be good or even great; you have to be awesome. This is why I’m going to make a few more changes to my site:
I really like doing my net worth updates but more recently, I’m feeling that I’m only repeating the same stuff over and over again. I don’t think that there is any interest in hearing that I’ve paid $2,000 in debt or that I decided to make another big purchase and screwed my debt paying plan. I mean, seriously, how many people write about how they pay (or not!) their debts? It’s nothing original and nothing really out of the box. We mostly all have debts and bills to pay. After so many years to report monthly my net worth, I’ve came to two major conclusions (I’m sure you will agree with me on these):
#1 I’m pretty good at building assets and making money. This is probably the part of my personal finance that I’m the most proud about. I just have this 6th sense about how to make more money every year.
#2 I’m awfully bad at budgeting and paying down my debts. It has been proven many times for the past 18 months that I’m not good at prioritizing debt payments in my life.
Therefore, I will not be writing about my net worth until January 2013. Then, I will not only have something interesting to talk about but I’ll also focus on what I do best: making more money. I’ll concentrate on wealth creation and hopefully, my debt will go down during the process. I’m tired of writing that I’ve missed my debt payment target. So I quit! I’ll just focus on my next bonus instead and use this money to pay it down.
Another thing I want to try is to write incredible huge posts about a specific topic. My partner suggested that I checkout this article where Viper Chill suggests that incredibly long articles would be one way to differentiate your blog. I’m nervous about this project as writing huge articles will be very time consuming. But if it could lead me to more readership (‘cause not many people can write these posts), I think I’ll bring my site to a whole new different level.
Big ass articles like this can be case studies or very long and well explained points of view on something. What attracts me to this idea is the fact that I can provide a unique perspective that almost no one can. On the other hand, the risk with this strategy is to become quite boring if I only write words to add volume.
Over the past 12 months, I’ve trained myself to write 800 – 1000 words on a weekly basis. Most of my articles on TFB and The Dividend Guy Blog are around 1,000 and many times, I have the feeling I could have added more. It’s just that I needed to publish this article the next morning and I was in “producing” mode instead of “creation” mode. Since the thing I like most about blogging is creation, I would rather forget about this stupid posting schedule and focus what is most important: creating compelling content!
I’m curious to hear from you on my two decisions and on any other suggestions you may have. What makes you come back to TFB? According to you, what should I focus on?
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