September 12, 2012, 5:50 am

Sorry My Brand Sucks

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blog Evolution Report
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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:


No More Monthly Net Worth Updates


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.


5,000 Word Articles


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!


Now Your Turn; Is There Anything Else You Would Like Me To  Change on TFB?


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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Hey TFB,

I confess, I don’t come to your blog on Fridays. The roundups you post i’m sure are useful, but I come here for your info, to know how M35 is doing or to rub in a sens victory over the habs 🙂

However, I think a huge post on some specific topics would be very interesting.

Hum… so I should move around my Friday post onto another day 😉 hahaha!

We might not even have the chance to talk about the Habs and the Sens this year… so I better improve my other posts! hahaha! cheers,

I think this article will inspire a blogthority post.

My advice for content is to do posts on more specific topics. Pat Flynn (I know he’s your hero) 😉 writes some very specific and useful posts. Look at his latest posts:

An entire post on one plugin, a podcast on email marketing which includes html instructions.

He has other general posts too, but I think the specific stuff helps set him apart.

on the technical side of things

add commentluv (a thank you to bloggers who comment)

and a way to edit commetns, uggg comments

GRS does that most don’t

other than that great site

off topic but did you not just start a site on Canadian RIETS?

thought you did but didn’t book mark it

I always like to see net worth updates but quarterly or yearly would make them seem less repetitive and give you a little time to balance the ups and downs.

I like when specific examples are in pieces, especially personal ones. It is a little harder to when when you are talking about authority sites but I definitely like that aspect.

Love the site but M-F posts kill me. I always feel i am missing out and with so many blogs to follow you end up missing some really great posts.

I also think a clean layout would help like SPI and GRS. just a thought.

by: The Financial Blogger | September 12th, 2012 (3:36 pm)

Hey Mike,

yeah, I think that doing something very specific will definitely help.

@Dividend Trader,
I’ll look into adding those plugin to my comments!

yup, the new site is 😀

I want to be less redundant, this is why I think the quarterly net worth update will be better 😀

[…] friend Mike from the Financial Blogger recently wrote a post where he said his blog progress is too slow.  He compared himself to JD Roth, formerly of Get Rich Slowly, but I think Mike is being too hard […]

by: The Dividend Trader | September 13th, 2012 (10:29 am)

Thanks going there right now, and you get a lot of visitors from it,s because Garth plugs RIETS alot but gives little info on them So I plug various blogs


I second Mike Holman’s comment, post a bit less often and make it more relevant. The post from 2 days ago got a ton of

Secondly I left this comment on Mike’s blog but I think it bears repeating

Mike Holman

Funny thing is Mike is already a very (with emphasis on very) successful blogger! It’s just his brand and business are different. Instead of having one kick ass blog (which he’s capable of) he’s got a dozen or more money making niche blogs.

More importantly he does it by still working full time (4 days) and manages his whole blogging empire on a part time basis.

I can’t think of a better definition of success.

1. as mentioned before my comment above looks like shit due to crappy formatting on my part, so if you can find a way to edit comments that would be great.

2. as mentioned previously we all live very busy lives, there are a ton of great PF blogs I would consider posting less often and posting better content. Your “did you go all in” got 40 odd comments and really touched a nerve with your readers, that’s what I’m talking about

Keep up the good work

[…] 9. Sorry My Brand Sucks @ TFB. […]

by: The Financial Blogger | September 14th, 2012 (9:48 am)

Hey Rob,

thx for the vote of confidence 🙂 I’ll try to make my posts more relevant. I’ve noticed that my traffic is constanly growing on The Dividend Guy Blog even thought I only post twice a week!

I wish I could get 40+ comments articles more often. I have to sit down and think about what made that articles so open for comments as compared to others!

You’re brand doesn’t suck!!! I like you and your brand. And it was great to see you last week in Denver. See you next year!