Pennies and Dollars is 6 months old today! I asked my wife if she’d throw me a birthday party. She pointed out that we don’t even throw 6 month birthday parties for our kids. Valid point. So, since bloggers love to compare notes from time to time, I guess a post will have to do. So here goes my ‘State of the Blog Address.’
Where I Came From
Back on August 1, 2016, I wrote my first post. I didn’t know the first thing about running a blog. And my writing style was going to need some serious improvement. Maybe it still does- lay into me in the comments! For the first several weeks, my wife and my sister and the crickets were my only readers. I’d get excited over a 3rd page view since that meant the google bot had stopped by!
Developing My Writing
Perhaps most importantly, my writing style has evolved over the last 6 months. Partly, this is simply learning to write to internet readers. Learning to keep sentences and paragraphs short. Surprisingly tho, when it comes to overall post length, long is better than short. Subheadings are also important. Active voice is way better than passive voice. Some grammar rules matter, some don’t (thanks to my wife and sister, who catch many many errors). And lists, lists, lists (to the dismay of my brother-in-law)!
What I write about has also changed. The first several posts covered the basics of personal finance: how to budget, what an emergency fund was, etc. This was partly because I didn’t really know what else to write about. I soon realized that I was re-inventing the wheel. There are far better comprehensive budgeting guides than I can write, put together by professional teams spending hours and hours. Ditto for investing guides, savings guides, etc.
Eventually I realized that insight was worth more than fact. My experiences, observations, opinions are apparently more interesting. Or at least more unique. Disagreeing or challenging norms also seems to go over well.
(Kinda Sorta) Learning To Run a Blog
So, I didn’t have as much to learn about blogging as some new bloggers. I opted to set up and run my blog on BlogPress, a full service blog host. BlogPress lets you start blogging from the word ‘go’. It comes bundled with everything you need, and a bunch of things you didn’t know you needed but are glad they’re there. I could also go on and on about their fantastic customer service, but that would be a post in itself. Suffice it to say, they put up with a ton of nitpicky requests from me, and are still prompt and friendly. If they’re sick and tired of me, they sure don’t show it. Simply the definition of ‘above and beyond’.
Growing My Readership
Of course, a blog with no readers is pointless. Maybe not pointless, but without readers, it would be better called a journal. When I started, I had doubts that anyone would stop by, but I wrote anyway. One way or another, people have ended traveling my way. Last month, I had over 7,000 page views. I also crossed 16,000 lifetime page views and 7,000 lifetime readers, and hope to continue growing.
I don’t know if my growth is better or worse than average, but it continues to march in the right direction, and definitely validates the effort I put into consistently churning out posts. So thanks for stopping by and reading! And a special thanks to those who have subscribed by email (see below for shameless insertion of signup box). The fact that you think my opinions are worth enough to clutter your inboxes really means a lot to me! And another special thanks to those who have helped get the blog out there by sharing posts around the internets. Sharing is caring!
Social Media and the Blogging Community
I was (am) a social media newbie. I had a facebook account that was gathering cobwebs. But I jumped on twitter and facebook anyway and set up profiles for the blog. Just like the blog itself, these profiles took a little while to pick up steam. In the process, I stumbled upon a fantastic community of other bloggers. I knew there were other personal finance blogs out there, but had no idea the extent.
This blogging community has been tremendous in supporting me, especially when I was getting started. All the retweets, shares, likes that my initial posts got not only got my blog out there, but also encouraged me to keep going. Several bloggers also contributed to a few ‘expert roundups‘, which were a huge success. Thanks guys and gals! Oh, and a huge side benefit of getting to know the blogging community was being able to read tons of quality posts put out by these other bloggers.
A Big Thanks to My #1 Fan
This blog wouldn’t have made it this far if it weren’t for my wife. Depending on who you ask, the average blog typically fails after 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months or a year (100% of statistics, including this one, are made up). She puts up with the hours each week I spend writing after the kids are in bed. She’s prompted me to write when I haven’t wanted to write, encouraged me to keep going even when my daily reader count was slumped in single digits, put up with my excitement when I got featured by Rockstar Finance, and helps me brainstorm when I’ve got writer’s block.
Lest I stagnate, I have a question for you, the reader. What do you want to read about? What more can this blog do for you? I want your feedback! Leave questions, comments, complaints, or whatever in the comments section, or feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]
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- While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.