My dear dudes
From Cents To Retirement turns one year old today! I am glad I made it through the first year because most blogs don’t. More than that, I am *really* excited about the future of the blog. I have a few surprises planned for the rest of the month, to celebrate this birthday, and many positive changes should be expected for the rest of the year. I have been posting 3 times a week for a few weeks now, and I plan to keep it that way. To keep this frequency, I try to be scheduled out for 6 weeks. You may also have noticed that I started to post larger posts, in the range of 1000-1500 words. I will try to deliver the best possible content on each topic I blog about. If possible, I will try to create 2000-word posts. If there is any particular topic you want me to talk about just shoot me a message!
I will now share with you what I learned blogging for one year – this has been a heck of a journey and I am glad that I am sharing it with you. If you are looking for a guite on how to blog, I recommend this book I read myself I started (Affiliate link). Let us get down to it:
1) Blogging is a real business
…and it is a heck of a hard one! Forget about uploading a few posts to the web, when you feel like it, and call it a success. Chances are that even if you work your butt off you won’t have many viewers, even if you provide the best content ever. This leads many bloggers to give up. Those who don’t, compete with serious businesses. My direct competitor, which I mentioned in the SEO experiment, invests about 10x more money than I do (you can check exactly how much I make and invest on this page).
Blogging is a business because you need to work hard to have something in return (for example views). Only after 3 or 4 years bloggs take off for real so I am giving myself some space and time.
This year, I had almost 250k views (although I only started to get serious with the blog in late August), which means that this platform is shown to a lot of people. Like any business, you have to fight hard for every one of your customers (viewers).
2) I like blogging from the business point of view
…even if it is a very hard business. I like it because it can scale and although you have to work the shit out of it, you can choose when to produce and promote content. This suits my health condition extremely well. On top of that, the sky is the limit, when it comes to content, engagement, and money (although only 11% of the bloggers on this survey did over 30k). I love businesses without limits.
In the next year, I will definitely promote my blog a lot more than before. I am committed to delivering awesome content and work to promote that content a lot harder I have done until today.
3) I was too narrowed
…when it came to the topics (and niche) of the blog. I was blogging primarily about Real Estate Investing and while REI can be a complex topic with a log to talk about, I felt I had more to say. The way I see my blog going is the entire journey of someone who wants to retire as soon as possible, due to a health condition, with many different types of investments. Real Estate will be the central topic of this blog, but I will certainly blog more and more about stocks, making money online, health (and CFS in particular) and freedom/happiness. I will also use Social Media a lot more (Instagram in particular) and report my life to a finer detail.
4) Scheduling myself out for 6 weeks
is mandatory for the sake of mental sanity. I just found that sticking to 3 posts per week creates so much pressure that I could not cope with it for long. Therefore, I have started to plan posts much ahead of posting time. I am surprised how late I realized that this is the way to go. I need to do this for Social Media too…
5) Creating content is very hard
(especially if you have the mission to create awesome, valuable content) but not the hardest part of blogging. I found content promotion very time consuming, boring and difficult to execute. Yet, to create awesome content, you need to follow a few guidelines.
6) The first year is the warm up really;
it is actually normal if you only have hundreds of views per month and low authority figures. There are many things you can do to reverse that, but you should spend most of your time creating awesome content in the first year. That is what I learned.
I also learned that blogs take off after 4 or 5 years of continuous, consistent and hard work.
7) Most bloggers I’ve met and contacted with are really nice.
Many FI bloggers take a lot to respond to messages. A few answer right after getting the message. Either way, I engaged with some people on conversations that went on and on and on. I got messages from visitors suggesting a few fixes here and there. I’ve got messages from viewers thanking my content and I’ve actually met people in the real world through the blog. I am excited about the possibilities!
8) I didn’t know much about blogging
and how to make it big. This is especially true for technical topics of blogging, even having a PhD in Computer Science! I was into SEO a few years ago, but SEO changed so much that it seemed I didn’t know anything. Fortunately, I acknowledged that, learned a lot and tried to get back on track.
So, as I said, there is much to come. Stay tuned!
All the best