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What I’ve Learned About Blogging In Three Short Months

17 July 2008 4 Comments

20s Money, my first stab at this blogging thing has been quite the experience. In producing my own content and designing my own concept, I have definitely been exposed to and read way more other blogs out there than ever before. I have researched wildly successful blogs and blogs with minimal traffic. In this article, I am going to discuss what I’ve learned about the world of blogging. If you are interested or considering blogging, you’ll want to read this post.

Please note that the following ideas are my own theories after only a mere few months. All of these theories may be inaccurate and/or prove to be wrong by as early as tomorrow. Still, I present you my ideas on blogging even if they may be wrong, because, well, this is a blog!

The John Chow Conclusion

Anyone interested in making money online or making money by blogging has heard of John Chow. If you haven’t, well, perhaps you should reconsider your goals. John Chow enjoys incredible traffic and a huge readership. He grew his blog by telling people how he is making money online. By spreading the word, he makes more money online.

What is interesting is that it seems Chow has reached a mature traffic level where he no longer needs to provide as much quality content regarding making money online. I visit frequently, and half of the time, the articles are about what he had for lunch or something else off-topic. Not that this is a bad thing or a criticism of Chow, but it is an observation worth noting. It seems that in blogging, if you can reach a certain level of traffic and readership, your content does not need to be as strong or as frequent.

I believe that a connection to the person begins to outweigh the necessity of frequent, quality content. Basically, people appreciate Chow for his advice on blogging so much that they are willing to read about his travels, his dinners and more. People feel connected to Chow and are satisfied by reading about the person as well as his content on blogging.

It takes time and consistent quality to generate this personal connection with readers. Surely, in just three months, I’m not there.

The Tim Sykes Conclusion

A buddy of mine, Tim Sykes, has enjoyed wild popularity in a very short time. He had a million hits in his first six months. He hit two million three or four months later. 99% of bloggers do not get this kind of traffic, especially as an new blog. What I observed is that Tim’s niche is small and defined, and he demonstrates a significant knowledge and skill in that niche.

Tim is a stock trader. Sure, there are millions of stock traders, right? Well, Tim sticks to shorting penny stocks. Now that’s a niche. Furthermore, Tim demonstrates his skill in a transparent way by publicly reporting every trade, whether good or bad. He’s up 70% since he started. For those who don’t follow the market, the market is DOWN over 20% in the same time. Not bad, huh?

Tim has created a great blog with quality content in a small narrow space. This results in high traffic. Too many blogs are too generic. Maybe even my blog is too generic? We’ll see.

The Personal Finance Conclusion

Probably the most blogs that I have gotten to know are in the area of finance since that is my interest. It is amazing how many personal finance websites are out there. I have read hundreds of articles from personal finance blogs giving basic, common advice on ways to save or earn a few extra percent on your savings. It’s really extremely weak content. Maybe I’m underestimated other people in how dumb they are when it comes to personal finance that necessitates the need for thousands of websites provided hints on ways to save a few cents on groceries?

My conclusion is to not be one of those sites. Do I have something better to say than how to save a few hundred bucks a year? The same goes for stock trading websites; do I have more to offer than just another stock recommendation? My goal is to provide original and quality content that surpasses simple savings and stock tips. How can people truly implement ways to build wealth? Specifically, how can my peers, those in their 20s, overcome unique obstacles to become wealthy in their lifetime? This is my pursuit. Is your blog’s purpose well defined and attractive to readers?

The Timeless Article Conclusion

Blogs that have been around longer have an advantage. Blogs with hundreds of articles over several years have much more content for search engines and other blogs to crawl and link to. Remember, your old articles are still indexed and still active. It’s amazing how many blogs I have visited that are extremely average yet still command large readerships. It seems that persistence can outweigh quality to some degree.

I hope to be persistent and provide quality at the same time. Time will tell the degree of success this blog achieves. Either way, I’m definitely learning!

4 Comments »

  • SBF said:

    Tim, I agree with you. Let me give some feedback, if that’s okay, and take it for what it’s worth.

    I research and read a lot of finance related blogs. I particularly look for blogs that interest me and make sense. I have never heard of John Chow.

    Tim Sykes, everyone knows this guy. Being on national TV helps with that. I’ve read all through his blog and website. I don’t short penny stocks. I don’t want to short penny stocks. You’re correct, very niche business. Good for him. But I move on because it doesn’t appeal to me.

    Your personal finance conclusion is right on. When you said, “Maybe I’m underestimated other people in how dumb they are when it comes to personal finance that necessitates the need for thousands of websites provided hints on ways to save a few cents on groceries?” You nailed it on the head! Come on people, wake up!!! Get with the game here!

    I just got off the phone with Fidelity and the rep was very nice and sincere, more so than normal. He asked if there were any ways Fidelity could serve me better. That was the wrong question to ask. I went into a lengthy conversation that included, but not limited to, please stop sending me stupid emails asking if I know what a 401(k) or IRA is. How about some information based on my portfolio? Here is my point. I am a 25 year old looking for common ground in the intermediate to advance investment stages. The only problem is I can’t find anyone else around my age looking for the same thing.

    I found your blog through Google’s search engine, I think? Since then, I check it everyday and read all your articles. However, it seems your focus is blurred. I thought the blogs’ focus was for 20 something-year-olds. Lately I am having trouble finding that niche information that I came here for to begin with. Has something happened? I want to read articles that pertain to someone like me, a 25 year old. For example, I enjoyed the information about covestor.com. That is great, I appreciate that.

    Let me share a website everyone already probably knows about. http://www.seekingalpha.com
    It’s pretty much a stock market news website, but they have tons of updated information on anything you want. I only read a few sections, like the Energy Sector is one. This is site I view daily.

    Well that’s an opinion from one of your everyday readers…

    sbf

  • kevin duffey said:

    sbf,

    Thanks for your thorough feedback. Great comments. It’s amazing how important feedback is to any business/organization/blog.

    I appreciate the encouragement to stay focused on the content for 20-somethings. I admit I have gotten away from that to a degree. My content will be more tightly focused on the future.

    Seekingalpha is a fantastic website. I research companies using their information rather frequently.

    Thanks again.

  • sbf said:

    Kevin, not Tim. My apologies.

    sbf

  • SBF said:

    Kevin, not Tim. My apologies.