I have been blogging for over a year now, and it’s been quite the ride. I started out as Do or Debt, and realized I didn’t want to be considered doordebt. I later had an epiphany and realized I wanted something more creative and came up with the concept Dear Debt, or writing break up letters to debt.
Initially, I was inspired to start my blog after stalking Kathleen and finally meeting her in person. She had me convinced; I could share my voice and my experience, while writing my way out of debt.
The first six months were pretty rough for me. I couldn’t really find my voice, knew nothing about SEO or any other weird acronyms, was a technology neophyte, and felt paranoid about revealing too much of myself as I was in hardcore job search mode.
Now I finally feel comfortable in my own digital skin. I’ve found my voice and feel part of a community. As I work through blogging, experimenting, and trying to improve, I keep the following in mind:
It’s your blog ,write about what you want. If it’s not about personal finance, or whatever niche you are in, it’s okay. Once again, it’s your blog and people come to read what you have to say. If you decide you need a break from blogging, that’s okay too. If you don’t respond to comments right away, that’s okay, too. The world isn’t going to end.
I see a lot of apologies going around and I don’t think it’s necessary. We don’t need to live in the culture of ‘sorry’. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, but I realize that it’s okay and I don’t need to apologize, because I’m not doing anything wrong.
Everyone’s experience is different and that’s why we follow so many different blogs. We can find people we relate to, or people who are living the lives we want. The point is don’t try to be someone else. Be authentic. Be passionate. Speak your truth, even if it’s hard to say. You are unique and people want to read your stuff because you are different from other people.
I think speaking your truth and being honest is really important. It helps people relate to you and offers insights into your life. If you are a regular reader here, you know some of my posts can be ‘raw’, ‘emotional’, or ‘out there’. While those may be my signature attributes, I also have to be careful. A few weeks ago, in the midst of exhaustion I wrote a post that was a pretty big downer. I wrote it, posted it, then headed straight to work. Then I started to panic and felt really vulnerable. I had shared very personal thoughts about my emotional state of affairs that were probably better kept private. My blog shouldn’t be a diary, or a therapy session. While I am committed to being open, honest, and truthful with my readers, everyone should have boundaries.
It’s easy to obsess over your analytics and readership. You can spend hours combing over your views, visitors, comments, search terms, and referrals. It can be a vicious cycle; on a good day, you are flying high because your views are up. Conversely, on days where your viewership is low, you may feel low. I’ve recently been on this roller coaster and it’s not sustainable. Your time would be better spent on improving your blog, creating good content, etc. Analytics are important, but they shouldn’t be tied to your self-esteem or the worth of your blog. Focus your energy on genuine engagement with others. I am happy to say that I have blogging friends in real life, and digital friends that I feel are just as good. You know who you are. I may not be the best, or most popular of bloggers, but I am happy with my engagement and that’s what I am going to focus on. I’m committed to creating a community of support, love, and care to everyone who is fighting their battle with debt. I’m interested in empowering all of us, in debt or not, to live the lives we want, and to be financially sound and secure.
Do you have any other thoughts or tips on blogging? I’d also like to share some of my favorite new (or new to me) blogs.
TrendyCheapo – almost debt free!
DebtDebs – new blogger and working through her debt
Debt Free Martini – with a name like that, how could you not follow? I want a debt free martini.
Stop Worrying About Money – wow, that name is just brilliant for SEO. Adam is also super likable and writes good content.
Marilyn Knows Money – NYC blogger writing about money and career tips. I dig her style!