This year has been an INCREDIBLE journey. I’ve been blogging since 2006, but it wasn’t until February of 2015 that I launched my first self-hosted blog in the hopes of going pro. I had no idea how to do that at first, so that’s where your help became invaluable.
Photo Credit: John Ottosson (Unsplash)
This desire to write from home and share my insights with the world rose up when I became a stay-at-home mom in 2014. After eight years in banking, I was able to be with my children full-time, while brushing off the cobwebs on one of my biggest dreams: Writing.
I merged my two greatest passions, parenting and personal finance, into a weekly blog. It was crickets during the first two months – except for the first handful of you who bore with me as I scribbled about this and that and the other thing. Thank you!
Four more months passed before I had my first 20 subscribers. I was pretty sure this whole thing was bust. But all that time, I was learning and growing, much like Wesley training for five years under the Dread Pirate Roberts (any Princess Bride fans, here?).
What My Readers Taught Me
Ultimately, my numbers grew. I just received my 100th subscriber this week (which was my goal for 2015!). I began guest blogging and tried to incorporate what I learned from the other, more successful, personal finance blogs. Despite what I’ve put into it, the biggest help I’ve received was from you. Here are four lessons that my readers taught me in 2015:
1. You’re so generous with your feedback. Whenever I conduct a survey or send out a question to my subscribers, you reply with terrific feedback. Just hearing your honest input about what kind of content would inspire you has been so helpful. You helped me narrow down my focus and serve you better.
For example, I used to write monthly book reviews. Reading has always been a pastime of mine. However, when I surveyed my readers, book reviews ranked lowest on importance, which told me I was not providing content of value to you. It’s important for me to know that, so thank you for telling me!
2. You share what resonates with you. Bloggers like to create content that is shareable on social media channels, especially if they’re trying to grow an audience (and they are). Therefore, seeing you share my content about being broke and in love or how we got out of debt on your wall or tweeting or pinning it is one of the sincerest forms of flattery you could offer me.
Not only does it tell me when something resonates, but it also tells me what doesn’t. Again, that is a huge help to me, especially since I’ve launched my freelance writing career and need to know what editors want or don’t want to read. Seriously. Your silence speaks volumes to me!
3. You know so much stuff. The truth is that I’m just a twentysomething with a few years of banking, leading Financial Peace University, and financial coaching under her belt. I’m truly at the beginning of my journey. You guys have so much knowledge in areas that are unknown to me, like teaching older children how to save up their own money for big purchases or how to live self-sufficiently.
In fact, many of you have your own personal finance blog where you share your expertise and zeal toward financial freedom. Still, you take the time to stop by here, read my content, leave comments, and share. Thank you.
ACTION STEP: If you have a personal finance blog, I invite you to share in the comments below a little about yourself, the purpose of your blog, as well as a link to it. I invite the rest of you to check those links out! I’ve read them and they’re great!
4. You each have a story. My favorite thing about growing a community of like-minded readers is that I get to hear their stories.
That was the case earlier this year when I featured several of you in a series called “Teaching Your Children About Money.” Each parent answered a few questions about a specific financial event or lesson that his or her child learned.
Those kids are amazing.
What I loved about each feature story was how much the parent (as well as I) learned from the experience. We discussed chores, positive attitude, work ethic, saving, giving, and taxes, to name a few. Click here to read more.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your feedback. It is ALWAYS welcome. I cannot wait for what’s in store in 2016. Stay tuned.
Happy New Year.