For those of you who don't know or haven't already seen my reflection piece on the social interactions at FinCon or only know me from my primary blog (20's Finances), I attended the Financial Blogger Conference in Denver this past weekend. The weekend forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to meet a lot of great people like JD. But the weekend wasn't just all fun and games.
It was also business. I approached the weekend like this and pushed myself beyond my typical social standards because I know that a lot depends on my success. While I am just another blogger in the ocean of personal finance, I am not just waiting to see if I make it as an "elite" blogger. I want to be pro-active and do everything that I can to be successful. While I may not be the best story teller nor a SEO expert, I do have a lot of drive. Ambition is what I have going for me and I realized that this weekend. I can't just sit around waiting for success to come knocking – I have to "go to it." For that reason, I have written down several concrete actions that I plan to take in the next year in order to continue to grow my online presence and grow my side business. Many of these actions stem out of bigger strategies or ideas that I don't have time to go into detail.
What I am Going to DO to Develop My Blog(s)
Build My Personal Brand – One of the first things that I want to do is to build my personal brand. This has many facets and I plan to approach this through several avenues. The first is to try and get into national or popular media. I heard of a website known as HARO where I can assist reporters with their stories by serving as a source for related topics. I get the impression that I am late to this party, but I am going to give it a shot. In just 3 days, I have sent in two pitches. I already received an email back. Haro isn't the only avenue that I plan to build my personal brand. I also plan to put my face out there. Too many people were unfamiliar with what I looked like and I realized that I am losing out on making myself known to my
stalkersreaders. Many anonymous bloggers succeed, but why not give myself a little extra push.
- Video Blogging / Vlogging – Another way that I plan to build my personal brand is through another entire action: video blogging. While I am somewhat worried that I don't have the charisma or energy to be successful, I am going to give it a shot. If I fail, at least I can say that I tried. I don't think I will fail and here's why… In the conference, there was a point made by someone (my memory fails me so if you remember who, please tell me) that we have to embrace our own personality. Our blogs are valuable only as much as our personality is ingrained in them. So, while I may feel nervous about putting my face in front of a camera, I have to be comfortable with who I am and trust that this will help my readers/viewers get to know me. This is going to take me a while to get going, but you can look for some videos coming in the next couple of months. For those who don't know what this takes, it involves buying the proper set up and brainstorming creative ways to communicate the same idea.
- Build Purposeful Traffic – This is one area that takes a LOT of time. But, I realized that the odds of it happening without me being intentional is slim to none. I have to focus on where I want traffic to come from and what they are coming to see. I don't just want random traffic (although I won't turn it away), but I want specific traffic. People coming for certain keywords and with the right mindset. This is essential to success. While I can fail and video blogging and other things, this one is a must! I've had a VERY small amount of success with this so far, but that is about to change.
- Build a Newsletter – Another way that I hope to strengthen my traffic and loyal fan base is to create a newsletter. Because I own several sites, I plan to implement several of these, but that is going to take time. I am going to start with one newsletter and move forward. This will help me promote my posts in a more professional manner than feedburner AND promote products that I find are worthwhile. Yes, that means more affiliate products and income. This will be a nice way to diversify my income.
While I haven't listed the specific tasks for each of these core projects going forward, I do have a list in place. I plan to take it one step at a time. I recognize that I can't accomplish this all in one day or even one month. It will realistically take me the full year to accomplish all of these to the level that I want, but that is okay. If it takes me one more year to get my blogs to the level, then that is a huge success. I hope you will join me on my journey to bring my blogs to the next level.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.