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My 1 Full Year of Blogging! My Top 7 Lessons

{ Posted on Mar 29 2011 by Marcus Alston }

I can’t believe it was one year ago that I began my hobby of blogging about my passion–personal finance.  It’s gone by quite quickly and I have learned a lot.

1.  Blogging is not as easy as it seems. I thought that I would be able to write 1 blog post a day for 365 posts a year in my spare time.  Instead I wrote about 115 which is not bad, but I trailed off quite a bit the last 3 months.  I hope to get back into the grove of things, but other competing priorities sometimes demand my attention.  It also takes a while to write a post.  Some posts are more opinion oriented and easier to write and others require much more research.

2.  Time is a Challenge. Where does all the time go?  Again, I have to balance competing priorities and my personal finance hobby may be one of the first things to take a back seat when I am crunched for time.

3.  It is Fun.  Blogging is fun.  I love to share my thoughts, opinions, and knowledge with others.  I have fun doing it and I hope it helps to inform others.

4.  Quoted by Forbes in Article.  My work has been cited by several other bloggers including by in an article originally appearing in Forbes.com.  I also had an article included among a list of blog posts by DigeratiLife which I take as a huge compliment since DigeratiLife is one of the best personal finance blogs on the planet.

5.  Learn by Sharing; Becoming the ConsumerMiser.  While writing by blog posts, I have learned a lot more about personal finance and related issues in the news.  Writing to inform and educate others serves to both educate and reinforce concepts in my own mind.  I find that blogging about personal finance has caused me to think about it in a more methodical manner which is helpful to my own personal financial situation.  While I originally intended on becoming ConsumerCrusader (but this was already taken), selecting ConsumerMiser has taken me down a path of frugality and financial discipline far beyond what I originally anticipated.  Its funny how the name has defined the focus of my blog.  With the name ConsumerMiser, I am constantly reminded of the frugality part of my mission and less about consumer issues in general.

6.  An Outlet to be Creative or to Vent.  Sometimes I will write an article just to vent or because I want a way to communicate about a topic about which I feel particularly passionate.  Its a great outlet.

7.  Creating a Large Following will Take Longer than I Anticipated.  I thought all had to do to gain a large following was write interesting and informative articles and people would just flock to my blog in record numbers.  Well, this has not happened yet.  I have a nice following, but gaining a large following takes much more than cool content–you really have to utilize various internet marketing tools effectively to gain a large following, including search engine optimization, use of social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Diggit, etc.  It also takes an investment of time to understand who your visitors are and how to create more.

In these first twelve months, I wrote115 blog posts.  This is not a very impressive number compared to the output of some of the bloggers who are featured on my blogroll, but for me, this is a great number!

Next Steps.  What I have done? And what’s next? What I will do after one year of blogging?  Stay tuned.  Have any suggestions?

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