Friday, January 4, 2008

Blogging can be a path to achieving your Goals

Everyday I look forward to reading my favorite Personal Finance blogs. What is so neat about blogs is that once you find a writer that you like, you can read his/her articles nearly everyday. You don’t have to wait for their next book or weekly newspaper column to come out. And Bloggers are a conduit for information. It’s like having dozens of eyes scanning the internet, financial magazines and TV shows for interesting PF information.

It wasn’t long before I started thinking about blogging. I had already written down a few goals that I wanted to reach, but I wasn’t sure what the next step would be to get there. I needed an action to get me on the road and I thought that starting a blog might help me work towards those goals. The first thing I did was to list the reasons that I wanted to Blog.

Why Blog?

  • Evaluate financial choices – researching the info and then writing a coherent analysis is a great way to evaluate something.
  • Improve writing skills. I have a goal to write a post every day. Practicing any skill with that kind of commitment will generally lead to improved performance.
  • Extra shot of Motivation. Making public statements about goals, plans, metrics adds a little more motivation and commitment to actually see it through.
  • Improve creativity. Finding something interesting to write about with enthusiasm everyday requires imagination and creativity.
  • Get Feedback. Most blogs have a comment section and those comments can be very helpful for making adjustments and fine tuning your style.
  • Share ideas and give something back to the community
  • Meet people with similar goals and interests

These reasons convinced me to give it a try. Now, after a month, I have listed some thoughts about my blogging experience.

Blog Reflections

Getting started
I did not expect some things to be so difficult. I went round and round over picking the blog name. And I never imagined that pressing the publish button would be so cool. The first time was a rush - I had my own space on-line and I could write just about anything that came into my head

Second thoughts
At first, I had a lot of reservations. Will I run out of things to write about? Am I wasting my time? Then I would think who cares if no one reads it, I am writing about stuff that I want to learn more about. That was my primary driver, so I told myself to keep researching topics and cranking it out. I did not tell anyone about the site, not even family or friends. That wasn’t easy. Anytime you are working on a new project, its just natural to want to talk about it.

Setting a writing goal
I set a goal to write each day for a couple of months to build up content. I would do this before even trying to lure readers or place ads on my site. I wanted to keep it simple, neat and clean as long as possible and focus on writing good content with consistency. I noticed that it got easier and easier to write and I got faster at writing – precisely my goal. Not only did my writing improve, but I noticed that it became easier to think of just the right word when speaking. Words and thoughts just seem to flow more easily, now.

Don’t Break the chain
I followed the mantra of Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian. As a comedian, he needs to write new material quite often. He would pull long, stressful hours to meet a deadline. To alleviate this pressure he decided to dedicate himself to writing everyday. He motivated himself by keeping track of how many days in a row he had written. He wanted to keep the chain going. His mantra was – don’t break the chain.

Site meter
My curiosity got the best of me, I added a site meter. I will admit that it was a thrill to see that people were coming to the site and reading more than one page! Because I had not received many comments, the traffic count was a lot more than I had suspected. Maybe they were lost???

No Ad Blogging
After a month, I wondered if I would ever open my site up to ads. Money has never been a driver and the ads are a nuisance. Then one of the blogs that I read regularly, came out and cancelled most of his ads! What a surprise. I decided to hold off even longer – no ads.

1 comment:

  1. Another use of it is archiving your thoughts for reference and for building upon them.

    The most difficult thing must be coming up with something new each day. Once sustained, does it get easier or harder? Does there come a point at which nothing more is wished said?