Darren Rowse at ProBlogger wonders what would you do differently if you had to start your blog again?
If I were to start over, I’d have a plan.
In its first three months, Get Rich Slowly has exceeded my expectations. I’ve had a blast sharing the information I find. But more than that, I’ve learned a lot from you. There’s plenty of room for improvement, though.
When I began, my thought process went something like this: “Gee, that entry I made on personal finance books sure helped a lot of people. I’ve read a lot more since then, and I’m fascinated by the subject. I should start a separate blog about it. Wow, WordPress is easy to use. I like this template. There we go. I have a blog. Now I’ll just post stuff.”
This approach allowed me too bootstrap a personal finance blog, but my lack of planning has proved a detriment. Planning would have allowed me to:
- Determine my posting strategy. I’m still struggling to find my way. Do I want to post five times a day, or do I want to post five times a week? Do I want to post lots of article summaries, or do I want to focus on original content? These are choices I should have made before starting the blog.
- Create a customized layout. I’m currently using a pre-made template for the layout. It’s okay, but it has some flaws: the archives are poor, the design is “busy”, the sidebar is difficult to work with. In my spare time, I’m working on a redesign for the site, but it’s slow going — I don’t have much free time, and my HTML/CSS skills are oh-so-very 1999.
- Integrate the entire site. I envision this blog as just a portion of a larger personal finance resource. Because poor planning backed me into a corner, I’m being careful as I plan the new sections. It may be weeks or months before they’re ready, but when they debut, they’ll be done right. It would have been best to have all of this stuff ready at launch, though.
- Promote reader involvement. The best thing about Get Rich Slowly is the exchange of ideas. I provide discussion fodder, but what really makes the site work is your input. I love to read your stories. I love your insights, and I love it when you point out flaws in my thinking. I’d like to see more of that, including more use of the forums.
These are the changes I’d make if I started again from scratch. They’re also the changes I hope to make over the next few months.
Here’s where you can help me. What changes would you make to this site? Which posts do you find most useful? Which do you find least useful? What changes to the layout would make the site easier to use? (Other than improved archives, I mean — I know the archives suck.) Your feedback will help this site become more useful to others.
Here are some stats from the first three months of Get Rich Slowly:
- Posts: 250 (and 49 “asides“)
- Comments: 861
- Spam: 3,261
- Visitors: 183,000
- Page Views: 320,000
- Subscribers: 2,146 (you, too, can subscribe to this blog’s feed — e-mail subscriptions coming soon!)
Finally, here are some of my favorite entries from the past three months:
- A list of excellent personal development sites
- The most important money tip
- Saving electricity: how to reduce your energy costs
- Reader question: cheap world travel?
- Don’t confuse frugality with depriving yourself
- Anatomy of a credit score
- Frugality in practice: using the public library
As I say: an excellent first three months, but I plan for the next three to be even better!
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