The Best Way To Grow Your Blog Is To Not Blog About Blogging

Write About What People Care About

by in Personal Finance on Aug 9th, 2019

During my blogging journey since 2009, many blogs have come and gone. Blogging can be tough because being consistent is tough.

But ironically, one of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers make is writing too much about their blogging journey.

Unless you are a blog about blogging, readers want to read about everything but blogging. The more you write about how you’re monetizing your blog, the more readers will feel like you’re using them like guinea pigs.

If you start writing more about blogging you’re simply going to attract more bloggers to your blog.

When this happens, you better have a course or book about blogging for money. And you better have a huge blog with proof that your book or course works, otherwise, you’re never going to grow your blog. This is where the big mistake happens for most bloggers.

Your blogging readers may be supportive, especially if you have a larger blog. But they may also end up copying everything you do. For example, there are a couple bloggers who copy so much of what I do – from the topics, to the author bio at the end of each post with the same affiliates, and more Pretty interesting to see why they just can’t be original.

Readers who are bloggers are the minority. Therefore, writing content for the minority of your audience is a mistake.

The Key To Growing Your Blog

The key to growing your blog is to keep topics about blogging to a minimum. I would limit your content about blogging to less than 10% of all content. In other words, for every 10 articles you write in your niche, you can write one article about your blogging journey if you must.

At Financial Samurai, less than 2% of my articles are related to blogging. I’m hardcore focused on personal finance topics such as real estate crowdfunding, stock and bond investing, early retirement, career/severance negotiation, and estate planning. 99% of my readers come to Financial Samurai for personal finance topics, not blogging.

When I write about blogging, it fits into my Entrepreneurship category. If i dominate my writing about blogging, then I will lose my readers because I’m not blogging to make money blogging.

The more you blog about your area of expertise, the more you will make money blogging.

Now that Financial Samurai is a relatively large site with over 1 million organic visitors a month, I can now blog about blogging with credibility. I can also earn money about teaching others how to grow a blog if I wanted.

Too many bloggers make it a priority to make money blogging. This ends up killing their momentum due to a lack of credibility.

The Same Concept Goes With FIRE

As one of the early FIRE bloggers who focused on retiring early to do whatever you want, I don’t constantly write about FIRE because I’m interested in everything that comes after FIRE.

Despite not constantly writing about FIRE, Financial Samurai still benefits greatly from everybody searching online about the FIRE movement because of the older articles I’ve written about the space. A rising tide lifting all boats in our peak FIRE state.

Once a reader understands the concept of Financial Independence Retire Early, there’s really no need to keep on writing about FIRE. If you do, you’re just rubbing it in people’s faces.

Instead, the reader wants to learn about everything you have done before and after achieving FIRE. Post FIRE is where the real excitement lies.

Focus On Your Expertise

Yes, we all have dreams of making big bucks blogging in our underwear, overlooking the ocean with a tasty beverage. But extremely few will achieve this result if they just write about their blogging journey.

Write about what people care about the most in order to grow your blog the most. When you become a big blog, then write as much about blogging as your heart desires.

If your blog is not growing at the pace it wants, it’s probably because you are not providing as much value as you think you are.

The Original FIRE Bloggers And The Importance Of Branding

by in Lifestyle on Jun 6th, 2019

When I first helped ignite the modern day FIRE movement in 2009 with my motto, “achieving financial independence sooner rather than later,” I had somewhat of a dilemma as it relates to blogging.

Should I focus most of my writing on helping readers achieve FIRE? Or should I write about a variety of topics beyond FIRE that interests me and perhaps other people too.

In the end, I decided not to brand myself as a FIRE blogger because I really loved writing about real estate, stock and bond investing, alternative investing, career strategies, and now family finances.

I could tell people how I’m living my life, or I could just get on with things and live my life.

What I found after leaving my day job in 2012 and living off my passive income is that there’s really no fanfare once you achieve FIRE. You just get on with living your life how you wish.

Read More

How Bloggers Can Effectively Compete With Giant Media Outlets

by in Lifestyle on Dec 15th, 2018

A friend sent me this fascinating article called, How To Earn More Links: Adding Context To Content Analysis.

The article goes ahead and analyzes how smaller sites like Financial Samurai can compete with larger sites like CNBC, CNN Money, and the New York Times in personal finance related topics.

The first thing they did was search for retirement topics. Then the listed the top sites with the most Referring Domains to URL. Read More

Why It’s Worth Starting A Podcast Even If You Aren’t Very Good

by in Lifestyle on Sep 18th, 2018

If there wasn’t already enough on my plate as a father to a newborn who publishes 3X a week, I decided to finally start a podcast on iTunes. Each podcast episode takes me about 30 minutes to 1 hour to record on average, due to all the many different takes.

The funny thing is, for the past year, I thought I had already had an FS podcast channel on iTunes because my random audio versions were showing up on my Podcast feed on my phone. Alas, I realized only I could see my audio versions and nobody else.

So finally, after being brutally honest with myself and listening to constructive criticism by my readers, I figured out how to set up my iTunes channel officially and get to work.  Read More

Finally Updated To HTTPS: Key Things To Be Aware Of

by in Lifestyle on Aug 30th, 2017

On January 17, 2017, I published that I was delaying updating Financial Samurai to HTTPS. The reasons were simple:

1) I wanted to give my webmaster more time to gain experience doing the conversion to minimize screwups

2) My CPC ad provider wasn’t ready for the switch and said advertising revenue would go down ~60% – 70% if I made the switch

3) I wanted to give Google, WordPress, and all plug-in developers more time to update all their code for compatability

4) I wanted to see if new plug-ins or solutions would be developed to help streamline manual updates

5) I wasn’t convinced it was necessary since FinancialSamurai.com doesn’t sell anything except for one book

Then I got this message on Google Search Console: Read More

Blogging Is Like Fishing: You Never Know What You’re Going To Catch

by in Lifestyle on May 2nd, 2017

One of the things that helps keep me writing 3X a week for the past eight years is a simple visualization exercise. I imagine sitting at the edge of a cliff on a warm sunny day. I can see an island 80 miles in the distance because the air is crystal clear.

In my hand is a fishing pole. When I first began in 2009, the pole was only six feet long and it couldn’t even reach the water below. But now, the fishing pole is over one mile long with a cantilever surrounded by brackets of reinforced steel.

Every time I publish a post, I’m casting deeper and deeper into the ocean. Most times, I reel nothing back. Given I’m always hungry, the obvious move is to cast again until something is caught. I refuse to starve.

I know that somebody, somewhere will find something I write interesting. It’s an inevitability with over three billion people online. I just have to keep trying because once I catch one big fish, other big fish will follow. Read More

Why I’m Delaying Upgrading To HTTPS / SSL

by in Lifestyle on Jan 17th, 2017

Google and the SEO community have been encouraging website owners to convert from HTTP to HTTPS since 2014. The idea is to create a more secure internet so that hackers can’t steal passwords and information that users input online. It’s a good idea, but it’s not a thoroughly flushed out idea. As a result, it’s always better to wait until all the kinks are fixed before making any changes.

I thought long and hard about switching Financial Samurai to HTTPS when my private server administrator encouraged me to do so last November. But after reading every single authority article on the internet I could get my hands on about the topic since 2013, and going ahead and upgrading Yakezie.com to HTTPS, I’ve decided to hold off for now.

Here are my reasons. Perhaps they pertain to you. Also, feel free to share more reasons why a publisher should or shouldn’t hold off. If you’ve made the switch, I’d love to hear about any snags you experienced, and whether you saw any apples for apples improvement in traffic.  Read More

Make It Count When It Counts The Most: The Blogging Slingshot Effect

The Blogging Slingshot Effect

by in Lifestyle on Dec 15th, 2016

Happy holidays everyone!

It’s easy to get in the mindset of posting less because traffic is lower during the holidays. But I encourage everyone to maintain their normal cadence or even take things up a notch!

The first reason to post more when there is less traffic is to counteract less traffic. The main reason to post more during slow times is to prepare for the inevitable slingshot effect that happens in the new year. Read More

  • Untemplater: Lots of valid points! So true that bloggers are a minority of overall readership, so blogging to much...
  • Bingo: You are spot on. Most of our bloggers are white people living on the coasts, where half the population of...
  • Financial Samurai: Hi Jim – Nice to hear from you. It was too much work running Yakezie. Too many people wanted...
  • Actually Retired: It’s fascinating how 95% of FIRE bloggers are not financial independent and have no...
  • Jim: Hi Sam It’s great your redirecting your focus. I’ve been following you since early 2010 – I even had a...
  • Dan: It definitely makes sense to brand yourself as an early retirement blogger nowadays, even if you’re nowhere...
  • Untemplater: Yay FIRE blogger Sam! :) I think it’s awesome you’ve been blogging since 2009 and that...
  • Jagriti Singh: If done the proper research on the market and the specific ways we want to invest, real estate has the...
  • Untemplater: Awesome job doing your migration! I was a stress case when I did mine and had a lot of bugs to iron out....
  • Untemplater: Congrats on your big hits! That is super impressive to get highlighted like that on Twitter and then to...

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