Recently, I’ve seen a number of blogs shut down. Sometimes they formally announce their intention to cease adding new content while other times they just fade away. While it’s a little sad when a blog that you follow drops off, it seems to happen fairly regularly. So all you can do is wish your fellow blogger the best of luck and keep plugging away yourself. And while I haven’t ever thought about shutting down this site, I do understand where those that do are coming from. As anyone who has ever run a website knows, maintaining a blog is challenging and there are many ups and downs of blogging.
Prior to creating this site, I was never active in blogging or posting on social media. I was busy working and spending time with my young children. And honestly, I never knew this world existed.
As hard as it is for me to believe, I’ve been running this site for about 13 months. I started slowly for the first few months only publishing an article every few weeks or so. But then around April of last year, I increased both my posting frequency as well as my participation on other sites.
And as I began increasing my activity, I found the experience more and more enjoyable.
But as enjoyable as blogging can be, there are things that I dislike about running this site. I came up with the following list of the ups and downs of blogging:
The Ups and Downs of Blogging
Blogging can be a fickle activity. The challenges range from continually coming up with awesome content to thinking about ways to grow your traffic to strategies for monetizing your site.
Just as in most jobs, there are times when things just click. New ideas are popping into your head. The words flow easily from your keyboard. And visitors just seem to be flocking to your site.
But then there are other times when you can’t think of a single thing you want to write about. Maybe you’re distracted with life or another project. Or you’ve just hit a wall and cannot figure out a way around it.
And blogging requires a significant time commitment. Writing posts, responding to comments, and just maintaining your site all take time. And when that time takes away from other ventures that may be generating (or have the potential to generate) greater income, no matter what the reason, sometimes blogging just feels like a chore.
But luckily for me, those periods tend not to last long. And when I find myself in those slumps, the best way to crawl out is to just start writing.
Benefits of Blogging
There are three main benefits I get from writing regularly on this site that help counter the ups and downs of blogging:
Blogging keeps me continually looking for and thinking about new material. The longer I go between posts, the harder I find it to write. When I am posting daily, the ideas seem to be plentiful. Maybe it’s because I know I need new material so I’m continually on the lookout for great ideas. And the more I am looking for new ideas, the more engaged I am with the world and especially the world outside of my comfort zone.
Blogging forces me to have an opinion on the issues. Not only does writing regularly keep me engaged with what is happening in the world, it also forces me to take a position on those issues. As I read stories or think about blog topics, I must decide how to present those ideas on my site. Which ones will best benefit my audience? How can the audience implement these ideas and make them work in their own lives?
Blogging keeps me accountable. It’s easy to get caught up in your life. Work demands, family demands, health demands all pull you in different directions. Having a blog and writing regularly is something I do for me. And while I cannot control the external factors such as viewer metrics and how articles are received, I can control the site itself. I can control how often I post and what topics I write about.
The Future of Financial Slacker
While I wouldn’t go so far as to refer to Financial Slacker as a booming business, it does generate income. And by income, I mean it brings in more in revenue than gets paid out in expenses. But more importantly than the level of income generated, the site has served as an incubator of sorts.
Over the past 13 months, I’ve used this site to expand my finance knowledge and experience from the corporate world and bring it into the personal finance world. I’ve written mostly about my own personal experiences making money, saving, and investing.
I’ve also written extensively about everything else including current events, lifestyle ideas, travel, and of course blogging.
Through Financial Slacker, I have met people from around the world and have been exposed to many differing views and perspectives. And I believe this growth has helped me see things in new and better ways.
But as I begin year two of this blogging experiment, I ask myself the question, “where do I go from here?”
And this is where I am asking for help from you, the readers of this site.