Thanks to Green Panda Treehouse for pointing me to Visionary Blogging's 7 Strategic Blog Improvement Questions. That article serves as an outline for my blogging goals for 2009.
- What will I accomplish with my blog in 2009? How will I make my blog more valuable in 2009?
There are a number of ways to determine the success of a blog. Here are just a few examples, with 2008s numbers and my goals for 2009:
- Traffic - Last year I averaged 37,794 visitors a month. This may put me in the top 99.9% of blogs or higher, but it's really not where I want or need to be to make Lazy Man and Money truly successful. For 2009, I'd like to average at least 75,000 visitors a month.
- Earnings - In 2008, I made roughly $30,000 from my websites. I had hoped to make more in 2008, but instead of growing those sites to make more money, I put some into time into consulting making a guaranteed dollar. In 2009, I'm going to aim to make $60,000. Of course aiming to do something is one thing, having a plan in place and executing on it is another thing in it's entirety.
- Value To Its Readers - I don't know how one would go about quantifying this goal. The closest I can come is noting that I have 3000 readers who subscribe to Lazy Man and Money's RSS feed. If that number grows it tells me that readers like what they are reading and are passing along the information to their friends. That's an indication that my writing provides value to its readers.
- Value To Myself - One of the reasons why I blog about personal finance is that it really helps me with my own money. As I network with readers and other personal finance bloggers, I learn ways to not only manage my money better, but also find smarter ways to spend it.
- How will I increase the authority of my blog in 2009?
The formula for a successful blog always seems to boil down to two basic ingredients: content and marketing. If you create content that people find valuable and deliver that content to them, you'll find that your blog will be successful. Other than you to sincerely ask readers to send articles that they like to their friends and family, I haven't come up with any new ways to market my blog in 2009. Which brings us to the next question?
- How will I make my content more addictive in 2009?
In 2008, I often wrote and published my articles in the same day, with no proofreading. That's a bad recipe for creating top content. Some may say that they enjoyed my content in 2008. However, if I revamp my process to be ahead of the game, it will give me time to review, improve, and edit the content before you read it.
In addition to focusing more on writing in advance, I'm going to look to create a new format for 2009. This is subject to getting ahead of the game with my writing. If I can do that expect the following format:
- Monday - I will focus on frugality and ways to save money. One of the quickest ways to financial freedom is to reduce expenses. I will focus on the value of a dollar spent. Sometimes it's worth paying a little more for quality that you can count on.
- Tuesday & Thursday - I'd like to cover some of the basics of personal finance. In 2008, I didn't do a lot of research on personal finance topics. I found it easier to write about some financial thought that came into my head. The advantage of this is that my writing comes from my heart - it stresses the "personal" in "personal finance." However, I realize that I need to write about basic topics - ones that can help people in all aspects of their lives. Look for the following topics in 2009: banking, budgeting, career, credit, debt, entrepreneurism, investing, taxes, real estate, insurance, retirement, estate planning, college saving, and more. My biggest challenge will be making these topics interesting and engaging.
- Wednesday - I plan to use Wednesday to tell some story about my personal financial life, or something that I think you should know. There are the kinds of articles that regular readers will be used to. If you are happy with the way I've been writing in 2008, don't think that I'll this writing only to Wednesdays... If I have something to say, I'll publish it as a second article from Monday-Friday.
- Friday - I think there's a lot of value to many minds contribute their thoughts. With that in mind, I'm asking readers and/or personal finance bloggers to contact me and submit articles for this Friday slot. I promise submitters of quality content will garner instant fame and fortune. 1. If I can't get enough people to submit content for Friday, I may have to resort to bargains from Amazon's Friday Sale or other lighter content to ease into the weekend.
- Saturday - Expect me to live up to my name here and take the day off.
- Sunday - In 2008, I used Sundays to write about something that might not be financial in nature - a small peek into my life. Along with that story, I will include some personal finance links from the last week that I found of interest.
If you have any feedback on this I would appreciate it.
- How will I make my blog design more charming in 2009?
Readers, I need your help on this one. What design changes would you like to see? In 2008, I went with a new theme that focused on readability and scannability by shortening the column of content. I've heard from some people that the light green outline is a little bright on some monitors. Have you been seeing this? Is it bad? I also went out and had a professionally designed logo, which people seemed to enjoy.
- How will I make my blog community funner in 2009?
It's a good time to remind you that I didn't come up with these questions. Friends say that I'm fairly funny in real life. Either I'm not that funny in writing or it doesn't come through very well with personal finance topics. Perhaps the tax code is only so humorous. If I can succeed in making personal finance more interesting, not only will my blog be more successful, I think readers will look forward to learning together.
- How will I melt my blog more fluidly into my business's big picture in 2009?
I've started down the road with Twitter and I can tell it's going to be a big part of the Lazy Man and Money brand in 2009. I will look into Facebook to see if I can leverage that to grow Lazy Man and Money. My wife has made me some sweet looking business cards. I will use these when I network with financial start-ups in Silicon Valley. Living near these start-ups allow me unique opportunity for "face time", which helps me partner with brands that may become tomorrow leaders.
Those are my goals for 2009. Some may be aggressive, but my limited experience with day camp archery says that you have to aim a little high to hit the bullseye.
1. Fame in this case is defined by the electronic publishing of the article. I use the Dictionary.com version of "fortune" as "things that happen or are to happen to a person in his or her life", not the one of "wealth or riches.
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