Recently I had the opportunity to guest post on the Millenial Money blog. I was excited to share some of my tips on how I grew my blog to over 250K pageviews in just nine months of blogging. The Millennial Money blog is widely popular, and it’s a tremendous honor to be afforded the opportunity to guest post.
I was a bit nervous writing the post as I tend to be overly critical of my writing, and I find blogging about blogging to be harder than discussing personal finance. Being so new to the blogging industry I grapple with feelings of imposter syndrome.
Additionally, I find some of the content online about blogging to be misleading. There are a ridiculous amount of blogs in the blogosphere claiming you can make money blogging in just a few hours a week.
If that’s the case, I must be doing something wrong because I work way more than a few hours a week, and I am nowhere near declaring myself King of FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early)
Sadly, it will be some years before I’m ready to geo-arbitrage to some remote locale where medical services only cost a couple of U.S. Dollars.
Feedback to my post overall was supportive, and I received some warm messages in my inbox. I thank Millennial Money and his team for polishing up my post.
I also received some criticism that is worth addressing.
Blogging is really about networking; there is not any way around that fact. To land people on your blog, you must get in front of people who might be interested in what you have to save.
Ideally, in a perfect world, Google read your blog and deem you worthy of admiration and immediately promote you to the top of the search results. However, that’s not how Google works, instead, Google uses a proprietary system that no one knows or understands, that considers things like backlinks and social media shares to determine if your blog is of sufficient quality.
The more websites that link back to you, and the more often your posts are shared on social media determines how well you will do in Google.
Most likely you typical reader does not have a website to toss you a backlink. As such it becomes important to network with other bloggers and build a following on social media.
When I launched my blog, I realized Google was not going to be an easy path to traffic. I read several places that it could take up to two years before Google starts to rank your content.
So I decided to focus on social media while I waited for Google to come around and shower me with love. (Still waiting, Google)
When I started on social media ten months ago, I was a starry-eyed noob. I had big dreams and no sense of purpose.
Here is what I learned
Initially, I followed everyone on social media I found interesting. What I noticed is that the people who reciprocated and followed back I was able to build relationships.
The people who I followed who did not follow back I could not build relationships. These people ultimately became a distraction from my goals to develop and foster real relationships on social media.
Ultimately, I developed a disciplined social media following where I only follow people who follow back. Since I acquired a disciplined approach, I have grown my social media network and increased social media engagement.
I discussed this approach as one of my tips to grow blog traffic, and apparently, this ruffled a few feathers.
I was accused of coming from a scarcity mindset in only following people who follow back. Not unsurprisingly, the attack came from someone who refused to follow back their audience. This particular blogger even went so far to state that it was “people like me” who ruin social media.
Lets Clear The Air
1. Not following people who don’t follow back is not a scarcity mindset. It’s an abundance mindset. I feel good people working together can make more for everyone.
To the extent possible I try to build as many meaningful relationships as possible on social media. I choose not invest in asymmetric relationships so I can devote myself to doing more for those that I am connected.
It’s not about Scarcity; it is about respect and abundance. I respect my time and respect my network and choose to give them the lions share of my attention.
2. A pet peeve of mine is when people try to weaponize philosophies. The abundance vs. scarcity dichotomy is widespread in the personal finance blogosphere, and this blogger had a sense the analogy would work some sort Jedi mind trick magic.
Any philosophy can be distorted to serve the authors intent. I could easily argue that my accuser lacks an abundance mindset in failing to follow back their audience.
What does ruin social media
What makes social media unpleasant is people using social media to spam their content across the web. Its called “Social” media for a reason, the idea is to get social and connect.
Social media isn’t feeder burner or some other RSS feed reader for your website.
If anything is ruing social media, its people trying to distort current philosophies into dogmatic vitriol.
Everyone that wants to use social media to grow their business, brand, or blog will need to figure out what approach works best for them. There is no one size fits all approach to social media. However, if you do not see the success you would like on social media it may be a sign that you need to switch gears and change tactics.