Financial independence and better living are not instantaneous achievements – they are journeys. And like any journey to personal improvement, staying on track can be a challenge. It takes dedication, focus and drive to achieve your financial goals. It can also be hard to focus on yourself and the positive improvements in your life that result from making better financial decisions, as opposed to the sacrifices, reminders, adjustments and requirements that you might take on along the way.
What can you do to keep your financial journey pointed in the right direction? As with any other kind of traveller, it can help to keep a journal – or, in todayâs world, a blog. Blogs are easy to set up, and personal finance blogging willÂ provide a way for you to share your stories of growth and change along the way to financial independence. Furthermore, blogging will provide a creative outlet and a way for you to reflect on your goals while highlighting your unique financial personality and day-to-day passion for self-improvement.
Gotta Start Somewhere
Starting your own blog is easier than it has ever been. There are a plethora of free hosting options out there, but the most popular by far is WordPress (the platform on which youâre reading this very post.) You can host your own domain name for a small fee through providers like BlueHost or GoDaddy. Or, if youâre less convinced that a long form blog is right for you, you can post your daily thought snippets to a microblog network like Tumblr or even a visually centric social platform like Instagram or Youtube (a vlog).
Donât Sweat the Small Stuff
Personal finance blogging is a huge pond of content with some very big fish swimming in it – people whose ambition is to actually make money from their publishing through advertising, monetization and sponsored content. Your blog doesnât have to exist with these goals in mind at first. Make it a place where you can publish and be proud of your own accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Remember – your journal exists to keep you focused and inspired. If it can inspire others, thatâs a bonus.
The vast community of personal finance bloggers can be a great group to engage with in order to learn, communicate and take the edge off the stresses of personal finance planning. Itâs easy to comment on other writersâ posts, build relationships, and share anecdotes that will help you learn more about your own journey.
Make it Personal, Make It Great
The number one thing that will attract readers and generate fulfilling conversations through your blog is the establishment of your own voice. Donât be afraid to let it shine through – itâs your journey and you are inviting others along for the ride. Think about the ways that personal finance improvements have impacted elements of your daily life – your hobbies, your habits, and so forth. If your goal is to pay off student debt, reflect on campus life. If youâre chronicling the story of working for yourself and doing what you love, show it off.
Content-Rich, Reader-Rich, Wallet-Rich
Making your blog the best it can be involves creating rich content. And I donât just mean content that focuses on your financial growth! âRich contentâ is that which includes compelling images, plenty of outbound links, and even elements like video or graphical representations of some of the topics youâre discussing. Richness helps search engines index your content with better priority, so more people will be able to find you online. Richly populated blogs also make use of keywords that point search engines in their direction: each of your blogs should contain a keyword or phrase that someone might search for that relates to that postâs theme.
Stay on Track
Use your blog to directly remind yourself of your progress in pursuit of your financial goals. This will put the onus on you to keep your financial data front and center rather than filing it away, never to be referenced again. Your post history will be a reminder of the trends, be they positive or negative, that your journey encounters – and will allow you to look back to find the information necessary to make the right changes to your plan if needed.