On the 24th January 2018 I published my first blog post. Inspired by a few on here, I decided to tell the story of my first 1.5 months. My blog is about trading financial markets (stocks, forex, crypto), as this is my full-time job. I wouldn't say that it's an oversaturated niche, but it certainly isn't empty. I have somewhat of a sub-niche, in that I have a maths degree and am known for being very statistics oriented. Statistics:
Mailchimp - email list building (more on this later)
Yoast SEO - great SEO plugin which tells you if your article need tinkering. Also tells you how good your readability is
WP Super Cache - caching
Redirection - to manage broken links
Really Simple SSL - makes the site secure and SSL proof
JM Twitter Cards - to preview what a twitter share will look like
Insert Headers and Footers - for google search console code
Google Analytics - analytics and statistics
Front Page Category - so that my from page feed only shows certain post categories. (I do minor daily posts and don't want to ruin social proof of my more evergreen topics)
Featured Images in RSS - to make sure my images are correctly sized in email newsletter
Content Generation: This is the base of the blogging pyramid for me. If you don't have content, you don't have blog. Here is how I generate ideas:
Original ideas: topics I've thought of, on my own. These have come from my general observations about markets and trading.
Quora: this is a huge resource for any blogger. It allows you to answer questions from others, simultaneously providing you with ideas and letting you know what people want to read about. Probably slightly more useful for informational based bloggers rather than lifestyle, but I'm sure there are plenty of questions for all. Doubles up as a traffic source (more on this later).
Skyscraper technique: u/ThisOnlineWorldBlog put a name on it for me. This is where you find the most viewed/shared posts from your niche, and write a better version. You already know the idea is popular, which is a huge advantage. Youtube is a great resource for this - simply go onto biggest channels in your niche and filter their most viewed videos. You need to be aware of what the original post/video was missing and make sure it is better than theirs.
Debunking myths/clichés: if there are annoying clichés in your niche which have serious drawbacks, write about them. Go against the grain and challenge the standard thinking. People will enjoy reading fresh perspectives and it will encourage conversation.
Daily Charts: Quite specific to trading, but I post one chart per day of what I believe to be the best trade. This is a way of showing that I don't just write about the subject and put my money where my mouth is.
My main source of traffic is Twitter: I have over 1700 followers and post all of my blog links there. I ask for RT's on my evergreen content, which helps to get quite a few impressions from people in and around my niche.
Second source of traffic is Quora: in just over a month I have 3.5k views, all of whom have seen my website URL in my name/profile. This can really help you grow your authority and drive traffic towards your blog.
I have been cross-posting to Instagram - my following has grown from around 60 to 200 in just over a month. Not a huge traffic generator but good to be building a profile on there.
All of my articles have been cross-posted to Medium too - had hardly any views on there as I haven't promoted at all nor got involved in the community. I simply don't have the time between all other avenues and my day job.
I haven't set up a Facebook as it would be real ground floor - again I don't have time and feel that Quora is more suited to my niche.
I have applied for an account on SteemIt, where I plan to cross-post to and add more daily content. This is a very new social media / blogging platform, so I hope to be getting in near the ground floor. The community upvote you and you get paid depending on votes/likes.
Made 3 YouTube videos which have around 90 views between them - I plan to make more YouTube content, however, it's very time-consuming to make slides, transcript and record. All of this on top my work and blog posts means it will take time.
Not yet gaining much search traffic - possibly because there isn't yet too much SEO on the site. Should increase as I publish more long form evergreen content.
A full-screen pop-up on my landing page, which you need to click around to read articles
Standard subscription form in the sidebar
Recently added a floating footer - made this a bright colour to gain attention and make it more obvious
Will potentially add a subscription lock to some content in future, but want more traffic before I start to do this
I have 22 drafts currently, all at various stages of being written - some finished, some aren't even started
Plenty of ideas written in my notepad (50+)
Will continue posting one long-form article per week - gives time for social proof + writing + not appearing spammy
Have written the first two posts of a 10-part beginners series - extremely long form. Not sure whether to put this behind a free subscription wall yet or not
Link to more external sources - realised it seems to generate views even if they don't backlink to you + probably helps with Google search
I will probably do another update in a couple of months. For now, I'm really happy with how it is going. My main takeaway is that I have discovered how cathartic writing can be, in amongst my incredibly stressful job. I hope you enjoyed the write-up! Feel free to ask any questions and any critiques!
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