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Though I had no illusions about the difficulty of maintaining a blog, I really didn't realize it would be quite as difficult as it is. Sure, it's simple to create a blog, post stuff on it, and earn a couple bucks by way of advertising, but to actually make some sort of attempt to differentiate it from the rest of the blogs out there, well, that's a whole different story.
When I created my blog two years ago, I knew that this was going to be a challenge, especially since I was looking to enter the personal finance blogging world, an already oversaturated blog market. However, I felt that I still had a few ideas to offer on the subject that hadn't been overly-indulged by others.
Therefore, I set to out in an effort out to differentiate my blog from the rest of the blogging world.
Look at the Competition
The first thing I did when considering whether to start a blog of my own, was take a look at the competition, and heaven knows there was plenty of it out there when it came to personal finance blogs.
What I did notice though, was that there were a variety of personal finance blogs devoted to and centered on women and stay-at-home moms and focused upon this demographic.
A Work-at-home Dad's Approach
Seeing the competition, I felt I had a distinct advantage. Being a work-at-home dad, I saw very few (actually I think I only found one) other blogs that were promoted as sites focused toward work or stay-at-home dads. Therefore, I thought that this was a great opportunity to step into an as of yet unfilled niche.
Keeping it Simple
I really can't stand it when I visit a blog and I find it cluttered with junk. All sorts of ads, add-ons, crazy fonts or backgrounds, and a slew of un-archived articles is a real turn off to me. I find it very distracting. I prefer a clean, uncluttered site, with orderly pages and posts, and with some open spaces so that my eyes don't hurt trying to process the data before me.
Providing Actual Information
I find it very frustrating when I click on an article to read only to find that there are a short couple of paragraphs that really tell me nothing at all. Such articles are simply a fancy title, but little else, acting as a way to attract visitors to a site.
I decided that one of my goals to differentiate my blog would be to actually provide information to my readers as opposed to just trying to draw a crowd. While I knew that this would likely draw me fewer visitors, I hoped that the ones that I did attract would become more loyal followers due to the quality content I hoped to provide them.
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