In a continuing effort to make Debt Free Adventure an excellent, Bible based, Personal Finance blog I am participating in the Problogger 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge. I am a little behind in the challenge, but I figure it may take me longer than 31 days to complete all the tasks, which is fine since I am also continuing to write regular articles in between.
The task for today is to analyze a successful blog in my “blogging niche” of Christian Personal Finance, or as I like to call it, Biblical Personal Finance. I have chosen to review ChristianPF.com for several reasons that I will state more specifically below. First though, let it be stated that this is not going to be the ultimate thorough review of ChristianPF.com, but more of a simple breakdown of a few of the things that I believe make CPF one of the current leaders in its niche, and how I can use this information to improve Debt Free Adventure.
Here are a few of the simple reasons I am impressed with Bob Lotich’s website, and with Bob as a blogger.
- Bible based – Bob writes all of his posts from a biblical & Christian point-of-view. His salvation & commitment to Christ is relevant throughout his entire website. This is a key component for comparison with Debt Free Adventure because I most definitely want my readers to notice that DFA content is being delivered through the filter of the Word of God.
- Strategy & dedication – From my perspective Bob works hard to strategically serve his content to his readers. The website did not “just happen”. Just as the big bang theory is a bit of a stretch, the idea that a blog can just “come together harmoniously” without a lot of hard work, preparation & dedication is also a ridiculous concept. As a fellow blogger, I can see the work, thought, care, & follow-through that have gone into making CPF what it is today. With DFA I am striving to turn it into a complete user experience. I want people to come & never leave. CPF gives me a good basis of comparison for this model.
- Reader focused – CPF is a very “reader oriented” blog. The layout is very impressive, especially since the new CPF redesign was released a few months ago. There is also a forum at CPF which is forthcoming at DFA. As soon as I finish the architecture & framework of the forums I plan to release them to the public & am excited to have everyone have at it! The thought of interacting more thoroughly with everyone on DFA excites me very much. I love being able to provide a platform for reader interaction, especially on this topic of biblical finances I am so passionate about.
- Driven – I suppose since CPF was able to bring the author a full-time income after being in existence for only two years is a telling tale. Quality content does not write itself, so it is quite apparent there is a passion behind the content contained on the pages of CPF. As you may have read before around here, passion is a main driving force behind DFA. I have utterly failed if a reader leaves my site without being made painfully aware of the passion I have for Biblical Personal Finances & Debt Free Living!
- Thorough - Bob’s articles are very thoughtfully laid out. The information was not compiled in 15 minutes & you can tell Bob spends a good amount of time on most of the CPF articles. I believe it gives the reader a greater feeling of security knowing they are being presented with information someone has thoroughly researched. Ah…if only there were more time in a day! I strive to study & read as much as I can regarding the topics I pen. I find it quite ironic that I study ten times harder now than I ever did in high school or college! Why? Because it is my passion! I need to continue writing knowledgeably and thoroughly, and I need make sure I am resolved in my opinions before I bother giving them.
- Balance – On CPF there is a good balance between financial information and bible information. Of course I believe the two should never be separated, but of course there needs to be balance in the delivery of the content. I hope to learn to balance my writing more & more as time goes by.
Here are a few points I deem very important to blogging success, how CPF has performed relative to those points, and how I might improve on them. I believe the following things have a direct correlation to success, all of which I need to consider implementing, improving, and/or expanding upon.
- Post frequency – It looks like it took Bob about a year before he was posting an average of one article per day. Due to the several benefits daily posting frequency delivers I am aiming to hit the mark of at least 1 post per day from here forward. Currently, at four months old, it looks like I have averaged about one every other day, so I need to double posting frequency. Now that I have the DFA theme built, I should be able to spend more & more time on content.
- Post quality – I like to think I only put out high quality posts, but I’m sure that could be debated! Please know that I set the bar high for each & every post. I would choose not to write at all rather than willingly post low quality material. CPF seems to follow this same guideline, and I believe its popularity is a testament to that. Again, because the majority of the Debt Free Adventure infrastructure is already up & running and design is now strong, I will be able to focus less on blog design and more on high quality content.
- Post integrity – It is my aim to publish only honest and accurate information. I answer to a higher power who does not allow me to do things “just to make a buck”. It is my goal to bring every aspect of DFA under the perfect scrutiny of God’s Word. It is apparent to me that I ought to follow God’s Word not only concerning my finances, but also in every other area of my life. If my conscience is not clean, then I have nothing. Simply put, I am a servant of the Lord who is working to become debt free & to help you do the same. I see this same frame of reference in Bob’s writing, which makes it a joy for me to read his articles.
I suppose the best barometer for how Bob approaches his blog comes from Bob himself. One of the more excellent & thorough articles I have read on the subject of blogging exists on ChristianPF.com. In a recent article he lays out how he makes a living with his blog. This is an especially excellent read for anyone interested in earning money with a blog, but is also a crystal clear view of Bob’s successful writing style. I have spoken with Bob at length about the referenced post, which he said took him a very long time to complete. In my opinion, his time was quite well spent there. I would like thank Bob for writing it, and also for being an inspiration to a lot of bloggers including myself.
DFA exists to help you become debt free. If there is something you like or dislike; something you would like to see more of or less of, no matter how trivial it may seem to you, please let us know. The best way for us to improve for your liking is to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. If you have been reading but have never commented, I encourage you to do so now.
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