Two years ago, I was 27 years old and like many other 27 year olds. I had a full time job, I had friends. I had a place to live and a car to get me around. Heck, things were pretty… well… normal. Normal can sound great to some people, but to people like me, normal seems to fall short of where I want to be in my life.

relationshipsfincon

At that time, I was on my way out of normal. I had become debt free just one year earlier and during that year, in 2011, I had piled up almost a year worth of living expenses. I was making something happen, even if I wasn’t sure what it was. The fact of the matter was, I knew deep down that I wanted to build a bridge that would take me from full time employee to entrepreneur/business owner.

Back in 2011, I Decided to Start a Blog

One day, I stumbled upon a website called, Christian Personal Finance. This site resonated with me, since I was (and still am) both a Christian and someone very much into personal finance. I had learned that this site’s founder had turned this pretty neat website he’d built into his full time effort. Wow, that seemed so cool to me. Could I follow that path and create something I cared about and turn it into my full time gig? I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try. So in December of 2011, I decided to build a blog of my own.

That was two years ago and when my site went live, it was pretty terrible.  At the time, I had never built a website from scratch, but there’s a first time for everything. I built it, I wrote, I read other blogs out there and I kept at it. For two years, I kept at it. Today, I can safely say that I see the light at the end of the tunnel. All this effort is paying me dividends now, as we approach the end of 2013.

Many people who are thinking of starting their first blog seem to think the main benefit of doing so will be to hold themselves accountable. They believe that it will help to just write things down and see what comes from it. Maybe they’ll catch some luck and Google will place them well enough to allow for some advertising revenue. All of that could happen.

A Major Benefit to Blogging is How it Connects You to Others

But, I’m here today to tell you that the best dividend my blog has paid me thus far has been the relationships it’s helped me build. I just got home from the Financial Blogger Conference a few days ago. After looking through the attendee list of 500 or so bloggers, I identified that I have built a personal relationship with over 50 of them. Those are 50 people who I connect with on a deep level, since we both are writing about similar things. Many of those 50 bloggers are also living a lifestyle similar to mine, chasing goals similar to mine or just have similar values as I do. These are entrepreneurs, writers, podcasters and businesspeople who aspire to accomplish great things with their lives. You won’t find a crowd like the Financial Blogger Conference crowd at your local bar. These are ambitious people.

And since many of these people are successful, have created their own businesses, have a large following and/or have a solid network of relationships, there is huge upside to developing relationships with them. I can learn from these people. I can share my readership with them and they can with me. I can introduce them to my network and they can introduce me to theirs. We can collaborate on events, initiatives, product launches and/or meetups. The sky’s the limit on just how beneficial these relationships can be. That’s why I’m all in for building relationships and getting to know great people, especially other bloggers. There is major opportunity there.

And So There’s Another Reason to Start Your Blog Right Now

This week, I asked some of my blogger friends to share one of their memories of me with you all. This is a very impressive list of people, if you don’t know that already. They are successful entrepreneurs/savers/investors and they influence thousands of people every month (or every day in some cases). The best part about all of it is they actually know me. Two years ago, I was a humble little blog reader, aspiring to do something great myself. Today, I’m someone even these people look to as doing something that matters and growing that influence daily.

If you have the aspirations I did/do, like building a business, doing things that matter and escaping normal, then if for no other reason, you should get a blog created just to build up a network of relationships with people who are doing what you want to do. They say that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are you spending too much time with people who aren’t where you want to be? Perhaps, it’s time to start spending time with a different group of people. Blogging connects you to those people. Just take a look through the quotes below for how it’s impacted my network.

My Question: What’s One Thing You Remember About Me (Kraig)?

“The most memorable thing to me was how passionate Kraig was about helping his readers. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a blogger who was as willing to invest so much time and energy into their readers as Kraig. He has a wonderful thing going, and I am excited to see where blogging takes him in the future!” -Bob Lotich, Christian Personal Finance
Bob from ChristianPF
“Kraig’s dedication to “walking the talk” and living the Afford Anything lifestyle is the reason that I want to stay in touch with him and use my platform to help him as much as I can. Too many people just talk about their ideal lifestyle, but never act on those ideas. I prefer to help people who actually spring into action.” -Paula Pant, Afford Anything
Paula from Afford Anything
“I was sitting in the lobby with my friend, near a larger group of bloggers who were chatting. We were having a less boisterous conversation. Kraig came up and said hello and fit into the quiet flow of our conversation. When Pete asked if we wanted to come up to a fancy room, Kraig was interested. I liked him right away!” -Kathleen O’Malley, Frugal Portland
Kathleen from Frugal Portland
“I remember Kraig’s intelligence and clear intention to create something with his site. He has plans, he is implementing, and he is a do-er. His soft-spoken nature underscores a more serious and intentional businessman. I’m blown away that his podcast partner walked away from such a valuable asset.” -Todd Tresidder, Financial Mentor
Todd from Financial Mentor
“Although Kraig was one of the last people to arrive to FinCon Bootcamp, he didn’t let that hold him back. He dove head first into his introduction and confidently expressed the needs he had and expertise he brought to the conference. From then forward, I saw nothing but an open, honest, and generous spirit.” -Phillip Taylor, PT Money/FinCon
Phillip from PT Money
“Kraig made the effort to organize an event at FinCon, where a few of us gathered who specialize in writing about financial independence and early retirement. He did all the legwork and made it easy for us to say yes. It was a success, and we also got a chance to discuss life over quite a few beers throughout the weekend.” Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache

Email Me to Get Going On It, Now

If you’re ready to start a blog, email me (kraig@youngcheapliving) and I’ll help you get started ASAP, for free!

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