I’ll be honest, I wasn’t planning on writing a FinCon review post this year.
Everybody and their uncle’s sister’s friend writes a review post (including myself for 2017 and 2018), and they largely center around the people at FinCon.
Well, I couldn’t help it.
There were simply too many takeaways I felt this Blog Tribe needs to hear.
- Changes that affect YOU
- Industry trends
- A realignment of “what’s working in 2020”
Note: This post won’t cover all the wonderful people I met. I thoroughly LOVED meeting all of you!
1. The big names are getting bigger.
The first day of the conference, news spread that J Money sold Budgets Are Sexy (!).
And not a random blogger, but to the crew behind The Motley Fool–they’re starting a new “financial network” called Soapbox.
And Soapbox will be acquiring several MORE blogs.
Then there’s the Financial Freedom summit.
It’s a consumer-facing conference (that I’m pretty dang excited about FYI) in 2020 put on by Grant Sabatier, FinCon, and ChooseFI.
Everybody’s going big.
Hiring writers & pushing out MORE content (Grant has a team of seven, and told me he’s pushing out over 400 blog posts over the next six months).
What about the rest of us?
My takeaway for everybody else:
It doesn’t matter how big and profitable Starbucks gets, there will always be demand for the local coffee shop.
However, the local coffee shop HAS to be able to distinguish itself, stand out to a different audience, and figure out a way to carve out a niche.
The growing blog brands won’t crush the little folks, but they will make it tougher to “be average and succeed.”
2. LITERALLY every attendee at FinCon is podcasting.
Ok not actually, but still.
An overwhelming majority of people I met (or knew already) were either…
- already podcasting
- have specific plans to start a podcast
- expressed interest in podcasting
It’s not hard to see why:
- Starting a podcast has never been easier
- Podcast listenership continues to explode
- It’s really really fun and way easier than blogging
My Takeaway: Podcasting is BOOMING, and will likely get more difficult to stand out and grow a show!
Also, this part of the reason I’ve rebranded Online Impact to serve bloggers AND podcasters.
My podcasting courses are coming soon! I AM SO EXCITED.
Both the technical and non-technical podcasting courses will a part of the Online Impact membership ????
3. It’s never been more crucial to take a stand.
Ramit got on stage during his keynote and reminded us all why we should share out point of view.
Something that helps us stand out, attract the “right” people and differentiate ourselves.
This hit me.
It’s been entirely too long since I’ve REALLY released opinion pieces that showcase why creators should listen to me–or not.
(Big shoutout to I Believe in Blogging).
We live in a blogosphere where new folks have a HARD time reaching new people–with content that’s been done before.
What do you believe that others don’t?
How should the world be different?
Do more of that content.
4. So many creators struggle with a lack of clarity.
Clarity is where it’s at.
Last week I personally met 4-5 people that had been procrastinating starting a blog since the previous FinCon (one person mentioned she had been trying to start FOUR FinCons ago).
I’d totally do a cop-out and point people to my beginner post (linked above), but the problem goes deeper than that.
- No clear picture of “what it takes” to grow
- No monetization model on lock-down
- No clear strategy
Clarity. It’s tough.
A huge majority of creators I met with (ESPECIALLY in the first 3-4 years) struggled to explain what they do and where they’re heading.
I get it, too.
That’s been me my entire blogging career! (Though these little events helped tremendously).
I must have heard the words “shiny object syndrome” 50 times last week at FinCon–but it eventually started to sound like “I’m just really not sure what mission I’m on.”
It’s never been more vital to develop a clear vision for growing your business.
There are more marketing strategies available to you than ever before. More choices. More paths.
- Alexa Skills?
- Pinterest Ads?
- Membership sites?
- Affiliate marketing?
- Courses? (It’s tough out there)
THIS IS WHY I’M BUILDING A MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY.
The current plan for Online Impact is simple:
- Help our members figure out where they’re going (through 1-on-1 strategy sessions)
- Give em resources to help them get there.
- Hold them accountable (by making them a part of the larger group, among other peer presures)
And yes, I have ZERO ISSUES self-promoting the heck out of my program now.
I’ve never felt more comfortable selling anything, actually.
Lots of people NEED certain things they just can’t get from an online course or free content.
Speaking of which…
5. You can’t do this alone.
Exploring this point makes me extremely happy, and extremely sad.
Happy = this is why FinCon is my favorite blogging conference.
People like Kat (pictured above–y’all find a way to follow her on her new site! You won’t find a more sincere person) seem to find their way to the conference without REALLY knowing why, and still walk away with “what they needed.” (i.e. human connection).
Sad = There are millions of creators who lack human connection.
“Relationships are everything,” they said, and THEY WERE RIGHT.
It’s not even about collaborating or opportunities or getting on other people’s podcasts…
It’s about showing you’re a human, putting faces to names, building authority, being vulnerable & getting help in real-time, and more.
It’s about embedding your blog, podcast, and online business as a deeper part of your life.
- PT Money, Jessica, Libby, Justin, and the rest of Team FinCon: Y’all CRUSHED IT this year.
- DYEB Raina
- Chelsea, Denis, Kelan, and Nick! (Blog Domination)(and Liz down there at Tribe conference lol)
- All the other smiling, energetic faces I met during the week! <3 y’all.
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Great post my man. I agree on all accounts.
My dude. Thanks Nick!
I couldn’t make it this year, so I’m reading all the rounds ups. Thank you for distilling it down top five keys! I hope to see you next year.
yessss hope you can make it then! It’s worth it 😉
Thanks, friend! It was good to see you—as always!
You too, and VERY well done!
It’s scary how relevant your content is. I’ve been thinking/ struggling all day about the lack of clarity and vision for my blog (and how I need it, and how the heck will go about finding it, etc etc…) and BOOM! there you are with the #4 takeaway and a solution…. looking forward to Online Impact!
Well I clearly read your mind, yes? 🙂
And I know that’s rough. I do. Wishing you the best for now, and we’ll try and get that sorted out!
Great post, I really have to start my stuff together and see how can I be different in the crowd. Thanks, Pete.
Great recap, Pete! Agree on all points, especially that we can’t do this alone. Glad to have you as a friend as we both walk this blogger/online entrepreneur journey!
If you looked up “WordPress comment” in the dictionary, this is likely what you’d see. Grammar, punctuation, styling, copy. Well done 🙂
Really great points. Excited to see Online Impact help so many creatives out there!
Woo thanks Liz! Missed you this week, but glad you were at a conference as well 🙂
I really appreciate how this post can apply holistically and not just to financial bloggers. Great points and well done, Pete
You’re welcome my dude, and thank you 🙂
True all dat. And I am stupid excited for Online Impact. ????
Congrats on the win and yes it seems everyone is podcasting. Just blogging is so 2000’s
ha 100% 🙂
Great post Pete! Definitely echo many of your takeaways! Great seeing you in person!
Thanks so much Tae! It was awesome seeing you as well–it appeared like you were doing an awesome job of connecting with people. Hope you felt that!
First time reader here. Thanks for posting these. Very valuable for newbies like myself. Currently I get caught in routine and grind. Time to reevaluate and regroup.
Great stuff, Pete. Couldn’t agree more… especially on the importance of finding clarity. So hard but also so vital.
Thanks Clint! Appreciate you coming here 🙂
Pete – your session was so actionable. (I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years and don’t even have a welcome email – smh). I have screeds of notes to help me build the best local coffee shop in my neighbourhood. So looking forward to Monday so I can get started.
aw thanks Emma! I appreciate that!
And don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone 🙂
Thank you for being here!
You the man Pete!
I seriously think your whole approach and mission is the future of digital marketing. Love what you’re doing
aww thanks for the vote of confidence Mike. I appreciate that!