Hi, there and thanks for visiting our blog! I figured that it would only be right for me to tell you a little about myself. If you don’t already know, my name is Tracey Mathis Jr, the Founder of Bernard Boulevard. I was born into a far-from-perfect Middle-Class family of four. I am currently a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga studying Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship. At the age of 16, I had begun envisioning my future and wanted nothing less than to be successful. As we all know, success can be defined in various ways. It does not necessarily need to represent a monetary value or certain level of popularity. I define “success” as achieving one’s own goals. I desired the opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life by giving back. Every day, I would drive passed at least one homeless person, wishing that I could put a smile on their face; whether by surprising them with a surplus of funds to get them back on their feet or a simple car ride in a vehicle they had dreamed of in their youth. I knew the typical occupation would not pay enough and that realization sprouted my curiosity in the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.
You are probably wondering why I decided to create this blog. As I became more interested in Entrepreneurship, I stumbled across Marketing. I began reading various articles and books like Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” and Daniel Burrus’s “Flash Foresight”. I knew that I was not the only aspiring entrepreneur with questions so I decided to make all of this advice, mentoring and untapped knowledge available to and easily accessible by you all. 🙂
The Birth of Bernard Boulevard
Bernard Boulevard, in a sense, was born in early December but was not released from the hospital until the 1st of January. Beforehand, I actually had just begun working on another site of mine, which was a complete failure. It took me only a day to create and looked pretty, but it lacked in a strong blogging foundation. A major theme of Bernard Boulevard, that my other website lacked, is quality. My old website was rushed and did not have any form of planning, scheduling, or attractiveness to it. While working on the old site, the name Bernard Boulevard simply popped in my head! Bernard is my middle name, which is what gave rise to the thought. Other than that, I could not tell you anything else that would have influenced the blog’s name other than luck. I truly found the name appealing and more appropriate than naming the blog “traceymathis.com”. After coming to that realization, I wrote the blog name in the Notes app on my iPhone, not really sure of what I was even going to do with it. Since I liked the name so much, I decided to purchase the domain name through Namecheap while I would wait for ideas to pour in. The thought of actually creating a blog came to me while I was listening to John Lee Dumas speak on his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire, also known as EOFire!
The week of December 14th, 2015 was the week that Bernard Boulevard was finally put under construction. I spent the rest of December formatting the website and leaking out small bits of it to my Facebook profile in order to give its official January launch a boost in traffic from people waiting for the first blog post. It wasn’t long after building the blog that I started writing blog posts. I had a notebook with a ton of ideas and was able to come up with 7 blog posts that would be scheduled and ready to be posted during the first week of 2016.
When January finally came around, it was time to place some of my focus on the marketing strategies in order to generate some form of traffic, even if it was a pea size amount. I’m going to make it clear that I did not purchase advertising on my blog during this month and do not plan on doing so until much later. I have created a few blog posts that go in-depth on how exactly I approached building an audience. To be brief, I used word of mouth and social media to get the word out. Facebook provided me with a social media page for my blog that would show my blog’s updates while giving people the opportunity to like and share with their friends and followers. I applied the same process across Twitter, Google+ and Instagram while making sure to stay consistent throughout the entire process. In my opinion, scheduling posts in advance and actually sticking to a posting schedule helped solidify my blog’s foundation and allowed it to gain the exposure that it does today!