Early Retirement Journey Season 1 Updates and Reports

Blog Update | June 2018: 3 Months, 0 Dollars, 5,000 Pageviews

So after publishing my pitiful 1st month blog update, I was very discouraged and decided to try a quarterly report or a report every 3 months instead. I liked Frugal Asian Finance’s blog traffic report structure and it was the one I just browsed a few minutes ago so I will use that as a template. Let’s jump in!

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To recap, I published my first post 20Feb2018 on Blogger. Since then I have been to Bluehost and back…twice. I am now using my purchased domain on Blogger. I find the platform easier to use. There are fewer options so I’m not spending weekends tweaking and learning code. I still did minor tweaking when I made the final switch but it was picking colors and font sizes from a list of available choices. I have added 2 pieces of code so far when I think of little things I might like. However, on the whole either Blogger does what I want or need it to do, or it doesn’t. I recognize that’s a huge limitation for blogging and is not recommended but I was in such a grey fog after my first month that I couldn’t deal with anymore technical difficulties. In this season of my life, I tend to lean towards the #easychoice.

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Overall, I have to say I really enjoy blogging. I like writing and I like creating content. Even though it’s annoying, I even like searching different ways to attract more traffic to my blog. I don’t know why exactly I do that, but it’s what everyone does and that seems to be the point of blogging? If you’ve been following along, you’ll notice I don’t have a clear or rather consistent idea of what I want out of this blog..yet. Obviously, the notion of it being a passive income generator has gone out the window. What’s left of my original intent is the idea that there was no one else quite like me in the FIRE world and I wanted to be part of the conversation.  Enough chatting, let’s get down to the details for which you came.

To Refresh Your Memory: Month 1 Blog Update (posted 02Apr2018)
Pageviews:  418 (all time)
Followers: 0
Revenue: $0, 3 failed attempts to enroll in Adsense, reason cited: insufficient content.
Expenses: $60 for Bluehost and domain
Net income: -$60 + work hours
Notes: After a little over a month on Blogger, decided to roll blog over to Bluehost. To keep it simple, decided April 1, will be one month blog-aversary!

Month 3 Blog Traffic and Income Report -June 2018. Accurate as of: 28May2018

Expenses (to date):
$14.99 (est) to keep my domain after leaving BlueHost

Blog Traffic (via Blogger) 
date range: 20Feb2018 to 28May2018
Pageviews (all time): 4,853 (keep in mind a nearly 3 week to 1 month sting on Bluehost that is not counted here)
Subscribers (total): 3 (up from 0)
Revenue (all time): $0.82 (via Google Adsense)

Posts published (total):  41
Posts scheduled (upcoming): 17

Top 3 Posts

  1. Pilot Episode
  2. Why Yes, This Is My $300,000 Student Loan Repayment Plan: REPAYE 2018
  3. My Week Ending May 4, 2018: Dementia, Remote Work, Health Numbers

Posting Schedule:
I generally post at least twice a week. My goal is at least 1x/week which for now I have achieved; I have been pretty consistently posting weekly updates of the journey so far. It is not all roses and I think that’s important to share.  I was most prolific in April 2018 with a whopping 17 posts; May 2018  = 11 posts (as of 28May2018); March 2018 = 7 posts; Feb 2018 = 6 posts.  I generally try to post the weekly update on Friday or Saturday, Sunday by the latest. When I have pre-planned posts, I tend to schedule them on Mondays or Tuesdays just to give readers a chance to read the post during the week. I think there are articles out there about ideal posting times but I just tend to post at 9a or 11a at the beginning of the week both to give readers a chance to read my latest post and because I know my weekly updates are coming on the weekend so I want to space out the posts.

Social Media Engagement
Joined Twitter 20May2018: 20 Followers
Joined Facebook 19May2018:  1 Follower on My Early Retirement Journey Page
Joined Pinterest  08Apr2018: 207 monthly viewers; 6 Monthly Engaged; 25 Followers

Automated updates to social media via: IFTT (it’s not perfect and I just started using that a few days ago).

I had set a soft goal of approaching social media as a summer project. I read somewhere that blogging traffic tends to wane in the summer so I thought that’d be a good time to explore social media platforms. I admittedly am not tech savvy and after my first month blogging, I knew social media engagement would require a little more than just an easy sign-up to accomplish anything of value. However, I was really pleased with the quality of content I was producing and I didn’t want future readers to miss out on the goings-on at My Early Retirement Journey. So, I jumped the gun and as I predicted I still have to learn how to best optimize social media to generate traffic. I’m excited. I at least got the log-ins out of the way… my least favorite part.

Traffic Generating Ideas, thus far

  1. In April 2018 I was pretty active on RockStar Forums. I subscribed to their directory as well.  This summer I may get more active. The newness died down and so did my interest.
  2. I requested addition to the Women of FIRE Directory.
  3. I requested addition to Women Who Money Directory (sorry can’t locate link).
  4. Commenting on other blogs (typically: Making Sense of Cents, Millennial – Revolution, Frugalwoods)

Screenshots from Google Analytics
Note: This is really just residual tech tidbit from when I was a “big time” blogger on Bluehost. I don’t really know how to interpret this data. Full disclosure – I’m just imitating what I’ve seen other bloggers do. One day when I figure it out, it might be helpful. I find the Analytics console difficult to navigate, so I just use the wholly inaccurate Blogger Stats as a gauge. Again, I’m positive most of the data is self-generated because my 7-year-old laptop won’t save the cookie to stop tracking my own pageviews.  I included for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy!

My early retirement journey - how to be single in your 30s

Next Steps:

  • Incorporate some catchy titles in future posts. I saved a link to a few templates with 70 to 100 catchy title suggestions. We’ll see how that goes.
  • Continue to produce interesting content. Seeing the total numbers is mildly encouraging. However I know with Blogger at least half of those views are mine because I play around with posts a lot and I edit and re-edit as the mood strikes. But hey whatever amount I have is greater than zero. Prior to finishing this post, I was wondering if I would have to pander more to an unknown audience based on a few articles I read, but I enjoy what I’ve been creating so far, so I will stay the course.

Again kudos to bloggers who publish monthly update reports on a wide variety of subjects (e.g. traffic, income, expenses). These take a lot of time to compile, I have to say. Of all my posts so far I think these have probably been my least favorite and this is only the 2nd time I’ve tried to do comprehensive updates. More to come (expenses and/or investment update) as my first quarter of My Early Retirement Journey is just about done. Stay tuned!

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  1. You're doing great! 41 posts in 3 months is a lot especially as you had all the angst over Bluehost and the techy stuff. I haven't yet done an income or blog update, mainly because I'm not monetized so presumed there was no point. However I can see how summarising what has happened, what you've done, where you want to g oetc might be quite helpful – to me at least. Which means I have 3 days before my quarterly blogiversary (on June 9th). Think i might just do that – thanks MERJ!

  2. I approve! 🙂 congrats on reaching 3 months… i guess we are journey partners! Looking forward to your updates.

  3. Journey partners indeed! 🙂 Not sure I'll be able to provide snapshots as am not techy although just remembered I could use sniping tool maybe? Watch this space – give me a week.

  4. Oh good point… I use snipping tool when I use work laptop and at home I use firefox browser and if you right click you can 'take a screenshot.' Can't wait to see what you post!

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