Has it really already been 6 months?
Holy crap that came a hell of a lot quicker than I thought it would.
No one told me or warned me how much work it would be to start and grow a blog. It is a lot of work!
But more importantly, it has been 10 times more rewarding than I expected it to be.
This blog was born on September 25th, 2014 when I officially pushed the buy button to purchase the domain and hosting from Blue Host. I have wanted to start a blog for years. In fact, I actually did start a blog back in 2009, but not really for the public. I used the blog as a place to share investing and trade ideas with a friend. It was more like a shared journal. It was on the blogger platform and it was free. We did have the occasional visitor, but it was mostly just for the two of us. We were not trying to grow an audience, nor did we really even know that would be possible.
After a few years that blog died as my friend moved on and I had no reason to write. Or put more accurately, I had no one to write for.
At the time I had no idea that there was such a hungry audience out there waiting for content on things I liked to talk about. It wasn’t until 2013 after finding and consistently reading several really successful blogs that I got the urge to want to start a blog again. This time I wanted to write for the public. But then the impostor syndrome and fear kicked in. The following questions started to swirl in my head:
- What if no one reads what I write?
- Or worse, what if they do read my content and absolutely hate it?
- What if I run out of things to write about?
- Will anyone take me seriously?
- What if it’s perceived as just “another” personal finance blog?
- What will my friends think?
- What will my wife think?
- Should I tell anyone I know that I am starting a blog?
- How will I be unique?
- How will people find my blog among the hundreds of millions online?
I didn’t have any good answers so I just let the idea float away. It wasn’t until almost two years later when Scott Dinsmore of LiveYourLegend.com sent out an email blast to a list I happen to be on for his annual build a blog challenge that I really started to reconsider the blog. I won’t lie, after reading the email, I let it sit in my inbox for a couple of days. It was the exact push I needed to finally get this blog going.
In the almost 2 years that lapsed between 2013 and when this blog was finally born, I had messed around on Blogger creating free blogs on all sorts of topics. But after a few weeks I would lose interest. It was in those failures that I realized that I needed to choose a topic that I was deeply passionate about. It had to be based on the things I just could not stop talking and thinking about in the real world. But I also realized that I needed to have a flexible platform that would allow me to spread my wings from time to time to explore other topics.
It was during those few days between when I got Scott’s email and when I finally pushed “Buy Now” that it all came together. As Gen Y Finance Guy, I could talk about personal finance and everything it touches. And they say that every story begins with or goes back to money.
Yes, I would put my stake in the ground as a personal finance blog with my own unique story and approach to building wealth. To me this little hole in the wall on the web is as much a personal finance blog as it is a lifestyle design blog.
I am so glad I started and I am really looking forward to the next 6 months. Shoot, I am looking forward to the next 6 years of blogging.
But before I get ahead of myself let’s take a look back over the past 6 months and see what happened.
By the numbers
Month 1 (9/25/14 to 10/24/14)
Zero traffic on day one…not even a visit from myself 🙁
But then during the first month I had a spike on 9/30/14 that lasted two days due to the blog challenge group that probably felt sorry for me and came over to give me some feedback on the blog (after I begged a little…okay, it was a lot of begging and I promised to visit their site as well).
I did manage to write 3 posts during the first 5 days of this young blogs life:
- Why Gen Y Finance Guy? 607 words
- The Share Economy & Rental Income 950 words
- I Make 6 Figures But I Hate My Job 1,988 words – This is probably the post I was most proud of and really showed me taking steps to living life by design.
For the remaining of the first 30 days I managed to write at least one new blog post a week. Actually, it was a little better than one a week since I managed to write 5 in 25 days.
- The Lyft Experiment 644 words
- We Don’t Have Our Parents American Dream 952 words
- I’m 28 years old, now what? 661 words
- Managing Debt: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly 1,503 words
- Markets Don’t Go Up Forever! 180 words
7,485 words written in month 1
The first 30 days was a bit lonely over at the blog with respect to readers. But I also didn’t want to spend too much time building up traffic with so little content on the blog. The important thing was that I took action and got the blog launched and started getting in the habit of writing.
Over the first month I tried to balance writing while at the same time working on the aesthetics of the blog. It took me 4 themes before I finally settled on the one we currently have. I also got plugins installed. Oh, and I did install Google Analytics from day 1 so that I could track activity on the blog. I always say that you can’t optimize what you don’t measure. That’s true whether it’s your finances, fitness, or when it comes to blogging.
Total Time Spent = Approximately 20 hours in month 1
Total Cost = $136 (this paid for 3 years in advance)
Overall I would call month 1 a success.
Month 2-4 (10/25/14 to 1/24/15)
I made a decision when I launched the blog to work on writing before anything else. This was the first test to see if I really had it in me to consistently peck away at a keyboard and ship at least 1 new post every week. The goal was to get into a routine of a regular writing 3 months before I would actively start drumming up traffic to the site. During this time I told no one of the site except the people in the blog challenge.
Okay, one of other exception would be my wife. But other than that, I did not share it with anyone else.
As you can see, the old phrase, “build it and they will come” is not true on the internet – at least not for me. The site was essentially radio silence with respect to traffic between the October spike and the beginning of January.
Writing was the primary focus. I managed to publish another 15 posts in months 2 through 4.
Am I proud of every post? Not by a long shot, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to write consistently. The point was to ship (publish) a new post once a week. Some are good, and others might not be worth reading. But here they are nonetheless:
- The Financial Truth: There’s a limit to how much you can cut expenses, but there’s no limit on how much you can earn. 1,939 words
- My Huge 86,400 Deposit And I’m Going To Spend It All 924 words
- Momento Mori – Remember Your Mortality 717 words
- 42 Days Later 185 words
- A few more financial victories around the corner! 268 words
- Ray Dalio – How The Economic Machine Works (Video) no words but a great video I highly recommend watching.
- Outside of Mortgage Debt, I am Now Debt Free! 1,675 words
- Get Your Goals Ready and Lets Make 2015 Epic 478 words
- We All Make Bad Financial Decisions, But They Don’t Have to Define The Rest Of Our Lives! 696 words (I managed to survive some stupid financial decisions)
- Fail Forward and Make Mistakes to Reach your Goals In 2015 And Beyond 980 words
- A Certificate of Deposit that returns 100X my Chase savings interest rate 790 words
- The True Financial Death! 752 words
- The Path Is All Math 305 words
- Joined the Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge 410 words (this been motivating ever since joining, I will explain below in a second)
- The Mortgage Snowball Strategy To Pay Your Mortgage Off In 5-7 Years 1,433 words (another post I am pretty proud of)
11,552 words written in month 2-4
I proved to myself that I could write consistently. The pace was a little better than 1 a week.
In January I actually started visiting other personal finance blogs as my first step at connecting with others in the community. My hope was that on posts that I had something thoughtful to say, I would leave a comment, and then others may find my response interesting and click over to visit my site. As you can see from the chart above, this strategy did start driving traffic back to the site. Although it still wasn’t anything to write home about.
At this point I now had 23 posts live on the site and was ready to officially open the doors to the public.
The Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge
On January 14th, 2015 I came across the Yakezie financial bloggers network. This is essentially a blog for personal finance and lifestyle bloggers. It is packed with all kinds of resources, a directory of personal finance blogs, as well as a member’s forum. Sam from Financial Samurai created this site as a way to help other financial bloggers get up and going. It is his way of paying it forward. In conjunction with the site, Sam created the Alexa ranking challenge. If you want the details you can click item number 14 above, but the gist of it is that you are supposed to do a number of things and in the end improve your ranking into the 200,000 handle (over 6 months).
When you first start a blog your Alexa ranking actually starts off at worse than zero. You start with no rank at all.
The day I officially joined the challenge my rank was 26,214,230.
I had a lot of work to do.
By the end of January I had improved significantly, by improving the site ranking to 3,942,604.
The take away is that action leads to significant improvement in the beginning. Watching this number on a daily basis was just the metric I needed to keep writing. If you are a blogger or thinking about starting a blog, then you need to join this challenge and use the ranking as a metric to measure your success.
Month 4-6 (1/25/15 to 3/24/15)
This is when the magic really started to happen…
- I continued my blog commenting strategy in an effort to not only get to know other bloggers but also to contribute to the conversation and possibly drive traffic back to my site. I was always taught to go where the fish are. Which by the way, one thing I have learned is how friendly everyone is in the personal finance community.
- In January I also reached out to Financial Samurai and 1500 days to ask if they would be interested in a guest post. They both graciously accepted my offer. To my surprise, both guest posts went live on the same day (2-7-15). This is the spike you see in February. Traffic has fallen off a bit since then, but has remained elevated at about 750 visitors a week and about 3,200 visitors a month.
- Since January I have been actively following and commenting on 100+ blogs. It’s funny how you can actually get a sense that you know someone after interacting with them online enough times.
- I got set up on Twitter, Facebook, and Google plus…oh and I reserved a YouTube Channel and Instagram account. I am not hugely active on many of these channels. With the exception of Twitter I mostly just have posts getting delivered automatically in case others have a preference as to where they consume or are notified of new content. By the way, my twitter handle has gone from 0 to 197 followers.
- I got an email capture form set up using mail chimp. Believe it or not, but I have built that list up to over 125 subscribers.
- I also got my Financial Stats Page live that tracks my net worth and is a central spot that links to all my monthly financial reports.
- I also got all the disclosures up that are required by the FTC.
- In February I picked up a blogging accountability partner. We both started around the same time and have become good friends online. I think I am learning a lot more from him then he is learning from me. Shout out to Brian at Debtless in Texas.
- I published another 15 posts:
- The Slight Edge 1,022 words
- Financial Stats for Gross Income and Net Worth Now Have a Dedicated Page 235 words
- January 2015 – Detailed Financial Report #1 2,844 words
- Thursday Rant #1: The Office Time Keeper 1,165 words
- Buy Into Weakness – Investment Rule #1 1,275 words
- Example of Buying Into Weakness – Investment Rule #1 1,206 words
- Murder Your Mortgage in 7 Years Q&A 975 words
- How I Blew $290 on Valentines Day With My Wife 1,524 words
- My Love Hate Relationship with Taxes 2,082 words
- Thursday Rant #2 Office Lotto Pools 704 words
- Everyone Has a Number, Mine is $10M, What’s Yours 3,272 words
- I Just Brought On a CEO To Help Run Things Around Here 1,120 words
- Nominated For The Liebster Award 3,030 words
- February 2015 – Detailed Financial Report #2 3,545 words
- Paying Off Your Mortgage Early vs. Investing The Extra Payments In Stocks 2,219 words
- Anatomy of A Side Hustle: How I made $18,000 at an effective rate of $100/hour 1,959 words
- Favorite Reads, Views, and Listens In March – Books|Blogs|Videos|Podcasts 246 words
28,423 words written in months 5 & 6
47,460 words written during first 6-months blogging (blog posts only, its over 50,000 if you include pages like about, recommended, etc.)
Based on the screenshot above you can see that 60% of my traffic has been driven through referrals. This is largely a result of my commenting strategy and guests posting. I plan to keep pursing this strategy as long as it works. I also have several new guest posts in the works that I hope will go live sometime between now and May. Right now my goal is to manage 1-guest post a month.
What about Monetization?
Another decision that I made early on was that I wanted to find ways to monetize the blog. However, I made a promise to myself to put that off until March. Once March hit, I made a huge monetization push by putting up affiliate links in the side bar of the blog. I also created a recommended page that contains all my favorite products and companies.
Currently I am still just testing a lot of things to see what works. It’s kind of like when you are cooking spaghetti, you throw the noodles against the wall to see if they stick. You know the noodles are done when they stick to the wall. Same thing with some of the monetization things I am trying 🙂
And it has paid off. Nothing huge but we have made our first $115 online (all during our first month and almost enough to cover the first 3 years of hosting). As this income grows to be a more substantial number I will detail it out for all of you following along. The goal of everything I post on this blog is to be as transparent as possible. You get a front row seat to see what is working and also what to avoid like the plague.
Blogging is a lot more work than I ever could have imagined. The more I get into it, the longer my list grows of things to do. I still have focused almost zero attention on the SEO side of things, which is important if I want to have any kind of passive traffic coming to the site. The only step I have made is downloading the SEO Yoast plugin. At some point I am going to need to reduce the number of blogs that I am actively following and commenting on. Not sure how I will approach this yet. One thing I have started to do is mark certain blogs as “must read” in my Feedly app.
The writing has gotten better, at least in my eyes. The traffic and comments that I have gotten tend to reinforce my perception. There are at least 200 topics I have started in my offline drafts folder, and another 500 in my head. The first 6-months on this blog have been largely foundational and about me. I want to get better at blending my experience while at the same time providing insight and actionable takeaways for you the reader to apply in your own endeavors.
I am very excited for what lies ahead. The journey has only just begun.
Onward and Upward!
– Gen Y Finance Guy
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I think we’ve been following similar paths. We’ve even ended up with the same theme…
We did end up with the same theme 🙂
The X-Theme is so robust, dynamic, and easy to customize. It was actually the first of 4 themes that I paid for. I slowly worked my way into a paid theme.
If you have any tips I am open ears.
Any plans for a 6 month wrap up on your own experiences?
Your version looks more professional than mine currently. We should swap some emails. I’ve been really frustrated with the main image options.
Congrats on the first 6 months! Blogging is really tough if you plan on monetizing it. I’m not ready to get on that level yet, but thanks for the motivation.
Thanks man! In my opinion the blogging and monetization are two separate activities. For me the priority is to publish 1-2 new posts a week.
Only then do I spend time on monetization and technical stuff for the blog.
Congratulations on making it to six months! That’s the hardest part 🙂
This was a great run down of info.
Commenting is definitely the way to go and you can TOTALLY make internet friends! Commenting does take foooooorever, though. *sigh*. I wish I was a lot more efficient at it, but I refuse to be one of those people who doesn’t actually read the post and makes a not-related comment as a result of missing the main point.
Here’s to the future!
Commenting does take a lot of work. But the connections are worth the effort. You really get to know the community through the conversations that take place in the comments.
Totally agree that reading the entire post before commenting is common courtesy.
I like to stay engaged in the conversation if someone responds back, but I wish there was an app like Feedly that would aggregate all your activity across the web into one convenient spot.
Onward & Upward!!!
I don’t know if I’d be happy or afraid to reach such a thing… but I 100% understand what you mean.
Got any coding skills? I have a whole list of stuff like that that I need built.
No web coding skills. But I can write some VBA code in Excel to make a mean spreadsheet.
That is a pretty good start for 6 months if you ask me. I started about a month before you and you are ahead of me in nearly every measure!
Keep it up!
I couldn’t have done it with out all the the support from other bloggers in the community like you. You guys are awesome!
Congrats on hitting your 6 month milestone! You definitely have to enjoy it and be really motivated about what you do to get to that point, because it really seems that noone reads our blogs until you’ve put a few months of hard work in! My results have been reasonably similar, but I was probably a bit slow at getting to know others and commenting on their blogs – I was probably just a little shy and needed to build the confidence in my own site!
Look forward to hearing more about your monetization strategies down the track, as it’s something I’m starting to put some thought to after over a year of blogging.
I can’t believe it has already been 6 months. I have enjoyed every bit of it and have more ideas than I have time to work on them. So I think I have plenty to keep me going for a while.
Stay tuned as I will be sharing it all: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly.
I love the new look of your site! I’ve been meaning to make a disclosure page, but I think you’ve given me that final push to actually get to it. I’ve just entered my 2nd month of blogging, and wow you’ve made great strides! I’m trying to guest post and comment more too, and it’s been really fun but like you said, it really is hard work. Thanks for sharing your progress! This has been a good motivation for me to stay on track.
Keep it up!! I look forward to reading more and more of your blog
Glad I could add that little extra push for you.
Feel free to borrow anything you like from my disclosures page. You will see that I also borrowed some stuff from Tim Ferris. No reason to re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to.
It’s a pleasure to have you as a regular reader.
Congrats on six months of blogging and monetizing the blog. Best of luck on that stuff and any advice on monetization is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the comment. It has been a really interesting ride that is for sure.
The biggest tip I have for monetization is to keep the content and the readers your number one priority. It is easy to start putting out really thin content for search engines for ad revenue. It is also really easy to blast your website with ads everywhere. But the most important thing is to remember that without your readers you have no chance at monetization.
There are lots of ways to monetize a blog:
1 – Adsense (the easiest and most common first choice)
2 – Affiliate Marketing (get commissions for products you know, like, and trust)
3 – Digital Products (create your own ebook, course, etc.)
4 – Subscription based service
5 – Sponsored posts (I have been pitched several of these, but have turned them down because they lacked my voice and didn’t fit my style)
6 – YouTube (You can produce video’s and let YouTube show ads like adsense)
7 – Podcast (you can start a podcast and after you reach a big enough audience you can get sponsorships
8 – Coaching (You can start a coaching business in something you are really good at)
9 – Freelancing
10 – Private Placement Ads (dedicated ads, would recommend this only if it fits the content and will resonate with the readers)
Those are the ten ways that come to mind at the moment.
I plan to start sharing what I am doing and whats working, as well as whats not. So stay tuned for full transparency as usual.
The new theme is nice!
Glad to read you’re still having lots of fun after 6 months, it’s always a good read to see all this energy in your posts, looking forward to read the 1st Year post 🙂
Glad you like the new theme. It has been a fun process to build something online.
If time flies at anything close to the speed of the last 6 months, I will blink and will be writing that 1 year post.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. The readers are what make the effort all worth it.
Nice blog, many of the posts I scrolled past in this post looked interesting. I don’t have the time I thought I did once I ventured in to blogging, so I appreciate other’s hard work on their blogs even more! Mine has turned more into a fun hobby for the time being, to keep it on life support, but I really love feeling like (in a very small way), that I am part of the community!
Blogging is certainly more work that I thought it would be. I think it is really important to keep it fun, and the moment it is no longer fun, is the moment it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate.
The last thing we want is blogging to turn into a job right?
Hope to see you around.
Thanks for sharing the detailed numbers. Since we are all PF enthusiasts, you know we love to see the numbers. Congrats on having such success so far. I often debate with myself whether I want to commit the effort to really drive traffic and monetization to our blog, or whether I am happy with where we are. Without a doubt, building a successful blog takes time and effort. My question is just where does the blog fall in the priority list… It’s a fluid concept.
You are very welcome Mrs. Maroon.
I knew the community would like to see some real numbers.
Like I responded to Nick in the comments, I think it’s really important to keep it fun.
But good question to ask yourself where it falls on the priority list. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and every minute we spend on our blogs is time away from something else we could be doing.
That’s a good 6 month start. It will only get better from there.
Thanks Jason…I can’t wait for what the next 6 months brings.
Congrats on hitting 6 months! That’s inspirational for someone like me, who’s about to reach 1 month. 6 months is a long time!
The disclosures are particularly interesting to me. Any idea what law/regulation requires it?
Congrats at taking action to start a blog. It can be intimidating at first, but stick with it and take one day at a time. 6 months will pass before you know it.
The disclosures are required by the FTC whenever you have any sort of ads or affiliate links. It is really to protect both the blogger and the reader. Here is an article you can check out: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/disclosures-for-bloggers-and-brands/
Here is to you reaching your 6 month mark.
Thanks for the link! My legal specialty is far from FTC disclosures, so I appreciate the help. It’s interesting stuff.
Been reading for a while, but not really commented.
Looks like we started blogging about the same time and are both ‘finance guys’… spooky. Looks like you’re flying mate, well done!
Great ‘behind the scenes’ post, superb read. Good work getting some guest post spots!
I am looking to write a collaborative article pretty soon, will ping you an email about it to see if you’d be interested 🙂
Also saw you are on the moneystepper monthly challenge… good luck
Hey Mr. Zombie,
Love the name! Stoked to have you as a regular reader.
Working hard to live up to my rule of 100% transparency on both the finance side and blog side. Most people don’t like sharing how the sausage is made, where I think it is absolutely vital to invite as many people into the kitchen as possible.
I was lucky to have gotten a few opportunities for guest posts…which reminds me I should probably work on getting a few more out there, they do work really well.
Mr. Z I would be stoked to work on a collaborative piece whenever you are ready. E-mail me at mrgenyfinanceguy.com
Awesome! Will get in contact in a couple of days!
Congrats!! Reading by the number of articles you’ve written, it is definitely a lot of work you’ve put into this. Great side hustle. I wish the number will continue to grow!!
It has so been worth all the work. I hope the numbers continue to grow as well. Always nice to see a new name in the comments 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
Congrats on 6 months amigo and thanks for the shout out…IM FAMOUS!!!
You really have been working hard and it shows. I have also learned a ton from being your accountabilibuddy. You post also made me realize that I missed my 6 month mark 4 days ago…d’oh
I am sure I have learned just as much if not more from you. It’s never to late to look back on the last 6 months. My 6 month blogiversary was actually on 3/26. Would love to see your 6 month review and recap.
not sure how you can be a PF expert with only $200k saved and you are in your 30s.. makes it difficult to understand why you are credible.
Not sure where you are going with your comment.
But I would be more than happy to clarify a few things for your records:
1 – I am 28 (not in my 30’s as you suggested)
2 – I don’t claim to be an expert anywhere on the site that I am aware of. But please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
3 – You are very correct that I ONLY have a net worth of $200K. With no outstanding debt like credit cards, student loans, or car loans. I do have a mortgage on my house and rental property.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you clarify.
I hate to feed the trolls, but here goes.
Who the hell do you think you are, random internet tool? Everyone’s financial journeys are different and people get into it at different times.
You want to talk about credibility? Where are your financial stats? Where is your blog? Oh, I forgot you are a coward who wants to throw stones anonymously. Way to sign your work. Put up or shut up. I am going to keep the profanity to a minimum as this isn’t my blog, but grow a pair and if you are going to troll – identify yourself.
Any personal finance blogger who puts themselves out online, whether they are millionaires or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt are credible as each blog is a unique voice and set of experiences. A random internet douche who wants to question credibility should just stop reading, you don’t deserve to learn from people who genuinely care about telling their story.
Happy blogiversary! It takes a while to monetize, but it sounds like you are doing everything right!
Thank you Holly!
This is my first time to your blog and I loved this post! I’m over on Yakezie right now looking into their forums and blogs. My husband and I started a joint finance blog last year as well (and we also graduated from CSUF, though not till 2009. Small world!).
We’ve been working on the commenting/getting to know the community side of things like you and are always looking for new ways to reach out like your post talks about. I’m looking forward to keeping up with your journey!
So happy to cross paths with you. Welcome to the this awesome community.
I checked out your blog and it looks like we started around the same time (I started in September of 2014 vs your August 2014 start).
It is a very small world. Are you and Charlie still in the area? If so we should try to get together, its always great connecting with like minded individuals. Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com if you are interested in getting together.
I definitely recommend joining the Yakezie challenge.
If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.
Unfortunately, we moved away after college. It would have been fun to hang out though! It’s always refreshing to meet people our age with similar thoughts on money.
We’ll just have to stalk your blog from afar. haha
Keep on writing!
I am happy to have you guys stalking the blog from afar. I don’t even find that to be creepy 🙂
I promise to keep on writing if you promise to keep reading 😉
Congrats on the 6 months! Hope you’re here to stay. I’ve been at it for almost 2 years but I still feel like a newbie, and I still have a lot to learn about blogging. Consistency is key, something I need to work on. Pretty awesome with monetizing…maybe you can post more details about that because it would be nice if my blog could bring in some money.
I promise that I am here to stay. Whether I make money at it or not, I am in it for the long-term, if for nothing more than the awesome connections to the readers and other bloggers like yourself.
I could not agree more about consistency. It is absolutely essential. And all the A-list bloggers preach the same thing.
It’s really amazing how fast things are moving. I never thought I would be at this point so fast.
Stay tuned as I plan to start a new monthly report like my detailed financial report, but for the blog. Share what is working and what’s not. And of course full transparency to all the metrics including income from the monetization strategies.
Enjoyed your piece on whether the school you went to determined your success.
I am using your website as an inspiration and have created my own website.
Great work on your own blog. I look forward to read your future blogs!
That’s awesome! Looking forward to checking it out.
Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to help you out.
Great stats. Always nice to see how much attention your blog gets from the outside world. Believe me, people find you and read your words so the concern of “what if no one reads your posts” is unfounded. Just keep writing and narrating your journey. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the kind words. I will totally keep writing about my adventures.
I would like to join the Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge, but I feel like I shouldn’t because I don’t think I can push out 2-4 post a week. I’m trying to consistently write and post once week, but it’s been an epic fail. So maybe I’ll join the challenge once I get the consistency down.
The thing about joining the challenge is that it gives you a metric to watch. And it is really motivating to watch that number improve. You may actually find yourself motivated to write more consistently when you have something that shows improvement.
I think it is great to start with a goal of once a week. At the end of the day you want to keep blogging fun and engaging.
It’s so helpful to see someone acknowledge the time it takes to get up and running. I’m just now moving my financial coaching from a free blog to an actual site. Thanks for these numbers and resources. I’m about to actively stalk every link you posted 😀
Glad you find it helpful. I plan to start posting a monthly or quarterly post on tips/tricks on growing and monetizing the blog. The next update will probably be at the end of June and will be heavily focused on monetization.
Hey GenY, This post is awesome. Thanks for sending it to me. It gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling reading about other bloggers that have already gone through what im going through right now. I literally just created my blog last week and I am also tracking my net worth. Right now all i can think about is writing more articles and dishing out more knowledge. I feel that now that I have this blog, im crazy more inspired to get to financial freedom.
I am glad you liked it. As I mentioned in our email conversation, I will be releasing a more comprehensive guide in the next month or so.
Looking forward to hearing more about your journey.
Just found your site and this is a great detailed breakdown showing how hard work and quality writing can make a blog standout in just 6 months. You’re definitely on the right path and appreciate you sharing the “Yakezie” network post. I’m planning on joining this week, never heard about it before but just wanted to say thanks.
Hi Redeemed Finance!
So glad you found it helpful. The “Yakezie” network is awesome and the challenge keeps you motivated and arms you with a great metric to monitor your success.
What an awesome way of blogging. I think your blog is a complete unique one from pictures point of view. In fact I have never seen such a niche concept.
A long way to go man!! Keep blogging. 🙂
Very helpful post you have here, and very inspiring. Combined with your “Start a Blog” post, this has been a great resource for me as I start my own personal finance blog. I look forward to learning more about your last several months, as well as any further learnings on the Start a Blog writing.
All the Best,
I like the name. It covers it all 🙂
Stoked that you have found this post and the new “Start a Blog” resource helpful. I have an update on my first year of blogging coming out on 10/12/15, where I talk a lot more about moentization strategies and whats working for this blog.
Man the way you document things is awesome! Virtual high-five 😉 haha.
I’m keen to do something similar myself i.e. in terms of the documentation, it’s really great that you go back and reflect and your mind seems to work in a very systematized manner..
Okay I’ll stop inflating your head but well done! 🙂
I am like a machine 🙂
I highly recommend reflection and documentation. Measure everything as if everything were an experiment. Not every experiment will provide actionable information, but you never know when you are going to find some gold nuggets hidden in all the data.
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Love your site, particularly your detailed guide on creating a blog along with this post. Would love to hear about monetization post april 2016? How are your monthly views etc..
Thanks for stopping by. Glad you found the guide useful. I have done other updates since the first 6 month update that you can find here:
1 – First Year of Blogging
2 – 18-months of Blogging
3 – 2 Years of Blogging
Fantastic, thank you for the links.
As always, tremendous detail.
One other question, forgive me if you have already answered this on another post – How many hours approx do you put in per week? I know you have a serious day job as well.
I’m in the process of building a blog and work and am out 13/14 hours a day with the commute so will be interesting to hear how you prioritize your time…
Hey Jake – It is my pleasure! I hope you find those posts helpful in your own journey.
During the first 6 months I was probably spending about 20 hours a week, as there was a lot of technical stuff to learn/implement, I wrote 3X a week, did a lot of guests posts, and was working on social media and commenting on 100 other blogs. But as time has passed my site is stable and I do a lot less technical stuff (or I have made it super easy to make changes). I only publish 1X per week (occasionally 2X), and I have gotten a lot faster at writing with practice.
All that to say, that I probably spend about 4-8 hours a week these days on the blog, depending on my schedule.
Thanks Dom, appreciate your transparency about the sheer amount of time it takes to get set up from a tech perspective.
It’s great your monetization views are really picking up.
Are you planning on doing a 30 month report?
Hey Jake – I plan on shifting my updates to annual updates. I am likely going to do an annual update sometime in Q1 of 2017. Stay tuned…
What a planning? Congrats mate ! and impressed with the analytics you have provided of each month traffic and presentation is very catchy. Love to read this kind of posts which gives a boost to motivate new bloggers. Traffic is important to make money. Thanks for sharing your blogging journey
This post is brilliant. I’ve truly loved reading it. Its really important to read about what other bloggers go through and how that relates to me. It inspired me a lot.
You mentioned a more comprehensive guide to release but I haven’t found it. Could you point me to it?
We have very similar blogs, I hope we can establish some synergies!
All the best
It’s pinned to my menu bar under “Start a Blog” and can be found at this link: http://www.genyfinanceguy.com/start-a-blog/
Sorry for the delayed reply…I thought I had responded.
Very true… First 6 months is like the sad and hardest part for any blogger. I too have gone through the same. Only determined bloggers will come out with flying colors…
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Just wanted to thank you for the amazing post. Everyone talks about how to get big but rarely talk about the start of the journey.
It’s hard when you spend hours and hours perfecting blog posts and website aesthetics to have close to no one appreciate it! I’ve had my blog up for about a month now.
How did you approach other blogs when you were starting out? I want to guest blog but I don’t see why any of the big blogs would even bother!
I’m glad you found the post helpful. When I was pitching big blogs I didn’t do it until I had been very active in the comments section of their blog in order for them to start recognizing who I was. It made it much easier to pitch them to accept a guest post. I also pitched a post that would fit their blog and spent more time on my guest posts than I did my own.