(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.)
The funniest thing happened. I promised in my last blog update that I would be more consistent with my writing. And then I ended up taking a huge break. Whoops. Probably didn’t score too many points on reliability with that one. I, for one, blame the holiday season. I had shopping to do. People to see. Fine…it was all my fault. I knew I wouldn’t be able to write anything during the holidays. Well, I was actually in Canada for 10 days freezing my butt off. But somehow I initially convinced myself that I would.
Next time, I’ll be prepared (I think). Now, onto the good stuff.
Site Changes – Appearance
Not much here, guys. I’m still sticking with my theme. I still want to get a logo. If you have any suggestions on how to even start with that, please let me know. I feel like I might get stuck forever trying to pick out and design the perfect logo. Same with the header. Right now, it literally just says the site’s name. Which I think is fine. But it’s black text on a white background – minimal, yes. But maybe too minimal? Is that a thing?
Regardless, I’m fine with the overall design of the site right now, but the logo/header might see some changes down the road.
Site Changes – Content
Oh boy. Well, in my previous update, I mentioned that I planned on writing a personal finance book. How’s that going for me? Well, you see… I haven’t started. To my defense, I did say that I planned on writing one. Admittedly, it was extremely hard to get started towards the end of last year. In fact, I’ve realized it’s hard to do anything at the end of the year.
But 2018 will be different. This is the year of the book. I’m going to do it. Even if it takes me all year. If I make any sort of excuse as to why I didn’t complete some sort of book (even if it’s just a small e-book) by the end of the year, feel free to put me to shame.
Other than that, I’m still writing all my own articles. And they’re all now devoted to personal finance. In my previous article on Best Personal Finance Apps, I did mention that I would start doing app review articles once a month too. That should start this month and hopefully add a lot of value for you guys!
What I Like
- The Numbers: December has been my best month to date. (Not saying much, since I’m only a few months old, but still!)
- Pageviews: 61% growth from November (1292 views). That’s good. More people visiting my pages. But as always, this doesn’t tell the whole story.
- Sessions: 74% growth from November (787 sessions). Also good, this shows more engagement than just a pageview.
- Users: 213% growth from November (444 users). More people accessing my site this month than ever before! Hopefully not just one person visiting my site hundreds of times a day.
- Social Media: We’re still growing consistently in this department, although I haven’t focused on it as much as I should.
- Facebook: I’ve gained around 20 additional followers this month. Healthy, but nothing extraordinary.
- Instagram: I started this about a month ago. I’m currently sitting at around 130 followers. Surprisingly, this is the platform that has the least amount of followers, but gets me the most traffic. Looking to grow this one more! For now, I’ve been posting photos and quotes. I can definitely be more creative with this one.
- Twitter: This is the first one I started, and I’m still growing steadily. I recently crossed 300 followers, which is a +50 growth from last update. I will continue to engage with the PF twitter community (they’re awesome), and look to grow more here.
- Pinterest: Let’s not talk about this one.
- Comments: Like I always say, I’m a huge fan of engagement. This month saw less than last month overall. But, people still were engaged in articles. In fact, some comments were made on really old posts, which is great. Keep them coming!
- Giveaway: I did a giveaway last month. And I want to do more in the future. Next time, I’m hoping to do something with more reader participation.
- Subscribers: Maybe directly related to the giveaway, but I did experience a 50% growth in email subscribers. Not a huge number because I didn’t have a lot to begin with, but so far no one has unsubscribed after the giveaway. So hopefully, they actually do enjoy my writing as well!
- Words: I’ve been trying to hit 1800-2000 words per blog post now. I heard that longer posts were better and that this was the sweet spot. Although, if you have suggestions on that, I’d love to hear! It’s hard. I remember writing essays in school and I’d dread it when teachers told us it needed to be X amount of words. But luckily, this is enjoyable for me. Still, it’s certainly not easy.
What I Dislike (Improvement Opportunities)
- Posting Consistency: Like I mentioned in my first paragraph, the month of December definitely took a hit. I technically only posted two new articles the entire month (one article was posted on the last day of November, so I thought I could let that count as December). Ugh. But hey, it’s a new year. No more partying. No more celebrations. All work. All day long. Just kidding. But really, I’m going to get good at this consistency thing. One day.
- Promotions/Ads: I dipped my toes into Facebook advertising this previous month. I didn’t spend a lot of money ($10) to just try it out. A lot of other people told me that it was a bad idea and wasn’t beneficial for their blog at all. Well, I’m like one of those kids who never believe what anyone says until they try something themselves. Like touching a hot stove. Well, this advertising worked out exactly as people had warned me. I can’t wait to get emails of people telling me “I told you so.” Just kidding – but I really do deserve it. Still looking into other ways to promote my blog though.
- Organic Search Growth: I still believe that growing organic search is a key factor in obtaining consistent Daily Active users. Although in my previous update, I saw an increase in organic search, this time around, it has stayed relatively stagnant. A lot of my views are still dependent on social media. I need to keep working on my SEO (search engine optimization). And publish content consistently.
- Email Campaigns: So, email is still king. And getting subscribers has not been an easy task. But what do I do with my current subscribers? Not much, to be honest. And this is where I think I need to focus next. Proper email campaigns. I want to add value to these people who are subscribed to me. Not just remind them I have a new post each time. If you’re awesome at this, or have a lot of experience, please let me know! I’d love to get ideas and suggestions.
Jan 2018 Income Report
Well, here we go. First income report. Last article, I told you guys that I’m trying to fully support a FinCon ticket through my blog alone. At the current rate, it might be difficult. But it’s not impossible either. So, here’s hoping to more success in the next few months!
Bluehost: $130 – Two people signed up through my blog. That’s awesome. I’m glad that I can help people kickstart their journey into blogging.
Birch Finance: $2
Google Ads: $6.40 – I know there are people against having ads. It’s true. The return is really small and they may be an eyesore. I’m still on the fence about these. I know down the road, these aren’t even worth your space once you are really big into affiliate marketing.
Ticket price: $449 (unless it increases again)
Current earnings: $142
$142 / $449 = 32% of target
I actually don’t know when’s the latest I should be buying the ticket. But, I’m about a third of the way there. I would love to be able to add all meals + coffee/soda for the additional $299. But let’s be real, we have to get the entry pass first.
To be honest, I’m really happy with my progress so far. I wasn’t expecting to earn any money in my first year blogging (yeah, yeah, that’s what everyone says). Obviously these are not crazy numbers. I see others posting about getting hundreds of dollars after blogging for a month. I know these are typically exceptions. But I also know that there are many people are much more intelligent than I am who really know how to monetize their blogs properly. For me, I definitely want to strike the proper balance between publishing awesome content and reaching my earnings goal.
Maybe this comes in the form of offering services. Writing guest posts/content. I may have to gain more credibility to do this type of thing. But the potential is out there.
So, I’m going to keep on learning and growing here. The target is within sight. It’s not out of reach, for sure. But it’s still a long road ahead.
2017 was great for me. I kicked off my blog. Getting it off the ground was huge for me. I feel like I’ll be in takeoff for a while before I can start cruising. And that’s what 2018 will be for me. It’s finding my voice. Understanding the balance between writing/marketing. Figuring out the best ways to monetize my blog. Creating unique and interesting content for people. There’s so much to do and learn. It’s going to be another great year.
So, I’ve voiced out many questions for help/feedback. I know a lot of you guys out there have a wealth of information. Please send me an email if you have any suggestions/feedback to any of my questions in this article. Or if you want to just help out!
Or you can comment below. I love comments.
For the rest of my readers. How was your New Year? Any goals/resolutions you set? (Have you already failed them…ha)?
Once again, thanks for reading and keeping up with my journey!