Today is one year blogging anniversary! It was a little over two years ago when I first read the book ProBlogger and said to myself “What a bunch of crap. There’s no way people can make that much money from running a blog!” Boy was I wrong! Despite my initial skepticism, the idea of creating a blog appealed to me in so many ways: 1) I’d have a motivator to encourage me to continue to learn more about money, 2) I’d finally have an outlet to utilize my passion for helping others with their money, 3) it would cost almost nothing to start, 4) if the prophecy of passive income was true, this would surely be one of the better ways to find out. So one year later there I was – with my very own blog. It took a lot of dumb blogging mistakes and relying on a ton of other blogging tips, but all of it got me to where I am today.
Stats & Traffic:
For the main stats, My Money Design at a Google PageRank of 2, SEOmoz MozRANK: 4.49, and hovering around 100,000 for Alexa. Domain Authority and Page Authority are now in the 40’s which is not bad!
Although I’m working to improve my PageRank, I’m actually far more focused on SEO now than I ever was before in an effort to try to draw more organic traffic to this site. July saw 7,331 page views and I’m averaging around 200 visitors per day!
One of the blogging tips I’ve been following is to really concentrate hard on keywords and anything that will help get this blog found in Google. You can do this too by utilizing Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Google Webmaster Tools to see which words work the best and how often your blog is getting searched for those particular terms.
Within one year I was able to publish 198 posts! As much as I’d like to post everyday, I really can’t seem to generate enough material to post more often than 3 times a week (unless I get more quality guest posts or start paying for writers). Unfortunately work and real life just gets in the way of my virtual life. Here’s a few notable ones:
• Most Unexpected Reaction: Is 2 Percent the New Safe Retirement Withdrawal Rate? This post went live at an early time when My Money Design was only getting about 4 to 6 comments per story. Then wham! Dozens of very lengthy and opinionated comments! To be fair, most of them were from one person who chose to hog the forum, but there were also a ton of other valuable contributions from people who had never before commented on my blog. Overall, I was pretty happy to finally hit a nerve on a subject that I had no idea so many people were so passionate about!
• Post Most Fun Writing: Life Lessons I Learned from Super Mario. The Super Mario post was just simply a silly and spontaneous thing to write about. I was glad that everyone got a kick out of it!
• Worst Post: Ways to Squeeze Extra Cash – Sorta … . This post wasn’t necessarily written bad, it just had a jaded experience. I was in mood to write a post where I disagreed with the type of popular, mainstream advice you read on the big media sites. Unfortunately for me, the author of the article I decided to victimize decided to visit my post and voice her opinion of my critique – and she wasn’t happy! Want a great blogging tip? Be careful what you write because you never know who might read it!!
• Personal Favorite(s): Any of my “Which is Better” posts like Which is Better – Paying Off Your Mortgage or Investing the Money? or Which Is Better – Paying Down Your Auto Loan or Mortgage?. The idea behind each one came from a real desire to actually figure out the answer, and use mathematical models to support the conclusion. My regular readers can probably tell you how much I LOVE using Excel and sharing my spreadsheets on this blog.
Also in terms of posting, one of the blogging tips I’ve been following has been to recycle some of my older, yet quality posts that may not have received much attention. This can be done simply by updating their content and reposting them. It’s amazing how many comments I’ve received from posts that were virtually lifeless only a few months ago.
Hooray! Since we’ve started, My Money Design has generated $2,509; most of which was generated within the last 4 months! Now subtract away my initial $57 startup costs, Paypal fees, and commissions to Crystal over at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and I’m left with $2,243. Not too bad! I realize some of you make that much in Google Adsense revenue in one month alone, but hey – I’m pretty impressed that my “virtual real estate” has resulted in this much real money.
One of the best blogging tips I’ve found for this area is to always try to find a way to make things work with advertisers. You don’t necessarily need to take every single offer, but I’ve rarely ever turned anyone away without first working with them through a few rounds of emails where we tried to work out a deal.
Blogging Tips and Goals for the Next Year:
Here are a few of the things I’d like to do better for next year and how I plan to do them:
• Bond more with other bloggers. I will do this by submitting more guest posts, hosting more guest posts, and even hold give-aways! By the way – I wanted to set one up for this anniversary, but it’s been a very busy month for MMD. But don’t worry – I’ll have one some time soon!
• Continue to increase my Stats and Traffic. I feel my stats will only improve with continued relationship building with other bloggers. Improving my chances of getting found in Google is going to come by getting deeper into SEO best practices and keyword research / optimization.
• Increase my subscriber and Twitter follower numbers. This again will come through building bonds with other bloggers as well as trying to increase my organic traffic. Holding giveaways will also help attract numbers. Overall, I must acknowledge that I take full responsibility to be more active in this department!
• Increase income. Once you start making money on your blog, it becomes like a game where you want to make more. How can I accomplish this? Perhaps leverage more affiliate links? Network more with other bloggers? Implement my secret plans to create an eBook and build (flip) a micro-niche website???
May I Help You?
So let me turn the microphone over to my readers and ask what would YOU like to see me do over the next year? What other financial advice or blogging tips can I help you with? I know I tend to write pretty often about retirement and investing. I’m also not afraid to get dirty crunching numbers in Excel. Does anyone have anything more specific they would like me to address about money, retirement, my plans, blogging, writing more funny posts, etc? I’m open to all suggestions …
Above Everything Else …
All-in-all, it has been a wonderful year and a huge experience creating My Money Design! I hope to use what I’ve learned over the first year to get 10X times as much out of it the second year! Thanks again to all my new and regular visitors who have made this possible! I am deeply appreciative and can tell you with great certainty that this blog would not exist without your continued encouragement! Thank you!
1) Blogging Tips from All the Dumb Mistakes I Made My First Year
2) How I Got My Alexa Ranking Below 200,000
Photo Credit: MMD
[email protected] says
Happy anniversary! You are obviously doing an awesome job. Have a great day!
Nurse Frugal says
Super awesome!!!! Hope you have a great day celebrating! I would like to hear more personal stories….getting to know the guy behind MMD 😉 Keep up the great work buddy!!!
Thank you! It’s actually a big coincidence that my wife’s birthday and the blog anniversary are on the same day. And thanks for the suggestion – I’m sure I could talk a little bit more about my life and interject a little more personality into my site!
Thanks Holly! Things have been going strong this week. Next week its back to talking about money!
Mrs. MMD says
Although you forgot to mention that it’s your very patient with your blogging, beautiful wife’s birthday today…Happy Anniversary, Baby!!! Now, keep making that money so I can spend it 🙂 I love you!
Thank you and Happy Birthday Babe! I love you too! Oh sure – you started reading my blog as soon as you found out it made some cash!
Matthew Allen says
Haha! It sounds like your wife was skeptical like mine when you were sitting there blogging for months on end before any money started rolling in.
My wife was skeptical? “I” was skeptical!! Thank God I finally started bringing in SOME money! Blogging is fun and all and I like all the people I talk with. But I was really starting to wonder if I was investing my time and seeing the best return …
Jason @ WSL says
Big congrats on making it 1 year! I think your stats look fantastic and they’re bound to go up if you keep focusing on SEO.
I can’t believe I missed your last post about your blogging mistakes…I’ve been really busy this week. I have some time this afternoon and will check it out.
BTW – it’s pretty awesome that lady stopped by your article and ripped you. LOL.
Thanks Jason! I feel like my stats could look better, but all-in-all I’m good with them. Hopefully next year at this time they’re way higher!
Ha! That lady gave me a real lesson that day! Better watch what you say and who you say it about on the Internet!! 🙂
Alik Levin says
Congrats!! This is very impressive result for the first year.
Thanks Alik! And I must say congrats on you having a PR3. Way to go!
Happy Anniversary! Congrats 🙂
Thank you very much Mackenzie!
Earth and Money says
Congratulations on a full year of blogging! That’s a great accomplishment! Like Jason, I also missed your last post about blogging mistakes, but I’m heading over to read it right now.
Also, love Mrs. MMD’s comment! Can’t forget the birthday!! 😀
Thanks E&M! I’m pretty happy to have been at this one year. Hopefully next year at this time will be equally as fullfilling!
Mrs MMD will have her birthday and celebration today! She’s getting new floors throughout the house this week, so it’s in no way going unnoticed.
Modest Money says
Congrats on the great progress so far MMD. Regarding concentrating more on SEO, PageRank is actually a huge part of that. I’m sure you’ll catch that on my post today 🙂
To be able to take advantage of that keyword optimization you really need the best possible backlink profile. So focus as much as you can on building quality links regularly and the search engine traffic will follow.
Thank Jeremy! Your Wednesday lessons in blogging have been extremely useful! Back linking and link building strategies are probably one of my weakest areas, but I’m up for the challenge of learning something new!
Justin @ The Family Finances says
Congrats on the milestone! I’ve been a reader for about five months, and I know I’ve enjoyed your posts.
One thing to keep in mind: You mentioned that you made a little over $2,000 from your blog after subtracting your expenses. From a tax perspective, you can also deduct such things as the cost of internet access, financial magazine subscriptions (if you read them to get blog ideas), any paid blog design work, your cell phone data plan (if you do blog-related work on the go), and a number of other things to help reduce your tax bill. It’s always best to check with your accountant, but I’m pretty sure he/she will echo what I’ve just said.
Thanks Justin and definitely thanks for being a reader this long! This year will be the first one where I have to report this kind of income on my taxes, so I was wondering how I will do that. I didn’t even think about these things you mention as being possible expenses, but they do seem to fit the bill! A few times I had wondered if forming an LLC was necessary, but I’m not sure what I’d gain from it.
Tackling Our Debt says
Happy Anniversary! You’ve accomplished a lot. Sticking with it through the first year is a huge commitment and you did it quite well.
Cheers to another great year!!
Thanks Sicorra! Hopefully I can find my rhythm and slide through Year 2 with a lot less hassle! I’m finding that writing posts a week or two in advance has really been a huge stress reliever.
Cat Alford @ Budget Blonde says
Sounds like an absolutely fantastic first year! I work with Crystal as well. She rocks! I also enjoyed reading your blogging mistakes – Well I didn’t “enjoy” it but you know what I mean. I got a chuckle out of them because we’ve all made them and it’s good to help others by showing what you could have done better. It took me two years to make the switch to wordpress and acquire a professionally created logo. You should have seen Budget Blonde before….haha
Thanks Cat! I had no idea you had been at this for so long! I guess we all kind of stumbled along and had some learning to do. I can’t imagine having to move my whole site over from one format to the other! How did you come to professionally create a logo? Maybe with a little income I can start entertaining the idea of using something more than my cell phone camera pictures!
jefferson @seedebtrun says
you are doing awesome, sir.. focusing on SEO and keywords is definitely the right path to getting that traffic up.
over two grand in blog income is really pretty outstanding..
congrats on one year!
Thanks! I’m hoping to check my traffic at the end of month and see some improvement! I’m also wanting to turn that $2K into $12K!
DC @ Young Adult Money says
Congrats on the one-year anniversary! I’m almost through my seventh week. Actually this is the first time I’ve been to your blog. I will bookmark it and try to keep up with your posts. Love the Mario post btw.
Thanks for visiting and good luck just starting out! Ha – the Mario post was a keeper!
This is so inspiring, MMD! I’ve never focused on the income side of the equation. But, now I am inspired by your guys — Jeremy, Jason and yourself. Your blog is destined to reach new highs.
Thanks Shilpan! I actually think I focused on the financial side of the equation a little too much in the beginning and got burned, but now I know better. And I’m glad to have made as much as I’ve made. I think I can owe it to a strong combination of getting good ranks and really trying to work with advertisers when they knock on my door.
Nell @ Housewife Empire says
Happy belated blogiversary! I like your ideas for expansion, but then, I’m an idea girl myself. I say ebook and micro niche site all the way! I have been working on a niche site myself for quite some time, so if you ever wanna talk about that, compare notes, whatever, I’m around!
Thanks Nell! You’re the only person so far to have noticed I even wrote that down – very keen eye! I’ve got one new domain registered. My goal is to do something with it within the next four weeks. If my experiment goes well, then there will be more 🙂
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving says
Happy 1st Blogiversary! One year is quite an accomplishment in blogging. Keep up the good work. 🙂
Thanks Jen and welcome to the site! I’m very proud. With the amount of work that goes into these blogs, I feel like I’ve been doing this for a lot longer than I really have! 🙂
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving says
I know exactly what you mean. I just celebrated my 2nd Blogiversary, but it feels more like 5 years. LOL.
Congrats and good job on completing year number 2!
Marissa @ Thirty Six Months says
Happy 1 year! You survived 😉
Thanks Marissa! Whew! Yes I did! A few times it seemed doubtful, but here we are!
With all those lessons learned, imagine how much faster you’ll grow in year #2!
I’m hoping Year 2 is much, much more smooth! Fortunately I’ve a got a notebook full of (what I think are) some pretty decent blog topics, so I’m locked and loaded!
Congrats on one year! You’re kicking butt all over the place…with stats, income…great job. That’s a great tip about recycling old posts. I may just have to do that…I posted a good bit before anyone was even really reading…
Thanks! It is truly wonderful to see the work paying off. For the recycling of the posts, I changed my permalink structure a few months ago to remove the date from my URL and make sure I’d be okay re-posting without 404 issues. Isn’t it sad that you’ve probably got a TON of great older pieces that no one will ever see? That’s how I felt about my own ones, and so I’m slowly bringing a few of them back to life! Doing so also gives you the chance to update them just a little bit to make them that much better.
Matthew Allen says
Your stats (and income) make me wonder if I quit my old PF blog at just the wrong time. Mine was nearly the same age as yours, I started it in late September last year. My stats were eerily similar, before I quit. I was just starting to get the income rolling in… then you say you made most of your $2k+ in the last 4 months! I quit about 4 months ago. Damn!
Regardless, I like what I am doing with my new blog and am certain I will be pleased with the income. The difference being that I am more focused on passive income. With the old blog, it was hardly passive. I’ve proven that by quitting, I lost almost all of the traffic – meaning you have to stay active on a blog to keep the traffic which in turn attracts advertisers.
Great job and congratulations on your first year!
Thanks Matt! Maybe you would or would not have made money if you had kept up with your old blog – its hard to say. I question if my sudden spike in income had anything to do with finally getting some good stats or being recognized on the right blogs or whatever. Perhaps I’ll never know. But I 100% agree. I’m a long ways away from my blog being considered “passive income”. When I first started I thought it was going to be a cake-walk and the money from affiliate links would just roll in. HA!! I was wrong. You’re totally right that if I quit it would all be over. One bright spot is that as I get my rhythm down, I am spending less and less time on my blog. At some point when my income increases ($1K per month) and my time decreases (less than 10 hours per week), I may finally declare this passive income!!
Carrie Smith says
Congratulations on hitting the 1 year mark with your blog! That’s such a cool accomplishment, especially since you never saw yourself as a blogger. You’ve come a long way in a year and you’ve already made some great connections as well as stats and income. Keep it up and I can’t wait to see what MMD has in store for the future!
Thanks Carrie! What’s funny is I still don’t really consider myself to be a blogger 🙂 I’m very proud of all that this community has helped me accomplish, and I will try to make Year 2 a lot more interesting!
Found your blog from Pageonce Blog entry and I am glad that I found this awesome blog. I am very new to the blogging world and still learning a lot everyday. And this article is very helpful and motivating for me.
I have left a quick question for you on 401k plan on the Pageonce Blog. Would appreciate if you could respond. Thanks.
Thanks Rick and welcome to the site! I replied to your comment on PageOnce. I encourage you to stick with blogging and set small goals for yourself. It’s really easy to compare yourself to a really popular blog and want to give up. If you just focus on one thing at a time, build up your readers a little bit at a time, and don’t kill yourself in the process, then you’re going to do just fine!
What an inspiring article. I just started my blog and Ill be reading all your articles to incorporated all your tips to my blog. Hope to see some positive progress just like yours. Congrats
Thanks and welcome to the site! Good luck with getting started and I really hope these tips accelerate your progress.