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!
Photo Credit: MMD