Yup, this week marks the one-year anniversary of my first post being published on this site. Looking back over the year, I’m happy with how this has been going and I’m excited about the coming years.
I had a couple basic reasons for starting this site last year:
- To give myself a place to share my path with anyone interested.
- To build a following and potentially make a little bit of side income.
Looking back on these initial goals, I have to say that things have evolved into more than I expected over this short amount of time. I love to write, but I wasn’t sure just how much I would enjoy doing this on a routine basis.
The good news…
I love it. This site been a great motivational outlet for me. Sometimes I post topics that I’m more familiar with that can help others learn. Other times, I might just go on an occasional rant. 🙂
Regardless, I enjoy sharing and hopefully inspiring others to either start or continue down the path toward financial independence. A real surprise to me has been that the articles that are more motivation or opinion-based tend to generate more discussion than those that are specific to a financial topic or teaching. To Reveal or Not to Reveal My Numbers… was a post that garnered some strong opinions and actually helped to sway me for the time being as well. I was leaning more toward sharing my numbers, but decided to hold off for now just based on some of the feedback I received.
The bad news…
I don’t have as much time to write articles as I initially planned on. I was hoping to write articles every couple of days. However, I quickly learned that if I want to write quality content, I couldn’t just churn out posts that often. Between working a full-time job, making sure to spend time with my daughter, and working on, pursuing, and maintaining new investments, I just don’t have enough time in the day (who does?!!).
However, I’ve settled on a minimum of one article every week. Right now, that seems to be a good balance of things and doesn’t put a strain on “the rest of life.” If I can occasionally publish more, I’ll definitely do it, but I’d rather focus on quality articles over quantity. Another benefit to not posting as much right now is that it’ll help ensure I never run out of content to write since I’m not just pushing it all through at once. When I can finally ditch the 9-5 though, I should have more time to increase my publishing rate.
The other bad news isn’t really so bad. I hoped to bring in some additional income with this site, but so far my advertising revenue is minimal. The reason that this isn’t so bad is because I didn’t plan on making any money at all until around the two-year mark. So I’m only halfway there and I’m starting to see a little light. I’m learning to toy a little more with AdSense and experimenting with ad positioning. I’m also messing with affiliate links for products/services that I trust and use myself. I think that by the end of this second year, I’ll start to see a real profit – not anything I’m going to be able to live off of, but still something reasonable.
Funny enough, one of the sites that I follow, Retire By 40, just posted some information on his endeavors with blogging for income. He’s said that it’s a lot tougher to make money than it used to be. Hopefully once I’ve been around as long as he has on the blogging front, I’ll start to see something a little more worthwhile.
The other good stuff…
Running Route to Retire over the past year has helped to make me accountable. In a weird way, I feel like I have to meet my goals or I might be letting my readers down… yes, it’s strange, but if it works, why not go with it?! It seems like I push myself just a little harder so I can report back on what’s working (and what’s not).
Another side effect of this site is that it’s given me a great opportunity to get to know more of you guys out there a little better. There have been some great discussions in the comments of my posts and I absolutely welcome the feedback – whether you agree, disagree, or have something else to add, it’s always appreciated. Not only do I get to converse with you guys, but I love that I learn a lot of things from you as well.
On top of that, an unexpected turn is that I’ve become more familiar with a lot of the other financial independence and early retirement sites out there. There are some wonderful people out there with a ton of good information. I find myself drawn to other sites to continue to learn and I get a chance to get to know some like-minded people out there.
So thank you all for a great first year – I can’t wait to share more and have some good discussions with you as well!!
Thanks for reading!!