We’re half way through September so I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect back on August ?. Truthfully, these blog reports are becoming less and less interesting to me so I didn’t rush to whack one out. I’m just hoping this will be helpful to some of you. Shoot me a DM in Twitter if you have specific questions – don’t be shy.
Any who, there’s nowhere to fit my blog report because it isn’t finance related and TFG isn’t making a dime yet. I wrote out half of the important things on the first of September because I knew I was going to forget some things if I don’t. The first 3 months were interesting because…well they’re the first 3! But now all of my reports just sound like they’re repeating themselves, especially in August.
I didn’t implement much of anything in the month of August. My parents were away until the 12th and when they did fly in, my mom stayed another week and she finally left on the 20th. I was back to regular schedule by the 20th. If you notice I only published 2x post a week but I started posting 3x a week again on the last week of August. A new side hustle (I’ll give an update on that in my next income report) has started to take over the remainder of my time so I’m spread a little thinner.
I started this blog on April 22nd and I use to just count backwards which is…really dumb now that I think about it. I guess it was more accurate before but 4 months in and it’s like…this is pointless. I rather look at Jetpack + Google Analytics and it’ll give me the numbers per month without me adding or subtracting anything. I can just look at the posts published and take that number as well instead of what I use to do which was navigating it backwards. I’m back on the official calendar starting now.
What I Love
On a scale of 1 with the intent to blog for profit to 10 for blogging for fun/break even – I’m at about a 8 right now.
You know you’re a loser when you start calling people you’ve met online ‘friends.’ The personal finance community is wonderful and wouldn’t ya know it, we all like to talk about my favorite topic $$$.
I thought in August I wouldn’t be able to find much time to read any blog posts. My eyes and hands were always busy with AirBnB or side hustling. BUT my ears were completely free so I went to the app store and downloaded a screen reader. I started downloading blogger posts onto my screen reader and listening to them while I ran my errands and chores.
I’ve listened to a bunchhh, like sets of audio books worth. I didn’t comment on much though – takes too long for a coherent comment. If humans were so fit to survive, why didn’t we grow more arms to multi-task?! Anyway!!! I’ve been pretty much freeloading and enjoying myself with your posts and you guys don’t even know it. Cheers!
Have you met every awesome blogger on my “Smarter Than Me” Twitter list?
My husband was working on solving the mystery of why my PA + DA was so low. It’s really low. I’ve met bloggers that’s been into it for less than 2 months with a higher page authority and domain authority than me. Organic search makes up less than 8% of my overall traffic and after talking to other bloggers – I learned mine was definitely on the low side.
Hubby installed a Lazy Loader plugin for me. It seems weird that my social & traffic are both ranked in the top #200 but my SEO is a super low (#590) especially when I’ve already read and implemented the basics of SEO and everything has the green light on Yoast. I even have a sitemap, HTTPS and all that jazz.
There’s not much to know about SEO really. As Ms. FAF said: good SEO is just good content.
I must have ? content ???!!!
Part of the reason could be my not-so-SEO-friendly theme. The biggest pain was that I paid for it. The UX builders of a wordpress theme doesn’t have to know anything about SEO to make a good-looking theme. It’s an open marketplace.
I can’t see the back-end but a quick search told me my WP theme builders probably didn’t know jack…
I switched to Juliet of LyraThemes which is a sister theme to (my blog sister) Ms. FAF’s Kale. If I wasn’t so cheap and unsure of which one to pick – I would have converted to Genesis already like I told Cory.
Theme rant: can I have more than a stupid generic preview???…like seriously, for $150 smackaroos w/o a return policy I want a trial of what my content will actually look like.
Google doesn’t like me. The irony is of course, my husband works for Google, just not on the team where they keep the secret krabby patty formula!!! Hubby said that formula is top-secret except to those on the team actually actively working on it. I asked him if he wanted to do an internal transfer for me hahaha.
Anyway, hubby saw how much I was struggling with Google so he said he will spend some time running tests for me. I’ll update that next month because we’re still waiting on results (if any). I think he said it takes 2 weeks. My husband has no prior knowledge to what SEO is and he’s learning it from ground zero right now. It makes me so much more appreciative of his attempts…it’s not hard to see why I love this guy.
I remember staying up late (as usual) one night to finish up a post. Hubby suddenly mumbled to me from the dark of the bed, “you are my wife and I love you and I want you to feel fulfilled.”
Naturally, I started crying, then I cussed at him for being sweet/making me cry and we both laughed. A good marriage is made up give-and-takes. I’m so happy I’ve inspired my own husband to broaden his own scopes and skills. He’s being more active in managing investments, he’s trying to learn the technical side of blogging and he’s thinking about his own plans after FIRE.
My total pageviews were 9,833 for August. My pageviews for the month of July (3rd month blogging) was 8,616. The only goal for me coming into August was to come close to 8,616 number knowing I would be a lot busier. I was surprised to see that although August didn’t offer as large as a traffic bump as the previous months did that I still manage to beat out 8,616. WITH HALF THE EFFORT. Hmm, maybe posting 2x instead of 3x a week isn’t so bad.
I didn’t do anything to boost my traffic because I wanted to see what happens if I just…let it ride on it’s own.
I only checked my traffic once every 2 days or so in August. The entire month for me was relatively passive. I had a fun time making a podcast with Pete from DYEB with Ms. FAF. Other than that, I didn’t do much except write posts and play around on Twitter. Every entry in August was written by me – they were longer than before and they were (in my opinion) just better. A lot better than the first 2 months actually.
Hubby cares about our traffic and pageviews too. On the nights we do go to bed at the same time, I see him on his phone reviewing the website stats for the day. He wants his wife to do well and succeed after all…???
In August, I published 9 posts in total. I like the ease of only 2x a week, it gives me time to just relax and enjoy the content of other wonderful bloggers but because I get the jumps on days I do publish, it makes me want to constantly pump out material. It’s exhilarating to see and it’s horribly addicting. When I switched over to 2x I did notice a 25-30% decline in traffic – yes I still beat last months – but had I published 3x a week instead, I would have cleared the 5 digit mark for sure.
Towards the end of the month (like on the LAST DAY in the LAST HOUR) I was like…ohhh I’m so close to the 5 digit mark…if I only spent some more time on this or that blah blah blah, basically beating myself up for it. I think Cory gave me a few pity views but was 30 minutes too late LOL!
God, I love this community.
All of my posts were well received, I’m happy to report that! I wish I took more notes but I just didn’t pay that much attention to the exact numbers. These were taken from JetPack –
Top Posts for August:
July Income Report (I’m so shocked that this was the most popular post…voyeurs much!!! Hehehe.)
At What Age Does Being Broke Stop Being Cute?
3 Profound Things I Wish I Knew Before Adulthood
How Any Millennial Can Become A Millionaire
My Life & My Cast of Characters (Yay, I was hesitant writing this but I’m glad it made the list. I updated it a bit.)
Marketing & Social Media
Currently have 420 followers – yay! Sorta haven’t been keeping up with my Pinterest. There’s a lotttt of group boards that I haven’t even touched or set up in Board Boosters. I don’t think the number of boards matter anyways. It’s like organized chaos in there so I can’t say I recommend Boosters anymore for anybody with more than 20 group boards.
The delightfully whimsical Ms. FAF has continued to help me with my Pinterest game. She wrote a great Pinterest tutorial here. A lot of people say they don’t understand Pinterest and I totally get that. The concept is basically a virtual mood board; the key is just using Pinterest itself. It doesn’t have to be finance related or with the intent of gathering traffic. JUST ENJOY YOURSELF AND PIN STUFF YOU LIKE. Happy to say my Pinterest seems to be growing slow but steadily on its own so just being active and pinning stuff definitely works. #NoobAdviceProbably
I think I had about 1,760 followers around the end of August. Twitter is really bad at converting to hits but it’s also very fun so it’s OK haha. Twitter is growing itself as well.
The blogger that I stalk on Twitter is Mrs. Adventure Rich. If she doesn’t retweet it, I don’t read it. Everyone should turn Twitter notifications on for her!
I had 700 followers on my Instagram as of the end of August and I got that number without much effort. I am familiar with the platform because I’ve built up an Instagram foodie account organically before. But I’m not very active on this Instagram account (for the record, I have 4).
I delete half the things I post anyways. I don’t know why…just hated the way they look. I’m trying to find an aesthetic to go with but…there’s nothing in my life that’s interesting to post. I’m not like Luxe or Tub of Cash who have content to put up. I have nothing but bad foodporn and pictures of my dog…which doesn’t translate to personal finance at all.
A couple of people from Instagram ended up in my suggested followers tab from Facebook (not sure how exactly, it’s not connected in any way) and I blocked most of them. Some people I kept and followed because…they’re chill enough. But yeah. Thanks Instagram (owned by Facebook by the way) for ratting me out.
Anonononononymity =/= Facebook. It’s a work in progress…
I stopped commenting as much as I did before because of the aforementioned lack of hands. The screen reader plays on a loop so sometimes and I read a blogger’s content twice – especially if it’s good or long. I listen to everything by Financial Samurai twice because his stuff is usually really dense and well written. And FYI, each one of you sound like an automated female robot to me because that’s the only audio option available hahaha.
Hubby also straightened out MailChimp for me in August after Ms. Luxe told me something was wrong with the formatting. One of these weekends, I’ll ask hubby how to customize a campaign.
(P.S. if you are an unlocked member of the Rockstar Forums and using MailChimp, please check out this very useful thread on e-mail authentication.)
I had about 168 or so email subscribers at the end of August. Not only am I surprised at that number – I’m also surprised not a lot of people unsubscribe. I figured they subscribed by mistake you know?
Shhh…don’t tell them.
Mommy blog in..3…2…hahaha no. Not yet.
TFG will be a blog that grows with me throughout the years. I’m really shy in real life so getting to know me via this blog is probably more telling than if you actually knew me in real life.
I don’t work a desk job, I don’t have many obligations and I early retired myself. I needed an outlet to work on my writing (sub-par if I wanted to go pro but comprehensible for now) so I’ll start by creating thousands of entries that are worth reading.
If for no one else but to leave a trace of my existence on a little footnote of the internet.
If for no one else but to practice for the book I’ve tried to crank out for years.
And if for no one else but my husband, friends and (someday) kids can read my ramblings and learn the things I would never actually say out loud.
This blog is ingrained into our biology now. Not only has TFG given me a sense of purpose but it’s also where I go to seek social interactions and friendships. This blog has my own husband excited. Plus, whenever I have a good traffic day, he’s proud of me. Thank you for reading 🙂
Awe when I read that your husband said that I almost cried too! He’s so sweet! I think you are succeeding already you have so many page views per month!!
I had no such thing there’s a screen reader, That’s pretty cool- does she sound like Siri?
He is the sweetest! I actually think the voice is a bit better than Siri! Less robotic and more tonal 🙂
Lance @ My Strategic Dollar says
Great update! Glad you were able to increase traffic with much less effort! You’re doing amazing!
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
Your post is so funny haha. It made me laugh on a boring Monday morning :D. Thanks for the shout-out, Lily! I’d definitely root for a switch to Tailwind. It will make your life so much easier!
Facebook has put my pen name account on hold because I went on a friending spree lol (oops!). I was just trying to be productive in a short period of time *shy smile*. Anyway, Facebook will need to wait.
Jared is such a wonderful husband. I just got Mr. FAF to switch from http to https for me, and I had to flatter him the whole evening @_@.
I just spent $100 on clothes, let’s see how nice he is to me this evening 😀
Cory @ Growing Dollars from Cents.com says
Growing a blog with less time actually spent on it is a bloggers dream. Now with your new theme hopefully that takes your SEO to the next level. I think that was holding you back.
Oh and thanks for the shout out!
Love you Cory! x)
Ms. Raggedly Rich says
Internet friend!!! You’re my internet friend!!! Great job with the blog so far – has it really only been 4 months? Hope the theme works out and those other natty issues get resolved. Mommy blog! I’m looking forward to it 😉
INTERNET FRIENDS! <3
Pete McPherson says
ME TOO ME TOO
The Luxe Strategist says
Aww, this post is so sweet! And Jared sounds like a great husband to be so supportive and helpful. Count your lucky stars, girl.
My theme is not SEO friendly, either. I’ve been bugging the developer to just fix the code already. So I have to manually fix it myself, which is super annoying.
I also stopped promoting much one month, because I wanted to see what would happen. I think it’s good to have a sense of the baseline, without the RF features, etc. And I don’t post much PF stuff on Instagram! I just post the stuff I like from my real life. I feel like that’s the best strategy for someone like me, who likes design and stuff. If people have stuff in common with me, then they’ll follow me.
You’ll def surpass 10k this month, I know it!
I stopped receiving emails from you. Did you boot me from your list?!
Your theme is so pretty though – it’s exactly what I think of when I think of “luxe.” I have Michelle’s course and she said you need to figure out your baseline in order to apply to affiliates. I think your Instagram is gorgeous, it could be the filter or the fabric but it looks exactly what your blog represents. I…didn’t know you could boot anyone?! — snap…I need to check MailChimp..
Adam @ Minafi says
The story with your husband is so sweet! Having someone that supportive in your life is one of the best things you can ask for.
Thanks for the heads up on the Lazy Loader plugin – I’m going to have to check that out! I have some posts that take forever to load, and that might end up really helping SEO. If you find out something that works for it, I’d be super interested too. My search traffic makes up a whole 1.5% of traffic. :/
How many posts do you have up? What keywords are you using? How old is your blog? 1.5% is pretty low but if it’s a blogger younger than 3 months, Google probably hasn’t indexed it fully yet. I’ll keep you updated! My favorite is A3 Lazy Load.
Pete McPherson says
Damn you have some entertaining reports….and I’m only 10% here for the actual stats. I just enjoy reading yours, and I don’t say that lightly!
Fave lines: “HALF THE EFFORT,” (there’s something to this), and your Google marketing strat 🙂
Love you Pete – I’ll share Google marketing strats after…well when we figure it out. My husband seems to like doing it – it’s like a puzzle.
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life says
“You know you’re a loser when you start calling people you’ve met online ‘friends.’”
Hey now – you just made an early discovery of the truth of blogging. You make some amazing friends here. I’m going into Year 11 (or 12?) of PF blogging and I have friends from the blog with whom I’m about to celebrate ten year anniversaries! I would never have believed it a decade ago, but these are people I trust enough with my deepest secrets – what few I haven’t shared on the blog 😉 – and that’s saying something.
May you be blessed with the same wonderful sorts of people as you continue to blog.
I can’t wait until we’re 10 years old so I can tell another newbie the SAME story Revanche!!!
Love seeing your updates Lily! And it’s soo smart to get a screen reader though I feel my comment game would drop (though it’s already rubbish, but I’m trying!) I’ve been using Feedly to keep track of my favorite blogs (yours included, of course!), and it’s great because it shows when people have new blog posts and doesn’t show you old stuff, and like email you can “mark as read”. It’s a great way to remember to click through and comment because before I would just surf around twitter and then leave tabs open that I needed to comment on…which was the worst commenting management strategy ever!
I finally got on Pinterest this month! Yay! Well actually this weekend, and I’ve been pinning like crazy. The unfortunate thing is I think I’m a natural pinterest addict and could just organically pin for hours and hours. I hardly even pin anything of my own because I’m too busy setting up a board for pinterest marketing strategies and pinning pretty images to it!
I need to start using the word ‘rubbish’ 🙂 how come you’re always giving me awesome words – like eBay cleanse!! (which is going horrible..) I need to try Feedly for my sanity and Twitter addiction. Hey hey, that’s actually my commenting strategy!!…oh…yeah no it’s awful. AWFUL.
What’s your Pinterest!! (Nvm I’ll find it hahaha) – feel free to ask me and Ms Faf about Pinterest stuff via DM 🙂
Money Miser @ Money-Miser.com says
I feel you in regards to not having enough arms. It’s hard enough to write 3 informative posts per week, I find it very difficult to find time to actually read and comment on other blogs. I like your monthly report, it’s interesting to read as a new blogger myself!
Thanks MM 🙂 I think my reports are boring – if it wasn’t for the SEO news, this would be completely blank haha.
Your husband is too cool!! He wants you to do well and is giving all the support that he can by checking your blog stats and learning SEO.
Great job with the views after only 4 months!! It’s really impressive.
Hopefully the new theme working out for you, it looks great for us readers. Keep up the great work, Internet friend!! Hahaha!!
Love you Internet Friend :3 :3 :3 <3 We need to chill in SF sometimes though, us and Millennial Money Diaries xD
Definitely, let MMD and me know when your in the Bay Area!!
Honestly, you aren’t doing badly! My blog is over a year old and less than 3% of traffic is from Google and I don’t get as many pageviews as you do. Sooo frustrating! (not wanting to link to it because also so embarrassing.)