Woot woot! Please ignore how late this blog update is. I’ve put it off because there were a lot of things I wanted to say for my 6th month. It was surprisingly complicated to write. The original blog report had over 5,000 words. I finally trimmed it down because most of it was rants and blogging lessons I’ve learned. Those would be much more helpful if I took the time to organize them better than laying it all out there. Some topics deserve a chapter all on their own.
I’ll give a quick index of the list of blog topics that I want to get into – would any of these be of interest?
Biggest pet peeves of blogging itself.
Tech issues make me want to vomit.
How blogging evolved my marriage.
Is it sad that blogging changed my life?
How to prevent ticking other bloggers off by accident.
Possible reasons why some blogs do well and others don’t.
How many times you can refresh your page views before crashing your website.
How to kiss Google’s ass.
7 blog things I know I’m failing at and why it’s important.
How a donut like me survived the first 6 months of blogging.
Do I actually like blogging or do I just like my niche?
That’s just the partial list of what I wanted and been wanting to say for months. FOR MONTHS.
Unfortunately, it’s not personal finance related so I’ve refrained. I like writing about money. I like reading and writing storytime and money diaries. But I have to get some blog rants out there because it’s just not natural to spend 20-30 hours a week working on something (i.e. blogging) and not say a word about it.
Finance and Airbnb may consume a good portion of my life but blogging has eaten a chuck out of it too! Blogging is as much social interaction as I care to get from people these days. Blogging about blogging is basically what happens when feelings get bottled up and your life becomes consumed by it. It’s a pretty fair and common occurrence. It feels weird to have blog advice on a personal finance blog but I have nowhere else to put my thoughts.
Maybe once in a while, I’ll sprinkle that in because blogging is a life changer. If I wrote out the things that I’ve learned about blogging then it would be an epic rant of nothing less than 30,000 words by the time I’m done. If you have no interest in blogging, please skip these posts.
I should have copied my blog sister over at Frugal Asian Finance sooner. The girl knows what she’s doing. She has sprinkled in some of her content on blogging and I love reading them. I never thought to write any myself until her post about blogging and marriage that got to me. It felt so relatable. I share a lot of the same points of view as her.
I get almost spammy requests about product testing/putting links on my site/advertising etc. I’ve not taken any of those requests seriously. I also don’t want to put ads on my website. They are ugly and not worth it unless you have 50,000+ pageviews.
I signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate last night just to recommend those Amazon sample boxes that I get. I have all of them (except the fitness box) and they’re definitely worth it for the credit back. The only downside is they’re not eligible for Prime shipping. BlueHost reached out to me again recently and I’m in talks with Wesley (he’s so nice!) Lastly, I added my referral code from Airbnb (where you can get $40 off if you book a trip costing more than $75.)
There’s 8% of me that wanted to wait for Ms. FAF to monetize together. I guess I can be the guinea pig by dipping my toes in first. If I get more of an idea of what to expect then it’s less confusing for her later on.
My year of Tailwind and Michelle’s affiliate course were my biggest expenses. The rest was just BlueHost, domain, and domain privacy. Ms. FAF and I are pretty frugal about blogging. I know for a fact that you do not need a lot of money to blog successfully. Me and Ms. FAF discussed this briefly on Pete’s podcast.
Past Blog Reports
May 1st Month Blog Report – 1,110 Pageviews
June 2nd Month Blog Report – 6,603 Pageviews (+494.86%)
July 3rd Month Blog Report – 8,616 Pageviews (+30.49%)
August 4th Month Blog Report – 9,833 Pageviews (+14.12%)
September 5th Month Blog Report – 15,457 Pageviews (+57.2%)
October was my best month ever. We got 28,850 page views in 31 days. It was like Christmas came early. The successions of traffic jumps are all thanks to fellow blogger love. It was like one right after another. Here are some of those who gifted me the gift of blog traffic.❤
1) That story about my husband’s remarkable dumb luck was featured in the good doctor’s Sunday Best series. Along with Physicians on Fire, the lovely Gen Y Money also threw me into her blog roundup. My husband’s dumb luck is my favorite post. It was a completely impromptu write-up.
The reception I received was surprising. I didn’t know it was good until other people told me they loved it. To us, it was just a succession of things that happened. It is sort of crazy when you think about it. I have my own version. I believe we all have our own version of that story if you sat and pieced it together.
2) I wrote a guest post for Mr. AE. The post is on my husband’s side of the family that I wanted to keep away from this blog. It’s a personal dive into why some parents withhold financial information from their children.
3) Christmas definitely came early! Mr. Groovy wrote a post that totally made me blush. He addressed the perils of Asian Americans and the odds some of us / our parents had to overcome. It was an honor being featured and cherry on top was being there with Ms. FAF, RetireBy40, and Financial Samurai too!!! Mr. G got 3 out 4 right haha. One may have snuck by with just dumb luck.
4) Married with Money featured one of my least popular posts in October in his blogroll. Hey hey, I thought it was clever! *Crickets*
I made a very bad celebrity pun. To my surprise, it was featured. Thankfully I think the joke went over better than I thought and reading it over, it was pretty funny and clever. I am also thankful no one tweeted it at Nicolas Cage on Twitter; although, personal finance knowledge would do the guy some good.
I can’t beat Ms. FAF’s rockstar feature though! I said to her…”did you get just featured for writing about pee?!” LOL.
AND AND AND AND…
I’m up there in the Rockstar Finance Directory with the BEST of ’em. Mr. Apathy, Luxe, and Bitches Get Riches!! ✨✨
If you told me at the beginning of October that I would get so much love from other bloggers, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was a perfect month of gentle rolling traffic and the support was overwhelming. I don’t know what else to say/whimper except…
Top 5 Most Popular Posts
Don’t (Nicolas) Cage Yourself In Financially
How Dumb Luck Made My Husband A Rich Man
8 Frugal Reasons To Have Two Phones
How We Keep Our Food Costs So Low
New Post Count
The honest to goodness part of blogging is seeing the page views of your daily post count go up. I went from posts getting 100 views to the majority my posts hitting the 200 views mark. It’s still small fish compare to most bloggers but I’m thankful for the jump. I don’t know why or when exactly but I remember the jump was sudden. It’s like being on a seesaw, you’re either up or you’re down. Since you can’t really control it, it doesn’t matter. You gotta do you boo.
Read this: it’s better to grow your blog your own way.
Marketing & Social Media
I try to comment on 3 different blogs daily. During my 1st and 2nd month, I was better about commenting. Now I’m just late because I listen to it on my screen reader hands-free, then tell myself I’ll leave a comment later (but forgets.)
Since I am on the West Coast, the publish time for a lot of blogs on the East Coast happens at 4 AM for me. Sometimes I miss it and sometimes I’m still up at 4 AM. It’s a bit exhausting. I still think commenting on other blogger’s content is extremely important although I wish I had the time to do it more often than 1-3 times a day.
I had one of my pins go viral for a few hours before it died down. It received 600 individual visits within an hour and went dead from there. Pinterest is confusing as heck. Who in the world is spreading the rumor that I know what I’m doing on Pinterest?! I would have more than 500 followers if that was true. Some new bloggers that have just started already have 2,000 followers. I have no idea what gathers followers on Pinterest.
Pinterest is just perplexing to me, I’ll figure it out eventually. There are days I get 0 new followers and then suddenly, bam, 7 new followers without executing even a slight change. I started Tailwind (use my referral link to get $15 off your trial) and deactivated my Board Booster account for now as a test. I can see there might be occasions where having both Board Booster and Tailwind would be helpful but I need a better reason than “there might be occasions.”
I’ve crossed the 2,200 follower mark! My Twitter is where I socialize with other bloggers. It has a terrible ROI in terms of time put in but the platform is fun. Do not use Twitter to build your traffic. It simply does not work. Twitter dropped to 4th and 5th place in terms of referrals. I’ve become accustomed to direct messaging other bloggers on Twitter so it’s really a place you should start, not the place where you end.
I have not touched Instagram in a long time. I forgot about it the entire month of October.
I have not touched Facebook in a long time. I forgot about it the entire month of October.
I’ve crossed over 265 subscribers! The open rate is bad. Every ProBlogger says to hone your subscriber’s list but I don’t really believe that. I have to look into how as well. I don’t see how email sign-up numbers are related to traffic. Maybe a giveaway or something would improve open rate? I should start marketing my freebies tab a little better.
I love Google and Google loves me (sometimes.) Thank you hubby, whatever you did to my SEO game. If any, I have no idea, we did these 3 things all at once. I switched my old theme to this one, downloaded a free WordPress optimizer to load the blog faster. Lastly, hubby switched my blog from HTTP to HTTPS.
Goals For November
I heard it’s really easy to get burned out so I’m not too rushy-rushy. October was a total fluke. If I can even get 25,000 page views for November then I’ll be really happy because there is no way I’m going to beat my 6th month miracle.
There’s a lot of pressure on me and Ms. FAF to grow. We’re one of the few bloggers out there who actually put our pageviews out in monthly blog reports. She and I have talked about this before. For the first few months, both of us were really nervous about having a bad month and having to put negative numbers out. It’s embarrassing. Thankfully, we’ve both lightened up. She’s burned out and I’m like ‘eh.’
Ms. FAF told me I have a pretty mellow personality. She compared blogging to school and I suddenly got a flashback of me being in school. It IS exactly like how I treat blogging. I was a mellow student. I’ll study for an exam last-minute, go in half-assed, take my B grade and make it up later. I’m not the type to go out of my way to pull an all-nighter or go to tutoring unless someone forced me. I just hope for the best. So here’s to November! I hope to somehow come out OK! >_<;;
Mrs. Adventure Rich says
Niiice! I love the way you present these reports. I feel like you are just chatting with us (your audience!). Keep it up 🙂
That’s the goal haha!
Jeff @ Maximum Cents says
Congrats Lily! Even though I’m newer to blogging than you I learned to stop obsessing over traffic counts. It’s frustrating not getting much traffic when starting out but if you build great content they will come.
It’s very important to stop obsessing over traffic. You have to write for you! Not anyone else!
That’s some intense traffic! I’m looking to continue to grow my traffic, it might be a 6 or 7k month here. Id love to be at your level in a few months.
You will Erik! Keep doing you!
Justin @ Atypical Life says
That is awesome! I only wish I could have that kind of traffic. After 10 months I am still wallowing around at 4-5000 pageviews. Better than nothing, but you guys seem to have more magic sauce (ie better marketing) than I do. At least there are things to learn from. Thanks for the lesson.
I spend more time on my blog is why. Most people like you have full time jobs.
Justin @ Atypical Life says
Oh yeah, You can probably boost your open rate on emails by switching to a service provider that lands in the Gmail inbox instead of the promotions tab. The current thread on Rockstar Finance Forums is enlightening.
Yes I saw that before! I was thinking sending it out manually.
That’s some exponential growth, you almost doubled the pageviews from the previous month!!! Keep up the good work!
Producing these monthly blog report def brings a lot of pressure. It feels like you are running a publicly traded company, and have to publish your results publicly!
99to1percent recently posted…Blog Report for First Full Month (9,262 pageviews) Stats & Strategies
Haha yeah! It does feel like that! >_<
Foreign BornMD says
Lily, you are so nice & down to earth. I love hearing of your challenges and experiences in life, blogging, etc. Here is to more success to you as you keep walking the blogging journey. Thanks for answering some of my questions too – many days, I am like – what the heck am I doing?
Thank you 🙂
Britt @ Tiny Ambitions says
Congrats on your six month blogaversary! I would probably read all of those topics you listed. But, I am a blogger, so I might be biased. As for Pinterest- gosh it is so confusing! One of my pins went viral and I got a TON of pageviews from it. When I checked my Google Analytics though, it had totally tanked my bounce rate. So, a lot of people came to the blog but they didn’t stay. I’m not really interested in that kind of traffic at all (and I’m not sure Pinterest is built for the slow, steady kind I want). Thanks for all of your insights!
Yes exactly Britt! I’m not sure what the hype around Pinterest is.
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
Congrats on a successful month of blog traffic, amazing content, and great features! Good thing you captured our combo on Twitter. We talk so much I’m pretty sure that convo has been buried somewhere hehe.
You made it to the up and coming blog list with Luxe and Tim. Yay! Thanks for the shout-out and the love as always!
P.S. I don’t get Pinterest either. It’s just so random! @_@
I’m glad I asked your permission first, didn’t want any embarrassing out there bawahaha.
Dave @ Married with Money says
Crushing it! Great job.
Sad that I included your least popular article hahaha!
Lol at least I got some love for that one!! Thank you Dave!
Mike from Budget Kitty says
Lily, your traffic numbers are amazing! I love seeing the exponential growth from month to month. Keep up the good work!
It’s not gonna be growth in November. This month was a total outliner ;(
Chris @ Duke of Dollars says
Nice job Lily you’re doing awesome !!
Sara @ Gathering Dreams says
Wow Lily! This is so inspiring! I am really interested in all the topics you listed above.
My blog is quite new (less than a month old) and I get so excited when I check my google analytics and I see that one or two people ARE on my website while I am checking the stats. How sad is that? 🙂 I am so impressed by where you got in such a short time. I wish I could do half as well as you did when I get to 6 months! Good luck for the future!
Bawahahah yeah I’ve been there. Not sad! Normal! I think Ms. FAF has had a much better track record holding together her blog than me.
The Luxe Strategist says
I love all those topics! So awesome you are on the up and coming list, too!!! I’m going to optimize some of my posts for SEO. It’s pretty easy and a low-level effort to get passive traffic. Pinterest I’m still on the fence about. I know I say that every time…
You would rock Pinterest! For me, it’s either meh or ??? what just happened, why is this random thing viral??? so you can put it off later. Build your real base first.
Dads Dollars Debts says
You are a rock star in my eyes. You are killing it and nice work. I may try tailwind. Haven’t don’t it yet…anyway keep up the good work.
Tailwind is worth it more than Board Booster so if you do try out one, try TW first!
Amy @ LifeZemplified says
You are so awesome at this. All your topic ideas sound wildly interesting to us other bloggers. Keep having fun!
Haha I will Amy! <3
Mrs. Kiwi @ KiwiAndKeweenaw.com says
Those sound like some fun and funny articles! I won’t be complaining if you write about them! I’m super impressed by your report! I love your conversational tone!
Thank you Mrs. KK. It’s conversational because of my short attention span.
Sylvia | Mommy Over Work says
Ah, you are of those who doesn’t have to try hard and do well in school…Lol. I admire that you know what you’re working towards and that you actually do the stuff to get there. But instead of obsessing over it, it comes naturally to you. Keep up the great work!
No I was one of those that didn’t try hard and did average in school hahahaha!
The Grounded Engineer says
Great job, Lily! It’s been great to follow you from the start!
Thank you Taylor..? Which one of you is this lol.
The Frugal Onion says
Congrats on 6 months! Your numbers are amazing and I can only hope that one day my pageviews come close to yours. And as far as Pinterest – I have given up 🙁
You’re new! Give it time!
Awe thanks for mentioning that I mentioned you! I love reading your posts, they are funny as heck! Your numbers are crushing it!
I agree, Pinterest is Positively PERPLEXING (did you like my alliteration there)- it’s hit and miss even with Tailwind.
Tailwind at least saves me time at least 🙂
It does save time! It crashes my Chrome occasionally though ;(
Handy Millennial says
Love. this. post! Actually I would like to read this version: “The original blog report had over 5,000 words. I finally trimmed it down because most of it was rants and blogging lessons I’ve learned.” Can you just start a new feature on your site called “rants that I haven’t shaped into actual writing yet”? I think this would be a hit. Its super useful to read your thoughts on blogging because you are just a few months ahead. This content is very relatable. I look forward to the next installment!
Hah! Thank you Handy. My rants are full of cuss words lol.
Really impressive growth! And I love this: “It feels weird to have blog advice on a personal finance blog but I have nowhere else to put my thoughts.” I’ve written 2 posts on blogging over the last 3 1/2 months because felt like I’d burst if I didn’t!
Yes! Exactly Jenny!!
Really inspiring post!! Your blog is one of the inspirations for the journey I am currently setting out on; 7 years to Financial Independence and to add some challenge to it I am living in one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world: Sweden. I started http://www.thefireviking.com after having read yours and gotten very intrigued by it, now setting a similar goal for myself.
Ahh congrats! I saw it a few days ago before it was opened and now it is! You have a Twitter too right?
Money Beagle says
That’s impressive. I’ve been doing this for 9 years and I still get largely ignored by the PF community. You’re very blessed to have found fellow bloggers that have pushed for your success.
That’s because I spend a lot of time on the side socializing with my bloggers and readers hehehe. Are you on Rockstar forums?
This is funny. And accurate. I guess I’ll use your Tailwind link but I do not understand Twitter. It’s weird commenting on an old post like this because you’re a superstar now from what I can see.
Marissa | Squirrels of a Feather says
Don’t be ashamed of your pageviews! I really enjoyed reading your report (went on to read the story of your husband’s dumb luck too). I had just published my 6th month blogging report and went to see how it’s indexing and I found yours! I would love to put my blog up on the Rockstar Finance forum, but husband is totally not onboard with it…looks like we would be a bit above Tub of Cash. I will look forward to seeing more from you!
myearly retirementjourney says
Your 6-month growth is amazing especially if it’s organic and not Pinterest driven. Way to go! I certainly am not feeling any Pinterest love either. Still trying to figure out your strategy… was it really engaging that much on RF forums? There’s lots of good content out there but how do people know to look for it!
Thanks for sharing this report, it was exactly what I’ve been searching for. The growth of your blog is impressive -congrats! I’m four months into blogging and I’m happy to see my travel blog growing. I try to set both short and long-term goals. Blogging is a nice journey, one of the nicest I ever had. Take care and all the best!
Pooja Mandal says
Wow! That’s so cool. I am also on my 6th ,onto of blogging but have had just 4k page views in total. Wish to achieve much more in the coming days. The details of your Marketing apps is something that I really enjoyed reading.