I love blogging for fun. It’s a hobby and as such, I make hobby money. A couple of years ago, one could start a blog, pack it with a lot of simple short posts and get a lot of traffic and make money. I know it because I did it. But I ended up quitting the blogosphere because I had more urgent matters to handle with my personal life.
Times have changed. People ask more and more for quality content and with millions if not billions of bloggers out there, competition is fierce. There are a lot of professional writers who, after losing their journalist job, turned themselves to internet and built incredible blogs. They have graphists helping them, they have studios to record podcasts and a team to write incredible posts… These guys make a lot of money teaching people how to do like they did but… most people won’t achieve a fraction of their success.
Running a blog takes a lot of time. You have to write posts, find an audience (promote) because, unfortunately the “build it and they will come” strategy is not working anymore, answer comments… If you pick a niche you don’t like then you’ll end up quitting very fast.
I’ve been blogging in french for more than a year now and here on QuitYourDayJob101 for 6 months. I spent a lot of time writing posts in french or in english (it takes me twice the time to write not even half as good posts in english but I get better and better) and I had a lot of fun doing it. But, my traffic is still pretty low.
While I don’t do it for money it would be fun to see things evolve a little and they actually did. During summertime something happened. I made real money and even received real checks. Not huge ones but hey! It’s money!
For sure if I count all the hours spent on my blogs then I would be better off stopping right now. I probably averaged less than a penny per hour lol But it’s okay.
I haven’t been strategic at all with my blogging. I considered it more like a journal about my journey. One day I’ll be free from the rat race and I want to be able to go back and see how I did it. I want to be able to show my kids what I went through. And, while most people out there don’t care about my life and what I do, I thought I could share my journey, share my mistakes and good shots, share the stuff I learned throughout the way.
I won’t eat ramen noodles for a year to save more like Jason Fieber from DividendMantra did. I won’t retire within 4 years like Jacob from EarlyRetirementExtreme did. I won’t be millionnaire at 30 years old because well I’m already 33. I won’t even publish my real name or my picture because I could have problems with my employer… they have strict policies about being public and while I think these policies are excessive I still need my job and it currently brings me a lot more money (93,000$ per year vs pennies…) than my blogs! These guys are great, maybe even special but I’m a plain and ordinary guy.
Nowadays it seems that it’s all about being excessive if you want to be known. I’ve never been an excessive guy. I pay my bills, go to work everyday and put the garbage can in front of my house every week. As such, I don’t expect to rank number 1 anytime soon in the blogosphere and that’s not my goal either.
But it’s fun to see people coming in and posting occasional comments and I’d like to see this grow.
During the last year I’ve built myself a 30,000$ emergency fund 100% invested in dividend growth stocks. I growed my passive dividend income from 0$ to 1200$ per year in less than a year and I’m still amazed by what I did. Maybe for many folks out there it’s not impressive but for me, it’s amazing!!! Now I’m waiting for my paychecks in order to invest more instead of paying my bills! Just that makes me feel great. I also feel that I have a great plan, a working plan and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The rat race will have an end!
It’s almost like a routine by now. I feel more confident about what I do, I stopped using my credit cards, I refunded most of my debts and lowered my mortgage by a lot. I changed my spending habits and I’m more carefull with my finance in general. I will continue that way for years and if everything goes as planned I should be mortgage free by 2020 at 39 years old and retired by 2026 at 45 years old. The road is still pretty long to get there but things are evolving!
I’d like to do something alike with my blogs. I’d like to find a way to reach more people because I think that what I do could be something that would benefit a lot of people out there. I am not an expert stock investor. I don’t have a CFA and don’t plan to get one. I won’t get a master in finance… But I know a lot of people who do and are doing a lot worse than me. It’s funny to see these high level finance guy “invest” on penny stocks and gamble their money on pokerstar. It is a proven fact anyway that more than 80% of mutual funds runned by “professionals” don’t do better than a simple index fund. All these people pretend they are finance genius but in the end… I’ll let you make your own opinion on that.
The strategy I use is sound and it’s actually working. Spend less than you earn. Save a lot. Invest in property to protect your assets from inflation and let time do it’s compounding job. Even with a 5 or 6% return someone who starts young will become a millionnaire eventually.
With defined benefits pension plans being a thing of the past, people need some guidance as to how to reach financial freedom. Unfortunately school has not shown them how to do it, most parents didn’t know and medias are the worse… they make us believe that people get rich by magic…
So, from now on, I’ll try to be more strategic with my blogging. I might post less often but I will try to post better content. I might even try myself at guest postings and I might also redesign my website a little.
But to kickstart everything, from now on, I’ll keep track of my Alexa ranking.
Alexa.com is an interesting free tool that can help bloggers learn more about their audience and it gives stats about how a website ranks.
On october 15th 2014 I currently rank :
3,796,958 in the world and
382,170 in the US.
29 websites are linking in to my blog. Not bad for a 6 months old blog but I still need to work on that. 🙂
I’ll keep track of these figures here in a google spreadsheet.
I’m anxious to see how things evolves!
Image courtesy of Stuart miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net