Yesterday marks three years from the day I published my very first blog post: Tips for the Millennial Generation. Since then, I have published
556 557 posts between Entry Level Dilemma, If You Can Read You Can Cook, and Edward Antrobus. Just over 11 months ago, I switched this blog from being about job searching to being about money.
It’s been a wild ride in that time. I quit blogging twice. The first time was due to a hardware failure and I used the excuse to not seek out alternatives to getting online. The second time, I simply ran out of things to write about on the topic of job searching.
2012: Year in Review
This year. I decided to re-invent myself. Obviously, I couldn’t continue to dish out advice on finding a job when I couldn’t find one myself. So instead, I started a self-titled blog to write about personal finance.
Like most PF bloggers, I started out with a very muddled message. Not only did I write about money, I wrote blogging tips. (Blogging tips from a guy who just switched from Blogger and didn’t even have his own domain yet!) I wrote about flagging and hyrdology. I was all over the place.
I made a goal of monetizing my sites and earning $3000 this year. I missed that mark my a long shot, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons in the mean time. As part of this goal, I launched a challenge for other small bloggers to do the same. I got 17 people to throw their name in the ring and I will be announcing the winner on Monday.
I joined the Yakezie challenge. It was one of the best blogging decisions I ever made. I learned a lot about blogging from them. Probably the biggest help was in getting me to realize that I needed to settle down into just one niche for this site. So now, I write almost exclusively about personal finance and mostly about frugality within the larger field of personal finance.
When I joined the challenge, I had serious doubts about meeting the goal of an Alexa ranking of < 200,000. But I made it in about 4 months. Last month, I changed my domain which reset my Alexa ranking, but in just a few short weeks, I am already nearly back down to where I left off.
The most impressive part to me is that I managed that goal while having my webhost lose its servers, taking me offline for a week. In previous times, I would have taken that as a message to quit blogging entirely. But instead I persevered and now I’m more successful than I was then and posed for major growth in 2013.
Top 10 Posts of 2012
A fun part of these year in review posts is always looking at the most popular posts for the year. You may think you know what your best work is, but your readers may have a different idea!
- The $3k Challenge (1390 pageviews, 62 comments). This post launched the first ever $3k challenge. Mentioned on Budgets Are Sexy and The Consumerist. 10% of my total pageviews for the entire year!
- My Money Pet Peeve: Skipping Frugality Because Earning More is “Better” (234 pageviews, 23 comments). A rant about frugality vs income. If you think being frugal is unimportant if you have a lot of money, take a look at Warren Buffet and think again. Mentioned on MSN Money.
- Learn Frugality from the Poor (114 pageviews, 30 comments). Who knows how to stretch a buck better than someone who doesn’t have many to begin with?
- Trying to Get a Raise is Overrated (103 pageviews, 42 comments). My most controversial post to date. In some fields, raises aren’t discretionary and advice for negotiating one is going to fall on deaf ears.
- Why We Have Separate Finances… Sort of (99 pageviews, 34 comments). One of the mantras of personal finance is that the word “personal” is just as important as the word “finance.” Despite the prevailing wisdom that joint finances for couples work better,we developed a hybrid approach that fits our needs.
- Why Cash Value Life Insurance Might Be a Better Value than Term (95 pageviews, 4 comments). This is my personal favorite of all the posts I’ve written to date. I think that Dave Ramsey misses some important psychological cues when he insists on term life insurance.
- When There Isn’t Enough Money at the End of the Month (90 pageviews, 26 comments). My first participation in Saving Advice’s Snowflake Giveaway where I revealed a deeply personal tale of when I was broke.
- Cheap vs Frugal: How Far is Too Far? (89 pageviews, 17 comments) Being frugal is a virtue. But when you start ripping others off, you are going too far.
- Saving Money with Two For One Deals (89 pageviews, 25 comments). One of my Saving Money Series posts, where I ask the question, what do non-bloggers think about frugality?
- Pros & Cons of No-Contract Cell Phone Plans (88 pageviews, 17 comments). I listed the advantages and disadvantages of switching to a no-contract plan. Just a month old, it is already bringing in 17% of my monthly search traffic.
A look at 2013
I’m going to be running the $3k Challenge again next year. It was obviously a success in terms of getting people to visit my site this year. I’ll also be trying to reach that $3000 mark myself.
On the blogging front, the results would show that I should continue to focus on frugality topics, plus informative posts regarding cell phone purchasing decisions.
What was your favorite post of 2012?