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Welcome to the Fly to FI Blogress Report – August 2018! For those of you here for the first time, I post monthly reports detailing my blog stats, income statement, growth strategies, and more! I hope that you get some value out of this report and enjoy reading about my progress. Follow along each month as the Fly to FI community continues to grow!
This month I published 8 articles within 4 categories.
Side Hustles – 1 article
My Journey – 3 articles
Mindset – 3 articles
Investing – 1 article
The screenshots above are from my August 2018 Google Analytics Report which details user interaction data on my website.
Sessions: This is the number of user interactions on my site.
Users: This is the number of unique user interactions on my site.
Page Views: This number represents the number of pages viewed on my site.
Bounce Rate: This percentage indicates how many single-page visits occurred on my site. A low bounce rate is better and means that users are viewing multiple pages on my site before leaving.
Organic Search: This number indicates how many people searched “Fly to FI” in Google (or another search engine) rather than clicking a link somewhere.
Pages/Session: This number is calculated by [Page Views]/[Sessions].
John does a Google Search for the Fly to FI blog and reads three separate articles. He then returns to the blog several hours later and reads two more articles. How does this sequence of events affect my blog stats?
Sessions: +2. John logged two separate sessions.
Users: +1. No matter how many times John logs into my site this month, he will only count as one user.
Page Views: +5. John opened five separate pages to read each of the five blog articles.
Bounce Rate: 0%. John always visited more than one page on my site.
Organic Search: +1. This number is based on how many users search “Fly to FI” in a search engine, rather than clicking a link.
Pages/Session: 2.5. John read three articles in his first session and two articles in his second session (5 / 2 = 2.5).
At first glance, these numbers may seem disappointing compared to last month, but I’m actually quite happy with them! My main goal is to help people achieve their financial dreams, not to worry about the “trophy” metrics of sessions and page views.
Number of Sessions per User, Pages / Session, Avg. Session Duration, and Bounce Rate all improved this month! This means that people actually wanted to be here. Those metrics were slightly depressed last month because I received a lot of referral traffic (Rockstar Finance and Physician on FIRE). Typically, when someone clicks on a link to an article from your site, they just read (or barely skim) that article and then leave.
It’s all uphill from here!
Net Income: $172.12. This was the first month that I didn’t break $200 in earnings. I think this is mainly due to the time spent on my AWESOME new podcast FIRE Below Zero (more on this in Growth Strategies). Let’s take a closer look at the blog’s income streams for August 2018.
FlexOffers: $120. FlexOffers is an affiliate program aggregator. If you own a website or blog, I highly recommend checking them out. I use their platform to promote products or services that I truly believe in. One example is Personal Capital.
Personal Capital is a FREE online tool to help track your spending and net worth. If you’re not already using this awesome software, click here to get started!
SiteGround: $50. This is the best website I have used for hosting a domain. I typically buy my domains through GoDaddy and then host them on SiteGround. The process is simple and SiteGround provides great website speed and customer support. They offer hosting packages from $4.95 per month, but I’d recommend the “Go Big” $7.45 per month option if you plan to expand your audience or have multiple sites. Get hosting with SiteGround today with this link.
M1 Finance: $0. M1 Finance is awesome. They offer FREE robo-advising and the purchase of fractional shares. If you’d rather not worry about your investments, let M1 take care of them for you. They are also commission-free and do not charge asset management fees. I personally like M1 for investing in individual stocks with my “play” money. Check out my M1 Finance review and account setup guide.
Credit Land is a credit card review website. They analyze new credit card bonuses and special offers every month. This site is a great resource for anyone interested in travel rewards. You can apply for your next card through my affiliate link to support this blog!
** PLEASE READ CREDIT CARD BASICS BEFORE APPLYING TO YOUR NEXT CREDIT CARD **
Google Adsense: $2.12. Once again, these earnings are quite pitiful. Oh well! I’m not a huge fan of ads anyway. I only include ads in the footer on my site because ads within articles and content are annoying.
I included my Airbnb referral link and earn a bit of credit whenever someone signs up. If you use my referral link to sign up for Airbnb you receive $40 in free travel credit! What are you waiting for? Click here to get started!
Total Expenses: $0. Seem low? Here’s why.
- Domain: Purchased for $12.99 in April 2018
- Hosting: I already had website hosting set up for Arsenal Discs. On my SiteGround hosting plan, adding another website was free of charge.
- Email list: I currently use MailChimp to run my email list, which is free.
- Housekeeping: Everything you see on the site is done by me! I have yet to hire a tech or virtual assistant.
None this month.
I am constantly trying to grow the Fly to FI Community. I work hard to curate quality content so I’d like to reach as many people as possible. I’ll break down the growth strategies I used in August 2018.
FIRE Below Zero Podcast!
After two months and hundreds of hours of hard work, TJ from Half Life Theory and I have finally released the FIRE Below Zero Podcast! The podcast focuses on financial independence, personal development, and life optimization. We differ from other podcasts in the space in that we focus on income growth (while many other podcasts solely focus on cost cutting).
If you like what you hear, please leave a rating/review! This helps us rank up in iTunes and spread financial knowledge to even more listeners.
This month I wrote one guest post. This post will not be featured until next month so stay tuned 🙂
This month I was featured on one podcast: Journey to Launch.
I also recorded one other podcast this month, but it will be released at a later date 🙂
Back in January 2018, I attended my first CampFI meetup and it changed my life. I received tremendous support from the community and that’s ultimately what convinced me to start this blog.
Anyway, I’ll be a guest speaker at CampFI South this year and it would be great to meet you, readers! If you’re lucky enough to be reading this before it’s sold out, you can use the discount code “FlytoFI” to get $75 off your ticket.
Sign up here or click on the picture below. See you there!
Social Media and Online Presence
Social media accounts are great for connecting with the community and growing the Fly to FI brand. I used multiple platforms quite regularly this month. I also dabbled in a few more than last month. I’m basically just throwing virtual spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
New! – Viral Content Bee
After I received a recommendation from Michael Dinich, I gave Viral Content Bee a try. Although it still seems to be in its beta stages, this website is a sharing website for bloggers. Basically, you earn points for sharing other people’s content. With those points, you can post your own content to be shared! It’s a great platform for reaching new audiences and sharing your content (as long as you’re willing to share others).
This month I was active in a handful of relevant Facebook groups including FIRE Below Zero, ChooseFI, FIRE Drill Community, Mustachians on Facebook, Mustachians in Practice, and FinCon Community.
I enjoy offering my advice and staying up to date with the community. When appropriate, I link to one of my relevant articles in reply to a post.
I increased my Facebook Page likes to 48 this month as well. If you haven’t already, check out the Facebook Page!
Not much of a change in strategy from last month.
Twitter is great for connecting with other bloggers and members of the personal finance community. Using the “share” feature on other bloggers’ sites allows me to quickly share their posts with my followers. Follow me at @flytofi
Not much of a change in strategy from last month.
Although Instagram is not the best platform for increasing blog traffic due to its “link-blocking”, I like to use it to connect with the community. I post at least once every three days and share my daily activities and adventures. Follow me at @flytofi
This is an awesome app to compensate for the “link-blocking” I mentioned on Instagram. You just place your Linktree URL in your Instagram bio and you can link to multiple websites (Email List, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) on just one page! Check mine out here!
Crowdfire / Buffer
Crowdfire and Buffer are social media auto-schedulers. I use Crowdfire to schedule my own content forFacebook Page Posts, Twitter Posts, and Instagram Posts. On the other hand, I use Buffer to share other people’s content on Twitter and Facebook.
I definitely slowed down with these apps a bit, but I still use them occasionally to share content.
This month I used my 15-day trial on Tailwind. Tailwind is a Pinterest auto-scheduler that makes posting and sharing pins easy. I joined several “Tribes”, which is just a fancy term for Tailwind Group. I definitely saw a decent amount of traction after I joined Tailwind, but still less than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you’d like to get 15 days free like I did, use my referral link, please
My Pinterest traffic has picked up in the last month. I went from only a few thousand viewers per month to 25,000. Despite my increased Pinterest traffic, I’m still not getting too much click-over to my site.
For Pinterest, long photos are the name of the game. The longer your photo is, the more likely it is to be clicked. I use Canva to create free, long Pinterest photos. This Pinterest thing is a lot harder than it looks!
Google Plus has not yielded very impressive results. I’ve still been posting my articles in the relevant “communities”, but I don’t see many clicks to my site. I would probably stop posting on the platform altogether if WordPress didn’t automatically publish my posts for me. Check out my Google Plus page and join the Fly to FI Community.
I slowed down my Reddit activity a bit, but the two sub-Reddits that I am most active in are /financialindependence and /Elite_Fin_Bloggers. Subscribe to both and you’ll probably see me writing posts and comments. Follow my Reddit profile here!
I still haven’t posted any videos. In my defense, launching the podcast this month took up A LOT of my time. Follow my YouTube channel here!
This month I was very active in the Rockstar Finance Forums and the MMM Forums. I continued to connect with potential readers and showed that I’m committed to helping others and producing quality content.
I’m slowly moving up in the Modest Money Top Finance Blogs directory. Last month I was at #912 and now I’m down to #828!
I also added ‘Podcast‘ to the main menu. The site is constantly improving and so far it looks awesome!
Last Month’s Goal Analysis
Back in my July 2018 Blogress Report, I set the following goals. Let’s see how I fared!
- Publish at least 8 quality articles – PASS. Despite all of the other projects I’ve been working on, I was able to produce eight high-quality posts in August.
- Write at least 1 guest post – PASS! I wrote exactly one guest post in August.
- Record at least 2 podcasts – EHHH. So I only recorded one podcast where I was a guest… but I launched my own podcast and interviewed over a dozen other guests! That’s gotta count as a pass, right? I think I’ll leave this one off for future goals.
- Grow social media and online presence – PASS! Both my mailing list and social media follower counts grew. Still making progress!
- Make progress on my mega project (to be revealed) – DONE! The mega project was FIRE Below Zero and that was released right on time. It’s so exciting to finally reveal to the community!
Next Month’s Goals
Each month, I outline my future blog goals in the form of a checklist. In my next Blogress Report, I will reflect back and see where I succeeded and where I failed. Writing down this checklist holds me accountable
- Create an FI guide/action plan
- Publish at least 8 quality articles
- Write at least 1 guest post
- Grow social media and online presence
Thanks for checking in to the Blogress Report – August 2018! If you have any ideas to make Fly to FI even better, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next month!
If this content helped you, please share! Website traffic helps to keep the lights on and allows me to keep producing helpful content.