Latest posts by Cody (see all)
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Welcome to the Fly to FI Blogress Report – June 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 6 articles within 3 categories.
My Journey – 1 article
Mindset – 4 articles
Travel – 1 article
The screenshot above is my June 2018 Google Analytics Report which details user interaction data on my website.
The FIRST number displayed is the May 2018 statistic. The SECOND number after the “–>” is June 2018.
Sessions: 1,426 –> 1,062.
This is the number of user interactions on my site.
Users: 944 –> 722.
This is the number of unique user interactions on my site.
Page Views: 7,391 –> 2,099.
This number represents the number of pages viewed on my site.
Bounce Rate: 57.15% –> 63.28%.
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: 28 –> 67.
This number indicates how many people searched “Fly to FI” in Google (or another search engine) rather than clicking a link somewhere.
Pages/Session: 5.18 –> 1.98.
This number is calculated by [Page Views]/[Sessions].
Here is an example to help you better understand these numbers.
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 face value, my blog stats suffered immensely from last month. Five out of the six metrics declined. I think this is largely due to two main factors.
- The “new blog” hype wore off. I had a lot of repeat visitors to my website this month. Page views declined most significantly because users were not “clicking around” on my site as much. Instead, most readers would read one or maybe two articles and then exit the site.
- I only published six articles. This was a relatively low month for me in terms of content creation. However, I went on some awesome vacations and flew back to the States from Australia. More about this in my “June 2018 Goal Analysis” section 🙂
Despite duller numbers, I’m still extremely optimistic about the future with no plans to slow down the site’s growth. This is still really fun and it feels amazing to share my thoughts and insights with the community!
Net Income: $270.43. I am very happy with this month’s earnings. Despite the depressed Google Analytics statistics, monthly income remained stagnant. Let’s take a deeper look into the blog’s income streams for June 2018.
FlexOffers: $100. 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!
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 DO NOT APPLY FOR A CREDIT CARD IF YOU DO NOT PAY THEM OFF ON TIME AND IN FULL EVERY MONTH **
Google Adsense: $0.43. 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.
Guest Posts: $50. This is not the same as a “sponsored post”. A sponsored post is when a company pays a blog to publish an article (usually promoting that company’s product or service). I DO NOT accept sponsored posts on my site.
I earned this $50 from writing a guest post for another site on hacking the cost of college. It was awesome! I got to drop some knowledge and get paid. I do not like freelance writing, but this was fun for me because I am passionate about the topic and offered to write the article.
Airbnb Credit: $20. In my How to Travel the World with Free Accommodation post, I detailed how to unlock the synergies between Airbnb and credit card rewards.
I included my Airbnb referral link and someone used it to sign up and book a trip. Thank you mystery person! 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: $20. 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.
Facebook Ads: $20. This month I decided to test out Facebook Ads. After doing a few hours of research and selecting my target audience, I spent $20 to promote How to Travel The World With Free Accommodation. I chose to promote this post because I had both my credit card affiliate link and Airbnb referral link.
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 June 2018.
This month I wrote two guest posts. They will not be released until future dates so stay tuned 🙂
I also recorded two other podcasts this month, but those will be released at a later date. I’m really enjoying the whole podcast interview thing!
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.
This month I was active in a handful of relevant Facebook groups. 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.
This was the first time I’ve ever attempted Facebook ads with Fly to FI. After doing a couple hours of research, I built my target audience and spent $20 promoting How to Travel The World with Free Accommodation. This article contained credit card affiliate links and my Airbnb referral link. All I needed was one person to sign up for either a credit card or Airbnb and my ad had earned its keep!
I’m generally happy with the Facebook Ad’s performance. I typically get 25-30 views on my page posts and a couple of link clicks. This twenty-dollar, week-long ad boosted my post’s views up to 1,599 and link clicks to 38. I’ll certainly dabble in Facebook Ads in the future and keep you all up to date.
I increased my Facebook Page likes to 34 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
Telegram is an app where users can share Instagram posts with one another. I am currently a member of a group with 10 users and we comment, share, and like each other’s content. This allows my Instagram account to rank higher and reach more people.
Joining a Telegram group definitely helped boost my Instagram following and engagement at first, but progress has been stagnant ever since. I’m not too worried about follower growth or anything like that. Instagram is just my “fun” account anyway! Basically, I just enjoy sharing pictures of my travels and adventures with my readers.
Crowdfire / Buffer
Crowdfire and Buffer are social media auto-schedulers. I use Crowdfire to schedule my own content for Facebook Page Posts, Twitter Posts, and Instagram Posts. On the other hand, I use Buffer to share other people’s content on Twitter and Facebook.
So far, I am enjoying both of these apps. They make social media quite a bit easier. If it’s midnight and I’m reading a great article by a fellow blogger, I can schedule a share on Buffer for the next day at a time when everybody is awake. I ended up trying out these two auto-schedulers after doing a bit of research on which apps worked best. I guess we’ll see if I still like them next month!
I finally put in some effort and (kinda) figured out Pinterest! After watching and reading hours of tutorials… yes HOURS … I started to make moves. I made my first “real” Pinterest picture for How To Travel The World with Free Accommodation.
For Pinterest, long photos are the name of the game. The longer your photo is, the more likely it is to be clicked. I used Canva and Ivory Mix to get free, long Pinterest photos and then edited them on Canva. This Pinterest thing is a lot harder than it looks!
I also joined multiple Pinterest groups. This is really important to gain traction and reach the maximum number of people with your posts. The best way to do this is to reach out to bloggers/social media people that you kinda know. I got added to multiple Pinterest boards just by sending a few Pinterest messages and emails.
At some point in July, I’m going to try out Tailwind. This program is a Pinterest-specific auto scheduler. Basically, what that means is you can preset pins throughout the day. You can use this software to repin your posts or share other posts. I’m still very new at this so I’ll be sharing my progress in my next Blogress Report.
My friend J from Millennial Boss was extremely helpful in getting me started on Pinterest. She even added me to one of her popular boards. If you’re interested in Tailwind you can check out her awesome tutorial as well!
I’d really appreciate any support I can get. Let me know how my pins look 🙂 I’m sure they will improve with time. Check out my Pinterest profile here!
In last month’s Blogress Report, I made a promise to get better at Google Plus… and I did! I joined a few relevant “communities” and now I share my new blog posts in those communities. I’ve seen some website traction through Google Plus so far, but nothing serious. Oh well. I’ll keep trying things until they work. Check out my Google Plus page and join the Fly to FI Community.
I’ve been using Reddit a lot more since discovering the financial independence groups. 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 know, I suck. Last month I mentioned that I might have some content up by now… but life happens. I’ll find some motivation and upload some content in July (I hope). 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 in the forums and showed that I’m committed to helping others and producing quality content.
I made some tweaks to the website to improve functionality. I updated the About Page, main sidebar, and email subscription messages. There are some more awesome updates planned for July to make Fly to FI even better! Fingers crossed that I get everything off my checklist.
June 2018 Goal Analysis
- Publish at least 10 quality articles – FAIL. Alright, alright. In my defense, June was my last full month traveling in Australia and I went on a lot of adventures. I’ll explain it all in my Australia Recap post that should be up by the end of the week. Stay tuned!
- Write at least 2 guest posts – PASS. I wrote exactly two guest posts in June.
- Record at least 1 podcast – PASS!!! I recorded four podcasts in June… crushed that goal.
- Grow social media and online presence – PASS! Both my mailing list and social media follower counts grew. Progress every single day is the key to success.
- Make progress on my mega project (to be revealed) – EHHHH. I did some work on this mega project, but not as much as I had planned.
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 🙂
- Publish at least 10 quality articles
- Write at least 1 guest post
- Record at least 2 podcasts
- Grow social media and online presence
- Make more progress on my mega project (to be revealed)
Thanks for checking in to the Blogress Report – June 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.