I can’t believe that it’s been an entire year since I wrote my first post on AspiringBlogger.com. I began work on the site several months before, bought the domain about 5-6 weeks before it went live, but the first Tuesday of September last year, I officially flipped the switch and opened the site for readers like you! To say the last 12 months has been a roller coaster ride would be a gross understatement. I’ve had many ups and downs, but I’ve certainly learned a LOT. I hope you join me as I go through a brief recap of the last 12 months and some of the details behind it.
- 105 published posts - When I started the site I committed to myself that I would publish two posts a week – every week. Over the last year, through ups and downs (especially recently) I have stuck to that schedule and have faithfully put out two posts each week (plus an extra post way back in October 2012). I’m very proud of this achievement, and hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading the posts as much as I’ve enjoyed (most of the time) writing them!
- People from 81 countries have visited AspiringBlogger.com in the last year (the top 5 are - US, India, Canada, Philippines, and the UK)
- Visitors from all 50 states plus DC
- Visitors in 39 different languages
- My most popular page is the My Finances page (which makes sense given the theme of this blog!)
- Almost 500 comments!!
- Blog Income / Expenses – I’m sure you’re all wondering how much money I’m earning from this site. Well, here we go – this is the FIRST time I’ve let you all in on my income directly from this site.
- Google Adsense Income: $6.86
- Other Income (Affiliate, other advertising, etc): $0
- Expenses – Domain Name – $15-20/year, Hosting – $90/year, Thesis Theme – already purchased – whew!
- Net Blog Income – Looking at it, I lost around $100 in my first year with AspiringBlogger.com… whoops! Of course, I didn’t start this to make money – I did it to chronicle my journey and to hopefully encourage some of you to evaluate your lives a little more. In addition to the money side, there’s also the time I’ve spent on the website – which probably averages out to 10 hours a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks and we’ve got 520ish hours – even at minimum wage that’s a huge expense I’m not counting! As I’ve said many times and I’ll keep saying – I’m not doing this to make money! Although it would be nice to cover my costs at some point, it’s not required for me to keep going!
- Alexa Ranking – When you start a new blog/website/etc you don’t get an Alexa ranking. This basically tells you how popular your website is compared to every other website in existence. It’s definitely biased as it only tracks people who have installed the Alexa Toolbar (so this excludes “regular people”), but it’s a good measurement to see if things are going in the right direction. Once I first found out I had a number, it slowly started going down (the lower the better) and then got stuck around 8 million. Then it had some more movement until the beginning of 2013, when I posted about my goals for this year. At that point my Alexa ranking was 1,365,737 – which I was pleased with. My goal at that time was to get it below 200k before the middle of July. Well, that time has since passed and unfortunately I did not meet my ambitious goal. I am here today to tell you that as of last night (the night before I posted this) my Alexa ranking is the lowest it’s ever been – all the way down to 268,356 – which I’m incredibly proud of! As the numbers get lower, it gets harder and harder, but every week my number keeps going down – thanks to my loyal readers! I’m still hoping to get below the 200k mark, and then push on below the 100k mark.
Things I’ve learned
- Blogging is TOUGH work. There are a lot of blogs out there that seem to have new posts daily or even multiple times a day…all I can say to that is WOW. It’s hard for me to put out two posts a week – and make sure that they have meaningful content in them for you, let alone more than that! Sticking to the two posts a week has been incredibly difficult, but at the same time – incredibly rewarding. I feel so proud of myself that I’ve accomplished so much over the last year – which brings me to my next point.
- Blogging is REWARDING. I get comments, emails, mentions, etc and they mean the world to me. To know that my posts are actually reaching people and helping them in some way (however small) makes all the work I’m putting into this worth it.
I’m working on that as you read this. I hope to lay out my plan for the next twelve months (along with a more detailed goal update on my 2013 goals) in the next week or so. Hopefully you can hold on while I put the finishing touches on it – and then you’ll help me push forward in year 2. I want to say thank you to all of you for your comments, your emails, your guest posts, your encouragement, etc. Without your support I may have quit this a time or two! Hopefully you’ll stick with me for the next year (and longer) and we can keep growing this thing and talking about financial independence, location independence, and contentment. Thanks for stopping by!