Smart Money Daily Turns One!
Smart Money Daily went live 1 year ago today. That was a fast year! I figured it would be fun to think back to last January and to remember what I was thinking and feeling as I launched this site…
Change of Direction
I was, of course, full of Rich Dad revelations and this site was the first action that I took in pursuit of that mythical beast: passive income. My initial intention was to build an application, a blogging platform to be specific, and then to sell it or leverage that into some form of business.
This site was intended to document that process and also allow me to perfect my product as I went. It is fairly typical of my style to want to learn by doing, rather than by researching in advance. Sometimes this is a good approach and sometimes, well, not so much.
Even though I loved building this site and it is satisfying to have coded it myself, I soon realized that the there was a lot more potential value in creating content than in writing a new blogging platform. After battling through code bugs, lack of styling options, lost work, hackers and comment spam attacks, I really wish that I had done a bit more up front research and started out with WordPress. I have had the thought of shutting this site down or taking the time to migrate it to WordPress…which is a lot of effort, but probably doable, but would result in a temporary loss of most of my search engine traffic.
Finally a Writer?
Another interesting aspect of the past year for me to reflect on is writing. Many years ago, I actually spent a lot of energy trying to be a Writer. Even though I did have one short journal style piece published in a literary journal [for you young-ins, this was back in the pre-internet days when writers spent countless hours submitting stories to magazines and journals following the near impossible dream of getting published] mostly I just filled notebooks with angst-ridden scribbles.
Fast forward 20 years and now thanks to the web and blogs, everyone is making their angst-ridden scribbles public, and a lot of people are really enjoying reading them. As I started out I remember how liberating it was to write into a public notebook, but after a couple weeks I remember checking my stats [I'm a self-confessed stats-o-holic] and being shaken by the realization that there were a few people reading my site on a regular basis. I actually remember experiencing performance anxiety when sitting down to write for a couple weeks after that; worried that what I was saying was not going to be worthwhile. I think one of the things that I had to learn as a blogger was that it’s okay to write stuff that your readers might not get, or like, or agree with.
Blogging isn’t Passive Income
Another important realization came when I saw that what makes a blog successful is the blogger. As I educated myself in business and financial principles I began to understand that a blog is about the writer, and this by definition, is not a good business model. It is not scalable and, blogging on its own, is somewhat tied to an exchange of hours for money. Given this realization, despite that I found blogging a surprisingly addictive and fulfilling activity, I knew that I needed to look elsewhere to reach my goal of getting rich.
It is a systematic approach that has the best chance of making you serious money and a system can not be tied to an individual. In a system the parts, including the human ones, are replaceable, so I felt that blogging, at least my personal approach to it at that time, was not going to be the holy grail for me.
That brings my little ramble up to the present. Smart Money Daily is a ‘for fun’ site and it not top priority on the road to riches. I admit though, I often dream of what it could become if I applied myself to it fully. I have a promise that I’ve made to myself, in the back of my head, that once I have made enough money to resign from the aggressive pursuit of wealth, that I will pull all the ads and affiliate links off of this site and dedicate myself to pure writing about the financial matters that fascinate me so thoroughly.
One Year’s Effort
For myself and the other curious folks I thought dig up a few ‘one year’ stats:
Total Number of Stories: 205
I should have called it Smart Money Every Second Day
Total Comments: 215
I’m not the most social person in the world, so it doesn’t surprise me that this would also show up on my site. I do like comments though, even though I don’t often reply or participate.
Number of Days with over 1000 page views: 3
All a result of my participation in the Carnival of Personal Finance.
Total Pages Served: ~70,000
This stat has me and all robot traffic filtered out. It is actual pages send to a human visitor.
Total AdSense Earnings [this site only]: $570
The majority of it coming in the last 3 months…since escaping the Google sandbox.
Other Earnings [affiliate-this site only]: $50
Number of Backlinks: 4,340
According to Yahoo, who is generally considered to be the most accurate
Biggest Influence: Darren at ProBlogger
I even bought the t-shirt, but I’m still to shy too post a picture, despite the fact that Darin promised a link to anyone who sent him a shot of them in their ProBlogger shirt.
Feedburner RSS Feed Stats:
a nice progression of subscribers
Some Smart Money Daily stories that I consider hidden gems
Anything That Can Be Measured, Can Be Improved – a look at the many forms of statistics available to webmasters.
“Coined the Term ‘Weblog’ – Never Made a Dime” – a look at Jorn Barger who invented the term Weblog.
How Much Money is Enough? – I realized that my idea of a lot of money was always one step ahead of where I was at.
Obligatory Gas Price Story – Musings on my local gas station’s bad business planning and the price of gas.
I’m Not Very Good at Being Rich [Yet!] – Where I remember how to enjoy myself on vacation.
Succeed By Embracing Reality – The story of two McDonalds franchises in South Africa.
Overall it’s been a great year as a newbie blogger. It’s surprising how may friends and business connections that I’ve made by particpating online and getting involved in the blogging community. Blogging is a lot of fun and I’m glad that I’ve kept it as a pure pleasure and looked elsewhere for business opportunities.
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