I’m a fan of numbers, but I try not to get too wrapped up in them. They’re good markers, but the main point is to drive through with them and continue improving them. They can go up and down and really frustrate you if you let them.
I’ve more than paid for my site but people like to read and learn about how everyone is doing it, so I’m happy to share the past years traffic numbers (and some financials as well)…
MY Personal Finance Numbers
My 401k Through T-Rowe Price
I’m not immune to the stock market diving by any stretch of the imagination but that doesn’t mean I’m keeping my money out of it. It’s an opportune time to buy right now and you’re getting stocks/bonds/mutual funds at all-time historic lows.
I can see Carl’s point when he says: “You all want to leave your retirement money in the stock market right now? Are you insane? I’m 31 years old, self-employed, and all I have (had) so far is $8200.00 to put into a ROTH-IRA. This was 4 months ago. Since then, I’ve lost $2200.00 and the bottom is STILL dropping out.
You expect me to ride this nonsense out? If this continues and I lose almost 2-5% of my money almost every day, I won’t have anything left to bounce back with. I’ll gladly take the $500.00 penalty for early withdrawal before i have nothing left to withdraw.
I’m probably the least savvy when it comes to managing finances but I’d rather bank on the guarantee that if I have the money physically in my hands, nobody, no bank and no government can find a way to molest me. I’m furious about all of this and I don’t know what else to do.”
But the problem I see with the numbers there is that he is only 31 years old. You’re in a ROTH IRA and the point and benefit of a ROTH is for long term investing. You’re not taking that out for almost 30 more years! The stock market is risky, that’s part of the game, but if you’re confident in your fund choices, you should know that you’ll need to occasionally ride out a storm as your money isn’t always going to be headed in the black.
In the past 365 days my 401k has dropped 23.00% [see screenshot1]
My ROTH IRA Through Charles Schwab and Edward Jones
The ROTH IRA funds haven’t been without bumps in the road either. I’ve stopped contributing to my Edward Jones “B” shares ROTH contribution this year and have put it all to my Charles Schwab fund SWEGX.
I am still on pace to contribute the $5000 and max out my ROTH contributions for the 2008 year, however, like my 401k they have taken a beating. An upside to the downside of the market is that I made a good choice stopping contributing to my Edward Jones ROTH IRA as it has dropped over 1/3 its price in the last year (-36.87%) while SWEGX in my Schwab account has “only” dropped (-32.45%).
But Hank, you just lost 1/3rd of your retirement in both your long term retirement accounts! Why are you still in it?
Like I said about my 401k above, and Carl’s comment., I’m only 30 years old.
I’ve got at LEAST 30 more before I plan on taking that money out.
I look at it with a “glass half full mentality”, I’m BUYING funds now for 1/3rd of the cost I was previously paying for them.
I may have lost a good chunk of the capital in there, and that’s demoralizing, but know the game and how it is played and you’ll fair better.
In the past 365 days my cumulative ROTH IRA has dropped 34.66% [see screenshots 2, and 3 above]
My Day-Job Salary
My day-job salary has been the one thing that has kept me in the stock market. Yes, if my salary had dropped or I lost my job I’d certainly have cut contributions to my 401k and ROTH, but it hasn’t, so I’m not.
My salary since Oct 2007 has had a promotion and cost of living increase added to it to help pad the long-term investments a bit more while they’re cheap.
Additionally, my online income has increased from $0.00 in Oct 2007 to… well, that’s in the next section. This is for salary.
In the past 365 days my salary has increase 36.11%
Website Numbers @ The MiB
I’m happy to have a strong referral base to complement the big dogs (Google/Yahoo) driving traffic. Clearly social networking plays a HUGE role in the success of the blogs MiB not withstanding, and I encourage you all to check out each and every one of them on my Where Am I page. Feel free to “friend” me in each of the respective sites.
These social powerhouses drive thousands of visitors to my site each month and are a staple if you plan on sticking it out for a year or more!
However, without the people in the blogosphere sending folks my way, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Furthermore, without the constant participation and idea brainstorming at the other sites that link to me, I’d probably have stopped in the first month or 2.
Seeing as though this is the year long compilation of stats, I figured I’d bump it up from the standard top 10 referrals to the top 20 shout out to my referrers. Without you guys, nobody would ever find me. 😉
The top referrer to my site in the year was…
1. FrugaHacks.com – it’s strange because I’m buried deep in the pile, but apparently people check it out enough to dig deep! Thank you very much FrugalHacks!
The rest o’ the pack; all with at least 100 people sent my way – thank you all for your support!
2. BibleMoneyMatters.com – (a close second actually – thanks Pete!)
This one can be summed up with the combo of Google Analytics and WordPress Dashboard charts to the right and above. I’d say no counter is perfect, but I’d imagine that
combining both and taking an average should be close to around 125,000-ish viewers this year! Hopefully some of you will stick around, eh? It’s funny to watch the spikes in the big traffic drives you see over the year.
I started off somehow managing 2 and 3 thousand in the first few months, but then I had almost 40k in February/March when StumbleUpon came to be.
It tapered off, but it has been a pretty good boost for all bloggers to have it around I’m sure.
Additionally, I’d mentioned prior that I’d gotten drop from PR4 to PR2 from Google, but my Alexa score has hopped several hundred thousand (125,602 on 10/7/2008) and I’m approaching the top 100k of all sites. We’ll see how it looks in year 2.
I’ve changed up my posting routine a lot in the past year for multiple times per day, to once daily, to once every other day, but haven’t missed 2 posts a week.
I like the change and it gives me some freedom to step away from they keyboard, but the thing I’ve learned in the past year is that you don’t need to post daily to get the readership you want.
Sometimes writing daily is too much for people to keep up with. Personally, I’m not able to keep up with the 100+ feeds I’m subscribed to and will likely give the reader a once over every week and pick my favorite articles that jump out at me to read/comment on.
I wish I could get to them, but I really just don’t have the time to do so!
I’d like to say I’m extremely happy with Akismet, and rightfully so, they’ve saved me from almost 6,000 spams.
However, I dug around a bit in the past few weeks and had to manually release maybe 20-30 valid comments I’d previously just deleted. Sorry if you were actually one of “the missing” in there folks and dumped you!
But all things considered, I’d rather release 20-30 than block 6000. So I’ll keep my thanks there.
As for the comments, they speak for themselves (literally). People have been very gracious in stopping by and leaving their thoughts, and it is a driving factor to keep going. People clearly find value in some of the things I write – Specifically, people have been interested enough to sign up for the feed! Thanks to all of you as well!
MiB SiteStock Traffic/Growth
I had no prior experience in PHP but had enough to get me started with what I wanted to do.
Basically the goal was to find a way to consolidate all these types of stats on this post into one number. One dollar value metric, and I did that with SiteStock.
I’ve got tracking numbers detailing when it was used and the numbers of queries run against it in the past 2 months but unfortunately aside from guessing don’t have the number of folks actually using it.
However, in the past 2 months, I’ve seen 3,542 queries looking as to how their sites rank against the rest of the folks on the internet!
I hope that number will grow and I’m completely open to feedback on ways to improve/advance it. Thanks to all for using it!
Website Revenue For The MiB
It’s been the steady horse here over the past year. Slowly increase month over month from less than $10 the first month to $250 last month. I can’t actually post numbers and/or click through rates without breaking the Google Policy, but I can say that my best day was Saturday, August 9, 2008 when I made $41.15 that day.
A tip to Google Adsense implementers – Use AdsBlacklist, seriously. Or else you’ll never make more than pennies from Adsense. It takes 2 minutes to sign up and makes a world of difference. It’s free, fairly easy to use, and I’m happy to say dumps the low paying clicks from your site.
In the past 365 days my Google Adsense revenue has produced $1,320.28
Individual Link/Banner Sales
I’ve had good and bad things to say about these. I like that they pay well (between $150-400 per 6 month contract) but they’ll certainly slap your Google PR rank. I was up to a Google PR4 for a while and am sitting at PR2 now. My advertisers page states that I can change the nofollow tag at will, but haven’t seen a decrease in Google traffic since the downgrade to PR2.
We’ll see how this one flies in the coming weeks/months.
In the past 365 days my Individual Link/Banner revenue has produced $1,200.00
I’ve written about it in the past that I’ve experimented with a couple of different money makers to no avail. Either they were far too intrustive (Kontera $0.02 in 1 day) to the reading or they just didn’t produce (JobsThread – $3.12 in 5 months) in addition to Amazon Affiliates that took up too much space ($8.29 in 1 month) on the site.
I’ve been experimenting with Microsoft Ads ($44.20 in 3 months) and the previously unenchanted Forbes Ad Network ($34.21 in 4 months). With those numbers though, I may fall back into disenchantment shortly.
However all the prior are better than Performancing Ads ($0.00 in 2 months) and Commission Junction ($0.00 in 3 months AND over 40,000 impressions).
You can put a number on pretty much any metric. As you can see through this post, I’ve tried. But can you really put a value on what you’ve learned over the past year? Or how about the relationships you’ve made? I get some pretty solid feedback from a handful of close “associates” I keep close to the hip.
From Blogging Tips to Joint Giveways; from Writing Improvement to Wordless Wednesdays – I find that the monetary value of the site is climbing fast indeed, but not nearly as fast as the relationship/networking potential that this site has given me.
Thanks to you all for a great year!
Filed Under: Blog Improvement • Blogroll • Compensation • Debt • Emergency fund • financial education • Giveaways • House • Mutual Funds • Net Worth • Passive Income • Portfolio • Readers Requests • Real Estate • Retirement • ROTH IRA • Traditional IRA