In case you missed it, check out Adventures in Blogging – Pt. I to read about what went down in February 2017 as I spent the month pre-launching Dollar Habits.
Dollar Habits officially launched on March 1, 2017. As I mentioned in Part I, I could have easily launched the blog in February or even January if I weren’t such a dilly-dallier.
I spent the weekend before the launch reading through some guides on setting up a WordPress blog. In all honesty, this was what overwhelmed me the most. I didn’t really know what to expect or just how difficult or complicated it would be. I just knew I didn’t have any experience doing anything like it before and I managed to let my overwhelm and self-doubt get the best of me.
It turns out, it was not nearly as difficult as I had led myself to believe it would be. It still took me all night to set up, but it wasn’t too bad and there are a lot of resources available to help you through every step in the process.
I received quite a few compliments on the layout and design of the site. I definitely wanted a simple/minimal feel to the site, but the site also has a simple layout because that was pretty much the extent of my abilities in setting it up. I still have a bunch I want to do to completely build out the blog how I envision it to be and plan to do so as time permits.
Now that I was armed with my very own WordPress blog, it was time to launch that baby!
I went back and forth on how much content I should have posted upon launching. A lot of the articles I read during my research phase (which lasted all too long) recommended launching with several posts up so people could learn about the author, the writing and the site in general. That made sense, so to the detriment of my content bank, I launched with the following three posts:
Why Dollar Habits? (most commented on post thus far)
Since I had been dragging everyone on for a month or so, it seemed the least I could do was launch with three articles up for people to peruse.
I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received. I really appreciate each of you who reached out with a comment, email and/or on Twitter. Thank you for making this such a fun and exciting experience.
The site received 181 page views on the day of the launch. Below is a screenshot of how those page views broke down.
In hindsight, I’m glad I ended up launching with the posts I did. I think it gave everyone a decent opportunity to get to know a little more about me and what I envisioned for Dollar Habits.
First Week Results
Launch day was a success! Now, it was time to keep up the momentum. Page views tapered off over the next few days as evidenced below.
Page views did, however, manage to stay at or above 50 per day for the few days immediately following the launch which I am pretty happy about. Below is a screenshot of the page view numbers for the first two weeks. It is pretty easy to see which days I did not post and which days I was not active on social media. I have found that definitely makes a difference.
One week after launching, I posted Where There’s a Will, There’s a Why: Finding Your Purpose (probably my favorite post so far). That post brought in 130 page views the first day. (In an effort to begin posting twice per week as opposed to just once, the following Monday I posted My Story – Part I, which also brought in 130 pages views its first day. These were the two non-guest posts which garnered the highest number of first day page views.)
Week 1 ended with 66 comments, half of which were mine, so 33 (66 / 2 if math is not your strong suit) non-Cody comments and just under 600 page views. Needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic and overwhelmed by all the positive vibes. The personal finance community is full of some really awesome, supportive people.
One of the opportunities which arose from my pre-launch efforts to connect and network was the opportunity to guest post on two really amazing, yet very different, personal finance blogs.
On March 15th, my guest post entitled Working Until Retirement Scares Me to Death was published on ThinkSaveRetire. This post was incredibly well-received and seems to have really resonated with people. It appears I am not the only person freaked out by the prospect of working until a ripe, old traditional retirement age. The post received 23 comments on ThinkSaveRetire and three people were kind enough to leave a comment on my teaser post. The post also brought in 250 page views the first day and 201 the next.
The second guest post was an article entitled How My Upbringing was the Catalyst for Learning to Manage Money which was published on My Family on a Budget on March 27th. This post was also well-received and seems to have resonated with people. The post received 43 comments on the hosting site and four kind souls left a comment on my teaser post. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this guest post did not drive nearly the amount of traffic back to Dollar Habits as the first guest post, if any. Page view numbers that day and the next were no different than regular posting days and in fact, were even a little less and only one person clicked back over to Dollar Habits. Nonetheless, it was a great experience.
I’d like to offer a big, fat thank you to Steve and Steven for graciously lending me your blogs for the day and offering the platform to share some of my experiences. It was really cool to not only write for those sites, but to share some pretty personal stuff with their audiences as well.
Needless to say, guest posting is pretty awesome and I hope to have the opportunity to do a lot more of it in the future. I should note, I also plan to eventually host guest posts here on DH, I’m just not ready to do so yet and I’m not sure how long it will be before I am ready to do so. I do, however, really appreciate all of you who have reached out about guest posting here. I sincerely appreciate your interest and I’ll keep ya posted.
Additional Happenings from Month One
In addition to the awesome opportunity to guest post on two great sites, there were some other really cool things that happened in March (listed in order of occurrence).
I was invited by Dave at Run The Money to participate in a Twitter chat answering money-related questions for America Saves Week. This went down on March 2nd, the day after the launch. Thank you, Dave, for inviting me to be a part of that really cool experience. I was still figuring out Twitter at the time (who am I kidding, I still am) and didn’t even know what a Twitter chat was. It turned out to be a lot of fun and I hope to take part in more down the line.
I received a really cool shout out from Cameron at Save Splurge Deny Debt in his one-month blog update. SSDD is an awesome up and coming blog, so be sure to check it out. Thanks, Cameron! You sure know how to make a guy feel special.
I had the honor of being featured on one of my new favorite blogs, Get Rich Quick’ish. Ty runs a series called The Sunday Camp FIRE and he included the guest post I wrote about working until traditional retirement age. I am incredibly honored to have been featured alongside some really awesome bloggers. Thank you, Ty!
I was invited by Wes of The Pursuit of Happiness to take place in a really cool celebration of the International Day of Happiness. Prior to Wes reaching out, I didn’t even know such a day existed. I answered some interview questions about what happiness means to me. Not going to lie, some of the questions forced me to think way more than I thought they would. It was a really cool experience. I also really enjoyed reading a bunch of other pf bloggers’ thoughts on happiness. It was really interesting to see how different some responses were and how much overlap there was in others. Thanks, Wes!
Finally, I had the privilege of being featured in Mr. CBB’s Making a Difference series on Canadian Budget Binder. Making a Difference is a really cool series which features a different personal finance blogger each week. On March 25th, that blogger just so happened to be me. Thanks, again, Mr. CBB!
Whew! As you can see, March was a busy month.
Month One Numbers
Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for … the numbers from March. Unfortunately, I thought I had Google Analytics installed properly, which I did not, so the numbers I have are all from WordPress site stats. The next blog update should have more detailed information.
Without further ado …
Total Page Views: 2,159
Average # of Daily Page Views: 70
Total Comments: 66 (non-Cody comments)
Total Subscribers: 16
Total # of Posts: 10
I made $0.00 from the blog in March, but that was not the goal. I set up an Amazon Affiliates account and linked to a few books in a post, but that was the extent of my monetization efforts thus far. I do plan to begin monetizing the site in the near future.
I couldn’t be happier with the first-month results for Dollar Habits. I put in a ton of work (and time), both in February and March, to lay a solid foundation, so I am very pleased to see that hard work pay off. Now, I hope I can keep the momentum building and continue to grow and progress.
Looking forward, there is a ton of stuff I want to do and have planned for the blog, so please stick with me as I work to make it all happen. As much as I am enjoying this whole process, finding the time to work on it all has proven to be a challenge. My hat goes off to all you bloggers with full-time jobs and young families as it is certainly a balancing act.
Finally, words cannot express my genuine and sincere gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you who has read one of my posts, left a comment, sent a message, shared on social media or in some other way supported this site. You guys rock!
If you have any feedback or constructive criticism for me, I am all ears. Please share in the comments section below or shoot me a message if you really feel like giving me a piece of your mind. Also, if you like what you’ve read so far, I’d love for you to subscribe to the blog. One of the things in the works is a private newsletter where I plan to share some cool, exclusive stuff. Be there or be square.
Again, I’d love your feedback, so please don’t be shy. Would you like to see more of these monthly blog updates in the future? What was your favorite DH post so far? Are you ready for some baseball?