December 2013 Blog Update

Root of Good December 2013 Blog Update

December was a good month for Root of Good.  I have been told that Decembers are usually slow in the blogging world.  People are busy celebrating and recreating with friends and family and not surfing on the internet.  Hey, no problem, see you in January!

Not too surprisingly, Root of Good experienced a slight dip in traffic this December.  The days around Christmas were particularly slow.  I also didn’t have any big mentions in the media like my AOL Daily Finance interview in November.  The “background” traffic seems to be as high as ever, which bodes well for January.

Root of Good was feeling the love in December as social media subscribers increased at a rate slightly faster than in November.  I added 64 new followers, likers, or subscribers in December.  I’m not sure how to track RSS subscribers but I figure there might be 150-200 subscribers based on visitor statistics.  I just visited Feedly for the first time and it indicates “107 readers” so I’ll add Feedly to my social media stats going forward.

 

Stats for December 2013:

Visitors: 12,028 (-1,614)

Unique Visitors: 7,572 (-1,882)

Pageviews: 23,078 (-3,300)

Alexa Rank: 67,686 (-34,314 and lower is better!)

Most popular pages:

$150,000 Income, $150 Income Tax

Running Out Of Money In Early Retirement

Early Retirement at 33: An Overview

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook subscribers: 61 (+12 versus November 2013)

Blog email subscribers/followers: 50 (+17)

Twitter followers: 145 (+35)

Feedly readers: 107 (+??)

 

Revenue: $1,508.  As I am learning, blogging revenue has the same issues as regular business income.  It takes a long time to actually get the money after it is earned.  I’m in no hurry, but I always figured, “hey, it’s the internet and everything happens instantly”.  In reality, there’s a period of one to two months from revenue creation to receiving payment.  I work for free and I don’t have any employees to pay, so cash flow isn’t an issue.  I’ll hold off on hiring a part time CFO for now.

I’m still surprised that it’s possible to make money blogging.  Sam the Financial Samurai used my relative success as a case study in an article on “how to monetize your blog” at Yakezie.com.  Thanks, Sam!  After that article went live at Yakezie, I have received a lot of inquiries asking for suggestions on the art of blogging and monetization.  I have responded to a few requests and have a blog post on the subject in draft form. 

To put Root of Good’s earnings in perspective, $1,508 in monthly revenue represents 56% of our budgeted retirement spending!  The December revenue is down slightly from November along with overall traffic.  But the December revenue figure is still awesome in absolute terms.  I initially started Root of Good as a hobby, but now I’m starting to see the potential to generate a decent side income doing something I enjoy.

If I can continue funding half of our budgeted retirement spending from Root of Good revenue, it means I won’t have to withdraw much from our investment portfolio.  The portfolio will continue to grow even more, thereby providing an additional margin of safety for our early retirement.  As I outlined in my recent article on running out of money in early retirement, getting a little side income flowing is awesome for two reasons.  Side income helps avoid the psychological stress of watching investment values decline and it reduces the financial stress of pulling money out of investments when they are down in value.  Throughout 2013, investments have done nothing but go up and up.  That’s not usually the case, and eventually I’ll be watching our portfolio go down, down, down.  Having a little cash flow coming in won’t make pulling small amounts out of the portfolio as painful.

 

Closing out 2013

Root of Good had a great 2013 even though it’s not quite four months old.  I’ve met a number of fellow bloggers along the way.  There are too many to mention individually here, but check out my blog recommendations for some of my favorites.

One blog in particular that I really enjoy is Go Curry Cracker.  Jeremy is a fellow early retiree who recently left the working world while still in his 30’s (like me!).  One of his posts motivated me to write about my Luck Making Machine.

Welcoming 2014

I don’t have any specific targets for traffic growth or revenue for 2014.  I’m still approaching Root of Good as a hobby, and enjoying any revenue it happens to generate.  A website overhaul may be in the works during 2014 to spruce up the appearance a bit, but there are no plans to do so any time soon.

I still have dozens and dozens of topics I want to explore with my readers here on Root of Good, and I hope to continue posting once or twice per week on average.

Thank you to everyone who reads Root of Good.  There are around 500 subscribers through one of the social media channels and Root of Good has many thousands of visitors each month.  Thanks for sharing 2013 with me, and I look forward to seeing all of you throughout 2014.  I wish you all the best in 2014!

If you want to keep in touch with Root of Good and receive notifications whenever a new article is published, make sure to subscribe on Facebook, Twitter, or by email or RSS reader (in the column to the right).

 

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