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



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  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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  1. Very impressive Justin, congrats on the progress so far. You have a great story and you tell it well, it doesn’t surprise me that your blog is becoming so popular!

    I look forward to seeing that “how I’ve done it” post as well…

  2. That’s some great income for the number of visitors that you have and to be able to generate more than half of your budgeted retirement spendings blogging… that is simply awesome! Good luck in 2014!

  3. Rock on Justin!!!

    Not bad considering you retired only a few short months ago haha!! I love the blog – your writing style is both informative and entertaining at the same time (rare combination). Keep up the good work sir!!

  4. I cannot get over how fast you’ve established yourself in the blogging community, and making an income! I need to get on this, ASAP! I don’t currently have any advertising or affiliate links on there, but I think I need to. Even if I made $500 per month, I’d be stoked!

    Congrats on a great year!

    1. A great time to give monetization a shot is now! I’d still be happy with $500/month income. I somehow feel like I’ve been lucky these first few months and I might see a drop in revenue at some point.

  5. Man! Whatever you’re doing, it’s working! You certainly should be proud of how you have grown this blog in such a short amount of time!

  6. So impressed! Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate those willing to put their blogging revenue and traffic info out there to give the rest of us an idea of what success looks like.

  7. Keep up the great work! December was a good month for me as well. A complete 180 from December 2012! I don’t have any concrete goals set up for my blog this year yet, but am working on coming up with them this weekend.

  8. That’s pretty good success in terms of traffic and revenue for what is essentially a relatively new blog. Great work! Moreover, you have a hobby that pays back, which is not the case with most others. Seems like a winning situation.

  9. I really want to give blogging a try once I ER…I have a very unique story to tell. One thing that I’m not thrilled about is the loss of anonymity.

    1. I’d suggest analyzing what you want to keep public and private, and worst case scenario if your identity is “outed”. Some things you might be okay disclosing, while you keep other things confidential. Do what works for you.

  10. Justin, thanks for being such an active reader and commenter on Go Curry Cracker! and for the extra love. It has been a lot of fun chatting with you over the past couple of months

    Your revenue numbers are super impressive. Income that you don’t need is a beautiful thing. I hope 2014 is extra beautiful

    Happy New Year


    1. My pleasure! Thanks for the vicarious journey through Mexico!

      Yeah, the revenue is nice. We’ll see how 2014 turns out.

      Best of luck with your travels in 2014! I look forward to many more posts of beautiful places and delicious food.

  11. Really impressive stuff! I just found your site via Yakezie and really like it. Its encouraging to see your site have success early on. I’m hoping to do the same! Looking forward to seeing future updates.

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