November 2013 Blog Update

Root of Good Blog Update

I posted less in November than in previous months, but site traffic has continued to grow at a moderate pace.  I have received a lot of positive comments and feedback from visitors to Root of Good, so keep it up!


Stats for November 2013:

Visitors: 13,642 (+4,175)

Unique Visitors: 9,454 (+2,916)

Pageviews: 26,378 (+7,009)

Alexa Rank: 102,000

Most popular pages:

Developing a Retirement Budget

$150,000 Income, $150 Income Tax

Early Retirement at 33: An Overview



Facebook subscribers: 49 (+10)

Blog subscribers/followers: 33 (+12)

Twitter followers: 110 (+36)


Revenue: $1,631 (still haven’t received a penny yet!).  Honestly, I’m shocked that it is possible to start a blog and within three months make what is approaching serious money.  $1,631 per month income represents 61% of our budgeted retirement spending!  I’m not very confident I will see this level of revenue on a routine monthly basis, but some quick cash isn’t bad.  Last month I mentioned earning a little beer money ($358 to be exact).  $1,600 is quite a bit more than beer money!  If I had worked full time, it would equate to $10 per hour.  Generating new content for Root of Good remains interesting.

Exciting Blog News: Doug Nordman guest posted here earlier in November.  Doug is the founder of The Military Guide blog and author of “The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement”.  Doug wrote Join the Military to Retire Early?  Thanks again to Doug.

AOL Daily Finance interviewed me and sent more than a few visitors this way (thanks Erin!).  Here’s the text of my full interview with AOL Daily Finance.  Here’s the article at AOL Daily Finance featuring my early retirement story.


Blog Carnivals Featuring Root of Good

Week Ending Monday November 11, 2013

Festival of Frugality hosted by Save and Conquer
Carnival of Money Pros hosted by Dumb Passive Income
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by Drop the Cookies!
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Planting Our Pennies
Carnival of Wealth hosted by Control Your Cash
Carnival of Money hosted by House with the View
Financial Carnival for Young Adults hosted by Financial Nerd

Week Ending Monday November 18, 2013
Festival of Frugality hosted by Financial Nerd
Carnival of Retirement hosted by This That and The MBA
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Tie The Money Knot
Weekly Roundup hosted by The Frugal Farmer
Carnival of Financial Independence hosted by Your PF Pro
Financial Freedom Pages hosted by Dreams Cash True
Personal Finance Carnival hosted by Aspiring Blogger
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by The Skilled Investor
Carnival of Wealth hosted by Control Your Cash

Week Ending Monday November 25, 2013
Carnival of Money hosted by Evolving Personal Finance
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Financial Nerd
Carnival of Wealth hosted by Control Your Cash
Carnival of Retirement hosted by The Skilled Investor

Week Ending Monday December 2, 2013
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by Hurricanes, Panties, and Dollars
Personal Finance Carnival hosted by Aspiring Blogger
Carnival of Passive Investing hosted by Wealth Informatics
Carnival of Wealth hosted by Control Your Cash

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  • $750+ bonus with a new business credit card from Chase* - We score $10,000 worth of free travel every year from credit card sign up bonuses. Get your free travel, too.
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  1. Good job man. Your site is enjoyable to read and has challenged me to change my view on a few things (especially taxes). The $150 of federal income tax on 150k in income still bewilders me. That article alone has made me delve into more early retirement tax planning and it is very surprising how much the cards are stacked in favor of high savers and early retirees.

    From my research, I now realize that it is completely possible to (1) deduct retirement savings and convert to tax sheltered vehicles later on and (2) pay 0 long term capital gains for any funds that had the unfortunate condition of not making it to tax sheltered vehicles. On point (2), a married couple can make near 90k and still pay 0 in long term capital gains.

    Starting in fiscal year 2014, I have made it my goal to stick it to Uncle Sam (legally of course) and propel my journey to financial independence at hyper speed. Thanks for starting the site again and I look forward to more interesting comments and updates.

    1. Your comment is exactly why I enjoy writing and sharing my ideas. There are so many ways to get wealthier without making huge sacrifices. Efficient tax planning is just one way.

      Stick it to Uncle Sam! And don’t feel bad about it at all. The wealthy can afford to hire teams of tax accountants and attorneys to minimize their tax burden (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’m just bringing that knowledge to the masses. And honestly, us little guys get plenty of tax breaks too as you point out.

  2. Congrats Justin — this is incredible progress!

    My wife and I are both CPAs and we just marveled at your $150 tax post; that’s definitely one we passed around to our coworkers.

    Similar to Andrew, it would be great if you could give us some sense of how you made $1,600 in one month from such a new site. I know a lot of us PF site owners could learn a whole lot from that if it isn’t too personal to share.


    1. I can’t give away too many secrets or everyone might copy what I’m doing! 😉

      No, seriously, I’m not really sure what led to the relative success I’ve seen. I think it’s big impact articles like the $150 tax one and a few others that are kind of shocking at first, but make total sense when you read them. They get a lot of social traffic – just like you sharing with your coworkers, then they might email them or share them on FB or twitter. Then someone else sees them (like a big blogger or financial pro) and shares them again on FB or twitter or mentions them in a blog post or article.

      At least I think that’s what is up.

      The week of Thanksgiving for example, I did almost zero for the blog (was busy with the Holidays and spending time with family and friends). Then the AOL Daily Finance article hit and generated significant traffic for a few days. Those viewers happened to click on a lot of ads (six times higher click through rate compared to my average reader and I think the black friday retail competition must have pushed up the per click auction price through adsense).

      Overall, try to focus on quality interesting content (the kinda $hit you would want to read) and be friendly with other bloggers (share their interesting work, don’t be shy about cross promoting and linking to them).

      As for revenue streams, so far it’s just google adsense and a number of affiliates.

  3. Wow, amazing stuff Justin. Just read Sam’s post about you over at Yakezie, and had to check out your blog for myself. I started mine in July and only have a fraction of the traffic you do, so I’m very impressed! Keep up the good work!

    1. Hey, thanks. I knew Sam was working on a post on Yakezie about my relative success at blogging (and monetizing blogging). Didn’t know it went live this morning! That explains the uptick in traffic at Root of Good.

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