Celebrating ROMT’s One Year Bloggiversary!
It’s hard to believe it has already been a year since I started Retiring On My Terms!
There have been some victories, and some setbacks, during my first year of blogging, but I’m glad I took the plunge and started this site a year ago. I sincerely thank all the readers who have found their way to Retiring On My Terms over the past twelve months. Without an audience, this blog would have no purpose!
I knew writing could be difficult when I started up this website, but I honestly had no idea how challenging it would be to create interesting content and grow an online audience. I am still an absolute novice when it comes to topics like search engine optimization and social media. Someday I hope to have time to learn more about all of the varied aspects of running a successful blog, but in the meantime my primary goals are to continue improving my writing skills and providing content that is interesting to my readers.
A look at some of my wins and losses over the first year of Retiring On My Terms:
WIN – Actually keeping ROMT up and running for a full year
Over the past year, I have posted new content to Retiring On My Terms over five dozen times.
I’ve read that many new blogs don’t last for six months, so the fact we are still up and running and posting a year later is in my mind a victory!
LOSS – Inconsistent posting schedule
Between working 50-60 hours most weeks, another five hours of commuting, and trying to find time for some level of engagement with my family and friends, I’ve had difficulty making the time to post to Retiring On My Terms consistently.
Some months have been great, like June of last year, when I posted ten articles.
Some months have been more challenging, like November of last year, and this month, when I posted just twice.
A more consistent routine would definitely help, but since my day job is what pays the bills, ROMT will likely continue to find itself on the back burner from time to time.
WIN – There are people reading my content from all over the world
Over the past year, Retiring On My Terms has received thousands of visitors from over four dozen countries!
About 70% of our visitors have been from the United States, and close to 90% of our traffic is from the U.S., United Kingdom, or Canada, but we have had readers from every continent except Antarctica, and countries as varied as Pakistan, Ireland, Poland, Bangladesh, Chile, and Zambia, among many others!
My five most popular posts over the first year of Retiring On My Terms include:
- What The Media and Academics Don’t Understand about FIRE
- Smart Financial Decisions: Saving Hundreds of Dollars an Hour Making Phone Calls
- ROMT’s Fire Prowess Score
- ROMT’s Financial Resolutions for 2018
- How I’m Measuring Our Progress Towards FIRE
But my personal favorite remains Dumb Financial Decisions: The Unplanned Garage Sale.
In case you were wondering, we didn’t participate in the neighborhood garage sale this year!
LOSS – Nobody cares about solar energy
It’s been almost a year since we decided to put solar panels on our roof. Since then, I’ve written over a dozen posts about our decision to go solar and the subsequent performance of our home solar energy system.
While I’m happy with our decision to go solar, and think cutting our monthly electric bill materially will ultimately make it easier for us to reach financial independence and early retirement, very few readers care to hear about our solar panels: six of the ten least read articles in the history of Retiring On My Terms relate to solar energy!
WIN – I am technically a professional blogger
A few months ago, I received a credit of $0.40 from Amazon.com because of this website’s participation in the Amazon Associates program.
I guess that technically means I am a professional blogger!
I’ve also theoretically made a little bit of money through Google AdSense, but not enough to actually be allowed to cash it out yet!
LOSS – ROMT is not a moneymaking venture
Although I have been paid a very small amount of money because of this website (see above!), between domain registration, site hosting, and books I have purchased to learn more about blogging, Retiring On My Terms has cost me a few hundred dollars since starting things up in May of 2017.
And, of course, I’m ignoring the value of my time, as I have also put hundreds of hours of labor into Retiring On My Terms over the past year.
Fortunately, my goal in starting this site was not to make a lot of money.
It was to work on my writing skills, learn more about personal finance, and, hopefully, help my readers make better decisions in their financial lives!
WIN – Blogging about personal finance has helped our family’s finances
Forcing myself to think – and write – about our finances has helped us make better financial decisions on our path towards financial independence and early retirement.
Over the past year, we’ve moved some cash into higher yielding online CDs.
We’ve put solar panels on the roof of our home.
We’ve contributed more to our children’s 529 college savings accounts.
We’ve cancelled unnecessary subscriptions.
We’ve thought about how little expenses can add up over time.
It’s unlikely that all of these things would have happened if I wasn’t focusing on our finances and blogging here at Retiring On My Terms, so although the website itself has been a money losing venture, it has definitely paid dividends in other parts of our financial lives!
Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to the next year at Retiring On My Terms!
How has your financial life changed over the past year?
Payton JarrattMay 27, 2018
Congratulations on making it one year. You have done a great job and I look forward to your future posts.
ROMTMay 27, 2018
Thanks Payton! I look forward to writing those future posts, and hope you enjoy them!
Mr. RobotMay 28, 2018
Congratulations om making it through the first year ROMT! A reader from the Netherlands here 🙂
I love reading your updates and applaud your progress. Keep them coming!
ROMTMay 28, 2018
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment so often Mr. Robot! It is appreciated! The Netherlands ranks in the top ten countries as fas as my readership, tied with Germany for #9!