The Grounded Engineer has been a fun endeavor for me. I’ve read a few books over the course of the year that changed my perception of running this blog. In July 2017, I hit the one year mark on my blog. I was able to meet my goal of writing one post each week for my readers.
However, life changes and the biggest change for me was the birth of my daughter. She is now 15 months old and is running around… All of the time… And it is awesome ?
She is an absolute blast to play with and she needs an eye on her constantly because she likes to get into EVERYTHING. Playing with my daughter and spending time together as a family has taken over some of the time I previously allocated to writing.
In December, I only published one post. It was a guest post written by my friend, Erik, over at The Mastermind Within. Erik and I swapped posts and I wrote a post detailing my journey through debt elimination. In addition, I discussed how working hard at my day job paid off…
Going into 2018, I am not sure exactly where I want to take this blog. I plan to write posts that may be a little longer in content with the goal of creating more value for my readers. My frequency will definitely go down, but I hope to publish at least two posts each month.
Stay tuned for future posts where I will detail more of what you can expect from The Grounded Engineer in 2018. With that said, this post will summarize the goals I set for 2017 and how I faired. I will also include the top 5 posts I published this year.
Cheers to all, and I wish everyone a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year!
2017 Year-End Goal Review
Provide value to my readers by sharing information they can use to either: get out of debt, take better control of their finances, and start investing.
If I were grading myself, I would give myself a B/B-. I think I focused too much on pushing out content instead of creating content that was thorough. In 2018, I will strive to create content that really dives deep into the subject I am writing about.
Write one new post each week.
I was good on this goal for 10 out of 12 months. Which means that I failed. I am taking off the handcuffs in 2018 and as you can already tell, I will be more focused on the quality of content than the quantity of content I push out.
Reach 20k monthly page views
November was a really good month for the blog, but traffic was down quite a bit in December. I didn’t come close to hitting 20k page views on the site this year, but it was a good stretch goal to work toward.
This year, I studied the blogs that had success. These bloggers are putting in 20+ hours a week into their blogs. This is great, but I currently do not have the bandwidth to allocate this much time to the blog. But I also know that I won’t have the success that other bloggers have because I can’t put in the time.
I am OK with this because my main goal isn’t to drive a ton of traffic and then monetize… That would be nice, but right now I get excited about sharing financial strategies that can help out my readers…
Here are some resources I recommend if you are trying to increase your blog traffic.
Physici on Fire has a great how to get started guide – check out step 8.
I would also visit Grant’s post over at Millennial Money on SEO optimization.
Grow email subscriber list to 500 people
Similar to my monthly page view goal, I am not close to 500 subscribers. I continue to get a few new subscribers each week, which isn’t many.
I will finish the year around 200 subscribers.
Grow Twitter follower list 10k followers
Check me out on Twitter!
Building my Twitter list early on was really a pain in the butt. I stopped wasting my time following people and then un-following them if they didn’t follow me back. I’d rather join different groups on Twitter and then get followers that will come to my blog often.
Spend at least 15 minutes each week on marketing
This goal has been easy to achieve because of my activity on Twitter. Because it was easy, I pushed myself to spend more time on marketing. Currently, I am working my way through Millenni Money’s 67 SEO tips to improve your blog. I highly recommend checking out Grant’s article to help grow your traffic.
I use MailChimp and receive good ideas from them via their newsletter. I’d recommend implementing some of their ideas around email marketing campaigns to help up drive your traffic.
Read one book each month relating to personal finance.
I recently got into a few non-fiction books. My favorite of this year was The Graveyard Book.
Two books that I really enjoyed reading this year were 1) The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers and 2) The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.
I didn’t achieve reading one personal finance book each month. I was halfway home to meeting this goal, but I got sucked into reading content not related to personal finance – which is OK with me. Many of the personal finance books I found redundant in the messaging each book discussed.
Three personal finance books that I highly l recommend are:
99 Minute Millionaire
The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read: The Proven Way to Beat the “Pros” and Take Control of Your Financial Future
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your roadmap to financial independence and a rich, free life
Top 5 Posts in 2017 from The Grounded Engineer
How much money should you have saved by different age groups? This was a fun post inspired by one of my friends. Most people like to compare themselves to others to gain a sense of how they are doing. I am not different…. However, I realize the things I can control and I try to capitalize on those things to make in life.
I tackled Dave Rams in another post I wrote earlier this year that was quite popular. Dave Ramsey is huge in personal finance, and he is generally the go-to guy people start with when looking to get their finances in order.
Next up is my About Me page…. If you want to learn more about me and why I started the blog – please check it out.
You don’t have to make a fortune to retire rich… I use an example of a person that begins saving 13% of their income at age 25 making $40k/year.
Rounding out the top five is Start Here post. This post is targeted at people with student debt that are looking to eliminate their debt.