State of the Blog 2018

State of the Blog 2018An introspective on my blog in 2018 with some stats and income for transparency, here’s my newly invented State of the Blog 2018 address…

State of the Blog 2018 Address transcript

My regulars, Frugalers and readers:

It’s been over four years since I started my blog with my Welcome post in April 2014. To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into or what I was doing. And I’m still mostly clueless.

It’s been an interesting journey however and continues to be so. The FIRE community is very supportive, encouraging and welcoming which is great considering all of the intolerance I see elsewhere online.

Although I’ve not been posting much lately, I’m still here. Partly lack of motivation / time(*) but mostly because of my gradual move away from dividend stocks towards index funds. I mean, there’s only so much I could say about my last purchase of 51.873 shares ofย  VTIAX except that I bought 51.873 shares.

(*) Note to self: time is best made than found. Don’t say “I’ll find time to do x”, do say, “I’ll make time to do x” instead.

But I continue my monthly summaries anyway, because knowing that I’ll (eventually) write a summary of my finances makes me critique every decision. And, to be honest, it’s hard not to want to tinker with your portfolio. It’s hard to just do nothing. Yet doing nothing is actually doing something and it’s probably what you want to be doing most of all when investing.

So I guess what my blog has taught me most is holding yourself to account.

How successful is dividendlife.com?

Well, obviously it depends on the definition of successful. In numerical pageviews or income, it’s not successful. In helping me learn and manage my finances, I think it’s been very successful.

In terms of pageviews, here’s a report from my blog.

State of the Blog 2018 - a summary of my page views over the couple of years.My daily page views are somewhere around 150 on average, more for a day or so after a new post. I was making much more of an effort to increase viewership back in late 2016 but somewhere early in 2017 I stopped.

Now that we’ve established I’m one of the world’s worst bloggers, it’s time to…

Show me the money

So I have a blog therefore I can make lots of income from it and retire early from the additional blog income without “working”, right? Well if you own a blog, you might be able to, but I certainly can’t! At least, not without a lot more effort.

Here’s a summary of the income I’ve earned from this blog since its creation.

Year Income
2014 $0
2015 $146.60
2016 $250.91
2017 $528.94
2018 YTD (6 months to June) $11.57
Total $938.02

When starting a blog, it takes some time before it can even be used to serve advertising. And initial readership is low so I didn’t earn any income in 2014.

I probably made most money via Amazon due to Quicken 2017. If a reader bought a copy from Amazon after reading one of my fantastic Quicken reviews, then I’d receive a small percentage of the transaction. Since Quicken 2018 has moved to a subscription service (I’ve not subscribed yet), there’s little future in that income stream.

Other ways of generating income

Guest posts can be another form of revenue if a company or media campaign is willing to pay you to host their content. I don’t do this currently since it’s usually a turn off for me to read guest posts on other blogs. And I’m also hesitant to accept money for hosting a page given the limited effort I put in promoting my blog.

Links for affiliated products and services is another good source of revenue. I’ve put minimal effort into this area. If you want a good blog hosting service that is cheap, fast and reliable then I use SiteGround for $4 a month! Yes, that’s an affiliate link and I’ve just doubled my efforts for generating affiliated income right there in front of your eyes!

And The Next Four Years?

Heck, who knows? As I mentioned in a recent performance review at work to my manager’s manager: “Do I look like I have a plan?” (Professional Workplace Tip: Don’t say that at your workplace performance review).

Aside from catching up on my monthly reports, I do have some posts to write about my new stock purchasing ‘strategy’. I use the word loosely. We’ll see what else comes along the way.

Thank you for reading, supporting and just being awesome! I wish you all the best on your own journey to Financial Independence.

I leave you in the safe and irreverent hands of Las Ketchup…


Quote of the Day

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: ‘That guy sure owed me a lot of money.’

 

4 thoughts on “State of the Blog 2018”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for this post! I really appreciate it. Being a beginning blogger, your experience with your blog (after 4 years) really adds value to me. I def see your point on putting more effort into the blog to generate more income, iโ€™ve learnt so far that blogging in itself is anything but a passive exercise.. and sometimes i wonder if maintaining a blog is worth it for the sole purpose of monetizing it..

    On another note – you mentioned you gradually moved away from individual dividend stocks to index funds.. what has been the rationale behind this? (Maybe you already posted some articles on this topic, so I will also browse your historical posts). What has been your exeprience with observed dividend growth coming from those index funds (ETFs i presume?).

    On SeekingAlpha there are quite some posts on this matter (individual stock vs ETFs from a DGI perspective) and one of the most cited points is that (dividend focused) ETFs tend to showcase a) subpar initial dividend yields and b) irregular and/or subpar dividend growth rates (despite being marketed as dividend (growth) focused ETFs)

    I was contemplating adding ETFs in the mix as well, but as a DGI investor, I do rely on healthy dividend growth..

    Cheers, Mr. Independus

    1. Hi Mr Independus,

      Yes I agree with your comments on blogging. Blog income isn’t something I’ve focused on so I’ve tended to just let the blog grow organically (and slowly) rather than try to aggressively expand it. Clearly it’s possible to make much more money from a blog, but it probably needs to reach a certain size.

      As for individual stocks / DGI comments, I’ve not clearly posted my rationale but that’s another thing I should probably do. I don’t really consider myself a DGI investor since most of my original index fund purchases were in High-Yield Dividend funds, not Dividend Growth / Aristocrat funds. I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that dividends don’t really matter at all and I’ve not been persuaded by the articles / real world results of dividend oriented investing that I’ve seen. Since my investments are in Taxable accounts, then earning more income on those investments is just a tax-drag. So right now at this point in my accumulation stage, I prefer capital growth over dividend income. This is just my personal opinion / situation of course.

      I personally avoid ETFs in favor of funds because they’re simpler and I don’t have to deal with bid/ask spreads etc. Initial dividend yields can be misleading since the fund (or ETF) is constantly acquiring stocks and the new stocks acquired might not pay dividends until later in the year, which distorts the current yield. Since VHDYX (my largest holding) isn’t a DGI fund, I’ve not really worried about the organic growth of the dividend. However, I just looked at the distributions for VDADX (Dividend Achievers index) which shows a decline in distribution in 03/2018 compared to 03/2017. The fund has a 14% turnover so perhaps some companies are dropping out of the index and being replaced and that’s affecting the distributions?

      I’m limiting individual stocks to ~10% of my portfolio and I’ve even questioned that lately. But I’m going to continue with this (irrational) allocation for now since I like owning individual stocks even though I doubt even half of my stocks will beat the average market return in the next 30 years. That’s why I think it’s irrational ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best wishes,
      -DL

  2. 6000 page views a month for not doing much is solid… I’ll take that! I’m still trying to figure out how to drive more traffic on post days. I stopped sending email notifications at the beginning of the year on that, but now wish I hadn’t.

    1. Hi Erik,
      Perhaps the time is a factor too. I tend to submit my posts at weird times so usually the extra views are spread out over two or sometimes three days. I probably should submit posts on a scheduled time but I’m usually so happy when the post is finished that I publish straight away ๐Ÿ™‚
      Hope you find a good solution though – I guess the more distribution methods the better for increasing views.
      Thanks for your support,
      -DL

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