I launched this blog in September and have thus far enjoyed working on it. I still don’t have a definitive direction for it (probably not an ideal way to start) but can feel it turning into a personal finance blog.
Everything I read about having a successful blog says a focused message (niche) is the way to go. In my wildest dreams I monetize W2BZ and it’s such a roaring success I leave my current job and become a full-time writer. My realistic stretch goal is that W2BZ becomes a site with a regular readership and I use it to measure our personal financial state, think through new ideas, and better understand myself, our environment, and what it is I want out of this here life. Basically, I’m waiting to be zapped, and I hope this helps get me there.
I’ll try to give an update every month on how the blog is doing, so here we go!
Expenses: $289 Income: $0
I overspent on startup and hosting ($144) as I really didn’t know what I was doing. I host at iPage and use WordPress for design. I plan to spend some time on the layout of W2BZ to make it more visually appealing and hopefully encourage people to read more than one article on each visit.
I bought a logo package through Fiverr ($95). I really wanted to try Fiverr since first learning about it and this felt like a natural opportunity. Fiverr is a quintessential example of the gig economy, people post their services and everything is handled online.
My experience was mixed; in very short order I received logo images in a usable format, but the work didn’t feel very personalized. I suppose that’s expected for the low price I went in at, but I was still hoping for a little more.
When I purchased the package I told the designer about W2BZ and the tone I was after. My notes weren’t really acknowledged, and the options I got were all iterations of things I saw in his sample work. One perk was that edits were included – so I asked for a lightning bolt to be placed in the briefcase instead of the script “W” that came in the original package and voila!
The rest of the expenses are Facebook ads promoting blog posts ($50). I’ll go into more detail on that below. I find Facebook ads and the audience targeting tools within absolutely fascinating. I’m definitely still getting the hang of it and am not convinced it’s the best way to go about gaining dedicated readers, but for now I’ll stick with it as my primary promotion tool. An important note is that I actually spent $109 on ads that went up in September, but I wasn’t billed for the remainder until October, so it’ll show up in October expenses.
Here are the cumulative results from my September ads:
For September W2BZ had 723 visitors and 1,195 page views. This was entirely driven by a few Facebook ad campaigns I ran. According to WordPress, I received 584 referrals from Facebook ads and spent $109.This means I spent 18.7 cents/referral overall which is not very good. There is a little bit of a discrepancy as Facebook reports 684 link clicks for that same period. Not really sure what’s causing the difference…
The end of the month saw a huge improvement in my targeting and I had a record day October 1st. My most popular post by far is Wait, where did 25% of our Paycheck go? Which breaks down how much of our money is going to taxes. After setting up several ads on Facebook this was the clear winner in terms of generating interaction. I decided to focus my campaign on promoting this one post hoping it would drive traffic to the site and lead people to other entries. It did not play out that way. The ad itself is successful in that it costs about $0.09/referral, but the people visiting my site don’t seem to be engaging with the content.
Only 4 people found me through search engines. I have no idea how to increase this or if it is even something I should look into. I am aware of the acronym SEO, but that is the extent of my understanding. I’m pretty sure the twitter referrals are all self-inflicted, same with the waitingtobezapped.com entries. Essentially nobody is going to W2BZ except for people clicking on the Facebook ads.
In other metrics, I have 3 followers on Twitter and 2 people following my Facebook page. I want to give a special shout out to Conscious Flaw who is my first and only blog follower. She just started a blog of her own talking about her experiences with a new job at a major airline and how it’s changing her perspective. It really is well written and I’ve enjoyed the reading so far.