W2BZ Blog Update – 2017

Let’s take a look at the “performance” of Waiting To Be Zapped. I started this blog in October after spending the last few years casually reading personal finance blogs. I wouldn’t call W2BZ a personal finance blog per se, but the topics do largely revolve around money so….

My something of a secret dream is to make a living as a writer, but it’s a very lazy dream. About the only ambitious part of it was deciding to monetize W2BZ under the safety blanket of internet anonymity. “Monetize” is an extremely generous term for what is happening at W2BZ. Really I’m de-monetizing this blog by spending waaaaayyyy more on it than I’m bringing in.

The Basics

Waiting To Be Zapped launched on October 4th, 2017. In the 3 months of it’s existence I managed to publish 28 posts including many personal financial updates and a few musings on life in general. The blog has no real goals or direction, so it’s the perfect mirror for it’s author.

Finances

Revenue: $3 Expenses: $642

Net Income: ($639)

The $3 of revenue is from Google Adsense. It’s not a large enough balance for them to actually pay me, so in reality I haven’t received a dime. When I decided to turn this site into a “business” I thought for sure the best opportunity would come from Personal Capital affiliate links – I love Personal Capital. But no one seems to care.

On the expense side… It’s very evident I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t) when I started the blog. My solution to my ignorance was to throw money around. It worked, it was really easy to get started. I spent $45 at iPage, $299 for WordPress business, $95 at Fiverr for the W2BZ logos and $47 for a PicMonkey membership. If you’re doing the math, that’s $487 just to get this thing going.

The remaining $155 of expenses went to Facebook ads. Facebook advertising was the primary driver of traffic to the website and quite honestly was a lot of fun to use. Now that I have setup costs out of the way, all of my spending on the site will be for advertising. I’d like to diversify my ad campaigns and try some other mediums to see how they compare to Facebook. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Losing ($639) on W2BZ is quite a bit more than I had originally planned to pile in. I’ll continue to put some money into advertising as we head into 2018, but will try to keep things a little more reasonable.

Traffic

Google analytics is fascinating. It gives me tons and tons of data, too much really. I don’t feel like W2BZ’s traffic is significant enough to gain much insight from google analytics, but it’s definitely interesting enough for me to post some screen shots.

Summary

Waiting To Be Zapped had almost 1,300 page views! A lot of these were likely from myself; nothing wrong with being your own biggest fan. The average session duration is a piddly 1 minute 21 seconds. I don’t know what a “normal” amount would be, but that isn’t long enough to read even a single post. Bounce rate basically means how many people left immediately after arriving to W2BZ. An 80% bounce rate tells me visitors didn’t find the landing page content interesting enough to spend more time on the site.

Sources

Most of the website’s traffic came from Social media links. This is almost exclusively from Facebook ads with a couple of Twitter clicks sprinkled in. I spent $155 on Facebook ads and got 300 new users to visit the site. That’s slightly over 50 cents per new user.

The Direct grouping really confuses me. Who the heck is coming to the site straight-away? I would have guessed all 296 Direct sessions were from me personally, except that it says 259 of them were “new users”. What is going on?

Organic Search is abysmal. Nobody is coming to the site via searches. Well except for 7 of you, no offense intended, you are not nobody’s you’re unique and special human beings (robots maybe?) and I appreciate you.

Demographics

W2BZ’s audience was primarily younger men. My Facebook ad campaigns were aimed at this age group, so no real surprises here. Seeing as I’m a male between 25-34 years old it likely makes sense that’s the most represented visitor.

Visitor Devices

Ok there is some interesting stuff here. If you’re reading this post right now, you are likely doing so on a smart phone. That’s just how people do things, especially since you also likely navigated here from Facebook. I don’t think W2BZ is a very visually appealing website, but I do concede it looks much better on a mobile device than a desktop.

What is really interesting is the bounce rate and session duration of desktop vs mobile users. Mobile users only hang around for 33 seconds on average, which means they read like 2 paragraphs and bounce. Desktop users on the other hand stay awhile, like 3 whole minutes! They are also more likely to check out other posts on the site.

Posts

And finally let’s take a look at the Top 10 posts.

The #1 stunner was Wait, Where did 25% of Our Paycheck Go? I promoted this post more than any other on Facebook, mostly because it was generating the most reactions.

The second most visited was the homepage, makes sense. After that was a post on our 2016 financial year in review.

The #4 post on this list is the one I am personally most proud of, Discretionary Dollars Per Hour. This calculation literally changed the way I view the relationship between working and spending. I love it, and I want so bad for others to like it to. I am very needy in that way.

Interestingly the post with the longest average time on page (by far) was Credit Cards – Is it Ok to Apply just to get the Signup Bonus? Spoiler alert, yes, yes it is. It’s really cool to see that a few people were interested in this. I’m a pretty financially conservative person, and I feel comfortable saying that as long as you don’t have credit card debt you should absolutely be doing this.

Conclusion

Well that’s a wrap on 2017 for Waiting To Be Zapped. The dearth in posts recently tells you plainly that it has been difficult keeping up with the site. This silly little full-time job I have really stands in the way of pursuing my passions. I sincerely thank everyone who came to check out the site. It’s fun writing posts even when no one reads them, but it’s definitely more fun when someone does.

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