W2BZ – April Blog Update

I tried another Facebook ad run in April along with some Twitter polling. Both were interesting (fun even?) but did little to drive revenue. I stayed steady on 2 posts per week and am especially proud of a couple of the posts this past month 🙂

Posts

I had 8 new posts in April, beginning with the standard monthly personal finance and blog update posts. I always think those will be the easiest to put out, but they actually seem to take the longest. The quickest posts are the rant style ramblings that read like stream of conscious (because they are).

I had some more technical posts in April: How Much Less We’ll Pay after Tax Reform is pretty self-explanatory. Spoiler alert – it’s about $4,500. I also finished up the analysis on our 2017 spending and published a comprehensive Financial Year in Review tracking where every dollar went in 2017. Rounding out the dolla dolla bills posts was Financial Independence Progress Report #3. I still don’t pretend to know what I want in life, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to track 🙂

In less numbersy posts, I wrote How to be Highly Compensated – and Common Misconceptions. I’m not an HR expert and don’t pretend to back up my musings with any actual facts or figures, but there are a lot of things I feel are obvious if maybe not intuitive. Anyhow… I also wrote about my favorite credit card scheming travel perk – the Southwest Companion Pass. To round out the month I wrote a summary on a Twitter poll I ran about millennial’s social security expectations.

Traffic

W2BZ April

WordPress credits W2BZ with 181 visitors and 252 views.

 

The Google Analytics data actually aligns pretty closely (for a change) and shows 193 new users with 257 sessions. Organic search remains abysmal, accounting for just 2 visits. I don’t know anything about SEO, and if I actually want to take this site seriously it’s knowledge worth pursuing.

W2BZ April

The “Direct” category still befuddles me. There is just absolutely no way 140 new people came to the site directly. It’s impossible and wrong.

Behavior

Let’s take a look at how readers behaved once on the site:

W2BZ April

For some reason this view of Google Analytics gives W2BZ three more users. The average session duration is pretty short, but that also includes alot of 0:00 visits – I’d rather Analytics not even call them “visits”. The 83% bounce rate indicates how many people only viewed 1 page before skedaddling. It seems high, but apparently it’s pretty standard.

If we look at the pageview analysis it shows the average time spent on each page as 3:06, or twice as long as the other metric indicates.

W2BZ April

Either I really don’t understand these metrics, or there is alot of inconsistency. Probably though I just don’t understand it.

Revenue

W2BZ April

It’s boomtime at W2BZ!

According to Google Adsense (which presumably is connected to Analytics) the blog had 356 pageviews, yielding an insane 24 cents in revenue. This is definitely a hobby, not a “side hustle”.

Marketing

I spent $49 on Waiting to be Zapped in April. $14 went to Facebook ads and the remaining $35 to Twitter.

Facebook

I ran two campaigns in April with very different results. A while back I did a post outlining the benefits of Personal Capital for retirement planning. The post was an unabashed sales pitch to convince people to sign up for Personal Capital using my links – you get something valuable for free and I potentially get a commission. I wanted to test the efficacy of the pitch by actually driving some traffic to the post, but alas only a single person clicked the FB ad (and they didn’t sign up for PC 🙂 I pulled the plug on the ad early since $8.83 per link click seemed a little exorbitant.

W2BZ April

The second Facebook ad was promoting the post on How Much Less We’ll Pay after Tax Reform. This was more successful at 35 cents per link click, but still a far cry from W2BZ’s most successful campaign of 8 cents per click.

Twitter

I also promoted 2 posts on Twitter, spending $10 on each ad. I wanted to do a comparison to Facebook, so I ran a simultaneous ad for the same post on Tax Reform. 113 people clicked the link, which outpaced FB, but something is fishy with Twitter results. The Twitter clickers spent much less time on the site and a disproportionate amount of the 0:00 visits are coming from Twitter. Conspiracy? Definitely.

W2BZ April

The second Twitter ad was promoting the 2017 Financial Year in Review post. It did worse from an engagement standpoint, but that’s ok. My posts aren’t very headliney, but I think the content is solid for anyone interested in personal finance (I’m probably biased though). I mean c’mon, I’m telling you exactly where every $1 went for the whole year! In the money is taboo world we live in that info is hard to come by. Or maybe it’s not out there cause people just don’t care.

Twitter Poll

Ok the last $15 wasn’t spent on an ad exactly. I ran a Twitter poll to gauge millennial’s expectations of Social Security benefits. The poll had a great engagement rate, 18%, and was honestly a lot of fun. After writing my 3 part series on Social Security I was very curious to see what people’s opinions on the state of Social Security actually are. I had an assumption that people misunderstood Social Security’s shortfalls and the poll results definitely confirmed it. Either that or I’m the one with the serious misunderstanding. Hrm, probably more likely the latter.

The poll didn’t do anything to drive traffic to the blog, but that’s ok. Polling is a very cool feature of Twitter and I’d definitely do it again.

Conclusion

Yeah just going to keep plugging away. I have to admit my enthusiasm is waning a bit. I think part of that is owed to the complete lack of interest or engagement in the blog. Sure, I could do more (or anything) to drive traffic, but honestly I just don’t find that as interesting as actually writing. I read some article saying a blogger should spend 20% of their time on content and 80% on promotion. It’s about 95/5 going the other way for me. *shrugs*

This post is the 59th at Waiting to be Zapped. I’m committed to carrying on to at least 70 and potentially reevaluating from there. I don’t think I’d drop the site completely, but may back off to a more irregular posting schedule. We’ll see. At any rate, thanks for reading, I really appreciate it and hope you find it beneficial. As always, drive small used cars and live in a small house.

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