Hi! My name is Mrs. ETT, and I’m a personal finance blogger. After a year, I finally feel that I’m at the point where I can say this and truly believe it. Look at me! I blog about personal finance. Granted, the focus is more on the personal than the finance, but that’s OK. I began this blog to help me figure out our lives. If it happens to help someone else along the way, that’s great.
Now that I’ve blogged for a year, I thought I’d stop and take stock of Enough Time To…
My first post was on 7th August 2016, and was an introductory post. My second post was about not having enough time to read, and my third about budgeting, so I think I set the tone for the blog very well.
I’ve consistently posted every 8 days for a total of 47 posts. The one exception was upon the death of a family member.
My shortest post at 599 words (not counting my first, introductory post) was about Filing Tax in 2016. That had a reading time of 3 minutes. My longest post (How We Saved and Wasted Money on our New Zealand Holiday) has 3,667 words with a reading time of 18 minutes.
The average number of words in a post of mine is 1,403, with a reading time of 7 minutes.
I installed a plugin to help me get the statistics for this post. Now I’ve seen how long my posts take to read for the average reader, I realise I need to cut down. Who has 18 minutes to read a single blog post?! I’ll start by setting myself a challenge of writing one quality 500 word post this year – just to prove that I can.
The most popular page is About Us, while our most popular post is The Shock of Calculating Our 2016 Spending Total. That set us on the goal of reducing our spending by 10% in 2017, but let’s be real. We’ll still have a long way to go once we make it. I’ve got a lot more digging to do until I figure out how to reduce our spending to that of other Aussie bloggers. I guess that means a lot more topics for posts in the future.
I have 269 Twitter followers (I’m following 252). I’ve blocked 3 and muted 1. Twitter overwhelmed me at first. I wondered how I would ever keep up. Now I know I’m not expected to keep up – I can just dip in and out as I wish. I enjoy the interactions, and it’s fun to communicate directly with the authors of some amazing blogs. I’ve also found some interesting articles and ways of thinking that I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.
I have 5 email subscribers, one of which is me. Posts look different depending on where you read them. I like to make sure everything is working in all media.
I have 14 WordPress followers. Hi y’all!
The blog has cost me $130.37 to run. I really only needed hosting and a domain ($69.64), but I chose to purchase extras. This comes out of my personal spending money (it is my hobby, after all).
- Siteground Hosting (2 years) $108.94
- Domain Name (1 year) $15.17
- Noun Project (2 years) $67.33 – OK, so this is totally unnecessary for a blog. In all honesty, it was almost a case of “I really, really want to join Noun Project and play with all the icons. What can I use icons for? Well, if I started a blog that would be a great excuse to join very helpful for designing images.” Not frugal thinking at all, but I’ve been very happy. These are the icons I use in the featured image for each post.
- Premium Theme $27.06 – my theme was perfectly good as the free version, but I wanted to support someone else’s side hustle. I felt this was a small price to pay, and I’ve had excellent support from the developer regarding some issues and questions I’ve had.
It appears that I didn’t set up Google Analytics until January 1st, so that explains why they don’t match my WordPress statistics. I’ll go with Google Analytics as it has a much more granular level of detail. In the blogging world, reporting analytics can be a little like showing off your new Ferrari, or Instragramming your Rich Kid life (neither of which PF people actually do). Intentional or not, they may evoke negative emotions in others. My statistics are minor and not something I keep an eye on regularly – if it was really important to me, then I’d be depressed. My yearly numbers are less than the monthly, weekly and daily numbers of some blogs I follow!
All statistics can be misleading, so I’d like to start with the one graph that makes a bit of a mockery of any of the other numbers I’ll post below. If you run a blog, and you are concerned about your numbers compared to mine, this should help. Nearly 40% of my page views and 70% of my sessions last less than 60 seconds. Considering we’ve just discovered that many of my posts have a reading time of 7 minutes or more, I’m not actually getting engagement. So really, all the other numbers below are entirely inflated, and should probably be halved.
I love data, though, so let’s press on! According to WordPress statistics, readers come from 51 countries. The image below is from Google Analytics.
Unsurprisingly, Australia is the country from which most of my visitors come (or appear to come, if you are using a VPN.)
Windows is the most popular desktop operating system, whereas the mobile market is nearly split in half, with iOS just squeezing in.
My readers mostly use Chrome to browse. The irony for me is that this is the one browser I don’t use! If I want to make sure my posts look OK, clearly I need to start checking in Chrome.
I got to number 3 in Australian Google searches for “enough time to”. If you are choosing a blog name, DON’T pick a common phrase. I really want mine to look like AwP’s but I doubt I’ll ever eclipse the popularity of Word Reference or Macmillan Dictionary!
Personal Finance Community Participation
One of the best parts of blogging is finding like-minded people who share similar interests. I subscribe to a whole bunch of other PF blogs. In truth, I really have trouble keeping up. By necessity, I’ve had to pick my favourites that I will regularly follow, then drop in on the others when I have enough time (pun!) I’ve had to put them in folders so I know where to focus and where to drop in and out.
Blogs I Read
(If you can’t see the table, please visit this post on the web)
Podcasts I Listen To
I listen to 16 podcasts. I’m subscribed to 9, so I pretty much listen to every episode of those. The other 7 I just dip in and out of, listening to episodes that particularly interest me. Four podcasts are <10 minutes, while the rest have episodes of over 30 minutes.
- 12 Finance
- 4 Side Hustle
Groups I Belong To
1 Facebook group: Although I’ve belonged to Facebook for a long time, I usually only log in a couple of times a year. I’ve been using it more frequently now I’m trying to sell things on Facebook, and to interact with the group.
Rockstar Finance Forums (although I have been absent for some time.) I think that my use of Twitter has somewhat taken from the time I used to spend here. If you aren’t a member, I highly recommend it.
I discovered Twitter! Not really an achievement, more a step into the modern world.
Mr. ETT and I started tracking our expenses and investing. We set a goal to reduce our expenses by 10% in 2017. So far we are on track.
I stopped putting sugar in coffee, started walking once a week, and lost nearly 10% of my weight by just eating less.
For the first time, I tried selling unwanted items online.
I shopped in a thrift store and scored some new work pants and a new winter coat.
We attempted simple(!) handyman tasks such as fixing our stuck front door, and installing a cat door.
We went to Mudgee and had an overseas trip to New Zealand, all while continuing to save and invest.
I learned basic HTML and CSS, which I use.
I learned about SEO and marketing, which I don’t use.
Most of all, this blog gave me a vision and direction for my life that I didn’t realise was missing.
In my introduction I mentioned that the primary purpose of the blog was to help us figure out our lives. The more I learn about saving and investing, though, the more concerned I become about people around me who may be woefully unprepared for their future in retirement. Or maybe they are better off than we are. The thing is, we aren’t talking about it. To this end, I’ve decided to take a small step back from total anonymity. If the situation presents itself, I will let friends and family know that I have this blog. Mr. ETT nearly outed us once already, and there have been a couple of times I would have liked to have let some friends know when money topics come up.
I want to report more solid numbers regarding our finances and savings/investments. Even though we are reducing our spending, we are still spending so much more than any of the other bloggers out there. Posts like this one help me to do a comparison and see where we might reduce even more. I should return the favour.
I have thought about attempting some freelance writing or virtual assistant work. The irony is, I don’t have enough time to commit to either of these activities while continuing to regularly post to my blog about having enough time. I would enjoy the challenge of attempting to write for a different purpose or on a different topic, but if I’m going to do it, I want to do it well. Instead, I will begin by focusing on my writing. I’m too wordy. I need to be able to get my thoughts across more succinctly. Practice makes perfect, so here’s to another year’s worth of posts!
At first I thought about giving up my 8 day posting schedule. That would free up the time to do some freelance writing. The thing is, I need the self-imposed deadline to keep my momentum up. I like the discipline of posting every 8 days, no matter what. I’ve still got a lot I want to write about. Also, from an SEO and discovery point of view, it’s important to put out regular content.
Instead, I’ve decided to let others share their views on this blog, by opening up to guest posts. I’m only one voice in a sea of billions. It’s refreshing to hear from other writers who have different opinions and life experiences to mine. If you are interested, you can read all about it on my Guest Post page.
Finally, Thank You
Firstly, thank you, the readers. Mostly I don’t know who you are, but I know you are out there. Thank you for reading, and for your comments. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read what I write.
I’ve made some good blogging friends, and want to thank the community for their support. I’m a firm believer in the adage of “a rising tide lifts all boats.” People in the personal finance community seem to subscribe to this belief naturally – they have an abundance mentality. Check out the blogs of my friends Adventures with Poopsie, All About Balance and FIRE by Thirty-Five. There is unintentional gender bias here, but these are all women at different life stages with different goals, who are forging ahead in the personal finance space. I learn so much from each of them; I’m sure you’ll discover plenty of value as well.
Here’s to the next 12 months!