Reflections And The Future – What Next For This Blog?

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.

Taking Stock

Now that I’ve blogged for a year, I thought I’d stop and take stock of Enough Time To…

Wordpress Happy Anniversary Message.
WordPress wished me happy anniversary. I am with .org, but use the .com app.

Blog

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.

Wordpress Posts Counter

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.

Social Media

@enoughtimeto Twitter Profile

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!

Costs

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.

Google Analytics

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!

My Tweet When I Saw 1,000 Visitors To The Blog
I will admit to excitement when I realised that 1,000 “people” had visited the blog.

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.

Engagement Statistics for Enough Time To...
Could these be bots? Or someone with the ability to slow time…

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.

World Map of Visitors to Enough Time To...
Isn’t the Internet just amazing?

Unsurprisingly, Australia is the country from which most of my visitors come (or appear to come, if you are using a VPN.)

Australia is the most popular country for visiting my blog.

Windows is the most popular desktop operating system, whereas the mobile market is nearly split in half, with iOS just squeezing in.

Windows wins on PC, iOS & Android evenly split on mobile.

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.

Chrome is the most popular browser.

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!

Google Search Results for "Enough Time To"
I made the first page of Google!

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.

Reeder RSS Reader Folders

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.

Achievements

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.

Changes

Personal

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!

Blog

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.

Patterned posting schedule
I like patterns!

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 PoopsieAll 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.

Thanks!

Here’s to the next 12 months!

22 thoughts on “Reflections And The Future – What Next For This Blog?

  1. Amy says:

    Congratulations on blogging for a year! I can’t actually remember how I found your blog, but I enjoy reading your posts. I am one of your United States readers.

  2. Roz says:

    Great achievement! I follow lots of USA blog about FIRE and anything finance related but it is fab to have an Australian voice talking about topics that are relevant to us here. I was interested in your thoughts about Acorns as my husband and I started using it a couple of months ago. Keep going even when it seems like no-one is out there! I am in Brisbane and I always check to see if you have posted.

    • Hi Roz, and a belated welcome to the Enough Time Machine! I know the FIRE blogging scene in Australia is growing rapidly; I hadn’t stopped to consider that there might be a growing body of people out there who are interested readers as well. We can learn so much from the USA as it is ahead of us, but you are right – some of it just isn’t relevant (imagine being able to claim tax deductions on your own house?) Thanks for the encouragement, and taking the time to comment. I’ve added Acorns to my list of future blog post topics. Great job getting started investing!

  3. Congratulations on your 1 year of blogging!
    I’m only 8 months in though have had a similar experience to yourself. I started writing just to get my thoughts down and to start actioning a plan to make improvements in my life and I have found an amazing community of like-minded people along the way.
    I enjoy stats, though I’m always underwhelmed when I look at my google analytics – I’m sure most of my clicks are just from me checking out how things look 😉 though surprisingly 100% of my traffic has been from Russia in the past 7 days so that 1 wasn’t me.
    Thanks for the mention too. The gender bias is interesting as most finance blogs are written by males. I too have connected more with females, though find we have more general ‘lifestyle’ type posts and men stick to the hardcore stats/numbers,
    Best of luck for your next year and beyond 🙂

    • Thanks Miss Balance. I started with vague thoughts of pursuing blogging as a side hustle to generate some income. Once I hit the one year mark and reflected, I decided that wasn’t what I really wanted for this blog. It takes some of the stress away too, because I don’t need to worry about analytics, or joining more social media, or forgetting to Tweet.

      That’s weird about 100% of your traffic coming from Russia recently. Maybe bots? I know I’ve been on your site at some point…

      There are some blogs by men that I really enjoy (Strong Money Australia is one, I love his style of writing). I felt I needed to point it out because I wasn’t being purposely discriminatory. I hadn’t considered that men and women write differently (duh!).

  4. Congrats on your first year of blogging! Hopefully there are many more to come. I prefer female bloggers I have to say, because their style of writing tends to be a lot less dry. If I wanted dry reading, I will do more professional reading for my job!

    I do love the way you have laid it all out on this post tho. See, data and analytics doesn’t have to be dry!

    • Thanks Pia! It seemed to take quite some time to get here, but I look ahead and still feel like I have another year’s worth of posts swimming around in my brain.

      Thanks for your comment about the data and analytics. I really do love working with data, and I want to do some more posts with analytics. I’ll keep your comment in mind when I’m writing them – they need to be engaging.

  5. I loved reading this post! Congratulations on one year of blogging! You were my very first commenter, I’ll never forget that. I’m so pleased we have become blogging friends! (By the way, Poopsie’s comment was “I’m a man and I’ve written some excellent blog posts on our blog”… he’s a bit precious)

    I have no idea why we have sections in the Google search. Maybe because we have specific pages, but then it looks like you do too. We didn’t do anything on purpose to make that happen.

    For what it’s worth, I am one of those people who read your blog on Chrome. I am a MAC user and anytime I tried to comment on Safari, I’d have to try three or four times before it would let me get it through. It would also not remember the comment between attempts so unless I copied it, I’d have to rewrite it. I have also had to start posting on my blog in Chrome, as Safari would just not support it. I do everything else on Safari, Chrome is strictly for AWP and ETT!

    • Me too! AwP and Poopsie – Poopsie, I acknowledge your contributions to the blog, but for the purposes of my comment you’ll just have to embrace your feminine side.

      I think that Google awards sections if you make it to the top of the search page. I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything I can do about it other than overtake the popularity of those two longstanding sites. As I can’t be bothered seriously pursuing SEO, I’m afraid it will ever remain a pipe dream…

      Man, that sucks about Safari on the Mac. Browsers are a pain in the bum. I use Safari for everything, except LadyFIRE’s blog where it refuses to let me post. That’s why I hardly comment on hers. I have lots of comments in my head, but they never make it to her blog! I don’t want the website to be making it difficult for people to comment, but I’ve tried a couple of plugins and they both seemed to come with their own issues. Again, I guess this is more proof I need to get my Chrome on.

  6. Yay for a year of blogging! It’s interesting to stop and reflect about your journey (something I did recently while going through and deleting some horrible early posts…). I completely relate to you in terms of being too wordy, but limiting myself to 500ish words hasn’t worked too well in the past. I will also say, as much as I like to disregard SEO in favor of simply writing, apparently Google thinks longer posts are better. shrug

    (Also, it seems like it’s very common to have high bounce rates and less time-on-page for a lot of people, even with blogs that have 100,000+ monthly visitors. Just the nature of the internet, I suppose?)

    I’m glad we connected, though! Your posts are exactly what I’ve been wanting to see more of in the personal finance space. It’s enjoyable to read about how people are trying to figure all this stuff out. =)

    • I’m torn about my early posts. I think it’s too soon for me yet to be adjusting them; I still want to look back and see how I’ve changed. There’s also another part of me that wants to clean them up/improve them. Maybe at my 2 year anniversary.

      I am going to do that 500 word post, but it will be a huge challenge for me. Going forward with my normal posts, I need to focus on writing shorter sentences. I know I run on! Thanks for your comment about the blog. Mostly I don’t feel like a PF blogger because we aren’t really hard-core. I am just writing about the things that affect me as they arise in our lives.

      I know this is a bit fan-girly, but I absolutely love what you are writing at the moment, as well as your blog theme. It’s so calming to visit and just read quality pieces of work, that give me something to think about.

  7. Yay, yay, yay! I left a comment on your last post last week but I’m guessing it disappeared somewhere, so I’ll write it again: happy first year! It actually feels like I’ve known you for way more than that! Reading your achievements made me smile. They seem like little things in paper but they do require a lot of effort (and an extra push), don’t they? I’m yet to try selling stuff online.

    I also don’t monitor my Google Analytics account. I don’t even remember the last time I logged in it. I used to keep an eye on it during my first few months of blogging but I realised that I started writing for the stats rather than for myself, and that took the joy away from writing.

    Congratulations on this milestone! I’m happy we connected with each other and that I have you (and the rest of our Aussie friends) to share my PF journey with. Here’s to many more years of Enough Time To!

    • Thanks J! When I started thinking about it, I was surprised at how much I had done. It didn’t set out to do any of it really, it just seems to be a by-product of blogging and goal-setting. It’s awesome! I’ll have a post coming up on Saturday about my experiences selling online.

      Your comments about writing for the stats instead of yourself match what Erin from Journey to Saving was saying recently. She’s really writing some fantastic posts at the moment, and her blog is beautiful.

      Thanks for your comment, it’s great to be part of the Aussie FI movement.

  8. Firstly, how the hell do you read all those blogs, you’re a machine!!!
    I like your goal of trying to make some short and punchy posts! I tend to waffle on quite a bit myself and am sure half of the post doesn’t need to be in there lol.
    Think I’ll try to do that at least once 🙂

    • I had to concede defeat and now can’t read every post of every person. That’s why I triage them. I do read every post of the Australian/New Zealand blogs that I follow, and some favourite overseas blogs.

      I’ve been thinking about my 500 word post, trying against topic ideas that come to me. Each time it’s been “oh no, I couldn’t cover that in only 500 words.” It’s going to be super challenging!

      As for your posts, I think they are great. I really like the way you write – perhaps there’s an ebook in your future? Your recent post on The Wealth Illusion made for great reading; I’m passing it on to Mr. ETT.

  9. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I have no idea what the stats are for it, but I’m sure there are many blogs that fade from existence within the first year! I had no idea about HTML and CSS until I moved to self-hosted as well (I still know very little about them). You’ve racked up some awesome achievements this year, here is to the next one! PS. I was reading about your interest in time, and thought you might find the idea of time dilation fun. If you could travel close to the speed of light, you could basically make an investment here on earth, space-travel for say 30-40 years and come back millions of years into the future to an absolute fortune (I recommended taking your loved ones with you).

    • Thanks WFT! I really enjoy learning about HTML and CSS, although because I’m not building from scratch, I don’t really need to use it very much.

      You made me laugh with the time dilation – it doesn’t matter the topic, we PF bloggers can always find a financial angle (although it did make me plug the numbers into a compound interest calculator… one told me I would have $infinity, which I think is appropriate for the topic!)

  10. A great post showcasing how far you have come! I’ve never really looked at my WP stats but perhaps i should – if they’re as interesting as yours, I could do a post about them too! On to the next 12 months!

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