Blogging Update: The 1 Year Edition

Blogging Update

Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Green Swan. Guess what?! The Green Swan has reached its 1 year blogiversary!!! Woot woot!! And what a great first year it has been. It is strange, reflecting on it now it seems like it has been way more than one year, but at the same time it feels like it has gone fast! I can’t explain it…I guess I’m just weird, but we already knew that. 🙂

Another Milestone!

This also just so happens to be my 100th article published on The Green Swan, another milestone that just amazes me (maybe that’s why it feels like more than a year…). I can tell you when I started out blogging I had no intention to post more than once a week. Shortly after launch though I began going to two posts a week thinking it would be short term, for maybe a couple months and then I’d go back to one post. I kept telling Lucy that too…

“Don’t worry honey, I’ll cut back on my post frequency and not as much time will be devoted to the blog.”

Well a year later and still publishing two posts a week…for better or for worse! I’ve just enjoy writing and putting my thoughts down on paper so I keep pumping articles out. It isn’t overly hard for me and it takes maybe a couple hours to put the average post together. I initially thought it would be hard to find things to write about at such frequency, but I have never suffered from writers block. I underestimated this big time. Personal finance is a topic I have always enjoyed and there are endless topics to write about. I equate it to a Pastor at a church…you’d think how could one find something to preach about every week? Well there is always something and topics cycle through with new perspectives or discussed at a different angle.

FIRE-Side Chats and Guest Posts

As the regular reader may have noticed though, I haven’t always been the author of my weekly two posts. I began my FIRE-Side Chat series a couple months ago. It has been awesome hearing / sharing new thoughts on the path toward FIRE from other folks. These will continue to be a regular feature on a bi-weekly basis for my usual Thursday post. If you want to take part, shoot me an email!

Also, I have been more willing to share guest posts from other bloggers as well. Having been part of the personal finance blogging community for a year now, I have come to fully realize how great this community is. It is filled with tons of amazing bloggers. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the new perspectives from these guest posts and perhaps found a new blog or two to follow!

My Proudest Moments

Blogging has definitely become something more than I initially intended. First off, I had no idea the community was so embracing. I actually had no idea how big it is either, but there are over 600 registered with Modest Money. It sucked me in. The comments and receptivity from others was encouraging and I began following more blogs myself. I have basically become addicted to reading other personal finance blogs. I just struggle finding enough time in the day to read and follow all the great blogs I want to while still being productive at work and being a good husband and father!

My proudest moments have been when others have been willing to publish my guest posts and feature my blog on their sites. I began linking to each one in my As Featured On page which has honestly taken on a life of its own.

Writing a book had always been on my bucket list. Launching The Green Swan blog helped motivate me to publish my first book. I think I have a good story to share in my book, but I may be biased :)! But it is encouraging and humbling when folks have bought my book and left me positive feedback.

Most Popular Articles

It is really hard for me to fathom 100 articles were published on The Green Swan in the last year. How am I to come up and narrow down a list of popular articles?! If you are new to The Green Swan, I’ve tried to make it easy to navigate previous articles with the Categories listed on the right sidebar. The other thing on my to-do list is to create an Archives page. Do any other bloggers have suggestions on the best way to layout an Archive page?

As a general recap of the last year though, I’ve laid out a few of my favorite and most popular articles.

  1. The Frugal Millionaire
  2. The Investment Inflection Point: The FIRE-Starter
  3. Net Worth Explosion
  4. Feed the Beast
  5. Four Frugal Life Lessons
  6. Path to a Million: Finding the Elevator
  7. Path to a Million: Moving to Move Up
  8. Path to a Million: A Millennial’s Guide
  9. 2016 Investments Year End Review
  10. Sharing My Early Retirement Plans to My Dad

Year Two

What is in store for year 2, you ask? Well, for now I have no plans on changing things up. I started this blog with the purpose of sharing my journey toward early retirement with the view that if I can do it, any average Joe can do it as well. That is still my view and I will continue to try and lead by example. I’m not an Ivy League graduate, I didn’t ace the ACT or SAT exams, and I didn’t get a 4.0 in college. But I worked harder AND smarter to get ahead and I wasn’t afraid to step out of my comfort zone and seize opportunities when they presented themselves.

The Green Swan has evolved over the first year to focus more and more on early retirement with the sprinkling of other general personal finance topics throughout. It will continue to follow Lucy and my path toward FIRE, we’ll continue to share more and more of our personal lives with you through the monthly Swan Life posts Lucy writes, and we’ll continue to share details on how the small business we bought last year is performing (last week was a good week!).

Thank You Readers

Before I leave you today, I want to make sure and thank my readers! Not only has the number of viewers increased week to week and month to month (almost 10,000 monthly visits!), but more importantly to me, the number of returning visitors continues to go up. Those that have found my blog and have liked what they have read so much that they would return and/or subscribe to my newsletter means so much to me and will continue to be my motivation to keep on going.

I am thankful you have enjoyed following The Green Swan! I hope you continue to find my articles insightful, relevant, inspirational and empowering. And if you are one of my regular readers, I hope you consider sharing my blog with friends and family!

As you may be able to tell from this post, blogging has been a very rewarding experience for me and I am so glad I took the leap to launch The Green Swan. I would definitely recommend it to others. Be forewarned though, blogging isn’t for everyone and most bloggers don’t make it to the year mark.

If you think it is for you and are wanting to be part of the discussion and community of bloggers, give it a try. Setting up a site is very easy and low cost. I initially used Bluehost as my host provider and I think they were decent in getting the blog started. But they are known to be one of the slower hosts out there.

I recently switched to SiteGround which is better and came recommended from other established bloggers and tech folks. Fortunately, switching was easy and free, and Bluehost even reimbursed me for the remainder of the first year I signed up for. SiteGround’s basic services package is what I use and is all you’ll need to begin. And if you do launch a site, give me a shout! I’d love to help and be a resource.

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    1. Thanks!

      My favorite was number 10, the convo with my dad on my early retirement plans. It was a special and memorable conversation between us. I’m glad that I could not only share it with readers but also memorialize it to re-read it myself down the road.

    1. Great wisdom and I appreciate the opportunity to share my favorite. I should have included that detail in the post! 🙂

      I responded to FTF above. Thanks!

  1. Congrats on the blogiversary, JW! You’ve had a wildly successful first year and continue to pump out content that appeals to a wide variety of readers. I’m glad to say I’ve been a reader since the beginning. Keep up the awesome work.

  2. Happy Birthday, Swans! I can SO relate to your comment: “I have basically become addicted to reading other personal finance blogs”….glad it’s not just me.

    This stuff is addicting, and The Green Swan is on my “Don’t Miss” list. Keep up the great work!

  3. Congrats! Staying active for 1 year and 100 posts is awesome! I like the pastor analogy: There’s always something to write about. But it also means that I will always stay at one post per week. 🙂
    Anyway, thanks for your hard work and the awesome content here!

  4. Way to go on still going strong and growing as you hit your year mark. That is awesome! I love all the things that blogging opens up, from getting to know people, make friends, and practice something you are interested in (like writing a book.)

  5. How have you only been around for a year? Seems like you’ve been around forever (in a good way).

    Congrats on the milestone. Looking forward to following along in year #2!

  6. Congrats on such a terrific first year! There is nothing easy about blogging – and I think people recognize that. You have a lot to share – on many different topics. Looking forward to all you bring to the community and to all readers in Year 2!

  7. Congratulations buddy. I believe the first year is the hardest and is when most new bloggers fall by the wayside, but yours only seems to get bigger and better. A good sign for the future.

    It sounds like you still have plenty to share and if you can keep up twice weekly posts, I say, go for it.

    Here’s to successful year 2 and another year of insightful pearls of wisdom from the Green Swan.

    1. Thanks Martin! Two posts a week may be a stretch with a growing family and increased responsibilities around the home, but I’ll try.

      Thanks for stopping by and being a frequent contributor in the comments!

  8. Congrats! I’ve enjoyed following along, even if I don’t comment as much as I’d like to! Keep up the great work, it’s been inspiring. 🙂

    1. I know, there’s not enough time in the day to read and comment on all the blogs I enjoy following. Thanks for stopping by Kelsey, I hope to see you back blogging again soon.

  9. Congrats. Churning out 2 blog posts a week over a period of 1 year is a feat. Looking forward to year two. I would have never thought this blog is only one year old from the look of it and the intense interaction with your readers. Well done!

    1. Thanks, that means a lot. It sure is a lot of time and effort but it’s a labor of love at this point! I appreciate yo stopping by, MWS!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, RtC, and I appreciate the kind words! I’ll be sure to visit your blog as well. Always nice establishing new relationships with other bloggers!

  10. Happy blogiversary!!! That’s incredible that you’ve been writing for a year and have so much readership in such a short time but honestly doesn’t surprise me 🙂 Keep up the awesome work!!!

    BTW…have you noticed much a difference in speed since you changed to SiteGround. I’ve been contemplating it as well.

    1. Thanks so much Mustard Seed.

      I have noticed some improvement, but I made a number of changes around the same time so it is hard to distinguish how much of a difference each has had. I still have some work to do to optimize ads which will improve speed quite a bit I expect.

  11. Congrats on the year GS! I’m a new discoverer of the site but incredibly stoked to start the exploration. Lots of great comments from some bloggers I know below. If that’s an indication of the year, then nice work! I’m looking forward to catching up! Cheers

  12. This is so inspiring, thank you so much for sharing this. We just launched our blog around two months ago. Definitely enjoying catching up on your popular articles!

  13. Congrats for reaching the 1st year, I don’t know how you find the time to blog with a little one and soon 2. You have all my respect 🙂 Enjoy the 2nd year!

    1. Blogging is a lot of work. I have a ton of respect for bloggers, especially those who pump out even more than two articles per week on a regular basis.

      Thanks Nick!

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