Hello! Thanks for vising The Green Swan. Today I am getting a little extra personal…I’ve written 200 posts as The Green Swan! It’s been a remarkable journey over the last two years, four months and 24 days!!! It is a major milestone for me, one that has kept me posting two articles a day the first year and at least one a week ever since. That alone is an accomplishment I’m proud of considering I’ve had a fairly demanding day job, two kiddos to chase after, and a little bit of a life outside of it all.
It wasn’t all me though…Lucy participated for a while in her Swan Life series. I’ve also featured a number of guest posts and interviews on The Green Swan while also reciprocating and guest posting on other sites / podcasts.
It has been quite a journey writing 200 posts, but I truly can’t believe it has been so long. It’s seems like I started just last week. The days are long, the years are short! So today’s post is one of reflection, one of accountability, and perhaps one with a glimpse toward the future.
200 posts…how many words have I typed into this internet machine? I generally have written between 1,000 to 2,000 words per post, some even more. I think an estimate of 1,500 words a post is conservative. That equates to 300,000 words! Plus, I can’t forget about my ebook which was another 30,000 words. That’s another accomplishment I am proud of myself for while at the same time so thankful to the folks investing in The Green Swan lifestyle by buying it.
How many hours? I think a conservative, low-ball estimate would be 2 hours per post, but 2.5 to 3 may by more realistic. I’ll go with 2 though which equates to 400 hours (10 normal work weeks, or about 14 hours per month)! Meanwhile, nearly 150K visitors to the site have invested an aggregate 5,360+ hours reading these words! It is hard for me to comprehend that number, but wow, thank you readers for your interest!!
That is all daunting to think about, but without doubt launching The Green Swan has been totally worth it for me. I’ve come so far in the last couple years as a person and in my relationship with money. The Green Swan has not only been a record of that journey, but I’ve changed through the writing of those 330K+ words and 400 hours.
Granted, that change over time I think would happen naturally to some degree, but by writing I’m learning. I’m occasionally researching my content, I’m formalizing my thoughts and plans and strategies, I’m questioning myself and my beliefs (e.g. my reasons for being frugal, rationale for spending more freely, my previous explanation back in 2016 for holding actively managed mutual funds, etc etc). I’m learning and growing and evolving in many ways.
All this helped bring me closer to money, even though I have always been really close to it.
The reader emails and post comments have been so encouraging and insightful. The Green Swan has been a sounding board for me with real-life feedback from great, smart folks. I’ve had the benefit of sharing deeply personal things with complete strangers to get honest and unbiased responses as well as their own stories and relatable experiences. How incredible is that!?
And I’ve loved it. I’ve had so much fun writing 200 posts. Some of the highest highs have come when I’ve been featured as a guest writer on other blogs, featured by big outlets like Policy Genius, The Globe and Mail and Rockstar Finance, and interviewed on various podcasts. I owe all these folks a special thanks, no doubt!
I’d be remiss to not highlight my favorite post of all time. That would be the deeply personal, authentic and reflective post on how our life direction was drastically changed with kids. In a way, it is a tribute to Lucy and my special little kiddos. What a blessing they have been and I look forward to seeing where we go and how our lives continue to evolve with these boys.
Like I said, I truly can’t believe I’ve been at this long. When I started out blogging nearly two and a half years ago it seems like the blogging landscape was so different. There were maybe 300 – 400 personal finance / financial independence blogs out there (just going on memory of the Rockstar Finance Directory), now the list has grown to 1,800+! WTF!!! You could seriously read an article a day from a different site and never go back to the same site twice for nearly 5 years. Mind blowing!
And what am I doing here…???
I’m curious, do these people really know what they’ve signed up for? Is there major money in blogging that they are searching for? Will they make it past their first year? Or how soon will they end up in the inactive list or blogger cemetery?
I’m part of that 1,800…somehow I’ve made it past one year and have now eclipsed the 200-post mark. Cripes! Did I know what I was doing…no way. Heck I started out youtube-ing videos on how to set up a site and google-ing SEO (sort of ironic to google how to optimize my own search engine results…). So who am I to offer words to the wise?
Time for some accountability…I’m a little ashamed to admit that I had no idea there were 300+ active personal finance bloggers out there when I came on the scene. If I had, I may not have taken the leap myself, but in no way do I regret joining the blogosphere! It is all about getting into it for the right reasons, and money is not one.
I knew of maybe ten personal finance blog sites and I thought I would be here to make a big splash and be the next Mr. Money Mustache…oops! How naïve!
The Green Swan started out as a mission to help people with their finances and encourage people on their path toward making and saving more money. Over time this mission has morphed into a blog following me on my journey toward financial independence from which I hope folks can still take a tidbit or two from and apply it toward their own journey.
Nothing wrong with this transition I suppose as it has kept me going 200 posts strong and one of the 1,800 active finance bloggers…
But where to next?
So what is next for The Green Swan? Well, I guess one way to answer that is my current 200 posts won’t be going anywhere and will forever be a resource to others (as helpful or entertaining as that may be…). Of course that is so long as I do keep the site active and continue paying my hosting fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
The attempt to satisfy my initial mission, attempting to help folks do better with their money, will continue on through the resource of historical posts. Not that there would be any shortage of similar resources from the 1,800 other bloggers out there.
While I have ads and do monetize my site, that will continue to be of secondary importance. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that having a hugely successful blog providing enough income to live off of is not in my wheel-house. It is possible, I don’t want to discourage the 1,800 others, plus many more to come, from trying by any means. But it takes a lot of energy, devotion, and skill in writing, not to mention the technical aspects of running a blog. Initially I had the energy and devotion to The Green Swan, but still isn’t easy…
I’ve realized that if my motivation is money and the fact that it takes more than what I’ve given it over the prior 200 posts, then I’m better of putting my time and energy into other passions or projects for monetization purposes. It just wouldn’t make any economical sense, and the fact that monetization hasn’t been on the forefront has been why I’m still hanging around I suppose.
I will continue posting for the purpose and passion of it, but maybe not with the same rigor and frequency. And on top of continuing to share my journey toward financial independence and beyond, I will continue to share things I find fascinating and insightful such as various how awesome my solar panels are, how my small business is doing, my continued refinement in travel hacking, and other musings.
And for the 200th time, thanks for taking a look!
The Green Swan