State of the blog (6 Months Later). Traffic, Profit, and much more

Just like we re-balance our portfolio every year or two, it is important to check in on this website to see how it’s going.  Today, I will try and be as objective as possible as I share the numbers for traffic, referral sources, revenue, etc.  This is the first state of the blog.

I started this website at the very end of November 2017. That makes this post almost exactly 6 months after my first!

Let’s dig in.

Lot’s of work

In the past six months (26 weeks), I have published 78 posts on The Physician Philosopher.

I’ve put in between 15-20 hours per week at a minimum on my website.  Early on it was even more than that. Running a website is certainly not passive income.  Not in the sense of “set it and forget it.”

My target audience includes young students, trainees (residents/fellows), and young medical practitioners.  The goal is to be a fellow journeyman and teach them things I wish I had been taught.

I post on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule where my Monday/Friday posts are slanted towards topics on building wealth, financial independence, and other personal finance related topics.

Wednesdays are “Wellness Wednesdays” where I discuss topic relevant to the general wellness of medical professionals.  I think that financial success and wellness are intrinsically linked.  However, financial success is certainly not the only  determining factor of wellness.

The reason for this strange combination is that I never want anyone to forget why we are trying to obtain wealth, which is to live a life well lived.

Traffic Then

January 2018 trafficThe numbers to the right are from the first month that I had google analytics, which was in January of 2018.  This was the second full month after The Physician Philosopher started.

You can see that I had a little less than 3,000 page views that month from 957 different users.  Thank you to everyone that has been here since the beginning!

According to my numbers from wordpress (which give a similar pageview count for January as Google Analytics), I had about 2500 views in my very first month, December 2017.

I think that 550 of those views from that first month came from a mention by Physician on Fire in his Sunday Best.  He is a good guy and a great blogger.  You should check him out, if you haven’t.

In my first month, I also had only 15 weekly email subscribers and, if I am being honest, 5 of those emails consisted of: my wife, two close friends, and two of my own personal email addresses to make sure emails were being sent out properly.

I’ve shown pretty good growth since then.  My numbers have continually gotten better with each month.  My growth is not exploding, but has been steady.

Speaking of that…

Traffic Now

For the entire six months, I’ve crossed over 25,000 views.

The last two months, I’ve averaged 6,300 page views from 4,540 visitors.  I am really hoping to get consistently to 10,000-15,000 monthly page views by the end of the year.

I also now have right at 150 email subscribers.  These are my most loyal readers.  I am thankful for each of them.  This is a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on with this site and each week’s posts.

I hope to be at 500 subscribers by the end of the year.

With the above goals mentioned, here is my shameless plug to encourage you to please share my emails, posts, tweets…whatever you think your friends or loved ones would find helpful or interesting.

Most popular posts

The most popular posts on the site (in order) are the following:

  1. Step by Step Tutorial for First-time Backdoor Roth (Vanguard)
  2. Physician, Know Thyself: A Self-Identity Crisis (this post was also featured on KevinMD)
  3. Moderately Frugal: Wealth without Wellness
  4. How to make a $22,000 backdoor roth conversion in one year
  5. The Third Philosophy: The 30% Rule

In my opinion, the most important post I’ve written is number 2 above (Physician, Know Thyself).  If I had to pick one article for anyone in the process of becoming a medical professional (or already there), then this would be the article I’d choose.

People also apparently like reading about backdoor roths.  For the size of my website, I get a lot of search/SEO traffic from the two backdoor roth posts.

Most common sources of traffic

Here are my most common sources of traffic:

  1. Search engines. Particularly for the roth posts mentioned above.
  2. Physician On Fire.  Not a surprise here.  POF has been an unbelievable help to me on this journey.  He does a lot to help those coming behind him, and is just an all-around great guy.  Oh, and he has part ownership in a brewery.  What’s not to like?
  3. Twitter.  I do some major hustlin’ on twitter.  You can follow me on twitter to see each post the minute it comes out.  I only send weekly updates to avoid spamming my email followers. I bridge the weekly gap through twitter.
  4. Student Doctor Network.  This one has been a favorite past time since I was in college.  Though the screen names have changed so I could link my account to this website, the place remains somewhere to openly discuss (and argue) about just about anything.  Ever hear about the woman with a spinal needle found 14 years later?  Yeah, learned that on SDN.
  5. KevinMD.  I have some guest posts on KevinMD.  Click the link you just passed to see my collection.

I am also in the VIB blogger program with Rockstar Finance; on the the lowest level (bronze).  I haven’t seen a ton of traffic directly related to that, but am giving it a year to see how well it works.

Making it Rain (Profit)

Dollar Bills
Dolla’ Dolla’ Bills, ya’ll!

Now for the juicy stuff!

Well, I wish it was juicy.  Am I making it rain?  Not so much.

I have not even covered the costs, or everything I’ve spent to set up and run this website.

Costs include getting an LLC ($127), website hosting fees ($150), logo ($50), VIB blogging program ($50 per month), and an upcoming trip to FinCon (~$750?).  I also recently purchased a chromebook laptop to use exclusively for this site (~$500)

Here’s how I’ve made money so far:

  • Affiliate Marketing: $300
  • Student Loan Refinancing: $200
    • I don’t make a lot here, YET…but once people realize I have some of the best deals on student loan refinancing offers, I bet this will increase
    • Also I highly recommend REPAYE in training unless you have a really good reason not to… and I get zero dollars for recommending REPAYE, but I am in this to help out first, make a profit second.
  • Amazon Associates: $5.08….talking about making it rain!

That’s a whopping total of $505.08 for those who have trouble with math.  My (secret) goal was to make $1,000 in my first year.  So, I am well on my way to that goal.

Schedule C anyone?

Using the totals above, I have $1825 in expenses and $505.08 in revenue.

I’ll definitely be deducting a lot of expenses this year on my Schedule C, which means I need to make a profit on this site in the next few years so that the IRS doesn’t reclassify me as a hobby.

Missing out on being able to use a Schedule C after getting reclassified as a hobby would be no bueno.

The direction this site will head to make additional revenue will include sponsorships once my readership is up.  This will change what the right side of this screen looks like and probably involve an email sponsor for the weekly emails.

I don’t like advertisements because they get in the way of reading content, which is why people come.  I hate seeing advertisements myself when I am reading other websites.

I do however want to keep the doors open and the lights on.  Sponsorships will help get me there, eventually.

Email me if you have an interest.

Overall impression?

My overall impression is that running a website and consistently putting out content is hard work.  But I love it. I really do.

It’s taken over much of my free time, but has replaced a lot of TV watching and unproductive time.  I have a post coming out about this topic, actually (making time for passion projects).

The Physician Philosopher has shown steady growth each month.  I hope that trajectory continues.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Fellow bloggers that happen to read this site, what could I be doing better?  What advice do you have? Readers, what would you like to see me cover more or less often?  Leave a comment below.

TPP

 

 

18 thoughts on “State of the blog (6 Months Later). Traffic, Profit, and much more

  1. That is a great summary! I love this community of physician financial bloggers and financial bloggers in general. Everyone seems to genuinely help each other out and want them to succeed. Very refreshing indeed especially when most of us are wired as type A competitive personalities.

    I hear you on the making it rain part. LOL. I’m only 1 month into my blogging career and I probably put more time in this than any other endeavor. Each post for me takes about 3-4 hours to make (and I was so excited about the prospect of starting a blog I launched with about 25 posts in que.

    Not going to guess the amount of hours, but wouldn’t shock me that I’m already 200+ hrs in. So I’m not making minimum wage for all this effort. But man has it been a blast.

    My girlfriend and colleague have seen the change in my personality, it’s really given me some purpose. Of course I’m not going to deny it, if this becomes a runaway monetary successful venture I’m not going to complain. But the people I have met and become friends with has been super rewarding already.

    Hope I make it to 6 months and beyond. Continue the great work 🙂

    • You are doing great! I’ve seen you comment on a bunch of blogs already! Making a name for yourself.

      If you ever need a thing, I’ll be happy to help, though I am about where you are on this trek!

      I’ve loved this community and am really looking forward to FinCon and seeing people there that I’ve built a community with online.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      TPP

  2. Keep up that hard work! Your blog is on the list of ones to read each week. I appreciate your Wellness Wednesdays in addition to your concise financial posts. I read your posts and think to myself that it’s clear you put in a lot of thought to them. I also see a strong correlation between your above mentioned goals – esp the link between financial success and wellness – and what you produce in writing. I enjoy stopping by – thank you!

    • Thanks, Dan. I really appreciate that!

      I think it’s such an important message to get out to the medical community. And I really do believe that wellness and financial literacy are intrinsically linked.

      TPP

  3. It’s been really great reading your stuff these last few months. Thanks for putting in the effort. You are one of my first stops every morning.

    • Thanks, Doc G! And likewise. You’re ability to crank out thoughtful posts daily is really impressive. Thank you for all of the support along the way. It’s fun seeing our sites kind of “grow up together” since we are on a similar time line.

  4. Blogging is a “long game”. It’s easy to compare to the “I made $100k in my first year!” blogs, but like everything in life there are outliers. I think too many bloggers are type-A’s who expect immediate results and aren’t willing to have patience. I’m also about 6 months in and enjoying it.

    • And you’re doing a great job!

      I agree that it makes no sense to try and keep up with the blogs that become prolific quickly. Usually it’s because they caught a few big breaks early or just happen to have a particular message that resounds and catches quickly.

      I don’t do this full time and don’t have 60 hours to give it each week. I am happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish despite working a full time job, being married, and having three kids with interests of their own.

      Keep up the good work, AF!

  5. Sounds like you’re doing amazing! I launched my blog and podcast about the same time as you and can relate to the amount of hours it takes to get a post ready!

    Wishing you much success!

  6. Hey this post is interesting. My blog is about 3 months old. I have 15000 page views and 5000 visitors according to jetpack. Now I have a benchmark. POF has commented on my blog but never the Sunday best. I notice a bump if I publicize the post on POF facebook page and on twitter. Internet marketing is new to me. Somehow a reporter from Barrons found my blog this weekend and we are talking on the phone next week about the 4% rule. Go figure.

    • Nice, Hatton1. Getting your name out there is the hardest part, in my opinion. The content will be there if you have ideas to share. Getting that content in front of people is the challenge.

      Congrats on the Barrons mention! That’ll be huge!

      Keep up the good work,

      TPP

  7. Love your posts- keep them coming! Blogging is intense, hard work, and I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. It’s been great to connect to a community that gets it. I’ve also committed to FinCon and hope to meet fellow bloggers in person!

    • It has been a ton of hard work. I probably put 10-20 hours in each week outside of my 50-60 hour work week as a doc. I’ve loved every second though. It really is my passion to teach this stuff to people coming behind me and beside me on this journey

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