Money Stir launched in the middle of December 2018. It was a brand new domain and WordPress site. I decided it was time to start putting my thoughts in writing as we pursue financial independence and what matters most to us.
I started wondering if I could give the site a good start by posting more content than what I want to maintain long term.
Would this extra energy pay off in more traffic faster? Would I burn myself out? Could I get integrated into the community more quickly? These are the questions that ultimately drove me to make this the first major content milestone for the blog.
And I succeeded in publishing 30 blog posts in 30 days.
But why so much content?
There are a ton of financial blogs out there that post 4-6 articles per month. It seemed like most of them started making money from their blog after 2-3 years, and some of them still barely make any income from their website after that period.
With that said, more content doesn’t necessarily mean more income. But there are some advantages to publishing more content sooner:
- If and when Google starts showing my content in search results, I anticipate the volume of material will bring more search results. Especially for long-tail keywords. But it sounds like this may not start to happen until the site has been around for six months.
- Having more content means I can embed more internal links in my posts. Which is something I noticed larger blogs do consistently, and it makes sense in retaining visitors and generating more page views.
- I found it difficult to iron out the navigation and design until I had a significant amount of content.
- By having more content sooner, I was able to promote more content through social media.
- Creating massive amounts of content gives me time to iron out the vision of Money Stir.
- Research shows that the quantity of content on a website relates to the amount of incoming traffic. With that said, I didn’t want to focus on just writing a lot of articles. I wanted to have high-quality content. It became about concentrating on quantity and quality at the same time. In other words, I didn’t want the amount of material I was writing to sacrifice the quality.
- I wanted to increase the quality of my writing exponentially.
- Having people see new content helps increase your authority in your subject.
When I realized how many financial blogs are already out there, and how much great content they are writing, I determined that if Money Stir was going to be successful, I had to work harder than most sites.
If Money Stir was going to fail, I didn’t want it to be from lack of effort.
When you start bringing in more traffic, things tend to grow faster. It is similar to how compound interest works in growing our money. It also helps with return traffic as people are more likely to come back to your site regularly if your site isn’t empty.
If I were going to publish six blog posts per month, it would have taken me five months to get to this point! I might be bringing in more traffic compared to what I’m doing now, but I think this increases the likelihood that Money Stir’s traffic will grow faster than if I kept a slower content publishing schedule.
Was it worth it?
I was pretty naive in understanding how much work it was going to take to publish new content once per day, as a new writer. The good news is I had about 1.5 weeks off for Christmas, and that gave me a lot of time to get caught up with writing better content.
It took a lot of late nights and early mornings to accomplish this goal. But the cost was worth it.
When I first started, most of Money Stir’s traffic was coming from me viewing the site. It was depressing. As I produced more content, I started seeing a traffic increase of 40-60% per week. And for a site just beginning, this kind of growth can’t be underestimated.
But even more important than an increase in traffic, I’m learning to find my voice. After re-reading my earlier posts, my words are becoming more concise, and my personality is coming out more in my writing. When you are looking at standing out in a crowd, this can be vital to your success. I’m also noticing that it is getting easier and faster to write longer posts and my confidence in my writing has increased dramatically. Using Grammarly has helped tremendously, and I’m noticing an increase in the quality of my writing.
Below is a list of each article I published in the last 30 days. The articles that I am most proud of have an asterisk. The order matches when they were published on the site. I included the number of words for each article to give an idea of how much content I wrote in this time.
- Welcome! Where I am and How I got Here (566 words)
- How Credit Card Debt Makes You Miserable (1,226 words)
- Robinhood 3% Savings/Checking account?! (292 words)
- Budgeting is the Secret to Financial Success (612 words)
- Why I transferred from Betterment to Vanguard (434 words)
- * What does Retirement really look like? (668 words)
- Can you really beat the stock market? (614 words)
- Can we assume the market will increase in value over the long-term? (575 words)
- * Why Winning the Lottery is a Double-Edged Sword (778 words)
- 7 Reasons to Think Twice about Debt Consolidation (885 words)
- How to Save Money on Food (854 words)
- Weekly Stir: 12/23/2018 (343 words)
- The good and bad of Grammarly: Improve your writing! (627 words)
- This Christmas the Snow Falls with the Stock Market (860 words)
- How the Fed Interest Rate effects our Economy (1,203 words)
- Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door (873 words)
- * Financial Versions of Yourself: The Result of Choices (1,171 words)
- * What I Learned from Starting a Business (2,263 words)
- Weekly Stir: 12/30/18 (511 words)
- * Is the FIRE movement bullshit? (2,362 words)
- * Rainy Day Stash of Cash (1,386 words)
- Is cutting back on small purchases worth it? (1,461 words)
- Book Review: Your Money or Your Life (1,013 words)
- * Finding Your Inner Voice (2,138 words)
- Our Financial Plan for 2019 (1,200 words)
- * How to Become a Kick-Ass Employee (2,026 words)
- Weekly Stir: 1/7/19 (551 words)
- * There is no Golden Egg: Avoid FOMO! (1,918 words)
- * It’s all About the Effort Baby (983 words)
- Experiment: 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days (1,335 words)
The length of each article increased half-way through the challenge, and I feel like the quality also improved. Over 30 blog posts I wrote 31,728 words. That is an average of about 1,058 words per day.
My Plan Moving Forward
There is no way I can hold down a job and publish one article per day long-term. It is not sustainable without sacrificing other priorities. And I refuse to sacrifice my family for the sake of this site.
At this point, I’m thinking about posting three new blog posts per week on these days: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In addition to that regular content schedule, I want to post a weekly update with where we are at personally.
The one area that needs improvement is my email newsletter. No one is signing up. I have a few ideas that I want to pursue.
These are my priorities for Money Stir in 2019:
- Iron out a sustainable content schedule of three posts per week, plus one weekly update.
- Increase my followers and engagement on Twitter.
- Grow my newsletter email list.
- Create pages that have content that is different than what is in my posts. A few pages come to mind: Start Here and Recommendations.
- Play with different options in monetizing the traffic to Money Stir.
If you run a blog, what ways have you increased traffic?
Chris Roane is a financial blogger who loves to be transparent about money-related issues. He’s paid off massive amounts of credit card debt and is the blog author of Money Stir. His main focus on Money Stir is talking about how money relates to our relationships, personal development, and how to plan for the future we want. He’s been quoted on Market Watch, The Ladders, and other publications.