I started this blog in November 2018 when I did not had a clear view yet on what direction I wanted to go. I had a big interest in investing, money and FIRE and wanted to bring this from a European point of view.
I was not only starting a blog, I was also searching for a direction. Both for my blog but also for myself and my own investing. I called the blog Euromoney because of my interest in investing, FIRE & money in general. Later this would be rebranded to roadtriptofire.com
My first year (2018 – 2019) of blogging
The first months I had almost no visitors. I had no experience with blogging and I had no idea how to get people to find and like my blog. I started off with some general articles (such as top 25 methods to gain a passive income – still very popular) but I was not very open about my finances.
My initial visitors pretty much only came from advertising on forums and blogs. I remember how much I wanted people to read the blog posts I wrote and was sharing it in chats hoping to get some feedback.
I even shared the blog with some friends hoping to boost my visitors. Later I realized its better not to share my blog with people I know and to keep a low profile. Luckily they did not stick around and probably have forgotten by now my blog even exists.
In terms of visitors the first year was a disaster. I did got 148 views my first month, partly due to massive advertising, but the months after this my views were limited to even 10-20 at the low peaks.
The reasons for the low amount are:
- #1 No SEO experience
- #2 No clear direction of where the blog was going
- #3 And because of #2 it also meant I had a lack of quality content, I actually had written very few blogs
It was in summer 2019 that I decided to start being more open with my own investments. One thing I wanted to start doing was monthly portfolio updates. My first portfolio update was called summer 2019 investments in turbulent times. I talked about investing in $Galapagos, on which I made an incredible profit. I sold it to soon at the time as the course still almost doubled later on, but right now the course actually dropped much much lower due to 2 failed medicines and I am considering to re-invest.
I shared the blog and did got an instant boost in views that month. 121 views to be exact, extremely low of course, but compared to the 10-20 views per month the previous month it was an increase of 600%.
I did share this post on some forums, and the feedback I got was that the statistics meant nothing because there was no numbers. They were right, I could pretty much say anything in my blog, I could say I had 10000% profit, if I did not post the numbers each and every month I could tell my readers whatever I liked.
At the same time I was reading a lot about peer to peer investing. The $Galapagos stocks profit went mainly to this new type of investing called peer to peer. As it was quite new it spiked interests of visitors. My visitors were rising, people enjoyed to read about this type of investment and at the same time I decided to invest more and more in peer to peer. The views went up every month to about 200 views every month and even 400 in December.
Year 2 – 2020
I also started to connect with the right groups on Facebook and they loved to read about my portfolio updates. Encouraged by a growing audience I blogged more about peer to peer and even invested more. I started also gaining some affiliate income from peer to peer, sometimes up to 50 EUR per month.
Then something happened that would spike my visitors amount but also kill my income.
In December 2019/January 2020 it became clear that some platforms I had invested in turned out to be scams. We are talking about the very clear scams here. Kuetzal was the first, followed by Envestio and Monethera. I had about 1000 EUR in each of these and I remember lying awake at night in December thinking of how dumb I was to fall for this trick.
I learned three important lessons:
- Liquidity in investments is everything. You need to be able to pull out when things get rough in time
- What is good for visitors number in your blog, might not be good for your wallet
- High risk, high gain investments, are sometimes just high risk
While Kuetzal caught me by surprise, I decided to issue a buyback right away (at a 5%-10% expense) for Envestio and Monethera. For Envestio I actually managed to pull out literally days before the site and its 30M of investments disappeared in thin air.
What was bad for my wallet was good for my blog, and the many blog posts I could write in this period about Envestio, Monethera and Kuetzal gave my blog a huge spike in visitors, topping to 3394 views in February 2020.
I made the decision right there & then to pull out of peer to peer. While some peer to peers had a buy-back mechanism, most did not have this. In April 2020 it meant that when Grupeer went into default my investments were pretty much still stuck there. This caused my largest loss as of yet with 9k.
I started legal proceedings with other investors suing both Grupeer and Kuetzal.
For my blog and investments it meant once more finding a new direction. The majority of my readers came from the peer to peer world, and they might lose interest if I decided to stop blogging about this topic. But I had very little choice. My investments were moving to ETFs and I would need to somewhat find a new userbase that was more interested in FIRE and the stock market.
End of 2020 / 2021
In summer 2020 I also started a little side project and that gave me less time to blog. I picked it back up in autumn with a more clear direction then ever (FIRE), and a rebranding from euromoney.blog to roadtriptofire.com and have seen a constant increase in visitors now since my low point in 2020 (820 views in September):
- 820 in September 2020
- 882 in October 2020
- 1455 in November 2020
- 1601 in December 2020
- 2131 in January 2021
Also in February I have good hopes to break the 2000 views this month. If you are reading this you are part of this story, so thank you so much for reading this and supporting me!
The rebrand did make sure I got a temporarily decline in google visitors but by now it has picked up again to the levels I got from google from before the rebrand, and they go even higher
All in all I must say that 2020 was a good year with 20.000 visitors. Especially when comparing with 2018 and 2019 you can literally see that the visitor number skyrocketed in 2020. In 2021 I would be very happy to hit 30.000 / year.
Another important statistic on my blog is the user engagement.
What I noticed is that I got a bit more likes every month. I think this says something about both the quality of my blog, as about the quality of my readers. So far it peaked last month in January with 72 likes! A like is so much appreciated guys, comments even more! I love to engage with all of you and always read & answer all comments / questions.
Where do my visitors come from?
Traffic from Search engines
I noticed there is three items that bring in visitors from google:
- The amount of visitors your posts have
- Your domain rating
- And lastly good and quality content
I recorded the amount of visitors I got from search engines each month and here is the result:
My peak so far was in November 2020 with 154, in December I rebranded to roadtriptofire.com causing a drop, but in January 2021 I was almost back at my all times high.
One of the reasons google picked up my blog again so fast is because of the content. I now have a few 100s of pages of content and this really helps to increase the traffic.
Domain rating & backlinks
Domain rating is quite important to bring in visitors. Together with your content and amount of visitors on your blog it determines how high your results will rank on google.
Your domain rating is in part determined by the number of quality links going to your blog. Sounds simple doesn’t it? You can just post your link everywhere and your domain rating will skyrocket. Well its not so simple. Mostly when you post your link it will be stamped as “nofollow”, so it will not count towards your domain rating.
You could just ask other websites to link to your blog in exchange for a link back right (aslo called backlinks)? Well not quite. Firstly a link back will not earn as much as a one way link, secondly a site with a low domain rating linking to a site with a high domain rating will pretty much have no increase for that site with the high domain rating. Meaning when you start off other sites have very little benefits to linking to your site.
What is a good idea is to ask for backlinks of good blogs with similar content as you. This will not just boost your domain rating, it will also bring in visitors who are interested in your specific content. A cooking site linking to my site would probably not bring in much value, but a site about investing will.
Lastly you can write guest posts on other blogs. Its not something I have done so far, but it is something I am considering for sure.
My Domain rating on Euromoney.blog was about 11 at he point of rebranding, thanks to my experience I have with blogging so far I was able to bring the domain rating of roadtriptofire.com from 1 to 17 in a little over two months.
Email subscribers and social media
The best way to bring in visitors for a blog is of course is email subscribers and direct followers. At the time of writing my email + followers is about 118. I can see it fluctuates, and people sometimes to “unfollow”. I am not sure if this is because they expect a follow back or because they are not interested in the content anymore. It does show you need to make sure every single one of your blog posts is high quality.
I have the most followers on twitter (667 at the time of writing), and still rising each month.
I do enjoy to tweet and talk on twitter about investing. It does bring in some visitors every time I create a blog post.
I follow back if I like the content this person brings, otherwise I don’t.
I am also on Facebook in two ways:
- My own Facebook group
- Active in various investing & FIRE related group
My own Facebook group only has 99 likes. So if you are reading this go smash that like button and help me get to 100.
I noticed that high quality Facebook groups can actually bring in a lot of visitors. The spike in 3k visitors in January 2019 actually came mainly from Facebook. However you need to make sure your content is exactly right for that group before you post it. If you just advertise blindly without thinking you will most likely just be banned from that group, excluding yourself from possible future visitors.
Blog income & expenses
I have my blog at wordpress, that charges me about 8$ / month to keep this blog up. I have the Premium subscription that gives me access to my own domain and WordPress premium themes, which I both considered important.
I have tried the business edition for a short period (25$ / month), but I thought it was to expensive for the extra features it offered.
I also have purchased a domain which costs about 22$ / year (roadtriptofire.com). I thought it was important to have a .com domain.
If you would like to start a blog you can use my link both you and me will get some free credits to start off with.
For income I have tried several sources of income:
- Donations – 0$ income so far
- Affiliate links – around 50-100$ income last year
- Advertising – right now about 1$ per month
Affiliate links brought in money mainly from peer to peer. I had also tried a partnership with DEGIRO, but actually my links were not used to sign up even once. A bit similar results with other affiliate links, such as from Amazon.
Advertising brings up about 1$ per 1500 views from WordPress Adds. From google the income is actually much higher, but to do that you need the business membership, and this will not be worth it until your visitor count is around 10.000 / month I would say.
I am not to bothered with gaining no income so far, I am much more focused on producing content, talking about my content and increasing my user base.
There is no easy path to growing your blog. Some unexpected events can give you a sudden boost in visitors, but mainly its about producing high quality content for long periods of time.
Don’t start a blog for the wrong reasons, its not a way to get rich. Start a blog because you love to write. I love to write and talk about my investments with you guys. This is why I will keep writing about my Investments, FIRE, my blog, travels,…
I will probably post another one of these later on and keep you guys informed of visitor numbers. Enjoyed this read and want to stay in the loop? Subscribe and stay up to date.