First six months of blogging – Lessons learned

Posted on Categories Blogging, Goals
First six months of blogging – Lessons learned Logo

I just realized that this blog has been already been alive for more than six months already! Happy blogging anniversary The Poor Swiss!

The first post on this blog is from October 10. At that point, I hosted it directly on wordpress.com. It’s only been self-hosted since March 2 with bluehost.

I started blogging  here to motivate me to save more each month. At the beginning, my finances were in really bad shape. I had to reduce a lot my expenses and I was also lucky to increase my income. Since the beginning, my savings rate have been increasing. March 2018 was my best month with more than 46% savings rate! I’m starting to get more confident about my finances. Of course, it’s still not perfect, but it is better.

I will need to review my investment portfolio in the coming months. It’s still too complicated. Next month, I’ll get married. This will only be the civil wedding. The party wedding will be later. And my future is going to move in with me next month as well. So a lot of things are going to change for my finances. We’ll see how it goes.

The other reason to start a blog was to share my experience along the way. Like every blogger, I would like to grow my audience. On that count, I’m a bit disappointed. The audience on the blog is already stagnant. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. This is something I will have to study in details in the future if I want to grow this blog. Of course, a lot of my posts are related to Switzerland, which makes them more niche.

In March, I had almost 2000 page views. It’s not great, but it’s still a start. Unfortunately, since I migrated the URL for the blog, I don’t have full stats since the beginning. I will try to post again in a few months once I have at least six months of stats. On the other hand, I’m very satisfied by the number of comments on the blog. I already got 101 comments. Moreover, I’m also impressed by the personal finance blogging community. It is a really great community!

As for money, for now I don’t plan on this blog becoming profitable. It’s not a goal. I’d rather focus on growing a small audience. Like every one, I don’t mind making a small buck on the side. But this is not the main goal of this blog.

To get better at blogging and increase my audience, here is what I’m thinking to do:

  • Continue to work on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) part of the blog. I’m not nearly an expert, so I’ll need to research it further.
  • Try to write some broader context posts. It would be good to write some posts with focus on general personal finance, not only Switzerland.
  • Stop reading about other blog’s results! I think this is really important. Several times already, I read about blogs that did better in its first month than mine in six months. This is rather discouraging. I have to stop reading this kinds of reports.
  • Try Pinterest. Apparently, this is the hot thing for blogging. Since I’m very bad with images, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. But I’d like to try.
  • Get a logo! The site would really be better with a logo. Since I’m terrible with drawing and images, I still have no idea how to do it. But it will come eventually.
  • Continue posting regularly! These days I have a good frequency of posting I think. This is also because I have a lot of time. Next month, I won’t have so much time unfortunately. But life will always be the priority.

If you have questions about blogging, I’d be glad to answer them. But I may not be the best person to ask them 😛 I don’t use a lot of services on my blog. I use Jetpack for the comments and the mailing list. I’m using Yoast SEO to improve the SEO of the blog. But it does not seem to be enough. I use Google Analytics to gather stats on the audience. I use bluehost for hosting. That’s about it so far. I’ve checked a few other tools, but most of them are incredibly expensive. It’s the same for course. I’ve followed a few free courses, but it’s pretty basic content and I didn’t learn a lot. And the other courses are way too expensive.

Here it is! Now you know what happened in the last six months. And you know what is likely to happen in the coming months.

What would you like to see on this blog ? What would you improve ? How is your blog doing ?

23 thoughts on “First six months of blogging – Lessons learned”

  1. Happy blogging anniversary The Poor Swiss! I am your sincere audience 👏❤️👍🎂💯💋🎉🍷😘🎊🍻

  2. Congrats on your six month anniversary! You should definitely give Pinterest a try and you can find lots of free images online for a logo (I got mine from stencil I believe)

  3. I think you could get some ideas from the “most popular posts” lists of other blogs. These topics must be popular here too.

  4. Happy anniversary! You could also add a headshot on your blog, as I have on my sidebar for e.g. to add a more ‘touchy’ personality to it…

    1. Thanks Codrut!

      I could indeed. I’m just a bit worried since my face is already on the internet with my real name. Probably not a big risk anyway 🙂

      I will consider it. I’m also thinking whether I really need anonymity or not.

  5. Hey Poor Swiss!!

    Congrats on the 6 months of blogging! We started almost the same time too!! Yay!

    And I know what you mean by it feeling discouraging — in right there with you but don’t give up. I’m going to keep going to grow my audience and keep trying and trying. There’s so much I learned in these past six months and I realized that I made A LOT of mistakes. I’m going to revert and learn from those mistakes by changing my game plan going forward.

    I swear, every month it feels like I’m starting all over again because I realize some mistakes that I’ve made or that I haven’t figured out something yet.

    I say for sure keep focusing on your financial goals. It’s great to hear that you improved and now saving 40%. That’s amazing! Congrats again!

    Also, congrats on getting married!! 😊

  6. Btw, I love using canva to make pins and unsplash and pixels to find images! You could give that a shot! 😊

    Also, ivory mix has a lot of high quality and free stock photos (feminine though) but you could give it a try and see if some images may work for your blog or even Pinterest. You can still attract some female audience 😉

    1. Hello panda 🙂

      Thanks 🙂 I’m going to keep trying as well! Good luck on your blog as well. I’m aware that I’m not alone 🙂

      Thanks for canva/unsplash advice! I’ve been using them for a week now to start creation images for my posts and it’s really great. Even for me that is very bad at graphics, it really shines. I’ll check ivory as well, thanks.

      All the best to you

  7. I’m sure people have already told you this, but Fiverr is a great site to find affordable and good-looking logos, customized to exactly what you want. You could pay anywhere from $15-45 for a good logo, from what I’ve seen 🙂

    Congratulations on your anniversary! It’s a big deal to make it this long 🙂 And awesome job with comments as well – I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years and don’t get any comments (except for yours!) so I thought commenting was over, but I’m glad to see it’s not!

    I really love your perspective being from Switzerland and hope you keep up with those posts as well. Living in America, all I hear is how wonderful it is to live in Europe. I still think this is true, but I would love to know more about the taxes you pay, what they go to, and about your medical situation in Switzerland. You mention a lot of people can’t afford medical care – but what are those taxes going to then? It’s not the military like it is here in the US.

    Not to get political, but I’m just curious 🙂

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      In fact, no, I didn’t know about Fiverr! Thanks for the suggestion!

      Thanks 🙂 I’m really happy with the number of comments I get on this blog. I really like discussing with readers. I also like commenting on other PF blogs, it’s a great community.

      Haha, part of the taxes are going to the military, but it’s nothing as crazy as the US for this. I think 5% of the budget of Switzerland is for the Defence. Taxes in Switzerland are quite low. Not the lowest in Europe, but very fair. On problem with the system is that taxes are very low (in %) for very rich people. That means that a lot of rich people are residing in Switzerland for tax advantages. This also skews the average towards rich people whereas normal people are not as rich as foreigners think. The taxes are financing a lot of things: school, social insurances, the roads, the army, police, administration, culture, environment, security, … The advantage is that for instance schools are quite cheap for Swiss people, compared to the US for instance. One big advantage for us investors is that we don’t pay any capital gain tax. But we pay a capital tax on our fortune.

      As for health, I think it’s in pretty bad shape currently. It’s not included in the taxes. Health insurance is mandatory for everybody. The minimum paid is around 200 CHF per month and can go much higher. The problem is that there is a deductible. The cheapest insurances will have a deductible of 2500 CHF per year and the minimum deductible is 300 CHF. Once they already paid a minimum of 2400 CHF per year, a lot of people don’t want (or can’t afford) to pay for actual health care. And if you reduce your deductible, you pay more insurance… And each year the cost of insurance is going up, even for people that almost don’t go to the doctor. The base health insurance will cover hospitals, dentists and doctors, but won’t cover alternative medicine for instance. Some people also take complementary health insurance to complete their coverage.

      I’m glad to answer your questions 🙂 Don’t hesitate if you have more.

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