Fourth year of blogging – Summary| Updated: |
(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)
The Poor Swiss blog just turned four years old last month. Funny enough, I forgot about this birthday this year. It is why this article pops up in November instead of the usual October.
The fourth year of blogging has had very mixed results. I have continued to write regularly, updated many articles, and translated many others. I believe the content is in a good place. Unfortunately, my efforts did not pay off in terms of traffic since traffic is lower now than it was a year ago.
This article is a retrospective of this fourth year of blogging, and I share the numbers about this blog, what went well, and what did not go well.
The Poor Swiss in numbers
Let’s start our retrospective of my fourth year of blogging with some numbers about the blog.
So, here are the page views of each month of this fourth year:
Note: I don’t have the stats in September because of a plugin bug that counted half the month double. And in October, I switched to a new version of Google Analytics, which means no continued stats.
The year started great, but then all went down to hell after January. Since January 20201, my traffic has been decreasing significantly every month. I finished my third year at 90K page views a month and finished my fourth year at 88K page views. This result is disappointing for me. So, over the entire year, there was still more traffic than last year, but comparing last October with this October shows lower traffic by about 10%.
The sources of this traffic remain the same as last year, with more than 75% coming from Google. I still fail to get much traction from email and social.
The blog now counts 370 articles in English. I have already translated 126 articles into French. And there are almost 7000 comments on the blog.
What went well?
Interactions with readers have been good during this year. I have had many great comments from readers who were starting to improve their finances with what they learned on my blog.
Writing is also going well. I still enjoy researching for this article, learning new things, and writing them down. I do not always have time to do in-depth simulations articles, but I still enjoy doing them.
Finally, the income on this blog went well. I did not do much for this, but it seems to be working on auto-pilot. I got almost twice more than I got last year. It is funny that I got significantly more income this year while the traffic did not grow well.
Overall, what went best was helping people with this blog during this fourth year.
What did not go well?
The main thing that did not go well this year was traffic. I am disappointed to end up lower than where I started. There were some good months, but after these good months, it went down fairly quickly. My expectations were probably wrong in the first place. But this still sucks.
Even though I know this should not be my priority, this hit my motivation for this blog and resulted in a reduction in new articles.
I think this comes from a few things. First, there are many new competitors in Switzerland. And they are doing a better job than me at ranking on Google. I am not good at marketing and SEO, and this is where I am getting hit. Also, these sites are producing more content and more translations than I. But looking at this content, I do not think it is superior, hence why I think it is on the marketing and SEO that I am bad at.
For the second year in a row, updating my articles did nothing to my traffic. I have updated more than a hundred articles in this fourth year, but I did not see any effect on updated posts.
The translation of the website went well, but the results are mixed. I expected the french version of the blog to grow faster.
So, overall, we can say that traffic is the main issue with this fourth year.
What changed during this fourth year?
Only a few things changed on this blog.
One thing I did this year (I believe it was this year) was to separate the index and the blog page. Still, I think it is a good idea, but several readers have told me that it was not great. So, I may have to improve that again, although I do not yet know how.
I translated many more articles during this fourth year. About a third of the articles are translated. Overall, this represents about 10% of my traffic. For now, I am relatively satisfied with this effort. I thought it would grow quicker, but it is still not that bad.
I have done a few more coaching calls, especially in the first half of 2021. These coals were something interesting, but this is not something that I want to pursue more. It feels too much like work, having meetings scheduled on my agenda. Ideally, I want to be able to do what I want when I want for this blog. Otherwise, it feels like a hassle, and I will not do it.
In the middle of the fourth year, I have switched my blogging schedule from 2 articles a week to 1 article a week. I reached a point where seeing traffic decrease regardless of what I was doing took a big hit on my motivation, so I decided to scale the number of articles to once a week. So far, I plan to continue with that schedule for next year.
I have also done some minor tweaks to the website here and there to keep it running fast.
Most popular articles
We can see which were the most popular articles on the blog during this fourth year. This list may not be entirely accurate since I am losing more than one month of analytics, but it should still be a good sample.
So, here are the three most viewed articles:
Interestingly, none of these articles are from this fourth year. They have all been updated to be fresh, but they were written in previous years. I have to go all the way down to the top 20 to get articles from this year. So, either my articles take a long time to rank on Google, or my new articles are worse than they used to be.
The next year of blogging?
I do not have big plans for my fifth year of blogging. I do not have a goal of growing my audience anymore since I do not know how to achieve this. So I will continue with the current flow.
I plan to continue to translate French articles. I will try to get this done by 2022. I have at least a hundred more to go. I do not plan to translate every single article, like monthly updates. Since this a lot of work for little traffic. But this may change in the future.
I am also thinking about German translation, but since my german is terrible, this will be more difficult, and I won’t be able to answer comments. So I do not know yet how this will work out.
I will update fewer articles next year. Updating articles and keeping them fresh did not payout this year. So I will only update very outdated articles but not update many articles like I did this year.
The other ideas that I will probably not end up doing are writing and selling an ebook directly on the blog, providing a new free ebook, and reviewing my color scheme.
And that’s it: go with the flow without any goals.
Your point of view?
This blog is for you! I want to get your point of view on this blog!
What do you think I should focus on next year?
What do you think went well or did not go well during the fourth year?
And do you have anything you would like to have on this blog? Any suggestions for articles?
Edit: Thanks a lot for your comments! This is extremely motivating and encouraging!
Overall, the fourth year of this blog has not been the greatest. After three years of growth, the blog has started to decline.
I still enjoy working on this blog, but for next year, I will not have any goals for this year. See where it is going. I will work less on the blog.
I still had some good interactions with readers and partners. And from what I hear, this blog is still helping many people with their money, so I want to focus on that.
What would you like to see happen during the fifth year of the blog?
What do you think of my blog? Do you like the direction it is going in?
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49 thoughts on “Fourth year of blogging – Summary”
Your blog really has some really good content, especially entries that explain a system or process (taxes retirement etc). I check regularly for this.
One thing that maybe doesn’t resonate with people so well is solutions that are overly complicated (e.g. many different accounts) to save a few bucks here and there. Obviously you spend a lot of time on these things, but for many people just understanding the big points is enough, and then they would likely want to read more about other interesting things rather than 20 articles about different banks and brokers which can save you 100 CHF over a year or whatever. Which also brings me to the biggest block of entries that I don’t read:
Content that I cannot trust or take seriously is reviews with affiliate links, which are increasing in number. Recently you also seems to have changed your opinion on Swissquote now that you have an affiliate link. It doesn’t bother me that much but it makes those entire reviews just not worth reading, there is a conflict of interest in the contents.
A lot of your content is really good. Surely you have insights into what type of articles are popular. Maybe there is a trend there.
You make an excellent point. I have come to realize that most people don’t care about saving some money by having three credit cards. And to be honest, I don’t care anymore and I am thinking of simplifying everything. In my latest article about credit cards, I have added a section about the simplest approach that is not optimal but good enough with a single card.
You make a good point about affiliate links, I should be careful about them. Normally, I do my best to be unbiased in each article. Even though I make no money with Interactive Brokers I still recommend for everybody.
As for Swissquote, the reason for pushing it a little more is that many readers are not comfortable with a foreign broker like DEGIRO or IB. I have received countless emails about that. Some people just want to keep their money in Switzerland. And in this case, I would recommend Swissquote. But I should always make it clear that foreign brokers are more efficient. If you find an article that seems biased, please let me know!
The reviews are indeed quite popular. And I get asked for many more reviews than I have. I have a long list of reviews on my TODO list, that have been asked by my readers.
Thanks for the feedback!
And thank you for the content!
Hi Poor Swiss,
This is meant to be an encouraging comment. I started taking my finances seriously in January this year and your blog is one of my main references. I find it particularly useful because there are not so many resources that focus on Switzerland and follow the retire early philosophy. Every time I have a question I look for the relevant post in your blog. You, John Boggle and my friend George are my investment masters. So please, please, please keep up the excellent work!
Thanks for the comment! And congratulations on taking your finances seriously.
I am very happy you find my blog useful! will definitely continue!