Fourth year of blogging – Summary

By Baptiste Wicht | Updated: | Blogging

(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:

Traffic on my fourth year of blogging
Traffic on my fourth year of blogging

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?

Conclusion

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?

Baptiste Wicht is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

49 thoughts on “Fourth year of blogging – Summary”

  1. I don’t know how to improve your traffic, but I can tell you for sure that when I first moved to Switzerland and I was totally lost (financially speaking), your blog was my bible and my everyday reading… For about 4 months. After which I had the instruments to continue on my own. But every now and then, out of curiosity, I Google “the poor swiss” to see how you’re doing :-)

    What makes your articles stand out is that they transpire honesty and “genuinity”. Difficult to find these days. On the other hand, if your goals are income and traffic, then you need to change something, but I won’t be able to help and I won’t be interested anymore ;-)

    Thanks a lot for all you’ve done for the community!

    1. Hi New Swiss,

      Thanks a lot for your feedback! This is very encouraging :)
      My main goal has never been income, I’d rather reach more people and help spread financial awareness.

      Cheers!

  2. Hi
    I think that for Switzerland (even though there are other very good blogs with good forums) you have the best content. In addition your reviews / style of writing look honest and not sponsored. You go straight to the point without sounding like you’re trying to sell me to retire next month.

    As others mentioned, this is a narrow category and it must be hard to create more content on a regular basis. One topic which people NEVER HAVE ENOUGH is how to fill out your tax declaration. Other blog did a great 3 chapter breakdown of the process, and I think that you should also make one. It is a topic which can be terrifying and people will surely visit your explanation year after year.
    Thanks for the great content, Keep it up! :)
    Kind Regards
    H├ęctor

  3. You have put a lot of efforts in this blog. Hard to find new content on this narrow subject day after day. You could possibly expand the reach of your blog. A few ideas not sorted.
    What i’ve learned too late is the “Compounding”. That’s not something schools are good enough to explain. They explain the theory, but not very practical and ready to talk “Money” – rather theory around market, but not that you can make or lose money on markets and how?
    I would suggest a few ideas:
    1. Use your blog to make a “kid” friendly tutorial for investment
    2. Teach in a school – what’ s very personally rewarding is to share your knowledge. You could teach on saving/investing but also blogging! What a treat for younger generation. I’d be keen to attend the lecture!
    3. expand your blog and incorporate ESG investment or diversify into crypotcurrency subject
    4. Get into coaching – great way to expand your reach and learn also but developing skills… Coach young people who have pb with money or coach expert who wants an external view…

    1. Hi Dom,

      Thanks for your suggestions.

      1) That’s a great idea.
      2) Currently, that’s not really where I wan to go with TPS. I want to have as few constraints as possible.
      3) Excellent idea, I should take more about sustainable inventing and crypto
      4) I did that about 10 times so far. I think this provides value and is profitable, but this feels too much like work, so I stopped. This has to remain something fun.

      Thanks for all your suggestions, I really like this.

  4. keep on going man! A Kiwi friend who lives in Singapore has recommended me the blog and I’m in the UK. So, technically, you’ve got the world covered. pretty much.

  5. I was able to start my personal investment journey mostly thanks to your blog, and I am definitely extremely grateful. You have no idea on how much it changes my financial life to start to invest 10 years after starting my careers, but thanks to you, I started, and it’s looking very well.

  6. Hey thepoorswiss,

    I am a Swiss German reader of your blog. I am learning some English with your blog and I love the articles of your monthly financial updates. I follow a similar passive approach as you in investing.
    Keep up the good work! I read every new article from you!

    Greetings
    Swiss minimalist

  7. As I understand it, private (retail) investing rose a lot during Covid lockdowns, and a lot of people were quickly looking for advice. This is now declining, or people have gained some confidence. Perhaps this helps explain the peaking of your page views? I wouldn’t be too disheartened by it.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. What do you think I should focus on next year?

    Some of the big issues which are going to affect internationally-minded investors could be: inflation, and how to deal with it: implications of a strengthening CHF; an ending of central bank quantitative easing in the US and Europe, bond yields and consequences for investment trends.

    2. What do you think went well or did not go well during the fourth year?

    I personally don’t find your personal household finance reports so interesting or valuable, though appreciate the transparency!

    Cheers!

    Robin

    1. That’s a good point, many websites profited a lot from the first phase of COVID and now it has run out for most of them.

      1) Good ideas. I should talk more about inflation and the CHF strength at least
      2) I know that many people like them and many people hate them :) But last time I asked there were still enough people who liked them so that I am going to keep doing them.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  8. A well done FIRE blog (and with that I mean that actually helps you with FIRE and not one that attracts many views) doesn’t have many articles and there’s not much more to discuss after a couple of months or years.

    You already have way too many cheap clickbait articles and too many affiliate links, so my feedback to you is to do less and not more. The blog should help people and not make money. So quality over quantity.

    1. Could you help me identify cheap clickbait articles, please?

      Also, this blog is not only about FIRE, it’s a general personal finance blog. Most of my readers don’t care that much about FIRE, they just want to improve their finances.

  9. Keep up the good work – I only recently found you via personal recommendation and have read a lot of your articles.

  10. Dear TPS,

    as always I want to thank you so much for your effort and dedication, your blog is incredibly good and I will keep following it no matter how many competitor can come out on the market.
    I would ask you to do some posts about entrepreneurship in Switzerland: let’s say my wife is an amateur painter and I wanna try to sell some of her paintings as well as deduct painting material costs from taxes… which is the best way to do so? Create a company? Or some kind of individual business? Which are the costs related to having a company here? Shall we publish financials yearly? What can we deduct from taxes and how?
    Does cantons provide any kind of financing?
    Is there the possibility to domicile the business in a canton where taxes are cheaper?
    What is the cheapest way to create and host a website here?

    Thanks

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