Second year of blogging – The Poor Swiss is two years old in 2019!

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Second year of blogging - The Poor Swiss is two years old in 2019!

The Poor Swiss just turned two years old! I cannot believe it has already been two years since I started this blog!

I have learned a lot of things this second year of blogging. And even though not everything went well, I think the blog is much better than it was one year ago.

I am going to do a retrospective on this second year of blogging. I want to talk about the numbers of the blog. But I also want to talk about what went well and what did not!

There are some things that went really well this year. For instance, I am still having a blast at writing articles. And I was able to write more than I thought. On the other hand, some of the articles I wrote did not get as much attention as I would have liked.

Overall, I am happy with how this second year turned up. Hopefully, this blog will live yet another year!

The blog in numbers

I think the best way to start is with the numbers of the blog. It shows well what happened during this second year of blogging.

So, here are the page views of each month of this second year:

Page views on the second year of the blog
Pageviews on the second year of the blog

It went really well this year until the month of September. I still do not know why the traffic started to fall at this time. Maybe it is due to a Google update. Or maybe there is something wrong with my blog. Hopefully, this will not last too long. It seems that in October it started recovering a bit. We will see how it goes.

But if we consider only the month up to August 2019, it was a really great year. From the first month to the best month, the traffic on the blog went up five times. Compared to last year, the traffic went up seven times!

In total, there were 210K page views on the blog during this second year. And there were 94K users visiting the blog. These numbers are really great!

So, how did I get this traffic? Here are the main sources of traffic for my blog for this second year:

Traffic sources for the second year of the blog
Traffic sources for the second year of the blog

Compared to last year, I get much more traffic from Google. This is where I focus most of my effort, so this makes sense. I lost on direct and referral traffic. I have had a very hard time building backlinks. So it makes sense that my referral traffic is not easy. Email and social channels are going great!

In total, the blog counts 228 blog posts. This is 125 blog posts in the second year!

On the comments side, the blog is really doing well. There are 1688 comments on the blog. I am really happy about that! I love getting comments on my posts, even when people do not agree with me!

I got 866 followers on my Twitter profile. On my Facebook page, I have 125 followers and 95 likes. It is funny that Facebook is bringing in more traffic with fewer followers. Finally, in my email newsletter, I got 304 subscribers. I am happy with these numbers.

I do not plan to change my social media strategy for the third year. I plan to focus more on the SEO side.

How much money did I make?

In my first year of blogging, I made exactly 0 CHF. So how much did I make during the second year?

During my second year of blogging, I made 552 CHF. Since I made zero in the first year, this is infinitely better! All this money was made with affiliate links. Here were the three main sources:

And the blog cost about 260 CHF during this second year. This is mainly the hosting (about 200 CHF). I also paid for the logo for the blog. And at the beginning, I paid for one month of Tailwind as well. And finally, I have to pay for the domain as well.

So this means that the blog did a net profit of 292 CHF.

I did not focus at all on monetization on this blog. So I think it is a good result. For now, I do not think of doing anything special about monetization for this blog.

If you count the hourly rate, this would be absolutely terrible. I did not count how many hours I have spent on this blog. But this is probably several hundred hours. This is probably a net wage of about one CHF per hour!

Money is simply not my goal with this blog! But it is great that this blog is already able to pay itself. For now, I simply wish to increase my audience on this blog. This is my main goal.

What do you think of this result after two years?

What went well?

The main thing that went really well is writing. I was able to write more than I thought this year. And I still really enjoy writing. I also had to do a few simulations and coding for the blog. It was really great to delve a bit deeper in some subjects.

Another thing that I really enjoyed during this year is interactions with readers. I had many contacts on the comments and by mail with some readers. I really like getting feedback. I love it when people can learn something out of my articles. And I have even met a few of them. If I were living in Zurich, I could have met many more of them. But it was already great to meet some people.

And honestly, the money generated by the blog is great as well. I never focused on it especially and I still got about 500 CHF during the year. I am glad the blog generates a net profit.

What did not go well?

Several things did not go as well as would have wanted.

First, I failed in increasing my international exposure. I would have wanted my blog to be more read in the United States especially. Currently, about 40% of my readers are in Switzerland these recent months. I have no idea what I should do differently to increase my reach.

Also, for some reason, I am unable to grow my Domain Authority. During this year, it actually went down from 29 to 26. I did several guest posts for other big bloggers. But this really did not pay off. Once again, I have no idea how to get more backlinks and Domain Authority for this blog.

I also tried to update my older posts to make them much better. And I reorganized several things on the blog to make it better. However, I did not see any growth with anything I did there. I still plan to improve some posts next year. But I will not expect much growth from it.

I have very mixed feelings about social media for this blog. I get about 6% of my traffic for social media. Currently, the platform that gets me the most traffic is Facebook and I almost do nothing on Facebook. On the other hand, I try to do significantly more on Twitter. But Twitter gives me significantly less traffic. As for Pinterest, I really tried for a while. But there were no results at all.

One thing I did wrong was to think that growth was eternal. During several months in a row, the growth was awesome. It was higher than I expected for this year. However, after this, it went down quite significantly for no reason that I could explain. It was quite disappointing for me even though the blog already did better than I expected. For my next year, I will focus on a single goal and I will happy once it is reached, even if there are some ups and downs.

What changed in one year?

Nothing really big changed on the blog during this one year.

In August 2019, when the traffic was at its peak, I migrated to the higher plan in SiteGround. I was getting close to the limits of the basic plan. It makes no difference to you. But that way, the site will be always available. But just after I did, the traffic started to plummet. So it may not be really necessary anymore.

I made many small improvements on the blog that have made the blog significantly faster. For people on mobile, this is definitely noticeable. For others, this is only a small change.

I also made many small improvements to the design of the website. And probably more important, I got a logo for the blog! I am really happy about the look it gives to the blog.

During this year, I completely gave up on Pinterest. It was simply not worth my time. Now, I am simply pinning each of my posts once only in my boards. I do not want to waste more of my time. I am still using featured images because I think it looks good.

I also took care of the archives this year. I have deleted a few posts from the blog. And I have updated many articles. My goal was to have better average quality for the blog. Some articles were simply worthless. This effort is not finished, there is still work to be done.

During this second year, I also started republishing some older posts. My process is simple. I update the post to improve its quality and make sure there are no mistakes. The idea is to refresh it as much as possible to make it fresh. And then, I refresh it and sends it to my email list as if it was new. Currently, I have been republishing about one post per month. I think I will continue with this schedule.

Most Popular Posts

Some posts on the blog have done really well. And some posts have been big flops. Without further ado, here are the three most-viewed posts during the second year:

  1. TransferWise vs Revolut: Which is best for you?
  2. Revolut Swiss IBAN: Top Up Revolut for Free
  3. Is DEGIRO Really Cheaper than Interactive Brokers?

Just to note, these are the posts from this second year that did really well. Some posts from the first year are still doing well. Here is the list of the most popular posts since the blog started:

  1. TransferWise vs Revolut: Which is best for you?
  2. Revolut Credit Card: Save Money on Currency Exchange Fees
  3. Revolut Swiss IBAN: Top Up Revolut for Free
  4. Is DEGIRO Really Cheaper than Interactive Brokers?
  5. What is the Best Credit Card in Switzerland?

As you can see, these most popular posts are really credit cards heavy. TransferWise and Revolut are really popular on my blog.

Most Commented Posts

Another very interesting metric for posts is the number of comments they got. It is often better if a post gets more comments than if it gets more visits.

Here are the three most commented posts of this second year:

  1. How to open a VIAC third pillar in a few easy steps
  2. Swiss Investors are losing access to U.S. ETF
  3. TransferWise vs Revolut: Which is best for you?

The first post has a lot of comments because of the VIAC referral codes. But I am really happy about the number of comments on this blog.

Please do not hesitate to comment on any of my articles. I am answering each comment myself!

Next year of blogging

My main focus for my third year of blogging will be the same as before. I want to continue increasing my audience. I do not have a great plan to do that. But there are a few things I want to do during the third year.

One specific thing I really want to do is to create a Withdrawal Calculator. The technical side of things is really easy to do. But the problem is that it can quickly become expensive to host. I will see how to do it in the best way.

I want to continue improving my archives. There are still posts that need a lot of editing. I will also continue republishing some older posts after I have refreshed them. It is also good to bring these posts to the eyes of new readers.

Of course, I will continue writing on the blog as I am writing now. I think I will stick to the schedule of two posts a week on the blog. This is the most sustainable rate. I still have a very long list of posts that I intend to write at some point. And actually the list is growing faster than the blog! So, I do not think I will run out of ideas for next year.

Your point of view?

I would really really like to get your point of view on this blog.

What do you think I should focus on next year?

One thing I am considering is either starting a forum or a Facebook group. This would be a great way to start a community. What do you think?

Do you think I should start a Facebook Group or a Forum?

And do you have anything you would like to have on this blog? Any suggestions for articles?

Conclusion

Overall, I am quite satisfied with my second year of blogging. The website had a nice traffic growth. And the blog netted a profit which I did not expect.

Moreover, I had some very nice interactions with my readers. And overall, the feedback I get on the blog is highly positive. And helping people with their money is the main reason I started this blog.

For the third year of blogging, I want to continue growing my audience. I do not have a good plan for that. But I will mostly continue trying to write helpful articles.

But I would really like to hear from you! Do you have any suggestions for my third year of blogging?

What do you think of my blog? Do you think it is going in a good direction?

About the author

Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the main author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was spending more and more every year, 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 2018, he saved more than 40% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

8 thoughts on “Second year of blogging – The Poor Swiss is two years old in 2019!”

  1. Congratulations!!
    I have a question:
    Is there anything I can do about my husband supporting his friend financially?
    It’s been going on for so long, the “friend” takes it for granted.
    If I try to have a talk he just defends the friend.
    Weird and depressing.
    Victoria

    1. Hi Victoria,

      I never had to deal with that. It must be extremely frustrating.

      I would try two different things:

      1. Confront your husband as to what this does to your (long-term) family goals. For instance, does this financial support prevent you from buying a house or going on a dream vacation? In that case, you can show him with numbers how much this could change if he stopped this financial support.
      2. You probably already tried but I would emphasize the fact that this is definitely not helping his friend. Temporary financial support can be great but permanent financial support does nothing for him. It will make his friend lazy and entirely dependent on this money.

      I hope this helps a little.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hoi mate,
    Happy anniversary and all the best in the future of blogging!
    I only started following your blog about a half year ago, When I started to see the prospect of moving to Switzerland. I have read go to you of your articles and below are my loose thoughts about them.
    1. Some of the articles are Switzerland specific, for example the series of articles about retirement plans. They are very well explained and easy to understand. Perhaps those Swiss-specific posts are driving the most of your local traffic. As I can imagine, this series of articles took you a lot of time for research and writing. Unfortunately it is probably not in the area of interest of somebody who is from outside the country (like US).
    2. You’re most popular blogs contains a brand name z like Rewolut or Transferwise in the title. Especially Revolut is very hot topic in the media right now and I believe this is where you get plenty of organic search from.
    3. I can’t say much about social media because I’m not very socially active online. My last post on Facebook was about a year ago. I do use LinkedIn however, and I think this social media channel is well aligned with the main theme of your blog. Plenty of professionals there interested in FIRE movement. And I agree with Pinterest: this may works well for graphical, eye-catching things to share – like home-made furniture;), but not for text-heavy fun-tech blog. My last thought about social media is about video blogging. It is extremely popular and you may perhaps consider your own YouTube channel. However, this may not suit everyone and it requires some small initial investment in the form of camera, etc..

    Finally, I really thank you for sharing your journey to financial independence and not being afraid to share what other people could consider “private information”. Especially in Switzerland people tend to not to talk about money, because as they say: if talk about money you probably don’t have them.
    I’m looking forward to your next years of activity. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Miro,

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.

      1. Yes, most of my Swiss posts will not be interesting to the U.S. (or any other country that is not Switzerland). But for me, these articles are very important to my blog. And these are probably the articles that help the most people. But a lot of Investing posts are more global.
      2. Yes, a ton of organic search goes to Transferwise and Revolut. The rest of the traffic is mostly driven to new posts via RSS, mail and social media. Very good point.
      3. Very good point about LinkedIn. I have had it on my TODO list for a while. I will put this at the top of the list. Like you, I am not a bit social media user. Except for my blog, I don’t use it.
      4. I have considered Youtube channel, but for now, I simply do not have the time considering the other projects I have for this blog. But this is a good idea indeed.

      I am glad you like my transparency! I am doing the best to share as much as possible!
      It’s a bit crazy that so many do not talk about money. They could learn a lot simply by talking to other people.

      Thanks for being a loyal reader :)

  3. Thanks for all your work to share your financial knowledge with us. I just recently started reading your blog a few months ago and it already had changed my mindset. I also started investing in stocks through VZ (Vermögenszentrum).

    I think a forum would be really great, with FAQs and where one another can help each other for Swiss specific topics… also maybe a part for Americans / Expats living in CH.

    I’m not sure about Facebook groups as I would like to stay anonymous.

    Thanks a lot and keep up the great work!!!

    1. Hi Peter Pan,

      I am glad my little work is useful for you :)

      I will consider a forum then :)
      As for a Facebook group, I did not think about the anonymity issue. I think you can join some Facebook groups as a page. So you may be able to create a Facebook page to join group.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Happy 2 year anniversary and congrats on all the progress you made on this blog. I’m an expat from the US and I found your blog to be very helpful in subjects related to the Swiss pension scheme which is a bit different than the American system.

    Furthermore, I love your topics related to reaching financial independence. I just started my blog https://mamabearfinance.com/ last month on juggling parenthood (being a mom is my new job) while heading on the path towards F.I.R.E. I’m so glad to have found another personal finance blogger in Switzerland (especially the French speaking side too)!

    Since you mentioned about the desire to expand your reach towards the American audience, I think it’s possible but quite hard given your niche is Switzerland and your topics related to the 3rd pillar, for example, will quickly alienate the American readers unless they are expat like myself.

    However, I do think it’s possible that your other more boarder topics regarding your FI experience would be enlightening regardless of the geography. I would suggest that you collaborate with some of the big American personal finance sites to get your name out. It would be the most efficient way to gain entry and to grow an US audience following (in my opinion).

    Good luck in your goals for the upcoming year and I look forward to reading more blog posts from you, Mr. The Poor Swiss.

    1. Hi Mama Bear,

      Thanks :)

      Your blog seems very interesting. Congratulations on keeping the costs so reasonable, less than 3000 CHF for 6 months seems extremely good! I grabbed your RSS and will try to learn from you. We plan to have kids so this will be very valuable.

      I agree with you, I think the best way would be to get my name more there. I did a few posts on U.S. blogs and I got a few mentions as well. I will try to work more on that in the future.

      Good luck for your blog as well!

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