1.5 Year Blog Update: Blog Expenses/Revenue/Stats, Post Reserve, Tailwind & Future Plan

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog report.

In fact, the last one was nine months ago in December 2017.

Sometimes it’s still hard for me to believe that I’ve been blogging three times a week for the past 1.5 years.

I went from being obsessed with blogging to being burned out from writing.

Now I think I’ve reached a zen state where I’m fine with my speed and where things stand.

At one point in the past, I had posts lined up for 4 months (3 posts/week).

Over the past few months, I got tired of blogging and also started to run out of ideas.

My 4-month reserve is running out. But I’m not freaking out.

I once thought about quitting. But the thought of not having an outlet for my plans, thoughts, and emotions upset me.

Even if I don’t make a dime off of my blog, I’d still want to keep the site up.

If I have something to share, I will. If not, I can always go back to the content I wrote to see how things have progressed over the years.

You know, it could be a journal I’d like to share with my kids when they grow up.

That said, I’ve decided on some major changes to my blog I’d like to share with you today.

Blog expenses/revenue

Below is a list of my blog-related expenses over the past 1.5 years:

DateItemDurationAmountNotes
3/20/2017Account Plan36 months$106.20I started my blog with the basic BH account.
3/20/2017Domain Privacy Protection12 months$11.88Extra protection with BH
11/16/2018Upgrade to Bluehost Cloud Starter36 months$203.63My site kept crashing, and BH suggested an account upgrade.
8/18/2018Bluehost refund-$258.65The upgrade didn't help at all, so I switched to Siteground.
2/20/18Siteground Plan36 months$214.2SG subscription for 3 years
2/25/18Siteground Domain Transfer$15.95I made a mistake in the process and had to pay this amount.
7/21/2017Tailwind12 months$119To promote my blog on Pinterest
7/21/2018Tailwind2 months$19.48I canceled the Tailwind for the 2nd year.
Total Blog Expenses$431.69

When I added up the numbers and saw that the total was almost half a thousand dollars, I was a bit shocked.

I meant for my blog to be my side hustle one day. However, since I have yet to generate any income from the site, I think of it more as a hobby. This hobby has cost me $431.69 over the past 18 months or $23.98/month.

Related3 Frugal Bloggers Turned Millionaires Overnight

In a way, I feel that my hobby should cost me nothing instead of almost $500. I’ve never spent that much money on any “fun” project besides my blog.

However, my blog has also served as therapy for all the worries and concerns that I have in my daily life. And I’m happy and relieved I can share my thoughts with an audience who always gives me great advice and encouragement.

If I can ever reach 25,000 sessions one day, I will join Mediavine to generate passive income from ads. Below is a recap of my traffic ever since I started my blog on March 21, 2017.

Related: Blog Stats Updates & Strategies

Canceling Tailwind

I signed up for Tailwind in July 2017, an app I used to schedule my Pinterest pins in advance for a little more than a year which cost me about $120/year or $10/month, hoping that it would help generate lots of traffic from Pinterest.

Although I’ve gotten a significant amount of referrals from the platform (Pinterest is my #3 referrer), sometimes I just feel like my Pinterest strategy is not working.

It might have to do with either my design or content. But at this point, I feel like I don’t care anymore.

The other day, my Tailwind queue ran out of pins, and I had to schedule the pins in advance. I started to dread Pinterest and scheduling so much I decided to contact the Tailwind team to cancel my subscription, something I had considered for months.

Two days after I cancelled Tailwind (pinning app for Pinterest), my post “When Impatience Costs You Money & Your Sanity” got featured on Rockstar Finance on September 20th. It was my 3rd feature on the website, the other two are:

“If It’s Yellow, Let It Mellow” – Is It Worth It?

Lending Money To Friends Can Ruin A Friendship. This Is My Story.

It was an interesting coincidence that gave me the confidence and hope that my traffic will be able to keep up even without Tailwind (or not).

A month earlier, I had discussed with Lily at The Frugal Gene about whether to keep the app. I had that question after looking how much money I’ve spent on my blog after 1.5 years.

Lily suggested I keep Tailwind to help with the sessions on my blog. I’m trying to reach 25,000 sessions/month to join Mediavine.

However, given that my sessions always hover about half of 25,000, I honestly feel discouraged and disillusioned with Tailwind given that I have to spend $10/month on it.

I contacted the company and got a partial refund of $99. Cancelling Tailwind could be my blog suicide. But I also want to know how my Pinterest will do without the app. I can always resume Tailwind if I get no traffic from Pinterest.

RelatedHow I Went From 0 To 31,104 Views/mo In 7 Months

Future plans

I can use the pregnancy and my baby as an excuse for why I don’t have many posts lined up. However, it’s not the case.

I truly am running out of ideas, and I’m no longer so obsessed with blogging anymore. For me at this point, blogging is more of an outlet and a hobby.

Sometimes I do have time to blog when my baby is sleeping or when I’m done with housework. But I choose to go for a walk, watch YouTube videos or clean the house rather than typing up posts on my computer.

I will continue to publish content. But I’m not sure how frequent it will be. I know that not posting frequently might lead to lower readership and less traffic to my site. But I’m ok with it.

In the future, if I have more exciting endeavors in my life, I will make sure to document them and share them with you. In the meantime, please be sure to check back for more updates 😉

Related:

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How To Get Over A (Personal Finance) Blogger Burnout

How I Chose A Niche for My Personal Finance Blog

The Best Of Frugal Asian Finance In 2017

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23 thoughts on “1.5 Year Blog Update: Blog Expenses/Revenue/Stats, Post Reserve, Tailwind & Future Plan”

  • Man, I thought I was the only blogger not using Tailwind! I’ve been thinking hard about giving it a trial, but honestly, it’s just taken a backseat to other priorities. I feel like I don’t follow enough boards/have enough of my own pins to really capitalize on it yet? Maybe I’ll try in this last quarter of the year.

    Glad you’ve found some zen with your hustle/hobby – if you enjoy it and enjoy the community, I think it’s worth every penny. Thanks for the update!

    • Tailwind def helped draw traffic from Pinterest to my site. It’s just that I’m not making any money from my blog and feel bad spending so much on the site. I will def resume it once I make some money though. You should give Tailwind a try 🙂

  • Welcome to the world of blogging just for fun! That’s pretty much how I see it, as free therapy and connection. You’ll be glad you have a place to look back on your thoughts and reasoning and day to day life. The readers who love you will stay loyal, you shouldn’t worry about outside pressures. If you force things it gets worse, stay true to you.

  • I think you should try to post once per week. That will help keep it more relaxing.
    Personally, If I don’t have a schedule, I’d stop blogging for sure.
    Keep us updated with Pinterest. I just checked and Pinterest is my biggest referral. That’s surprising! I guess Tailwind really helped.
    Also, you should contact MediaVine. They might make an exception for you. You’re right there.

    • Great advice, Joe! I will try to post once a week. I did reach out to Mediavine, but they were pretty adamant about the 25k sessions *sigh* It will take time, but I’m patient when it comes to blogging:D

  • Thank you for posting on this topic. I’ve always wondered about the economics of the blogs I’ve read, and appreciate your presenting this in such a no-nonsense way.

  • I cut back to two posts a week about the same timeframe as you are on the blog. It helped a lot as two posts a week is handleable but three was not for me.

    I also have two passive google ads on the site hidden in the very bottom and in the right menu bar. It’s not mediavine money but it doesn’t hurt my readers any and I break even on my hobby. Perhaps you should consider something similar as an interim play. Doing something as an interim doesn’t preclude a change later.

  • As a relatively new reader to your site, which in the blogging world, is pretty new at 18 months old, I would encourage you to continue writing and sharing your stories. You have a unique perspective and a strong voice. Some of your posts make me laugh, not sure if you’re intending to make people laugh or not but I do. One post I’m thinking about in particular is about what to bring to a potluck. I’ve had seasons where I just brought a two-liter of a soft drink for .88 cents and I felt no shame! Perhaps I should have.

    Also, like your other commenter suggested–I would put google ads on your site. It would be a little bit of revenue for you at 12,000 or so views a month. And it would get your readers used to seeing ads on your site so it isn’t a big shock when you do sign on with Mediavine.

    Best of luck!

    Jennifer

  • You have a distinctive voice, and I encourage you to keep blogging. At this point, I definitely think you’ve earned the right to post less. In the beginning consistency is really important, but people will let it slide after a while.

  • Keep it up, please. You have a unique voice.

    So what if your blog is costing you money? I know you haven’t spent a lot of money on hobbies. But think how much skiers spend on new skis and boots every year or two. Or how much a gym membership costs. Or piano lessons. Or yarns and patterns if you crochet or knit, etc.

    • I agree with that…plus half of the$400 is prepaying the blog for 1.5 more years…so you haven’t really cashed in the blog’s full value over the three years…. $431/ 36 months = $11.97…that’s a nice lunch at a casual dining place every month…does the blog give you as much joy in a month as one casual lunch out…me thinks yes!

      Also, if you’re up to it…cuz it does take time….you can schedule pins for free with Google Calendar + IFTT (check your traffic without pinning and see if it’s worth the time).

  • Mrs FAF,

    Please don’t gradually disappear. I’m a loyal reader and I’m sure there are a few like me. If you feel the pressure to keep updating then cut back to once a week. You have a lot on your hands and blogging requires investing time and resources. In the long run I believe you’ll break even.

    All the best!

  • I have learned quite a bit from your posts about blogging, the joy , the burnout and the struggle. Having a infant saps you. Let alone you have a regular job.

    I chuckled when I read the post “If It’s Yellow, Let It Mellow” – Is It Worth It? The first time I saw it was on MMM’s forum a few years ago. The water itself @my city is not expensive. I just looked at my last month’s bill . It is $4.84 per 1000 gallons. But sewer is $10.34 per 1000. Keep posting. I will be a frequent visitor.

  • Thanks for sharing your updates, your expenses, and your thought processes. Your blog is great and I always find your posts introspective and thought provoking.

  • “But the thought of not having an outlet for my plans, thoughts, and emotions upset me.

    Even if I don’t make a dime off of my blog, I’d still want to keep the site up.”

    I agree with you. At least today. :/ It’s getting a little discouraging for me to see bloggers you started with surpass you at least in terms of monetary milestones. You try to run your own race but even with blinders…you can see shadows…

    Thanks for sharing this. I personally enjoy honest shares like this one from bloggers. I like the life stories anyway. After you set your budget, there’s not much need for additional tips to save money. Keep up the life updates, I’ll read them!

  • Hi Ms. FAF! Thanks so much for the shoutout. We would love to have you join us at Mediavine. Our threshold is 25k sessions within the last 30 days, which you’ll quickly reach if you keep creating great content like this! Congrats on all of your successes so far, and good luck on your goals. We’ll see you soon!
    — Susannah at Mediavine

  • Silent reader Ms Faf, but I love reading your blog and whilst I don’t agree with everything, I enjoy your unique perspective. Please keep blogging even if it is infrequently, I love the way you break down day to day issues and give solutions in such a positive way!

  • I’ve enjoyed reading your content over the last few months and hope you continue to blog. I think dropping down the frequency would help with your blogging fatigue.

    I’m at one per week right now and want to build up a solid stable before committing to two posts per week. I don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity. I think doing this buys you time to think more about your decision to continue blogging. Also, as others have said above, consider adding Google AdSense to your site. The income will be a nice offset to your monthly costs.

    Also, I recommend posting your content to Medium. I write content strictly for my site and then repost to Medium. I’ve made roughly $20 from the site in two months at no cost to me. There’s no added content you have to write. You just need to import your posts and share them. Try to use tags well and have clever titles that grab people’s attention. Slowly you’ll grow your audience and begin earning.

  • I’ve just started blogging about C-Drama and K-Drama (at http://www.dramapearls.com if you or anyone is interested…) and am already worried about running out of steam! So thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I think your content is really great though and you have a unique and very candid way of blogging about a very important subject. I hope you can keep at it!

  • Ms. FAF, thanks for your honesty. Blogging with children can be challenging and overwhelming when they are so young. Stay positive!
    Also, I will admit that I don’t use Tailwind ( never heard of it until now, yikes!) or Pinterest.

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