After 1,000,000 blog hits, here’s what I learned about running a blog

63 thoughts on “After 1,000,000 blog hits, here’s what I learned about running a blog”

  1. Great article, you are spot on about us in the community not being competitors, we are really fellow pioneers with different homesteads. A thriving community grows and each nexus in the spiderweb benefits from the overall web getting bigger. Thanks for the virtual high-five!

  2. Spot on with advice here, especially the incalculable value of finding a method to work with others in your space. I have to say my game has improved ten fold since rockstarfinance started that forum. Congrats on the milestone.

  3. Sage advice Steve.

    Only thing I’d add as a tip to bloggers is “don’t be stealing stuff” (e.g. images, plagiarised content, passing off ideas as your own, etc) and if you do then beware the IP trolls, trademark thugs and copyright police.

  4. Congrats on the milestone! It is a great community. We can/have learned a lot from each other. Agreed we are not competition, we should view it as a common goal to grow the community and message.

  5. Good advice, and how fun to have hit the 1 million mark. Even though I write them from time to time, I agree that the “10 Things. . .” type articles can get dry. However, one way to salvage that sort of post template is to include a heavy dose of actionable advice and also intermix your own stories. That way the post won’t read like an About.com article. Just my two cents.

    1. Actionable advice is a huge selling feature for me, as I’m sure it is for most of us. I used to read About.com from time to time, but you’ve hit on exact why I haven’t been there in years.

  6. Glad to now I’m not the only one the honestly hate those 10 horrible things – lists. Thanks for the post, interesting insights! We are nowhere near the 1M page views, but are slowly making progress within our own “community”. Cheers mate!

    1. A return cheers, my friend! Appreciate the comment. This ain’t no race, remember. Slow and steady progress is good progress in my book.

    1. Pick it, pack it, fire it up!

      Steve, Congrats on your milestone achievement, and thank you for sharing your insights as a 7-figure pageview guy. I definitely agree with the community aspect and treating other bloggers as friends rather than competitors. Speaking of friends, it must be getting warm down south. Any plans to head north to escape the heat this summer? I’ve got a cold one for you if you find yourself near the great lakes.

      I’m pretty active on social media (mostly Twitter, some Facebook), but the Facebook traffic also tends to be one-and-done, and I’ve heard Pinterest traffic is even more so. Organic search traffic and referral traffic tends to hang around longer.

      Cheers!
      -PoF

      1. Thanks PoF! We will definitely make it up your way one of these days, but probably not this year. Next year, though, we’re planning a summer trip across the northern U.S. to Maine. That should be fun, and we’ll definitely drop in! πŸ™‚

    2. Ha! Not at all. If I had 1,000,000 bong hits, I think I’d be writing a very, very different blog right about now. Imagine the words I’d use then! πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m ashamed to admit I never knew there was a Rockstar Finance forum. I knew of bogleheads, various Reddit forums, MMM forums, and Facebook groups, but not about this one. Many thanks!

  8. Kudos and now I am pissed…well not really. Keep on sending out the pics and the stories. Looks forward to reading more in the future.

  9. So much yes to this! I was really suspicious of other bloggers at first and didn’t want anything to do with them; I thought it was a competition. But it’s really been awesome meeting so many wonderful bloggers and sharing with them. It’s not a competition; it’s about writing and finding some buddies along the way. πŸ™‚

    1. Honestly, Mrs. Picky Pincher, I thought of it as a competition too when I first got into this business. Now, I’m much more wise and recognize that we’re all in this thing together, and the better that we make our own blogs, the more successful we ALL become. πŸ™‚

  10. When I was just starting my blog a couple years ago, I initially thought that I would just spend some time writing and that would be it. Like most bloggers, I learned pretty quickly that there’s a lot more involved – time, energy, and figuring out all kinds of things that have nothing to do with writing.

    But the best thing that came out of it was the engagement with the people. The personal finance community is a fantastic group with a lot of great ideas and inspiration.

    Congrats on the 1 mill mark – truly impressive!! Keep on keeping on, Steve!

    — Jim

  11. Great summary, maybe even one of the best ‘this is what I learned from blogging’ – posts πŸ˜‰

    The whole community is the thing that amazed me so much after starting a blog and is the one thing that really kicks back some motivation to continue. You can become a part of something bigger, if you put some effort in it.

  12. Cheers to the PF blogging community. So much support there. I hope I give back at least as much as I’ve received since I popped on the scene 6-ish months ago. And congratulations on the 1 million milestone. May there be many millions more to come.

  13. Thanks for this, it’s encouraging and really great information. I dig the community vibe, and I feel like especially the FIRE community is a welcoming one. The more widespread these ideas get, with each of us putting our own unique spin, the better off everyone will be!

    And that’s a great reminder about not worrying about pleasing everyone. It’s impossible anyways, and all we do when we try is lose authenticity.

  14. Good stuff Steve! It’s always great when you share your skills and experience in blogging.

    I think a lot of people that quit blogging do it because they lack the community engagement. Most bloggers cite the community as one of the major reasons that they blog!

    1. I think you’re probably right, Mr. Tako. The more involved I’ve become, the more satisfied I get with spending so much time blogging. It’s a labor of love I suppose!

  15. I originally started my blog as a way for my friends to easily access the blogs and posts that I’ve found helpful along my journey. It’s also been a place to record my thoughts, with the idea that maybe other people were thinking about these things too and we can talk about them openly. That quickly evolved into building relationships with other personal finance bloggers.

    It’s been so great connecting with people who are on a similar path and I’ve gotten far more out of that than any post I’ve published πŸ™‚

  16. Congrats on the pageview milestone, and more importantly congrats on all the engagement you get with your thoughts, words, advice, and shit. πŸ™‚ Happy to be a reader, follower, and Rockstar community cohort. Thanks for all you do and share, Steve!

  17. Great advice and congrats on the big milestone! Engagement is very important and to get that you need to create your own voice/niche. I have been very lucky to connect with like-minded people in the community. This only encourages me to continue blogging.

  18. I couldn’t agree more on all points (where there 10 btw?) especially on the building community part. It’s amazing how open and welcoming the finance community is. That’s not true of all blogging genres.

    Thanks for the insight and congrats on the milestone!

  19. Great article, and awesome achievement. Your milestone is inspiring to me. Wealth Well Done is inching close to 20K page views in it’s first 8 months, so if I keep rocking and rolling, your achievement shows that I can do it too. My wife and I are in this for the long haul, friend. Our best is yet to come. So your achievement of one million views is motivation for us that we can do it too. We’re just getting started, and it’s nice to have you up front holding the torch in the darkness of the unknown, showing us the way we need to go. Thanks.

    1. 20k pageviews in eight months ain’t too shabby, my friend! More than I had in my first eight months for sure. You’re definitely off to an awesome start. πŸ™‚

  20. First of all, congrats on the great milestone, the way to go. I also think “The big Why” matters. Every person has his/her own reason for writing. I remember when I started my first blog in Russia, I just wanted to make more money. And that blog didn’t last long. But when I started writing about what I really enjoy, at that time it was Ice Hockey, my blog quickly became popular and I was able to write about what I like and make a little extra money
    Thanks for this post.
    FR

    1. Totally agree. Why you’re blogging has a lot to do with how much you enjoy the process. The more that you like what you write about, the more satisfaction you’ll get out of it…for sure. πŸ™‚

  21. It is a great accomplishment hitting 1 million views. Yeah people do enjoy seeing progress or a story behind a blog, that helps build the community. I guess FI is now helping build it even further, since you are not in a cubicle. Good Luck.

  22. That’s a huge milestone. As a new blogger who is still trying to find my voice i’m struggling between the “Top 3” type of style and a more open dialogue. I certainly appreciate your dislike of those types of articles. What I struggle with is why a site like Michael Hyatt who almost always has simple 700 word posts on the “top 3” reasons to do something and has over 700k subscribers.

    1. Thanks RTC! Yeah, there are all kinds of reasons why some sites just magically make it to the top more than others. A lot of the time, those bloggers are well-connected. They may also come at this with a background in marketing or experience building blogs and know enough people to build popularity, fast, using a well-funded platform. πŸ™‚

  23. Congrats Steve! I’m oozing blog jealousy over here. I have a question/idea for you: I’d love to know what happened during the last six months or so of 2015. Seems like you had some serious growth during that time; I’m thinking there should be a blog post for us newbies or something. Thanks for sharing; these sort of reports are what keep me rollin’!

    1. Thanks Paul! Really, all it was…was consistency and commenting. A lot. During that time, I spent a ton of hours getting as involved within the PF community as I could. I wrote a lot. I built up my Twitter profile. It was the initial “grind” period of just staying determined and putting up high quality content. Easier said than done, though.

      1. Great to know – I love this stuff, too, and love being engaged. Looking forward to hearing much more from you! And congrats – another great post, and 1M pageviews is awesome!

  24. Wow, thanks for this post, and congratulations on 1 million! This advice is great for those of us trying to find our footing. (I always wondered on the ’10 things articles: Were there really 9 good things, and they made up one more to make 10? Or were there really 11, and they had to cut a good one out to make 10? Why always magically 10?)

    1. You’re most welcome, and appreciate the kind words. And good question…why 10? I suppose ’cause it’s a nice round number? Maybe? Hmm…

  25. Thanks for sharing some of the tips you’ve learned over the years. I’ve already implemented your suggestion to include the twitter handle in the share feature of my posts. I enjoyed your Bill Cosby joke too lol Congrats on the blogging milestone!

  26. Finding a community in blogging was probably the best thing I did. It really is so beneficial in helping you get out of your own bubble and learn more about different things. Thanks for helping put together the Rockstar Finance forum! I love it!

  27. Congratulations on the milestone. I am pretty new to all this (started in January) and I have been amazed at how many other bloggers I have been helped by on social media. I hate social media, but Twitter is a great way to connect and learn. Keep up the great writing, because I am learning from you.

  28. Hey Steve,

    Congrats on the new landmark! It gave me a bit of a chuckle that this post attracted me because of the big number of page views in the title yet further down you mention favoring engagement over page views. I agree that engagement is the goal we all should strive for as bloggers but sometimes those ‘# of reasons to do x’ posts help drive the most traffic, though perhaps not the most qualified!

    I’ll be checking out your blog more often for sure. Keep up the great work!

  29. Hey Steve,

    I really enjoyed your article and congrats on the milestone. I’ve also discovered the forum you mentioned. Thank you! I’m relatively new to blogging, but continue to see similar memes around building community and collaborating. I hope to contribute as well.

    You’ve made a difference.

    John

    1. Thanks John, appreciate your message! This is a wonderful community to be a part of. So welcoming. And we all know what each other is going through, at least from a financial perspective. The encouragement we all give and receive is amazing. πŸ™‚

  30. Great read, and great advice Steve! Pretty sure I peed someone off this past week, not intentional, but also nothing I can do about it.
    Gotta move on. Do I consider that a milestone of sorts? : )

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