One Year Blogiversary

Michael QuanBeliefs, Education, Habits, How to, Investment, Misc, Personal Development60 Comments

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Welcome officially to Financially Alert 2.0!

Today marks my One Year Blogivesary.  To celebrate, I upgraded my website’s hosting to a premium service provider (Hostgator >> Themeco hosting).  I also cleaned up the site from excess ads, images, and data.  So, you should start seeing a faster site from here on in.  It’s all about better serving you!

The Journey So Far

One year of blogging goes by pretty quickly.  But, I can remember clearly just starting out and not knowing where this was going at all.  All I knew is that I wanted to get out of my shell, share my story, and help others.

The first few months I was pretty much just writing for myself and a couple of friends who were kind enough to drop by every now and then.  Even my wife didn’t read my blog… haha.

But, slowly over time I began into interact with other bloggers in the personal finance (PF) community and that was the key!

In fact, I was happily surprised to see how friendly and engaging most of other PF bloggers were.

Things also started to take a turn for the better once I joined the Yakezie Challenge.  Although I didn’t catch the challenge at its peak participation a few years ago, there were still several other bloggers actively engage in it and it certainly made me a better blogger.  Sam, the creator of the challenge, and mastermind behind was supportive of our efforts.

I didn’t end up getting to 200,000 on Alexa, but I did manage to get to 419,188 (Global) and 104,235 (US).  Nowadays, I do my best to encourage the new class of bloggers to keep up their efforts and find their own success in this PF space.  If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, jump right in and start collaborating with other bloggers in your space.

My Flawed Thinking & Realization

Engaging with the PF community was a huge blessing along the way, but you may be surprised that I didn’t always think that way.  In fact, when I first started out, I did my best NOT to read other blogs in this space.  Why?  Well, I figured I didn’t want to become influenced by others and I wanted to create my own unique voice completely independent from what was already out there.

My assumption here was wrong.  Of the hundreds (if not thousands) of PF blogs out there, EVERYONE’s take on personal finance is different.  Each of us has a unique voice because we’re all at different stages in our lives and we all interpret our world from our own perspective.

Sharing individual stories are the gifts that make blogging so interesting to read and participate in.  Blogging here has taught me a lot about myself, and about others that I would have never known.  I feel so blessed to live in this time of history where you can speak your mind so freely and have it available to share across the ENTIRE world.


The exciting thing is that I’ve only scratched the surface of this PF community.  There are plenty of new friends to make in the coming year and multiple ideas to collaborate on.  In fact, I’ll be attending my first FINCON this Fall right in my backyard in sunny San Diego!  I can’t wait.  If you’re going, please drop me a line.  I’d love to meet up and collaborate.

Finding My Voice

By writing this past year, it’s really given me time to find my voice.  For me, this means writing about finances in conjunction with personal development.  I believe they ultimately go hand-in-hand.  This will continue to evolve over time, but I’m happy where things are headed.

Full transparency is the name of the game.  In the beginning, I was writing to what I thought people wanted to read.  But, I finally realize that I simply need to write as who I am… flaws and all!  It’s in this zone, where most people resonate anyways.

man-152231_640No one wants to hear about how perfect my life of financial freedom is… haha.  You’d rather hear about my challenges as a stay-at-home father trying to kindle a fledgling coaching startup business into life, along with all the trials and tribulations associated with that.  You’d rather hear about my bumbling mistakes I made as a foolish investor.  Or, perhaps read about my comical balancing act as a husband, father, and friend.

And of course, you’re probably interested to hear about my plan to reach $10M by the time I’m 50 years old (only 11 more years away!).

Okay okay!!  Rest assured, I’m going to get much more personal here in Year #2.

Where I’m Headed With the Blog

In addition to getting much more personal, I’m also committing to dive deeper into my experiences around new investments I’m participating in, such as crowdfunded real estate investing, P2P lending, and crowd funded VC, etc.

In fact, I’m already working on a post for a reader request to share my experience investing with RealtyShares <<— FYI, my latest affiliate partner.

stack of dollars

Finally, I’ll be seeking out different ways to “stash cash” securely without stuffing it under my mattress, or collecting a measly .03% in my savings accounts.

Traffic & Monetization

Like many other new bloggers, I was enamored with the idea of building the next great PF blog and generating a steady stream of passive income.  Well, I’m here to tell you, it exists, but NOT here… not YET at least. 😉

More importantly, I am happy to report an increase in traffic, and I hope to convert some of this newly found traffic into increased revenues this coming year.


Here’s a quick snapshot of my traffic (weekly) since Day #1 and it’s progression over the last year.

Overall I’m happy with visitor interaction I’m seeing on the site.  47,328 page views from 15,274 users tell me that my content is interesting enough to poke around a little.  🙂

It’s also interesting to see that I’ve had visitors from 127 countries around the world!  That’s a bit mind-boggling (in a good way).

So, how much money did Financially Alert actually make the past 12 months?

$ 357.00 – Affiliate links (Personal Capital, etc.)
$  75.71 – Amazon Referrals
$  58.70 – Google Adsense


$ 491.41 – Grand Total

This is NOT a lot of money by any stretch of the imagination.  BUT what’s important is that it’s a start!  Remember, slow and steady can win a race.  $491.41 is a proof of concept that I can actually generate some revenue from this site.  So, I’ll definitely be spending some time in year #2 trying to ramp up revenues and share these results with you along the way.

Nevertheless, I promise to maintain my integrity when sharing affiliate links, products, or services.  These should all be geared towards helping you in some form or fashion.  If it does and I’m able to generate some revenue from it, great!  WIN/WIN.  🙂

New Streams of Income

lamp-1315735_640Since my passive blog revenues won’t be making any dents into my $10M goal anytime soon, I’m also planning to run some additional side income projects such as:

  • Launching an FBA product business
  • Creating a Targeted Product (eg. ebook for IT Professionals)
  • Targeted Coaching Services
  • Etc, TBD

I look forward to sharing with you some of these new activities and seeing what works and doesn’t.

Net Worth Reports

NW Report

As most of you know, I publish a monthly net worth report that covers changes in our net worth as well as cash flow activities for the month.  I was actually thinking about scaling back these NW reports to once per quarter, but I’ve been getting feedback to maintain the monthly series.

Very well then… your wish is my command!



Finally, a quick shout out to the awesome PF community members that have somehow helped, or inspired me in some way.  In no particular order… Joe is a veteran in the early retirement community that inspires others to save wisely and exit the rat race early like he did.  He’s also a fellow stay-at-home Dad like me who understands both the joys and frustrations of daily life with young ones. Sam is an early retiree with a background in investment banking.  His thought-provoking writing draws a large and intelligent community to his site.  I suspect more millionaires read this site than any other (that I’m aware of).  He’s also a great encourager to other PF bloggers. Dom was one of the first PF bloggers I engaged with and I think my first commenter (outside of my friends).  Since then, we’ve become good friends and even collaborate offsite in a mastermind group.  He’s one of the most driven individuals I know and he doesn’t let any excuse get in the way of his goals.  I’d be willing to bet $$ he’ll be in the double comma club soon! Adam is a likable entrepreneur that is also a part of our mastermind group.  He runs a successful FBA business (in addition to a full-time career in finance) and has been killing it the past few months.  He’s inspired me to take a look at FBA as an additional stream of income for me this year.

Rockstar Finance & Budgets Are Sexy: J$ is a funny and engaging personality in the PF community.  He’s been around “forever” and created a large following at both of his sites.  His site Rockstar Finance is a curator of great PF articles and somehow he and his team manage to read through hundreds of articles every week.  I’ve been blessed to be featured on there twice now and it’s given me a huge POP of traffic which is like gold for a newer PF blogger.  He also inspired me to share my net worth reports! I met Mr. 1500 a few months ago when he was visiting San Diego with his family.  He’s a great guy that was also fascinating and really down to earth.  He loves writing and his blog is widely followed for its great content and fun-loving take.  He’s taken control of his finances and hit the millionaire club in 2015 with his investments alone!  We also bonded over some experiences in tech. Steve is a fellow “former tech entrepreneur” that sold his company and sailed off into the sunset!  Well, maybe not exactly like that, but pretty close. Steve is a great example of someone who lived the “normal” American life… complete with a fast car and the fat debt that comes with it.  However, he made a decision to pursue an early retirement and just recently quit his job.  Now he’s riding the good life with his wife in their Airstream exploring all the wonders of our beautiful U.S.A.

Honorable Mentions (again in no particular order):,,,,,,,,,, SmellingFreedom.comAmberTreeLeaves,,,,,,,,,, & anyone else I’m forgetting (on accident of course!)

Final Thoughts

As I always used to tell my employees… Upwards and Onwards!  Life is an adventure and full of wonderful surprises should you choose to seek it.  Growth and contribution are the paths to fulfillment.

I am so blessed to be able to share with you here at Financially Alert and I want you to know that I appreciate YOU.  THANK YOU!

Without YOU, I wouldn’t have the excitement to push myself to write more and better content each week.  So, please keep reading, engaging, sharing your own stories, and finding new ways to grow just a little bit each day.


*If you haven’t yet, please join my newsletter.  You’ll get exclusive insider access to Financially Alert, including new content updates, my weekly Friday thoughts, and the occasional contest to win cool things or even cash!


Readers, are there any additional areas of interest you’d like me to cover this coming year #2?  Any words of wisdom or advice on how to ramp up my revenues this year?  😉

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60 Comments on “One Year Blogiversary”

  1. Pingback: What It Means to Want Less - Mama Hustle

  2. Hey Michael. Just stumbled on your site via BiggerPockets today and I’m very impressed. Great looking site and awesome content after only 1 year. I’ve been blogging off and on for a couple of years but I’m looking to get more consistent this year. Will definitely be subscribing and following you. Great work!

  3. Great post! I’m inspired by it. I’ve started my personal finance blog a week and a half ago (I’m also a newbie who barely graduated college!) and am learning everyday about blogs and personal finance. Wanted to start a blog for such a long time and glad to hear that there’s a whole community to interact with. I’m glad I ran into your site! Here’s to reading more of your content!

    1. Great, welcome FS! The hardest part is starting. The second hardest part is keeping up momentum. But, it’s much easy knowing there’s an entire community to support you. Good luck! I’ll check out your blog soon.

      Also, great job at having a deep interest in personal finance at such a young age. It will become a huge advantage. 🙂

  4. Michael, first of all congrats on turning 1, feels like it might be time to take off the training wheels 😉 haha (couldn’t help throw that in there)..

    Really humbled that we got an honourable mention here & appreciate this as I know it’s a big community! 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing you head on to bigger & better things, which I’m sure you will

    Virtual high five mate!

    1. Thanks, Jef! I like the “training wheels” analogy. It certainly fits!

      Thanks for always reading and commenting… even on my old posts! 😉

      1. Haha you’re welcome man.. feels like I haven’t been reading as much of you & that’s probably cause I’ve caught up 😉

        Glad you liked the analogy & thanks again! 🙂

        1. Well, I’m glad it took you a little while to get through everything. I think that must mean there is some good content stuffed away in there! 😉

          1. Haha I do like modesty so good on ya..
            I’d say you’re looking like a bit of a powerhouse in the PF space 🙂

  5. Congrats on your 1st year anniversary. As I was reading this blog, I couldn’t but think of my first 3-4 months of blogging. I have to agree that the PF community has been so welcoming and helpful to new bloggers like me. Good luck on your new goals.

  6. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to run a blog and you’ve come along a long way. The next 12 months should be very interesting for you. – Sam

  7. I think you have achieved a lot of progress in the last 12 months. Regular and unique content is the key to having a successful blog!

  8. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! Your plans for the future sound exciting and I am very interested in following your journey to $10M which i have every confidence you will achieve. I also wanted to mention that you are one of five blogs I have on my shortcuts which I check frequently. I consider you one of my online mentors in that you have achieved some of the same goals that I aspire to.

    I find your first year income disclosure very helpful and motivating! Because it reflects reality. One of the things Sam emphasized on his blog and the Yakezie challenge was the three year time horizon. I recently took down my google adsense because the cost / benefit wasn’t there yet for my site. When I have more traffic I’ll put it back.

    I can see your blog getting big in the future. Consistency – just like working out 🙂

    Also, I really appreciate the honorable mention. I count this as a milestone day for my blog because of the honorable mention! Have a good one Michael.

    1. Thank you, Jesse! I appreciate the kind comments. I look forward to watching you progress and making your own unique mark in the PF community!

  9. Congrats on the first year Michael! Seems like you had an amazing year. Wish I discovered you sooner! I am only 2 months into being a PF blogger but you have an awesome story. I hope to learn a lot from you. Will be keeping in touch!

  10. Congrats on your first year! I’m at month 2 and am in awe of how supportive this blogging community is. We all come at PF from such different perspectives. It’s wonderful to see that there are a million ways to get where we want.

  11. Congrats Michael! You and I are on the same path. I just hit my first year of blogging last week. My next post will be one very similar to what you wrote here. Really happy to hear you will be continuing to blog, i hear a lot of bloggers dont last more then one year. I dont plan on stopping anytime soon and I love it.

    Its a shame im not going to fincon this year, would have been great to meet up with you. Theres always next year I guess!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alexander! You’re a great example of a new blogger doing it right from the get-go. Congrats on all your success so far. I’ve learned a lot already from your transparency already, but I may need to pick your brain a little more in depth someday. 🙂

      I definitely hope to meet you in person one day. I’m sure I’ll be at the next Fincon too!

  12. Congrats on the one year Michael! It’s exciting to blog and connect and grow isn’t it? The most fun I think you’ll have is the first 2-3 years of blogging b/c that’s usually where the most growth and new learnings happen. Enjoy it to the max!

    Blogging is one of the best things an early retiree or someone who just no longer wants to do the same corporate stuff, can do. The income supplement or potential full time income is great!



    1. Thanks, Sam! Yeah, blogging is a great outlet. It’s great to hear about the next couple years. I’ll be sure to enjoy those to the max as you say! Keep churning out your great content. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Pia! And thanks for the WP suggestion the other week. In the end, it was my hosting company that was over-sold on resources. It was about time I switched hosting companies anyway… though I’m not sure how good this one is yet… they’ve got their hiccups too! 😉

      1. Ooft. I’m glad you got it worked out. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the new guys are awesome!

  13. Michael, you had a very enviable first year! I appreciate your transparency, especially regarding your growth and thought process as a writer. The traffic and earnings statistics are an inspiration to me as a newer blogger.

    1. Thanks, FSH! I’m glad the transparency helps. I benefited a lot from other bloggers’ transparency who’ve gone before me. Good luck with your journey as well. I like the cape! 🙂

  14. Hey! I’m the wife that never reads your posts. 😉 Congrats on Year 1 and to many more to come! You know I’m all about living your life being passionate about what you do, while growing personally and contributing to others. Don’t stop. Keep on writing!

  15. Way to go Michael! Congratulations on the first year. Thank you for the mention. It’s been great getting to know you the past couple of months. Thanks for sharing the analytics too. Gives us pre-1 year bloggers something to shoot for! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Andrew. I’m glad the analytics help. Those were great to see when I was in the earlier months.

      PS. We still need to do our Skype call! Maybe in a week or two once my wife is on summer break. 🙂

      1. Absolutely! Can’t wait to Skype. Let me know when you think will work. Let’s get this done!

    1. Thanks, ESI$! I think that’s great advice. Some of the more successful bloggers I know don’t even really look at their analytics, or care to!

  16. Congrats on your first year, Michael! You’re about seven months ahead of me. It’s quite an adventure, isn’t it?

    Engaging with like minded people and bloggers is a great way to learn and gain new perspectives. And you’re totally right that it’s cool to write about an often discussed subject but from your own perspective. My Rule of 72 post has been among the most popular on my site, and there’s nothing particularly new or special about the concept.

    Best wishes for many more successes and milestones for Financially Alert!

    1. Thanks, PoF! I love that you’re targeting the niche of physicians like yourself. I can see you’re stacking up some great content on your blog. Enjoy the ride. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Brian! You really hit the ground running hard with your blog and started interacting with the PF community well before you ever launched your first post… smart.

  17. Congrats, Michael – love following your site!

    I’ve noticed the same thing as you – that everyone tends to have their own take in the PF community. It’s fascinating to hear what others have to say. Everyone tends to be very welcoming and they offer some great ideas.

    Looking forward to your 2nd year of blogging!!

    — Jim

    1. Thank you, Jim. Yes, if we integrate our own thoughts into a sometimes mundane topic people respond much better. I’m looking forward to experimenting a little bit more in Year #2 as well.

  18. Congrats on a successful first year! I look forward to continuing to follow your journey and here’s to a great second year!

  19. Congrats on the 1 year anniversary!

    Finding our own ‘voices’ is not always easy, but as long as you can write about what you are really interested about, it shows passion and drives interest. I think you’ve done great on that front!

    If you want to increase your revenue, the easiest would be through coaching. It isn’t very scalable, but it’s the easiest way to generate several thousands a month. Affiliate income would probably be the 2nd best, but it relies completely on the amount of traffic. Check out what, Pat Flynn recently updated his ‘favorite ways to generate income’, what works and what doesn’t.

    Looking forward to more great content this year! (and thanks for the mention 🙂

    1. I appreciate the comment, MM! Thanks for the thoughts on increasing revenues. Pay Flynn is going to be speaking at Fincon this Fall. 🙂

  20. Congratulations Michael! 1 year is a big deal. It takes so much work to get started, both blogging to an empty audience and spending time tweaking your site. It seems like the 1 year mark is a trust test. Here’s to many more years!

    Dripping water hollows a stone.

    1. Thanks, BI! Yeah, I think month 3 was probably the hardest when I still wasn’t getting any traffic. Glad it’s past that point now. Here’s to persistence and faith. 🙂

  21. Hey, huge congrats on making it to 1 year, in the blogging world that’s a pretty long time 🙂

    I completely agree with you about the other blogs. We all have our own perspective on finances, we all will have an opinions and different ideas that are worth reading. Add in an international mix and it’s even more varied. I could be a lawyer in Australia, you could be a lawyer in the USA and there could be a lawyer from Canada. All 3 have the exact same job, maybe even earn the same, yet the Australian, American and Canadian differences in financial systems, taxes, retirement accounts, property laws etc would make each a unique blog to read. I love that.

    I’m from Australia by the way, if you hadn’t guessed, so sadly I don’t think I’ll be going to the Fincon. Maybe if there’s ever one in Australia.


    1. Thanks, Tristan! You’re absolutely right in your example. Glad to see you here all the way from Australia! My next door neighbor is an Australian, as is our kids’ Godmother. 🙂

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