Blogging

Three Years of Blogging: All the Stats

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Photo by Lalmch on Pixabay

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. That means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links. There’s no extra cost to you and it helps to support the blog. Thank you!

Happy third blogiversary to me!

Hooray! On January 1st, 2022, Eat Sleep Breathe FI turned three! 2021 was a year of milestones, and I’m excited to share everything with you in this post. Just like I do every year, I’m sharing all the stats. (Get ready for lots of charts and numbers!)

Related: If you haven’t already, read my two-year statsone-year stats, one-year lessons learned, and six-month stats posts for all the numbers and my honest experience with blogging.

Why I reveal my blog stats

I’m guarded with our net worth, but I’ll happily spill the beans with my blog stats. “Why,” you ask? It’s because I haven’t found much in the way of stats for small blogs. While there are exceptions, most bloggers who share stats tend to be much farther along. 

Reading enormous numbers like theirs can feel unrelatable and discouraging to those of us who are still growing. By sharing my challenges and stats (even when they’re ugly), I hope that others might be encouraged to push through the hard patches and keep blogging. 

Part 1: All the stats

This section outlines all the metrics I use to monitor my blog growth. If there’s a metric that I haven’t included but that you use and find helpful, let me know. I’ll see about including it in my next blogiversary post.

Note: Some of my commentary from previous stats posts still applies, so I’ve reused some of it here.

Metric 1: Email subscribers

As mentioned in my 2020 stats post, my email list is still small (really small), but I’m grateful for each and every subscriber. Three years in, I’ve continued to be lazy about growing my email list, LOL! I’m not surprised that 2021 was another year of slow subscriber growth. Here are the stats:

2021 esbfi email subscribers
  • January: 189 (+7%)
  • February: 203 (+7%)
  • March: 207 (+2%)
  • April: 211 (+2%)
  • May: 221 (+5%)
  • June: 225 (+2%)
  • July: 231 (+3%)
  • August: 236 (+2%)
  • September: 246 (+4%)
  • October: 274 (+11%)
  • November: 297 (+8%)
  • December: 297 (0%)

Additional email stats

Here are some additional stats from Mailchimp. (I don’t know if these rates are good or not—there isn’t much info for small niche blogs.)

  • Average open rate: 51.1% 
  • Average click rate: 17.5%
  • Average subscribe rate: 1,000%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.5%

My commentary

I still haven’t found the motivation to properly deal with my email list. As I’ve said before, I think it’ll be an area I’ll never get around to improving. I know it’s a missed opportunity, but I’m totally okay with slow, organic growth right now.

I’ve always tried to blog in a way that makes me happy and fulfilled—and growing my email list has never brought me the warm and fuzzies. So, I’ve made peace with not working on it until I’m ready (even if that’s never)!

Metric 2: Month-to-month pageviews

2021 was a record-breaking year for pageviews! In addition, I saw more consistency in my traffic than in previous years (finally)! Scroll down for my commentary on my 2021 pageviews.

2021 esbfi month to month pageviews
  • January: 6,696 (+99%)
  • February: 6,798 (+2%)
  • March: 6,419 (-6%)
  • April: 4,895 (-24%)
  • May: 6,647 (+36%)
  • June: 4,163 (-37%)
  • July: 5,321 (+28%)
  • August: 5,377 (+1%)
  • September: 5,577 (+4%)
  • October: 17,864 (+220%)
  • November: 15,319 (-14%)
  • December: 11,052 (-28%)

My commentary

2021 versus 2020

My pageviews in 2021 were steadier than what I saw in 2020. I think this was mainly due to my SEO-optimization efforts finally kicking in. (In the traffic sources section, you’ll see that organic search was my top source of traffic.)

My traffic is still pretty low, but I’m happy to see that Google is picking up more of my posts and sending regular (and increasing) pageviews my way!

My record-breaking day and month

In October, one post brought in record single-day and monthly pageviews. (In the post, I revealed the news that my husband and I had reached FIRE—and it set my site on fire! 🔥)

I had a feeling the announcement might give me a bump in traffic (like my I’m Coming Out! post, which brought 2,986 pageviews in one day and 11,204 pageviews for the month). However, I wasn’t expecting the 4,612 one-day and 17,864 one-month pageviews that came in!

I was shocked to see the final tally of pageviews and comments—wow! (I’ll share more about the record number of comments under Metric 10: Comments.) 

The increased traffic continues

Since October, my monthly pageviews have remained higher than they were earlier in the year. This is partially due to the increased traffic that’s normally seen in Q4. However, I believe it’s also due to the benefits, learning, and support I’ve received from the blogging mastermind group I joined in July. (More on this in the box below.)

I hope this increase in traffic is here to stay… and that my blog growth will continue to be consistent moving forward. 🤞

Money Mix Insiders—the best blogging mastermind group EVER!

The mastermind group I’m part of is called The Money Mix Insiders. They’re an unbelievably dedicated and knowledgeable group of bloggers. Everyone does all they can to support each other and lift the entire group up. 

I’ve learned so much about blogging in the handful of months I’ve been with TMMI! On top of that, I’ve also realized many benefits and results, including:

  • Free, high-quality content to republish/syndicate here on my site (which helps bring in extra traffic).
  • Dozens of free, high-quality backlinks through guest posting (which helps boost my rankings in Google).
  • More social shares (because everyone in the group helps to promote each other).
  • My domain authority increased from a stagnant 26 to an astonishing 54 (which will boost my rankings in Google and give my blog more credibility).
  • Improved writing and SEO research/optimization skills.
  • Free access to SEO keyword optimization tools.
  • Premium WordPress plugins.
  • Advice and support for blogging issues and questions.
  • … and so much more!

Are you looking to grow big and fast?

It takes a lot of hard work and effort to “make it” as a blogger, but if you’re up for it, there’s no better, faster way to succeed than with this group. (I saw several bloggers make it into Ad Thrive after about a year of following the group’s guidance and working their butts off!)

Full disclosure: At the moment, my blog is still more of a hobby than a business for me, so the TMMI founders kindly let me stay on as an honorary member. If I’m ever ready to get serious and go big, they’ll be there for me.

However, I’m still benefiting from the group because I continue to participate in the core activities of syndications, guest posting, and chatting/sharing knowledge on the active (and entertaining) Slack channels. What more can I say? It’s an amazing community to be part of!

The (almost) free 3-month trial

If you’d like to give The Money Mix Insiders a test run, they’re offering a three-month trial for only $1/month. During the trial, you’ll receive full access to the group and all the benefits it provides (except for the paid SEO tools—those are only for full members).

In my opinion, it’s too good of a deal to pass up! If you give it your all, you can accomplish A LOT in those three months! At the end of the trial, there’s no obligation to continue (but you’ll very likely want to)!

To learn more about the group, check out this recent Niche Pursuits podcast interview with Mike Dinich (one of the group founders). You can also comment below or contact me if you have any questions. 🙂

Metric 3: Total pageviews

I like to track this number just for fun:

  • 2021: 96,128 (+26%)
  • 2020: 76,170 (+66%)
  • 2019: 45,848
  • LIFETIME TOTAL: 218,146

Metric 4: Month-to-month users

These numbers are a lot lower than my pageviews, which means my readers come back often and/or visit more than one page per session. Thank you, awesome readers! Your ongoing engagement keeps me going.

2021 esbfi month to month users
  • January: 2,517 (+70%)
  • February: 2,843 (+13%)
  • March: 2,724 (-4%)
  • April: 2,062 (-24%)
  • May: 3,137 (+52%)
  • June: 1,785 (-43%)
  • July: 2,213 (+24%)
  • August: 2,135 (-4%)
  • September: 1,638 (-23%)
  • October: 3,552 (+117%)
  • November: 3,011 (-15%)
  • December: 2,115 (-30%)

Metric 5: Total users

I also don’t know if this is useful, but I’ve seen this metric on other blog reports:

  • 2021: 27,378 (+15%)
  • 2020: 23,753 (+72%)
  • 2019: 13,835
  • LIFETIME TOTAL: 64,966

Metric 6: Traffic sources

Note that the numbers below reflect users, not pageviews:

2021-esbfi-traffic-sources
  • Organic search: 9,215 
  • Direct: 8,065 
  • Social: 6,219 
    • Twitter: 3,046
    • Facebook: 2,460
    • Other: 713
  • Referral: 3,293
  • Email: 1,342

My commentary

Organic search

Working on my SEO and organic search traffic is an area I’ve tried to improve on since 2020. I’m thrilled to finally make measurable progress in this area—organic search accounted for 32.8% of my traffic in 2021! (It was only 16.4% in 2019 and 19.5% in 2020.)

What didn’t work

I’ve managed to rank for all kinds of keywords, but many of them are so low-volume and obscure that they bring in almost no traffic! However, I didn’t intend to rank for those keywords anyway! So it’s just bonus traffic, which is nice.

Another thing that I struggled with is the amount of time it takes to write SEO-optimized posts. (It’s hard work creating content that ranks in Google!) These days, most bloggers knows how to do it and do it well… the bar is raised higher and higher every day. 😫

What I think worked

I’m still not knowledgeable enough to conclusively know what worked (or didn’t) as far as my SEO tactics, but this is what I tried to focus on in 2021:

  • Update old posts that are already ranking well in Google.
  • Research keywords before writing a post, then naturally include those keywords in my writing.
  • Aim for long-tail keywords. (That is, a phrase instead of a single term.)
  • Aim for keywords with decent monthly search volume but not too much competition.
  • Use the SEO writing tools included in my membership in The Money Mix Insiders. (These tools help me optimize my posts so that I don’t overuse keywords or miss opportunities to rank for related keywords.)
  • Checking out competitors’ posts for the search terms I want to rank for, then figuring out how to beat those posts.
  • Using free tools like Moz Keyword Explorer and Answer the Public to research keywords and generate ideas for post content.

I’ll continue to learn about SEO and how to do better with it in 2022. Hopefully, I’ll continue to see even more organic traffic growth in my fourth year of blogging!

Direct traffic

Direct traffic is my second-biggest traffic source, and it’s notoriously difficult to analyze. Apparently, it comes from various hard-to-track sources (mobile and messaging apps, directly typing in the URL, etc.) 

I’ve learned that UTM tags can help to categorize some of this direct traffic (Google’s Campaign URL Builder is useful for this). However, thanks to CJ at Olive the Money, I’ve decided that I’ll no longer worry about direct traffic.

CJ told me that even huge companies with powerful tools have difficulty tracking direct traffic and that she doesn’t bother with UTM codes herself. I agreed with her that they’re probably too much fuss for the limited data they might provide.

Thanks for helping me make peace with not analyzing my direct traffic, CJ!

Social—Twitter

Twitter continues to be my largest source of social traffic because I spend a lot of time there! I love sharing and conversing with other bloggers on Twitter—both in public threads and in private Twitter groups.

The Revive Old Posts plugin continues to bring in a decent stream of Twitter traffic for me. (It’s a free plugin that makes it quick and easy to auto-schedule and tweet my old posts. If you’re not using it yet, you definitely should!)

Note: Thanks to The Money Mix InsidersI received free access to the pro version of Revive Old Posts. The free version is great, but the pro version allows me to block an unlimited number of posts from being retweeted. This is handy for posts that don’t age well (e.g. my life update posts).

Social—Facebook

My second-biggest source of social traffic is Facebook. My Facebook page still doesn’t have a large following, so I’m pretty sure most of this traffic comes from the sharing threads of the groups I’m in: ChooseFI CanadaChooseFICanadian Ladies Money ClubWomen’s Personal Finance, and Plutus Community.

Tip: if you’re a blogger, joining niche-specific Facebook groups is a great way to meet like-minded people and share your content!

Social—Instagram

My Instagram referral traffic is minuscule compared to Twitter and Facebook, but it’s better than nothing! I use Linktree in my Instagram profile to link to multiple pages on my site. It’s more flexible than the single URL that Instagram allows (and it’s free). 

Note: I switched to Linktree from Smart.Bio because Smart.Bio kept unlinking my avatar. It also didn’t offer as many customization options as Linktree. Since it seems most content creators use Linktree, I figured it must be good! I made the switch and have been happy with my decision.

Referrals

Referrals were a larger percentage of my traffic than last year: 11.7% in 2021 versus 7.1% in 2020. This traffic comes from:

*Check out my Guest Appearances page to see where I’ve guest posted or been featured and quoted.

Email

These are the click-throughs from the emails I send to my subscribers. In 2021, 1,342 users came to my site via my emails. Not bad! (Last year, I didn’t start tracking this until June, so my analytics only captured about half of this traffic—308 users.)

These are the ten posts that brought in the most email users in 2021:

My commentary

Here are my thoughts on my most popular emails in 2021:

  • My subscribers like my more personal posts.
  • They also like posts about saving money.
  • Blog stats seem to pique my subscribers’ curiosity.

I’ll keep these observations in mind when planning content in 2022. 🙂 

Did you know?

I also run a directory right here on this blog! It’s called the Canadian FIRE Directoryif you’re a Canadian FIRE content creator, I’d love to include you! Just shoot me a message here.

Metric 7: Audience location

In 2021, my readers came from 147 countries! (In 2020, it was 114 countries, and in 2019, it was 88.) I find it so incredible and mind-blowing that people from that many countries are interested in FIRE! (The FIRE is spreading, my friends! 🔥)

Here’s a breakdown of the countries my readers come from:

2021-esbfi-audience-location
  • Canada: 52%
  • United States: 33%
  • UK: 2%
  • Australia: 1%
  • Germany: 1%
  • India: 1%
  • Singapore: 1%
  • Other: 9%

Metric 8: Twitter followers

I don’t know if Twitter followers are meaningful to track, but I do it anyway just for fun:

2021 esbfi twitter followers
  • January: 2,054 (+3%)
  • February: 2,114 (+3%)
  • March: 2,160 (+2%)
  • April: 2,187 (+1%)
  • May: 2,247 (+3%)
  • June: 2,269 (+1%)
  • July: 2,292 (+1%)
  • August: 2,329 (+2%)
  • September: 2,345 (+1%)
  • October: 2,400 (+2%)
  • November: 2,439 (+2%)
  • December: 2,470 (+1%)

My commentary

I don’t do anything in particular to grow my Twitter following, so I don’t have much to say about it. However, I will say that if you are in the money blogging space, you need to be on Twitter! 

That’s where all the cool money kids hang out, LOL. 🤓 All kidding aside, it really is where most money bloggers hang out, chat and share each other’s content—and it’s one of the friendliest online communities out there!

If you’re new to blogging, Twitter is a great way to meet and get to know blogging friends. If you’re an old pro, you’ll benefit from the mutual sharing, support and commiseration. If you’re a blogger and not on Twitter yet, get on it!

Metric 9: Top ten posts

Here are my top ten posts for 2021 (starting with the most-visited):

My commentary

Here are my thoughts on my top posts for 2021:

  • Reaching FIRE is interesting to people.
  • SEO tactics work! (All of these posts, except for We Reached FIRE, were optimized for SEO.)
  • Canadians want and need more FI content. (Six of these posts focus solely or heavily on Canadian content!)
  • The other How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interviews didn’t quite make the list, but many of them were runners-up for top blog posts in 2021.

This info is helpful—it’ll guide me as I continue to create content that my readers (and Google) will like. 👍

Metric 10: Comments

Here’s how many blog comments I received in 2021, 2020 and 2019:

Total comments

  • 2021: 529 (+9%)
  • 2020: 486 (+61%)
  • 2019: 301
  • LIFETIME TOTAL: 1,316

My commentary

I received 9% more comments in 2021 as I did in 2020. And, amazingly, my We Reached FIRE post received a record-breaking 87 comments!!! (But about half were mine.) That may not be much for some blogs, but it’s more than I’ve received on any other post!

I was so touched to see the FIRE and personal finance communities come out in full force to share their warm words of support. Thank you all for your kindness and love. 💗

I’m grateful for your comments

Comments are a huge part of blogging for me. It’s so gratifying to receive feedback from my readers. I love being able to connect with and learn from all of you. 

Whether you’re a frequent or one-time commenter, I appreciate that you took the time to engage and connect. If you haven’t left a comment before, please jump in and introduce yourself—I don’t bite, and I’d love to get to know you!

Part 2: Income and expenses

I saved the juiciest for last! This is what everyone wants to know… right? I’ve said this every year—don’t get too excited! There’s not a lot to report here! While my income was better than in 2020 and 2019, it’s still not much!

However, even though my earnings are relatively low, I’m still sharing my numbers. Why? Well, I myself like knowing what other bloggers earn and how they earned their income. It’s interesting, educational, and satiates my curiosity. 

And really—who doesn’t like a peek behind the curtain? So, with that, I present the numbers:

2021-esbfi-income

2021 income

  • Affiliate sales: $2,457 ($1,966 USD)
  • Advertising: $888 ($740 USD)
  • GRAND TOTAL: $3,345 ($2,676 USD)

2021 expenses

My blog expenses for 2021 included:

  • Web hosting renewal (three years).
  • Email hosting.
  • Domain name renewal.
  • Tech support.
  • Premium plugins.
  • Mastermind membership fees.
  • Blogging tools.
  • PayPal fees (Boo! 😡)
  • GRAND TOTAL: $560 ($467 USD)

Net income

  • 2021: $2,785 ($2,228 USD)
  • 2020: $1,323 ($1,018 USD)
  • 2019: $261 ($201 USD)

My commentary

$2,785 still isn’t much, but it’s more than double what I earned in 2020 and more than 10X what I made in 2019! While earning income isn’t my primary motivation for blogging (not by a long shot), it’s still fun to try and increase this number every year. 🙂

I’ve broken out and provided commentary for each income source in the section below if you’d like more details.

Affiliate sales

Below are the programs from which I received commissions in 2020. (Thank you to everyone who used my affiliate links to make purchases. I’m so grateful for your support.)

Fintel Connect

Fintel Connect is an affiliate network that helps content creators partner with various merchants and their affiliate programs. (Many are Canadian financial services and products.) 

In 2021, I received commissions through Fintel Connect for PolicyMeEQ BankBorrowell, and Scotiabank. Fintel Connect also helped my podcast, Explore FI Canada connect to advertisers. (Note: podcast income and stats are not included in this post.) 

I couldn’t be happier with Fintel Connect—everyone’s always so friendly, helpful, and supportive. I look forward to continuing to work with them in 2022.

Family Emergency Binder 

The Family Emergency Binder is one of my favourite estate planning products. I absolutely love this done-for-you binder and would promote it even if I wasn’t an affiliate! (Pssst… until January 16th, 2022, the Family Emergency Binder is on sale for 20% off!)

I sold quite a few of these binders in 2021 but missed out on a bunch of sales. That’s because I didn’t see the notice that they’d switched to a new affiliate platform. 😫 (It was totally my fault—I’d received the email but didn’t read it thoroughly.)

I also knew something was up because I hadn’t registered a single click for several months. Unfortunately, I was too busy to troubleshoot the problem until late in the year. As a result, I missed out on quite a few sales. 

This experience taught me an important lesson: affiliate programs need to be regularly monitored and maintained. I won’t make this mistake again! 

Web Hosting Canada 

I’ve been with Web Hosting Canada since 2020 and couldn’t be happier with the service, support, uptime, and speed. (Which is why I renewed for another three years!) It’s also why I’m more than happy to be an affiliate for them. 

Their affiliate program pays $20–$300 per sign-up, and I was thrilled to receive commissions for three web hosting sign-ups in 2021! If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable web host, I highly recommend Web Hosting Canada. 👍

Square One Insurance 

This was a new affiliate program for me. I’ve been a Square One customer for years but never got around to joining their affiliate program until early 2021, and I’m so glad I did! 

My favourite feature of the Square One affiliate program is they let me decide how much of my commission to give my readers as a bonus. I wish every affiliate program offered this—I much prefer making referrals when it’s a win-win for my readers and me.

If you’re interested in purchasing home, condo or tenant insurance through Square One, use my referral link for a $25 credit!

Passiv

Passiv is a service that helps DIY investors automatically rebalance their portfolios with one-click trades. Even better—Passiv Elite is free for Questrade clients (a $99 value)! Once you register for Passiv, you can join their referral program and earn $20 for every sign-up.

The team at Passiv is a joy to work with. Their passion shows in everything they do. (And they’re also a Canadian start-up—I’d love to see them continue to grow!)

Amazon Associates

Amazon’s products are easy to link to (I mostly use it to give my readers an example of a product I’m referring to). I also like using their OneLink code to auto-redirect US readers to matching products in the US store.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make any Amazon.com sales in 2021, but I did earn more from Amazon.ca than I earned in previous years, so I’m pretty happy with that!

Advertising

In May 2020, I finally hit the minimum threshold to apply for Monumetric’s Propel Program. (Read my Q2 2020 Blog & Podcast Update for the full story on how it all happened.) 2021 was my first full year with Monumetric, and I was thrilled with the results.

In 2021, I earned $888 ($740 USD) in ad revenue from Monumetric—an average of $74 per month. That’s still extremely low compared to what bigger bloggers earn. But hey, that more than covered my blog expenses for 2021, so it’s still great. 🙂

I have nothing but the highest of praise for the team at Monumetric—it’s been an absolute pleasure working with them. Everyone I’ve dealt with has been friendly, polite, efficient, and oh-so patient with my sometimes incessant emails!

If you receive 10,000+ pageviews per month, I’d highly recommend applying to join Monumetric!

Part 3: Closing thoughts

closing thoughts rawpixel
Thought bubble image by rawpixel; Watercolour texture created by kjpargeter—freepik.com

2021 was a fantastic year for me at Eat Sleep Breathe FI. From hosting a well-received interview series, to joining an amazing mastermind, to seeing my traffic reach new highs, I couldn’t be happier with how the year went.

But most importantly, I got to interact with so many of you—new and old readers alike. It always makes my day when I see messages, comments, emails, mentions, etc., from all of you. It’s that connection and engagement that truly keeps me going.

I look forward to the relationships and possibilities that are still to come in 2022 and beyond. Thank you all for making this blogging adventure as enjoyable and rewarding as it’s been. Three years later, I wouldn’t still be here if not for your support, encouragement, and readership!

As always, if you want to drop me a line and say hi, I’d love to hear from you. (It may take me a while to reply, but I promise I will—I reply to every non-spam comment and message I receive!)

Got feedback or questions?

Do you have thoughts to share? Did I miss anything? Any blogging (or podcasting) questions you’d like me to answer? Feel free to ask below!

Support this blog

If you liked this article and want more content like this, please support this blog by sharing it! Not only does it help spread the FIRE, but it lets me know what content you find most useful. (Which encourages me to write more of it!) 

You can also support this blog by visiting my recommendations page and purchasing through the links. Note that not every link is an affiliate link—some are just favourite products and services that I want to share. 🙂

As always, however you show your support for this blog—THANK YOU!

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Moe (Moementum Finance)
    January 12, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Congrats Chrissy on your 3rd blogiversary!!! Thanks for sharing all the stats and breakdown of income/expenses. It’s amazing to see your net income from the blog growing 10x and 2x over the past 2 years respectively. Woohoo!!! 🎉🥳 It is also very nice to see how you are using this data to reflect on what works well and what can be improved, and finding ways to optimize your comtents to best reach your target audience while bringing them value. Well done! All the best in 2022 and looking forward to your future contents. 🙂 P.S. I wasn’t aware of Fintel Connect nor Monumetric so thanks for sharing them with us. 🙏

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      Hello again Moe—you’re always so encouraging and kind in your comments. 🙂 I’m very happy with my blog earnings for 2021 even though it’s still peanuts for the amount of time I put in, ha ha. Good thing I’m doing this for fun and to help others, not to make a living.

      I really hope I can continue to create content that my readers find interesting, helpful, and valuable. It does help to look back on my stats to observe what worked.

      It made my day to read that you discovered Fintel Connect and Monumetric through my post! They’re such great services. I hope you’ll be able to start earning income from them soon. I also wish you all the best for 2022!

  • Reply
    Mr. Dreamer
    January 12, 2022 at 7:00 am

    WOW Chrissy! I think your blog stats report is by far my favorite especially when you show $ figures!

    Great job on the growth and I am sure it will keep growing. I had about 27K pageviews in my first year which is much lower than your initial first year. I am still doubting if I want to enable Ads on the site cause it is 1. Annoying to readers, and 2. Slows it down.

    Maybe it will worth it when I hit 50K+ readers.

    Anyway, great job and thanks for the detailed numbers. Much appreciated as always!

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 12, 2022 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Mr. Dreamer—I know you love numbers, LOL! I’m glad this post was satisfying for you in that respect.

      I was super lucky in my first year of blogging. I’m still not sure how I got as much traffic as I did right out of the gate. I guess all the stars happened to align for me at that time. I have no doubt your blog will continue to grow. You create fantastic content that’s so helpful and detailed.

      As for the ads, if I were to do it again, I wouldn’t have bothered with Google Adsense. Those ads REALLY slowed down my site and earned me almost nothing. They were also a pain in the butt to set up, with no customer service or support. I would agree with you waiting until you have more readers, to justify the downsides of ads.

      Thanks, as always, for your encouragement and support. Here’s to another year of blogging and growing together!

  • Reply
    Liquid
    January 12, 2022 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for being so transparent with your numbers Chrissy. Looks like you’ve made some really solid progress on a lot of those metrics. I feel the same way about building an email list. It’s more of a secondary thought and I haven’t paid much attention to it. I’m usually more focused on pageviews. Congrats on another successful year of blogging. Your income growth is awesome to see. 🙂 Do you think you spent more time working on the blog in 2021 compared to the previous year, or less time?

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 12, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Liquid—phew, I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way about my email list! I know I need to create a lead magnet or freebie to get that growing more… but I just never get around to it. Maybe if a great freebie idea comes to me, that’ll be my motivation!

      As for the time I spent on the blog, I have never tallied it because I know it would horrify me, ha ha! But I think I spent less time on the blog in 2021 than I did in previous years. I was way more distracted with my husband retiring and other life happenings keeping me busy!

      I love blogging so much and I wish I had more time for it! But at the same time, I’m so fortunate to have the amazing family and life that I have—I don’t want to miss out on any of it! So, I think what I do on the blog right now (20-25 hours per week) is a healthy balance.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and for your ongoing encouragement and support. 🙂

  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    January 12, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Wow another great year Chrissy. At this rate it won’t be long before you’re no longer a little blog. I love watching your progress and how transparent you are. Most bloggers don’t last as long as you have so keep it going.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 12, 2022 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Maria—I suppose you’re right that longevity is rare in the blogging world. I think I’m stubborn enough to keep at it for a while longer, ha ha. Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been so grateful for your support throughout my blogging journey! 💗

  • Reply
    Steve @ The Frugal Expat
    January 12, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    I am amazed at the response to your FIRE post. You are an inspiration to a lot of us. These stats prove it. Putting in the little work that you do really does pay off. I am also super impressed with how your affiliates are doing. 2021 was an amazing year for you. I can’t wait until the 2022 post comes out next January. So much may happen and change and that is great to read about it.

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 12, 2022 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Steve—thanks for your kind words, my friend. I never think of myself as being an inspiration to others, ha ha. You and so many other bloggers are an inspiration to me. 🙂 I’m also excited for what 2022 may bring to both our blogs! We’ll keep working at it and growing together!

  • Reply
    AnotherLoonie
    January 12, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Wow, another great year of growth! And very nice job on the affiliate sales. I’ve considered going down that route more often, but I understand that sometimes affiliates leak your info (e.g. the name of who the referal is from). I think questrade does, for example. Is that something you’ve run into? Which affiliates don’t do that?.. I’d love to know 8-).

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 13, 2022 at 4:31 pm

      Hi AL—that’s a great question about referral links. I’ll ask one of my readers and my sister about Questrade as I recently referred them. I’m pretty sure it’s just a code that you share, and that it doesn’t display your name at any point. I’ll see what they say and will let you know!

      There are some referral links (for example, Rakuten, Flashfood, and EQ Bank’s refer-a-friend program) that use all or part of your first and/or last name in the link or code. So you’ll want to avoid those.

      However, actual affiliate programs (as opposed to refer-a-friend links/codes) do not leak your info. The links are based on your publisher ID, website name, or other non-identifying info. The links take you directly to the products or service website and don’t display your name at any point.

      For example, if I refer people using my EQ Bank affiliate link (as opposed to my refer-a-friend link) it doesn’t display my name at all: https://api.fintelconnect.com/t/l/5e1fa9c427442d001bde80b7 The refer-a-friend link, on the other hand, looks like this: https://join.eqbank.ca?code=CHRISSY9624

      *Note: if you’re wondering why I don’t use my refer-a-friend link on my blog, it’s because my family and friends have maxed out my referrals!

      I hope this info is helpful to you! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • AnotherLoonie
        January 13, 2022 at 6:22 pm

        Amazing, thank you for the detailed answer Chrissy. This is sooo helpful!

      • Chrissy
        January 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm

        Hi AL—I have an update for you about the Questrade referral: my reader said that my name wasn’t shown at any point during the referral process. So you’re safe to share your code!

        Another note about Questrade: I prefer to use my referral code rather than the link from their affiliate program. That’s because, with my referral code, my readers get a $25+ bonus. With the affiliate link, all they get is free trades (which is useless for most FI-seekers since ETFs are free to buy anyway).

        I would earn way more with the affiliate link, but there’s no value for my readers, so I don’t use it.

  • Reply
    Mrs B @ TheFireJourney
    January 13, 2022 at 4:55 am

    Thanks for sharing all of your stats with us Chrissy! It is definitely motivational to see the honest blog stats for people like me that have a small blog! I think I learned a thing or two reading this article, so thank you 🙂
    Can’t wait to see what you have for us in year 4!

    ~Mrs B

    • Reply
      Chrissy
      January 13, 2022 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Mrs. B—I’m so secretive about our financials, so it’s refreshing for me to be open about my blog stats! I’m glad to hear that the post was helpful, even if only in a small way. Thank you for your support and readership. I look forward to another year of following your blog as well!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    January 14, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Congratulations Chrissy! I am so amazed and proud of you and your achievements with Financial planning, blogging and your podcast! I simply don’t know how you can produce so much good and valuable content continuously with the busy life you have being a super mom, homemaker, etc. If I can live my life over, I would follow in your footsteps or at least hope to…..

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