State of the Blog 2017 #illumedati


Hi guys, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again and I’m going to do my State of the Blog 2017 post today.

Stock Photo from: Pexels

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile now, thanks! And for those of you who are new… welcome!


So… howzit?

I originally started this blog back in mid 2015 with buying the seniorresident.com domain and primarily just trying to figure out how WordPress works. I officially launched my blog on January 1, 2016. However, that was kind of a false start, and I restarted it again March 2016 on Match Day. Since March 2016 I’ve done my best to put out content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as that was my goal for 2016. I wanted to prove to myself that I could stick to a schedule (mostly). It’s now nearly the end of January 2017 and I think I’ve done a reasonable job. What have I learned?

Writing is hard work.

I didn’t think it was going to take up so much of my time to write these blog posts three times a week. This is especially true because my posts tend to be long, usually between 1500-2000 words. I should probably work on brevity, or splitting posts up into multiple different posts. However, once I decide on a topic, I find it difficult to stop writing about it until I’ve said what I wanted to.

It was especially difficult when I didn’t know what I was doing and was just writing content that no one read because I didn’t do any marketing. Those months from March to June or so were pretty rough. Then I found Twitter and started to cross post to Twitter/Facebook and things started to move a little from there.

So, since March 2016 my blog has received 11,299 views and 5,424 visitors. The majority of those views/visits came in the 2nd half of the year between July-December.

This is not much compared to other blogs, but hey:

My best day ever was:

12-14-2016 where I received 728 views, of which 675 views were for Why Do Doctors Marry Other Doctors?

Top posts ever were:

Home page / Archives – 3,634
Why Do Doctors Marry Other Doctors? – 1,476
The Biggest Mistake of Your Life – 582
Dual Income No Kids (DINK) – 559
I’m Leaving Medicine – 371

From the above, a lot of these views came from PhysicianOnFire, who kindly includes me on both his blogroll and a few times on his Sunday Best.

There is a lot I can learn from him I think.


Do you make any money?

The short answer is: not really.

I’ve put up some posts with Christmas Wish Lists and links to Amazon and stuff. From all that, I think I may have 2 nickels to rub together in that account, but that’s it.

To be honest, that little foray into being Amazon Affiliate was primarily an experiment to see how it worked. It was very interesting to see how it was setup. I can see why people with hundreds of thousands of followers on instagram, facebook, or twitter link to Amazon stuff. It’s because it scales. 

However, for a niche blog like mine, something like that will probably never make me any money… and I never thought it would be in the first place. That said, I will probably still include links to stuff I like in any posts I write, just in case. It’s ok to be optimistic right?


How much does it cost you to run this website?

Well, most of what I use is free, so the main costs are the domain and the hosting.

Like I said before, it took me awhile to get up and running so:

$48.06 and $20.17 was spent in early 2015 to acquire the domain(s) and wordpress hosting.

Domain renewal was $25.16 in early 2016.

WordPress hosting renewal was $95.88. (Renewal fees are always more than the initial fee)

I also bought illumedati.com since it’s my twitter hashtag for $35.86… for now it just redirects to this site.

Costs (2015+2016):

$48.06
$20.17
$25.16
$95.88
$35.86

Total: $223.13

Income (2015+2016):

$0

Total: $0


So what are the plans for 2017 then?

Well, it’s been fun trying to get by with just my novice knowledge of wordpress and free plugins. However, I think in 2017 I will need to re-evaluate the site and start using high level paid plugins. I’ve grown somewhat attached to my theme though, so I’m not sure I will change it, although I may donate to its creator: Customizr by Nicolas GUILLAUME

He does a phenomenal job with keeping his free theme up to date. But we’ll see, I may need to just buy a more robust paid theme sometime this year.

I’ve been slow on this, but I really need to make a weekly email digest and/or email alerts for my readers. A few people have emailed me to ask me where to sign up for alerts when a new article is available. And… there isn’t one.. yet. I’ve looked into a few options, but I haven’t decided which one to go with. MailChimp seems to be the one everyone likes initially since it’s free, but it gets expensive quickly. Nonetheless, adding this is on my list of things to do. It honestly should have been available at the beginning… well, live and learn.

I also want to create a good roadmap post for Match Day. Like, if I just matched, what would I tell Med Student Me to read on my blog and in what order.


Are you going to try monetize?

I don’t know. Part of me says I should at least try to offset some of the costs of making the blog, but part of me also says that the site isn’t ready yet. There are a lot of articles on this topic. Some say you should try to monetize from day one and others later when you have enough content and/or loyal readers.

I just don’t know. Ideally, it would be nice to have at the least the hosting/domain costs covered by the site itself, but the costs aren’t currently exorbitant.

We’ll see.


TL;DR

I think 2016 has been a good starting year.

Running this website costs about $200. So far, the only real cost to me, is time.

However, I enjoy doing it and will continue to do it until it’s no longer enjoyable.

I would like to make small changes to my blog, namely adding an email alert and/or weekly digest since people have asked for it.

No plans to monetize just yet, but we will see.

Match Day will be an important day.

 

-Sensei

How am I doing? What works? What should I fix?

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