State Of The Blog Address: Mid-year Checkup Edition

Around New Year’s I published a short series of goals. The third group of resolutions dealt with my 2009 goals here at Frugal Dad, and related to things like subscribers, traffic and income.

With the first half of the year nearly up, I thought it might be a good time to review those goals and the progress made so far in 2009.

Blogging Goal 1: Attract 7,000 subscribers

When I set that goal I had 4,899 (on 12/30/2008). As of this writing I have 7,507 subscribers. I’m flattered over 7,000 people find what I write here worthy of following. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I have a stretch goal of 10,000 followers by the end of the year. You can help by continuing to tell your friends about, and by sharing the occasional article with them.  And if you aren’t already receiving my daily articles for free, why not sign up now?

Blogging Goal 2: Receive 250,000 page views per month

At the close of 2008 I was averaging around 110,000 page views a month. Unfortunately, I haven’t enjoyed as much growth as I would have liked as I’m now averaging around 135,000 page views a month. I’m grateful for every visitor, but I need to find new ways to find more.

Blogging Goal 3: Earn 100% of my regular, full-time earnings from writing

When I shared this goal with you I was earning nearly 50% of the earnings from my day job. That number has trended higher and as of May 2009 I’m now earning just over 60% of my full-time income.

When I set this goal I had the idea I would one day replace my full-time job with writing, but now I see the benefit in continuing both (assuming I can keep up the insane schedule).

Blogging is not something you can earn big money with quickly, but given enough time and dedication it is possible to claim it as a decent side hustle. I’ve been writing for the web for over two years, and here at Frugal Dad for about 18 months. That might seem like an eternity to some, but the real champions of blogging started back in 2005 and 2006 (and earlier).

Again, thank you, the readers, for sticking around through the ups and downs. I’ve never attempted to separate my personal triumphs and failures from Frugal Dad, because I hope you are inspired by them, or at least learn from them (as in, my screw-ups).

I would now like to turn things over to you and ask for some feedback on Frugal Dad.

  • What types of posts do you most enjoy?
  • Do you like days when I post more than once?
  • What other peripheral topics would you like to see covered more often (careers, entrepreneurialism, household tips, investing, kids and money, etc.)?
  • Are there things you strongly dislike about the site – layout, content, etc?

Please give me an honest assessment as I’d like to expand Frugal Dad’s reach in the second half of the year, and I’ll need your help to do it. Thanks for your continued support!


  1. Hi, Trent! Congratulations – I think you’ve done extremely well with your goals, especially considering The Simple Dollar isn’t your full-time job (yet).
    Like Marci, I read everything you write and if it doesn’t pertain to me (I don’t have kids, for example)I pass it on to my friends. I hope some of them have subscribed.
    I’d love to see more on entrepreneurialism. I’m disabled and trying to get a soapmaking business going. Your posts on valuing your time have come in very handy. Oh, here’s a funny for you: I’m a procrastinator and I’ve put in a request at the library for a copy of Getting Things Done. BUT there are 23 requests ahead of me so I don’t think I’ll be getting it any time soon…
    I also love that you link to other bloggers when their writings synch with your topic. Not only is it quid pro quo but it provides more content for those of us who are interested in the subject.
    You’re doing great, Trent, and I’ll be with you for as long as you write.

  2. First, congratulations…. You have really achieved some amazing success….wow! I’m in awe.

    I love your blog. I especially enjoy the articles where you relate your tips and ideas to your own life experiences. That makes the idea come alive for me.

    I view your blog in a reader and I read those articles that most interest me. I usually visit once/day but I don’t think the extra writing can hurt…it just gives me more to choose from.

    Again, your growth is fantastic and a testament to how valuable your site is. Keep it up!!!!

  3. I’m happy to report that I am one of the new 7,000+ FD subs.

    Great info here, keep up the good work & many thanks for your time, dedication, & hard work. I know blogging is neither quick nor easy!

  4. @Neal: Thanks for the kind review. I think a lot of you, and your personal story, so I appreciate the fact you find something valuable here at Frugal Dad.

    @Matt: Thanks for joining us, Matt! Honored to have you following along.

    Several of you have mentioned in response to my post this morning the idea of offering partial posts on the front page, and/or partial posts in the feed, as a way to increase my page views (you’d have to click thru to my site to read the full post).

    As a blog reader myself, I’m not fond of this option because I feel that provides little incentive to subscribe. It’s a trade off, but in the end I’d rather have more subscribers than guests, so I’ll continue to publish full feeds, and full posts throughout the site.

  5. If you blog it, they will come…. to paraphrase 🙂

    Just keep up the same good work and dedication and it will keep coming along. Patience is a virtue, afterall.

    I like your content and the personal reflections in it. What ever you write, I read. I especially like to read the opinions of the readers who comment and respond to your articles, and the way the story just expands with everyone kicking in.

    More than once a day is not a problem – I haven’t noticed that you have as I don’t keep track of it, and I tend to me off and online several times during the day Tues-Fri. The Sat -Mon posts are often all read at the same time for me, due to my schedule.

    Sometimes I almost miss the 2nd post in one email tho – maybe a line at the bottom of the first one that says a second one follows? There tends to be a gap that tends to indicate that the email is over at the bottom of the first article – and then I have almost missed the 2nd article… well I probably have missed some of them and not even known it.

    I also like reading your blog as it orginates in FL. Don’t be afraid to put more local color in it!

  6. I also congratulate you on your goals! I have been a subscriber for sometime, visit your site every so often. Being someone who just started a blog on personal finance topics (with a biblical perspective) last week, I have also set some pretty lofty goals and hope that I will be able to report positively one day that I like you have met them. Keep up the great work!

  7. I don’t like when th eblogs only have partial articles and you have to click to read more.

    I love two blog posts a day. I read your blog everyday, but I am not a subscriber. What benefit is it to you if I am? What does that mean to me? Do I get your new posts emailed to me?

    If you’d like I can do a blog post in you and link to your blog for more attention (although I only have 3o -50 monthly readers.)

  8. Congratulations on doing so well with your goals!
    I’ve been blogging for all of one month and will be happy when I get 200 page views. I did a “happy dance” last week when I got my first comment from someone who wasn’t related to me. =)

    Sounds like I’m the only one who likes the partial posts via email. It forces your readers to click through and get the complete experience of your website.

    I, too, like the personal side of your blog. Keep up the great work!

  9. Hello-
    Congrats on hitting a few of your goals.
    Would one way of increasing your viewership be to link an article or two via wise bread? I notice that the simple dollar & GRS are both linked to there & have to wonder if that has upped their exposure so to speak.
    I go to your site for the info on your downgrading status, things to do with the family/kids and also for guidance the questions section at times. I keep checking all over for help on future layoffs & your site tends to help more than some of the others. The readership also seems to be very friendly. I guess I go for the more practical stuff. I’d love a few grocery shopping posts every once in a while or a back to school etc
    Keep up the great work. You are one of only 3 I read daily.

  10. Congratulations on your success. I started subscribing when you were at 3,000 readers. I think that FrugalDad and GetRichSlowly are the best PF blogs on the net.

    I’m not a fan of partial posts with a click-through.

    Keep up the great work!

  11. Congrats on your success! I should take some of your advice….

    Anyway to answer some of you questions: For the most part I enjoy most of your posts; household/family type entries are the ones I read most, though; I don’t like more than 1 post a day (I have over a hundred feeds in my reader and only have time for a couple of click-throughs a week to any one site,); and since you asked, I find the title-ad-body-ad-comments format kinda annoying. I would prefer ad-title-body-comments-ad.

  12. What types of posts do you most enjoy?
    I like the back to basics and living off the grid the most. We used to live in an RV and we had 3 large solar panels, inverter, 3 large golf cart 6-volt batteries and they ran everything but the air conditioner. I wish we still lives in an RV.

    Do you like days when I post more than once?
    Yes, most definitely.

    What other peripheral topics would you like to see covered more often (careers, entrepreneurialism, household tips, investing, kids and money, etc.)?
    I enjoy your mix of topics. No change needed that I can see.

    Are there things you strongly dislike about the site – layout, content, etc?
    No, everything is great. Keep up the good work.

    Congratulations on your goals.

  13. First off, your blog was one of the very first blogs I ever subscribed to. And after many others that I have subscribed to and then unscribed to, you are still a constant for me 🙂

    Second off, although I am a new blogger in the big bad world of the blogoshere, I have posted several of your articles and have you listed among my favortie blogs to read.

    Third off, I get some great info from your blog, so thank you.

    What I enjoy the most are the posts that are from your personal experience. I think that is one of your biggest draws. There are a ton of PF sites out there, but you keep it to a human daily level that we all appreciate. So, any time you write any helpful tips/ideas that you have tried and have or have not worked, those the best posts.

    Include me in the list that does not like the partial/shorten posts.

    And congrats on all your success!

  14. Wow, congratulations on all your most recent goals. Your blog is great, and I am one of your new subscribers as well.

    The entries I most enjoy are the ones where you relate your finance tips to your personal stories. These really hit home for me. As a newly dedicated debt repayment fiend, I am always looking for other people’s experiences so I don’t feel so alone.

    One post a day works for me, as I have a number of blogs to read. I also read it in a reader, so the layout and design isn’t so much a factor and I can’t really comment on that (sorry!).

    Other topics I enjoy reading from you included careers, entrepreneurship (I own a small side business as well) and your tips on teaching money management to kids are especially appealing. I wish I had those when I was growing up!

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment and keep up the good work.

  15. This is one of just 4 blogs I regularly read (one by my brother, which is just personal). It really has to be content rich and fun to read for me to add it to my blog list – I have too much in my life to add any more questionable content. So your blog counts as very rich and fulfilling on my list!

    Now, to your questions:
    * My favorites are following your developing story, triumphs and falls. Second favorite is a tie between kids related and frugality tips.
    * No problem with multi-post days. I read a few times a week rather than daily; part of my routine. So I don’t even notice.
    * I’d like to see more finance and kids, as well as unusual frugal ideas such as the square-foot garden.
    * I really dislike the number of ads on the site. The sites that get me to click on ads are the ones that have 1 rotating ad in a prominent postion (or 1 of each type; eg: 1 Google ad, 1 visual ad) and mention with links within the content. Sites with many ads, like yours, I just tune out the ads and focus on the content portions of the page. When the ad is alone, but changes each time I visit, I pay brief attention to it to see whether I’m interested. When there are links in the content, I much more often follow them, since I’m interested in the content.