The blog has entered the terrible twos! In keeping with last year’s tradition, here’s a quick status report, a little housekeeping, then a look ahead to some new projects coming down the pike.
By the numbers:
- 22 posts published in year two. I guess that means I have to do 33 in year three?
- Regular traffic is up ~800 per cent year-on-year, adjusting for outliers.
- That’s off a low base, but the blog is starting to average close to 1000 views most days, which is neat.
(Note: Being a masochist and a firm believer in the DIY approach, I didn’t hire a developer, so any bugs you notice are 100 per cent my fault. That being said, I only broke the site three times and sent one desperate cry for help to my tech-savvy little sister, so I’m cautiously optimistic.)
A Brief Comment on Comments
Rather than leave comments here on the blog, most people message or email directly after each new article, at a ratio of something like 10:1. A lot of the messages are thoughtful and interesting, but I’m the only one who gets to enjoy them, which seems like a shame.
I’m thinking of closing comments on the blog so I don’t have to deal with spammers and such, but I’m on the fence. Should they stay, or should they go?
(Leave a comment for ‘stay’, do nothing for ‘go’)
From the Mailbag
This year, you have written me to share your triumphs and woes, to swap recommendations, to challenge my thinking, and to invite me into your homes for fine seafood dinners. I’ve had the privilege of meeting several readers in real life, and corresponded with many more. In fact, I just realized that some of my closest confidants are people I’ve met through the blog, which is pretty trippy.
My favorite messages of all are the success stories:
- One reader who hit $100,000 in savings
- Another who increased his net worth by $35,000 in 15 months, and aggressively cleared all his interest-bearing debt
- Someone else who managed to overhaul her finances, increase her retirement savings, AND repay a bunch of debt, all on a very modest income
…and many more people making inspiring life changes in the realms of money, travel, entrepreneurship, reading, and downsizing possessions. Thanks to everyone who has written in. I love hearing these stories.
Alas, every rose has its thorn. As the site has grown, I’m also getting an increasing volume of messages like this:
Just like a lubricant sales dude to slide into your DMs uninvited! This one, however, might be my all-time personal favorite:
Some of these solicitations come with sordid offers of filthy lucre. The Deep Dish is firmly against dumb consumerism and in favor of journalistic integrity, so I take great delight in casting these sort of pitches into the fiery pit of the spam folder.
There’s no way I’m going to sell out and let Big Lube grease my palm, because
who knows where those hands have been?? uh, it’s wrong. Advertorial and ‘sponsored content’ is a slippery slope. As for ads, I don’t want to run them unless I absolutely have to, but I’m at a bit of a crossroads.
Where to From Here?
I love researching and writing articles, but it takes a lot of time and brain juice. Typically, 10-20 hours per post. I said I’d write two per month; I haven’t always managed it. I feel compelled to maintain a respectable income stream, so I still do some freelancing and consulting work. More time spent there = less time spent here.
A few people have asked me to make a Patreon page, so they could chip in a few bucks. At first my delicate male ego wouldn’t allow it—I don’t want your stinkin’ charity!—but then I realized I was being an idiot. A patronage model is a beautiful thing, because it means publishers aren’t beholden to anything or anyone, except their own readers. I support various writers and podcasters myself, and get a real kick out of it. It was only my own dumb pride holding me back. So, as of today, I now have a Patreon! You can visit the page here.
UPDATE: I pulled the page down in June 2019. I might open it up again once I feel like I’m adding enough value/producing posts consistently. Thanks a lot to everyone who got behind it.
This is an experiment, like anything else, but here’s what I’m hoping to achieve:
- First and foremost, to cover my expenses (hosting, email software, etc) and keep the blog ad-free.
- I want to get closer to you, the reader. Not, like, wear-your-skin-as-a-suit close. But it would be cool to get suggestions for topics, and more direct feedback. For example, I’ve been doing less ‘actionable’ money content lately, and more research-heavy, denser stuff. Is that good or bad? I dunno; you tell me.
- I don’t always have time to do full justice to every email. I’ll continue doing my best to respond to everyone, but maybe I can bump patrons up the priority list.
- In the longer term, it’d be dreamy to be able to invest in bigger projects, like a podcast (I have an idea for this, but I’d want to do it right).
- Or, in the shorter term…a book!
The exciting announcement is that I am researching and writing a book. The working title is ‘The Book’. Hopefully I’ll come up with something catchier before it goes to print. It encapsulates everything I’ve learned in seven years of writing about money, behavioral economics, and psychology.
This is far and away the most ambitious project I’ve ever tackled, but it’s also the most satisfying. I’ve been plugging away for almost a year already, on and off. It’s taking me forever because I want it to be really good, and there are only so many hours in a day.
The more support I get, the faster it will enter the world. That might be by the end of this year, if I work my little butt off, or it might be later in 2019. It’s up to you! And when the time comes, patrons will be the first to get their hands on it.
Don’t you dare even think about contributing a cent unless you’re debt-free, and generally have your financial shit together. But if you’ve got some value out of my writing and resources, and want to help me step up my efforts, I’d be honored to have your patronage. The suggested tier is $2, which buys me a metaphorical cup of coffee, which I will then quite possibly use to buy a literal cup of coffee, which will make my brain less slow, which will cause more words to appear on this page.
Thank you to all the fantastic people I’ve met and corresponded with this year, and, hell—since I’m feeling generous, here’s to all the hard-working lubricant salesmen too!