I haven’t written about blogging for a long time because it’s just not on topic. However, I’m making an exception this week because – We did it! Retire By 40 crossed the One Million Page Views threshold last week. It was very timely too so I can go on vacation with something to brag about to my friends and family members. See, I’m not just watching TV and running around the playground all day.
A forgettable beginning – How Retire By 40 got started
I have a terrible memory and that’s why Mrs. RB40 is our official record keeper. How did Retire By 40 get started? I’m sure I was sitting in my cubicle dealing with another mind numbing BS task when Retire By 40 popped into my head. By then, I had been reading personal finance blogs for a while and I thought – this is it. That name was calling to me. I know Mrs. RB40 was a little concerned as we just learned that Baby RB40 was on the way.
I registered the domain name retireby40.org and just started writing. The first post on October 7, 2010 was a short 250 word article that simply stated my goals.
“I am going to chronicle my quest to retire by 40. I am 36 and I only have a few years left to accomplish this goal; let’s see if I can do it by January 1st, 2014.”
I have come a long way since then and I have learned so much from this journey.
- I have become a much better writer. I never liked writing much in school, but Retire By 40 changed that. It’s never easy, but I know I can keep getting better. You can get better at anything with more practice. I’ll probably never be as good as Financial Samurai and Mr. Money Mustache, but I know I’m a whole lot better than I was in 2010.
- Retire By 40 kept me accountable. It’s easy to say I’m going to quit my job by 2014, but I had said that before. In fact, I added a quitting date in my Microsoft Outlook calendar way back in 2007. I kept moving it forward, but Retire By 40 finally gave me the courage to quit in 2012. For me, blogging made the goal concrete and kept me focused on the prize.
- You can’t do it alone. Blogging is fun, but I probably would have quit a long time ago if there had been no readers to help me along. 99.99% of our readers have been very encouraging and you kept me going when things were tough.
- Mrs. RB40 – I would like to thank our chief editor and biggest supporter – Mrs. RB40. OK, she was skeptical at first, but then she agreed to at least read the first few articles. Since then, she read every article here and edited all my grammatical errors out. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without her help. Thank you sweetie!
- Readers – I would like to thank everyone who dropped by and read Retire By 40. I especially love reading your comments and getting your emails. It’s great to know that there are real readers out there and the one million page views aren’t from robots or random computers.
- Bloggers – I also would like to thank all the bloggers who helped us over the years. You really can’t do it alone. I had so many questions when I first started and every blogger I’ve talked to has been so helpful.
- It took us 32 months to reach 1 million page views.
- We have 535 posts! That’s probably more than all the papers I’ve ever written in my education years combined.
- 15,687 comments
- Most page views in one day – 20,228 views on September 4, 2012. I think I got a referral from Yahoo! We made $217 from Media.net (CPC ads) on that day. Why can’t every day be like that? 8) These days we get about 2,000 page views daily.
- Traffic is flattening out and it won’t be that easy for us to reach the 2 million page view threshold. I’m pretty sure it will take less than 32 months though.
It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can’t believe how much better life is without all the added stress. I hope all of you enjoyed it as well and please let me know how I can improve Retire By 40. Thanks again everyone!
Here is a question for bloggers. How long did it take you to reach 1 million page views? If you’re not there yet, how far along are you and how long have you been at it?
Bonus – What was I doing in 2010?
What pushed me over the edge? I don’t remember exactly, but look what I found in my email box from back then. It’s my StrengthsFinder 2.0 result. I distinctly remember being resentful about having to do this and wondering why the heck I was the oldest guy in my group at 36.
Here are my top 5 strengths:
Empathy - People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
Maximizer - People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
Positivity - People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
Relator - People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
Ideation - People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
Ultimately, it was a good exercise because it made me realize that being an engineer isn’t really a good fit for my strength and personality. I should get a copy for Mrs. RB40 so she can learn more about herself and refocus.
Have you tried Strength Finder 2.0?