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The First Million Page Views is The Hardest, Thanks Everyone!

by retirebyforty on June 3, 2013 · 42 comments

in blog tech., goals and milestones

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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.

The first million page views is the hardest

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.

Thank you!

  • 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.

Some stats

  • 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?

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

The College Investor June 3, 2013 at 1:06 am

Way to go on such a huge milestone! Congrats!

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Romanian June 3, 2013 at 3:06 am

Congratulations! This is a really nice milestone and it’s good to see that the lines keep going up. Now hopefully you will get the first million uniques very soon!

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jane savers @ solving the money puzzle June 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

I just hit 25,000 views after 5 months so I can’t imagine 1,000,000 because it is years in the future if I don’t run out of things to say by then.

What are you going to do about the traffic flattening out? Is it hard to stay motivated?

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

25,000 in 5 months is really good. Keep it up!
Well, I try not to think about it much. I know we’ll have a slow down soon due to summer.
I’ll pay more attention again in the fall.

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Amanda L Grossman June 3, 2013 at 5:44 am

Big congratulations Joe!!!

And your stats look great. Maybe it’s like with money–the first million is the hardest;).

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thanks everyone! If Google just stabilize, it would be much easier to figure all this out. :)

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Kurt @ Money Counselor June 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

Congratulations Joe! Retire by 40 is a lot of fun to read and you should feel very proud. It’s not easy, what you’ve accomplished.

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Thank Kurt. Mrs. RB40 is very proud of me!

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Savvy Financial Latina June 3, 2013 at 6:28 am

Congratulations!!!!! I enjoy reading your blog :)

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John S @ Frugal Rules June 3, 2013 at 8:02 am

Big congrats Joe! That’s a huge accomplishment to reach. Your stats look great by the way!

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Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce June 3, 2013 at 8:08 am

Incredible accomplishment! Would love to see a post on how exactly your writing has changed to adapt to this medium of communication.

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Pretired Nick June 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

Wow, that is amazing, Joe! My traffic has been going through the roof, but nothing like this! Your site has been so important to my life and now you’re even more my hero. Well done! What advice would you give a beginning blogger such as myself?

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Nick! Your blog is great. You just need to keep going and don’t get burned out.
From what I’ve seen, you probably want to write a bit more often if you can.

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My Financial Independence Journey June 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

Congratulations on hitting the one million mark!

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Jai Catalano June 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

Congrats on the big mil. It is well deserved.

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Robb June 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

Congrats on hitting one million page views – that’s very impressive!

We started back in August 2010 and we hit one million page views at the end of August 2012. We’ve hit a similar traffic plateau, so hopefully we can both get out of that funk and on to 2 million!

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Thanks! Boomer and Echo is great and I’m not surprise you’re quicker to reach 1 million. Yeah, Google keeps changing their algorithm. I guess that’s what we have to live with now.

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SB @ One Cent at a Time June 3, 2013 at 8:59 am

Congrats! you beat me by a few days. Nice idea of having it as a post. I’ll steal it :)

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Michelle June 3, 2013 at 9:15 am

Congrats! This is awesome :)

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Financial Samurai June 3, 2013 at 9:42 am

Congrats man! BIG TIME!

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krantcents June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

Congratulations! I never even thought about it. I think I use my blog as an outlet for my thinking much more than stats. I want my stats to improve, but I am focused on my writing.

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jim June 3, 2013 at 11:47 am

Congratulations.

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Your Daily Finance June 3, 2013 at 11:48 am

Congrats on the achievement!!! That was nice day over 200$ in click money. I just started and haven’t even set up analytics on my site. The goals is 1 million in under a year.

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Nick @ ayoungpro.com June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Congratulations! My blog is 4 months old tomorrow and I’m at the 10,000 view mark. I’m not sure how that stacks up but I don’t know if I’ll ever reach 1 million!

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

10,000 views in 4 months is good. Keep it up and you’ll reach 1 million in 32 months! :)

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Lance @ Money Life and More June 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Congrats on the milestone! That is truly amazing that your site has been viewed so many times!

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Squirrelers June 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

That’s a great milestone to pass! It’s been cool to see your blog develop over the years – I think we started around the same time.

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Anton Ivanov June 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Congrats, Joe! Huge accomplishment in a relatively short amount of time! I’m sitting at about 2,500 pageviews since officially launching Dreams Cash True about a month ago. Not bad in my book, but still ways to go to catch up with you!

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm

You’re doing great. Keep it up! :)

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Kin @ Journey of Success June 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Congratulations! 1 million visits as reward for your hard work.

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Darwin's Money June 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Congrats; that’s awesome! You’ve got some great stats there at 2K/day. Do you find much of it coming to a single page via search or are you getting a lot of return visitors for comments, followers, etc.? My traffic’s gone way down over the past few years bc I haven’t put as much into the blog as I should have honestly. life’s getting busy! But I still write at least 1 hard post a week. Just not the 4-5 I used to do back in the day.

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retirebyforty June 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I just checked GA and it looks like the homepage gets about 25% of the traffic. One page got about 5% and then the rest falls off after that. You have other businesses to deal with so I completely understand, but your blog is still one of my favorite.

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William Cowie June 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm

That’s huge, Joe!! Congratulations. Quality attracts… now you know. :)

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Martin June 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

wow, congrats man! this is excellent result. How long have you had this blog? Just checking whether I have missed the boat, or I still can reach the goal myself. — what less than three years!!?? Then I definitely missed the boat! But, nothing is lost! I can still make it!!!

Great job Joe and great inspiration and motivation to me!

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The Dividend Guy June 4, 2013 at 2:37 am

Congrats on this huge milestones! As the graph suggests, the next million will be easier to get!

What I love the most about blogging is the accountability linked to it, when you write and hit the publish button, there is a feeling of “no going back”.

Good job!

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retirebyforty June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Thanks! I’m hopeful that we can get the next mil over the next year.

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Little House June 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

Congrats! That’s just awesome! I actually haven’t checked my page views, but I don’t think I’ve reached a million quite yet. Now I have to look up my stats and check it out!

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Buck Inspire June 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Congrats Joe! You’re like McDonald’s. Over a million served! Would you have done anything differently?

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Greg @ Thriftgenuity.com June 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Congratulations. That is unfathomable to me right now. I really enjoy the site so it makes sense why you continue to trend so well.

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thepotatohead June 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Congrats RB40! That’s awesome. We started at the end of April, looks like we have 5.5k pageviews so far (although alot of that is probably just us messing around with the front end)

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