Like many of you, I do an assessment of my personal finances at the end of each year and see how I did. I check my savings rate, calculate my rate of return on my investments, and set goals for the coming year. Since I started this blog in 2011, I'll also be doing an end of year report on the blog and talking about some of the things coming in the next year.
Thank you readers
First off, I want to thank you for your support. A blog is nothing without readers. A large percentage of blogs out there are never read by more than 20 people. That's okay, since many are just to show the grandparents pictures of the grandkids. Some of them, unfortunately, are also aspiring bloggers who never got off the ground. That might be due to lack of talent, or simply that they didn't realize just how much work it would be (and it is far more work than I expected to be quite honest.) But it might also be due to lack of support. Every time in the last 7 months when I've wondered whether I ought to keep going, I get an appreciative comment or email from someone for whom I've made a big difference in their life, and that keeps me going. The occasional little paycheck is also nice to see, and as the blog gets more popular, they come more and more often.
Thanks to those who support my advertisers and affiliate programs, those who comment frequently, those who have linked here from their pages, and especially those who have recommended the site to their colleagues. It is much appreciated by me, and I'm sure by those to whom you have recommended the site.
I've managed to pound out 162 posts/pages in the last 7 months. The most popular one each month continues to be Stupid Doctor Tricks, although the recent post documenting my refinancing experience is making a run for the money.
The pages on this blog have been viewed about 97,000 times this year by about 18,000 different people (>21,000 views, and 5500 visitors in the last month). 163 of you are following the RSS feed and a few of you are even following my brand new Twitter feed. According to Alexa, the blog has been linked to by 27 different websites and is the 212,000th most popular website in the US (and surprisingly, is huge in India). Watch out Google, here I come. Speaking of Google, the website is on Google's first page of search results for a number of terms, including doctor financial advice, 72, Yale, 5/25 rule, best investing books, what's a 401K, xirr function, are doctors rich, backdoor roth ira, and a dozen other terms.
From the beginning, I decided this was going to be a “for-profit” website, and I'm sure you've noticed the ads. The blog has made far more money this year than I anticipated, although the “hourly rate”, were I to actually calculate it, would be pathetic. I've discovered it is pretty easy to make a little money online, but pretty tough to make a lot. My hat is off to those who support their family blogging. I can see the potential, but it's far easier to get rich by going to medical school than by blogging your brains out. I managed to gross nearly $1K, and also managed to come up with enough expenses associated with the blog that I won't have to pay any taxes on that income.
I have also provided full financial disclosure of my conflicts of interest. In the interest of continuing disclosure, here's an updated financial statement for the site for 2011:
- Google ads $231.46
- Amazon affiliate program $145.78
- Other affiliate programs $0
- Privately placed ads $600
- Tips $15
- Total $992.24
I've earned a couple of hundred more from advertisers/affiliates but I haven't yet received it, so I'll count it as next year's income.
- Hosting/Domain fees $50.05
- Computer parts, phone $202.75
- Phone/Data plan $314.86
- ISP Fees $243
- Processing fees $18.45
- Banner Design $178.25
- Total $1007.36
Overall Profit – $15.08
Goals for 2012
I'm hoping to keep up my current pace for blog posts, at 3-4 a week. I'll also continue to refine the static pages on the site to make them more useful. Subjects planned include continuing the back to basics series, reviewing the financial books I read, discussing relevant market happenings, and exploration of new investment opportunities such as peer to peer lending. I have a series planned on developing an investment portfolio from beginning to end as well as one on how to make money online as a doctor.
My own financial life will have a number of significant events in the next year that I'll be writing about, including making partner in a group, starting a professional corporation, starting two LLCs, participating in a defined benefit plan, and dealing with a rental property, so I'll be researching and writing about each of those subjects. I'm also working on an e-book or two, so watch for that hopefully by Spring, depending on how much powder falls in the mountains.
I'm also hoping to reach out to a lot more students, residents, physicians, and dentists in 2012. It's great that 18,000 have found the site, but even if I assume that 3/4 of those are my target audience, that's still a very small percentage of the doctors out there. There are 70,000 medical students just in the United States and almost a million attendings. Add on another 200K dentists and dental students, and there are A LOT more to reach. Please take a moment and forward the URL to someone that you think could benefit from this information. Heck, if you've got access to the email list for the students at your medical school consider sending out a little note with a link or posting the url in the student lounge. Together, we can help literally hundreds of thousands of doctors avoid getting screwed over by Wall Street.