You guys! On this day, exactly 2 years ago, I registered this domain and starting blogging!
HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO FIERY MILLENNIALS! I MADE IT 2 YEARS!
I am so incredibly grateful I started blogging. I've met so many fabulous people, developed meaningful relationships, and learned so much.
I have no doubt my life wouldn't be anywhere near as amazing as it is right now if I hadn't started blogging. My investments are optimized (ish), I've traveled to some amazing places for free through churning and friends opening up their homes, and I have more amazing memories tucked away for rainy days than I could've ever imagined.
Watching a friend drunkenly inhale In N Out.
Paddling around a still lake at twilight.
Staying up until 2 in the morning discussing the mysteries of life with new friends.
Summiting a mountain and feeling wisps of clouds caress my cheeks.
Starting this blog has allowed me to form deeper relationships with those in the FIRE community and I don't think I'll ever be able to express how much that means to me.
In the past two years, I've attended 5 official FI events and many more unofficial meetups. I've had the pleasure of going to Ecuador for the Chautauqua in 2015, the Berkshire Hathaway blogger/FI meetup 2016 in Omaha, the OG Camp Mustache in Seattle, FinCon 2016 in San Diego, and Camp Mustache 2017 in Florida. Unofficially, I've been able to hang out with FI people in Chicago, Dallas, Maine, London, and the greater Midwest area.
— Ms. Our Next Life (@our_nextlife) September 24, 2016
Meeting all these people and forming friendships with them has created a far-flung network all around the world. The locations isn't the only thing that's diverse though. Everyone is different: younger, older, married, single, kids, no kids, chosen method to FI, rentals, no rentals….. It's allowed me to expand my thought process about my path to FI.
When I started this journey, I was going to work for MegaCorp until age 35. Because of the encouragement and wisdom I've gained from the community, that path has changed! All for the better, don't worry.
It's been fun for me to go back through my archive and see how things have changed in the last two years.
I've written 130 articles! WOW!
In the beginning, I had a few close friends reading and giving me feedback. Slowly, so so so very slowly, traffic started to rise as I found my voice and started to interact with the community.
I tweeted this picture just a few days into 2017:
To new bloggers out there, stay w/ it. Just matched traffic from 2015 in first 3 days of 2017. That was 9 mos of 2015. In 3 days! pic.twitter.com/XYNJpapU9G
— Gwen (@FieryMillennial) January 4, 2017
And this is what that exact same view says today:
In the first quarter of 2017, I've already gotten HALF the traffic I had in 2016. That's amazing!
To all the new bloggers out there reading this, just keep writing. I think I had 500 total views for 2015. I'd have days where I would get 1, 2, or even no views at all. Now, I average about 500 views in a single day. The love I get from everyone warms me up on even the coldest days. So, reader, thanks for reading! To those of you who send me emails and interact with me on social media, thank you so much for the time you take to write those messages. I save each and every single message in a special folder. (I don't know what I'll do if I get a nasty gram. Stay tuned.)
A number of things have surprised me about blogging in the last 24 months.
First off, I am surprised at just how freaking hard it is to blog. Figuring out the technical behind the scenes stuff, wrestling everything into looking how I want it to, and especially how difficult it is to keep coming up with fresh, new content. The Rockstar Blogger Directory has close to 1,000 bloggers in it already! Granted not everyone is a FIRE blogger on it, but still. That's a lot of pressure to come up with new stuff and trying not to copy anyone's previous posts.
Second, it's a bit disconcerting (and awesome) when I go to talk to someone in person, and they tell me, “oh, I know. I read about it on your blog”. I've done it to a few bloggers myself and now I understand their reaction. [I hold no regrets about being called a super fan. It's true so…]
Finally, it's a fantastic conversation starter. Mentioning that I'm a blogger gives me some sort of different status in people's eyes. Especially now that I've been at it for two years! My words carry more weight now than they normally would coming from a 26 year old. It's definitely made me stop and consider what I'm about to say more than once.
So. I've been blogging for two years now. (!!!!) Where do I see Fiery Millennials going?
Well, have no fear. I'm not going anywhere! I intend to keep blogging for as long as people are interested in my story.
That being said, there will be a few slight tweaks to the blog. I mentioned one of my goals this year was to start monetizing the blog, and I intend to start that in the next few weeks. Don't worry, I'm not going to plaster the site with ads or shove affiliate links for things down your throat, but I'm not going to categorically reject offers, either. As the site grows, hosting becomes more expensive. Having affiliate links will allow me to continue hosting the site and bringing you awesome new content!
I'll continue to write about my adventures, lessons learned on the path to FI, sharing my numbers, and detailing everything about my rental properties. I will probably split the reports into two: one for rental properties/blogging, and the other one for my personal expenses. I will be tracking them separately for tax purposes, so it only makes sense to split them up into two different reports as well. This way those of you that don't blog will be able to continue to see what my “normal” expenses look like! And, to those of you who do blog, you'll be able to see what expenses and income I get from the blog!
I've gotten a lot of messages telling me how much you all appreciate the numbers so they're not going anywhere!
Here's to the next year of blogging! I cannot wait to see what it brings!
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