Goals and Such – 2Q Outlook for MoneyMamba

by JT McGee

Good to have blogging goals--more traffic, more subscribers, more growth!I need to have a clear path for MoneyMamba.  I won’t be plaguing myself with some crazy business plan for this blog—I don’t really enjoy the whole putting my plans on paper thing, but I do want to have some guideline for where I want this blog to be in the next few months.

Today is April 9, 2011.  This blog is now about 2.5 months old, and things are really starting to get moving.

MoneyMamba Metrics:

  1. Traffic – In the past month, this blog has received 1,864 unique visits, and 3,212 page views.  I’m pretty happy with this figure, and very happy with the growth in traffic over time.  Breaking it down further, this blog received 1,072 visitors from referring sites, 451 from search engines, and 341 direct visits.
  2. Subscribers – Feedburner reflects that I have 26 subscribers to MoneyMamba, and three by email.  Given the activity on the reporting-side, I’m happy to see that most subscribers are using the feed to read my posts.  Also, a recent uptick in search engine traffic for “money mamba” and variants leaves me to believe that a lot of you are coming back each day. 😛  Now I just have to keep you happy. 😛
  3. Twitterererererers– So I set up a Twitter account and I’m pretty much addicted.  I’ve 156 followers right now, but I could always use some more. 😛
  4. Comments – I think the comments section is the best part of any blog.  I do my best to comment back to everyone, as I like to get everyone’s view on each topic.  The way I see it, the blog post is a way for me to just throw something up, and for the commenters to run with.  As I say in my comment policy, I like to engage in debate—so if you disagree, please tell me!  I don’t mean to be offensive; I’m a big believer in that the best way to learn is to argue.
  5. Money n’ Such – MoneyMamba has made me…$0.   Actually, negative $7 if you include the domain.  That’s okay, I’m not here to make a killing; I’m here to have a place to vent/discuss whatever it is that is currently on my mind.  Will I seek out revenue sources in the future?  Maybe, but I hate advertising more than anyone, and I’ll be sure not to be too invasive.

So, let me lay out my goals:

  1. Traffic – Recent growth has me excited.  So I’m thinking that by July 1, 2011 I can knock out 150 visitors per day from search engines, and 200 visitors per day total.  Sure, it’s a steep goal, but I work in SEO—if I can’t do it with a lowly budget of $0, then I shouldn’t be in business. 😉
  2. Subscribers – I’m not going to push this all that hard.  I’d just like to see some growth in subscriber base, if only for the ego-stroke.  Really, there are some commenters here that make my day when they come around, and seeing subscriber growth tells me that I’m somewhere in the area of interest for most of my readers.
  3. Twiteerererererers – Meh, who cares?  I like having followers, because Twitter is a pretty cool way to talk to everyone, but numbers here aren’t really that important to me.  I’d much rather have a smaller number of people who like to discuss ideas/concepts/whatever, no matter how outrageous they might be.  Me n’ BeatingBroke figured that our two states could use their surpluses to buy out FinancialSamura’s California.  Just wait until our logging company meets the Redwood forests 😮
  4. Comments – The comment section has been getting more and more active.  No real goals here, I just like to see participation.  Lots of fun to be had.
  5. Money n’ Such – No goals here.  MoneyMamba will remain cash flow negative at a rate of $.70 per month for the next few months.  No big deal…this blog wasn’t ever about the money.  I responded to an advertiser in jest about placing text links on my site for $299 per month—they never responded.  Darn! 😛  Even at that price, I just wouldn’t do it.  Text link sales have ruined Google, as far as I’m concerned.

Less than tangible goals:

  1. Improve my writing – I am not the strongest writer in the world, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge this as my biggest weakness. While I do write for others in dissecting foreign capital flows and macroeconomic trends, my value-added is in my researching, not in my understanding of the English language. Luckily, I have a great team that catches my errors for paid work, and I couldn’t appreciate them more.
  2. Restructure existing business – I’m hoping to restructure my current business. The economy is improving, and I want to be able to seize on it. Already, I’m seeing an increase in business, and I need to start paying attention to things I haven’t been fully-vested in. I’ll be launching two additional sites this year, and revamping one–but only after getting some solid legal and tax advice.
  3. I am a workaholic, and I need to fix it – I am a workaholic through and through; it runs in the family. I have serious problems in dividing my work-life balance, and on top of running a business I’ve 19 credit hours on my plate. This year, I’ll be taking a grand total of 19 + 9 + 18 = 46 credit hours, including summer courses, to catch up in school. Combine that with a busy work schedule, and I’m running myself into the ground. This has to be fixed because it is a very serious problem. I shouldn’t have gray hair at 21.

There you have it. I won’t be posting these regularly, just once per quarter. It’s one thing to actively monitor changes and growth in a site, and it’s another thing to turn it into your dayjob. Since I spend most of the day trying to figure out how moving a button 1px to the right or left might increase/decrease customer sales, I’m committed not to spend a lot of time worrying about this site on this site. It feels good to break the rules!

While I’m at it, I might as well make this a round-up!

BackNineFinance is an exceptional read. Over the past two weeks, Bogey has covered topics including Sales Lessons Learned from Craigslist, a second installment of Ask the Banker and then a post about a day in the life of a commercial banker. I love this blog–it’s awesome!

Dave has a great blog going on at MoneyInThe20s. Some real practical advice is to be found in his post on living with your parents after college. Another cool blogger I can relate to. There’s a 20-something revival of proper personal finance, and it’s on the web!

Barbara Friedberg has a great post on how financial advisors who get paid on commission bother her. I couldn’t agree more. Financial planning would be a fun career, I think, but I wouldn’t be down with ripping people off for a living–and that’s mostly what they get paid to do! Sorry CFPs 😛 (Not really!).

Sam wants to know if the $1,000 child tax credit is ruining the world. Yeah, I think it is. The worst thing you can do is give people who can’t afford children the financial incentive to have them.

Next week: – I’ve a post lined up on why the Federal Reserve cannot raise rates until late 2011, 2012. It isn’t related to their dual mandate, which I wrote about in a 1800-word beast of a post. I’ll also put up a new post about loss leaders; I’ll cover a specific example, what makes a great loss-leader, and how you can grow business revenues with loss leaders. Stay tuned 😉

Photo by Maenie.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave @ Money In The 20s April 9, 2011 at 15:19

Thanks for the mention, JT!

You are making great progress on Money Mamba. I wish I had your SEO knowledge! Also, you should definitely cut back on your work and try to find a good work-life balance so you can have some fun!

Have a good weekend!

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Invest It Wisely April 9, 2011 at 16:24

I think you have a great site here, JT, and I don’t know why you’re knocking yourself on your writing skills. You seem like a pretty good writer to me!

I’ll be rooting for your future growth and progress!

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JT McGee April 9, 2011 at 19:55

@Dave – SEO is simple–just write about something you truly enjoy and then the magic happens. 😛 Actually, it’s mostly about what NOT to do, not what you should do. Finding a good work/life balance is something I haven’t figured out for the better part of a decade, but I’ve never really worked at it–hopefully if I make a concentrated effort it will just fall into place. Your site is great, Dave, I’m digging the frequent financial reports. I think the networth progress tracking bloggers are really cool, especially those who are younger and have more ups and downs as a percentage of their net worth than the older, wealthier bloggers.

@ Kevin – Ha, I’ll be hard on my writing skills forever. You know those writers that just put fingers to the keyboard and have insanely amazing content from the get-go? That’s my target; I’m thinking it’s something that comes with writing/life experience. The best writers seem to know so much about everything…so maybe when I’m 50 I’ll get to that point. Thank you for the compliment though, it means a lot. I’m enjoying the updates around the blogosphere, so I figured I’d start my own, as well. Can’t wait for next week 😉

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Ravi Gupta April 10, 2011 at 14:40

I want to echo all the other sentiments here about what a great site you run. I find your posts to a pleasure to read. I also agree you on advertising, nothing in life is free. For my ow advertising I’m looking for text ads. I too hate intrusive ads.

-Ravi Gupta

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Bogey April 11, 2011 at 10:02

JT, thanks for the kind words.

I’m an example of someone who loves to write but has absolutely no idea about how to create an online prescence. Perhaps that’s a good thing for my blog. I write about whatever I want without worrying about how it will affect my traffic/readership.

Maybe I need to write a post in the near future about achieving a work/life balance. At age 26, I think I have this down about as well as you can for a young professional in the U.S. I do wish we’d go a bit more European and start getting 6-8 weeks of vacation per year, though.

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JT McGee April 12, 2011 at 02:08

@ Ravi – Thank you, and I share your view on advertising, even though I mostly work with online advertising. There’s a good way to do it, and a bad way to do it–I wish I could say I see more of the former.

@ Bogey – I’d be interested to read what you have to say about work-life balance. As for the European vacations…get real! 😛

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Moneysanity April 12, 2011 at 15:51

Thanks for sharing who else you read. I do read Barbara Friedberg and agree that she has a terrific blog, but have never heard of the others. Needless to say I am heading over to their sites now.

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Buck Inspire April 16, 2011 at 18:13

Great numbers and attitude. I don’t make much either so enjoying the writing and learning process works for me, too. I agree with the others. You’re a very good writer. Humble with a good head on your shoulders while in your twenties, very refreshing. Keep up the good work.

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