Joining the Yakezie Challenge

by JT McGee

I wanted to take a minute to post that I am going to join the Yakezie Challenge. While it is maybe a little uncharacteristic to join the challenge so soon after starting (it’s been a whole day!), I wouldn’t have even launched this blog if it weren’t for Yazekie.

For the last several months I have been contemplating the launch of this new blog. The code sat in the depths of another domain where I continuously tweaked and modified it until it matched my needs and wants. While it still isn’t yet done, I just had to get started immediately!

It was maybe 2-3 (closer to three, I think…I don’t remember) weeks ago that I found Sam’s blog at FinancialSamurai. After looking around religiously for a few days, I noticed a common theme: the Yakezie challenge, and the awesome community that had built around it.

In a few posts I found, Sam outlined the Yakezie challenge, the goals, as well as a little mention of some independent, go-get-em spirit. I knew then that I had to launch, and I posted my intention on the forums. Almost immediately, at least as far as the internet goes, I had two warm welcomes—that definitely sealed the deal!

The simple fact is that without that little push from Sustainable Personal Finance and BudgetingInTheFunStuff, MoneyMamba would still be a discombobulated WordPress theme and a .doc sitting on my desktop.

Something Special

There’s just something incredibly organic about the whole Yakezie network. Unlike all the other blog networks out there it isn’t made up of a bunch of self-professed gurus touting their latest get-rich-quick e-book for $19.99; no, it’s just a bunch of ordinary people who blog about their lives, their finances, and the best ways to manage money. That’s awesome!

So here I am one day after launching my blog and joining a challenge right from the start. Ambitious? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely!

In order to succeed, I’ll need to reach an Alexa rating of 200,000 or below, which I know from experience in the personal finance and investing niche is no small task. Unfortunately, there just aren’t as many people looking for budgeting, investing and saving blogs as there are people looking for celebrity garbage. (I guess that’s why PerezHilton is the 776th most popular site in the world.)

My personal bar will be set much higher. I want to see if in the next 6 months, 180 days, I can move from 19,237,914 to sub-100,000. Such a goal will keep me honest to myself, this blog, and the goals of the Yazekie challenge of selflessly helping/promoting others.

So with that, let’s go!

Stats as of January 24: Alexa Ranking 19,237,914
Stats as of July 24: Alexa Ranking (Start the countdown!)

I look forward to six months of hard work and determination, the opportunity to get to know the many people participating in the challenge, as well as those who have already made it in!


Khaleef @ KNS Financial January 24, 2011 at 16:40

Hey JT, welcome to the challenge! You have already been active in the forums. Just try to make yourself known to the other members and be supportive. You’ll find that it is a very helpful group of people. I have learned so much from them!

JT McGee January 24, 2011 at 17:15

Thanks for the welcome Khaleef. I’ve already learned a lot about blogging from the forum, and its great how supportive/welcoming the community is.

The Saved Quarter January 24, 2011 at 17:05

Welcome to the challenge! Your goal is really manageable! I started with an Alexa of 9.6 million in April and was under 200,000 by September. I’m currently hovering at 100,000. I’m active in Yakezie but don’t comment on other blogs as much as I should – be really active with other logs and you’ll meet your goal for sure.

Good luck!

JT McGee January 24, 2011 at 17:17


I figure it should be reasonable. Alexa is really webmaster heavy, so the way I see it is that most anyone can beat the challenge provided they spend time working, promoting, and engaging the other members. That’s a good methodology, I think, and it appears to have already paid dividends in the form of a great community. Thanks again.

MoneyCone January 24, 2011 at 17:57

Welcome to the Challenge JT! It’s going to be a wild ride! 🙂

JT McGee January 25, 2011 at 14:34

That it will! 🙂

Paul Novak January 24, 2011 at 18:29

Howdy. Came over from Sherryl Perry’s blog and thought I’d look around. I’ve participated in a few contests and know exactly what you’re undertaking. Good luck. Reading your post I figure I might be able to offer some advice with the Alexa ranking. I dropped mine from 6 million to an average of 650,000 to 700,000 and that’s without any further promotion and a lot of blog neglect. Hope dropping the link is not too obtrusive as the post is too long to condense here. Understand completely if you clear it.

JT McGee January 25, 2011 at 14:34

I don’t mind, I did it for easier reading.

Thanks for stopping in

Paul Novak January 26, 2011 at 17:50

Great. I look forward to stopping in and seeing how your progress goes. Again, good luck!

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 24, 2011 at 18:46

Welcome to the Challenge, JT! 100k is definitely achievable if you are active in commenting, promoting, etc. I don’t comment as much as I should, if the blogger is active I have seen amazing results. I went from ~20 million to now ~125k and my blog itself is <9 months, so possible for sure. I will help in any way I can. Good Luck!

JT McGee January 25, 2011 at 14:35

Thanks. I’ve seen your posts around the forum. I’m definitely shooting for 100k…I figure it’ll take a healthy balance of activity/content to get there.

SavingMentor January 25, 2011 at 01:13

Welcome to the challenge my friend. I’m fairly new to the challenge myself and already have seen my ranking drop dramatically. I know yours will as well and you will learn so much from conversing with fellow personal finance bloggers along the way.

Darwin's Money January 25, 2011 at 02:56

Congrats! I’ve been with Yakezie for a while now and it’s been working out great. You’ll see your Alexa decrease, network with some great folks and get to give back -it’s a win-win!

JT McGee January 25, 2011 at 14:37

The community really does amaze me with its generosity and support. It makes me wonder how better developed other niches might be if they’d accept a similar platform of growth/activity amongst bloggers.

Robert @ The College Investor January 25, 2011 at 02:59

Welcome and best of luck! You can do it as long as you stay engaged with the community!

Matt Bell January 25, 2011 at 03:21

Welcome to the Challenge, JT. I look forward to reading your articles and sharing them with others.

Barb Friedberg January 25, 2011 at 03:31

Welcome to the challenge. Enjoy the ride and don’t worry too much about stats. Think more about content. Best of luck

Sustainable PF January 25, 2011 at 03:49

Thanks for the mention JT, though I would think we showed support not a push 😉

Go for your goal man. We (Mrs. SPF and I) started November 20th with a 23million Alexa rank and 8 weeks later we breached the 200k mark (192,658). Now nine weeks and 2 days into the challenge we’re hovering just over 153,000 Alexa rank. It is totally doable with the right effort and networking.

Drop me a line if you ever want to pick my brain. Also, watch out for my member post where I plan to outline how we completed the challenge in 8 weeks. By the 6 month mark we sure better be below 100,000! However, we do recognize that the lower you get in the ranks the lower your progress

Money Smarts January 25, 2011 at 05:17

I started blogging back in May of 2010 with an Alexa of 10 million+ and a page rank of zero. I’m now at an alexa of 90,000+ and a page rank of 4, so it can be done – even in those short months. Good luck – you’ve got a good group with Yakezie to help you along the way- so start posting!

Everyday Tips January 25, 2011 at 13:33

Welcome to the challenge! I think you already know how helpful the Yakezie are. I know I have so appreciated the instant help you get when you post on the message boards.

My blog is less than a year old, and it wouldn’t have done nearly as well without my Yakezie pals!

Money Reasons January 25, 2011 at 17:50

You are so LUCKY!!!

When I started my blog, I flounder around not knowing what to do! It took me months before I even had a few comments (I believe the Financial Samurai was the 2nd person to ever comment on my site!).

Yakezie can help you skip the growing pains part of what I experienced! In a month’s time, you can potentially shave at least 5 months time off of your startup growth by learning from the members…

Nice looking blog you got here and Congratulations on starting a blog and joining Yakezie.

MyMoneyMess January 27, 2011 at 14:57

I’ve considered joining the challenge but I absolutely hate spyware bars, er, tool bars. I refuse to use Google’s or Yahoo’s or anyone else’s. Since Alexa rankings are based solely on the browsing of users of their tool bar it kind of creates a problem. I would be wanting toolbar users to visit my site to boost my rankings but my visits to their sites would do nothing for theirs…

JT McGee January 27, 2011 at 15:03

You could do what I do–have a “work” browser and a “play browser.” Not only can I customize each how I want them, but the dividing line also helps to keep distractions at bay, as well.

Debt Free Divas February 4, 2011 at 09:12

Hey JT. Love the blog name! Makes me want to boogy! I agree with you 100% This is an incredible network & there isn’t a bunch of hard cold hawking of books. Ha! Hadn’t even thought about that. Welcome to the challenge. I’m sure you’ll reach your goal in no time.

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