New Year, New Design, New Goals! A Quick Reflection on Our First Year Blogging

It is absolutely crazy that a blog was born from text messages conversations early this year and it is already December 30th!

From this early vision to the hours we put into posting, on top of our already consistent reading of personal finance blogs, we have subscribers interested in new posts delivered by our reliable pigeon service. New blog readers commenting on articles and giving their input or questions. Articles in draft mode in preparation for the weeks ahead. And now? A new design!!

Man oh man has the year flown by!

Before heading into 2018, we wanted to announce our new design to the community and also reflect on last year while stating goals for 2018. They are totally subject to change, and we would love to have any suggestions from you on making the blog better in the new year!

Top 6 Successes from 2017

  1. 15K page views
    • When first making this blog, my goal for 2017 was 500 views. YES, 500!! We again thank you all for the time reading our thoughts and can’t wait to share even more in the new year.
  2. 150 comments
    • We are including our own comments on these, but hey we take the time to always respond to anyone who takes the time to type one up :). This is something we’re very proud of and hope to keep this engagement up next year!
  3. 67 published posts
    • There were weeks that both Jack and I couldn’t make a post, while others where we were bitten by the writer’s bug and posted 4 articles. We have since moved to a weekly post schedule and worked on getting ahead to be more consistent going forward. We’ve loved the questions and comments submitted to us from the contact page and can’t wait to hear more!
  4. Guest Posts on the Green Swan and Budgets Are Sexy
    • Two of the top personal finance blogs who are both inspirational for us – huge shout out to you all for allowing us to become part of your brand.
  5. Featured on Rockstar Finance!
    • Typically in the morning before leaving for work, I take a quick look at emails to see if there are any blogs to read, check the stats and comments to see if there is anything new, and then head to work. I will never forget waking up at 6:00 am to see that our blog had 1,000 views already. Utter shock!  Our Extreme Dating article was featured on Rockstar Finance, what an unexpected honor!
  6. Expanding network and engaging with the community  (like comments and Rockstar Finance’s Christmas contribution).
    • One of the less written about, yet the most encouraging pieces of success in the personal finance community is the sense of belonging and the knowledge that others are just as passionate (or crazy) about their finances as we are. We salute you all!

Top 5 Posts from 2017

The year had many great articles. We had writings about pop culture and investing events. Posts on our roadmap to build your kingdom. Essays on patience and how direct contribution can lead to happiness. In other words, we covered a range of topics.

On average, our articles are around 1,200 words – meaning we wrote at least 76,800 words this year in our effort to help others. We are ecstatic to do it again next year!! Check out some of our most popular posts below:

  1. Investment: A King and Queen Make Dinner at Home
  2. An Answer to the Timeless Question, Should you pay off your mortgage?
  3. Join the Great War of Debt!
  4. Save Money by Doing Nothing! Stop the Madness!
  5. Spice up your dating life with EXTREME DATING!

New Design for the New Year

First Design

Last January, we asked our site designer, Kaleb McKelvey, to cook something up in his web design kitchen that was simple and allowed us to start writing fast! The organization scheme would be easy, helping readers find the content they needed quickly. By February, we had our first article published and social media set up.

Unforeseen was the range of subjects we wrote on. Does this mean our brand is a bit complex? Possibly, but we are hoping to change that. 2017 had a major focus on content and creation – we accomplished this and the first design was a great start. It was time to upgrade!

Latest Design

In design #2, we are looking to better organize content resulting in fewer clicks for readers. Our vision will not just have a modern, responsive blog, but a top-notch user experience that feels intuitive for you all.

We’ve begun this transition, with the biggest migration task to the new site design being completed this week. You’ll continuously notice big changes to pages that increase their value to you, making it effortless and quicker to get the knowledge to make better financial decisions!

Our blog has three main focuses

  1. Roadmap – For readers who are just beginning their journey into the PF world, the Kingdom Roadmap points them on their way towards financial stability
  2. Investing – Interested in making investments outside of index funds? We will be writing more advanced articles on this in 2018 in addition to the ones this year
  3. Lifestyle – Millionaire mindsets are one of the keys to building a proper kingdom – we post on some of these suggestions as we grow in our own personal development journey

Internal Link Changes

A small change will be made in future and previous articles for links. Currently, opening a link on a post will open a new tab or window for you. We’re changing this to only happen on external links, while internal links will take you to that link within the same tab.

We have been told this is a better experience by a few form submissions and hope that you experience the same! Thanks for this feedback!

Authors for Posts

We’ve updated the about page and included authors for each article. You will now know if Jack or myself wrote the specific article, with a disclaimer that sometimes we both chip in. The reason we did this? We wanted to better reflect the author’s voice in new articles for the reader, as Jack and I have different writing styles, experiences, and perspectives. Plus, he’s older than I and has been investing longer; meaning, he offers great insight from what he’s learned while I better relate to those just starting their kingdoms.

The real basic fundamental reason is a focus on making the blog better for our readers! Please let us know if you see anything that looks out of order or if you have any suggestions – we are open to making changes for you!

Ratings

At the end of each article you will see 5 unfilled stars on posts you haven’t rated, or the rating you gave when visiting it in the past. These ratings will help our algorithms when visiting the home or category pages. The top rated posts are taken from the ratings, as we let our readers tell each other which articles are more worthy of their time. Further, we can use this internally to update articles with lower ratings – making them meet the 5-star quality we’re aiming for.

Category Pages

When looking into specific category pages, you will be shown the most popular and highest rated posts, followed by a blog feed of all essays within that category.

MailChimp

Email subscriptions with our express pigeon service guarantee that you receive new articles in your inbox. We have decided to make the change over to MailChimp for management of this. We are still learning and transitioning to the new service, but think this will provide us more customization in the emails you see!

That ends the new design highlights – we are excited to hear your thoughts on it!

New Goals for 2018

2018 brings 365 new days to solidify the kingdoms we’re working on building. Individually, Jack and I have personal goals for our kingdoms and of course, new goals for the blog!

Here they go:

  1. At least 40K page views 
  2. At least 52 new articles 
  3. At least 1 new guest post written each month 
  4. At least 5 Product Reviews on Personal Finance tools (like Mint) 
  5. At least 1 e-book published

All of these goals should be completed by December 31st, 2018.

Please let us know if you would be interested in having us post on your blog? We will definitely be reaching out to bloggers we enjoy reading soon!

Happy New Year!!

As the new year approaches, we have been flabbergasted by 2017 and are gung-ho on making 2018 even better! Thank you all for reading and becoming a Duke on this journey with us.

Have a very happy and very safe New Years!!

Leonardo DiCaprio holding a glass full of an alcoholic beverage, raising it up as he smiles.

Our New Years Toast

Toast to the lessons learned from the mistakes you moved past, the challenges you faced and overcame. Toast to the joyous and wonderful people you have in your life while remembering all of the great memories of those who have moved on. Strive to forgive and forget more than you hold grudges. Be grateful for all the things you’ve done that have got you to this very moment. Toast as you promise to live in the moments that take your breath away, be kind to everyone who deserves it, and lead by example when following the golden rule. Toast to life and the precious future we all look forward to making in 2018!!!

*Drinks up*

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