Celebrating 6 months of blogging

Accidentally Retired Logo Concepts

I’ve always wanted to write.

Six months ago, I finally acted on it and now my blog is my writing vehicle.

My advice to anyone thinking about starting something. Just start. Start today. Don’t look back.

Writing helps me to better think and focus. I have also found over the years that I can express myself in a more authentic way in written form.

So I followed my heart and during my mini-retirement, and I decided that it was time to start this site. Besides, I was Accidentally Retired, so what else did I have to do?

Getting started blogging

When I started six months ago, I wasn’t exactly sure what direction my content would take. Would I enjoy writing more about finances or life? Business or pleasure? Travel or personal growth?

It turns out that the answer is all of the above.

I’ve written on topics from self doubt, to how to get a mortgage in retirement. From tracking happiness to maxing out your 401(k).

I knew that what was most important for my blog was to get started, and write.

So my plan was to get the site up and running as fast as possible and just start writing.

No fancy logo.

No fancy theme.

Just go!

After years in business taking some things far too seriously and not moving fast enough, I decided I had enough of that.

Hosting

I selected Amazon Lightsail as my hosting provider.

At $3.50 a month it was a no brainer to me. In fact, it now costs me more per month to backup photos to iCloud at $9.99, than to host a website. You really have to hand it to Amazon and AWS.

Anyways, the setup was a bit tricky at first to fully secure the site with https and get up and running. It took a few tutorials, but since then it has been smooth sailing. Honestly, I haven’t logged in in months. It just works.

The nice part about Amazon Lightsail, besides the price, is with one click I can replicate my instance into a staging server so that I can troubleshoot any issues if/when they arise. If I also wanted to test out a new theme or logo or anything, I can do that. I only pay additional instances when I need it, and then they can be easily deleted.

Automated snapshots and backups are included in Lightsail. I really can’t highly recommend it enough from a cost to value perspective.

Security & Email

Other components I use to tie everything together and for ease of use are Cloudflare for added security/dns management and Google Workspace for email/docs/etc.

I upgraded Cloudflare to the Pro Plan in may which runs $20 a month and is the most expensive thing I pay for in running the site. But I feel that the benefits outweigh the costs with the Google’s Page Experience update and the general march towards mobile useability and site speed.

Google Workspace is $5.50 for my one email account. This one is probably not really necessary and I could have setup an email for AR in a variety of ways, but I like that I have my own login with my domain and easily switch back and forth into my personal gmail account when needed.

Lastly, I use Convertkit to send out my email newsletter, which thus far is free. At some point that will no longer be the case, but for now I am enjoying the ease of use to get emails out, tag audiences, etc.

Total cost to run AR: $29 per month

Logo

This is where the fun begins. Any guesses as to how long it took me to create the AR logo? 5 days? 10 hours?

What did you guess? …. ?

It took me 10 mins.

I probably shouldn’t be proud of that, but again, I believe that the writing matters more than anything else.

I opened up Google Docs, played around with some fonts and colors and wam, bam, AR’s logo was created:

I think too often in business and life we get dragged down by the details that ultimately do not matter.

Figuring out what actually matters is the key. When you can boil down the essence of a project to the primary component that makes all else seem insignificant, then you know where to spend a majority of your time.

Gary Keller calls this The ONE Thing.

Greg McKeown calls this Essentialism.

Richard Koch calls it The 80/20 Principle.

I call it getting sh*t done.

Finding my community

I love the real sense of community within the Personal Finance space. I mean truly, I am blown away by the community, the willingness to share ideas, share information, share accolades, and share positivity.

We all have our unique angle, and we all have embraced personal finance our own way. But we are also all in this together. Helping to push the conversation forward and help others take charge of their finances and their lives.

AR work has been featured on:

AR has been interviewed by:

The FIRE Insights Blogger Survey

I was inspired to join the PF community in doing something interesting and different, so I launched The FIRE Insights Blogger Survey in May.

The goal of the survey is to measure interest/blogger sentiment in various asset classes over time, highlight great content, and source advice/recommendations.

FIRE Insights Blogger Survey Featured Image

In total, I have surveyed over 200+ personal finance content creators and have had some great book, podcast and article recommendations. The survey also has surfaced some really insightful data from around the community, so check em out!

AR – By the numbers

In total I’ve written and published 62 articles. This is a clip of about 10 per month and each has taken me somewhere between 1-3 hours to write, edit, publish and promote.

Those articles have generated 240 total comments, 111 of which are my responses to commenters. Oh and we have 709 spam comments to go along with the real comments.

Articles by Category

Traffic/Social/Email

  • Total Web Traffic: 8.4K users and 24K pageviews
  • @AcdntlyRetired Twitter Followers: 551
  • Email Subscribers: 87

Top Articles:

  1. Choosing, tracking, and data visualizing all of the happiness
  2. The magic of a one-time partial mortgage payment: your net worth increases
  3. How to build a $15M company working 40 hours or less as a CEO
  4. Don’t forget to indulge and enjoy life along the way to FI
  5. Betting on a player. Betting on a team. Betting on a league.
Top Resources
  1. How to Track your Happiness: Get the Happiness Spreadsheet
  2. Should I pay down my mortgage or invest?
  3. Best Websites on Early Retirement & Financial Independence
  4. The Time Log Spreadsheet: become more effective by tracking, optimizing, and focusing your time
  5. Best Books on Investing, Wealth Creation, Business & Entrepreneurship, and Enjoying Life

Thank you

A thank you to all of my readers, email subscribers, and twitter followers!

I hope that you all enjoy what I am doing and continue to come back – but if you don’t then I know that my writing is off the mark. It’ll be on me. Not you.

While AR is a labor of love, I still appreciate any support financial or non-financial that you can give!

Financial Ways to Support

1. Sign up on Personal Capital

Personal Capital has amazing tools to help you track your net worth, plan for retirement, run your weekly/monthly budget and more. I utilize their service and highly recommend their servicesFull article here.

2. Shop/Sign up with Affiliate Links

Amazon Any/all books linked to on this site contain our referral code and if you make a purchase within 24 hours, I’ll earn a commission with no cost to you. You can also just click the link below and purchase anything you want.

Non-Financial Ways to Support

1. Subscribe to the AR Email Newsletter

When you subscribe, you will receive our content straight to your inbox. Typically a few times a week.

2. Submit a Plutus Awards nomination

Plutus Awards honor top personal finance blogs and podcasts. Accidentally Retired has been nominated for Best New Personal Finance BlogBest Financial Independence or Retire Early Content, and Best Entrepreneurship Content.

3. Follow on Twitter

Self explanatory I hope?

4. Come back and tell your friends!

Thanks again for supporting AR!

I appreciate it and look forward to creating more content, spreadsheets, and surveys for you!

And remember, it should be a Hell yeah! or no.

10 comments

  1. Congrats! Seems like you’ve been blogging longer than this. You really put in the time and effort, it is very noticeable.

    Your journey right now reminds me of when I first started in 2009. It was so much fun. Every single morning was an exciting new day! And even now, Financial Samurai is still a lot of fun. For the most fun really is in the first couple of years, so enjoy it!

    I’ll vote for you for best new blog! And, if I know the Financial Samurai has never won a single Plutus Award in any category. Not for investing, real estate, early retirement, nada.

    But the site still turned out OK 🙂

    Sam

    1. Hehe. I appreciate the Plutus vote – and I agree with your point. Awards don’t matter. They never have. Sure they are nice to look at, and can help promote a site a bit, but you still have to do the work.

      And you show that in what you do. You consistently produce great thought provoking, and thorough content!

      1. Oops about the typos. I just finished Atomic Habits by James Clear, and there’s a section about seeking status and adulation. So I’m thinking of trying a little more.

        But I dunno… my actions since leaving work since 2012 has been to shun status (no fancy Executive Director banking title anymore), no publicity (saying no to TV interviews), etc.

        But one realization I had was that my lack of status and lack of seeking status and recognition may be a detriment for my kids!

        So now I’m re-thinking things a little.

        Sam

        1. I just started Atomic Habit and have been loving it so far…

          But I don’t think lack of chasing status will hurt your kids at all. Maybe I am wrong, but kids just want to be loved and paid attention to.

          I want my kids to be self sufficient and hard workers, but I also don’t want them thinking that money and status is everything. Since leaving my job, I also have shunned title/status. I’d rather pursue happiness and building strong family bonds.

  2. I think the spam comment number might be the most impressive of all (hopefully you aren’t including my comments in that number!). You’ve done awesome work in a short period of time–one of my go to personal finance reads. And the Blogger survey is awesome! Looking forward to plenty more!

  3. Congrats on 6 months of blogging! I totally agree with you on just starting. It’s easy to overthink things and talk yourself out of trying. Also, writing is such a great way to think more clearly. It has helped me learn how to break a topic down and focus on only the important points. Like you said, it’s important to focus on what ultimately matters. The personal finance community certainly is great. I don’t know that many people that care about investing and blogging in real life. So, it’s nice to have a community of passionate people I can relate to. You’re doing awesome with content and traffic. I like your writing style and blog a lot. I find some writing styles are difficult to follow, but your writing has such a nice flow. Keep up the great work.

  4. Congrats on 6 months of consistent blogging. 24K pageviews is a lot for a relatively new site. Keep up the great work and try not to burn out.
    I look forward to your 1 year blogiversary. 🙂

    1. Thanks Liquid!

      My last passion project (my business) I spent 10+ years working on – I don’t burn out quickly.

      But unlike my last business, I don’t expect to make money on this. If money is a byproduct of a successful site, great, but that is not why I am doing it.

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