The first post on this website was published on 01/01/2021. Now it’s time to look back at 1 year of blogging.
Why did I start this blog?
I’ve been interested in personal finance for since I can remember myself. However, I started taking action in 2015, when I started using the Dave Ramsey method for clearing my debts. I always thought “there’s so much good content out there, what do I have to add?”.
Then, Lazy FI Mum got pregnant. That’s when I noticed that most of the FI “celebs” have no kids or one kid max (maximum, they don’t all name their kids “Max”). This kind of gave the feeling that to reach FI you can’t have a big family.
Not only did I struggle to find content about FI with kids, finding content about FI with kids in the UK was almost impossible.
I thought to myself “If there’s missing content, maybe I can create it?” But I procrastinated. Until 21/12/2020.
On 21/12/2020 Logan (creator of Topia) sent me the following message:
“I was just speaking to someone from the community with 2 small children. He mentioned he was struggling to get to grips with how to max out his salary sacrifice to maximise child benefits. I thought if only I could send him a link to a FIRE with family/kids blog “
That was the final push I needed. A few moments later, there was a Facebook group for parents pursuing FI in the UK and 11 days later, the first post on this blog was published.
The 2 main posts
When starting this blog, there were 2 pieces of information I wanted to share with people because they are quick wins and they can save parents a lot of money. I’m happy to say that these have both been shared with the world in a simple (I hope) manner.
By implementing these 2 methods alone, parents can save more than £3,000 a year!
1 year of blogging
Besides these 2 posts, I posted 45 other posts (this is number 46) which means I “only” missed 6 this year, not too bad.
Some of them were sharing knowledge, quite a few were our monthly results and a lot of them were just about what we’re up to as a family.
What I learned in 1 year of blogging
After 1 year of blogging, I must admit that the biggest surprise for me was how helpful all your comments have been.
A few quick examples are in the comment sections for these posts:
1. Why I ignore taxes in my retirement calculations – Lazy Fi Dad
Where Carl taught me that you don’t pay NI on your pension withdrawals (which was a game-changer for me)
Where Donna taught me that you can’t contribute to your kids’ tax-free childcare accounts while on maternity pay
Where Joe referred me to ERN’s safe withdrawal rate series (I’m still reading my way through it!), what an amazing recommendation, changed my opinion about 4% by 180 degrees.
Where John taught me there is a minimum (hourly) you can’t go below even if it’s through pension contributions.
I love it, it’s like having a peer review for each post I upload. If I get something wrong- you call me out on it, please keep it up! I love learning and you guys have been a huge help.
Besides all the FI things I learned from your comments, I also learned a bit about Google analytics and running a newsletter. Google analytics is where I can track how many visitors visited my website for each period (day, week, month etc.), how many are returning visitors and so on. As someone who loves data, it’s been interesting.
I also learned a bit about running a newsletter, although it’s been almost* all about letting you know when a new post is up. As a lazy person, I love the fact that I don’t have to refresh other blogs to check if there are new posts, I can just get an email alert when a new post is published, that’s why this feature was important to me too (and thank you, Stephen, for suggesting).
What I didn’t learn in 1 year of blogging
Funny enough, I learned very little about 2 main things:
Most of the traffic to this website comes from Facebook, Reddit and direct links. Search engines bring so little traffic to this website and that’s my fault. I never took the time to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I don’t know if that’s because I don’t care about it too much or because I’d rather spend my time doing other things. I do know that if I did spend the time, there would probably be more readers. However, this website/blog was never about maximising traffic. I wanted to focus on quality content and I hope you feel that I delivered on that front.
No excuses, the website should look better**, I took a template and ran with it. When I have time***, I’ll try and improve this.
Habits and routine
Besides everything I learned, there is also the routine aspect. Adding another habit to my routine has been really nice, I like structure. Just like I know I have to do 10,000 steps each day, I like knowing that I “need” to write a new post each Friday.
The fact that I know at least 30-40 people wait for the newsletter really helped me stay committed.
It also helped me structure my thoughts and research FI related topics (probably) more than I would’ve done without being Lazy FI Dad.
Anyway, this post is just a quick summary of 1 year of blogging. I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read, subscribe to the newsletter, and/or leave comments.
* There was only one email that wasn’t about a new post, it was a correction for a previous email. So typical.
** Especially the fact that I still haven’t figured out how to ensure the text below images looks different than the rest of the post., see the image above.
*** Or when it climbs up my priority list.