Blog Statistics Update February – March 2014

I’ve mentioned this a few times in the past, but this time I really think I’m going to do it…  I want to reduce my posting schedule here on EPF.  My Money Design’s post this week titled How Do You Really Want to Make Money with a Blog? really struck a chord with me.  I’m motivated primarily by comments and serving my community.  While I love the commenting culture on EPF, I don’t think it’s really the place to serve the PhD student population.  I like the EPF is a general/personal personal finance blog, but I also want to dive more deeply into the grad student niche.


For some time I have been thinking about starting another website and/or writing an ebook on personal finance for PhD students, but I can’t focus on those other projects while writing three posts per week for EPF and compiling a weekly roundup.  I’m actually surprised I’ve kept up this pace for over two years!  I also want to do more guest posting as well so a reduced posting schedule would free up more time for that.  I think what I want to do is write here more as the inspiration strikes – once per week on Mondays about a general topic and twice per month on Fridays for my monthly review posts (this one and our monthly financial breakdown).


Kyle and I have also been working on another website this spring.  He took a hiatus when he was working intensely on his dissertation, but he’s back on it now so I hope to have that up in a few weeks!


I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to not post three times next week.  It’s a streak that’s hard to break.  Every week I’ve been telling myself, “Just one more time” and the inspiration keeps coming!



Analytics Data from March 15, 2014


People who listen to us, as of March 15, 2014:

RSS subscribers: 176 (too many fluctuations to bother recording change)

Twitter followers: 793 (+27)

Facebook fans: 54 (+1)



Alexa: 85,204 (+2,644)

Google PR: 3 (no change)

MozRank: 5.14 (+0.08)


Some Google Analytics statistics:




Popular Posts


Most viewed posts:

1) Our Best (Pain-Free) Money-Saving Moves

2) Earned Income: The Bane of the Graduate Student’s Roth IRA

3) The Danger of Side Hustle Income

4) What’s So Great About High Cost-of-Living Areas?

5) Tax Lies Told to Graduate Students



Most Commented Posts:

What’s So Great About High Cost-of-Living Areas? (62)

The Danger of Side Hustle Income (37)

“I’m Not Going to Rob You” (30)

Would You Fly with Spirit Airlines? (29)

It’s Nice When Money Can Fix Your Problems (28)


Blog Balance Sheet


So far we’ve been able to buy my FinCon14 ticket out of blog earnings and we just need to keep it up for the travel and hotel and so forth.  J




People are still signing up for the Barclaycard World Arrival MasterCard even now that the terms have changed.  I also had several people squeak in with Republic Wireless signups right before the refer a friend program ended so that was exciting (doesn’t appear here since I get account credits).


Adsense: $0

affiliate income: $125




hosting: $8.65

conference registration: $204.97



Search Terms from Real People


I love all these fiscally responsible (former) graduate students!

  • “earned fellowship graduate student taxable income” – You have to report all of your income.  If you used your fellowship for living expenses (aka it was a stipend) you will almost certainly pay taxes on it.
  • “filing my 1099 misc and w 2 wages together” – Check out my recent guide on how to enter a 1099-MISC into TurboTax (the W-2 is straightforward).  The guide also includes on which line the 1099-MISC should go, if you prefer to fill out your returns yourself.
  • “how to open an ira roth account for postdocs”
  • “taxable fellowship and ira contribution”
  • “starting roth in grad school”
  • “how much to pay in estimated taxes graduating student” – Read this post on filing an estimated tax payment and follow the link to an easy worksheet to help determine if you need to pay estimated tax.
  • “is a stipend earned income for ira contributions?” – A stipend is earned income for IRA purposes if it is reported on a W-2, but not if it is reported on a 1099-MISC.  In practice it seems this is the difference between being paid from a fellowship/training grant and a research grant.
  • “ira earned income fellowship”


“new republic wireless phones” – Yes, Republic Wireless has released the Moto G!  I’m not going to write a review about the hardware because I have a Moto X, but Republic Wireless’s service is a great value and they are extending their value options with this new lower-cost phone. Unlimited 3G Plan $25 per month from Republic Wireless



What do you think of my plan to focus on other online projects over EPF?  Have you ever taken a step back from blogging or another hobby?  Are you getting tons of tax-related searches to your site?


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21 Responses to "Blog Statistics Update February – March 2014"

  1. Mrs. PoP says:

    We consciously took a step back this year from posting several times a week. For the past couple of months it’s been once, maybe twice per week for the most part. Surprisingly, our traffic hasn’t really dropped as search traffic increased to fill the gap of people coming from RSS to read new posts. Hopefully you’ll find the same.

    One of our most searched posts recently has been on identity theft, specifically unemployment benefits identity theft. While the traffic is nice, it’s not a trend I’m really happy to see growing. =/
    Mrs. PoP recently posted..2013 Shareholder Letter

    1. Emily says:

      I’ve heard that about the traffic from a few other bloggers. Unfortunately search traffic doesn’t make up a huge chunk of our overall traffic so I’m not sure if it will work for us. If I take a step back from posting I have to take a step back from reading an commenting, too, because that takes up so much time as well!

      Yeah, that is kind of a disturbing trend!

  2. Alicia says:

    I’ve been thinking about cutting down my posting schedule as well. I currently post MWF on my site and then Tuesday on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s site… so many posts, and I’ve only been doing this since January! I think two on my site and then one on GVO’s will help me feel a little less crunched, but it is hard. Especially since I am really a personal story blogger than a “here’s how to do X”. I only have so many things I can spin into a finance related tale 😉
    Alicia recently posted..The Trickling Tax Refund.

    1. Emily says:

      That is a very heavy schedule. I’m okay with ideas for this frequency but I’m sure if I cut it down the post quality would improve because I would only follow through on the best ideas.

  3. Cash Rebel says:

    I definitely know how you feel. I made the decision two months ago to break from my 2-3 post per week schedule and post whenever I want to. It’s worked out well. Now I have more time to work on other projects and spend more time with the irl people in my life. I also realized that blogging income is not really coorelated with effort. 98% of my page views are from one post. If I really wanted income, I’d post more like that, but since I really like the commenting community aspect like you, I’m not super worried about it. Anyway, realizing that made me understand that I should post whatever amount feels right.
    Cash Rebel recently posted..You don’t always get what you pay for

    1. Emily says:

      Yeah, I haven’t been seeing all the people IRL that I would like to. I don’t know if that’s specifically because of blogging, but I just want to be more intentional about my time.

      Which post is your highest? I have a few that are consistently top but they switch up a bit.

  4. I often feel overwhelmed by the blog and consider taking a step back to focus more on income producing activities. I haven’t quite figured it all out yet.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..Spending Snapshot: Personal Care

    1. Emily says:

      I’m not too concerned about income, which I guess is why we don’t have much! If I wanted more income I would focus on publishing and networking in my primary job. Is your income focus going to be offline or elsewhere online?

  5. That is the best part about owning a blog. You can do whatever you want. Once you start getting burned out or want to focus on another niche, you can easily do it. I think a site regarding finances for PhD students would be a good one.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..How to Earn More Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Miles

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I don’t really feel burned out but wanting to switch focus a bit. But you are right – I’m in charge!

  6. Emily you can do it, just take things slowly and focus on your goals. Just think positive always and you would do a great job!
    Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey recently posted..Is Supplemental Health Insurance Worth Having?

    1. Emily says:

      I think making goals in the first place is a good idea…

  7. I’m really happy to see that my post got you thinking! That’s probably the most rewarding part about writing them. Thanks for featuring it.

    I think you’ll be fine not posting 3 times a week and using that time for other activities that you’re more passionate about or interested in doing. I’ve been posting only once per week on MMD and my stats actually improved! If you’re worried at all about loss of blog traffic to this site, try focusing more on the improvement of SEO of each new article. Organic traffic is your friend when you don’t have the time or energy to actively promote everything you do.
    My Money Design recently posted..The Pros and Cons of Brokers When You Try to Sell Your Annuities

    1. Emily says:

      Thinking about SEO is one of my least favorite activities, but it does support my overall goal of wider readership and lots of comments. 🙂

  8. Daisy says:

    I have a ton of projects going at any given time, and after I started my first website and had some success with it, I began to want to branch out a bit more into other websites and topics. I put my main blog on the back burner to focus on these other things, and it worked out well. I have maintained it by posting one or two times per week and still engaging, but dropping some of the things I used to do has helped me free up time for other websites. Good luck on everything!

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience! That is encouraging.

  9. Do what you need to do! No apologies. It’s your blog, your life, we’ll still be here. I only post whenever I want, but try to keep it to 2-3x a week. I think starting a PhD blog would be fantastic!
    Melanie@Dear Debt recently posted..Thoughts on Blogging

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