The Code To Riches Turns 1 Year Old!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR THECODETORICHES.COM! HAPPY BIRTH DAY TO YOU!
Holy shit, I cannot believe that this blog has been around for over a year. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was
changing it’s diapers waking up at 3 am to burp it trying to figure what the fuck WordPress was. And here I stand, 55 some-odd articles later, with a lot more experience and a whole lot more to accomplish. I’m not a huge fan of “review” posts, but I figure that one year is something to definitely look back on. Here’s what happened this year, and how it affected the blog.
First up… the good!
First – The Lady and I moved to Colorado Springs
After teaching in the Rio Grande Valley for two years (which for those of you that don’t know, is located literally 4 miles from the Mexican border), my girlfriend and I decided to make the move up north back to some semblance of what we were used to. She had found a teaching job up there, and I came to the conclusion that I could blog for a living on a blog that was a mere 2 months old.
Silly, silly newbie.
But the move has been absolutely amazing. We’ve become much happier than we were in Texas, thanks in no small part to the weight we’ve lost from eating healthier AND by hiking as much as possible! There’s a lot more to do, we’re happy to have white Christmases back, and we’re actually an hour from a major hub airport, as opposed to 5 hours away! All in all, we’re pretty happy with the move!
Second – We’ve come up with a plan!
I don’t let this shine through too much on the blog, but I have about 1,001 different ideas on which direction to take my life in any given hour. There are days that I want to stay a career teacher, there are days that I just want to leave all the grading and lesson planning behind. In fact, since the beginning of college I’ve bounced around from veterinarian to doctor to lawyer to investment banker to CPA to real estate investor to commercial real estate broker to astronaut to billionaire playboy to… ok, well maybe I got off track there at the end.
But my girlfriend and I have finally reached a point where we think we know what we’re going to do with out lives. Barring something extreme happening, we’ve decided that in a few years we’re going to go back to school and get our MBA’s. Now, I’m sure there are people on both side of the aisle as far as this argument is concerned, but to be frank, teaching is never going to allow us the earning potential to reach our goals, and so the next best idea we have is to go back to school.
I’m super excited for this, because it means instead of teaching kids that subtracting from a negative makes the number MORE negative, it means that I can learn something that doesn’t make my brain feel like it’s rotting. Not that I don’t love my kiddos.
Third – I Lost Weight
I don’t think this comes as a shocker to anyone over the age of 25, but after college I actually started to pack on a little more weight than I was happy about. Some of it had to do with the fact that I lived in the Mecca of tacos and margaritas, but also had to do with the fact that I simply wasn’t taking care of myself.
With the combination of the new year and my research on how much you can spend on healthcare costs when you’re overweight, I decided that it was finally time for me to get my act together and start shedding some of these pounds. And I did!
20 pounds or so later, I can say that I’m still no Chris Hemsworth (dammit), but I’m working on making sure my heart stays healthy and that when my 8th graders ask me to play a game of pick-up basketball that they don’t completely whoop my ass. Which oddly enough, can save you a ton of money in the long run.
Fourth – The Blog
Though not nearly as successful as I had hoped it would become, I really can’t complain too much about the blog. In fact there were a number of achievements that occurred this year that I really should be thankful for:
- 12,135 pageviews. Now, I know there are bloggers that can get this in a day, BUT I’M STILL LEARNING, OK?!
- Over 5,700 followers on Twitter. Seriously, I tweet so much I think I’m growing wings…
- Over 800 followers on Pinterest. And I only have ONE article about food!
- $$$ On Adsense. I don’t know if I’d be following the TOS if I posted this (not that I think Google would really care) but let’s just say this… I can take my girlfriend out for an ok dinner. Nothing too nice, and certainly no booze, but we’re on the right track.
- 54 articles posted. Working as a teacher has definitely slowed down my posting schedule.
So no, this hasn’t been a wild success. But I DEFINITELY have some ideas as to where to take the blog, and how to make it more successful in the future. And at the end of the day…
I KEPT AT IT FOR A YEAR!!! (which is more than I can say for any gym membership I’ve had…)
Now for the not so good…
I had to buy a car
If you’ve spent any time on this site whatsoever, then you should been keenly aware of the utter disdain I hold for car salespeople. I hate the process, I hate the people it attracts, and I hate an industry that keep price information so well guarded for a product that most people need.
Some of you might be wondering, “Well, yeah, no one likes buying a car, but certainly you don’t regret buying the car?” Well, regret is a strong word, but between the payment, the insurance, the gas, and maintenance, I have to budget close to $500 a month just for the damn vehicle.
I swear, there are days that I just want to bike everywhere, sweaty upon arrival be DAMNED!
Teaching was CRAZY
I’m not sure how many of you that read this are teachers, but let me tell you something: I went from the teaching equivalent of Goldman Sachs of charter schools to a piggy bank manufacturer. THAT’S how nuts my year was.
The school I used to work at literally had everything ready for you. There was a curriculum that not only had resources, but all the resources were aligned to the standards the students would see on their state exam. I received instructional coaching once a week on a BAD WEEK. It was more often 2-3x a week. I was expected to be in the building at 7:00, and was leaving, on early days, at 5:00. Not including grading, lesson planning, phone calls home. Oh, and sleeping.
Fast forward to the school where I work not, where my curriculum and lesson planning come from Google and I’m no only allowed but EXPECTED to leave at 3:15. Add on top of that the fact that my kiddos this year actually listen to me, the fact that I’m on my 7th administrator in 2 years, and it becomes pretty obvious that I’ve had quite the experience teaching.
Oh, and the fact that I had to prep for 6 different classes. That damn well near killed me, too.
I DIDN’T MAKE $1,000,000 MY FIRST DAY OF BLOGGING?! WTF?!
Ok, I’m sure you can taste the sarcasm from wherever you are, but I had a lot of really high hopes for the blog that simply didn’t come to fruition. Which is ok; I really do think that there’s a lot more to be learned from failure than there is from success. But with that in mind, I’m going to practice what I preach now that I know what to expect from a years worth of blogging. Ready? Ok, here we go…
Goal #1 – At least 20,000 page views per month by 5/18
There, I said it. I want more visitors, ok?! No, but in all seriousness, I’d love to see the traffic from this blog get a huge spike. In fact, I know that there are LOTS and LOTS of bloggers out there that have 50,000 hits per month at their one year mark, so I think that 20,000 by year two is not only achievable, but highly likely. I just need to get my act together and really figure out the best ways to spend my time getting more traffic. Frankly, blog after blog saying “More content/engage more/ social media/ SEO/ comment/network” just isn’t getting the job done. As truthful as they might be.
Goal #2 – Be able to replace my living expenses with online income
As it stands right now, I could get by on just $1,600 a month. Would I be happy? No. Would I be saving? HA! But this is the “number” that everyone talks about. If I could earn $1,600 a month, I could “technically” walk away from my job and do this full time. Again, this doesn’t consider a lot of things, like having health insurance, or speaking to adults on a regular basis. But after a student gives you a bucket-full of attitude for telling them to take off their hat for the 12th goddamn time, sitting at home and blogging about money doesn’t seem like too bad of a gig.
As to whether or not the money will come from this blog, or another blog, or something else, I really don’t know. Hopefully though, I’ll have FU (use your imagination on that one) income to walk away from any job, in one year.
Goal #3 – Write 12 guest posts this year, and get featured on something big. Like really, really big.
I’ve already done a couple guest posts this year, and had an awesome time doing it. I love writing for other blogs because not only does it get my name out there, but it’s awesome to provide value for other writers out there (I try save my really good ideas for guest posts!).
But I really haven’t done much in the way of marketing blog, at least not creatively. Sure, I’ve tweeted here and pinned there, but all in all I know that there’s definitely more that I could be doing. I’m going to be doing quite a bit more market research into what topics readers what, and I’ll be a lot more strategic about getting the name of this blog out there. Which brings me to my next point…
Goal #4 – Take over Social Media: 15,000 Twitter followers and 2,000 Pinterest followers.
That’s right; I’m going to be taking social media by storm. Actually, I don’t know that those kinds of numbers are really “by storm” but they sure do feel like it from where I’m standing right now! I don’t think that theres a single blog out there that doesn’t use Pinterest, and EVERY blog that talks about increasing their page views talks about what a boon Pinterest is.
Well, fine. I guess I’ll follow the trend.
Goal #5 – Get that course off the ground…
HA! That’s all I’m saying. Let the suspense commence!
The Code To Riches Turns One Year Old – The Wrap Up
So without a doubt, it’s been on hectic year. There have been quite a few ups, quite a few downs, but overall, I’d say that this year has lead to a lot of personal growth, especially in terms of what I’ve learned over the course of my blogging.
I’m also super excited to see what posting these goals to the public is going to do for my determination… hopefully it bumps it up quite a bit.
Lastly, for those of you that make reading this blog a regular thing, thank you Thank You THANK YOU!!! It makes me feel awesome to know that my content is not only helping you, but also making you laugh.
Even if you’re laughing at me, not with me. 🙂
If you’re looking for deep reading, sound financial advice, terrible puns, or overall debauchery in the form of the written word, check out the following popular articles:
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And just as I’ve been wishing you for a year now:
Keep trying to crack the code,
Paul AndrewsFollow me on social media!