Blogging is like Weight Loss

Blogging is Like Weight Loss (and a few stats)

Today I am taking a break from the usual money related topics to compare my two secondary projects during my SAHDER (stay at home dad/experimental early retirement.) Blogging is like weight loss.

I am very new to blogging.  When I launched my site two months ago, I had no idea what WordPress was.  I knew absolutely nothing about SEO and still understand very little.  I knew this would be a fun project but I had no idea what I was in for from a time commitment perspective.   Between writing, optimizing, commenting and trying to learn as much as possible, I believe I have only scratched the surface with what I think I know. Every day I stumble upon something very obvious that I was missing.  I am sure there are whole subject matters I haven’t yet realized.

15 years ago, I was really fit.  I played soccer and basketball endlessly.  Sometimes I would make it to the courts five days a week to play pick up.  Fifteen years later that play time dissolved.  Between the office and parenting, I barely made it to the gym or lace up my running shoes.  Now at 225 pounds for a 6′ 2″ large build human, I could stand to lose some pounds and get back into shape.

This brings me to the point of this post, blogging is like weight loss.  I am attempting to (slowly) build a blog and lose weight simultaneously and the results are slow, painfully slow at times.  Maybe all great projects take time and substantial effort, similar to growing a million dollar portfolio from scratch.

Hard Work with Little to Show

I’ve been hitting the gym and running for two solid months and my results are in: I  gained 2 pounds.  Yes that is right I gained weight.  How could this be?

I think on the average week I am running between 10 to 15 miles. About 3 times a week I work out with weights.  In addition I have been doing 3 days on 1 day off of pushups and an ab workout.  One day I week I join my wife for a stretching yoga.  Not to mention I am chasing around two high energy little boys.

Blogging has had its moments of little return.  There are a couple of posts that I have researched and poured over for hours and received only 10 views.  How disheartening. The injustice!

I really had no expectations for blogging other than enjoying the process, helping people and improving my writing a little bit each week.  I did have an expectation that I would lose at least 5 pounds by now due to ramping up the exercise and controlling what I eat.

Go for a Quick Win

Have you ever tried Paleo or Atkins?  A couple years ago, I did Paleo for a few months and felt great.  It makes you feel fantastic and weight literally melted off.  The only problem is boredom with food and limited options on the road.  The determination of this diet faded after a few months.  These quick wins can get you immediate results, sustaining them is more challenging.  My hats off to the folks that are able to consistently follow that diet for years on end.

In the blogging world this is like a major website publishing your story one month into your blog launch or getting a guest post on your favorite renown blog.  It brings a lot of one time traffic, but those results usually fade. ( In full disclosure: I am purely speculating here I still haven’t guest posted.)

I’ve considered focusing on these options, but my aim is long term sustainability at a reasonable pace.  I think guest posting will have a place in my near term strategy, but for now with my very limited time I am building as much content here.

Either a crash diet or a random blog success might help with short term motivation, but I think the results will fade and may hinder myself long term focus.

Pick the Right Motivation Metrics

For Health:

  • Measure some key circumferences starting with the belly.
  • Days with Calorie Deficit.
  • Monitor progress with running.
  • Track my progress in the weight room.

For Blogging I have been following

  • Number of Posts per Week
  • Views per Post
  • Returning User Cadence
  • Number of New Users
  • Number of Social Media Followers

Slow and Steady

I have finite time to devote to this blogging project and am balancing it with launching a consulting business, caring for two children and a dog, exercise, investing and head chef in the household.  Lets face it, blogging is time consuming.  I believe my chances at overnight success are pretty slim.  There are always a hundred things I could be doing to improve our results.  For now, I want to enjoy the learning process and write about things that matter to you.  Finding what matters to you is the most meaningful thing I can spend my extra time on.

For exercising, I want to focus on the things I can control.  I pack on muscle very easily and muscle weighs more than fat.  This could be the reason for the weight gain, I don’t know.  What I know is I feel better than what the scale indicates.  For the next few months, body composition will be the true measurement.  Maybe I’ll just throw that damn scale out.

The biggest obstacle with both projects is to AVOID BURNOUT.

A Couple Blog Statistics after 3 months

  • 30 Blog Posts
  • 40 Comments
  • 102 Twitter followers after 1st month
  • 1700 page views
  • FINALLY getting some love from Google
  • Alexa dropped from over 8MM to just over 5MM

More Popular Posts

What’s interesting is that most of the popular posts had nothing to do with financial betterment, they were primarily me telling my backstory.  This is understandable being I am a newbie in this area.  Here are a few of the more popular ones.

Last Day at Work and Uncomfortable Conversations

The First $100,000 Takes How Long to Save?

Net Worth History

DIY Investment Portfolio: 5 Year Annualized Returns

Some of my Favorite posts to write

Paying for Healthcare Cost in Early Retirement

McKesson: A Case Study on the Oldest and Largest Healthcare Company in the Nation

Is Home Ownership and Investment or Expense?

 

What metrics do you track?   Did you go for a big win or slow and steady approach to ramping your blog?  Do you think blogging is slow to get results, similar to weight loss?

6 comments

  1. I started my blog in May so I don’t have much more experience than you. But that never stopped me from expressing my opinion. 🙂

    I’m committed to blogging for at least one year and during that time I think of it as giving with no expectation of getting something (page views, money, fame, comments, whatever) in return. I admit that’s not an easy attitude to maintain.

    I only publish 2x per month so I don’t feel like I’ll burnout anytime soon. But I was surprised how much work even 2x per month is even though I’m already FIREd and have plenty of time. I have no idea how you and others publish so much with so many other demands on your life.

    BTW, I’ve been on the Paleo diet for more than 6 years. It’s worked great for me because it turned out I had a gluten sensitivity that I didn’t know about. Mrs. Freaky Frugal is also Paleo and neither of us ever get tired of it. We both lost weight when we started and it’s stayed off.

    Hang in there!
    Mr. Freaky Frugal recently posted…Investing attitudeMy Profile

    1. Hello Mr. FF,

      Thanks for stopping by and congrats on sticking through the first months. I really enjoy the process of writing and hopefully some of it is helpful for readers. I really had no expectations either but I wanted to help others as I have seen many coworkers over spend and end up with nothing to show for. Also, there are some bloggers out there who really helped refocus and stay motivated in my early days of building my net worth. Part of this is pay it forward.
      Congrats on Paleo fo 6 years. There are many great dishes out there. If only I could kick the pasta to the curb:)

  2. I never tried truly Paleo but tried to avoid sugar and then I got pregnant and hunger was raging. I find that when I just eat meat without starch I get really hungry and irritable, but I hear that this feeling goes away. I have a friend who did Paleo with her husband and they each lost 15-20lbs.

    You’re right about not burning out, that’s the key thing. I used to have a blog in 2009 and it was easier in my opinion, you didn’t have Pinterest (I still don’t understand it), didn’t have to make a pretty graphic for every post, and there wasn’t as much affiliate marketing and blogs on ‘how to make a blog’. Now I am starting again and it’s a whole new world so I definitely feel you in terms of the disheartening process.

    PS I haven’t heard of the acronym SAHDER, I wish it didn’t sound so “Sad”!! I have heard of SAHD though. You’ve got a lot on your plate, chef, dad of two, starting a new business venture etc. Keep it up and I think if you tell yourself you’re only going to devote X number of hours a week to blogging it will keep it balanced. In 2009 I would spend HOURS after my FT job blogging, like staying up until 1am kind of thing, but now with a baby I can’t do that. It’s all about priorities I guess!
    GYM recently posted…GYM September 2017 Net Worth Update: $626,000 (-0.4%)My Profile

    1. Kids change your priorities for sure. I spend a couple hours a day usually after the kids are asleep but sometimes I still look at the clock and it is 1 am. Once I start, it is hard to push the pause button. Its likely to start getting more time constrained when I start my part-time consulting gig.

      If you figure out Pinterest, please share.

      I lost 10lbs the first week of Paleo. The sugar withdrawal goes away in about five days. But look out during the first five days. After 3 months I lost 20lbs. Once I started back with the carbs the weight came back. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge