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Less Debt More Wine Turns 2!

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So I was quiet last week, I was sick and not ahead of things so no posts went up. Which means that I missed posting this on the actual anniversary of when Less Debt More Wine (formerly Friday Night Shenanigans) turns 2.

When on Thursday I realized the date was Aug. 11th I kind of freaked out, because I realized I’d been blogging for two years. I mean I know when I bought my hosting plan I committed to a minimum of three years but damn it is going by so fast.

I never could have guessed that I would enjoy blogging so much (or how much work it would be) and how amazing the blogging community could be, but damn it is awesome.

If you are considering starting a blog or are on the fence, just go for it.

In honor of turning 2, I thought I’d share some of the highlights and stats of the last two years:

Blogging Stats:

Total Posts: 167
Average # per Week: 1.6

What has happened the last year:

My first year, I was so new, I had no clue what I was doing when it came to blogging. But I did make a lot of progress on my debt, let’s see how I did in my second year.

Money:

  • I paid off my $1k Perkins Loan
  • Total Paid Towards Debt: $20,901.55
    (BTW my taxable income for 2015 was about $47k so after taxes about $40k. Thus approx. half my income went towards my debt)
  • Total Debt Paid Off: $11,181.76 = Interest and being on an IBR plan sucks

Fun Stuff:

  • I moved from one side of town to the other
  • I went to FinCon, can’t wait to go again this year!

Cool stuff that has happened over the last two years of blogging:

  • Melanie from Dear Debt published a book – you can get it here, and my Dear Debt letter which was my very first guest post is included in it. Though I have yet to see it (I’m anxiously awaiting my copy to be delivered), once I do and read it, you can expect a review on the blog.
  • I started taking my freelance writing seriously and am continuing to make a little more each month
  • I’ve connected with some amazing people through this great community
  • I have been quoted in an article that was re-run by Business Insider, which is just kind of cool.
  • I’ve gotten to see other bloggers reach their debt free goals, looking at you Dear Debt and Dream Beyond Debt.

Now for some of my own goals for my 3rd year of blogging:

  • Bring the average posts per week up to 2 overall – which means I’ll need to average 3 posts per week
  • Pay off my Car Loan, Bar Loan, and because I’m feeling ambitious my smallest student loan too. Total goal =  $17,946.76 +interest
  • Do a debt payoff challenge each quarter, the next one starts Jan. 1st 2017
  • Complete a 4 month No Spend Challenge

I think that pretty well sums up the last two years of blogging, and here is to many more. Thank you for reading.

Blog tools & resources I recommend

Convertkit (for email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. 

Making sense of affiliate marketing (for monetizing your blog) Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Tailwind (for automating pinterest) Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.

SmarterQueue (for automating other social media) SmarterQueue is a lower cost alternative to meet Edgar, SmarterQueue does pretty much the same thing but it costs about $20/mo for up to 4 social media accounts. They have a free 14 day trial but if you use my referral link you get a 30 day free trial.

Thrive Themes Membership (for theme, opt-ins, and tons of other stuff)I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Theme, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.

anniversary of when Less Debt More Wine (formerly Friday Night Shenanigans) turns 2. I never could have guessed that I would enjoy blogging so much
Liz

Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

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