On October 1, 2013, the United States government officially ran out of money and was forced to shutdown all non-essential operations as the result of a budget impasse. For the next 16 days, national parks closed, 800,000 federal workers were furloughed without pay, and Veterans Affairs stopped sending benefit checks.
In the less historically significant news of October 1, 2013, this blog was launched. It all started with an article that explained how the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) would impact health insurance consumers. Although the ACA was signed into law more than three and a half years earlier, October 1, 2013 marked the scheduled release of Healthcare.gov and the new insurance exchange. 195 people visited the blog article that day to learn more about who might benefit from the exchange and how to effectively apply for insurance and the potential subsidies. It turns out that this was 195 more people than successfully applied for insurance on www.healthcare.gov that day. The ACA exchange website had technical difficulties, went offline, and did not reopen until December 2nd. For good or bad, the 195 visitors on that October 2013 day did not overwhelm our servers or create any technical difficulties for www.rpgplanner.com.
In the nearly five following years, 100 articles have been written and posted on The Astute Angle. This marks 101. Everything has been completely original content without ghost writers or any paid content. It started slow and required figuring things out along the way but I am humbly surprised by and appreciative of the reach and success this blog has experienced since its launch.
Traffic to The Astute Angle blog averaged 144 pageviews per month in 2014. In 2015, we began averaging more than 10 visitors a day which was deemed a big success at the time. Then things got crazy in 2017 and the blog averaged 1,367 visitors per month. A few popular posts drove a lot of the traffic which I deemed to be temporal and unstainable. And in the first half of 2018, traffic averaged over 3,000 pageviews per month.
This incredible growth has been unexpected, humbling, and fulfilling. I’m hopeful that the growth in pageviews means that at least a few people find the information, ideas, and suggestions useful.
As the Astute Angle chugs on past the century mark, I planned to review a list of the 10 most important learnings from the first 100 posts because that’s what other bloggers do when they’ve reached an important milestone. But then I realized that summarizing the most important points from 100 posts on so many subjects down to fewer than 25 ideas was not going to happen. So instead, I’m using this opportunity to make some simple requests and extend some long-overdue thank-yous.
1) The goal is to make the next 100 posts more helpful and informative than the first 100 so please keep reaching out with suggestions and questions. Most topics for these posts stemmed from specific questions from or discussions with clients, prospective clients, and friends. Keep the questions and suggestions coming. You can leave them in the comments field or email here.
2) Astute Angle feedback does not have to be positive. If you find the posts too long, too short, too dense, not detailed enough, or cannot understand what the posts are saying, speak up. The blog cannot be everything for everybody. The goal is to provide helpful advice that enables our clients to make smart informed financial decisions. Constructive feedback is part of that.
3) A big thanks to Brandon and Christian for proof-reading a lot of words in a bunch of long sentences in 100 lengthy blog posts and never once complaining about it.
4) Another big thank you to long-time Astute Angle subscriber and friend, Michael, for providing helpful suggestions and recommended edits after nearly every post. And often within a few hours of the post going live. And for the encouragement.
5) More thanks to good friends and clients like Henry, Jolene, Jeff, Jason, Wayne, Don, Adam, Dario, and others not named here for the encouragement from early on and for forwarding the posts on to other interested readers in your respective networks. This never gets to 100 posts or to 3,000 hits a month without your support and encouragement.
Onward to the next 100 topics.