It’s hard to believe that we’ve been writing about personal finance and investing here at Boomer & Echo for six years! Thanks to all of our subscribers and readers for following along on this journey. This week we reached an incredible milestone – 4 million page views all time!

Despite all the success we’ve enjoyed with our blog, web traffic hasn’t always been consistent. We count on you – our regular readers – to visit and read our articles three or four times a week. It’s a lot to ask, so we appreciate you coming back and reading what we have to say week in and week out.

But the ultimate driver of web traffic comes from Google search. It’s true that if your content doesn’t appear on the first page of Google’s search results, it might as well be on the 299th page. Your blog won’t attract new readers.

We found the most success with Google back in 2012, but then the search giant made some changes to its algorithm and a lot of our articles that used to rank at the top of the search results suddenly disappeared. Search traffic dropped by 80-90%, which was pretty depressing.

Related: How I turned a blog into a profitable online business

We kept going, thinking if we just continued to deliver interesting and useful content that eventually traffic would come back. Well, it seems that effort has finally paid off.

I noticed an uptick in blog visits this January, a trend that continued for the rest of the year. In July, a traditionally slow period for web traffic, we saw our highest visits and page views of all time!

Getting more traffic is not the be-all and end-all for this blog, but it is motivating and encouraging to see a growing audience of readers. So thanks to all of you who read, share, and forward our content on to your friends and family. We appreciate your support!

This Week’s Recap:

Last week I reviewed a new investing book by Spencer Jakab called, Heads I Win, Tails I Win, and promised to give away a copy to one lucky reader. We had 40 entries, and a lot of interesting comments about your bad investing habits. Your randomly selected winner is AndrewGr, who left a comment on July 31 at 6:10 AM. Congratulations, Andrew!

On Monday I updated you on my freedom 45 goal and was pleased to report that our finances are still on track.

On Wednesday Marie asked readers to share their frugal dating stories.

And on Friday I shared how we juggle competing financial priorities and still manage to achieve our goals.

Continuing my Air Miles media junket (I’ve been interviewed on 10 CBC radio shows since the beginning of July), I was interviewed via Skype for this consumer story on Global BC about how frustrated Air Miles collectors are struggling to redeem their miles.

Weekend Reading:

Let’s start with some other personal finance bloggers who’ve recently hit milestones of their own.

First up, happy blog anniversary to Des Odjick at Half Banked. This blog has become one of my favourite reads this year.

Jordann Brown has been busy saving for a house downpayment and finally took the plunge, buying a 1,000 square foot home in Atlantic Canada. Congrats!

Alyssa at Mixed Up Money got married, stayed under budget, and is still debt free. An impressive accomplishment!

From a house to a bedroom, here’s what $1,000 a month can rent across Canada.

This writer tells Wealthsimple why she hasn’t given herself a raise since 2009.

Your mortgage, RRSP, or TFSA: What’s the priority?

Why a return to ‘normal’ interest rates would crush Canadians.

How do you keep peace in the family when money comes up in conversation?

A couple put $10,000 in a penny stock in their son’s RESP which is now worth a small fortune. Now he has to spend it. What to do with a $2M RESP?

Why your parents deserve a college graduation present, too.

Why do we so harshly judge the financial choices other people make?:

“You can choose to waste your money now or waste your money later, on educating your children or on traveling the world. One choice isn’t necessarily superior to the other. It just has to be your choice. When others make a different choice, it isn’t wrong when it’s their choice.”

Online entrepreneur Ryan Guina on what financial health means to him.

Sketch Guy Carl Richards on the law of diminishing returns, or learning to stop before ‘just enough’ becomes ‘way too much’.

Should you work part-time in retirement? Jon Chevreau argues that even a low paying job can make a dramatic difference.

A lesson learned from the lure of a high-yield return:

“You can improve investment returns by shopping around, but if an investment offers a rate that seems to be good to be true, it probably is.”

John Heinzl shares a thoughtful post about the seven things he’s learned about investing.

Frugal Trader on why he doesn’t DRIP his leveraged Smith Manoeuvre portfolio.

PWL Capital’s Ben Felix on spotting subtle conflicts of interest with your financial advisor:

“Most financial advisors are oblivious to the fact that high fee products are likely to do more harm than good for their clients. Their heads are full of attractive sales pitches and compensation structures from fund companies instead of the academic evidence that should be driving decisions in the client’s best interest.

 

Any time a financial advisor mentions DSC, low load, or back end load, it is a red flag. It means that the advisor is going to earn a large commission, and the client is going to be locked in to a high-fee fund for at least three years.”

Great stuff, Ben!

Adam Mayers says that when banks make changes to fee packages it is often hard to compare old with new. They’re counting on your inertia.

Canadian cinemas are finally introducing in-theatre drinking, which will make every move instantly better 🙂

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, wish me a happy 37th birthday! I’m off to find one of those movie theatres, but in the meantime, enjoy this throwback post: 35 thoughts on turning 35.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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