One Year of Physician on FIRE. Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Wow! A year? Already??

Boy, things escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand, fast!

M.D. Financial ServicesLast year, I made a New Year’s resolution. Just one — to start the blog I had tossed around in my noggin for awhile. I had written down some ideas, I had the name picked out, and I had some ideas for at least a couple dozen posts.

January 9th, 2016, I hit “Publish” for the first time. It felt good. Like that first sip of Hopslam. My plan to post 3 or 4 times a month was tossed aside as I found myself eager to drop more words on a page and publish again and again. I pumped out 13 posts in the first 22 days. My pages were viewed nearly 2,200 times that month. I was hooked. More Hopslam, please.

In February, I published another 11 posts and traffic was up nearly three-fold. In March, I had my first guest post published, courtesy of Joe Udo @ Retire by 40. More people read my ramblings, and I saw nearly 15,000 pageviews that month. By May, there were 30,000 after a boost from a guest post with The White Coat Investor. I couldn’t get enough. So thirsty.

 

 

By summertime, I had settled on a look, or “Theme”  for the site, and a regular Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday posting schedule to avoid overlap with several of my favorite bloggers. The Sunday Best series that I had started proved popular. I felt embraced by the personal finance blogging community.

With some great momentum and wonderful testimonials from readers, I felt confident that I could add Sponsors to advance the site’s charitable mission. A number of sponsors (see right sidebar) agreed, and I have been able to donate thousands of dollars to charity as a result.

In the first full year, the pages on this site have been viewed more than 425,000 times by over 100,000 visitors, with nearly half of those views coming in the last 90 days. For lots more stats, check out the newly updated Blogger’s Corner. I’m excited by the momentum, and completely grateful for all of you who have been reading, subscribing, and sharing my words with your friends.

 

 

In addition to thanking everyone who is reading or has read this site, I’d like to extend my gratitude a few more people who have been instrumental in its success:

 

[Cue the Music]

 

Alright, alright, I don’t intend for this to read like an acceptance speech, but I want to let you all know this site would be pointless without you.

What is the point?

 

Good question. I’m shared some goals and purpose on the About Me page, but it’s time I create a mission statement for the site. Here it is:

 

Physician on FIRE is a personal finance website created to inform and inspire both physicians and our patients with insightful writing from a physician who has attained financial independence and the ability to retire early. The site has a triple aim to leave visitors enlightened, educated, and entertained.

 

That sums up what I’m trying to do in one tidy, two-sentence package. I write with physicians in mind, but the messages can have a broader appeal. Including our patients in the mission means I’ve covered pretty much everybody, even infants who can’t invest in a 401(k), let alone read, and will not benefit from this site whatsoever. Well, not yet.

 

Money

 

I talk a lot about money on this site, and yes, this site makes money. I had some misgivings about monetizing the site initially, but when I realized the opportunity was there, I couldn’t leave money on the table. A pledge I’ve made to donate half the profits goes a long way to offset any inclination that I might have had to keep the site ad-free.

I don’t publish the revenue details here, but share them with my e-mail subscribers in a quarterly newsletter. I will tell you that the profits for 2016 were a low five-figure number. I owe much of my success in this department to my site sponsors and the occasional frequent affiliate link. Personal Capital being one example. 🙂

I’ve donated over a hundred thousand dollars that I hope to recoup over time with site revenue. If that happens, fantastic! If not, I likely would have donated that money, regardless. Either way, I’ll be happy.

What to Expect in Year Two

 

I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve got many ideas for new posts in the drafts folder, and a growing backlog of reader submitted ideas and case studies I’d like to dive into.

High quality guest posts will be shared on select Thursdays, and I’ll continue to Christopher Guest post series, which has been a lot of fun and attracted some writers with sites much bigger than this one.

I plan to continue with three posts a week, including the Sunday Best roundups. I’ve been happy to share the love to some excellent bloggers out there via the weekend update, and have also enjoyed sharing some personal stuff that doesn’t deserve its own post, but helps you get to know me better.

By summertime, I expect to finalize a decision on when I expect to leave my full time job, and I’d like to give my group about a year’s notice to find a suitable replacement. Obviously, I will be sharing my rationale and final decision with you all here on this site.

Oh, and I expect more Hopslam.*

On Anonymity

 

Click around all you like; you won’t find my name on this site. Well, I did sneak my first name into a picture not long ago, but I haven’t attached my full name to the site for several reasons.

First, I’m still working, and I haven’t made up my mind as to exactly when I’ll be moving on. I would prefer to keep the early retirement idea under wraps at least until I’ve come to a decision and have shared that decision with my colleagues. I wouldn’t want to be perceived by anyone as having one foot out the door, and I intend to remain fully engaged until I finish out my time with my current employer.

Second, it’s kinda cool to play a real life Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne. It’s almost exactly the same except I’m not super rich, powerful, or all that handsome. Actually, you’ve never seen me, so scratch that last part. I am all that handsome. And I save lives! So… it’s a pretty tight analogy. It is fun to hold this little secret, even if there’s a decent chance no one I work with has read my writing yet.

Finally, I prefer to keep some separation between my online persona as the Physician on FIRE and the everyday me. They are essentially one and the same, and I don’t type anything I don’t believe or share stories that aren’t entirely true, but I like to think of PoF as a character I play on the internet. It’s a character based on me and it is me, but I’m not sure how I feel about blurring the lines between the two. The distinction is pretty black and white right now, and I like it that way. I’m not ready to introduce shades of grey.

Of course, some of you do know me — the sponsors I work with, the bloggers I’ve met in real life (Mr & Mrs. 1500, Jim Collins, Dr. Nii Darko of DocsOTB, Financial Panther, Apathy Ends), and the handful of readers that caught a gaffe I made exposing my identity. My boys have made a few cameo appearances in pictures, and I’m obviously not going to great lengths to conceal my identity. It’s all good, and I imagine I’ll drop the veil eventually, but I’m not ready yet.

Maybe when I retire.

 

*Bell’s Brewery, the brewer of Hopslam, This One Goes to 11 Ale, and dozens of other amazing beers does not sponsor this site or compensate me in any way, but they probably should.

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65 comments

  • Congratulations, PoF on your One Year Blogiversary!

    You are definitely one of my favorite new blogs of the past year and of course I’m not unique in that assessment. Way to explode onto the PF community in style. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, generosity, and humility with this site. It’s easy to see that you are a generous spirit – in all aspects (money, time, and effort)!

    Keep up all the positive growth and momentum. You deserve it!!

  • Congrats on year 1, and staying consistent! It’s hard for many to survive with consistent posts for this long.

    Keep at it, and I think you’ll find things start getting really good after year 2! In fact, maybe you should think about building the site for 2-3 years and then pulling the ripchord!

    Once you gain some momentum, it’s hard to stop.

    Sam

  • Congrats on year 1. That’s pretty impressive stat you got. Now here’s to a better year 2.

  • Happy Blogiversary! You’ve had amazing growth in a year so kudos to you, PoF!

  • Congratulations on finishing a year! The time does fly, doesn’t it? I don’t mean that flippantly. What happened to the time? Before you know it, you’ll be telling us about the two year anniversary.

    I don’t even know what Hopslam is, but I’ll take some more please.

  • This is truly excited and it’s wonderful to have you in the financial community. The fact that you donate half of what you make from this site is impressive. Congrats on your anniversary and I hope to cheer you on in the coming year!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  • Congratulations on hitting the one year mark! I enjoy your writing style and all you have to share, even though our paths to FI have been much different. I’ve already had some major takeaways from your outlook and one of my favorite posts was when you tackled Financial Independence vs. Financial Freedom. Looking forward to following you as you tackle some big decisions for you and your family’s future!

  • Congrats on hitting the one year mark! I love your content and writing style and I’m clearly not the only one.

    Keep up the good work and kuddos on donating half of your profits to charity!

  • Happy Birthday PoF persona!

    If you figure out how to get Bells to sponsor let me know – I would post for beer.

  • Those are some very impressive results for year 1 of blogging. You really did explode onto the PF scene and I have enjoyed your entertaining writing style.

    Looking forward to another year of AWESOME!!!

  • Congrats on all of your progress and growth. I hope you keep it up even after “retiring.”
    You have done more in one year than I have done in five. Impressive!
    I will tell all of my friends in Madagascar to log on. ?

  • Happy blogiversary! Really amazing to see what you’ve achieved in just 1 year and glad that we were able to meet this past summer! Looking forward to see what you’ve got coming in year 2!

  • Congrats on year one. It took me to the last line to realize what hopslam is. I was about to get the urban dictionary out after reading the post in case I missed some new age slang. Here’s to another great year, now pass the beer!

  • So, so glad you hit publish! Congrats on a hugely successful first year. I cannot wait to see all that year 2 and beyond bring you!

  • Doc, impressive numbers, and for good reason. You’re an awesome blogger (one of the “Best In The Universe“, right!? For good reason. The blogosphere recognizes talent when it sees it, and you have it, in spades.

    Looking forward to Year 2, and all it has in store for the PhysicianOnFire!

  • In all the pictures I’ve seen, your face has been on fire. I suppose I’ll take it at your word that you’re a handsome dude 😉

    Congrats on the blogversary, and best to you in 2017, you handsome rascal!

  • Great job! Consistency is what I find to be the toughest hurdle in writing and staying active. Looking forward to Year 2!

  • Congrats on makig it a year, and those great numbers for the site!

    Looking forward to more posts throughout year two!

  • Wow, those are impressive numbers for one year! I agree that blogging is addicting, which for me was both a blessing and a curse. I had to put the blog mostly on the back burner as I found it was taking too much time and energy while trying to be a full-time worker, full-time dad/husband and still get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy . A major tip of the cap to you for your consistency and success and I hope to join you in being a positive voice in inspiring and educating others in the healthcare field (as well as those outside of it) as I ramp up post FIRE.

    Cheers!
    EE

  • Congratulations on the first year!! Even though your blog is geared toward physicians, I think by your numbers, it’s safe to say that it’s enjoyed by a wider audience (including myself).

    That’s an awesome bonus that you’re already starting to make money on it. Your hundred thousand dollar donation is also amazing.

    Hope you have a great year 2!!

    — Jim

  • Happy blogiversary and congratulations! You’re doing great work here and I’m excited to read what comes next.

  • Those are some seriously impressive stats! Congrats On making it one year – I wonder what % of blogs fade out before hitting that milestone?

  • Congrats on the awesome year! I agree with others here, that you’re content is very interesting for non-physicians as well 🙂

  • Congrats my friend! You’ve been a great source of inspiration and help for me, so I thank you. Keep up the strong work…

  • Congrats, PoF, that was an amazingly successful year! Thanks for featuring me in your Christopher Guest Post series and the many other shout-outs on Sundays throughout the year. In fact, you were the first person to ever give me a shout-out back in May.
    I will open one of my special Belgian beers tonight to celebrate hope to do that in person one day, too!

  • Congratulations, POF! I was amazed to learn that you have only been doing this for a year. I’m looking forward to year2.

  • Congrats on completing the first year, Doc!

  • Very, very happy one year anniversary! It’s great to see how the momentum grows. I bet you will blow it out of the water come year 2 or shoot when you finally part ways with the full time doctor gig! I’m glad you are enjoying the journey so far. That’s the best part. Big numbers wouldn’t mean much if you hated blogging. =)

  • Congrats on a great first year PoF! You’ve realized some incredible success!

    If you were a gold miner, you’d be the guy who struck gold immediately!

  • Happy Blogiversary, Physician on Fire!

    Here’s to another great year before you part way with your full-time job!

  • Nicely done PoF! 1 year and counting. The growth is impressive and wish you much more exponential growth going forward! Like the power of compounding, the power of social media will make this site BOOM!

  • Happy Blogerversary, PoF! Congratulations on a fantastic year, and may you have very many more of them.

  • Physician on Fire

    Thank you for your comment about the Bogleheads. Your first year has been incredible. Please continue helping others (and me) with your solid advice for successful investing.

    Best wishes.

    Taylor

  • Happy one year anniversary PoF!

    I’m where you were one year ago on the blog journey, it’s exciting and encouraging to see how you’ve developed a great following in a relatively short period of time. You went all-in on this blogging thing, and it shows.

    Wishing you many more years

  • Hearty Congratulations Dr. POF! This is a major milestone and indeed, I am following you. Some say running a blog gets easier and more rewarding after one year, do let me know when that happens. ?

  • Happy 1y Blogiversary. You have a great blog and have obviously made an impact. Here is to a fantastic year two and beyond. I “fell in love” when I discovered we had an affinity for OCR. I’ll have to find a Spartan Sprint in your area and I’ll help you over the walls to keep the shoulder intact. :O)

  • eric

    I may be single handedly responsible for your uptick in traffic in the past month. I have literally devoured this site. It has been incredibly helpful for you to share in this way with us. Looking forward to year two (and a slightly less obsessive reading of your posts as they trickle out rather than come in one big fire hose!)

  • Congrats on the past year! Sounds like it has been an incredible journey so far. Thanks for all that you do, and best of luck in year two and beyond!

  • Congrats on the blogoversary, and a job well done. Your stats are quite impressive for a year old blog, which clearly signals that you’ve found both your voice and your niche.

    Keep it up, and I’m sure the snowball will keep on getting bigger!

  • Great work, PoF! Big congratulations your way…and happy blogiversary!

    You know I’m a fan of your work, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know the fake/real you these last several months. (Even though I had no idea you were Photoshopping those pictures. I just figured you had a really weird cartoon head. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    I’m also a big fan of the various Will Ferrell, Arrested Development, Christopher Guest, etc. references you drop – makes me super glad to know I’m not the only person out there who thinks primarily in fictional character catchphrases and juvenile movie jokes! 🙂

    Great job this year, and please keep it up!

    • Thank you for the valuable feedback, Libre! It’s refreshing to know my pop culture references aren’t falling on deaf eaars. I dropped a Dazed & Confused reference in a comment reply above. Maybe 5% of people will catch that.

      And, yes, I caught the Seinfeld reference. What are trying to say about me?

      Cheers!
      -PoF

  • Sorry I’m late to the party!! Happy 1st blogaversary!! It’s amazing to see how far we come from our first posts. 🙂 I wish you a happy second year and many many more!!

  • Great accomplishments in year 1. Truly impressive and inspiring. I’m a new reader and new blogger and can only hope to stick with things as well as you have and see similar viewership. Keep up the great work!

  • Hey Clark (or is that Kent? Haha),

    Congratulations on all your success this year! I’m a doc and you’ve inspired me to re-start a blog on a topic I’m excited about( but let fizzle too soon). Thanks for sharing your knowledge and setting the bar high!

  • Congratulations PoF on a killer start! You’re stuff is top tier and you’ve set yourself up well for a career in writing. It will be difficult to give up the laughing gas, but the freedom will be worth it. Probably.

  • Happy blogoversary – here’s to another successful year!

  • Congrats on a full year! I look forward to reading more of your posts in year 2. I just started my blog about 3 months ago. It’s been a blast so far and I can’t wait to hit my first anniversary later this year.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Woohoo! Congrats on one year! Though I only recently discovered your blog, I am such a fan. I look forward to everything the next year brings for your site!!

  • Congrats on the big milestone! Your Sunday Roundup’s are well appreciated, as they help expose me to some writers I might never have found otherwise. Thank you for the positive story- its good encouragement for someone like me just getting started!
    -John

  • Great stuff man, and congrats on a year of blogging. You have been prolific. Keep putting out great stuff and I’ll keep reading. Amazing what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.

    Also massive gratitude for the Sunday features. You have a great core of readers here and I’m honored you share some of my materiel with them.

    *raises beer to computer screen and drinks

  • Congrats on your one year blogiversary PoF! Those traffic stats and growth are insane! Have enjoyed following along your journey, best wishes for year 2!

  • Congratulations on your first year PoF! I just got started in the physician finance blogging world, and if I can replicate even 10% of your success, I’d be thrilled! I look forward to reading your blog in the years to come.

  • Congratulations, PoF! That is a great accomplishment within the first year. Keep it going!

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