I was both proud and amazed to see my sixth “blogiversary” come and go last month. Yes, after 6 years of Physician on FIRE, it’s still going, strong as ever.
Last year, I neglected to commemorate the 5-year mark, and I almost did the same this time around, but I decided to give a status update a few weeks after the fact. I did write one at the 4-year mark: Four Years of Physician on FIRE: Fellowship, Fun, and Philanthropy.
I published my first blog post on January 9, 2016, and we’re now more than a month into my seventh year of consistent online publishing. Can you believe that I haven’t missed a single Sunday Best since starting the series that spring of 2016? Me neither, but it’s true.
I used to share quarterly blog statistics, portfolio updates, and spending breakdowns. I no longer track spending like I used to, and I’ll save the portfolio update for a standalone post, but I’ll gladly take a look at 6 years worth of blog stats and how I’m feeling about the blogging business these days.
When I first started blogging, I was working full-time and initially posted on a sporadic but frequent pace. I’d write something when I found time, hit publish, and wait for the dozens of pageviews to pour in. It was exciting to know that I was reaching tens of people, and a few of them would even leave a comment!
I soon discovered a feature that allowed me to schedule written posts to be published later, and before long, I established a regular publishing schedule.
The routine has evolved over the years, and this is what it looks like today, with five to seven posts a week:
- Sunday: The Sunday Best
- Monday: FIRE Starter Interview, if I’ve got one to share
- Tuesday: An original (or recently updated) post I’ve written
- Wednesday: FIRE Crossroads Interview
- Thursday: Post FI Notes interview, if I’ve got one to share
- Friday: Friday Feature (a post that got a lot of clicks when featured in The Sunday Best)
- Saturday: Saturday Selection from WCI or PIMD or a guest post
Most weeks, five posts are being published, but if more readers are willing to complete interviews, especially the FIRE Starter and Post FI Notes series, there could be a new post every day of the week.
For the first three and a half years of the blog, I was gainfully employed as an anesthesiologist. For about the last half of that timeframe, I was a part-timer.
It’s now been just over two and a half years since I woke up in a call room and walked away for the last time. Coincidentally, I’m writing this on a transatlantic plane being captained by a pilot on his final flight before retirement after 41 years with Delta or its predecessor airlines. Now, that is dedication, but I wish the crew had saved sharing that fact for after we had landed. You know what happens in every movie where a cop is on his last shift, right?
If you’re reading this, though, know that all went well for the captain and me.
Anyway, I have this different job now, and the blogging business is much more flexible than the doctor job that demanded my presence at all hours of the day whenever someone was in need of my services.
This job allows me to work from anywhere in the world at my own pace, and I can write about whatever I choose, like retiring pilots that make me just a little bit anxious.
I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
It would be impossible to keep the publishing schedule that I have if it was me and me alone. There are a few important people that I’d like to recognize for keeping things running smoothly here at Physician on FIRE.
My wife Rayce has been by my side for more than seventeen years. She supported the idea of me starting this blog, even though we both knew I’d dive in deep and spend way too much time with it.
Years ago, she freed up some of my time by being the person who verifies that anyone who requests to join our physician-only Facebook group is indeed a physician. She also schedules the popular daily posts that foster engagement in both the aforementioned Physicians on FIRE group and our fatFIRE Facebook group, which is open to everyone interested in an above-average-budget FIRE.
Rayce also took on most of the duties of our Social Media Savant when she was on maternity leave last fall.
I hired Bri, a regular reader and wife of a medical student (good luck in the upcoming match!) to be our Social Media Savant. While I still interact with people on all of the channels, she’s the one who creates the posts and tweets promoting the blog posts that are published here most days.
I’m especially pleased with the way she’s elevated our Instagram presence, but she’s promoting the site and its content in all of our social media.
She’s also taken on other duties behind the scenes, like turning written interviews, guest posts, and syndicated posts into formatted and edited blog posts, making my life a bit easier.
Cindy has been working with Physician on FIRE since March of 2017, and she’s been with White Coat Investor (her brother’s little money blog 😉 ) for a few years longer than that.
Cindy works directly with advertisers and some of our referral partners, setting and negotiating rates and changing out display ads on the website and in our emails.
New Blog Manager
I’ve been trying to figure out how to live even more like a retired person, and I just completed several interviews with individuals qualified to take some more behind-the-scenes work off of my plate.
Perhaps I’ll eventually find the time to put together an online course or write a book, but that would work against my desire to do less rather than more. Time will tell, but I’ll probably still be talking about these as potential projects in future blogiversary posts. Sorry, shareholders.
You. Yes, You.
Obviously, there is no blog or online business without you, the reader. I sincerely thank you for every article you read and share.
I also thank you for considering working with our recommended service providers and for using our referral links when you want to sign up to make money with surveys, refinance student loans, learn more about passive real estate, and those sorts of things.
In six years, we’ve donated multiple six figures from blog revenue, and that doesn’t happen without your support!
Blogging in 2022
In my four year blogiversary post, I celebrated friendship, fellowship, and fun, highlighting the many amazing new people I’ve met and connections I’ve made as a result of this blog. I still feel the same, but since the pandemic started, blogging has felt a bit lonelier.
In-person meetups with readers and other bloggers were a highlight for me over the years. FinCon, a conference with financial media creators from around the world, was one big party.
I chose not to attend FinCon in 2021 because of the status of the pandemic and having a child that couldn’t yet be vaccinated at the time. FinCon 2020 went virtual, as did WCICon, a gathering of White Coat Investors, although I did get to spend time with my pals in Salt Lake City to be a part of the broadcast in 2021.
I haven’t organized any sort of reader meetup since 2019.
Thankfully, WCICON22 was back in person this year, with hundreds of physicians and other professionals in attendance, and it was great. I plan to be back at FinCon this fall for the first time in three years.
Cheers to 2022 being the year where our social lives begin a return to something more normal!
2022 Physician on FIRE Blog Statistics Update
These numbers reflect the first 6 years of the blog, from January 9, 2016 to January 9, 2022. This year is off to a great start, with 357,671 pageviews in January making it the all-time best month for website traffic.
Although 92% of the visits to Physician on FIRE come within the borders of the United States, the site truly has a global readership.
The last time I published an update like this, I hadn’t had readers from Greenland, Svalbard, North Korea, Western Sahara, or the Republic of the Congo.
Now, the only blank spot on the map is in North Korea. Don’t worry about those other white spots between countries. I won’t get credit for visits from the Baltic, Black, or Caspian Seas.
A few nations have only logged a visit or two, but we appreciate you, Isle of Man, St. Pierre & Miquelon, Svalbard & Jan Mayen, Mayotte, and other places that I’m not familiar with at all!
Altogether, the site’s pages were viewed 12,662,247 times in its first 6 years. 2,787,201 of those came in 2021, our strongest year yet.
How readers are following Physician on FIRE
- 2,000+ Feedly subscribers
- 388 RSS Feedburner subscribers
- 18,853 Twitter followers
- 8,200+ Facebook Page followers
- 1,800+ Facebook Friends (under my FB pseudonym Milo Andersson) Friend me!
- 29,476 verified physicians in my Physicians on FIRE Facebook Group
- 20,751 members in my fatFIRE Facebook Group
- 4,463 Instagram followers
The Top 5 Most Viewed Posts of all-time:
- 1. Vanguard Backdoor Roth 2022: a Step by Step Guide (664,647 views) (has been republished with annual updates x2)
- 2. How Much Does a Doctor Need to Retire (131,838 views)
- 3. Tax Loss Harvesting with Vanguard: A Step by Step Guide (88,794 views)
- 4. The PoF Portfolio (82,893 views)
- 5. What is fatFIRE? (77,978 views)
Taxes on a Million Dollars of Earned Income is next in line. All of these posts rank highly for certain terms on Google and other search engines, and several are pinned to the top of my site’s front page.
The Top 5 Posts of 2021:
- 1. Vanguard Backdoor Roth: a Step by Step Guide (141,934 views)
- 2. Why Doctors Don’t Get Rich (58,529 views)
- 3. The Unspoken Risks of NOT Retiring Early (57,189 views)
- 5. The 26 Most Affordable Medical Schools in the United States (33,899 views)
I wrote the first three, and the other two were guest posts. Numbers 2 through 5 benefited from a feature in Doximity’s Medical Business News weekly email.
Where is the traffic coming from?
Top 5 referring sites all-time:
- 1. Facebook & Facebook Mobile (409,803 sessions)
- 2. Twitter (204,637 sessions)
- 3. White Coat Investor (171,183 sessions)
- 4. Doximity (48,488 sessions)
- 5. Rockstar Finance (43,757 sessions)
Since I last updated this list in the summer of 2019, my two favorite social media sites leapfrogged WCI to grab the top two spots. It’s fascinating to see Rockstar Finance in the Top 5 yet; it’s been shuttered for years.
Top Referring Sites of 2021:
- 1. Facebook & Facebook Mobile (424,701 sessions)
- 2. Twitter (37,422 sessions)
- 3. White Coat Investor (15,854 sessions)
- 4. Doximity (20,285 sessions)
- 5. Reddit (8,172 sessions)
That’s where we’re at! I expect this next year to look a lot like the last year, but you never know what surprises I might have in store.
One thing I’m considering is an occasional in-person event of a few days’ length. I’m thinking something along the lines of an educational retreat with a few dozen folks interested in all things FIRE. Something a bit like Camp FI but with a focus on professionals and the issues we face. Please comment below if you like this idea or have any specific ideas for such a gathering.
Cheers to 6 years!
-Leif / PoF